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post #1 of 25 Old 03-24-2010, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings! Ten years ago I had a 1995 Saturn with a Pioneer Premier head unit, a 4 channel (75 x 4) Eclipse amp driving a pair of A/D/S coaxial speakers up front and a 12 Earthquake dual-voice coil sub in the back (the rear stock speakers were driven by the head unit). This was my first foray into an aftermarket car audio system. After enjoying my system for about nine months someone stole my amp and sub but they did not get my head unit (faceplate was removed) or the front speakers. Since that time I've been running a different Pioneer head unit, the same A/D/S speakers in the front, and stock speakers in the rear of my 1997 Toyota Camry. I'm now in a position where I can afford to get another system and live in much more rural area where I'm less concerned about theft (although I'm fully aware that there's always some degree of risk).

Existing items looking to keep (at least for a while):
Pioneer head unit (DEH-P4600MP)
A/D/S coaxial speakers up front (the same ones from before - they sound fantastic)

Items I'm looking to purchase:
Alpine 4-channel amplifier (model #MRP-F300) to drive the front A/D/S speakers + new rear speakers (Alpine 6x 9s)
Alpine mono amplifier (model #MRP-M500) to drive a 12 Alpine Type R dual voice coil sub (SWR-1242D)

I'm also interested in installing Dynamat as I do get quite a bit of road noise. I'm certain I want to do the doors and the trunk. I'd like to do the floor as well but am concerned that it would be too hard to remove the seats (I've never done that before on any of my cars).

I'd potentially be interested in upgrading my head unit to an Alpine as well but would prefer to hold off for a while given my current investment. I would like the ability to hook my iPod up to an auxiliary input on my Pioneer head unit and control the iPod itself (I don't need the ability to control it directly from the head unit). In addition, my wife and I take many day-long road trips and like to hook up our portable DVD player to our stereo system using the headphone output. Regarding my tastes, I'm 35 and listen mostly to rock music - I don't listen to hip-hop nor am I looking to blow the trunk off of my car from the bass. I just want something that sounds as good as what I had before + the ability to remove road noise.

Any thoughts on my proposed system? I'd like start installing everything next month when the weather starts to warm up
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-24-2010, 12:38 PM
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looks like a pretty solid system. The pioneer headunit does have some low preouts, but if you happy with it then no need in changing unless you want more options. But i would stay away from alpine HU's, they have not really produced anything worth getting since 05-06. Personally for the speakers i would just run a nice pair of components up front and forget the rears. You want your music to come from in front of you not behind. So you could possibly bridge the alpine amp and run 1 set of components off that amp. If you do have a lot of people who ride in the rear then maybe keeping the rear speakers would be a better option for you. As for the sub/amp combo it's a good choice. Just place it in a 1.0-1.5 cubic ft sealed box if you like real punchy tight bass or a 1.5-2.0 cubic ft box tuned anywhere from 32-35hz

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post #3 of 25 Old 03-24-2010, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgive me - what do you mean by "low preouts"? Also, I've thought about getting some component speakers but am concerned that 1) they won't sound as nice as my existing A/D/S speakers (even though they are coaxial), and 2) I'd screw up installing them. Also, I've been thinking that my car is too big not to have rear speakers. In my prior system two channels of my amp were driving the front speakers (with the stock rears being driven by the head unit) and it sounded great. My Camry is quite a bit larger than the Saturn, but is no boat by any means
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-24-2010, 10:40 PM
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I am sure the ADS coax's are nice. Not sure how old but I to would get a set of components. I guess it really comes down to your budget.

Sound deadening

Sounddeadenershowdown.com

great advice. as good/better product than dynomat as well as better price. Rammatt and Secondskin are also great but read the stuff in the link.

Amps
If you are stuck on alpine fine. But if you are open to other brands, look into Eclipse. They are getting out of the market. You can find some pretty good deals on their stuff. Both 4 channel and mono amps. There are other brands as well. again it comes down to budget.

Look for PPI 355CS and 365cs components. Believe it or not, They are current ADS derived speakers. If you can find them pay no more than 120ish

Phoenix gold RSd components are a cheaper great sounding bang for the buck set. Amazon has them for sale often in the 40 range.

