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Old 04-09-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
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Installing an amp

After I purchased and installed a new sub in the factory enclosure to replace my blown out factory sub, I quickly realized that the stereo system doesn't have the power to keep my new sub going. So hopefully someone out there has done this before and knows what he's talking about. What is a good amp for a tj, where could I mount it (Preferably in the console, but I doubt thats possible), and how does the wiring work? If anyone has write-ups on their own process it would be appreciated. Also, if someone knows of another thread with this already answered, just send me there, don't waste your time. I already looked for one but I could've missed it.

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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Depending on wattage of the sub for the amps just go with name brand I like Polk audio because they are marine rated also u wire a power and ground wire to the amp from Esther the battery or some other known source for power and then you will have two Ajax I think there called cables that run to the back of your head unit if u have a stock head unit you will have to get an adapter bestbuy can hook you up on that

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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First off what did you replace the sub with and what do you have for a head unit?
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
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The Oem amp does a pretty decent job for me. Do you have the speaker wired correctly. The OEM amp puts out 2 channels at 2ohms for the OEM sub. I just repalced my sub with a Bose 2ohm 6.5" DVC sub out of an Oldsmobile and it sounds great. Aftermarket subs are notoriously inefficient and require more power. IF it were me, I'd go with a 5 channel amp. 4 channels for the fronts and rear and the 5th for the sub. If its a 2ohm dual voice coil sub , you'll have to wire the voice coils in series to get the 4ohm load most 5 channel amps produce.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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I recommend against a 5-channel amp. They are large and unwieldy to mount, plus they are expensive. My suggestion based on what I did, after spending a lot of time researching is:
Mount a compact 4-channel amp to some MDF and stuff that inside the center console. You'll find a nice ground off the parking brake and can run the fat power wire through the whole cup holder deal. Cut the MDF to fit the footprint of the amp exactly (except for the side that will sit on the frame) and then shave down as needed to fit nicely -- you'll want it to be a semi-snug fit so it doesn't rattle around and preferably, the side of the amp isn't touching the frame--layering some electrical tape works. Face the amp outside to the factory sub vent so it can breath.

Get a 12" enclosure (single is OK) with a good sub. I listen to country so mine is not ported. Mount a mono amp on that and throw it in the back. You can stick it on the carpet using velcro or however else you want to mcguyver it. Mine is strapped down so I can easily remove.

Run the power wires for the second amp on one side of the jeep (e.g., from near the transfer case and tap off a larger primary cable that feed both amps).
On the other side, run the sub signal cable to the back and the stereo signal cables around the back of the seats to the 4-chan. Then run the speaker power from the amp to the sounds bar, which I poly-packed and the front speakers (in this case it's OK to run that cable to the front speaker on the same side as the power wires).

Sounds awesome with hard top, great with deck cover (how I run my jeep) and OK without deck cover. You can look in my profile where I've listed all the AMPs & speakers I used. My "ear" is based off of (A) it's a jeep, (B) the upgraded system in my BMW and (C) my home stereo system. It runs plenty loud with no-doors at 80+ mph, which is as much as I was hoping for.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Neil F. View Post
First off what did you replace the sub with and what do you have for a head unit?
I replaced the factory sub with a 6.75" Kicker Sub here

Kicker 10CVT654 CompVT shallow-mount 6.5" 4-ohm subwoofer at Crutchfield.com

And I still have the factory head unit but I'm looking into replacing that soon. Is there a head unit that is built in with an amp that will better power that subwoofer?
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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I can see size being an issue for a 5 channel amp but not price. A 4 channel plus a mono channel amp is not any cheaper than one 5 channel. Plus you only have to run power to one rather than two.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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I replaced the factory sub with a 6.75" Kicker Sub here

Kicker 10CVT654 CompVT shallow-mount 6.5" 4-ohm subwoofer at Crutchfield.com

And I still have the factory head unit but I'm looking into replacing that soon. Is there a head unit that is built in with an amp that will better power that subwoofer?

