Vandweller Forum

Full Version: cheap car stereos
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4


i'm going to need 2 of them but when i see a stereo and 4 speakers for around $100 i automatically say cheap junk,am i off base?has tech gotten so good they can make ok for that cheap?

all i think i know is rms over 20 

and then there is the modern features,bells,whistles and colors that are more important than the actual performance 
i want a good receiver with volume,tone and scan and thats about it
Been a while, but my Sony head unit was 89$ and sounds pretty good. Since they come with remotes no need for one in the back and one on the dash.

It sounds pretty darned good until higher volumes where it does not have juice to properly power my 6x9's, and distorts.

I keep out of those ranges not just for distortion but because of my Dog.

Those prices with speakers do seem quite low.

The complaints with my Sony head unit are that the source button, changing from Aux to radio to USB to CD, is right above the volume knob. often when I go to turn it up I turn it to another source, so instead of saturating my need for more volume, I get the opposite.

I'd enjoy the stereo 3.5mm plug not only in the front but one in the rear too.

The stereo mini plug, when plugged in can block the IR signal from the remote in certain positions making me hold the remote in a less ergonomic manner.

If you can find any of those stereos in nearby shops, I'd recommend fiddling with them in person.

My next head unit will have bluetooth connectivity, but I am not replacing it until the current one fails


oh,i NEED two stereos,one in the cab for driving,have holes in the door for 6 inch speakers and that might be it if thats good enough

and then the house stereo on the house batteries,this one i want to sound good,thinking about trying those little home entertainment speakers,get a good stereo effect,of course a woofer is out because of energy usage,hook it to a tv and have movie night at the river

i'm just a chronic overanalysisistssstist
I pretty much hate the design of all the new stuff....maybe what you want is one of the retrosound least they look like they belong in an older vehicle....

If those are not to your liking, maybe something that is bit more universal:

For a REALLY cheap car radio with simple install and low power, low amp draw, and built-in speakers, I added this to my truck camper:

Note: this last one does NOT have AM mode.
Whew!!! Those retrosound units are too rich for my wallet. I'm taking the factory stereo out of the Ranger that quit working and replacing it with an old Dual stereo I bought for my Freightshaker long ago. Still works and still sounds pretty good and it was going to waste sitting on a shelf. Gary, if you are looking for something cheap for the cab have you checked out the local pawn shops? Prolly get a nice looking stereo for $15 or so.
Tx / Brian just took us to the Jack Sizemore RV Museum here in Amarillo today

Here's what the radio inside an early travel trailer on display.......Would this work ?......




i do like the retro ones,when driving i like the randomness of the airwaves and need easy of operation
i have a high dollar great sounding stereo in the camry and have been right there at fist fighting it,it not wanting to stop on a station thats not perfect reception and the accidental knuckle brush on the touch screen that sends it deep in the options
I like that museum and the price of admission was right when I went.  If you like museums try the one at West Texas A&M in Canyon.
Junk yard have a stereo?


The problem with using home speakers is that they are usually 8ohm and car are usually 4ohm. This effectively makes the little amplifier work harder and cuts output by about half. You could wire 2 together and get to four ohms but then that effectively doubles the cheap. It is easy to run the power wire from the head unit to the house battery. Leave the other wires in the dash connected as usual and then, with the fader, control the sound depending on your sitting locations.

Some of the better head units can do multiple set ups, like zones in a home. But those get pretty expensive quickly but if you only had to buy one source unit???

I like this unit

I usually try to buy Marine stuff as it is better in damp environments. All that condensation we tend to get can be hell on electronics and the price difference now isn't prohibitive like it was in the old days. With (Stated) 45 watts 4 ohm or 8 won't matter as you have enough power either way just know mixing ohm ratings is a PITA for balancing sound. Clarion makes a good product and the added USB in and ability to pair Bluetooth for hands-free calling is important. I like it has low power drain when off as stereos are a great "phantom" power drain culprit.
Pages: 1 2 3 4