Millionbuy.com has a scosche wire kit 3200 for like 80 bucks that is between 2 gauge and 1/0. It comes with everything you will need to hook up a couple of amps and provide good wiring.

As for subs. Its easy to get bass. So depending on budget and what you want to achieve, it could go several different ways.

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-26-2010, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I might look into getting some components. I read about Q-forms speaker enclosures which place component speakers in the kick panels and they do look tempting (Although paying $200 for two pieces of plastic does not).

Cubdenno - if I went with the two Alpine amps would you think I'd also need to add a capacitor? The extra $100 isn't really a big deal to me. I'd assume I should use a distribution block as well? Also, both of these (if necessary) can be mounted in the trunk near the amps, correct?
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-26-2010, 06:33 PM
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capacitors are not needed. A lot of marketing dollars went into convincing people to buy.

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post #7 of 25 Old 03-29-2010, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the info you've provided thus far. Small update and a few more questions (sorry!) - I installed Dynamat in my Camry's rear doors and the front passenger door (with an extra coat on the outside door panel) and plan to do the floor and other front door this weekend. I appreciate your recommendations on less expensive alternatives, but I work in the industry (on the business side unrelated to marketing or sales) so I get discounts on only certain products and brands. I've done my research and it really looks like Alpine is the way for me to go (with the aforementioned amps I mentioned earlier). Also, I looked at the a/d/s speakers I had installed in the doors. While the crossovers look brand new (which shocks me since they weren't sealed in plastic), the speakers themselves are looking a bit old. As such, I've decided to get some Alpine Type R components for the front. After all, why spend all of this time using Dynamat if I'm not at least going to use components in the front?

My follow-up questions:

1. I've read that it is not good practice to hook up two remote turn-on leads (i.e., one lead from each Alpine amp) to the remote turn-on lead on the back of a head unit directly. It was recommended that people using more than one amp to use a relay switch. To your knowledge, is this correct or is there another commonly utilized (and safe) way to hook up two turn-on leads? I'd imagine that simply splicing the two wires together and hooking them up to the head unit would not be a good idea.

2. I've read a multitude of sites which talk about proper grounding (i.e., attach to the frame of the car, scrape off the paint, within 12 of the source, use silicone for protection, etc.). However, I could not find any agreement on whether it is better to use a single shared grounding point or multiple grounding points when using multiple pieces of equipment. In this case, I'd have three items which would be grounded (two Alpine amps and a distribution block) all mounted in the trunk. If I should go with multiple grounding points, should they be relatively close in proximity to one another?

3. After this install I will not be upgrading to a larger amp, more subs, etc. I'm unclear if it would be better for my car to do the big three wire swap. Thoughts?


Thanks again
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 08:25 AM
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Answered below in red.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyb09 View Post

Thank you for the info you've provided thus far. Small update and a few more questions (sorry!) - I installed Dynamat in my Camry's rear doors and the front passenger door (with an extra coat on the outside door panel) and plan to do the floor and other front door this weekend. I appreciate your recommendations on less expensive alternatives, but I work in the industry (on the business side unrelated to marketing or sales) so I get discounts on only certain products and brands. I've done my research and it really looks like Alpine is the way for me to go (with the aforementioned amps I mentioned earlier). Also, I looked at the a/d/s speakers I had installed in the doors. While the crossovers look brand new (which shocks me since they weren't sealed in plastic), the speakers themselves are looking a bit old. As such, I've decided to get some Alpine Type R components for the front. After all, why spend all of this time using Dynamat if I'm not at least going to use components in the front?

My follow-up questions:

1. I've read that it is not good practice to hook up two remote turn-on leads (i.e., one lead from each Alpine amp) to the remote turn-on lead on the back of a head unit directly. It was recommended that people using more than one amp to use a relay switch. To your knowledge, is this correct or is there another commonly utilized (and safe) way to hook up two turn-on leads? I'd imagine that simply splicing the two wires together and hooking them up to the head unit would not be a good idea. It really depends on the head unit. Two amps should not be an issue for the remote turn on. But to answer your questions, it does not matter if you run two wires from the remote turn on of the head unit or one wire and daisy chain at the amps. If you find that the head can't turn on a large number of electronics, then yes, use a relay.

