What will become of aftermarket car stereos?

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by toxcrusadr, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    29,890
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    My newest car is a 2002 which has a standard size modular stereo head unit that can still be upgraded with aftermarket gear. I've been driving 2014-2016 used cars and none of them have that kind of a stereo anymore. Some have sophisticated touchscreen-driven systems for audio, climate control and navigation all in one.

    It doesn't seem possible to do the kind of custom car audio work that some of us grew up doing. I put a head unit plus EQ/amp into the dash of my first car (a '78 Corolla Liftback).

    It's not that the factory systems are so bad, but what happens when it breaks? The days of DIY car stereo repairs seem to be gone.
     
  2. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,862
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Just like "under the hood" car repairs, with the exception of a few minor nickel and dime things.
     
    superdog likes this.
  3. Shominy

    Shominy Addicted Member

    Well, THAT depends on your level of commitment. I, for one, do not allow shops to touch my car unless it's a very major repair; something more involved than say, timing belt/water pump change or head cleanouts (which I've done). But by that point, a shop repair is likely cost-prohibitive anyway.

    I work out in the court- my driveway is on a 4% grade and I have no garage or carport. So.... yeah.


    But to the OP: I agree. It is a custom install and rewire if I want to add an EQ or power amp. The speaker mounts are riveted into the doors so I'd have to drill those out- and I've considered it. None of it is beyond my pay grade, but..... yeah.
     
    ColonelKurtz likes this.
  4. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    682
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I have friends who are aftermarket installers, and far as I can tell. Other than climate control, there are adequate aftermarket units that can do everything else. I'm currently looking for a new truck, and I do want backup camera, and parking assist due to the ease it makes parking a full sized truck. But every dealer wants me to purchase a $4-6k options package to get those. I had a friend price me out an aftermarket HU and supporting hardware for backup camera + parking assist, and we were at $500-900 for parts and labor.
     
  5. ben_

    ben_ Member

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Aftermarket is not totally dead, most cars still have the din rails for stereo, usually in 2DIN format this days. its just hidden by a wider plastic piece embedding screen (usually) and physical controls, if any.

    If the A/C controls are in the same screen there are some offerings with compatible solution as it generally uses CAN Bus to interact with the heating and ventilation system. But CAN bus is not like a standard implementation varies for every car make, so not easy.

    Alpine and lots of chinese Android head units have AC control capability, with limited car model compatibility.

    I think in some markets like Japan people insists on buying their new car without stereo to get an aftermarket of their choice installed, and there are lots of website selling the custom faceplate for every car model so the integration of the fancy car stereo looks like it was from original equipment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
    bigx5murf likes this.
  6. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,862
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Has nothing to do with commitment. Has more to do with practicality.

    Working on an older car, I have no problem. I have the tools, knowledge, and experience to do just fine. But these newer computer controlled cars require a complete different set of tools, test equipment, and more time to do a correct repair job. And I'm not talking about fan belts or radiator hoses.


    I can make more money in my business than it costs to run it down to the nearby shop that has the proper equipment.
     
  7. teal'c

    teal'c It's all moo

    Messages:
    6,622
    Location:
    Michigan, N of Detroit
    [​IMG]

    When I had a sunbird with this stereo I left it in and put the aftermarket cassette deck alongside the seat and just disconnected this one.
    If you're serious about your audio, you can find a way.
     
  8. Shominy

    Shominy Addicted Member

    To each their own. I just did, this week, a computer diagnosis and module replacement and reprogramming of functionality. I also did a wiring workaround of an electrical situation.

    And I'm not just talking about belts and hoses.

    Depends upon ones commitment.
     
  9. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,862
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Yep.
     
  10. JediDude

    JediDude Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    To each their own. I just did, this week, a computer diagnosis and module replacement and reprogramming of functionality. I also did a wiring workaround of an electrical situation.

    And I'm not just talking about belts and hoses.

    Depends upon ones commitment.
    </quote>

    What did you use to diagnose and reprogram the the affected module?
     
