Car audio: Anyone add JUST a sub to stock system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles J P, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    CJ Paul
    Hey all, I used to be really into car audio, when I was in high school and then started to lose interest in college. Now, I have a new car though and I would like to beef up the system just a bit. I have a 2002 Mazda Protege 5 and I want to add a sub and an amp, but leave everything else stock. So I know I will have to use a high level to low level converter to connect the sub amp, but I heard on a Protege-specific forum that some people have had mixed luck blending a sub in. One guy said he had the gain on the sub amp all the way down and it was still way louder than the speakers (but who knows what kind of line level converter he was using and what the input voltage to the amp was). I didnt ask how he did the high to low level conversion. I know my 4 channel amp (one that I'm not using in this install, I'm using a two channel amp instead) came with a little wiring deal that you tied into your speakers and then it clipped into a special plug on the amp (not the RCA jacks) but since the two channel amp doesnt have one of these, I am going to purchase a dedicated line level converter. I am just asking for people to tell me if they have done this, did it work, how did they do the hook-up, will there be a way to lower the incoming voltage etc?
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I'm probably gonna say something you don't want to hear but your music will sound cleaner and you'll have better control of your sub if you get a new head unit with RCA preouts. You can still run your stock speakers off a the HU.

    The only thing I can see why you'd want to keep the original head unit is for specific features it had that were tied with the car such as speed sensitive volume. When I rented a Grad Am I was surprised to find out how helpful that is for city driving. If lack of money is a problem basic CD receviers can be bought for around $130-$150 new.
     
  3. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Well, it is lack of money, and my desire to keep the car totally stock (i.e. I can pull the sub and take the wiring out myself or hide it so it looks like nothing was in there) I like the way the factory radio works, I already have a great sub, box, amp, wiring kit, everything I need. To put the sub in will literally cost my $50. So to get a head unit plus install (no free install, you get what you pay for and my car is only 3 months old) would be another $200 for a really cheap HU. Any way, my point is I appreciate your advice, and if that is the general concensus, then I probably wont do it at all. I'm not looking to hear what I want to hear per se, just honest opinions on how it will work.
     
  4. Andy Hardin

    Andy Hardin Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott's right, but the quality of the sound with correlate to the money you throw at it (and the quality of the install).
    With what you propose, you know that all you will improve is the low end. So, it your highs are adequate for you, you will be happy with the sub in the system. If the highs are muddy and not good enough for you, those problems will be amplified with the sub
    I integrated my system in with the factory head unit, and was happy with the sound quality (I have a Grand Prix GTP with the Heads Up display, didn't want to lose that). This is a 1400 watt system with all 4 channels on the deck amplified and a jbl 1200.1 putting out 1200+ watts into 2 ohms for the subs. I'd hear any sound problems with it
    One solution to your sub volume is the high to low level converter that I used that has a gain built into it. I'm at work and I don't have the site I bought it (its directly from the guy who produces it). You can do a search or ask about it at www.caraudioforum.com, thats where I found out about it. This way, you can directly adjust the voltage of the signal going to the amp. You could also add a cheap crossover that can adjust the voltage as well.
    Bottom line, this setup, if done correctly, will sound ok for you. I get a little tired on boards like this and the car audio forum that answer your questions by improving all of the parts of your system, and spending much more money. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a quick and dirty fix is the only one available, that is why you ask the question.
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I ran for a couple years on a single 10" sub and stock deck and speakers, if you're happy with the highs why not. The upgrade bug will get you sooner or later, just like in this hobby.
     

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