Stereo System in 1999 Tahoe


turnpike17
08-20-2004, 02:11 AM
Hello,
I really hope you can help me. I have a 1999 Chevy Tahoe with a Pioneer DEH-P4600MP Head Unit with dual preouts (Can you explain what preouts are and if i will need them) and the Pioneer GEX-P910XM XM Radio Satellite Tuner. The Head Unit is connected to the factory six speaker system and what i would like to do is upgrade the six speakers for aftermarket speakers and add one 10" or 12" sub. I am brand new at upgrading stereos so i need some help. I know i will need an amp but what i am not sure about is will i need to get an amp to power my sub and just leave the aftermarket speakers connected to the Head Unit or do i need to get two amps. one for the sub and the other for the speakers? I just need some help on what to get and to make it a nice sounding system but not necessarily earth shattering. I basically need install info on a basic stereo system upgrade. Thanks so much in advance.

SpitAndDirt
08-21-2004, 12:16 AM
Ask and you shall receive. First of all, your preouts are actually RCA connections at the back of your stereo. You have two sets, which means you both front and rear outs. This means that in addition to your speaker outputs you already have, you can drive additional amplifiers using those pre-outs. The Preouts are there so you can deliver the same sound quality to your amps and therefore through your speakers. If you did not have those preouts and you wanted to use an amp to drive a subwoofer, you would have to tap into the speaker wires in back of the tahoe to get a signal to your amp. Thats why some amps(usually the lower priced ones) have speaker level inputs AND RCA connections. The more converting of levels, the more likely the chance of distortion. Simply, this means that, your CD Player reads digital information of the CD and then converts it to Analog sound playback, that sound is then amplified in the unit and that ampified signal is then reproduced through your speakers. But if you add an amp that would be tapped into the speaker wires, that amplified signal is then converted back down to a usable level for the amplifier and then re-amplified to a much higher level for the subs or other speakers that may be powered. If you want the best sound quality, using the RCA preouts are the way to go.

What I write below can be used for mostly any vehicle. I did this to my 96 Z71 Ext Cab and countless other installations. It's not rocket science, although the installer shops would want to have you believe that. You would make your life much easier if you had basic hand tools, including screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers/crimpers, electrical tape, a few sockets or wrenches(all metric), a file, sandpaper, drill and assorted bits, zip-ties for making things neat, soldering iron and ROSIN CORE SOLDER(Radio Shack), vacuum, Shop Manual (Haynes or Chiltons), and if you understand basic electricity, a multimeter(volt/ohm meter).

As for your particular vehicle and skill level here's what I recommend for installation: First you need to know that you should have a underhood fuse box with two large extra 30 amp fuses that are connected to nothing. The label under the lid should tell you. At least my 96' Z71 and my friend's 97 tahoe has this fuse box with these two extra fuses. The box is located just to the side of the master cylinder, hugging the drivers fender. Right next to the fuses are two threaded posts with no nuts or washers on them. These were designed into the truck so that someone could add electrical accessories like a truck moble phone, CB, or other job related electronics. This made it easier than trying to add terminals to the positive battery post for power. When you get an amplifier wiring kit, connect it to one of those posts and you shouldn't have to add a in-line fuse for your amp. You just need to go by the hardware store(ACE hardware always has the metric fasteners I need) and pick up a METRIC nut and washer for those posts. I believe they are like M8 x 1.25 but dont quote me on that.

You need to get up underneath your dash and look for a suitable place to drill through in order to feed the power cable through the fire wall. You need to look on both sides and use the location of accessories to guide the placement of the hole. You don't want to drill too high and put a hole directly into your brake booster or into a bundle of wires or a brake line. Get the idea? (Read the next two paragraphs before drilling though) You need to only drill a smaller than required pilot hole for reference and then enlarge it later to your final size. You can take away but you can't put back. Measure twice, cut once kind of thinking. After you drill your hole you need to start removing the plastic door sills for both driver side doors and pull back enough carpet so that you can route the power cable and the RCA cables AND your remote turn on wire to the amplifier. If you want, you can remove seats for more room, but thats not always neccesary. Although, if you bought the vehicle from an owner with kids, now would be good time to clean up the moldy rotting french fries from Mickey D's that have found their place under the seats and into the carpet, giving it that unsexy, greasy, non-new-car smell. Or any other crap that may have found it's way to never never land. It's kinda like the remote control and the couch thing.

