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 FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit

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robertwolf86
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PostSubject: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:31 pm

Can you put a amp in the car with the factory stereo or do you have to put a aftermarket stereo in. how hard is it to put a aftermarket cd player in?
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:45 pm

An amp can be installed with the oem deck using high level inputs. Thats pretty much using your speaker wires and connecting them to the amp instead of using the standard "RCA" connection for the signal. (because the oem deck doesnt have that). It will sound and work better if you get the after market deck though especially if you want to replace the speakers and such.

To use high level inputs, the amp has to actually have that built in or you need to buy a converter.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:49 pm

is it hard to take everything apart. i got no prob putting them in but taking that dash out looks like a pain in the ass. got any tips?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:52 pm

hey codith what kind of head lights do you have? they look nice.i have silverstars for low beams and some nice aftermarkets from a saturn for high beams
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:57 pm

sorry, i forgot to answer your other question

An aftermarket deck is a bit of a job to put in, ive found but is worth it in my opinion. The typical way to do it is to first buy the mounting kit and wire harness so you can connect the deck easily. If you're not into wiring, you can get the full harness at circuit city and you dont have to splice anything. Getting the dash apart is somewhat tricky if you havent taken it apart before but either myself or someone on here could tell you all the details.

The main issue with the late rivs, is the depth of the deck enclosure. Most of the time, the aftermarket deck you get is not going to fit in with all the wires and stuff back there. You can probably buy a cd player thats not too deep and be fine. For my pioneer (which is about average depth) I used a dremel cutting tool to cut out the back wall of the plastic enclosure. Other than the main harness to the deck, there are no wires or anything to worry about cutting in the process.
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:59 pm

robertwolf86 wrote:
hey codith what kind of head lights do you have? they look nice.i have silverstars for low beams and some nice aftermarkets from a saturn for high beams

I got an HID conversion kit 30,000k bulbs
you can get them on ebay
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:01 pm

if you feel like doing it, i can tell you exactly how the dash all comes apart. its not too bad (just need a 7mm socket and some care & patience.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:07 pm

well i got the patience and a pioneer deh-? but ill let you no. i want to get a sub, amp, and some extra $$$ first thanks.
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jax95riv
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:42 pm

Quote :
For my pioneer (which is about average depth) I
used a dremel cutting tool to cut out the back wall of the plastic
enclosure. Other than the main harness to the deck, there are no wires
or anything to worry about cutting in the process.

Hey Codith, did you cut a space big enough for the stereo to set flush w/ the dash, or cut just enough for the wiring harness? I've been thinking about cutting mine out, but I didn't know what I'd run into. Any extra road noise or vibration/rattle that you noticed?
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:49 pm

I have not had any problems in terms of vibration and stuff like that. This dash is kind of strange so i'm not sure how to answer your question about how it sits. It's as far back as the dash kit will allow it to be. You can see the pictures I have on cardomain. theres nothing behind the plastic. In essence, there is no reason for it to be there other than just keeping conformity to the rest of the inner dash. But removing it will give about another full inch or 2 depth and much more lax for the wiring.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:52 pm

Thanks. I hate the way my stereo sets out from the dash. I almost put the factory one back in for that reason. I'll check out yo' pics!thumbsup
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Gary
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PostSubject: Speaker/Amp upgrades with Factory head unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:44 am

I'm curious, can would I be able to upgrade the factory Speaker/Amp system and still be able to use the Factory head unit?
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Gar y 3gears
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NO 4 EVR
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:32 pm

I think so but I don't know. I was just going to say that I have heard that the stock head unit out puts a decent amount of power. Upgrading speakers is a great idea. Unless you are going for a lot of power just a speaker upgrade might work.

Looking for more power aren't you...?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:59 pm

Thanks for replying. I'm thinking better speakers and an amplifer. But something tells me that each speaker in the system is powered by its own amp. That would make adding a amp useless. or at least I think.

If anyone who for sure, please post.
Gary
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:43 pm

technically speaking, every channel or speakers is its own amp. there are at least 2 but probably 4 channels on the stock deck. Anyway, you can get an amp that uses high level inputs (where you plug your speaker wires into instead of the normal RCA plugs) or you can buy a relatively inexpensive converter and use any amp. That will give you all the power you want for the much more demanding after market speakers. The only problem with this way is that the amp and the speakers connected to the amp will still follow the limitations and harmonic distortions of the head unit which means the clarity of the sound is compromised and chances are greater that you might hear a subtle hum from the speakers. All in all, a new deck would make it much easier to do and it would sound better.

