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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my 18 R\T with base audio for about a month now. Been checking out the forums for the past few weeks trying to decide what to do with it. I installed an old Pioneer 760 watt amp and Kenwood Excelon shallow mount 12" that came out of my old BMW E38. I tapped the rear speakers and went straight into the Hi level inputs of the amp. It sounds decent. May have sounded slightly clearer and louder in my BMW. I blame the seemingly weak signal going to those rear speakers.

I just picked up a set of Excelon XP-6903's. The set includes 6x9" midbass and 3.5" two way drivers. The set is actually made for our cars as well as a few Toyota's. Also grabbed a Pioneer GM9605 5 channel although I'm considering sending it back and using the Alpine Power Pack that has been sitting around for a year. I'm not going to be using any rear speakers. Just trying to send lots of power to the fronts. I'm an audio recording and mixing guy so I'm going for pure sound quality with this one. I want to be able to reference mixes on this system. Will be adding a DSP of some sort fairly soon. Still getting all the installation bits together. Will report back shortly.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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you may be able to reclaim something on the current install by using the low level inputs on the amp via a LOC instead of going thru the high level inputs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I’ll keep that in mind. Maybe grab an LC6i. I actually wish I at least had a factory amp. That way I could just use the PAC cable and be done with it. The thought of cutting into factory wires on a newer car has always bothered me.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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I have the LC6i on mine, and it's good stuff. But using it in between the head unit and the amps requires some inline resistors to fool the head unit (or it will think there is a short and not send any signals down speaker wires).

I was actually thinking about a 2 channel LOC like this one when I made that suggestion earlier. That would take care of just the sub's inputs, and with its remote level control and separate gain knobs, I think you could really dial it in perfect to give the sub amp the best signal possible.
 

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I certainly would be willing to try that LOC if I was just focused on the sub. I'm more concerned with getting a good signal to the amp that will push my speakers at this point though. May try that PAC piece in the wife's Jeep. A bit of research uncovered a new PAC Amp PRO CH41 that works with non amplified systems as well. It's definitely a little pricey for what it does. I may still end up cutting wires behind the radio and running them to an LC6i.
 

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No rear speakers? Seems you would want some mid-range coming from the back for a decent sound-stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No rear speakers planned. I feel like I get a more accurate picture of the mix when I fade everything to the front. Maybe it's because there are no rear speakers in the studio unless I'm mixing for surround.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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I certainly would be willing to try that LOC if I was just focused on the sub. I'm more concerned with getting a good signal to the amp that will push my speakers at this point though. May try that PAC piece in the wife's Jeep. A bit of research uncovered a new PAC Amp PRO CH41 that works with non amplified systems as well. It's definitely a little pricey for what it does. I may still end up cutting wires behind the radio and running them to an LC6i.
That's what I did when I integrated my LC6i - pulled the factory head-unit and cut the speaker wires coming out, leaving enough to strip back and crimp on the bullet style terminal connectors. It took a little planning, but I was able to get them all configured so that the female/male connections match up to be able to go back to how it was stock by just unplugging my added speaker wires (going to and from LC6i) and plugging factory wires back together.

As for integrating the LC6i, I have been successful wiring in 2 ohm/25 watt resistors, 3 ohm/25 watt resistors, and 4 ohm/25 watt resistors. Basically, as long as the resistor's impedance is within acceptable range for the factory head-unit to believe there are still speakers there, they will work. So anything from 1 to 8 ohm would likely work for the inline resistors.
 

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No rear speakers planned. I feel like I get a more accurate picture of the mix when I fade everything to the front. Maybe it's because there are no rear speakers in the studio unless I'm mixing for surround.
Yeah you only need front speakers and sub in rear. Rear speakers are pointless a waste of money imo.
 

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Instead of doing patch work (LOC ) to get aftermarket audio sound in the vehicle. If your going for sound quality, then you need to start with a decent flat signal. Which I would use the PAC Audio module. AMP Pro AP4-CH41 (R.2) which now works with non amplified or amplified oem systems. This is the way to go to start. The. Later you can add a dsp and run fully active amplified power and tune each speaker channel. Since my challenger is older I was able to replace the oem headunit. 15’ and most keep the oem system in place with the 8.4” system. Check out my audio build for reference. I run fully active 6 ch amplifier with built in dsp for my entire system. https://www.challengertalk.com/threads/challenger-rt-sound-quality-audio-build.631105/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's what I did when I integrated my LC6i - pulled the factory head-unit and cut the speaker wires coming out, leaving enough to strip back and crimp on the bullet style terminal connectors. It took a little planning, but I was able to get them all configured so that the female/male connections match up to be able to go back to how it was stock by just unplugging my added speaker wires (going to and from LC6i) and plugging factory wires back together.

