This page is dedicated to the installation of my car stereo by Tweeter in Sugarland, Texas. I've bought a ton of stuff from these guys over the years so when I decided to outfit the stereo it only made sense to go there. They had done some good work in my truck and I like the installer and sales guys. I'll admit to looking around prior to deciding, but shops like Cartoys and MobileOne had me running in fear. I also thought real hard about buying online, but when it came down to it, the guys at Tweeter were pretty competitive with their pricing, and I would have rather done it all in one than having to buy bits and pieces from all over. Oh, Ali and Joe are the sales guys who took care of me. You can reach them at 281-277-7722. Gil is the installer that took care of everything. Let me tell you, Gil is a friggin' artist. Some of the stuff that he came up with and created was just amazing. I couldn't even conceive of some of the ideas, much less design, fabricate and implement them. It is awe inspiring what this guy has been able to do. I swung by pretty much every day while the install was in progress (about 3 weeks as of 7/20/03) just to check out the crazy stuff Gil was doing. I'm sure that he got tired of me dropping by, but I couldn't help it.
The funny thing is what led to all this, namely the fact that Houston radio stations suck ass. I mean royally. This has to be the worst music town I have ever lived in. I got so tired of going through every preset only to find nothing worth listening to, or even better commercials on 6-8 stations at the same time that I decided to upgrade to XM Radio. Now anyone who knows about 'vettes knows that they come with an AC Delco (yeah GM uses the same piece of crap head unit they use in their Saturns) and Bose system. Well, in order to connect up an XM receiver and not have to use FM modulation, you need a specialized harness that will connect to the AUX input of the head unit. I wanted a Pioneer XM receiver so I also needed something that would connect to the IP-Bus connection. Well that meant two different cable harnesses connected via an RCA cross-connect that ran about $125 all said and total. Well, I knew I wanted to replace the stereo at some point, and I couldn't bring myself to spending $125 for a temporary solution, so I decided to just replace the head unit and use the native IP-Bus connection. But wait. You can't really run the Bose speakers off a non-factory head unit (you can, but it is a pain in the ass and doesn't sound all that good) so you need to replace the factory speakers as well. At that point you might as well implement an amp to run everything and well, if you are going to do that you might as well implement a subwoofer as well. As you can see, my original desire to have XM radio and not waste $125 turned into a complete system replacement. I decided I could do it one of two ways. I could just have them stick everything in the trunk, screw everything down and keep it simple, or we could try to do something unique. I had always planned on showing the car so it made sense to go for unique. Needless to say, this has cost much more than the original $125, but I have no regrets.
So, what did I wind up going with you ask? Here's the list.
Head unit - Pioneer Premier DEH-P940MP. I have always been pleased with Pioneer gear. I bought Eclipse for the truck and hate it. I bought Alpine for the Saturn, and while I don't hate it I don't like it as much as Pioneer.
XM Receiver - Pioneer GEX-P910XM receiver. If you don't have XM go get it. It is worth every penny.
Front Speakers - Boston Acoustics ProSeries 6.53 3-way components. I have run Boston Pros for about 10 years now. I love the sound. I thought about the Z series, but didn't like them as much as my tried and true ProSeries.
Rear Speakers - Boston Acoustics ProSeries 5.5 2-way components. Originally was going to run 6.5's, but it would have taken too much cutting to fit in the stock location.
Amplifiers - JL Audio 250/1 for the sub, 450/4 for the mids and highs. Originally I was looking at the 500/5, but I didn't like the power it put to the rear channel.
Subwoofer - JL Audio Stealthbox with 10W3v2-D2 sub. I have a stealth box in the truck and really like it. I was worried that the 10" would be too small though. Gil said "don't worry, it is going to hit". Man was he right.
Still here? OK, check out the meat on the following pages. Plenty of pictures of the install. Click here.
Check out the final stereo installation pictures (fully installed) here.