How do you hook up subs to a factory radio

It has the Entune system — non-JBL and no subwoofer but with eight speakers — but it sounded pretty disappointing. So I had the store last week install a w kicker four channel amp, all new kicker KS speakers everywhere except the dash and some dynamat in the front doors. Stereo sounds so much better that it is actually kind of amazing to me.

Llots of bass despite no subwoofer and pretty impressive highs, too. Lots of volume now, which was really weak before. So I took it back — they swapped the component cables on the amp under the seat and all is well, EXCEPT, now the truck acts like the key is in the accessory position all the time. The radio stays on, as does the clock and the 12v ports. Switched back the RCA cables and it stops and returns to normal. Installer thinks a remote turn on signal is feeding back from the amp.

Hi Matt, Sorry I could not reply sooner — interesting story there. I guess in this case they used a separate line output converter since you mentioned they used RCA cables. Perhaps a faulty line output converter? Let me know what happened. The amp has both high and low inputs, remote subwoofer control as well as variable bass boost. Can that feature be turned off on the stock head unit?

Some have that option. How would I be able to install the most optimal setup possible? I have them in a Honda accord tapped in through both rear trunk speakers currently and they sound great and all but with all this new technology there has to be a way to improve, could you guide me with any way to improve my system when switching it from the Honda to the cadillac? Or do you prefer I try to purchase maybe a more up to date amp for my optimal set up. I can include pictures if needed.

I did it all with a little hard work and wal mart. Hi Mr Linville, I apologize for the late reply.

You could grab your audio signal right at the stock subwoofer in the Cadillac. Hi Anne i have a jeep Cherokee sport and the jeep came with no amp or subs. I replaced the stock speakers and tried to get them amped. As soon as the speakers were amped up the sound shuts off.


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The place where i got the amp installed said that my oem unit cant be amped. Now i have nice speakers that i cant turn up loud. Is there any amp that will work with my stock head unit. Basically, you need more professional, more experienced shop to help you. The best way to do this would be to use a processor that corrects the audio coming out of the head unit before it gets fed into the amp. It already has 2 factory subs under the seats.

Do I have to splice the LOC on both subs or just one? Whats the best LOC for such a job? For this vehicle where would I get the best frequency results from? Have you guys worked on such a vehicle before? My main concern is controlling the volume to a subwoofer. With many aftermarket headunits, they have sub volume control so you can lower the subs volume and turn up the other speakers or vice versa. What if any options are there for this if using a factory head unit?

Hi Frank, Towards the end of the article I mentioned the option of a separate bass control knob. We normally take it apart and mount the box behind a panel so all you see is the knob itself. I am hooking up after market amp in range rover and have loc converter got to factory sub but has four wires red and black also green and grey on the other side which ones do I hook up to to get bass for after market subs.

If we have a factory sub we typically tie the positives together and tap into the single positive lead of the sub and negatives together and tap into the single negative lead of the sub. I had my installation done by so-called professionals. They are powered by: Here is the problem when I play music too load the system shuts down. The shop that did the installation put a converter and they say that everything is fine.

They say the problem is with the factory radio. Could this really be the case. Hi Allan, sorry to hear about your experience, but it sounds like a bunch of unprofessional installers. Did you have the stock JBL amplifier in that car? Or just the basic head unit? Typically the only things that will cause an amp to shut down like that is a bad ground or a signal that is clipping causing the amp to overheat and shut down. By the way, it would sound way better with an aftermarket head unit, just an FYI.

When I play the radio the sound is low, lacks bass, cannot enjoy it at all. Radio volume cabln be cranked to the maximum. The bass is overpowering. The highs are sharp intolerable. Previously had the same amp and sub with zero distortion. Is it possible that this car cannot be fitted with and amp and sub? The stock set up was better than it is now.

Most Honda Accords are equipped with a noise cancellation microphone in the cabin — it needs to be disconnected, that will fix your problem! When the install is complete and I hook back up the battery neg terminal to the car, the system works and sounds good. But when I shut my car off and then turn it back on my amp comes up with the red light protection error every time after. I have no idea why. The factory system is the beats audio. Do I need to keep the factory sub installed and wired up too?

If it does, that would indicate possibly a poor ground for the amplifier. Hi Annie, I have an 06 maxima with the factory premium bose sound system. All i will need is a LOC with bass control, to tap into the rear stock sub and wire the amp kit like normal right? Also, the watt amp has watts rms x 1 channel 4 ohms bridged , and my sub is 4 ohms, watts rms watts max. Is this amp good enough to get nice bass from the sub? Or do i need to upgrade to a bigger one before i hook it up? I want bass without having to buy a new alternator lol….

Hi Ashton, yeah you got it right. Can you do that or am I way off the mark? Hey Ben, it really kind of depends on your equipment. If not, yeah I would grab a 4 channel line output converter and use two separate RCA cables — one run the front channel and another to the sub channel. Additionally I would get a bass knob so you can have an independent sub level volume control as opposed to adjusting the bass on the head unit which will adjust bass levels to all speakers.