*******CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION*********
REMOVE YOUR FUSE THAT KEEPS POWER TO THE POST THAT YOU CHOOSE TO CONNECT TO. YOU DON'T NEED TO DISCONNECT THE VEHICLE BATTERY, JUST THAT FUSE. YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO ROUTE THE POWER CABLE WITHOUT WORRYING THAT IF YOU TOUCH THE OPEN END TO SOMETHING METAL, LIKE A BOLT, YOU DON'T BLOW A PERFECTLY GOOD FUSE. THIS, AND THE FACT THAT NO ONE LIKES SPARKS THAT AREN'T INTENDED. JUST REPLACE THE FUSE ONCE YOU ARE FINISHED WITH THE INSTALLATION.

Okay, so your ready to start running wires. Well, at the hardware store, they also have these little rubber grommets($0.25) that make great insulators. They are there to protect the wire as it passes through the firewall. Remember, you just drilled a hole, and it will tear through the insulation of the wire in no time with a little vibration. It's just good practice to size the hole for the grommet and wire together. After you have made your final hole, use a rounded file, or a dremel with a high speed bit, to remove any burrs from the metal that may cut through the grommet or wire. If you have a problem threading the wire through the gromment, try spraying some teflon lube on a rag and wipe down the length of the power wire. The power cable will slip right through the rubber grommet, and keep you from getting pissed off. Now you don't have to worry about the wire being cut by the firewall.

You've got your power wire fastened at the bolt, and run through the fire wall. The carpet is pulled back and the sills are open. You should have gotten around to the back of the radio and made a connection to the remote turn on wire, and plugged a set of RCA cables into the Rear set of preouts.

I only say the rear because if your running just a sub, your CD Player may have the option to flip the output of the Rear RCAs from Full Range to just Subwoofer only. This means that the Amplifier and sub are only going to get only the audio frequencies they were intended to produce. It's wasted power to send all frequencies to the sub if the sub can only reproduce Loooowwwws. Not Highs. So I would choose to connect the RCA's to the REAR set of preouts.

You have made your installation neat and orderly so far I would hope, by securing the loose wires under your dash with zip-ties to bracketry or other wiring harnesses that will not interfere with any moving parts like your brake pedal, clutch pedal(if equipped), steering column, transmission shift cable, etc. You've left enough extra wire and cable, so that if the need arise, you can remove the stereo for service with out cussing in front of the significant other who may want to view your work.

Your ready to run wires.

You will have some people that will argue with me that you SHOULD NOT keep your RCA's and Power cable right next to one another on the same side of the vehicle. Be separating them, you keep line noise down to a minimum. I do not disagree with them, BUT in this case we are not trying to go for a world sound competition record breaking event, so I believe you should make it easier on yourself and route the RCA's and Power Cable together along with the remote turn on wire under the carpet, in both door sills, and into the rear cargo area.

I know your asking about the remote turn on wire right now. The remote turn on wire is to be connected up to the blue wire (or blue w/ white stripe) that comes out of the Pioneer radio harness. This is not a factory wire that I'm talking about. It is shown on your installation paperwork that came with the stereo, if you don't have your paperwork because it was installed prior to your ownership, check at the link below for a PDF file. The other end of this lengthy wire is to be connected to the REM terminal on your particular amp. This wire sends a 12v voltage to the amp anytime the CD Player is turned on. If you did not have a remote turn on wire for the amp, first you would have to manually turn on power at the amp anytime you wanted to use it. And because some would want to have independent control of their amplifier power, some people add a two way ON-OFF toggle switch interupting this wire between the CD Player and the Amp. This means if you don't want bass, just flip the switch, AMP off, no more bass and you can keep listening to your music. This is particularly nice if Johnny Law is wandering around and you don't want a ticket for disturbing the peace. One last note about the remote wire and amp turn on signal: Some people wonder about why their battery ends up draining after installing a subwoofer. Usually its because they were too lazy to hook up the remote wire, and the amp, remaining Powered UP constantly, would drain their battery. Not cool, definitely amatuer.

