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I am looking at putting a nice system in my 3 i want to put components up front, and coaxials in the back. I also want to put a subwoofer in too. I really want to put this in myself because i'm really interested in car audio and want to learn how to put this stuff in. I got the basics down, like running power wires to the trunk for the amps and stuff. But the questions i have are
1.) if i want to keep the factory head unit, how do i run the signal to the amp.
2.) for the new speakers, do i need to run new wires from the doors to the amp if im using an external amp?
2b.) if i do, what happens to the exisiting stock wires that are in the door.
Sorry if these seem like stupid questions, but I really want to put my system in myself and dont want to mess anything up. Thanks in advance for the info.
 

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1) Line level convertor. You treat it like a speaker. The deck powers the unit and the unit convertors the signal to RCA out.

2) Best way is: get everything behind the deck. That avoids running wire from the door to the amp. What you do is, cut the speaker wires coming from the deck, put those to the line level convertor and the other side run wires to your amp.

2b) they get used to power the speaker with the amp.
 

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Alright, that sounds easy enough, one more question. If i have say a 4 channel amp to run the speakers that I am running from the line level outputs, where do i get the signal for the subwoofer amp if i have a separate amp for the subs.
 

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Jump the amplifiers. All amps (most anyways) have a full range output.

Connect a RCA from your 4 channel then to the sub amp. If you really want to be able to fade from all speakers to sub only, then you need 2 line level converters.
 

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Just a couple of observations:
The only amps I've ever seen that aren't full range are Class D amps. You'll be able to point them out since they usually put out 1 kilowatt of power or more.

Just a suggestion: don't worry about getting rear speakers and put that money toward the components/sub/amps/installation. All of the sound quality nuts out there agree (at least as far as I've seen) that speakers up front are the only way to go. Its a nice way to save money if nothing else.
 

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that is what ive been told too actually, in my system i have nice components upfront powered by a good quality amp and it sounds amazing. Ive actually left the rear stock speakers in too running at a ery low level to provide some rear fill though. but it sounds great....i did my own installs on my old car...and if you don't really know what you are doing you can make it work and it will be pretty good....but onmy 3 i brought it in and had it all done for me tuned troubleshooted everything else and the cost was well worth it, so yeah you might look into putting the money that you can save from not getting rear speakers to pay for an install.
 

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vaBooM said:
1) Line level convertor. You treat it like a speaker. The deck powers the unit and the unit convertors the signal to RCA out.

2) Best way is: get everything behind the deck. That avoids running wire from the door to the amp. What you do is, cut the speaker wires coming from the deck, put those to the line level convertor and the other side run wires to your amp.

2b) they get used to power the speaker with the amp.

I assume you would need two of the Line Level Converters if you are running a 4-chan amp (to 4 speakers). My question is has anyone done this and will the converters (2) fit behind the factory H/U? Also, what happens to the factory harness when you have to splice in these converters - does it get butchered? Electronic Newbie BTW :oops:
 

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No you dont need 2 LOCs. Typically, amps can take one RCA in and power all the channels. If you buy the cheapy LOCs, yes they will fit behind the deck. Larger more expensive ones, not sure. The factory harness does get cut, but you cut it in a fashion where it leaves a good 3" so if you ever needed to reconnect it, it will be fine.

bk - my mono block has a full range out. but you are right, not all class D amps have RCA outs. But if your running 2 amps, you can always jump from the full range amp to the sub amp.
 

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Has anyone installed a sub/amp with a line level and had a problem? I had a new amp and sub installed last week with a line level converter. My amp keeps on cutting out and it stays off until I restart the car. The shop that installed it for me thought it might be a faulty amp or sub so they put new ones in, that didn't do it. They then said it might be a faulty line level, so they put a new one in, that didn't do it. They then said it might be my 8ga wire so they put 4ga in, that didn't do it. Now they say it could be the rem wire and they want to hook the rem cable directly to the battery with a swicth so i turn the amp on with a switch. Any ideas? Has any one had a problem like this?
 

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To check if its the remote wire cutting out, turn the stereo on, play it at a decent level and watch the amp light. If it flickers then yes its the remote wire.

IMO, I think that one of the speaker wires is shorted to ground. That would cause the amp to shut off into protection mode. One way to test this theory is with a multimeter. Disconnect all the speaker wires from the amp, put the multimeter on resistance read and test each wire with the positive probe and put the negative probe onto your amp ground. If any of the wires show resistance, then the wire is grounded.
 

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they already ruled out the sub. They tried another different sub and it did the same thing. They are going to try the rem wire on tuesday. By the way does anyone know if US Amps are any good?
 

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Yes, Us Amps are very good. Most people choose their amps for Competition. They are rated low, yet they shell out a good amount of power over thats printed.

Only drawback imo, price.
 

