List of Audio brands and how they rank

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List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by The Dude on Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:16 pm

List of Car Audio brands- The Good, the bad, and the ugly

Please don't cry to me when you find out that your Sony Xplod amp & Jensen subs suck!


Bad

American HiFi (Rockwood)
American Pro
Audiobahn (speakers and subwoofers)
Audiovox
Automobile
Becker
Boss
DHD
Dual
Iraggi Alternators
JDL
Jensen
Kenwood (speakers and amplifiers)
Kingwood
Kole
Kraco
Kronik
LA Sound
Legacy
Lightining Audio
MA Audio
Optimus (Radio Shack)
Power Acoustik
Profile
Pyle
Pyramid
Rockwood
SAS Bazooka (amplifiers)
Sherwood
Sony (anything by Sony except the older Mobile ES line)
Sound Storm (owned by BOSS Audio)
Sparkomatic
SPL Audio
Thump
Ultimate Sounds
Volfenhag


Questionable

Blaupunkt (Bosch)
Aiwa
Audiobahn
Crunch
Elemental Designs (eD)
Harmon-Kardon (current, Phoenix Gold owned)
Infinity (amplifiers, reference components)
Kenwood (head units)
Kicker Solobaric (L5, L7, Solo-X square subs)
Lanzar
Lightning Audio
Matsui
Onyx Mobile Audio
Panasonic (subs and amps)
Phoenix Gold (anything after the mid 1990s)
Pioneer (amplifiers)
SAS Bazooka (bass tubes)
Soundstream (current Power Acoustik owned products)
Visonik


Good


a/d/s (present DEI owned items)
Alpine
Altec Lansing
Alumapro
Audio Development
Audiomobile
Autotek
Avionixx
Boston Acoustics
Bravox
Cadence (current amplifier products)
CD Technologies (CDT)
Cerwin Vega (subs)
Clarion (head units)
Coustic
Crossfire
Crystal
Directed (DEI)
Earthquake
Eaton
Elevation Audio
Helix
Hifonics
Illusion
Infinity
JBL (amplifiers)
JVC Digifine
Kicker (excluding square solobaric speakers)
Lunar
Memphis Audio
MTX
Orion (current DEI products)
Panasonic (Headunits)
Phoenix Gold (older 1990s amplifiers, subwoofers)
Pioneer (subwoofers)
Planet Audio (amplifiers, owned by BOSS Audio)
Polk Audio
Rockford Fosgate
Soundstream (older pre-Power Acoustik amplifiers)
US Acoustics
US Amps (MD and AX series only)



Highly Recommended

a/d/s (older 1980s, early 90s pre-ADST products)
Alpine (old "6 green preset buttons" head units)
Alpine F#1status
Ample Audio (Amplifiers)
Arc Audio
Ascendant Audio
Audax
Audiocontrol
Audison
Brax/Helix
Butler Audio
Diablo Audio Technologies
Diamond Audio
Digital Designs (DD)
DLS
DynAudio
Eclipse (Headunits)
Esoteric Audio/Streetwires
Fi
Focal
Harrison Labs
Hertz
Hybrid Audio
Image Dynamics (ID)
Infinity Kappa/Kappa Perfect components
JL Audio
KEF Kar components
Luxman
Mechman
MB Quart
McIntosh Laboratories
MMATS
Morel
Nakamichi (tape transports)
Ohio Generator
Orion (older SX, GX, HCCA, GS, and XTR lines)
Precision Power (PPI)
Rainbow
Resonant Engineering (RE)
Revolution Design Audio (RD)
Rockford Fosgate (older 1980s and early 1990s products)
ScanSpeak
SEAS
Sinfoni
Stereo Integrity
Stinger
Sundown Audio
Treo
TRU Technology
Vifa
Wrangler Alternators
Xtant
Zapco
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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by 74MonteCarlo on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:17 pm

Mine isn't listed. The '74 Monte has a Ken Harrison. I like it a lot. I don;t use it very often, tough.

The '97 Monte Carlo & '48 Plymouth both have the stock radio,

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by orange Juiced on Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:32 pm

I have an Audiobahn sub that used to be in my Caddy, never game me a problem. Actually it was power hungry, my amp couldn't keep up with it. Also had 1 pair of Audiobahn 6x9s in the Caddy and 2 pairs in Bu. They sounded clear and crisp, were loud but the lows were alright.