You will need to be pulling back some carpet and feeding the RCA's, power cable, and remote wire all the way to the back of the Tahoe. So you've run the cables, a



http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/product/detail/0,,2076_4039_50410536_tab=B,00.html?compName=PNA_P roductDetailComponent#ave front and rear(

SpitAndDirt
08-21-2004, 03:08 AM
Ask and you shall receive. First of all, your preouts are actually RCA connections at the back of your stereo. You have two sets, which means you both front and rear outs. This means that in addition to your speaker outputs you already have, you can drive additional amplifiers using those pre-outs. The Preouts are there so you can deliver the same sound quality to your amps and therefore through your speakers. If you did not have those preouts and you wanted to use an amp to drive a subwoofer, you would have to tap into the speaker wires in back of the tahoe to get a signal to your amp. Thats why some amps(usually the lower priced ones) have speaker level inputs AND RCA connections. The more converting of levels, the more likely the chance of distortion. Simply, this means that, your CD Player reads digital information of the CD and then converts it to Analog sound playback, that sound is then amplified in the unit and that ampified signal is then reproduced through your speakers. But if you add an amp that would be tapped into the speaker wires, that amplified signal is then converted back down to a usable level for the amplifier and then re-amplified to a much higher level for the subs or other speakers that may be powered. If you want the best sound quality, using the RCA preouts are the way to go.

As for your question on how far you would like to go for speakers, think about this. The factory stereo was designed to power all six speakers. The Pioneer you have is designed to power four. If you end up replacing all the speakers, you could have the head unit power everything, but it may be quieter than stock. However, GM may have already doubled up the connections already, meaning that the rear passenger door speakers and the rear cargo door(or roof) speakers are connected to the same wires. Have you already installed the head unit? How does it sound with the stock speakers? If you want to take advantage of what the stereo if capable of I would end up having the head unit power the rear passenger door speakers and the rear cargo door speakers if the wires are available to do so. Then you could add a component set of speakers for the front doors and have those powered off of an amp whose signal is fed from the front RCA jacks. Now your using everything. The Front RCA's run components in the front doors, the Rear RCA's are for the Sub(s), the head unit powers the rear doors and rear cargo area speakers with it's own internal ampifier. How does that sound? (Pun intended)

If you don't already know about install products, check with www.partsexpress.com for a free catalog. They are alright for some things. But I almost always get my stuff through Wal-Mart stores. Including some head units and speakers. I'm glad that Wal-Mart carries Pioneer because I like them already. I'm not about to get my a$$ taken away from underneath me by paying way too much for components, amp kits, stereo kits, harnesses, etc.

You need to be one step ahead of everyone in order to match components correctly. You need to check the spec sheets of the subs you plan on purchasing before you buy anything else. You need to decide how much power do I want. One 100 Watt 12 sub is enough to rattle your seat and give you that extra kick. 2 12" subs with 100 Watts each will have the neighborhood watching when you drive by. And any more wattage or speakers will limit you to whatever the law wants. Those ratings for wattage are NOT fluffed. Those are true ratings. This means 100 watts RMS(Root Means Square) Power. Manufacturers use Max power values all the time to sell their product, because as Americans, more is better right? Nope, sorry, got to get rid of that notion if you want to save money. Think of Max values as being the amount of power that is being put out at the instance when a single bass note is hit. You dont get Max power all the time. But you do have Average power and that is what RMS is meant to calculate.