The power that the OEM deck puts out is tuned and matched with the OEM speakers. ie if the oem deck doesnt output sound beyond 19khz (due to limitations of the oem speakers), your after market speakers which can usually voice over 25khz, will never play that frequency
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NO 4 EVR
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:03 pm

Well I don't think humans can hear sounds past 20khz anyway. But hey, your dog will appreciate it!
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:14 pm

NO 4 EVR wrote:
Well I don't think humans can hear sounds past 20khz anyway. But hey, your dog will appreciate it!

true, that was kind of just the first example i thought of, not necessarily the best
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:36 pm

Lol, I know, I'm just joshin ya.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:53 pm

Yes, you can connect an amp to your head unit. The amp must be able to take speaker level inputs. My first audio upgrade used a 40 watts x 4ch amp and 10" sub with upgraded door speakers. I had the head unit amp power the rear speakers. the amp had a channel for each door speaker and the other two channels were bridged to power the sub. A Pac adapter was used to get a signal off the sub. It was definitely an improvement. The advantage was that I kept the steering wheel controls and stock appearance.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:31 am

I'm happy with the factory system, but want more, but dont want to lose the factory look, or hack a door panel or two to get everything to fit.

I'd bet a complete system overhaul would be an easy way to drop 3K in a hurry.

More things to consider.
Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:07 am

One of the first things I did to my Riv was upgrade the stereo system. I'm very picky with how my music sounds; I'm not so much a bass head, but a listener of music. Sound quality was my goal. What I wanted was to have a decent volume level, and for the response to be flat (even) over the entire range.

To start with, I liked the stock head. It looks good in the car, it uses the steering controls, and it plays CDs. Good enough for me. Also, I like the volume knob... better than those stupid up/down buttons. But how did it sound? Not good in stock form, that's for sure. The CSII system had limited quality, and didn't get very loud. And forget about bass... non-existent.

Step one was to listen to the stock head on my Sony MDR-V500 headphones. I just wired an adapter up the the door speakers and drove them directly. Not that bad! I was surprised at the clarity and bass I heard. So I knew the speakers had to be the problem, and looking at them was easy to see why. Cheap, paper, low power... good for listening to AM talk radio, not much else.

Later I learned that our OEM head is the same one used in many other GM vehicles, including the higher-end Monsoon system available in the Regal and GTP. The Monsoon set-up uses an external amp and better speakers (including subs) to get much better sound. I decided I could do the same thing, building my own system off the stock head. To see how I did it, check my Cardomain page: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/7

For under a grand invested, I am now very happy with the system. With a little EQ, I like the sound of the stock head so much, I actually bought an OEM replacement when my first one died. Not a huge amount of bass from an 8" sub, but enough to jam while driving the freeway with all windows open. That's all I wanted, really. If I had wanted more, I could've used a bigger amp/subs. Good luck with your new system!

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:28 pm

I can assure you that unless theres different equipment in different years, our factory amps are not remote, built into the stock deck. That's why it's got the heat sink on the side of it. That's the difference in the monsoon system you can't see. It is a much more interesting job putting in after market equipment when you have factory remote amps. And even if the rivs came with monsoon, i'd still change it. Typically, the reason why they use remote amps for OEM applications is because they have systems that are more complicated than the simple 4 channel and they need some extra power and can't risk your dash catching on fire from the heat if you blast it for a while.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:36 pm

Good point.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:07 pm

So, where does one wire in an external amp? I think that would help me with my problem - the stereo just doesn't get loud enough for me. By time I get the volume up, it is starting to lose bass or distort that part of the audio spectrum.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:30 pm

allfalldown wrote:
So, where does one wire in an external amp? I think that would help me with my problem - the stereo just doesn't get loud enough for me. By time I get the volume up, it is starting to lose bass or distort that part of the audio spectrum.

to wire an external amp to the factory deck, you will be using the "high level inputs" on the amp. (get a 4 channel amp that has that or buy a converter separately.) So you need to run the wires that go to your speakers to the amp instead then run the amp wires to the speakers. It seems kind of weird to do but thats the only practical way to preserve the OEM deck in this case. Then of course make sure to adjust the amp gains so that you get it as loud as you want before you turn the volume too far up on the deck and get the same THD problem. I'm not aware of any suitable place for an amp other than the trunk on this car, especially a average size decent 4 channel. If you get the amp, you definitely want new speakers though. the higher output of the after market amp will basically max out the OEM speakers as soon as you leave the ranges of the OEM deck so if you dont replace the speakers, you can expect to blow the old speakers. thats not to say you need the most expensive speakers on the market but keep in mind, OEM speakers usually operate at less than 10 watts while you'll notice that the aftermarket are considerably higher.
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