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Old 11-03-2002, 09:07 PM   #1
N/A01RS
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Default How do I get the best sound out of my factory HU?

I want to upgrade my front and rear speakers and add a 10" subwoofer. I will use a 5-Channel amplifier to power this. Due to cost and cosmetic reasons I want to retain the factory head unit. What are my options as far as how to hook everything up and what to look for in products in order to get the cleanest sound while keeping my factory head unit?
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Old 11-03-2002, 11:33 PM   #2
brunetmj
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I am not sure if you are asking for product recommendations or how to hook it up. If the question is about hook up maybe this will help some. The first problem is where to put the AMP. Some people put it under the drivers seat but to do that you have to measure the AMP and make sure it fits between the seat rails. Then you run the wires, power wire from engine compartment, remote on/off wire under one side of the side console ,and RCA cables on the other. Speaker wires out of the AMP are run to each of the speakers. There are plenty of posts here and a sticky note above which describe how to take the doors apart, etc. There is already a grommet above the clutch where you can pass the power wire from the engine compartment. Another option is in the trunk which I did because of the size of my AMP. I attached some plywood to the back seat brackets and then the AMP to the plywood. With this method you loose your pass through. Woofer set ups vary and you can do a search to find various alternatives. I just have a sealed box and remove it when I want to haul something. Hope this helps some and have fun..
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Old 11-03-2002, 11:46 PM   #3
stabone
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If you must keep your factory unit, yes, hook up a 4 or 5 channel amplifier. Get one w/ the lowest THD (pref .03%) and highest signal/noise ratio (100db+). JL Audio 300/4 is very clean. This will sound slightly better. But, I would actually change your Head Unit anyway though with another double-din unit, still maintaining your cosmetic wishes. Clarion makes a tasteful one (grey) that will deliver clean sound. Only reason being that the factory HU does not deliver clean sound. If your going to spend money for a good amp and speakers, it is highly recommended to have a clean head unit.
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Old 11-03-2002, 11:51 PM   #4
N/A01RS
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I should have been a bit more clear. Ive installed quite a few stereos in mine and friends vehicles, but always with an aftermarket head unit. I know I can either use line output converters or use the high level inputs. Which of these is cleaner? As far as amplifiers Im currently looking at either the Alpine MRV-450 or Jl Audio 500/5. I basically just need to know whether I should use the high level inputs or the LOC's and how to hook them up.
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:07 AM   #5
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If your amp has high level inputs, use them......if not, you'll be forced into a coverter, so if that's the case, buy good RCA wires to minimize your losses.
I too want to to maintain my factory head unit and I have heard pro to the con stated above in that todays factory head units are just fine (for what you want to use it for).....if you were spending mega bucks on big time amps and speakers, then obviously you would want to upgrade the head unit.......my nickles worth..
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:57 AM   #6
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I havent purchased an amp yet. Im having a hell of a time finding a 5 channel amp with high level inputs. Are there speaker level connections on the back of the head unit for the subwoofer?
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:05 PM   #7
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IMHO, if you are going to go through the trouble to getting an amp to work with the stock head unit, you should just upgrade the head unit and forget about the amp. I have a JVC KDSh 707 pushing the upgraded factory speakers and it sound very good.
200W head unit
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:21 PM   #8
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Upgrading the head unit is not debatable. I want to upgrade the speakers, subwoofer and amplifier. Thats it. Does anyone know of a mid-high end amplifier that will accept high level inputs? Would it be easier to just get a 4-channel amp and a mono amp? They seem to be much easier to come by with the high level inputs.
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:39 PM   #9
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i was thinking of doing this too - upgrade the amp, add a sub and better speakers and then in a year or two when a dvd player that i like comes out, update the headunit .. i was looking into alpine amps, mb quart speakers + a LOC from this guy .. http://www.davidnavone.com/adaptor_products.htm
people here seem to have liked his products in the past ..
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:21 PM   #10
itWoRX
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Quote:
Originally posted by N/A01RS
Upgrading the head unit is not debatable. I want to upgrade the speakers, subwoofer and amplifier. Thats it. Does anyone know of a mid-high end amplifier that will accept high level inputs? Would it be easier to just get a 4-channel amp and a mono amp? They seem to be much easier to come by with the high level inputs.

It would simplify things....I was actually going to just get a two-channel amp (cheaper generally) wire the front and rear in parallel and just cap off the read door speakers just enough so they dont distort when you wind up the front ones (4" speakers in the rear aren't capable of the wattage of 6.5 component systems).....the whole thought is to save cash.....it ain't the most kick a55 set-up, but it will do the job.....
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Old 11-06-2002, 08:53 PM   #11
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There are several nice amps that will accept high level inputs. A lot of the amps made now do not have a separate input section for high and low level. Instead the high level signal is input to the RCA jacks on the amp. The JL amps have this. PPI amps, the new ones, and the A and X series Xtant can also do this. The X series Xtant amps, 604 and 603, are basically 4 ch amps but have a passive rear channel that run the rear speakers of the fronts but at a lower level.
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:19 PM   #12
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take it out and set it on your dresser. at least that is where mine is
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Old 11-07-2002, 08:07 AM   #13
ntrino
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Default stick by your weapons of mass destructions

why oh why do people insist on getting a HU when upgrading your car's stereo. 98% of the time the problem lies in the speakers. and before everyone who just bought a HU for their car starts their rallying war cry, just let me say is that unless you are going to have your car in competition, or you want some special feature like mp3, LCD screen, makes coffee or toast, then please go right ahead and get the HU of your dreams. SO unless you are going into the 700watt and above club, spend your money on good speakers, rammat, a good quality amp, and maybe some LOC. and remember monkeys in heat will gladly steal your recyclables so watch out!



Quote:
Originally posted by N/A01RS
Upgrading the head unit is not debatable. I want to upgrade the speakers, subwoofer and amplifier. Thats it. Does anyone know of a mid-high end amplifier that will accept high level inputs? Would it be easier to just get a 4-channel amp and a mono amp? They seem to be much easier to come by with the high level inputs.
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Old 11-07-2002, 09:57 AM   #14
ruiner
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Quote:
How do I get the best sound out of my factory HU?
I'd say that putting it through a garbage compactor would yield a pretty good sound. I can't think of one much better than that.
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Old 11-07-2002, 10:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by ruiner


I'd say that putting it through a garbage compactor would yield a pretty good sound. I can't think of one much better than that.
mine found the trash can.... folks were like "whats wrong with your stereo?"... "

I said, "its worthless, I cant even give this thing away"
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Old 11-07-2002, 10:18 AM   #16
Jakezor
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Well I won't feed the trolls with more "ditch the stock HU" crap, since you say that you really want to keep it.

Go to www.davidnavone.com and get the best LOC you can find. Hell he might even have a 5 channel one.

Then check out (for example) a Kicker KX700.5 it is a pretty damn nice 5 channel amp. www.ikesound.com ($389)then www.woofersetc.com ($419) have good prices (in that order). Or if you dare check out ebay for one. A friend got lucky on ebay and got it for around $350 or so.

You'll want to tape the speaker wires as close to the deck as possible, maybe even buy a harness and a reverse harness if you dont want to chop up or tap into the stock wiring.

Then get some decent RCAs (3 pair remember!) and run em back to the amp. The easiest way in our car is power down the drivers side and RCAs down the middle or passenger side.
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