So you've picked out some speakers and you think that your ready to buy. YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE SPEC SHEET BEFORE YOU EVEN GO TO THE REGISTER. The spec sheet should have recommended enclosure volumes for Sealed, Ported, and Bandpass type enclosures. Make sure that if you get these speakers that you maximize the efficiency of them by buying the proper size volume enclosure. You should also at the SPL(sound pressure level) @ 1watt/1meter. The higher this number is, the higher the efficiency of the speaker. Say you have a XYZ brand speaker, and it has a 87dB Rating and it needs 100W RMS. You have ABC speaker also and its rating is 91dB at 100W RMS. Which one do you want? You want the one that gives the most dB for the amount of power given. But know that the larger the speaker the lower the rating, the smaller the speaker, the higher the rating. It's just the nature of the beast. Your trying to comprimise. I like 10's for punchy, tight, techno bass, or that of a bass drum in punk bands and hard rock or heavy metal. And 12's sound better for long, low, intense bass drops found on Rap and R+B. But your really the final judge. This will help you make a more informed decision. Other good qualities involve good construction of the speaker. Ideally the speaker cone should be lightweight to move quickly to the changing sounds, and should be ridgid and not flex. A weak cone that flexes will sound muddy and distorted. As for Wal-Mart's Lightning Audio subs...they are actually foreign manufactured but designed by Rockford Fosgate. They are quality products, make no mistake. You can look on any Lightning Audio product box and see that Rockford Corporation is the parent company. I also like Pioneer subs, as they have always sounded good to me. I personally have a single 10" Lightning Audio Sub in a Plastic formed enclosure under my rear seat. It's powered by a Jesen 300Watt Max amp, but it's actually a 150Watts in bridged mode RMS into 4 Ohms. It does exactly what I want it too. In fact I even have to apply sound deadening material because it makes the outside panels vibrate. The windows also do to. Very annoying.

So you have found a speaker or speakers would good characteristics and your ready to look for amps. The RMS values for power handling is what you want. You need to match the RMS value of the speaker with an amplifier that has the closest value measured in RMS also in the same IMPEDENCE RANGE. This means if the speaker is rated at such and such RMS value in so many OHMS, the amp needs to also. So that means what. More looking at spec sheets on ampifiers. Because only a little info is usually contained on the outside of a Amplifier package. So we will take my truck for an example.

The speaker I bought had a 100Watts RMS power handling capacity at 4 Ohms.
The amplifier I bought had 2 speaker outputs rated at 100Watts RMS/220Watts Max per channel(output) into 4 Ohms. But I only have one speaker, and I want to use all of the amps available power. I "bridge" the outputs together per instructions and the amp rating now becomes 150watts RMS/300 Watts Max into One channel(output) into 4 ohms. So ive exceeded the RMS value of my 10", BUT I DO NOT turn the Gain setting on my AMP all the way up. So I'm safe. I would have prefered to find a Amp with a bridged value of only 100Watts, but that's not always possible. Your trying to get the RMS values as close to one another as possible, again, so that everything works more efficiently.

Your last decision is the type of box or enclosure you want. There are three types. First, and I believe most popular is the Sealed Box. It's best for punchy, tight bass. The second is ported and does better with long, low, extended bass. Very "boomy". The last is the bandpass box which is not neccesarily better than the first two, it just uses physics to limit the frequency output, however, it makes those frequencies louder. If you listened to only one type of artist and that artist was always was always using the same low note in the background, you would want a box that would make that note the most defined. That's what a BandPass box does, it accentuates frequencies in a certain bandwith. But outside of that bandwidth the efficiency of reproducing those frequencies goes way down. Hope that makes sense.

You've found your speakers, you've matched RMS values with the AMP, you found the right amp to power the speakers, and you've found the right volume box with the right qualities your looking for. Your ready to get a amp install kit, or separate components if you want, and put get it in your vehicle.

