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  #1  
Old 07-04-2010
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Wiring up an amp

I've got a n 02 XLT with the six disc changer and I'm pretty sure the former owner never touched it, so I'm just going to keep the stock deck and add my amp and sub.

First, is there an easy wire to tap into for the remote on? It just needs a 12v source that's only on when the cab or dash is powered so there shouldn't be any reason to have to pull the deck.

Second, how have you guys run the power cable to your amps? My last vehicle had a grommet with wires going through that I just slipped the power line through, battery-fuse-wire-amp... I looked and didn't see anything easy and premade going through the firewall area of the engine comp in my Ranger.

Third.. and this is just idiot checking myself, but I'll be splicing off the back speakers and using the speaker level inputs on the amp. That doesn't usually change the impedance by any dangerous amount does it?
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Old 07-04-2010
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You can't run a sub/amp off the stock headunit.
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Old 07-04-2010
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Originally Posted by rangerboy101 View Post
You can't run a sub/amp off the stock headunit.
Sure you can. I did in my focus. The amp had line level inputs. Or you can get a line level converter. It can be done. As for the remote wire, I pulled the deck and found the keyed source to the radio and tapped into it.
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Old 07-04-2010
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Ok let me rephrase that. It would be MUCH easier to buy a decent single din headunit and run the sub/amp off of it
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Old 07-04-2010
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Originally Posted by 07rangersport View Post
Sure you can. I did in my focus. The amp had line level inputs. Or you can get a line level converter. It can be done. As for the remote wire, I pulled the deck and found the keyed source to the radio and tapped into it.

X2 best place to tap in for the remote turn on is gonna require the deck to be pulled out.
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2010
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Ok let me rephrase that. It would be MUCH easier to buy a decent single din headunit and run the sub/amp off of it
this will give you better sound as well.
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2010
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Its true I won't have any control of the amp through the head unit, but luckily for me I have speaker level inputs as well as low pass and gain controls on the amp. The main disadvantage to running things this way is that if I want the quad speakers to cut off where the sub kicks in I'll have to run separate high pass filters in line to the speakers. But.. since according to the 'if it's too loud, you're too old' philosophy I'm like 87 and a half, I'm not worried about blowing speakers

As for sound quality, I'd rate the lack of clear bass as top offender, then quad speaker quality, then the stock deck. Installing better speakers really takes a load off the deck's internal amp capacity so I'll try that long before spending a few hundred on a deck with sub out. Also, at some point the fact that its a truck cab negates any sound quality gains :D

Last edited by Boomzilla; 07-04-2010 at 06:30 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2010
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I have my amp through the stock headunit (not for long) but I have a remote for the amp
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Old 07-04-2010
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Hey there your approach is dead on as far as the line level converter , it wont harm the speakers or stock headunit, if you have a dmm or testlight you can find and tap power behind the radio or tap any safe ignition fuse also if your amplifier doesnt have a seperate volume **** i can show how to make an easy one for just a few bucks if you need a little more control over the bass.
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Old 07-04-2010
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if your looking for a 12v key i belive you could tap into the hot side of the 12v outlet. i did this in my S40 as well as many many other people. but there are line converters that do have a remote out built into them as well
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Old 07-04-2010
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Originally Posted by fourliter dan View Post
if your looking for a 12v key i belive you could tap into the hot side of the 12v outlet. i did this in my S40 as well as many many other people. but there are line converters that do have a remote out built into them as well


my outlets were always hot, its a 95 and dont know if all years are, its for sure in the radio harness, and many at the fuse panel.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2010
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my outlets were always hot, its a 95 and dont know if all years are, its for sure in the radio harness, and many at the fuse panel.

That would be a great idea, but my 02 outlets stay hot as well. I guess I'll have to poke around my fuse box to find a good source.
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2010
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what amp and sub do u have?
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2010
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Amp is an Alpine MRV-100M, I don't remember the sub off hand but it's just a good quality little 8" in a truck box. I don't need a ghetto thumper or anything. I just like hearing all the music!

I did decide to swap out the quad speakers as well... figure if I'm digging into the wiring already I may as well do it all at once :D
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2010
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Originally Posted by Boomzilla View Post
Its true I won't have any control of the amp through the head unit, but luckily for me I have speaker level inputs as well as low pass and gain controls on the amp. The main disadvantage to running things this way is that if I want the quad speakers to cut off where the sub kicks in I'll have to run separate high pass filters in line to the speakers. But.. since according to the 'if it's too loud, you're too old' philosophy I'm like 87 and a half, I'm not worried about blowing speakers

