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Discussion Starter #1
Hey

Do any of you have a recommendation for a local car audio shop / installer? I been thinking about upgrading wifey's road music, and I'm wary of the Big Box stores (Best Buy, etc.). :-\

I'm not lookin' for a competition-level system -- just a mild upgrade to the current AM/FM Cassette setup that's currently in the dash.
[Does anyone really listen to cassettes any more? [laugh]]
 

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Well i've always done my own, so dont really know any local shops. Actually I do, but dont know how good they are. Ive mostly owned toyotas, and they re really easy to work on. GMs, Fords and Chrysler are a little tuffer, but nothing a handy man cant handle, you will require one of those thingy kits for most american cars and some foreign cars. And lets not forget the wire harness... [thumbsup]
 

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I've used Best Buy for all my cars in the past and I've never had any issues with them. I've had them installed everything from subwoofers, speakers, car alarms, head units, etc, never had any problems and always fast.
 

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My car still has a tape deck, and I only have 78K on it. I'm hoping to drive it into the ground because I doubt I will get a fancy car like that again. Actually, what I really want is a cherry bio-fuel converted mercedes, or a late 60's chevy impala. Sorry I digress - no ideas on the audio shop but I would love to hear what you come up with.
 

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If you are just going to get a simple head unit, Best Buy is fine. If you are going to do more custom type stuff, I would look for a high end custom shop. I used to install @ Bestbuy for a few years so if you want any help, I always like a good project. What are you looking to do?? and What are you going to put it into?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd like to get this Alpine unit into Wifey's car. Found it at Best Buy for $349. Additionally, I'd need some harness stuff and an iPod connector, totaling ~$575 installed at the Best Buy store.



This is Wifey's car -- '99 E320 4Matic. Her current audio setup is just the factory Becker radio with a Bose speaker system. Overall, it sounds ok, but the ability to play CDs and connect an iPod would be wonderful.




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Last month I installed the same unit in the GF's Miata, she really likes it, and the Ipod feature is shweeet. You have to carefully organise your music because hunting for it on the radio display can be dificult. >:D
I got the whole set up from Crutchfield, it took me about 4 hrs to put it in. [thumbsup]

Cheers,
Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Rocker_44 said:
Last month I installed the same unit in the GF's Miata, she really likes it, and the Ipod feature is shweeet. You have to carefully organise your music because hunting for it on the radio display can be dificult. >:D
I got the whole set up from Crutchfield, it took me about 4 hrs to put it in. [thumbsup]
I looked at the Crutchfield site, and I am very tempted to buy their kit and do the install myself.

Did you run the iPod cable into the glove box? Where do you stash the iPod in the car?
 

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As I recall with those Bose systems, replacing the head units is a PIA. This is a long time ago, but I recall the Bose unit sends the sound to the amp and than to the speakers. I just remember having to replace the speakers along with the head unit since the speakers/tweeters in my car only worked with the amp that was native to the Bose system.

Sorry to be so vague, it was years ago. All I remember was it was a royal PIA to switch from a Bose to an aftermarket system. If you haven't done so already, you'll want to make sure you can reuse the speakers from the bose system.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hailander said:
As I recall with those Bose systems, replacing the head units is a PIA. This is a long time ago, but I recall the Bose unit sends the sound to the amp and than to the speakers. I just remember having to replace the speakers along with the head unit since the speakers/tweeters in my car only worked with the amp that was native to the Bose system.

Sorry to be so vague, it was years ago. All I remember was it was a royal PIA to switch from a Bose to an aftermarket system. If you haven't done so already, you'll want to make sure you can reuse the speakers from the bose system.
Yep, this is a concern of mine. I'm aware that the Bose systems are not always compatible with aftermarket head units -- this hasn't changed since you had your experience with it. :-\

I'm totally on the fence on the DIY versus DIFM decision. I like to think that I could do it myself, but I might be happier with the results if I hire someone to Do It For Me... [that's usually the case, whether it's the car or the bike...][laugh]
 

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bluemoco said:
Yep, this is a concern of mine. I'm aware that the Bose systems are not always compatible with aftermarket head units -- this hasn't changed since you had your experience with it. :-\

I'm totally on the fence on the DIY versus DIFM decision. I like to think that I could do it myself, but I might be happier with the results if I hire someone to Do It For Me... [that's usually the case, whether it's the car or the bike...][laugh]
i thought best buy did free install when you spend over 100$ in audio. Why dont you have them do it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cyclopes said:
i thought best buy did free install when you spend over 100$ in audio. Why dont you have them do it?
Sometimes Best Buy has "Free Installation" specials, but it's not an every-day deal. Only when they are having a sale or special promotion.

No such deal this December. The install fee estimate was about $120, and they said it would take 2-4 hours (though they charge a flat fee -- not an hourly fee).
 

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When I used to install @ bestbuy, most of the deck sold included free install. I have not worked there for a few years, they may have changed there policies. Now about the free install. The free install is only basic install that does not include parts and/or custom labor. The E320 would require some custom labor to get around/tap into the bose. My experience is that some bose systems are easy to integerate the head unit to the bose amp, and some you can't even use the amp. I am not framiliar with the specific Mercedes. I sure it would not be that difficult. If I were you I would go the Crutchfield route, great customer service and tech help, I sure they would be able to tell you how much trouble you are looking at. my 2 cents
 

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Come on down to Des Moines with a case of good Belgian beer and your gear. We will park it in my shop for a few hours, BS about bikes and cars, I will install it, we will go get some good Italian for dinner, and then you drive back. Would cost you less than a professional shop and you would have a certified installer doing the work.

:)

Glad I could help.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ZLTFUL said:
Come on down to Des Moines with a case of good Belgian beer and your gear. We will park it in my shop for a few hours, BS about bikes and cars and RVs and rugby, I will install it, we will go get some good Italian for dinner, and then you drive back. Would cost you less than a professional shop and you would have a certified installer doing the work.
Hmmm. This is a very attractive offer. ;)

Lemme get a plan together, and I'll get back to you on this soon. [thumbsup]
 
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