So this is what I do: I know that for the most part Best Buy Pioneer Radios and Wal-Mart's Pioneers are the SAME units except for a part number difference. For example, your pioneer is a DEH-4600P, at Wal-Mart the same unit is a DEH-46P. Big deal, in fact Wal-Mart is usually a few dollars cheaper than Best-Buy and DEFINITELY CHEAPER THAN CIRCUIT CITY, RADIO SHACK, OR MOST OTHER INSTALL SHOPS THAT CARRY PIONEER. I don't install stereos for competition, I install them for people that want value for the dollar and still want a good stereo with a little extra kick. I buy the stereo install kits(Scosche) for like $12 at Wal-Mart, everywhere esle is $20+. I buy the wiring harnesses(Scosche) for $7, when everywhere else is $20+. And I buy blue(14-16 gauge wire) and pink(16-20 gauge) solderless butt connectors too in packs of like 50 for about $5 each. I also buy the Amplifier wiring kits(Scosche) there, which are between $10 and $30. Everywhere else: 2X or 3X higher. They come with enough power cable, negative cable, remote turn on wire, wire loom, some zip-ties, connectors, and RCA cables to do one amplifier. The only thing that is not included is speaker wire, it's about $10 for a roll of quality, oxygen free copper 14 or 16 gauge wire. They are quality products and do just as well as their more expensive counterparts. I'm not concerned with half a deciBel of noise reduction just because I used XYZ-much-higher-priced-more-well-known-company products. Who get's the last laugh is the guy who was smart about shopping and got good products through Wal-Mart verses the guy who overpaid tremendously for about the same @#$% somewhere esle. I won't even get into Power Capacitors(Caps) because I won't believe that you need or even want one....yet. The only things I have my hands tied with is the issue of speaker connectors. Instead of cutting into factory wiring in the doors, I usually have to go to Best Buy or Circuit City to pick up some speaker connectors that allow me not to cut but to simply plug in like factory. They are usually Metra brand connectors and run about $10 for a pair of connectors, so a Tahoe would need three pairs. But one other pitfall, NOT ALL THE SPEAKERS HAVE THE SAME CONNECTORS. My 96 Ext Cab had two different types. My suggestion before buying connectors for your Tahoe is to take one speaker from each area in to compare connectors(Frt Door, R Door, Cargo Area). If you choose to get Pioneer replacements, Wal-Mart will have the lower end lines. If you want to get real high quality stuff, best bet is to shop around. Although my second choice, is usually Best Buy for speakers, or any other accessories that I can not get through Wal-Mart.

Here is an example of what I mean. In my friends 2003 Saturn Vue, we installed a Sony head unit with the active matrix display($229), a Lightning Audio Amp($168), and two Lightening Audio 12s($40 each), Scosche amplifier wiring kit($20), roll of 14 gauge speaker wire($10), and Poly-Fil pillow stuffing for packing the subwoofer enclosure($5). We ended up having to get the install kit and wiring interface harness for the Sony head unit at Circuit City because they were the only ones that had it available($40). We ended up picking up a sealed type, prefabricated, black carpeted 3/4" Multi-Density-Fibreboard(MDF) and box from Best-Buy for the two 12s($100). We left his factory speakers alone because they already sound great with the aftermarket Sony. We did all the work ourselves, he wanted to learn, and ended saving a chunk of change. On top of that, his system sounds better than a guy we knew that paid $2000+ for Infinity(2X10s), Clarion, JBL ,and JVC components to have installed in his 2002 S-10. We paid a total of $612 not including tax for a kick ass system. Almost a quarter of the other guy! You tell me who got the better deal. Had I not been there, my friend might have spent an extra $100 on tools and books to guide him throught it.

What I write below can be used for mostly any vehicle. I did this to my 96 Z71 Ext Cab and countless other installations. It's not rocket science, although the installer shops would want to have you believe that. You would make your life much easier if you had basic hand tools, including screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers/crimpers, electrical tape, a few sockets or wrenches(all metric), a file, sandpaper, drill and assorted bits, zip-ties for making things neat, soldering iron and ROSIN CORE SOLDER(Radio Shack), vacuum, Shop Manual (Haynes or Chiltons), and if you understand basic electricity, a multimeter(volt/ohm meter).

As for your particular vehicle and skill level here's what I recommend for installation: First you need to know that you should have a underhood fuse box with two large extra 30 amp fuses that are connected to nothing. The label under the lid should tell you. At least my 96' Z71 and my friend's 97 tahoe has this fuse box with these two extra fuses. The box is located just to the side of the master cylinder, hugging the drivers fender. Right next to the fuses are two threaded posts with no nuts or washers on them. These were designed into the truck so that someone could add electrical accessories like a truck moble phone, CB, or other job related electronics. This made it easier than trying to add terminals to the positive battery post for power. When you get an amplifier wiring kit, connect it to one of those posts and you shouldn't have to add a in-line fuse for your amp. You just need to go by the hardware store(ACE hardware always has the metric fasteners I need) and pick up a METRIC nut and washer for those posts. I believe they are like M8 x 1.25 but dont quote me on that.