That Kicker is a single voice coil 4 ohm speaker. The OEM amp is designed for a dual voice coil 2ohm speaker. Your Kicker is not getting the full power from the OEM amp.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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That Kicker is a single voice coil 4 ohm speaker. The OEM amp is designed for a dual voice coil 2ohm speaker. Your Kicker is not getting the full power from the OEM amp.
So what can I do in order to get things set up to where everything works (without replacing the sub)?
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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So what can I do in order to get things set up to where everything works (without replacing the sub)?
You can run both sets of wire from the stock amp to the sub. Red and brown to the positive terminal, black and white/gray to the negative. That is the setup I'm using and it's alright. A new amp would be a little louder, but the factory one is free if it still works.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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After I purchased and installed a new sub in the factory enclosure to replace my blown out factory sub, I quickly realized that the stereo system doesn't have the power to keep my new sub going. So hopefully someone out there has done this before and knows what he's talking about. What is a good amp for a tj, where could I mount it (Preferably in the console, but I doubt thats possible), and how does the wiring work? If anyone has write-ups on their own process it would be appreciated. Also, if someone knows of another thread with this already answered, just send me there, don't waste your time. I already looked for one but I could've missed it.
Your head unit will and does a good job of driving the sub in the console...alpine do a very small high quality and well priced unit that fits behind the dash for your other speakers. My recommendation would be do this and replace all your other speakers for the same size JL...they fit right in place with no mods required and like for like JL sounds great in factory size than larger other makes...go listen. You should have a budget for all this of about $400 fitted. Will sound superb.

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The top picture show JL in the sound bar. The bottom shows JL components fitted into a pod right at back of foot well...you can add this later.good luck.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:07 PM   #12
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You can run both sets of wire from the stock amp to the sub. Red and brown to the positive terminal, black and white/gray to the negative. That is the setup I'm using and it's alright. A new amp would be a little louder, but the factory one is free if it still works.
If I understand correctly, thats what I'm doing already. But if I turn up the bass too loud the sub shuts off completely, then comes back on if I turn the radio off and on again.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:12 PM   #13
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If I understand correctly, thats what I'm doing already. But if I turn up the bass too loud the sub shuts off completely, then comes back on if I turn the radio off and on again.
Right now its running all your speakers I think...when you install amp your head unit will only be driving sub and will do a good job.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:30 PM   #14
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Right now its running all your speakers I think...when you install amp your head unit will only be driving sub and will do a good job.
This is incorrect. The head unit isn't what powers the sub, there is a small amp tucked into the sub enclosure in your center console that does that. The head unit only provides the signal for the amp to boost. For a louder sub you will need a stronger amp. A new head unit will, however, make your soundbar and dash speakers louder. The stock radio produces something like 20-25 watts per channel, most aftermarkets produce at least 50 per channel, which is more than sufficient for most people.

Your sub is rated for 300 watts peak and 150 watts RMS at an impedance of 4 ohms. To get peak efficiency out of it those are the specs your amp should be rated for. To save you the trouble I did some legwork on this one. This kicker amp is perfect. It's a quality brand, it's small so you can mount it under the dash, and it's specs are exactly what you need.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:08 PM   #15
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This is incorrect. The head unit isn't what powers the sub, there is a small amp tucked into the sub enclosure in your center console that does that. The head unit only provides the signal for the amp to boost. For a louder sub you will need a stronger amp. A new head unit will, however, make your soundbar and dash speakers louder. The stock radio produces something like 20-25 watts per channel, most aftermarkets produce at least 50 per channel, which is more than sufficient for most people.

