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2019 Challenger SXT AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
I know a few of y’all have gone with the Kenwood Excelon P-XR600-6DSP. I’m considering snagging one, and just looking for tips or any info I should watch out for. I am an electronics tech so fine with splicing and building connectors, but I am a complete novice with car audio. Swapping out the speakers was my first venture.

My current setup:

2019 SXT
Base 6-speaker, no amp
I have replaced all six speakers with the Excelon 6903C set and X174‘s.

So Crutchfield includes the Maestro AR interface, and I’ve added the appropriate T-harness to the cart. The instruction PDF’s look straightforward. Will there be additional wire cutting/splicing of the interface wiring necessary for the job, or pretty much plug and play? What is the best location to install the Maestro AR, assuming the amp goes into the trunk?

Given that I probably don’t know enough to know what questions to ask, any additional words of wisdom would be appreciated!

Thanks.
 

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2016 Challenger SXT
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It is basically plug and play. I mounted the amp in my trunk. I bought speed wire to run the speakers wires from the T-harness back to the amplifier. That was the only soldering I needed to do. The only problem I had was “programming” the car to realize that it had an amplifier now. I called tech idatalink tech support and they were great at helping me troubleshoot the issue.

997480
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Kwkride, thank you much sir, you were the poster I had seen in earlier threads concerning this amp. That’s a good clean install mounted to the side like that.

Good tip about programming the car itself, I had no idea. it looks like this step is now included in the Maestro documentation.

“Re-program the OEM radio to “amplified mode”. • Turn ignition ON. • Within 5 seconds, cycle the parking brake ON-OFF-ON (the horn will honk one time to confirm you are in programming mode). • Within 10 seconds, set the turn signal LEFT to add the ampliflier (the horn will honk one time to confirm that you chose an option).”

From your pic it appears that you are running 4 speakers from the amp back towards the T-harness, is that correct? So I’m guessing you’re just running those 4 channels into the existing speaker lines?

EDIT is the black pair bridged for a sub I’m guessing?

Thanks for helping me out sir.
 

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2016 Challenger SXT
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Sharp eye, yes. 4 channels for fronts and rears to the T-harness. 5 and 6 are bridged to power the 8 inch Kicker that I installed in the rear deck. Some systems had the option of a sub mounted in the rear deck, so the hole was already there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Amp and accessories on the way via Crutchfield. So the next obvious question is tuning. A cursory search on YouTube and the process looks pretty intimidating, or at the least a bit more expensive with an RTA mic and such. I’d love for the system to sound great, but how difficult is it to tune to “great enough?”

I‘ll mostly be listening to 80’s rock and metal.

Thanks.
 

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I'm no expert, this is my first time with more than an equalizer. I watched this video a couple of times before doing my install. They are putting the same system in to a Ram pickup. He starts some basic tuning with the app at about 19:05 in to the video. I used these settings as my starting point. I have played with the all of the settings quite a bit since then. I have not used an RTA and a mic yet. People that have listened to my system have been impressed, but I keep doing little tweeks.
 

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I did this same install on my 2019 with the 6 speaker alpine about 3 months ago.

The big difference is that I went full active 3 way up front. I used the kenwood to drive the mids, tweets and rear coax them added a 4x100 to drive the door 6x9's and a sub.

In my opinion it's the best bang for your buck atm for the dodge radio. You get the maestro interface, a 6x70 amp and built in dsp for less then most 6 channel amps.

Install is pretty straight forward but there are a lot of steps. Your factory amp is located way the hell up inside the drivers side dash..there isnt any way to put anything else there so you have to relocate the amp. The package from crutchfield comes with a harness extension cable that let's you relocate the amp anywhere in the car. However.....there are TWO cables that need to be extended and they only include one of the extensions. Instead of extending the other one, idata gives you instructions on how to splice the harness to pull the data you need off of one harness, I could explain in detail but you will see soon enough. You can either buy fast wire and extend all the speaker wires to the new amp location....or use the included extension harness which will.need tok be cut and modified. Either way this job requires some wire work..it is not plug and play since you cannot install it in the factory location.

I should note that I did not use the factory speaker wire so I didnt have to do the second half of the job of running the signal all the way back to the front of the car..I just ran new wore out to my new speakers.

As far as the dsp goes...its pretty straight forward if you understand how audio systems are built. The only complaint I have is that once you install it the ap NEVER closes..it sits in the background even though you almost never need to use it.

I have not had it tuned professionally yet...I am having a hard time finding a shop that will work with this system near me. I would say that the ap is very easy to setup and to get the system to let's say 80% tuned. The last 20% is lots of little tweaking.

I like that the dsp manages the RCA output channels so you get a full 10 channels of dsp control.

My only issues now are a sound floor that is a little higher then I would like and I cannot get rid of the last little bit of alternator whine in the system.

I do have one question though about that amplifier mode for the stereo....is that really a thing? I wasnt able to find anything about it in some cursory searches around the google.
 

