Rockford Punch PBR300X2 Amplifier Front Console Install
Attached are two photos of my installation of a Rockford Punch PBR300X2 amplifer inside the front console of my 1995 Riviera. The PBR300x2 is a great little amplifier, and some positive tests can be found online. One downside though is that it gets quite hot. To that point I attached an aluminum heat sink and 12V low noise fan to the amplifier. I think this additional cooling is completely superfluous however as the amplifier is designed to run hot, but I like to tinker and thought some additional cooling couldn't hurt particularly since it will be cooped up under the front console where airflow is likely less than ideal.
I actually have been running the amplifier since last autumn with no issues whatsoever in this location, and that was with the fan non-operational up until this weekend.
I also thought it was prudent to enclose all surrounding wiring in split loom for heat and abrasion protection, especially since the heat sink is quite sharp. I'm a fan of split loom and other wire protection in cars and things that vibrate in general anyway
I also elevated the amplifier on "legs" to keep it off the floor, again for heat management and airflow.
The fan is powered off of the accessory 12V power outlet in the passenger side of the console, spliced into its harness. The amplifier is powered from a dedicated power feed from the rear underseat battery. I'll get a photo of that wiring later, but if I recal, I used a 10/3 heavy duty cable that just happens to fit EXACTLY in the loom bracket under the drivers sill. You end up with one spare wire in the cable, but hey, it's a spare.
I used two off-the-shelf radio harness adapters (one from the radio, one to the harness) to break out the speaker inputs/outputs from the radio and feed it down to the amp, where the output goes back up into the adapter and stock wiring harness. So there is no cutting or splicing into the stock harness. The amp itself is tripped on from the antenna trigger, also pulled from the radio harness adapters.
The amplifer powers a pair of DLS R5A speakers in the doors, which can be overpowered by the PBX. However with the gain and amplifer hi pass appropriately tuned they play well with no issues. DLS makes some higher wattage speakers, but these fit my budget and sound very nice. And they play puh-lenty loud. Again with the speaker install, no cutting of the stock wiring harness was required. I took the OEM connectors off of the original door speakers and built up a harness to the x-over for the DLS units. Then it just plugs right in. This keeps the wiring original, is reliable, and I don't have to run dedicated new speaker wiring into the doors.
I had to also play around with the orientation and forward placement of the amplifier, as it turns out our cupholder door cover and its associated "gantry" apparently take a LOT of space when it is pushed down into the console. Even some additional wiring or something minor like the power connector for the amplifier can be enough to foul that operation. But I was eventually able to get it all to work together.
Now, while this was a "fun" project and was ultimately successful, I will say I will never do it this way again.... lesson learned
I chose to do it this way because I already had a serviceable 2 channel amplifier for the rear, and the PBX was a good fit (physically and specs) for the fronts. But if I were to start from scratch I definitely would go with a nice 4 channel amplifier mounted in the trunk where all the power already exists. It would have been much easier to just run in/out speaker leads from the dash, under the sills, and to the trunk mounted amplifier than deal with all the extended power and logistics of the amplifier in the console.
But if one wanted to mount a new electronic gizmo up in the console, especially one that needs serious power, this is a good way to get power up there from the battery and main fuse blocks under the rear seat. If you are considering mounting something up under the console, look at the specs of the PBR and its dimensions. That will give you an idea of how much room you have to play with.