Your sub is rated for 300 watts peak and 150 watts RMS at an impedance of 4 ohms. To get peak efficiency out of it those are the specs your amp should be rated for. To save you the trouble I did some legwork on this one. This kicker amp is perfect. It's a quality brand, it's small so you can mount it under the dash, and it's specs are exactly what you need.
The above is correct, unfortunately, you just can't use that sub with the factory amp. In summary, you generally have the following options (in general order of price & quality of sound):

(1) Replace the 4ohm sub you bought with 2ohm version, like the Kicker 10CVT652 (10CVT65-2) 6.5" CompVT Car Subwoofer
(2) Buy an amp for the sub that you have, like that kicker mentioned above, or an equivalent alpine, both are tiny and easy to mount somewhere like under steering column (I wouldn't), behind glove box, etc.
(3) (1) + get the alpine behind the dash unit to drive the speakers. Consider then, also getting an alpine Head unit which will have factory leads for this. Then replace the F&R speakers when you have the money/time.
(4) (2) + get a dedicated 4-chan amp. Then replace the F&R speakers and the sub with a 12" box when you have the money/time, in whichever order you want.
(5) What I previously suggested.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #16
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You will not get quality sound with your current setup. The stock amp will not be able to power your whole system along with the kicker sub, which is rated to handle 150watts RMS.(you found that out when your sub started cutting off). You will be much better off looking into a 4 channel that has built-in crossover and is bridgeable. Run the front channels for the mid/highs and bridged the rear channels for the sub. Build a sealed enclosure for the trunk area for the sub. Mount the amp under the rear seat. You can even keep your HU and get line to RCA adapters to hook up to the amp.(if your HU doesn't have RCA cables)
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #17
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Your OEM amp is designed to take a high level signal from each of your four speakers and bridge them over to two 2ohm outputs. Right now you are using one output from the OEM amp to power a 4ohm speaker. That is effectively cutting the power from the amp in half. Depending on your budget and need for space, you can do what everybody else said and buy a larger sub and an amp to power it. If your cramped for space and want to continue using your new sub, consider a mono amp. Preferably one with a seperate bass control knob so you can adjust it to you liking while your driving. If you get a new headunit, get one with a sub output. That'll make it all easier.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #18
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This is incorrect. The head unit isn't what powers the sub, there is a small amp tucked into the sub enclosure in your center console that does that. The head unit only provides the signal for the amp to boost. For a louder sub you will need a stronger amp. A new head unit will, however, make your soundbar and dash speakers louder. The stock radio produces something like 20-25 watts per channel, most aftermarkets produce at least 50 per channel, which is more than sufficient for most people.

Your sub is rated for 300 watts peak and 150 watts RMS at an impedance of 4 ohms. To get peak efficiency out of it those are the specs your amp should be rated for. To save you the trouble I did some legwork on this one. This kicker amp is perfect. It's a quality brand, it's small so you can mount it under the dash, and it's specs are exactly what you need.
Okay okay...you are right that why I should have said...your head unit can be wired direct to control your sub and the amp used for your other speaker...wow gotta be exact here
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:23 PM   #19
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This is incorrect. The head unit isn't what powers the sub, there is a small amp tucked into the sub enclosure in your center console that does that. The head unit only provides the signal for the amp to boost. For a louder sub you will need a stronger amp. A new head unit will, however, make your soundbar and dash speakers louder. The stock radio produces something like 20-25 watts per channel, most aftermarkets produce at least 50 per channel, which is more than sufficient for most people.

Your sub is rated for 300 watts peak and 150 watts RMS at an impedance of 4 ohms. To get peak efficiency out of it those are the specs your amp should be rated for. To save you the trouble I did some legwork on this one. This kicker amp is perfect. It's a quality brand, it's small so you can mount it under the dash, and it's specs are exactly what you need.
Ive read this again and its nonsense...The amp that is referred to is more than enough to drive a replacement kicker sub in your console...you do not need an after market amp for this sub whats there now will be plenty of power and most importantly control for this relatively small sub. . Ive done it and its perfect...I replaced all other speakers with same as stock size JL units...bought alpine amp to drive all these and the sound is superb...don't let folks over complicate this...this works great
If you really want ACCURATE sound ie as the artist wanted you to hear it after spending a fortune mixing and producing it remember...bass should be present however your consciousness that you have a sub should not be ... If you are aware of bass and where its coming from it is inaccurate and artificial...conclusion...you do not need overblown bass unless its for effect...real music lovers know better...
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #20
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The above is correct, unfortunately, you just can't use that sub with the factory amp. In summary, you generally have the following options (in general order of price & quality of sound):