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some observations, from what ive been reading:

1 - some higher quality amps allow you to connect HIGH level inputs to them (speaker level). to do this, you just have to connect the speaker outputs from the factory deck to your amp. unfortunately, most of these amps require a funny connector to acheive this - which do not come bundled with the amp at time of purchase.

2 - most amps DO NOT run all 4 channels when only 2 are connected. for example, on my RF 4 channel amp, channels were only active if they had an input signal. so that also means you're going to have to run 2 line out converters if you plan to power a 4 channel amp.
 

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another thought i just had.

if you plan on using line out converters, i HIGHLY recommend a product called a Line Driver.

Basically, a line driver will take a RCA signal and boost the voltage to a higher, cleaner level. Most aftermarket decks usually output 1.8v RCA preouts. As you go up in price, you will find that decks will have at least 4 or 5v RCA preouts.

The difference between 1.8v and 4v is amazing. Such clarity.

edit: the phoenix gold PLD1 http://www.phoenixgold.com/pld1.html[/i]
 

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nerotiX said:
some observations, from what ive been reading:

1 - some higher quality amps allow you to connect HIGH level inputs to them (speaker level). to do this, you just have to connect the speaker outputs from the factory deck to your amp. unfortunately, most of these amps require a funny connector to acheive this - which do not come bundled with the amp at time of purchase.
Higher quality amps and high level inputs don't necessarily go together. And what kind of connection are you talking about? Most I have seen you have a clamp that can go on the stripped wire itself.



another thought i just had.

if you plan on using line out converters, i HIGHLY recommend a product called a Line Driver.

Basically, a line driver will take a RCA signal and boost the voltage to a higher, cleaner level. Most aftermarket decks usually output 1.8v RCA preouts. As you go up in price, you will find that decks will have at least 4 or 5v RCA preouts.

The difference between 1.8v and 4v is amazing. Such clarity.
Let's get a couple things straight here:
1. The "standard" in almost every aftermarket head unit of decent quality with RCA outputs is 4V ouput or more. This includes $150 decks from Alpine among other many other brands. You don't have to pay a lot of money for a good amount of output voltage.
2. Spend the money on a better LOC with a higher output voltage if you're worried about that. The KISS theory applies, especially when you're just trying to send a signal from the CD player to the amp or whatever. More equipment means more possibility for signal degredation. Also, line drivers are very costly. From an engineering standpoint, its much easier to take a high voltage signal and knock it down some instead of knocking down the high voltage signal, then adding another element to boost the level again.


Just so everyone knows, the clarity seen with higher output voltages is because of a reduced noise floor. Basically, the higher the signal voltage, the farther away that voltage is from any noise.
 

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2 - most amps DO NOT run all 4 channels when only 2 are connected. for example, on my RF 4 channel amp, channels were only active if they had an input signal. so that also means you're going to have to run 2 line out converters if you plan to power a 4 channel amp.
Sorry for you then, RF amps suck. All amps I ever worked with will take one signal and power the amp fully. Ive done many Soundstream installs where one signal will power 6 channels.

another thought i just had.

if you plan on using line out converters, i HIGHLY recommend a product called a Line Driver.

Basically, a line driver will take a RCA signal and boost the voltage to a higher, cleaner level. Most aftermarket decks usually output 1.8v RCA preouts. As you go up in price, you will find that decks will have at least 4 or 5v RCA preouts.

The difference between 1.8v and 4v is amazing. Such clarity.

edit: the phoenix gold PLD1 http://www.phoenixgold.com/pld1.html
For a cheaper price, you can go with Phoenix Gold TLD 22. Its a line driver that boosts up to 8v rms @ 15~20k Hz. If you want extreme input power going to your amps, an Audiocontrol 3.1 boosts up to 13v.

Spend the money on a better LOC with a higher output voltage if you're worried about that.
I used to use powered LOCs that kicked out 4v, but just yesterday I went to pick one up for a friend and they dont make them anymore!! WTH I thought. Oh well, I already have a line driver.
 

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bknauss said:
And what kind of connection are you talking about? Most I have seen you have a clamp that can go on the stripped wire itself.
my rockford fosgate amp requires a 4plug connector to connect the high level inputs.

Let's get a couple things straight here:
1. The "standard" in almost every aftermarket head unit of decent quality with RCA outputs is 4V ouput or more. This includes $150 decks from Alpine among other many other brands. You don't have to pay a lot of money for a good amount of output voltage.
my first deck, a Kenwood "$150" deck only had 1.8v preouts.
 

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The typical deck nowadays has 4v outputs, is what bk meant.

Some of the better amps, dont have speaker level inputs because they know it degrades the music some. Look around, Xtant, Cadence, US Amps, Soundstream, etc etc and show me the high level input.

Bk is right about running line drivers. Since we 3 owners at the current time cant switch out the HU easily, we are stuck with LOCs and line drivers.
 

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Very good price. I bought my cheapo convertor from PE for $2.99 and the TLD 22 for $80.

Ive had good experiences with this setup. Have you used their products before?
 
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