2. I've read a multitude of sites which talk about proper grounding (i.e., attach to the frame of the car, scrape off the paint, within 12 of the source, use silicone for protection, etc.). However, I could not find any agreement on whether it is better to use a single shared grounding point or multiple grounding points when using multiple pieces of equipment. In this case, I'd have three items which would be grounded (two Alpine amps and a distribution block) all mounted in the trunk. If I should go with multiple grounding points, should they be relatively close in proximity to one another?
I like grounding at one place. It reduces the chance of a ground loop which if you have ever had engine noise.... A good ground is very important. Bare metal solid connections etc... I even went so far as to run a dedicated 1/0 negative from the battery to the rear negative distribution block. I also attached said negative wire to chassis. I noticed after doing this that rear lights, interior and dash lights were brighter. Modern cars have a lot of paint and bushings that are in between and chassis ground may be okay for factory lighting electronics, but when you are adding a kilowatt+ of draw... YRMV. Also, you are grounding two amps AND a dist. block?????

3. After this install I will not be upgrading to a larger amp, more subs, etc. I'm unclear if it would be better for my car to do the big three wire swap. Thoughts? In most cases the big 3 is useless. I have upgraded the battery negative to chassis wire as well as the engine to chassis wire (think big 2) in cases where the wire was gauged very small. But lets be realistic, ever see a 300 amp fuse? See how relatively tiny that wire is? Its all about length (I see a potential wiener or that's what she said joke). Anyway, if a tiny wire can carry the amperage that many fuses do, a 6 gauge wire a foot long should handle the load you are asking of it. That said, going to a bigger wire reduces resistance especially when things warm up. NOW increasing the alternator positive to battery positive wire is another story. Your alternator puts out a set amount of current. No more. Increasing the wire size will not make an 80 amp alt. put out 120 amps. The car manufacturer sized that wire to safely handle the output of the factory alternator. Most people will not see any benefit of increasing the wire size. IF you install a new high output alternator, obviously you will want to increase the wire size in accordance to alternator output.


Thanks again


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post #9 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 08:32 AM
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Also, since you have a hook up for cheap deadener (lucky you) make sure you seal up all large holes in your doors. You will have the benefits of better midbass response out of your speakers.

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post #10 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. yes, I did seal up all large holes in my doors (and was actually surprised at how large they were). I was a bit concerned about what I'd do if someone broke one of my windows as I don't know how a tech would be able to install a new one with all of the Dynamat in there (this happened to me in 2001 when I lived in L.A.). That's a risk I'm now willing to take. I'm not being stingy with the Dynamat - I'm coating as much as I can. I can already hear a difference and I haven't even done the floor or the driver's side front door yet. I'd also like to do the trunk as well but might wait until June or July for that one.

Regarding the grounding issue, my understanding is that all electronic components I'll have in the trunk need to be grounded (except for the sub). This includes the distribution block - am I incorrect here? It would be nice if were a simple "1 wire in, 2 wires out" type of situation I'll be using the Rockford Fosgate 2 amplifiers installation kit + their distribution block installation kit if that helps. If this is not the case, I'll look for (or create) a solid ground for the two Alpine amps and ensure I use at least 4 gauge wire for both of them.

By the way, I appreciate your responses very much. After installing countless home systems this is my first attempt at my own car system. My car has 130,000 miles on it (but is in great shape and has just about all new parts) and I'd like to get it up to around 200,000 before I get my next car. I'm installing this current Alpine system to act as sort of a "test run" before I install another system (possibly containing many of the same components) in my new car right away. I'd rather make a mistake on my Camry than my next car
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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One more thing - let's say I daisy chain the two remote turn-on leads from the Alpine amps in the trunk and run one wire to the back of the turn-on lead on the head unit. Let's say that I power on the head unit and don't get power to the amps (or one of the amps). Recognizing that I'll need to then install a relay, will I have done damage to the electrical system of my car already? I wouldn't think so, but I want to be installing my system in an educated manner and not just hooking things up and being sorry later!
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 11:09 AM
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Distribution blocks:

I have two. one for positive and one for negative ground.

the positive has a 1/0 wire coming from the battery positive under the hood. this is then split between my amps and electronics. There is no ground. If you ground a positive dist. block, you are creating a dead short. This causes much sparks and heat. Hopefully the fuse at the battery will blow. Do this at your own peril.

