Pioneer or Alpine for my 02 Envoy?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by BlazinBlazer Guy, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I'm very close to purchasing speakers and maybe an amp for my truck (2002 GMC Envoy, non-bose from the factory), and I've narrowed it down to two product line choices- Pioneer and Alpine. I'd like some input as to which is better, and why. The prices are mostly comparable, with the Alpine costing just slightly more.... (note that these aren't exactly the highest end products, but I'm on a tight budget for this system since I don't need something loud, just better SQ). Here's my lineup:

    Pioneer:

    Front doors - 6.5" TS-C1653 2-Way Components
    Rear doors - 6.5" TS-A1681S 4-Way Coaxials
    Amp - GM-3000T 200W 2-Ch. OR GM-4000F 300W 4-Ch. (Which is better?)
    Sub - ??? (Not sure what I'm doing here yet)

    Alpine: (Type S)

    Front doors - 6.5" SPS-171A Components
    Rear doors - 6.5" SPS-170A 2-Way Coaxials
    Amp - ??? (Not sure what I'm doing here yet)
    Sub - 12" SWS-1242D (Just a single 12", eventually)

    Any input/advice? Either way, I'm eventually going to add the Pioneer AVIC-D1/D2 as my headunit. For now though, the stock non-bose HU is staying put. Thanks! :wavey:
    Oh and if anyone can give me an idea of how many sq. ft. of dynamat/brownbread/raamat I will need to do all four doors and door panels, that would be great also. I won't be messing with the floor or roof until I swap out my seats for leather later on this year or early next year.... and I'll ask again for a size estimate at that time. :bigthumb:
     
  2. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Well, one way to either save you some money, or to improve SQ, would be to only replace the front speakers, and either fade far forward or disconnect the stock rear speakers. Then, you can buy a nice 2-channel amp to power the fronts and run the stock rears off the head unit (or just not at all). I guarantee you that if you spend the same amount of money on a 2-channel setup as a 4-channel it will sound better, probably worlds better. That said, I'm partial to Alpine, but I don't have a lot of listening time on their speakers. You really need to audition them yourself and make a decision from there. You may like the Pioneers more. Also, the SQ you'll get running line-level from your stock HU might be disappointing. Why don't you hold off on sound deadening and buy the HU now?
     
  3. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    Hmm... but isn't that going to sound like crap if I lose two channels worth of sound output? I would think that it would force me to play those two channels up front louder, increasing the potential for distortion and the "muddy" sound I'm trying to get away from. I'm just not really sure what your logic is here. I know what I want for my system in the long run, and I guess I'm not worried too much if it doesn't sound its best from day one. I can live with it as long as it sounds marginally better than stock until I add the next phase of components to the system to make the SQ even better.

    I've heard the Pioneer 4-ways that I listed, and I've heard a set of Alpine Type-R components and coaxials.... unfortunately I can't really audition ALL of the equipment I've listed since it isn't available locally (I'd be buying it all new-in-box from eBay). Listening to the two, its really a toss-up as far as sound quality goes. So I guess the real question is, will the Alpine stuff be more durable/last longer than the Pioneer, or vice versa?

    Understand, I don't really listen to my stuff loud at all; I just hate the "muddy" sound quality I'm getting now. Are you basically telling me that an Amp is going to help me more than speakers as a first step? In the long run I'm definitely going to have speakers/amp/sub/HU all installed, but I don't really know the best order to purchase them in.

    The sound deadening will run me maybe a couple hundred bucks. The HU would run me a couple THOUSAND to do it right (with the XM direct tuner so I can ditch my SkyFi2). That headunit is a bit out of my price range right now.

    My Envoy has a large ammount of bleed-through road noise, and I'm thinking that even if I just left everything stock right now, some sound deadening would improve the experience in the passenger compartment significantly; especially on long trips.

    Would I perhaps be better to buy a lower-end pioneer or alpine headunit for now and just eBay it once I can afford the NAV unit? I'm just wondering how much of a weak link that stock HU is in the whole scheme of things.
     
  4. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    More channels does not equal better sound in music production. Do you stand at concerts with your back to the musicians? Many SQ competitors use pure front stage setups or have very little rear fill to satisfy some judges. Nearly ALL audiophiles have a 2-channel setup as their primary system. Rear speakers usually just make things worse in the car, 6x9's don't reproduce sound as well as an equivalent round speaker, and they introduce phase and time alignment problems. You won't be used to the new sound, but I think you'll like it.

    I'm telling you, if you originally could afford Alpine's mid-level speaker line when purchasing four speakers, but can afford their higher-level component speaker line by purchasing just two speakers, you WILL notice an improvement in SQ. I guess you'll have to trust me on this one. There are others on this board and other forums that will support me though.