As for integrating the LC6i, I have been successful wiring in 2 ohm/25 watt resistors, 3 ohm/25 watt resistors, and 4 ohm/25 watt resistors. Basically, as long as the resistor's impedance is within acceptable range for the factory head-unit to believe there are still speakers there, they will work. So anything from 1 to 8 ohm would likely work for the inline resistors.
Great minds think alike. The bullet connectors have already arrived. What I've been wondering is if the resistors are even necessary for the non amped systems. There's not much info about them compared to the Alpine systems. One thing I can say for sure is that I have a fuse in the amp fuse location. When I removed it, the radio still played as it normally does. Very strange.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Instead of doing patch work (LOC ) to get aftermarket audio sound in the vehicle. If your going for sound quality, then you need to start with a decent flat signal. Which I would use the PAC Audio module. AMP Pro AP4-CH41 (R.2) which now works with non amplified or amplified oem systems. This is the way to go to start. The. Later you can add a dsp and run fully active amplified power and tune each speaker channel. Since my challenger is older I was able to replace the oem headunit. 15’ and most keep the oem system in place with the 8.4” system. Check out my audio build for reference. I run fully active 6 ch amplifier with built in dsp for my entire system. https://www.challengertalk.com/threads/challenger-rt-sound-quality-audio-build.631105/
Man that build is legendary. I commend your commitment to not cutting corners.

I hear you on the AP4-CH41 but $279 can either go to the PAC harness or it can go to a Fosgate DSR1 which accepts speaker level input. I don't believe I can swing both of them.

Can anyone shed any light on the sound quality of the DSR1 when using the speaker level inputs? Believe me, before I got this car I would have never even considered using a LOC as a doorstop or using speaker level inputs at all. I went through a ridiculous amount of trouble to rewire my BMW's stereo so that I can bypass the DSP amp and use aftermarket amps and speakers. This will be less work but the parts are more expensive, believe it or not.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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I have a thread over on the Charger forum where I documented some of my early obstacles trying to get a stereo system that sounded decent, and I remember posting up something eerily similar - maybe the whole resistor mess doesn’t apply to the base audio equipped cars...

I don’t remember how I arrived at that wishful thought, but someone promptly replied that I was not getting off easy, I’d have to wire in the resistors regardless of base audio vs upgraded audio from factory.

They were correct, I did have to, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be thankfully though. The main issue I encountered was figuring out a neat and tidy way of securing those inline connection spots with the resistors so that they were out of the way and still accessible when necessary.

The actual work of wiring them in was just a matter of stripping back some wire insulation and soldering the resistor leads to each leads’ respective wire.

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That’s strange behavior you describe with the amp fuse getting pulled but not stopping the output. I don’t know how it manages to do that, but I am certainly interested in hearing the details once you eventually figure them out! ?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a thread over on the Charger forum where I documented some of my early obstacles trying to get a stereo system that sounded decent, and I remember posting up something eerily similar - maybe the whole resistor mess doesn’t apply to the base audio equipped cars...

I don’t remember how I arrived at that wishful thought, but someone promptly replied that I was not getting off easy, I’d have to wire in the resistors regardless of base audio vs upgraded audio from factory.

They were correct, I did have to, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be thankfully though. The main issue I encountered was figuring out a neat and tidy way of securing those inline connection spots with the resistors so that they were out of the way and still accessible when necessary.

The actual work of wiring them in was just a matter of stripping back some wire insulation and soldering the resistor leads to each leads’ respective wire.

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That’s strange behavior you describe with the amp fuse getting pulled but not stopping the output. I don’t know how it manages to do that, but I am certainly interested in hearing the details once you eventually figure them out! ?

I forgot to tell you that your threads have brought me up to this point. Without the info that you've posted here on these boards I don't know where I'd be. Thanks so much for taking the time to do all you do.

Regarding the amp fuse, I don't believe I have an amp. It's likely that there is a fuse there for no reason. Either that and I have an amp and don't know it. If that's the case, it's a very poor excuse for an amp. I sold the 60x4 Alpines and 50x4 mosfet Pioneer decks in the early 2000's. Some of those systems sounded better off of deck power than mine does.
 

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Man that build is legendary. I commend your commitment to not cutting corners.

I hear you on the AP4-CH41 but $279 can either go to the PAC harness or it can go to a Fosgate DSR1 which accepts speaker level input. I don't believe I can swing both of them.

Can anyone shed any light on the sound quality of the DSR1 when using the speaker level inputs? Believe me, before I got this car I would have never even considered using a LOC as a doorstop or using speaker level inputs at all. I went through a ridiculous amount of trouble to rewire my BMW's stereo so that I can bypass the DSP amp and use aftermarket amps and speakers. This will be less work but the parts are more expensive, believe it or not.