(1) Replace the 4ohm sub you bought with 2ohm version, like the Kicker 10CVT652 (10CVT65-2) 6.5" CompVT Car Subwoofer
(2) Buy an amp for the sub that you have, like that kicker mentioned above, or an equivalent alpine, both are tiny and easy to mount somewhere like under steering column (I wouldn't), behind glove box, etc.
(3) (1) + get the alpine behind the dash unit to drive the speakers. Consider then, also getting an alpine Head unit which will have factory leads for this. Then replace the F&R speakers when you have the money/time.
(4) (2) + get a dedicated 4-chan amp. Then replace the F&R speakers and the sub with a 12" box when you have the money/time, in whichever order you want.
(5) What I previously suggested.
JUST WRONG...yes you can and I have...use an amp to drive everything else and your head unit will drive this small sub in you console perfectly well...try and see...the Kicker replacement sub is a good one...simple replace it and before these Guys spend any more of your money just try it...you will find the bass plenty unless you like artificial overblown inaccurate bass levels.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:42 PM   #21
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Ive read this again and its nonsense...The amp that is referred to is more than enough to drive a replacement kicker sub in your console...you do not need an fter market sub for this sub it will be plenty of power and most importantly control. Ive done it and its perfect...I replaced all other speakers with same as stock size JL units...bought alpine amp to drive all these and the sound is superb...don't let folks over complicate this...this works great
If you really want ACCURATE sound ie as the artist wanted you to hear it after spending a fortune mixing and producing it remember...bass should be present however your consciousness that you have a sub should not be ... If you are aware of bass and where its coming from it is inaccurate and artificial...conclusion...you do not need overblown bass unless its for effect...real music lovers know better...
Rule of thumb:

Remember all the stupid shit you lusted for as a kid? New Air Jordans, some whore trinket, that new CD—that shit dominated your desires. The whole world would end if you didn’t get it. I can remember an entire year of my life where all I wanted on earth was a black Raiders hat (I was an N.W.A. fan, not some wanna-be Raiders fan living in Kentucky).
Then, like every other male, I discovered the ultimate toy to lust after—sex—and that was pretty much that. I’ve basically forgotten or stopped caring about all the stuff I used to care about when I was little. Except my desire for one specific thing that not even sex could drive off: A loud, obnoxious, bass-heavy stereo system for my car.

Moral of the story, if you can't feel the snare drum giving you chest compressions, it's not good enough (for me). I don't even listen to bass-heavy music, but that 63-250Hz range needs to hit.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:46 PM   #22
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Rule of thumb:

Remember all the stupid shit you lusted for as a kid? New Air Jordans, some whore trinket, that new CD—that shit dominated your desires. The whole world would end if you didn’t get it. I can remember an entire year of my life where all I wanted on earth was a black Raiders hat (I was an N.W.A. fan, not some wanna-be Raiders fan living in Kentucky).
Then, like every other male, I discovered the ultimate toy to lust after—sex—and that was pretty much that. I’ve basically forgotten or stopped caring about all the stuff I used to care about when I was little. Except my desire for one specific thing that not even sex could drive off: A loud, obnoxious, bass-heavy stereo system for my car.