    I already said I prefer Alpine as a brand. I'm not sure if they will last longer or not. Most speakers last the life of the vehicle assuming they are not abused.

    I'm not saying an amp will help more than speakers at this point. I was saying replacing your source unit is a great place to start. Adding an external amp can oftentimes really improve what used to be mediocre speakers. A guy with an all-stock VW jetta with Monsoon speakers won an SQ competition by simply adding a real nice amp. Speakers will almost always make the most dramatic change in sound though.

    I do recommend buying a $150-$200 Alpine head unit for now until you can get the AVIC. It will also make installing the amp easier. Also, stuff like dynamat often does not help road noise that much. For that you really need thicker carpeting-type insulation. Dynamat is designed to deaden doors, meaning remove rattles and lower the resonant frequency, NOT to insulate.
     
  5. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    Well, yes, granted. I just thought the logic for car audio was different than home audio. I actually have been around recording studio environments for a few years now; I've helped with some mixing on projects the bands I've been in have done. So I do understand what you're saying.

    Don't think I'm attacking you; I'm just trying to play devil's advocate and maybe better understand why moving up to the Type-R stuff is going to make such a vast improvement in SQ. It will take me twice as long to build up and complete my system by going the route you're suggesting, so before making that move I want to be sure that it will truly be worth it. I plan on having this vehicle for 4-5 more years, and was originally thinking that I would just leave the system (minus the HU) with the vehicle when I sell it.... but if I'm investing in top of the line stuff, I'm not so sure that I can afford to do that.

    I was just gauging to see if there was a specific reason that alpine was preferred. I was leaning that way as well, but with the pioneer headunit being my eventual goal, I thought I'd give the rest of their stuff a chance.

    Makes sense. I've had other people telling me both ways, either to amp the stock setup first, or to put in speakers first. I really wasn't sure what to believe anymore.

    Any links or recommendations for a product that could help with road noise then? Or hopefully something that will both insulate AND remove rattles/lower resonant frequencies?

    Thanks again for the help; I'm quite new to car audio :o
     
  6. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    I would say keep the stock rears for fill, but the Envoy systems suck such complete ass at any volume I would take them out.

    Get some good components up front, a 2 channel amp, a mono amp and a sub. And yes running all of that off a stock HU isn't going to be that good of an idea. Shitty DAC, EQ, no crossovers, :mb: If you are amping everything no xovers will not be that bad, but the high level inputs are a lot more vulnerable to interference and distortion.
     
  7. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    To thread starter, sorry I came off threatening. Was studying for a midterm and not in the best of moods. One thing you might notice quickly with brands in car audio is that they often do one thing really well, and the rest not so well. For instance, brand X might make amazing speakers, but produce only average quality amps. So, sticking with Pioneer for instance, simply because you like their head units, may not be the best idea. Most people with really nice systems have a mix and match of hardware, unless they are competing and are sponsored by one brand and all their stuff must be from said brand.

    I personally don't know of any products that are both meant for insulation and sound deadening. I'm sure others here are a lot more familiar with current product offerings. But, you'll probably be recommended to deaden your doors and trunk and insulate your floor pan.
     
  8. johnson

    johnson New Member

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    Check out the Alpine MRV-F545 for the amp. 125x4 or 500x1 (channel 3+4 bridged)
     
  9. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    No problems. And I hear you on the "do one thing well..." deal; my main source for that logic was from talking to someone at an audio shop here in town, who was telling me that I would be raising the resale value of the truck more if I had a completely matched system (all Alpine type-S speakers/subs, alpine HU and amp, or obviously the alternative being all Pioneer, etc.) Maybe that's not really all that true; just having a decent quality aftermarket system will boost the value enough that folks mostly won't care if it isnt all matched up.

    Yeah -- I'm doing the doors now, and as I said I'll pull up the carpet and drop the headliner while my seats are out to do a swap with leather ones.
     
  10. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    :werd: Exactly why its gotta go.

    Hmm.... looks like I've got alot more playing around with ideas to do since I can't seem to do what I want both within the stages I had thought would work, and on the budget I thought I could get away with. :hs:

    I'll look into those other brands/models mentioned too. Thanks guys, keep it comming!! :bigthumb:
     
  11. Kcomps

    Kcomps New Member

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    Keep it Alpine if you can. Go for the "BEST":bigthumb:.....in my opinion.

    I would recommened :bowdown:"JL w7's" for a sub thou.
     
  12. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    I know you're a newer member, but try not to bring up old thread, especially if they have adequate responses. Thanks.
     

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