The negative ground distribution has all grounds from amps and electronics attached and a 1/0 wire that is chassis ground (actually the 1/0 goes all the way to the negative battery terminal but didn't want to confuse.)

Without knowing exactly what you have for distribution, I can't exactly give you an answer. Just be safe and make sure your power wire is fused no more than 18 inches from your battery. Make sure THAT fuse is removed when you are wiring this all up. Or use a much smaller rating of fuse.

The remote turn on question is a bit easier. If the remote turn on of your Alpine does not power on both your amps, no electrical system damage will have been done. All it does is act as the on off switch for your amps. Otherwise they would always be on and drain your battery.

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Gotcha. After drawing it out on paper I couldn't figure out why I would ground the distribution block (running from the positive on the battery). I didn't know that you could run the ground wires from the amps into a distribution block and then ground one wire to the frame (makes sense). I like that approach - more simplistic and clean. I'll let you know how things turn out when I wire everything up this weekend Thanks again!
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-30-2010, 04:55 PM
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Good Luck

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post #15 of 25 Old 04-05-2010, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Question about distribution blocks: I know I will need two in my system (one for power to two Alpine amps and one for the two grounds from the Alpine amps). For the block that will be used for the grounding of the two amps, do I need to get a different type of block that the one for power? The power block would be "one in (from the battery positive), two out (to the Alpine amps). The grounding block would be "two in (from the grounds on both Alpine amps), one out (to the single grounding point)". So, does directionality matter in distribution blocks? I wouldn't think so but thought I'd ask
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-05-2010, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyb09 View Post

Question about distribution blocks: I know I will need two in my system (one for power to two Alpine amps and one for the two grounds from the Alpine amps). For the block that will be used for the grounding of the two amps, do I need to get a different type of block that the one for power? The power block would be "one in (from the battery positive), two out (to the Alpine amps). The grounding block would be "two in (from the grounds on both Alpine amps), one out (to the single grounding point)". So, does directionality matter in distribution blocks? I wouldn't think so but thought I'd ask

They can be the same in design or have the positive one fused. Here are examples:

Ground
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...icker+GT1.html

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...y+Scosche.html

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...SDB-8021+.html


Power
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...y+Scosche.html

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...y+Scosche.html

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...23+-Gold-.html

Anyway, these are examples. I like to fuse the positive. Just in case. This is more to prevent fire than protect equipment.

Directionality does not matter.

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post #17 of 25 Old 04-06-2010, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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The two "passive"/non-fused distribution blocks which came in the kit look like the third one listed above (i.e., the bottom grounding one). If I used both of these blocks (one for positive battery connection, one for grounding), I wouldn't need a fuse for either because the fuse would be near the battery housed within the power cable, correct (i.e., I wouldn't need a fuse both near the battery and in the power distribution block)? If it is better practice to fuse both (the power cable and positive distribution block) I can certainly do so

Thanks again
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-06-2010, 02:08 PM
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The distribution blocks you have will work fine.

As for fusing, the fuse goes between the amps and the dist blocks. See example:

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...23+-Gold-.html

there is the single power wire from the battery that is on one end and then that is broken into (in the examples case)4 seperate fused outpute that go to amps crossovers eq's etc...

Again, what you have is for all intents and purposes fine.

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post #19 of 25 Old 04-18-2010, 07:41 PM
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You asked about grounding the power distribution block. Everyone is saying that's crazy, but if you have a small wire for ground coming out of your block, that's for LED's under the fuses. Its completely optional. It is always a good thing to have multiple fuses. Just because you have one behind your battery doesn't mean your system is optimally protected. Let's say you have a 100 amp fuse behind the battery, and a non-fused power distribution block. Now most amps have one or two built-in fuses, but let's pretend you have an old one with no fuse. What if a wire comes loose or your amp has an internal short/failure? The short could draw 90 amps without blowing your main fuse and still fry your amp. Ideally, you want precisely valued fuses in your distribution block. The terminal for your amp might need a 60 amp fuse, but you may need a 20 amp for a crossover. That's the whole point of separate fuses/terminals. Personally, I've never used a ground distribution block, but if someone gave me one I would certainly use it. Should it be fused as well? I guess that depends on whether you believe in electron-flow or hole-flow. It certainly wouldn't hurt. The more fuses the better...unless you get so many you can never find the blown one.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-19-2010, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeschmoe2 View Post

