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1St Gen Audio Questions


massacre

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Hello,

I am pretty much a car audio noob, but have experience with electrical and wiring.
I recently replaced the 4 door speakers with 65watt rms 3 way speakers. They are 4ohms
Would like to add a 2x12 kicker box with subs for the back.
I will obviously need to get an amp and a new single din head unit.
I am reading up on all of these things, but there is a lot of info and I am not sure what applies to my situation and what doesn’t.

Can anyone make some good recommendations as to how many ohms the kicker box subs should be? What type of amp? Which head unit?
Also I realize that I may have to upgrade the alternator and wiring as well.
I was thinking of mounting the amp to the kicker box itself for simplicity.

I do not really need many options on the head unit. AM/FM and a USB that would preferably charge a phone or iPod and also transfer the sound from the phone or iPod to the head unit.
I have Sirius pandora iTunes etc. on my iPod, do not use CDs or cassettes.

Thanks in advance!
 


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gmanpaint

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Way too much gimmicky junk out there these days. I suggest to stick with well known name brands, for both head unit & amps. RCA, Kenwood, Alpine, Pioneer, Clarion, to name a few. Crutchfield is a decent place to browse for detailed info.

I look for a HU that has 1 or 2 sets of video RCA's, & 2 sets of amp RCA's. Then go from there for all the other bells & whistles.

Ohms should match, on all speakers used in your system, I was told.
 




massacre

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Way too much gimmicky junk out there these days. I suggest to stick with well known name brands, for both head unit & amps. RCA, Kenwood, Alpine, Pioneer, Clarion, to name a few. Crutchfield is a decent place to browse for detailed info.

I look for a HU that has 1 or 2 sets of video RCA's, & 2 sets of amp RCA's. Then go from there for all the other bells & whistles.

Ohms should match, on all speakers used in your system, I was told.

Thanks for this info!
I was wondering about the ohms thanks

Prob going to go with a loaded 2x12 carpeted box, with a pretty big amp. And I want it to get to low frequencies without any damage to the other 4 speakers.

With doing more research I think I am starting to understand it a little bit.
So running an amp will allow me to fine tune the channels and be able to send, say 64w RMS to the 4 door speakers, yet still be able to produce 600w RMS with the subs?
I listen to a lot of music that has heavy bass, I listen to headphones a lot and would like to replicate that bass response in my truck.
Right now I can’t turn the volume up too loud due to distortion but I think it is because the music is sending the heavy bass to the 4 door speakers, and those speakers are not designed to replicate those low frequencies.
Does the amp have crossovers in it?
Does my 2x12 box come with a crossover already? Or do I need to add one?
When I said I was a noob I wasn’t kidding.

So the way I understand it-
Fused power comes from + battery terminal to the amp (big cable)
- from the amp goes to ground, nice clean surface, bare metal etc. again decent sized cable.
Output from head unit to amp is via RCA jacks and cables
All speakers need to be wired to the amp not the head unit, choosing different channels for the different speakers
The different channels can be tuned or adjusted for output hopefully?
There is a wire or wires that need to be run that will power up the amp any time the head unit is powered up.

My head unit is a single din Clarion but it’s an older model. Came with the truck when I bought it, has a remote and removable faceplate. I need to remove it and see if it even has RCA jacks. I’m not opposed to replacing it because it has a pretty busy display looks like a disco lol

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
I am slowly finding info but of course none of it is 1st gen Explorer specific
 




massacre

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Do I need a 200amp alternator?
I’m guessing I do.
I also have been wanting to do the headlight relay mod, would this help to keep the lights bright
 




gmanpaint

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I can help on a few of those Q's.

First off, to amplify 4 door speakers and a subwoofer box, I would plan on two (2) amplifiers. 1 for doors, and 1 for subs. Size of this amp, is all up to the size & quality of the subs. Research is needed here with specs, tips & reviews. You could even bridge 2 amps together for the subs, so each has it's own power source. For real big amps/subs, a large capacitor helps keep all that power flowing steady.

A lot of head units provide ample power to the door speakers, and no external amp is needed for these. Just one amp for the subs, works for a lot of people. I did this on the DD. (The play rig has 2 amps tho. lol)

As far as your sub box and internal components, who can tell? They are not all made the same, and your going to have to find out from whomever made it.

You can tune power output and frequency outputs on the amps. Some have more bells & whistles then others. Again, have to research the units for details.

Each amp will get it's own set of RCA's, for each channel from the HU. So, Front (2) / Rear (2) / Sub (1).

Bypassing the factory amp is important when changing the system. I suggest to run all new wire for door speakers from the amp, with a nice heavy ga speaker wire. You will get the best sound this way. Running speaker wires from the amp back to the dash, and using the stock speaker wires, is NOT the way to do it.

The larger amp Alt wouldn't hurt, but is it needed? You could install a 2nd gen 130 amp Alt for much cheaper, and it should work just fine.
 




massacre

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Awesome
Thanks for the info, every bit helps.

So I might be able to just use the HU for the door speakers, and 1 amp for the subs?
Or would using 2 amps be a better way to go?

I def have a lot of research to do. My truck is just an xlt so do I have a factory amp?
I removed the trim pieces when I put a new headliner in, but forgot whether there was an amp there or not?