I have a buddy that only uses Jensen amps, mostly older models. But he swears they are as good as top brands, just the fraction of the price. All of his sound systems have sounded loud, crisp, and clear, every thing else has been name brand. I have only owned 1 Jensen amp that powers my tweets and it works good, but its only for tweets.

And I like Panasonic head units, pricing is reasonable and usually has all the features I"m looking for that other brand do not have or are overpriced.
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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:53 pm

Where did you get your list from? For my purposes, some of the brands in every category would suit me just fine, and are you talking about just head units or the entire system?

What defines "bad", "good", "questionable", etc.
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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by The Dude on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:43 am

This list is all over the internet, especially on audio forums. It was formed by a group of people that test audio equipment, mainly for competition purposes. Here's what I can personally attest to if you want to see where some of my previous equipment ranks.

2 10" Audiobahn Special Editions have lasted my brother for years. Loud, but not clear. These have been abused on amps as big as 2500w & as small as throwing them on a home stereo. Gotta admit that they are durable.
12" JL Audio W7 lasted four months - Damn good & loud, just couldn't handle the juice that I pumped to it. Guess they were serious about voiding the warranty with too much juice. Very Happy
2 15" Kicker Comp VR's - One lasted 6 months, the other for a couple of years. OK sound, but most others on the list trumped them. I think they would have been better in a different box, but used them in my wife's car so I didn't care.
12" Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 - I've had this sub for five years, it's blew out a windshield at the seams, busted the seams of a ported box, & blew two amps both rated over 1500w. Still working as strong as ever today.
2 15" Orion HCCAs - Can you say relocated kidneys?

Sony Xplod speakers - worst sounding crap I ever heard. Put factory ones back in after hearing them.
Clarion speakers - not very loud, but crisp.
Infinity Reference - decent sound.
Infinity Kappa - Too metallic for me
Pioneer speakers - Damn near perfection, use them in 90% of my vehicles

Rockwood amp, lasted five minutes for me. Must have got a faulty amp.
Pioneer amp lasted one month. Not faulty, I took it back & the second one lasted about as long.
Sony Xplod amp, lasted through myself & four other people. It sucked for power output, but was still working last time I knew.
Pyramid Artic Amp - Actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Lasted a year. They over rate their wattage. I had the 1600w amp & it sounded about as loud as a typical 400-500w amp.
Rockford Fosgate T15001 amp - Best I had until it blew. MAJOR POWER! Wish I could find someone to repair it for me because this one caused some damage.

Pioneer head unit - not bad, had a few of them. The CD's tend to quit ejecting after a while in most that I have owned. Good budget stereo.
Alpine - Loud, durable
Sony - craptastic. Better off with Durabrand
Durabrand/Roadmaster - If you are this cheap, then you deserve a stereo of this caliber, lol! Not bad if you want to buy a present for your 15 year old nephew though.
Blaupunkt - Awesome power output especially with built in amp for sub outputs. Loudest stereo to date. Too bad the face plate started screwing up after 5 vehicles & three years worth of use.
Clarion - Precise sound, easy to use, one of my favorites & best value for the price. Also loud. Takes some tinkering with the built in EQ to get the sound right though.

I've had other stuff, but can't think of every brand that I've tried off of the top of my head. These are some of the more memorable ones.
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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by dragons_lair59 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:31 am

ive had issues with pioneer cd player but the sony explode is doing just fine been in 4 cars in 3 years have audiobahn 6x9 mtx and audio bahn subs fyi lighting audio is a poor mans rockford since they are made by rockfotd

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by HDHugger on Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:54 pm

As the wife of a sound tech, I have to point one thing out... no matter how good the system, you better back it all up with some good wiring or you'll be blaming the unit when the sounds doesn't come through loud and clear.

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by abajc3 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:08 pm

i dont understand how Becker qualifies as bad. those people must be out of their minds. its one of the best radio brands in the world. its comes stock in porches. we had one until few months ago, it served us for ten years without any issues. and my father bought it used! ive only heard one radio better than that, and it was a macintosh brand

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by jerry46765 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Yee Haw, I have BAD and I don't care...

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by dragons_lair59 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:04 pm

heck in 70s and 80s spracos were in everything heck had replace radio in a box on a tractor with a sparko

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by pila on Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:14 am

I replaced the stock radio in my old Caddy beater, with a Pioneer CD radio. Had to get an adapter from Crutchfield to interface the radio with the Bose system speakers in the car. I'm happy as hell with it! Very Happy
I have a cheapie Dual brand in my Malibu. One of the specs I pay attention to is the sensitivity, since I also listen to a few distant public radio stations. The cheap Dual works good, and so does the Pioneer. Some major brands don't have good sensitivty, which I suppose is fine, if the radio/stereo is just used for loud music from CDs etc....not my bag..