You need to get up underneath your dash and look for a suitable place to drill through in order to feed the power cable through the fire wall. You need to look on both sides and use the location of accessories to guide the placement of the hole. You don't want to drill too high and put a hole directly into your brake booster or into a bundle of wires or a brake line. Get the idea? (Read the next two paragraphs before drilling though) You need to only drill a smaller than required pilot hole for reference and then enlarge it later to your final size. You can take away but you can't put back. Measure twice, cut once kind of thinking. After you drill your hole you need to start removing the plastic door sills for both driver side doors and pull back enough carpet so that you can route the power cable and the RCA cables AND your remote turn on wire to the amplifier. If you want, you can remove seats for more room, but thats not always neccesary. Although, if you bought the vehicle from an owner with kids, now would be good time to clean up the moldy rotting french fries from Mickey D's that have found their place under the seats and into the carpet, giving it that unsexy, greasy, non-new-car smell. Or any other crap that may have found it's way to never never land. It's kinda like the remote control and the couch thing.

*******CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION*********
REMOVE YOUR FUSE THAT KEEPS POWER TO THE POST THAT YOU CHOOSE TO CONNECT TO. YOU DON'T NEED TO DISCONNECT THE VEHICLE BATTERY, JUST THAT FUSE. YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO ROUTE THE POWER CABLE WITHOUT WORRYING THAT IF YOU TOUCH THE OPEN END TO SOMETHING METAL, LIKE A BOLT, YOU DON'T BLOW A PERFECTLY GOOD FUSE. THIS, AND THE FACT THAT NO ONE LIKES SPARKS THAT AREN'T INTENDED. JUST REPLACE THE FUSE ONCE YOU ARE FINISHED WITH THE INSTALLATION.

Okay, so your ready to start running wires. Well, at the hardware store, they also have these little rubber grommets($0.25) that make great insulators. They are there to protect the wire as it passes through the firewall. Remember, you just drilled a hole, and it will tear through the insulation of the wire in no time with a little vibration. It's just good practice to size the hole for the grommet and wire together. After you have made your final hole, use a rounded file, or a dremel with a high speed bit, to remove any burrs from the metal that may cut through the grommet or wire. If you have a problem threading the wire through the gromment, try spraying some teflon lube on a rag and wipe down the length of the power wire. The power cable will slip right through the rubber grommet, and keep you from getting pissed off. Now you don't have to worry about the wire being cut by the firewall.

You've got your power wire fastened at the bolt, and run through the fire wall. The carpet is pulled back and the sills are open. You should have gotten around to the back of the radio and made a connection to the remote turn on wire, and plugged a set of RCA cables into the Rear set of preouts.

I only say the rear because if your running just a sub, your CD Player may have the option to flip the output of the Rear RCAs from Full Range to just Subwoofer only. This means that the Amplifier and sub are only going to get only the audio frequencies they were intended to produce. It's wasted power to send all frequencies to the sub if the sub can only reproduce Loooowwwws. Not Highs. So I would choose to connect the RCA's to the REAR set of preouts.

You have made your installation neat and orderly so far I would hope, by securing the loose wires under your dash with zip-ties to bracketry or other wiring harnesses that will not interfere with any moving parts like your brake pedal, clutch pedal(if equipped), steering column, transmission shift cable, etc. You've left enough extra wire and cable, so that if the need arise, you can remove the stereo for service with out cussing in front of the significant other who may want to view your work.

Your ready to run wires.

You will have some people that will argue with me that you SHOULD NOT keep your RCA's and Power cable right next to one another on the same side of the vehicle. Be separating them, you keep line noise down to a minimum. I do not disagree with them, BUT in this case we are not trying to go for a world sound competition record breaking event, so I believe you should make it easier on yourself and route the RCA's and Power Cable together along with the remote turn on wire under the carpet, in both door sills, and into the rear cargo area.