Do I need to run 2 power cables, 1 to each amp?
 




Mbrooks420

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You won’t need an upgraded alternator.

Your 12s are going to want to be single 4ohm voice coils, or 2 ohm dual voice coils. I’d stick with a beefy monoblock class D amp.

You’ll be better off with 2 amps.

Run a single 0 or 2 gauge copper wire. Run this to a distribution block, then feed each amp a smaller wire.

You can get a good ground where the rear seats bolt to the cab.
 




Mbrooks420

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Also, budget?
 




massacre

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You won’t need an upgraded alternator.

Your 12s are going to want to be single 4ohm voice coils, or 2 ohm dual voice coils. I’d stick with a beefy monoblock class D amp.

You’ll be better off with 2 amps.

Run a single 0 or 2 gauge copper wire. Run this to a distribution block, then feed each amp a smaller wire.

You can get a good ground where the rear seats bolt to the cab.

Ok thanks. Distribution block makes total sense.
What is the difference between the single 4ohm and double 2ohm as far as sound?
 




massacre

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Also, budget?

I’d like to spend less than $300 for the loaded box and amps if possible. But if it goes over a little i’m Ok with that. Not even sure how realistic that is lol
 




Mbrooks420

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It depends on your expectations. That’s a little thin on budget. If expendable stereo money is limited, I’d consider a better single sub, than a dual setup.

Another question, sealed vs ported. Sealed tends to be more accurate, and wider loud frequency range. Sealed is louder, but at a specific frequency they are tuned at.

Single 4 ohm vs dual 2 ohm shouldn’t really make much difference in sound. They’d both present a 2 ohm load to an amp. Most amps will take a 2 ohm load without issue, 1 ohm stable amps are more $$$$. (The lower the ohm load the more wattage (and also heat) an amp produces.
 




massacre

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Thanks for info on ohms, very helpful.
To be honest, I feel like the new 3way 4 door speakers are loud enough, but there is like almost no bass. So if I could get a sub to voice those low frequencies I think I would be happy with that.
I found a loaded kicker 2x12 for $150 so that is why I said $300 for the box and amp(s) but if it goes over a little i’m ok with it. I realize that cables and wire, dist block etc. will be a necessary expense and am not including those in the $300 budget.
Still debating sealed VS ported though. My instinct says to go with ported, since it seems to have more range.

I won’t be entering any contests or anything with this, just want to be able to listen to loud music with heavy bass without damaging any speakers.

I will look into a single 12 as well but I feel like that might be something I would need to hear in person to make the decision
 




massacre

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Wow
It seems like the more research I do, the more I realize how ignorant I am about modern car audio systems. And this is just speakers and boxes, haven’t even researched amps yet lol.

Feel like 2x10” in a sealed box might be my best bet after reading a bunch of stuff on the subject. Sealed, ported, bandpass, etc seem to all have their pros and cons
 




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Mbrooks420

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I’d stay away from bandpass.

Sealed tends to be more accurate, ported will be (marginally) louder.

Amps are fairly simple. Brand is more important than claimed wattage. A bridgeable amp is more flexible.
 




massacre

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Thanks again for the useful info, it is very helpful and I really appreciate it.

Claimed wattage-
So if it is a well established brand, I can trust their RMS rating?
I’m not Interested in peak other than being aware of it. Not looking to blow my ears out, but I need to have low bass response. So I would prefer low frequency response over pure volume.
Should I go with 12” speakers with a lower gain setting or 10” speakers with a higher gain setting?
Or would a single 15” or 18” work better for this?
I always thought a bigger speaker was better for bass but also understand that a 10” would be “punchier” so not sure about that.
 




Mbrooks420

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A single 15 isn’t a bad option. They tend to be able to go a little lower. Historically my favorite setups to build were 3 10/12s or a single sealed 15 with lots of space and watts. A 1000-2000 watt Skar amp on a single 15 with its recommended cu ft would be plenty loud, and could give quality low fill as well.

Plus, it’s cooler because no one has 15s. ;)
 




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massacre

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Wow that is a really impressive setup for the price!
But 1200w RMS is about twice as powerful as I need tho lol.
But thanks for that example, it gives me some perspective as to what is available.
I am considering a sealed 1x15 box like you recommended. 600w RMS seems like more my speed. Thanks again!

One of the frustrating things about this, is trying to watch any demo videos. Can’t really get a good representation of the sound recorded with a phone and played back on a computer lol. I might visit a car audio shop and see if I can demo stuff in person
 


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If you just want loud bass & play mostly bass heavy music a bandpass box with 2 10's would be good. Don't really need accurate if it's hip hop, dance, techno, etc. Will more then rattle your X & some things outside of it. Get a good Kicker or other quality class D mono amp at about 4-600watts. Unfortunately there's your budget right there.
A modern HU should have built in crossovers. My Pioneer has a high pass for the 4 speakers & a low pass for the sub. You shouldn't need an amp for the door speakers if you are able to high pass them. That will allow you to crank them without much distortion.
I have a single sealed 10 at 300W & it's plenty loud inside. I'd stay away from a 15. The box gets very large with a 15.
 




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