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Audio component and install questions

  #1  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:40 AM
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Default Audio component and install questions

We have a 2004 Honda Accord LX with the base audio system. It is used basically as a commuter car by wife, 2 hrs a day in the horrible Phoenix, AZ traffic. I have some older audio components that I would like to dust off and use to give the car a little better sound. I was hoping that some of the audiophiles out there might be able to give me a little advice, as it has been a while since I have ventured into car audio. I would rate my knowledge, skills and ability in the area of auto mechanics as intermediate and I have done several frame-off restorations. However on the aforementioned restorations, the audio was done by a friend in the audio business, who no longer lives in the area.

The car currently has upgraded Pioneer door speakers and rear deck speakers. Other than that, the vehicle is in stock configuration. I have the following that I would like to install:

-Pioneer GM-X524 Amp
-Pioneer GM-X324 Amp
-MB Quart RLP254 10" Sub

Again, my knowledge of car audio is quite rusty and I appreciate any advice. I was thinking of using the 524amp to power the sub. From what I have researched, I believe that the 524 can be "bridged" to 1 channel to power a sub. Please correct me if I am wrong. The 324 would be used to power the four interior speakers. I have 1 amp hookup kit from Monster but will need to get a second if using both amps.

Since I have always used aftermarket head units with dedicated inputs, I am a little unsure of how to properly hook the amps into the OEM head unit. After some looking around, I found line output converters. Is that the correct piece to integrate the amps? If so, which ones and how do I integrate both amps to the system?

I understand that the RLP254 works best in a sealed enclosure with heavy polyfill. I can work with MDF and have enough to fabricate a box and amp mounts.

Please also provide any feedback and/or experience with iPhone adapters that interface with the OEM head unit. I have seen a variety of different styles and prices, from $20 to $200, but really want one that works. I am not looking to control the iPhone from the head unit, as I fairly certain that is not possible. I would just like to be able to hook it up directly to the audio system.

I know that was a lot of info. I appreciate any help, input, experience, etc... Thanks in advance.
 
  #2  
Old 08-03-2012, 12:34 PM
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Welcome to HAF

There are several questions here, so we’ll take them one at a time.

1. Interfacing with the factory head unit when adding amplifiers.
You do want a Line Output Converter. I recommend this one:
http://davidnavone.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_ id=2&zenid=baljuq81rnulhkib0iq1ea5hs1
You get a high quality LOC with an auto turn-on feature so you don’t get noises when the factory radio turns on/off.
The easiest way to incorporate the LOC is to gain access to the front and rear speaker wires. You can do this without cutting factory wires by buying two harness adapters.
METRA 71-1721 and 70-1721. One plugs into the factory radio, the other into the factory radio harness. Now you have industry standard color wires you can intercept for power, ground, and speaker wires. You can locate the LOC behind the dash or back at the amps. The only difference is what wire you run from front to back. This also gives you a place to intercept the front speaker wires (since the doors have a molex plug making running new wire difficult).

2. OEM Interface for iPod. We have a sticky on this with options listed. The cheap adapters use FM modulators which sound terrible. The nice adapters take advantage of line-level inputs which sound nice.

Note that you can take the money you would spend on an iPod adapter and LOC and put that towards a new head unit. For around $130 you can get a Kenwood eXcelon that will give you everything you want. It would be mounted in the lower pocket in the dash and the factory radio would be obsolete. Note that your factory radio is known for failure in a number of ways.

3. Using the amps. One amp kit can be sufficient to power two amps as long as the wire size is sufficient for the combined current draw of the amps. You just need to get a distribution block for the power wire. If the wire in and out of the block are the same size, no fuses are necessary. If the wires in and out are different size, you want it to be fused (if the amp have their own fuses, the distribution block can be unfused). Crutchfield has diagrams and how-to on multi-amp wiring.