Moral of the story, if you can't feel the snare drum giving you chest compressions, it's not good enough (for me). I don't even listen to bass-heavy music, but that 63-250Hz range needs to hit.
Everyone to his own...I prefer what was recorded and intended not my version of it...ever been to a live concert and come out saying...wow great bass...don't think so...my rule of thumb...KEEP IT REAL.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:54 PM   #23
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JUST WRONG...yes you can and I have...use an amp to drive everything else and your head unit will drive this small sub in you console perfectly well...try and see...the Kicker replacement sub is a good one...simple replace it and before these Guys spend any more of your money just try it...you will find the bass plenty unless you like artificial overblown inaccurate bass levels.
I think there is some confusion here: DRIVING is different than simply supplying a signal to something. The HU will supply only a signal for the amp in the factory console, which the amp in turn uses to drive the sub. The issue is that he didn't purchase a sub that the console amp is capable of driving. Hence, he needs a new amp to drive the sub he bought or a different sub that the factory console amp can drive.

//Electrical Engineer
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:58 PM   #24
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Everyone to his own...I prefer what was recorded and intended not my version of it...ever been to a live concert and come out saying...wow great bass...don't think so...my rule of thumb...KEEP IT REAL.
Word, I have an excellent surround sound system in my house and in my car, the ability to do that in a jeep is just... well, impossible with no doors, roof, etc.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:13 PM   #25
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He mentioned his stock amp is cutting the subwoofer on and off. This means a loose connection or possible imminent amp failure. The fact is if the OP wants more bass, he needs a more powerful amp. Our personal opinions on whether or not he needs more bass is irrelevant. I'm using the stock amp with the exact sub he has and it's fine for me, but if my stock amp was cutting in and out I would be getting a new amp right now, too.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:42 PM   #26
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The fact that he is also using the OEM headunit right now is also being overlooked. OEM headunits are notorious for cutting bass output when you turn the volume past a certain point. The fact that theses units don't have the processing necessary for high volume, coupled with the fact that he's trying to drive a 4ohm SVC speaker with an amp that is designed for a 2ohm DVC is limiting everything he's trying to accomplish.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:17 PM   #27
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The fact that he is also using the OEM headunit right now is also being overlooked. OEM headunits are notorious for cutting bass output when you turn the volume past a certain point. The fact that theses units don't have the processing necessary for high volume, coupled with the fact that he's trying to drive a 4ohm SVC speaker with an amp that is designed for a 2ohm DVC is limiting everything he's trying to accomplish.
Will there be any issues with installing an amp with the OEM head unit? Or are you saying that the whole issue might be fixed with a new head unit?
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:05 PM   #28
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Will there be any issues with installing an amp with the OEM head unit? Or are you saying that the whole issue might be fixed with a new head unit?
To run an aftermarket amp you will need line level outputs, which the OEM head unit does not have. Aftermarket head units usually provide the outputs as RCA plugs.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #29
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You can still run an aftermarket amp with the OEM stereo. If you buy an amp, you'll need some high level to RCA connectors unless you buy an amp with high level inputs. (High level = speaker wire, Low level = RCA jack) The OEM radio will still cut your bass output once you turn the volume knob past a certain point due to the processing unit in the radio. An aftermarket radio does not do this. You can buy a cheap radio with a 2 channel selectable RCA output that can change it from running a rear channel to a sub. This would give you front and rear speaker level outputs with a dedicated RCA output for your sub amp.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:51 PM   #30
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You can still run an aftermarket amp with the OEM stereo. If you buy an amp, you'll need some high level to RCA connectors unless you buy an amp with high level inputs. (High level = speaker wire, Low level = RCA jack) The OEM radio will still cut your bass output once you turn the volume knob past a certain point due to the processing unit in the radio. An aftermarket radio does not do this. You can buy a cheap radio with a 2 channel selectable RCA output that can change it from running a rear channel to a sub. This would give you front and rear speaker level outputs with a dedicated RCA output for your sub amp.
This will be a first on the internet, but I'm gonna admit that I was wrong. I didn't know such an adapter existed.

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