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Old 08-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #1
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Labor Cost for Custom Box?

Im trying to get a custom box made for the trunk. I took it to the custom car audio place in town and they quoted me 600 dollars for the box and labor, as long as I bought the amp and subwoofer from them. I got a cheaper deal on an amp and sub at crutchfield.com, and the new quote from the car audio place is $1200 for just the box and labor. This does not seem right at all to me, does anyone have any insight on how much this should normally cost and if it seems as if they are trying to rip me off.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:41 PM   #2
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Make it yourself out of MDF board. Just get some cardboard and make a template first.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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Id rather have it professionally made, I would just like to know what standard labor costs are usually for this type of job.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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I asked a shop here in town and was told it would be about $400.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:51 PM   #5
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http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31768

I believe the shop charged him $200 for the box, atleast that is what the same shop quoted me for the job after I called inquiring about his that they made.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
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$1200 that better include the box, speakers, woofer, install and a back massage.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teccboxx View Post
$1200 that better include the box, speakers, woofer, install and a back massage.
Can I trade the back massage for acupuncture?

In all seriousness, a good box will cost more, and that price heavily depends on the content of the box. Before anyone begins discussing this massive topic, you should probably give us an idea of what you want to accomplish with your sound system. Do you want a competition winner or a little more bump than the stock system? Do you want a fully modified trunk or a concealed compartment?
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
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My speaker box, materials, labor and all, ran me $250. I had my own amp and speaker. They added in the amp kit, and labor to wire it all up and we wound up spending $498 total.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31768
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blur View Post
Can I trade the back massage for acupuncture?

In all seriousness, a good box will cost more, and that price heavily depends on the content of the box. Before anyone begins discussing this massive topic, you should probably give us an idea of what you want to accomplish with your sound system. Do you want a competition winner or a little more bump than the stock system? Do you want a fully modified trunk or a concealed compartment?
Definitely not trying to win a competition...I wanted more of a concealed compartment with kick, sort of like tags in the link above.

It sounded messed up when they decided to charge me double for labor, about 30 minutes later they called back and said they would match the price of crutchfield and keep the labor cost to 600. All together with a RF 500w amp and RF 12" P3 its running me around $1350 (saving me $360 thanks to crutchfield.com). I guess this is what Ill have to do since I dont really know of any other places close by that will make something like I want. I just hate looking like an easy target to these type of people ya know.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:20 PM   #10
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Any more details on the enclosure they quoted ya for? MDF entirely or fiberglass? Finished material - carpet/vinyl/paint?

Most shops that are capable of doing decent custom work generally charge in the $60 an hour area, standard labor (decks/speakers/amps) are quoted from a $45 an hour rate but it all really comes down to the installer...not all are created equal unfortunately. It also depends on your area - I'm not real familiar with that but some of the work we do up here (WA) would be a lot more in other places if the same quality was held.

Any decent installer should be able to handle your standard mdf enclosure, but when you get into the more custom setups and nicer finishes there's a huge difference between shops and more importantly installers.

My advise would be to ask to see some pics of what "your" installer has done in the past - if he doesn't have any there's a pretty good chance everything he's done isn't worth taking pictures of. Unfortunatley a lot of installers like to say they can build anything and everything just drop the car and cash off but I'm sure you've heard many horror stories where things went wrong or just turned out terrible.

So to give you an example - here's your kinda standard mdf enclosure - built to subwoofer's specs, .75 inch mdf construction, carpet finish (although it has a vinyl inset which is a bit "extra") Something like this usually goes for $150 - $200 plus some materials, most installers should be able to do this in 2 - 3 hrs.



Here's a more custom enclosure - built to subs specs, molded fiberglass contoured to the trunks factory panels, lightweight and strong due to the curves, carpet finish with vinyl flush trim ring. Something like this usually goes from $600 - $800 depending on thickness and overall fit and finish. If done correctly this usually takes 8+ hours. There's a lot of "drying/curing" time that isn't accounted for in the 8 hrs. Usually you can't do this in an entire day without cutting some corners although it is possible if you really know what your doing and are efficient.



I understand everybody's point of view on the buying gear online because it's cheaper and it is hard to pay more for something when you know you could of paid less for it but at the same time look at it from the shops point of view as well - and for an example let's just take audio out of it because I have no idea why this industry (mainly alone) has taken the main beating in this area.

So your Jiffy Lube or local one stop oil change shop in your town - can you buy your oil, filter and gaskets online then bring them into their shop and just have them do the labor? I haven't seen it but don't ya think if you could you most likely would have to pay a little extra for it?

The bottom line is most any business plans on making profit on the items they sell....be it a little margin or a lot. It is not cheap to have a retail location, employees, store displays, product and everything else it takes to run a business. If a shop is to just do the labor they will have to charge more than the shops selling gear and doing labor, that's the only way they'll be able to keep their doors open.

One other thing to consider - most shops stand behind their gear and labor 100% - meaning if you purchase and amplifer and subwoofer from them and then have it installed if you run into any issues (product failure or other) down the road they're going to look into it for free and figure out what happened - if it's install related they will take care of it because it's on their end, if product failure there's only so much they can do but will look to get it repaired or replaced. This is part of the service you "paid" for when you purchased the gear from them.