As for sound quality, I'd rate the lack of clear bass as top offender, then quad speaker quality, then the stock deck. Installing better speakers really takes a load off the deck's internal amp capacity so I'll try that long before spending a few hundred on a deck with sub out. Also, at some point the fact that its a truck cab negates any sound quality gains :D
You dont have to spend a few hundred, I have a good single-din Kenwood KDC-MP245 in my '99, and it cost me total $150 for the Deck, install kit, and wiring harness, and that was before i was MECP Certified and worked at a mobilt audio store, so that was full price. As for the lack of clear bass, the new head unit would take care of that. I had the stock deck for a while, and when it died, I replaced it and instantly noticed a HUGE sound quality difference. The quad speakers aren't really all that bad, when the head unit is good. Truthfully, a new head unit is the definite way to start. I see customers all the time that say, "well, I'd rather have bass than a new head unit, because the stock speakers are bad anyway," but I have them think about the fact that the speakers can only reproduce the quality that the head unit is putting out, and if you upgrade the quality of the head unit, you automatically upgrade the quality of the speakers. Just food for thought, but your best bet is to start with a quality head unit, and then your subs and speakers and everything will sound better. I have no issues with my sound quality, and I'm running that Kenwood KDC-MP245, Rockford P1, and a Power Acoustik 800w.
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2010
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I can't say that I've ever replaced just the deck without touching anything else, so you might be right about the head unit being a limiting factor. I can say that after adding an amp and sub to cover the lows and upgrading the door speakers to improve the highs I've ended up with a really nice full sound.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2010
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well if you've got a nice sound, it can and will only get better with a new head unit
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2010
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Originally Posted by Conroman View Post
well if you've got a nice sound, it can and will only get better with a new head unit
..but a stock headunit, with stock speakers will always sound better with an amplifier as opposed to just replacing the headunit to stock speakers because a separate amplifier has a much better crossover and higher power output capabilities
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2010
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Not true. If you amplify the stock speakers you will blow them. The RMS output of the amp should match the RMS of the speakers. The amp might have a better crossover, but you won't getto hear it because your speakers will be toasted as soon as you turn it up. I've seen many customers do tuis. The head unit puts out more power, but not enough to damage the speakers, and unless you get a really bad head unit, the crossovers and preamps in it are going to be wayyyyyy better then the stock HU. And that gives you your extra power and quality. And if you're worried about a crossover, why not just get a stand-alone crossover and put it in?
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Old 07-12-2010
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Sorry sir, you are false, the overactive finger of the customers clippy distorted listening habits is the ultimate cause of blowing speakers which is done quite frequently with the stock head unit and stock speakers... not amplifying them, stay within the reasonable limits and use some common sense and youll see it works just fine. not everybody wants to have there music heard by the half mile radius of neighboring people, your "customers" must have some unrealistic expectations if there doing that.

and again.. just to recap, a stock head unit and stock speakers would ALWAYS sound better with an amplifier, as opposed to comparing to just powering by an aftermarket head unit, the cleaner, higher powered and better crossover will take care of the rest, even if it was just a small quality 25 watt per channel amplifier.
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  #21  
Old 07-12-2010
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This is true, ithkight you were talking about an amp with like 200 watts per channel. I do agree with this, but instead of spending the extra money on an amp, why not just buy a stand-alone crossover? And if you coupled an aftermarket head unit with a stand-alone crossover unit, it should sound very close to the way it would sound with an amp. That's just my 2 cents, coming from the Mobile Electronics Certified Professional.
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  #22  
Old 07-12-2010
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Originally Posted by Conroman View Post
This is true, ithkight you were talking about an amp with like 200 watts per channel. I do agree with this, but instead of spending the extra money on an amp, why not just buy a stand-alone crossover? And if you coupled an aftermarket head unit with a stand-alone crossover unit, it should sound very close to the way it would sound with an amp. That's just my 2 cents, coming from the Mobile Electronics Certified Professional.
The total power output capabilities are irrelevant for the point being shown, and i just personally don't like to use passive crossovers in any situation if at all possible.

Using an active crossover eliminates most of the problems associated with a passive crossover networks, a good example being... when you add more resistance to the outputs impedance of the amplifier...(ohms) =P, you can loose some of the ability for you to keep the drivers cone under control and in turn can give you crappy... muffly sounding... low end garble. Also.. i know another big thing believed about passive crossovers is that they dampen power and serve to reduce some of the energy being sent into the driver, and that just isnt true... therefore in my opinion at least it would be more efficient and easier to add an amplifier with a much better active crossover that filters the signal before the audio has been amplified then to try and hope the passive crossovers being added are even filtering the right frequencies for you musical tastes... unless you enjoy calculating all the technical hoopla and taking the time to build your own crossover.

Anyway.. this isnt my thread, or is this really on topic and i dont want to turn it into some long drawn out discussion on the differences and comparison between the two or turn this into a right or wrong thing since id say at least 95% of the people in here just dont care lol, iv been through the mecp certification course its not a big deal, and iv had enough professional experience in mobile and commercial audio/video to have learned a few things along the way.

Last edited by edge2k; 07-12-2010 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Grammer nazi squad fail =(
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  #23  
Old 07-12-2010
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oh heck.. keep the argument going! I started the thread but have long since finished the installation :D
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  #24  
Old 07-12-2010
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Edge i do agree with you there about the active/passive crossovers. and i also agree with you about the ending of this argument. haha it has gone on too far. obviously we both agree and we are both of the same qualification so i feel like we have provided good information in our random argument. lol truce?
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Old 07-12-2010
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STAY OUT OF THIS BOOMZILLA!! lol just kidding, Conroman, i have no quarry with you i just like to keep things factual with information to back it up and to show different options to do something, i believe the only way to ultimately settle this is to host a private modern warfare 2 throwing knife/t bagging match that is to be judged and a winner to be selected by a hand chosen group of ranger forum members for best throw and most creative tbagging maneuver
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