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I just reread what you wrote and I see you dont have the factory amp....lucky you. That might simplify things, possible you dont need the second connection that requires the splicing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Wiyld, thanks for your input.

The instructions for changing the amp mode on or off in the factory head unit is contained within the Maestro install instruction PDF.

Here is a screenshot of the relevant page...

997584
 

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Ah yeah..so it does..I guess I just decided mine was already in amp mode since I had the factory one and never really read that procedure. Now that I think of it I'm curious what the difference is...does it change the output voltage to the factory speakers like a pretty amp output can be changed?
 

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I had no factory amp, so I had to go through the programming steps. My Kenwood amp came with both of the needed extension cables. Wiyld, you must have been shorted one by mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I’ve received everything, flashed the Maestro, ready to get started tomorrow.

It appears the only mod needed is to grab 2 of the unused wires from the extender harness to extend the 2-pin connector from the T-harness to the Maestro. Does that sound right?

I‘m also thinking about mounting the amp on the back of the driver side rear seat. Any potential issues with that?

Thanks again fellas.
 

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It appears the only mod needed is to grab 2 of the unused wires from the extender harness to extend the 2-pin connector from the T-harness to the Maestro. Does that sound right?
That's correct
I‘m also thinking about mounting the amp on the back of the driver side rear seat. Any potential issues with that?
I don't think so. I just mounted mine to the side of the trunk to keep it out of the way.

Good luck with the install! I'll be teaching a motorcycle safety course tomorrow, so I won't be able to reply to any questions you might have until later.
If you have questions, hopefully someone else that has done the install can help you. Also, the iDatalink tech support is some of the best that I have ever dealt with.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey buddy, thanks for asking.

I’m not quite finished, my soldering iron conked out on me Saturday night, and I got caught up on other things yesterday. I‘ll be back at it this afternoon to wrap it up. As a noob everything takes a long time! For future reference for anyone doing the same install here is some additional info.

I decided to go ahead and use all six channels and run two more lines to the dash speakers and use the DSP app to set that crossover, so I just have to run those 2 pairs and solder up the other 4 speaker lines to the T-harness.

I ran all the cables under the steering column, over the parking brake, down with other bundles, under the carpet and that trim panel along bottom of door.

The toughest part was just getting the cables routed around the driver‘s side rear seat. I wasn’t sure how to remove that large panel that goes from the floor near the seat belt anchor clear to where the back seat passenger‘s elbow would be, a lot of resistance and I didn’t want to crack anything. I managed to pop out the bottom near the door, and while pulling the plastic out by the seat cushion I was finally able to push the cables up underneath.

Other than that, piece of cake. Power cable routed beside the existing cables toward the back seat and then over to driver‘s side where amp is. Ground cable I mounted on the vertical frame just above the two bolts that I assume are seat mounts, paint scraped off for bare metal. Spot to screw amp into the back of the rear seat is marked off.
 

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Sounds like good progress. It always seems to take longer than the original plan. With installing this amp setup, replacing all of the speakers in the car, and adding Dynamat. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday, and the evening after work on Mondat to finish up my install.

BTW, for anyone else that needs the information, here's a good video showing removal of the entire rear interior panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Good video. I watched that same guy‘s videos to figure out how to get door panels off. I even did the same mistake he did by accidentally pushing the plastic push clip rivet thing through the panel. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, finally wrapped up install last night.

I ran into a problem with the programming of the OEM radio for amplified mode. Try as I might, I could not get that first horn honk after pressing the parking brake ON-OFF-ON. Over about 30 tries I did get a honk twice, and never a honk or anything when throwing LEFT turn signal.

As a navigation systems tech for the FAA, I am used to lying awake at night and pondering current problems I run into. Overnight I thought about the one difference between the Maestro instructions and the actual install: the two extension cables supplied by Kenwood. So I thought I would bypass the cables, rig the Maestro AR up by the radio and see if I could at least get the amplified mode initiated.

So this morning I reflashed the Maestro, and just to make sure I plugged it in the normal trunk to see if it might just work after the car sat overnight.... AND IT WORKED! One of those two successful initial honks after the parking brake deal must’ve worked, despite no honk with the LEFT signal and no unconnect reboots!

And wow, does this thing thump! Now I just need some good tuning. The only thing I put in via the DSP app is the high pass crossover for the dash speakers so I didn’t blow them.

Any initial settings I should start with?

And let me say again, thanks a million kwkride!
 

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It sounds like you went through about the same thing that I did with getting the car programmed. In the end, I think that the initial programming was working even without the horn honks. Either way, I'm glad that you got it working!

Since you're running dash, door, and rear speakers all separate, I hesitate to speculate where you should start.

Remember that I have my door and dash speakers still wired together off of the front channels.

I started with the front and rear channels both set to High pass 87hz butterworth 18db and the sub set to low pass 78hz butterworth 12db.

I've played with them a lot, so I would have to go out to the car and look at what they are set at now.
 
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