I know your asking about the remote turn on wire right now. The remote turn on wire is to be connected up to the blue wire (or blue w/ white stripe) that comes out of the Pioneer radio harness. This is not a factory wire that I'm talking about. It is shown on your installation paperwork that came with the stereo, if you don't have your paperwork because it was installed prior to your ownership, check at the link below for a PDF file. The other end of this lengthy wire is to be connected to the REM terminal on your particular amp. This wire sends a 12v voltage to the amp anytime the CD Player is turned on. If you did not have a remote turn on wire for the amp, first you would have to manually turn on power at the amp anytime you wanted to use it. And because some would want to have independent control of their amplifier power, some people add a two way ON-OFF toggle switch interupting this wire between the CD Player and the Amp. This means if you don't want bass, just flip the switch, AMP off, no more bass and you can keep listening to your music. This is particularly nice if Johnny Law is wandering around and you don't want a ticket for disturbing the peace. One last note about the remote wire and amp turn on signal: Some people wonder about why their battery ends up draining after installing a subwoofer. Usually its because they were too lazy to hook up the remote wire, and the amp, remaining Powered UP constantly, would drain their battery. Not cool, definitely amatuer.

You will need to be pulling back some carpet and feeding the RCA's, power cable, and remote wire all the way to the back of the Tahoe. This is probably the easiest part, because you don't have to be in some un-natural position. Run all the wires to just behind the rear seat, taking care to make sure that nothing gets pinched, cut, smashed, or in any other way harmed. You can replace the door sills, being carefull that when you screw them back down that you do not screw right through your fresh wire bundles. That said, you've got one wire left, your ground wire. I am still amazed that some people think they can save a little money by getting the biggest Amp power cable, and then scrimp on the ground cable by using LAMP CORD. Believe me, I've seen it. Use the amp kit contents and do it right, please. This is your vehicle and you want the best for yourself, right? So now your job is to find a suitable ground connection. On your tahoe, you should probably use a mounting bolt that holds the rear seat to the body. You need to use a little sandpaper to clean away some of the paint of your mounting point so you get a nice solid connection. You always want clean connections for best sound, you don't want the sound to crackle when your connections fail.

Now your ready to take your speakers and connect them into your box. I always prefer to solder my connections to the supplied plastic terminal connectors with metal tabs instead of using solderless. I don't like the idea of anything coming loose under immense vibration. Easy enough..."+" for positve, "-" for negative. Make sure you keep the polarity of the wires correct, so you match them to the amplifier terminals correctly. If you have only one speaker, you don't have to worry to much about bass cancelation. But if you have two subs and you wire one speaker backwards into the amplifier, you will have your subs working against one another. You will wonder why you bass is not like it should be, and you will notice that when you change the balance setting on the radio either direction from center the bass gets more intense. You should have checked your subwoofer wiring more carefully.

Moving into the final stages of the install. You've got your speakers connected to the box terminals. Now your ready to stuff the box with Poly-Fil stuffing you bought in the Crafts section of Wal-Mart. Felt stupid didn't you? Anyway, pull the stuffing apart and stuff the box area to the top with it. The idea is NOT to stuff it soooo tight that there is no movement of air, but stuffing it enough to allow the sound wave to slow down. There's some physics involved with waves here, just know that the box is very important. It SHOULD be made of 3/4" MDF wood or MORE DENSE(Example: thick preformed plastic custom molded enclosures) material so that it does not resonate unwanted frequencies causing poor sound quality. I know a guy who used Marine grade plywood, although that stuff gets pricey real quick. It needs to be stuffed to the point where the weight of your hand and arm make it compress about 25%. I know that this isn't very scientific, but it works, you can always remove stuffing if you think your bass has to much "thud" to it.

You mount your speakers into the box and then you throw your box into the back of the Tahoe. If you want to mount the Amp to the top of the box, that may be the best route anyway, unless you want to go trick and TRY and mount it, in like say, under the seat or in the rear storage area. I like the idea that if I want extra cargo room that I can quickly disconnect the amp and just pull the whole box/Amp/Speaker assembly out and put it in the garage, or anywhere where moisture isn't a problem. Once MDF has moisture soak in, the wood is worthless because it causes it to expand so much.