I would go with the pac unit as it will provide low level 5v preouts to your amp(s). Then down the road you can add a true dsp and go right into it from the pac piece. To me you can’t get a quality dsp new for under $400. Used maybe but not new. I have zero experience with the dsr1. But I have used RF 360 dsp before and don’t like them at all. Pretty much they use RF 360 dsp type software and hardware. I only use helix dsp now. Car audio is not cheap doing it the correct way. That’s why I would do this in stages.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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I forgot to tell you that your threads have brought me up to this point. Without the info that you've posted here on these boards I don't know where I'd be. Thanks so much for taking the time to do all you do.

Regarding the amp fuse, I don't believe I have an amp. It's likely that there is a fuse there for no reason. Either that and I have an amp and don't know it. If that's the case, it's a very poor excuse for an amp. I sold the 60x4 Alpines and 50x4 mosfet Pioneer decks in the early 2000's. Some of those systems sounded better off of deck power than mine does.
I'm glad to be of service.

I won't lie, there are tines when I'm frustrated beyond belief and on the verge of quitting whatever mod I've managed to mangle that day, but I power through anyway to get it finished...working or not, just finish it...so i can detail it all in a thread on here.

I think its because I've led such a trite and meaningless life up until now that I feel like I have to try to document my flailings while modding my cars, if for no other reason than to serve as an example of what NOT to do.

If the world were only trial and error, I am happy to make up at least 75% of the error in that equation so that others' tries have a better chance of success.

It's my curse; it's my purpose ?


As far as your fuse/amp/no amp situation goes, I'm wondering if this scenario is possible: The h/u outputs its signals like all h/us do, irrespective of amp/no amp, but in your car, the upgraded audio pkg means a factory amp is next in line instead of speakers like it would be on a base audio pkg. So then the factory amp takes the signals from the h/u and does stuff with them/to them (amplify, crossover, attenuate) and then sends those signals out to the next in line (the factory speakers). But the factory amp is special in that it does its thing digitally or over the CANBUS network somehow, such that its presence (the amp's) isn't actually required.

Air-go, when you pull the fuse and disable the amp, the sound signals now just go from h/u thru amp (without being amped) and onto the speakers to get played. Clear as mud??

Yeah, i don't know if that's even possible for it all to work like that, just a guess...i guess it would be easy to tell though, if your system sounds different when that fuse is pulled than it does when the fuse is in place, that would tend to support my hair-brained hypothesis I think...

I know all my LXs have had the basic audio pkgs and none had the fuse in the rear PDC where it was labeled for the factory amp. So yours has to be serving some purpose...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting stuff indeed. Your theories my not be far off. My BMW has a factory DSP amp that only receives a stereo signal from the radio in addition to the bus signal. The amp then splits the signal into Front and Rear and into different frequencies for the 14 speakers. If you disconnect the DSP amp and disconnect/reconnect the battery, the radio is able to send regular preamp level signal out for front and rear and the DSP options disappear from the radio menus. I suppose it's possible for something similar to be happening in our cars. All of the recent Uconnect screens (5", 7", and 8.4" appear to use the same pinouts. That's why it's so easy to upgrade to a larger screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would go with the pac unit as it will provide low level 5v preouts to your amp(s). Then down the road you can add a true dsp and go right into it from the pac piece. To me you can’t get a quality dsp new for under $400. Used maybe but not new. I have zero experience with the dsr1. But I have used RF 360 dsp before and don’t like them at all. Pretty much they use RF 360 dsp type software and hardware. I only use helix dsp now. Car audio is not cheap doing it the correct way. That’s why I would do this in stages.
I'm starting to wonder what exactly the PAC unit actually does on non-amp'd systems. It seems to me like it basically accepts speaker level inputs and converts them to line level. Either that or it actually fools the Uconnect screen unit into behaving as if it is a unit in an Amp'd system so that it sends out line level signals. Nuke brought up some good points a few posts ago. I'm leaning more towards the AP4-CH41 at this point if for no other reason than me not wanting to cut wires. That and the fact that I have yet to hear satisfactory audio through a Hi/Lo converter after almost 25 years.
 

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The other good thing about the pac piece, you can ad the toslink and go optical out to a DSP that has that input. For a full digital connection.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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The other good thing about the pac piece, you can ad the toslink and go optical out to a DSP that has that input. For a full digital connection.
Here’s a hypothetical/theoretical question that this causes me ponder: what effect would that ultra HQ setup have on ultra LQ sound files?

For example, let’s say I implement that very setup and have some high quality speakers rounding it out, to the point that there is no room for improvement when it comes to playing some song(s) on a CD I wish to hear. My question is what effect does all that have on my listening experience if I feed it sound signals that were poorly recorded, poorly encoded, and poorly decoded all before being burned onto the CD now getting played?

Would my kick-ass system make those cruddy sounding songs sound much better, or would it only make it much easier to tell just how poorly the original music had been treated prior to being played through the system in question?

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You see, this is what it’s like to be me...you’re constantly wondering about things which don’t really matter but which must be resolved before anything else can be undertaken! ?
 
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