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I just installed a aftermarket radio in my 06 Chevy Equinox, everything turns on and looks like it is working but no sound is coming out. Any ideas as to what could be wrong? You probably have a stock amplifier that needs to be powered up. Like if you have the Bose system? You would need to use the remote turn on lead from your aftermarket radio usually blue with a white stripe and wire that to the amp turn on lead in the car harness.

Hello annie,awesome blog here! I am very familiar with audio systems and have performed all installs on my personal vehicles. I recently was stumped with my lastest install in a ram pick up truck. My question is if my oem amp is filtering out my signal to my 4 channel amp is it then best to tap the wires previous to the oem amp to achieve a better sound?. Whats happening is my door speakers are either entirely flat with no tweat,or they are all tweat.

FYI its a ram with a line out converter and aftermarkyamp already in place. You may need to do an audio processor that sums the frequencies off the stock amp prior to your aftermarket amplifier so you can get a true full range signal. Here are my questions. I have a F with Sony premium sound system. I can see the stock amp and stock sub. I have read that the amp also powers the door speakers.

If so, what LOC would you recommend? I have a bass knob already that connects to the kicker amp that I want to install. I want to keep the look of my truck stock so I may swap out the stock door speakers, tweeters, and center speaker. If I do so do you think the stock amp will do the aftermarket speakers justice?

Adding a sub to the factory radio

I was thinking of replacing them with Polk Audio components in the front and coaxial for the back. Hi Rob, Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it! Ah Ford and their lovely Sony system. And they have so many variations! I can understand wanting to keep the look stock. I recently did this in a Subaru with Morel Tempo speakers just did speakers and dynamat off basic stock stereo and was pleasantly surprised at the justice the stock stereo did for those speakers. And if you ever did want to change the stereo, keep a look out for Alpine and iDatalink. So in the future there may be some nice options.

Does tieing an LOC in parallel to the speaker circuit effect the circuit impedance? I think maybe you just mean running along side with rear speakers operating. So you can and are supposed to have your LOC installed along side your rear speakers. I hope that makes sense! Next how do i connect the wires in any case?? Do i have to keep the harness plugged into the head unit or do i have to keep it unplugged as i read somewhere you cannot power the speakers from both factory hu and amp simultaneously..

And while feeding the amp output back to speakers n subs we connect speaker wires to each speaker leads, so whats the difference between amp input signal n amp output signal, its confusing me as for eg. You can take the speaker leads off the back of the stock stereo and route them directly to your amp. The LOC is your input signal.

That is feeding the actual audio signal to the amp. The amplifier amplifies that audio signal and feeds it the speaker output. What if I were to tap into the factory speaker wires without the converter by cutting and splicing a rca cord? I think he only does this in cars that have a stock amp and have a direct low noise pre-amp level audio signal. I have an 07 maxima with a Bose amplifier.

Should I tap into wires that input into the bose amp or the output wires and which colors. Hey Chris, sorry for the late reply, was busy trying to survive the holiday season at our shop. OnDemand lists black as negative and white as positive on the stock subs. Other wise, probably behind the radio. Sounds great only one problem when car goes on or off i get an annoying distortion sound on subwoofer. Try switching the source for your remote turn on lead to a different accessory power source.

What would work best? When in doubt, I would go straight to the stock sub. Where is the best place to hook up a line output converter when adding an amp for a sub? I may have missed it somewhere. Hey Keith, you can grab that signal right at the stock Bose subwoofer. Like a positive one side of sub and negative on other side of factory sub?

The stock amp really is not powerful enough nor designed to run the impedance of your MTX. So definitely get the LOC and a separate amp to power your MTX — you could also get an amp that has the LOC built into it too, but either way definitely just grab your signal from the stock sub, but use that signal to feed a dedicated amp to power your MTX. I have a ram with premium alpine system. I want to add amps and a sub. The car is canbus equipped. How do I get a clean signal for amps. Anything I add must be tied in post factory amp. I need to clean the heavily processed signals.

I will tune via aftermarket amps. Not interested in complicated dsp…. Hi Fred, I feel your pain. You might want to would wait to see what JL comes up with, but it may be another 9 months or so before they release anything. They talked about this very problem at CES recently and they are in the process of designing a new product which tackles this exact issue.

You can read more about the new JL Audio processor here , scroll towards the bottom of the post. With this processor you also have the option of using a digital aux in so for a dedicated super high fidelity source, you can use an iPod running through a high quality digital to analog convertor straight into the processor. With Audison I had many defective units and it would take months, even over a year in one occasion, to have them repaired or exchanged one of the reasons we stopped carrying them.