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by abajc3 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:39 am

the worst radio i ever came across was a stock radio in my mums 03 renault megane. that thing had a bad reception about 75% of the time. and it only had cassette player so you couldnt even listen to CDs. the car and the stereo are now gone, thank god. what a piece of junk it was

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by texan01 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:26 pm

A lot of times I go for ease of use, and 99% of the aftermarket decks are useless to me. I tend to stick with the stock deck and add good speakers.

My Explorer still rocks the original Furd mid-level head unit/cassette/cd changer, but I've replaced the speakers with some Rockford Fosgates from the late '90s. BIG difference over the OEM crap.

The Chevelle had the factory AM radio and 35 year old mono speaker in the dash.. I was amazed that the speaker still works and looks new. I did swap in a later Delco cassette deck (shaft mount and all) and installed some clearance Blaupunkt 4x6s in the dash, and some bargan basement Dual 6x9s in the rear. The Blaupunkts are good for $15 speakers, the Duals are worth what I paid for them.. 5 bucks for the pair from Frys. I also probably need to run real speaker wire to the rear, it's currently sporting a length of Cat6 network cable.

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by EricFrugal on Thu May 03, 2018 11:20 pm

I'm new here, So I'll try not to rock the boat. but a metric not used for this is, does it last.
I have Kenwood head units that are over 30 years old and still work as good as they did the day it was installed the first time.
Same with Rockford Fosgate amps, and 8"-10" sub's. I did have to re-surround one (foam/rubber ring for cone failing, but that speaker is 32 years old.
Limiting factor of the head units is that they are am/fm cassette units. some with c/d changer control. But the good is no one will want to jack a cassette head unit. Smile

The Kenwood 100w mono amp (1995) still going good, Might not be the most powerful amp by todays standards but, it took a beating of a young kid not knowing that wiring 2-12" 4 ohm subs would hit it with a 1-2ohm load.
My Rockford Fosgate amps are from early 90's. I have 2 n.i.b. That I bought when they were changing from the old type circuit boards to the surface mount type. †Those and the JL audio 1000w mono block from back then will go into the g body. †but that is another story.
I have a 2015 Kenwood excelon head unit for the †olds, It is din sized, and hope to get the same type years out of it as the older stuff, but with the companies merging being kenwood/jvc †who knows.
High quality car audio isn't the same as it used to be, †in the 80-90's. †now you have junk and really, really high end, no middle ground. †With radio playing computer based files (compressed) and most not using anything but mp3 files from their phone through Bluetooth, not even sure if you can get any hifi sound out of even the best stuff, as they say junk in, junk out. and mp3 based compressed music files are um, junk. Even my 50+y/o ears can hear the difference of the compressed computer based music and the hold it in your hands music media be it c/d or cassettes, And when cassette tapes sound better that digital file based music, you know it isn't good.
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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by EricFrugal on Thu May 03, 2018 11:31 pm

Wonder how many are to young to remember radio power boosters (speaker line level amps) with 10% distortion or more.
Or if you really went all out the radio power booster with 7-9 or more band E/Q.

Or the late 70's to late 80's slide out head units with a handle to carry it. So it didn't get stolen .
My first aftermarket head unit was a Kenwood am/fm cassette slide out and it was 473.00 back in 1987.

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by pila on Fri May 04, 2018 10:06 am

Seems like the quality of any unit is in the ears of the beholder, subjective etc.
I've used Pioneer stuff for 3 decades, without complaint, including home systems.....

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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

Post by 77camino on Mon May 07, 2018 7:01 pm

EricFrugal wrote:Wonder how many are to young to remember radio power boosters (speaker line level amps) with 10% distortion or more.
Or if you really went all out the radio power booster with 7-9 or more band E/Q.

Or the late 70's to late 80's slide out head units with a handle to carry it. So it didn't get stolen .
My first aftermarket head unit was a Kenwood am/fm cassette slide out and it was 473.00 back in 1987.

Why would anyone still have a slide out unit! Oh wait, I do! Lol. Bought it in 1989 for around $500 and itís been in the car ever since. Itís probably been 20 years since I have even pulled it out.
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Re: List of Audio brands and how they rank

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