4. Sub. I like sealed enclosures. I prefer them in the rear corner (driver’s corner is empty). That way you maximize trunk space and minimize phase interference from cancellation of sound waves when bouncing off trunk walls. The difficulty here is more angles to work with, but it’s not that hard to figure out. I start with cardboard to get my overall templates, then account for thickness and cut wood, one piece at a time, and test fit during the process. Take your time, measure three times - cut once, etc.
The sub can be powered from the 524 and the 524 can be bridged into 2 channels and is 4 ohm stable. The sub is dual 4 ohm. This is a good match. You just want to use a DMM to set the gains so they are equal in all channels (don’t rely on the position of the dial).

5. Speakers. These can be powered from the 324 as it’s 30Wx4. You can access the front speaker wiring behind the head unit - if you have the harnesses above, this is easy. You can even reuse the factory speaker wire routed to the rear to power the fronts. Simply connect speaker amp front left and right outputs to the rear factory speaker wires. Behind the head unit, connect rear left to front left, and rear right to front right at the harness that comes from the car. The rear speakers will be wired directly to the new amp since they are in close proximity and accessible.
 
  #3  
Old 08-04-2012, 03:16 PM
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Thank you for your awesome response to my questions!!! You cleared up a lot of the issues that I was facing and wondering about. After your suggestion regarding the head unit, I researched the Kenwood series and install kits. I was hoping to get the unit installed in the dash and not the pocket, as that is already dedicated to storage for other items. I have heard both positive and negative feelings and experiences about the Metra 99-7864 dash kit. However, I was thinking about the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X496($149.99 after 20% off coupon) and the Metra 99-7864 dash adapterfor $74.99 after 50% off. Not a bad price for the two.

If I were to theoretically use the Kenwood X496, with the rest of the aforementioned components, what would I need to complete the install? I wouldn't need the LOC as the deck would accept the line inputs and the iPhone would directly interface with the deck correct?

Thanks again for your awesome response and tremendous help!!!
 
  #4  
Old 08-04-2012, 10:25 PM
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Good choice getting a new head unit - you'll be much happier overall.

the comments on the amps, speakers, and subs still remain. you wouldn't need a LOC or separate iPod adapter. and you can play music from thumbdrives!

what size amp kit do you have now?
 
  #5  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:28 PM
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It is a Monster Cable 200W amp kit. Ordered the Kenwood Excelon headunit and install kit yesterday. Looking forward to getting it installed!
 
  #6  
Old 08-10-2012, 03:26 PM
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The amp kit is too small. 500W minimum (8 awg) 1000W recommended (4 awg)
 
  #7  
Old 08-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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No problem. Can return the 200wkit for the larger one. Since I am running two amps, can the larger kit kit be used to run both?
 
  #8  
Old 08-11-2012, 09:43 AM
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Disregard that last post. I just looked back through one of your earlier posts and saw the reason for the larger amp kit.
 
  #9  
Old 08-11-2012, 11:56 AM
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Best way to go about is to add up all the fuses in your amps. Thats not a 100% accurate way because its the absolute maximum amount of protection the manufacturer stuck in there and not necessarily a true gauge of what youll actually be drawing. 99.9% of the time, you wont even come anywhere near these ratings. Anyways, say its 80 amps total, then a nice 4 gauge set would be the way to go. 60 amps and youre going with 8 gauge which is nice cause 8 is a lot easier to snake thru your car's interior.

More than likely 4 gauge is the best way to go. This will cover up to around 120 amps and even if youre not drawing that now, if you ever want to slap in a big fat subwoofer amp then you wont have to yank out then re-run all new power wire.
 
  #10  
Old 08-13-2012, 06:01 PM
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I have received the Kenwood head unit and install kit. The smaller 200w amp kit was also returned and swapped for the above recommended 4awg kit. I now have the following components ready and waiting for a cooler day to install(115 today

-Kenwood Excelon 496
-Pioneer GM-X524 Amp
-Pioneer GM-X324 Amp
-MB Quart RLP254 10" Sub
-1 x 4awg amp kit

What other parts do I need to make sure I have everything ready for install? Battery terminals? Distribution block since there is only 1 amp kit? Any other parts for wiring?

Thanks again to everyone for their assistance!
 

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