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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2002, 10:38 PM
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Stereo Question...

OK... This is sort of off topic, but I need to ask. Can anyone direct me to a good resource on the net for stereo installs and what does what? I can do the basic stuff, but I want to learn a little more about amps, subs, etc. I installed a Blaupunkt 4 speaker system from Cructhfield about 1 year ago. very nice, but it seems to lack decent bottom end with just 4 speakers and the standard bass control. Also, when I crank it a bit it doesn't sound as clear although I know the speakers can handle the increased volume. So, I was thinking maybe a small sub and small amp would help the sound quality and boost the bottom end a little. The problem is I don't know jack s--t about installing amps, subs... what the hell is a crossover? I don't listen to rap/hip hop so I don't need one of those systems that shatters glass, but I do like volume when cranking some Zep or SRV. So, looking for a resource on the net that can let me brush up on the basics and tell me what I need and how it all works together. Thanks folks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-20-2002, 09:52 AM
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Re: Stereo Question...

I don't really know of any sites that will help, but I don't hink you really need any. If you can install a speaker you should be able to install an amp.

Wherever you buy your amp just buy an amp wiring kit along with it. This kit should include a long positive wire to run from your battery to your amp, a short negative wire to use as a ground, a remote signal wire, a inline fuse holder to use on your positive wire, and possibly a set of shielded RCA cables. If you have installed an aftermarket head unit (CD player, radio, tape player, etc) in your dash there most likely is a set of RCA amp pre-outs on the back of the unit. Use RCA cables if possible because they will give you better sound quality and are easier to install. If you do not have RCA outputs on you unit make sure the amp you purchase has hi level inputs. Another thing that can help ease of install is a screw in battery terminal with an accessory hookup point on it if your terminals screw into your battery.

First find a place to install the amp and mount the amp securely. Make sure there is plenty of room around the amp to let the heat escape. Now run the negative wire from the amp to a good ground. Keep the ground wire as short as you can, and make sure you have a good ground, as this will effect the sound quality. Also disconnect the positive battery terminal.

Next install the remote signal wire. This is relatively simple if you have an aftermarket head unit. Most aftermarket units will have a remote signal wire on them to run either a power antenna or amp, simply connect the two wires. If you have a stock head unit find a switched power source that only comes on when the ignition is in the on position, and hook the remote signal wire to this. If you want you can install a rocker switch in the remote signal wire so you can turn the amp on and off and still listen to the radio. If you hook the remote signal wire to a non-switched 12 volt source the amp may not shut off and it will drain your battery.

Now install the sound wires. If you have a head unit with RCA jacks simply run RCA cables from the amp to the unit. Some RCA cables are directional so be sure to keep track because this will effect sound quality. The signal flows form the head unit to the amp. If you do not have RCA hookups simply hook up the amp as if it were a speaker with the left and right speaker wires going to their respective hi-level inputs on the amp. Be sure to keep track of the positive and negative wires, hooking them up backward will effect sound and possibly ruin your speakers.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-20-2002, 10:58 AM
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Re: Stereo Question...

Hook up the speakers to the amp just like you would any other time, making sure to keep track of the positive and negative wires.

Finally hook up the positive amp wire. Run the wire from the amp to the positive terminal of your battery, and install the in-line fuse along the wire. It is best not to run this wire near any speaker wires as it will degrade the sound.

Crossovers are installed much the same way, however if you are not worried about having a competition style sound system you shouldn't really need one. If you are using the amp for a subwoofer only just try to get one with a low pass filter, this gets rid of the high frequency signals and only send out the low frequency to the sub giving you cleaner bass.

To pick out the size of amp see the power rating of your speakers and try to match up the RMS wattage with that of the amp.
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