The very last items of business are to connect your Power wire from the Battery to the Amp "B+" terminal, the blue remote wire to the "REM" terminal, and the ground wire to the "GRD" terminal. Last and the simplest of them all are the RCA's which should be labled left and right or how I like to remember "Red/Right" and the other is left.

Install your fuse back into the fuse block under the hood, and power up the radio. You should have some sort of power light illuminate on the amp when power has been turned on. Turn your radio down to almost nothing, and set your amp gain to about half. Turn up some music and make sure everything works right.

Now for the fun part. Pack everything up and go to a remote location where you won't disturb anyone. If your Amp has a crossover, set it to LP, Low Pass, Lo or anyother term for limiting the frequency output to low frequencies only. Remember, the subwoofer can't reproduce high frequencies, so don't make it work any harder. Turn the gain on the amp all the way down. Put in some music that will be played the loudest, and turn it up till the vehicle speakers are on the verge of distorting. Then, making sure your bass and treble settings are on center, and your LOUD function is OFF, adjust the GAIN setting(s) on the Amplifier until the Bass ouput roughly matches the other speakers output in clarity and sound quality. If there is a bass boost function on the amp, I would use it at your discresion. As long as the speaker does not distort("clipping") then use it if you want for your setup. After your gain is set, then turn down the volume on the head unit and set your other settings to personal preference. Now this means that you can play your stereo as loud as you want and know exactly where your distortion starts so you can avoid damaging your speakers. YOUR DONE.

I know there is a lot of information above. Sorry, I like overkill. Hopefully you can use some, or all of it. If you have any other questions just drop me a line. I like answering them. -Chris

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/product/detail/0,,2076_4039_50410536_tab=B,00.html?compName=PNA_P roductDetailComponent#ave

turnpike17
08-23-2004, 03:17 AM
Thank you so much spitanddirt for your help, i printed it off and carried them around with me, they helped me so much. I am limited on money so i went out and bought two sony xplod speakers, 40 Watts each and a 200 watt amp. I was gonna go with your suggestion so i put the two new speakers up front and connected those to the amps under the front seat, and i was gonna let the HU power the other 4 speakers, and then soon i was gonna get a sub with another amp. So anyways i installed every thing without any trouble and when i fired it up, sound was coming out but it was so low you could hardly even hear the speakers, It sounds like the Fade is set so all the sounds go to the rear speakes, but when i adjusted to make it all come up front, I turned my HU all the way up and the front speakes were still barely audible, and hardley usable going down the road. I was hoping you could please tell me what i did wrong that makes it where these speakers are barely audible. Thanks so much

Flat Broke
08-23-2004, 03:30 PM
Make sure you have properly adjusted the Gain on the amplifier pushing those 2 speakers. Typically most mfrs set the gain to 0 when they ship the amps to avoid toasting stuff if people don't check their levels. On the Amplifier, check for a "gain" or "level" adjustment. Bring that up in small increments until the front speakers are powered equally to the rears and the fade on the head unit works normally.

Good Luck,
Chris

ponchonutty
08-27-2004, 09:25 PM
Make sure you have properly adjusted the Gain on the amplifier pushing those 2 speakers. Typically most mfrs set the gain to 0 when they ship the amps to avoid toasting stuff if people don't check their levels. On the Amplifier, check for a "gain" or "level" adjustment. Bring that up in small increments until the front speakers are powered equally to the rears and the fade on the head unit works normally.

Good Luck,
Chris
Also, some amps will have a low-pass filter. If that is on, it might sound the same way. Double check that you didn't pinch any of the RCA cables too. Really, just double check everything. Maybe even change to the other set of RCA's on the radio you have.

If you ever decide on a sub, let me know. I have real good recomendations for you on that! I own a small shop and people come miles around to hear what I can do. Remember that stereos for the most part are not rocket science but some simple planning can get you really far. For example you do not want use a subwoofer that would work best in a .5cu/ft sealed box but put it into a pre-fab 1.5cu/ft sealed box just because it is on sale for $50 when you plan to put it in your Yukon. It would sound so horrid. It wouldn't matter if you paid $40 or $4000 on that sub. It would never sound anything but poor. Many people either seem to forget that or just ignor it and listen to what ever the sales person tells them.

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