Now lets say you bought all the gear online and just had them do the install. They are going to charge you to diagnose the problem at an hourly rate and then of course to fix it. If it's install related then they should take care of it free of charge but if it has anything to do with the gear you brought in from somewhere else well it's really not their issue and it should be a paying service to figure it out...that's just to be expected and is justified to me.

It's already been happening and probably will continue in many different industries but if shops can't make money selling some gear along with the install they won't be able to stay open, that same shop you plan on going to to get your newly purchased gear from online just may not be there when your ready for the install. Eventually your only option may be to purchase gear online and then install it yourself as nobody will be around to do it.



Sorry for the long post - just wanted to give ya something to think about - I gave up selling gear in my shop because of the internet, ya can't compete so it's just not worth it.

- Todd
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:05 AM   #11
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Sorry its been awhile but here was the finish results from the custom box I had made...the last pic is where they installed the amp (behind the trunk molding)
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:36 AM   #12
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Very cool, man. Looks VERY clean.

I'd have liked to have my amp hidden as well. Oh well. I supposed I can always have it fixed.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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Yeah, looks good!

If ya don't mind what did this run ya and what is it's construction - fiberglass, mdf, or a combo of both?
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:35 AM   #14
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Great post Audio Integrations! I too own a car audio shop, TC Audio, in Benton, Arkansas. I have been in business for 20 years this month. And I don't know how many people don't understand what u just explained. I am no different than any ordinary customer by wanting to obviously get the best price on what I want BUT quality does cost. We do retail but mainly have to relay on all types of custom work to stay in business. The internet is a killer when it comes to electronics. I have built my business on reputation, quality install, and customer service being the most important. We have a decent following nationwide. I ship to all over the country. And yes, you are going to pay a little more at a specialty store than online. But you get a warranty and more importantly, someone who stands behind what they sell.

As far as the custom box goes, you couldn't have covered the options any better. My main variables to ask a customer are: 1. What do you want it to look like (finish, etc), 2. How loud or how much "extra sound" are you looking for, and 3. How much do you have to spend? The last upsets a few people but you have to be blunt. It's not rude. But I don't have time to spend 2 days on a custom box for $250. If that's all you have to spend, then great we can build you something in your price range that will work and be nice for that but it's not gonna be a $1k custom fiberglass/painted subbox. So many people just don't get it so shop around and investigate your options.

Our old website is currently being updated but not finished by any means. Check it out at www.tcaudio.net. I have a SIM 1SS/RS that I will be competing with prob next year. I will post pics up as available. Right now, we are building two new cars for USACi World Finals this year (OCT 3,4 in Tulsa, OK). I will be there.

Check at Metro Audio Dynamics in Omaha or Stereo West. I know guys that work at both. They should be able to help you out. If not, give us a call...

Sorry for the long post. It's just nice to see someone else out there who deals with what I do...
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travo View Post
Im trying to get a custom box made for the trunk. I took it to the custom car audio place in town and they quoted me 600 dollars for the box and labor, as long as I bought the amp and subwoofer from them. I got a cheaper deal on an amp and sub at crutchfield.com, and the new quote from the car audio place is $1200 for just the box and labor. This does not seem right at all to me, does anyone have any insight on how much this should normally cost and if it seems as if they are trying to rip me off.
I got a quote ~600 for a fiberglass version at a local shop, I don't wanna take up the room associated with a big ol box, wife has a lot of luggage when we go places so I gotta save space. It does seem strange they want to charge you 600 dollars more with your own gear, 50 bucks or a little more I could see, was it the same guys who quoted you?
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:47 AM   #16
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Great info guys! Thanks for the insight coming from the shop owners/installers/salesmen, etc.

I, too am looking on doing a system in my Rally Yellow 2SS soon. I've been getting systems in my cars since I was 16, the only difference now is that I want a solid, great sounding system and not a SPL monster like I use to have when I was younger.

I probably let Hi Fi Buys do the install. The only thing I'm trying to decide is what subwoofer setup I'm going with. Either a JL Audio 10W7 flushed against the backseat or two JL-Audio 13 inch TW5 flat subs, one on each side facing opposite of each other.

I want to get Hertz component sets and JL audio 500/1 for the subs.


What about the price of Vinyl? I want to replace the carpet with vinyl and plexiglass over the amps, maybe in a false floor
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:35 AM   #17
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1. Go HERE: http://www.radiocollection.net/tsp_calc.html
2. Enter parameters you want. I suggest a port diameter of 2",number of ports 2, port frequency of 20-30hz. Make the box from 3/4" MDF, glued and blocked at the corners. Cover with automotive grade carpet.

If you don't want to build it yourself, any good cabinet shop can build it for a reasonable fee.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #18
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Yeah, looks good!

If ya don't mind what did this run ya and what is it's construction - fiberglass, mdf, or a combo of both?
I believe it was just fiberglass. The box with labor end up being 600. All together was about 1200 with 500w amp and 12 inch p3 sub. Not too bad I suppose, still sounds great.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #19
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I got a quote ~600 for a fiberglass version at a local shop, I don't wanna take up the room associated with a big ol box, wife has a lot of luggage when we go places so I gotta save space. It does seem strange they want to charge you 600 dollars more with your own gear, 50 bucks or a little more I could see, was it the same guys who quoted you?
Yea it was the same guys but they end up calling me back and said they would match the price of crutchfield.com for the amp and sub. I am curious if they would have charged me double for labor if I had told them to begin with that I had my own equipment.
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