Sometimes you really only need to use two audio signals. So whichever route you decide to go, make sure you go to an experienced installer who knows what a frequency sweep is, a scope is, and what an RTA is and make sure he knows how to use them because you really need all three to set up a processor correctly in a vehicle like this. Then when the Fix and the Twk comes out from JL you can clean it up even more. Those will be designed to do the tuning and tweaking themselves, making it a much simpler install.

Hey I have a ram pickup with factory alpin system and touch screen deck. Has factory sub under back seat.. Had 4 wires going to that one sub.. Hi annie i have a question if i am connecting a line out converter on a factory rafio but there are no speakers installed the wires are there and i know which ones are going to each speaker how would i find out polarity on the wires. Hi there, I just bought a cadillac CTS and I wanted to know if its possible to hook up a sub and amp to the stock stereo,if I can how do I do it?

Of course you can! I would add one clarification to your speaker polarity testing. Thanks for taking the time to post it! For readers that need more details on polarity testing you can check out this video post or this post on wiring up a head unit when the wires have been cut. Hi i just bought a Lincoln mkz. This article has also been viewed , times. Gather your equipment Amp, Subs, Stereo, and wiring. If you're using an after market head unit, go to an electronics store's stereo department and ask for a wiring harness from your car to the after market head unit.

If you have a Chevy and a Sony stereo go to them and tell them you need a Chevy to Sony wiring harness, they will ask you the year of the vehicle and then go pick it off the shelf, these are usually by the install department behind the counter. Run your amp wires battery, ground. Figure out where you're going to place the amp, put the beginning of your power red wire there and give it about a foot of wire extra, then begin to hide and run the power wire to under the hood.

Run the power wire through the firewall. If you need to drill a hole in the fire wall, be careful not to hit anything on the other side and be sure the drilled hole will not cut through your power line. Electrical tape at the entry point will give the wire added protection. Make sure this wire is safe from any moving objects.


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Detach the power cable from the battery and attach your amp's power wire to the power cable for your vehicle; leave it unattached. If you bought a kit it comes with an inline fuse, if you didn't, you need to get an inline fuse. Just cut the power wire, insert the inline fuse and reattach. The fuse amperage should match the gauge size. Place the amp where you want it, then attach the ground black or brown wire to the amp. Ground it to a piece of bare metal not painted ; most people unscrew a bolt from a seat attach the wire and screw it on.


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Lightly sand the contact area to expose clean metal before attaching ground. With the converter you get a small box with 2 RCA's coming out and 4 speaker wires out the other. Now for the Remote blue wire. If you're using After market Stereo there will be a blue wire coming from the wire harness in the back, mostly these are attached so you have to splice, just snip them and tape off the old end and run your remote wire to your amp. If you're using your stock head unit you have to purchase a toggle switch that fits your fancy, find a cool place to mount or hide it, from here you want to attach the remote wire to your amp, run it to your toggle, cut it, attach it to one terminal, then attach the end you just cut to another one.

Then run the remote wire back to the amp and cut it there leaving a foot or so of extra cable. This will come into play later. Use a capacitor to prevent voltage drops caused by deep bass hits, i. Get your capacitor as close to the amp as possible, and use the same ground as you did for the amp. Have your power wire taunt and find out where your cap.

You cannot just plug it in; you must charge it first with a resistor, use a 1k ohm resistor because they do not get as hot, it only takes a few seconds to charge, do not do this bare handed. You want to ground your cap. Run the power wire to your amp. If you have a stock stereo and you have the remote wire there you want to in twine the remote wire with the power wire before inserting in the power slot for amp.

The remote wire tells the amp to turn on. Make sure you always turn off your amp when you leave your car, it will overheat and drain your battery. Turn the gain all the way down, start playing music and turn it up to where you usually listen, where the mids sound good. Tune them gain until the subs sound good. RMS is very important when matching subs and amps, yes not enough power will make subs clip, but also to much power will burn your voice coils by over heating them with too much power.

Subs and amps should be matched as closely as possible for best performance and longevity. I have a Pioneer deck, amp, and kicker, installed to shut off from the battery. The sub cuts on and off at high volume when I use the auxiliary cord to phone. How do I fix this? That could mean your amp cannot handle the sub. Another important factor to consider is Ohms. If you have a 2 ohm sub and a 4 ohm amp it won't produce enough power to properly power the sub.

Adding a sub to the factory radio - The Mustang Source - Ford Mustang Forums

Not Helpful 2 Helpful The wires are not grounded properly, check to make sure the surface is clean, unpainted metal. Not Helpful 6 Helpful Not Helpful 5 Helpful What would cause my sub to kick in when radio is on and stop working when I change source to CD? The remote antenna power wire is responsible for the antenna coming out of a car with a retractable antenna. Remove the wire and find the correct remote amp, then turn on wire or ignition wire to the vehicle. Not Helpful 15 Helpful You should be able to connect it to the auxiliary on the back of the stereo unit.

Not Helpful 3 Helpful 7. My amp is already installed and I just bought a new sub.