  11. mshultz

    mshultz Member

    Messages:
    93
    I replaced the stereo in my 2014 Toyota Tacoma with a used 2014 Tacoma stereo with HD radio, so I could listen to classical music. After I figured out the under dash antenna that came with the radio was the proper one for navigation, I later replaced that radio with a used 2015 Tacoma radio with HD radio and navigation.

    These are high quality factory radios that plug right into the dash with no modifications. Far superior to the aftermarket radios I installed when I was growing up.
     
  12. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    4,239
    Location:
    Australia
    Aftermarket car stereo gear will become collectible down the track if it isn't already. I mean, proper tuners, auto-reverse decks, full logic, dolby B/C decks- not the ugly VFD/USB/Bluetooth crap- the old stuff.
     
  13. teal'c

    teal'c It's all moo

    Messages:
    6,622
    Location:
    Michigan, N of Detroit
    Oh it is. Prices on the old two knob radios are up there. And equalizers prices are ridiculous.
     
  14. tybrad

    tybrad 21234 Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,580
    I have done similar things. I own a VW Rabbit and a VCDS (VAG-COM to oldies) allows me to connect through the OBD port to program and modify settings in any of the control modules in my car. What I have from Ross-Tech is for the VAG of vehicles and interfaces through a cheap, dedicated laptop.
    http://www.ross-tech.com

    Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 10.58.40 AM.png Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 10.59.05 AM.png
     
  15. JediDude

    JediDude Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Interesting.... Would be even more so if I had a VAG family car.
    Now to find something similar for teh Dodge Magnum.
     
  16. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,387
    Location:
    The Cult of Personality
    I'm guessing forget about all that new fangled, in the dash, taking your eyes Muntz_888.jpg off the road, touch screen bull mess and we'll install one of these again...:D
    Heck, I recall my ol' Muntz friggin' ROCKED the tunes!
     
  17. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,794
    Location:
    Brooksville, Fl.
    I would call and talk to sales or techs at Crutchfields. They have always had the answers for me. I do think that the standard DIN shape is probably out the door or the adapters for them will be more complicated. I had an Alpine that lived through 4 car changes. I have a new one and it adapted into my old Crutchfield adapter for the 2003 Suburban. I will be willing that they will have adapters and instruction for refits on at least, most of the new cars.

    These days my choice for input is a flash drive. My Alpine allows them and I can store my library on a handful of sticks. It is great and way less distracting to not have to fumble with disc, and instead, grab for the color stick I want. The newer devices are going to need to include .flac files. Any flac files I have I will additionally add an mp3 copy in the same folder. I have not read up on it, but the new stuff probably already does accept .flac files.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    rshep likes this.
  18. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,794
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    The hardware isn't the only (or even primary) hurdle today - it's the software. DSP is used extensively in modern automotive sound systems in an effort that the engineers may get a group of $.65 speakers to perform like far more expensive ones. All of the OEMs voice their audio systems with extensive equalization to get relatively good sound with cheap shit. In addition, time alignment is used extensively as well to control arrival times for passengers. Also, in nicer OEM systems, multiple drivers are utilized for channels - all actively crossed over. All of this processing is done in a chip and is model specific. In some vehicles, the hardware is interfaced with the Canbus making its replacement a difficult proposition.

    So you can't upgrade anything without first removing at least the factory equalization contour. Aftermarket components can indeed be interfaced with OEM systems via any number of audio processors currently offered - also via DSP.

    If you own a vehicle with a totally active system with multiple speaker locations with all hardware on the Canbus it simply isn't cost effective to even mess with it. And that's the way everything is moving.
     
    stish and audioman00 like this.
  19. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,794
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Yep. Look at vintage high end car audio gear. Already there ...
     
  20. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    Ever since they got put 'on the buss' with CAN and are oft flashed with the vin....aint much aftermarket use anymore. Heck, many cars now you cannot even buy CD players from the factory.

    and to top it all off, the stuff they are making to replace the OEM is all flippydam flash - junk.

    gimme an analog sony XR autoreverse cassette and it never got better....
     

Share This Page