Suggestions for a basic, but good sound system. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Audio & Video Tech General discussion of audio and video for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 09-22-2004
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Since I am not the legal age to be a title holder to my truck, my dad is. Since the truck is owned by my dad, all modifications have to be approved by him. He says no Traction-Lok until all that's left of the rear diffs innards are metal shavings, no Kumho Venture MTs until the Goodyear Eagles are worn out (freaking hard to wear these things out too!), and no Gibson cat back until the factory system is dragging on the ground. Essentially, if it is drivetrain related, engine related or suspension related, it can't be touched until it is broken or until he hands the title over to me. However, being the electronics and computer freak my dad is, he is not opposed to upgrading the sound system.

So far all I have done is added the AM/FM/Cass player from a '99 F-150. It works flawlessly and looks factory (a plus for me), but it is not very powerful and it doesn't need to be since it is only powering two speakers. :roll: I have speaker grilles in the rear, but Ford decided I didn't actually need anything behind them, so I didn't get anything behind them. I would like to replace the two front door speakers and add rear speakers. I would also like a decent HU with a CD player. Cost is a bit of an issue. No thousand dollar equipment here. Just enough to work well. I might be able to add subs and an amp, but I might not. That depends on if I get a tonneau or not. I have a fair amount of crap stored behind the seats right now. So what would you guys suggest for a basic, yet good quality sound system?
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Old 09-22-2004
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Well check behind the speaker grills for some speaker wiring. Ford likes to build things so that items that don't come with your truck (like rear speakers or map lights in the dome) have all the wiring ready to go.

Speakers: Polk Audio EX368 $62 /pair shipped
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

Head Unit: Alpine CDA-9827 $230 shipped
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...00451&rd=1
(includes install accessories)

MTX 5-channel amplifier: $275 shipped
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
(245 w x 1 & 50 w x 4)

I just kinda picked that amplifier as it is 5 channel, but the subwoofer is a bit tricky to recommend. Since you have a regular cab, it the enclosure is everything. Do you want the passenger to suffer a loss of 2-3 clicks of reclining? You can get an install kit for the amplifier locally, probably around 20-50 bucks. Walmart can provide you with decent speaker wire in 50 to 100 ft spools. So it all depends on how far you want to go. The above system would be pretty rockin, and would cost around $600-625 fully installed (not including a sub and enclosure)

You may want to start with the speakers, and perhaps a head unit. If you don't think you'll be getting an external amplifier for a while, then don't go cheap on the head unit. Get as much power and quality as you can the first time.

The above list is from brand names and models I trust, but that doesn't mean it's the best for your setup and budget. Hopefully that gets you in the right direction, though...
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Old 09-23-2004
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My '99 XL had a 2-channel audio system and did not have wiring for the rear speakers. But the installation was fairly easy. Just remove the passenger seat and passenger side molding and the flooring came right up, alllowing me to run wires easily.

My advice to those on a budget looking for decent sound is to skip the sub and external amp. In both my previous and my current truck I used decent Kenwood CD head units. In the '99 I had a fairly inexpensive consumer unit. In the new truck I splurged for an 'Excelron' (their premium brand name) unit. I'm not sure the money was worth it though. Sure, it sounds good, but I'm not convinced I'd ever notice the difference. My biggest need was to get MP3 capability and a regular consumer grade unit would have worked.

For speakers I have a set of very good Boston Acoustics 5x7 OEM replacement speakers. In my '99 I swapped the stock speakers out from the doors and put them in the back of the cab. I then put the new speakers in the doors. The results were pretty damned good. When i got the new truck I brought the speakers w/ me and put them in the doors, replacing the stock drivers.

All said I've probably got like $500 (~$350 deck, ~$150 speakers) in the 'system' and am quite pleased. I regularly get comments about it and have even got comments about the subwoofer that everyone assumes I have (but don't)!
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Old 10-02-2004
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I'm also in need of a new setup..for my dad's Taurus since I take over soon.
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Old 10-02-2004
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I don't have any advice for you stereo, but my dad was just like your dad when he 1st bought me my truck. He would always tell me that it was a waste of money for me to buy anything for my truck, even the stuff I eventually bought for my the system. So I finally just explained to him that that was how I wanted to spend my money, and it made me happy, and that I have a "passion" i guess for customizing my truck. Lol, and now he always wants to borrow it so he can drive it aroundm and everytime I add something new to my truck he always kinda brags about it to his friends, lol...
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Old 10-02-2004
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I think a deck, speakers, sub powered by a single 5-channel would be good. I plan on that by gettin the MTX Thunder 895 as linked above and get a 10/12" MTX sub. Was thinking of components but won't my dad's car too long lol.
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Old 10-02-2004
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When my dad was younger than I am now, he swapped the drivetrain from a wrecked 66 Mustang GT (HiPo 289 w/ 4 on-the-floor shifter) into a Maverick.. so he really has no room to talk about me modding my truck. All he says is "I hope you don't spend ALL your money on that truck."
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