The first item to get installed was a stereo (even before the engine!). This
covered the unsightly hole in the dash where the previous owner had removed
his stereo system and allowed me to continue to ignore the noise in the engine
for a few weeks while I got the necessary parts together (and the courage) to
attack the installation of the engine. I knew that as I had not installed an
engine of this complexity before (so many hoses!), I would take a couple of
weeks at least to complete the swap.
As I had a limited budget and the fact that my aging ears can no longer
tell the difference between a $400 system and a $2000 system, I opted for a
system from the lower end of the market. I looked around for a system that
at the very least had CD capability and had reasonable built in amplification
as I did not intend to purchase a separate amplifier. I settled on an
end-of-line Sony head unit (CDX-CA590X) with remote (I still don't understand
why you need a remote in a car?) that has been discounted by $100.00 and a
pair of Kicker 6 inch splits. I managed to get both of these for a total of
Installation wasn't too difficult, especially as there had already been a
(good) system installed previously. The door mounts were still in the doors
and as luck would have it, were even the correct size for the 6 inch mid-bass
speakers. The tweeters I mounted direct to the top front edge of the door trim
(drilling holes in the trim already!). Unfortunately, when it came to mounting
the head unit, I discovered that there was no mounting cage. It seemed that
the previous owner had removed it with his system. I temporarily left the head
unit resting on the floor of the car while I tried to contact the previous
owner. Luckily, I was able to contact him a few days later and I was able to
retrieve the cage (he was unaware that the item was actually part of the car
and not part of the stereo system).
I found the sound quality to be acceptable, though a little thin at the
bottom end. Stereo imaging was excellent. After adjusting the equaliser to
try and improve the bass, I found it really wasn't able to produce quite
enough bass for my tastes (even though I'm not one of the "Doof Doof" brigade).
I later found that the 6 inch splits were always intended to only be
components in an overall system which included a sub-woofer. I will rectify
this lack later.