You asked about grounding the power distribution block. Everyone is saying that's crazy, but if you have a small wire for ground coming out of your block, that's for LED's under the fuses. Its completely optional. It is always a good thing to have multiple fuses. Just because you have one behind your battery doesn't mean your system is optimally protected. Let's say you have a 100 amp fuse behind the battery, and a non-fused power distribution block. Now most amps have one or two built-in fuses, but let's pretend you have an old one with no fuse. What if a wire comes loose or your amp has an internal short/failure? The short could draw 90 amps without blowing your main fuse and still fry your amp. Ideally, you want precisely valued fuses in your distribution block. The terminal for your amp might need a 60 amp fuse, but you may need a 20 amp for a crossover. That's the whole point of separate fuses/terminals. Personally, I've never used a ground distribution block, but if someone gave me one I would certainly use it. Should it be fused as well? I guess that depends on whether you believe in electron-flow or hole-flow. It certainly wouldn't hurt. The more fuses the better...unless you get so many you can never find the blown one.

Most LED's are in series with the fuse. That's how you know when a fuse is blown. The LED goes out. I have a dist. block with LED's. No ground to the LED's.

As far as fuses are concerned, go to this site http://www.bcae1.com/

See section 14 on the right regarding fuses. Read section for understanding of fuses.

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post #21 of 25 Old 04-19-2010, 08:23 PM
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A fuse is just a simple device. Think of it as nothing more than a precisely shaped wire that will burn up if too much current flow tries to go through it. An LED, on the other hand, requires a ground for reference. How else would it know whether to light up or not? Electronics 101 says there are two leads on an LED: one for ground and one that requires .7 volts to light up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_emitting_diode
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post #22 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeschmoe2 View Post

A fuse is just a simple device. Think of it as nothing more than a precisely shaped wire that will burn up if too much current flow tries to go through it. An LED, on the other hand, requires a ground for reference. How else would it know whether to light up or not? Electronics 101 says there are two leads on an LED: one for ground and one that requires .7 volts to light up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_emitting_diode

Sigh... I understand what an LED is. Like I said, The Led Is in series with the fuse on the distribution block. As long as the circuit is closed (fuse good) the LED is lit up. When fuse goes bad circuit is open, LED goes out.

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post #23 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 07:12 PM
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I don't understand where the LED's get ground from then, unless the bottom of the block makes contact with the body of the car where its mounted. Please fill me in. I would be wiser if you did. I'm speaking from experience. I use a dist block a buddy gave me 15 years ago. It used to have a little black wire coming out of it to make the LED's work, but that broke off a while back and so the LED's don't work anymore.
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post #24 of 25 Old 04-21-2010, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, thanks for the continued input After some traveling for work and a visit from my parents I should be back to working on my system this weekend. I finished "installing" my sub into the new box a few days ago (using 10 gauge Monster wire vs. the crap that came with the box) and covering the amp rack, I should be able to install the rest of the system and my front component speakers this weekend. I also ordered a Speaker Tweaker kit from Second Skin so we'll see how that works out as well..
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-18-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys just wanted to say thanks again for the input. Everything is installed and works properly without any real issues. I haven't run Audyssey Imprint yet (it's on back order) but hope to do that within the next month or so. Here's what I ended up with for my new system: A 50 x 4 Alpine amp bridged to run the front Alpine Type R component speakers (flush mounted the tweeters), a 300 x 1 amp for the 12" Alpine Type R subwoofer, an Alpine head unit which can connected to an iPod or thumbdrive (which I use instead) and can also run Audyssey. I also Dynamatted all four doors (including a layers on both the inner and outer doors for the front doors), Dynamatted the floor, and also installed some Speaker Tweakers from Second Skin behind the front midranges. Overall, it sounds great but am quite confident that it will sound even better after running Audyssey.

Thanks again (especially to you Cubdenno!)
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