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Old 04-07-2013, 03:39 AM   #1
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Augh! Help with amp & speaker install please...

I have a 2013 Ford C-Max SE - basically a tall Focus with a hybrid power train. It has the 6-speaker non-Sony radio -- presumably identical to the one in the Focus. I'm trying to get an Alpine Power Pack 45wx4 amp and JL Audio C3 speakers installed.

Well, this is odd. Car stereo shop went to install amp today and could not. Says there is no audio signal behind receiver, ie they think receiver is wired to an external amp that turns on when it gets a data signal or something, and they don't know what the power output of that amp is or where it is. I thought the base stereo had only "deck power," no external amp. Does it have an external amp? Where? What is its output? Turned on how? How can I find out? Anybody got a wiring diagram for the harness? Where should we tap?

The speaker wires might be too high powered to use as line-level amp input, if there's already a factory amp. The front speakers they removed were stamped with "25 W max," so this alleged factory amp's output can't be more than 25 W, but that would be too powerful to use as line-level input, no?

They did get the new front speakers installed. But they don't sound much better than stock - clearer & more detail but bass is no better. Not sure if there just isn't enough power to drive them in the absence of an aftermarket amp (these speakers are designed for sound quality, not efficiency), or the shop reversed polarity when installing (they mentioned BOTH speaker wires were black), or there's nasty factory EQ that needs to be removed with a processor, or what, but I'm not thrilled (and these are pricey speakers that sounded nicer than Focal, Hertz, Alpine etc. in the board).

Also the Sync lady's voice is maybe 1/3 the normal volume now. Anyone know where the menu (if any) is to adjust her voice, or whether her voice comes out of all 4 speakers?

The moral of the story for now is, if you're contemplating buying a car with the factory audio upgrade vs one without...DO IT. Apparently it's going to cost you more to put in two good front speakers and the power to run them, than to have an entire 5-channel HD touch-screen high-power system from the factory, and the factory sound will likely be better.


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Old 04-07-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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ok well maybe I can help. I have the base sony system. what I wanted was a amp and sub in the back. So i bought this http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/produ...?itemid=111123


and used the speaker wires in the rear to tap into.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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If the car stereo shop tells you it cant be possible to install an amp i would stay away from them. Also the reason your new speakers dont sound as loud as it should be is because factory speaker dont require alot of watts. Aftermarket speaker do requires an amp. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShogunSamurai2005 View Post
If the car stereo shop tells you it cant be possible to install an amp i would stay away from them. Also the reason your new speakers dont sound as loud as it should be is because factory speaker dont require alot of watts. Aftermarket speaker do requires an amp. Good luck.
Thanks for your input, folks.

To clarify: They're not saying it's impossible, just that it can't be done the way they originally planned...and that if the car does have an amp already, that they should put in a bigger amp than the one I brought, or I won't hear a difference. But it's all speculation bc they don't know the details of this factory setup and neither do I...so I'm trying to get the facts about it.

Last edited by HotPotato; 04-07-2013 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Thank respondents
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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With just the new speakers in, it sounded awful - nasty midbass distortion, especially in the front driver side. They installed the amp, and now it sounds awful louder. However, not so much if running an ipod directly into the amp's RCA's -- so next they're going to add an AudioControl LC6i to try to get a cleaner signal going into the amp (and get the levels right). We'll see how it goes, but I have a sinking feeling I just performed a $1k downgrade. And if it hoses my active noise cancellation too, I'm going to be ultra-bummed...
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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When I read that they mis-wired them my first thought was, WTF?

Never go back to that shop other than to complain to the owner.

Share your experience with as many people as you can.

The installer should be let go IMO.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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Not sure they mis-wired them - it's one theory among many.
Should have the car back later today... We'll see how it went.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:34 AM   #8
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Not sure they mis-wired them - it's one theory among many.
Should have the car back later today... We'll see how it went.
LC6i didn't do the trick. Next step is to replace it with a processor -- i have an Audison Bit Ten on order. Been driving with iPod plugged directly into the amp meanwhile.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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Here's my update, X-post from the other thread this is being discussed...

With the iPod plugged into the amp, ie factory EQ and time alignment not in effect, the sound was much better -- a wide-open soundstage instead if the closed-in factory sound, and flat frequency response rather than the boomy factory tune. Now with the bit Ten, I'm running everything thru the factory HU again, and the soundstage is still cramped, the midbass is still absurdly overboosted, etc. The Bit Ten is supposed to remove factory EQ but honestly I think all it does is remove factory bass rolloff at high volumes I will never visit. It does however come with a great 31 band EQ, which I have used to greatly improve the sound. Maybe more tuning will do the trick but unless someone can tell me how to get a signal from BEFORE the factory time alignment, EQ etc have been applied, it will never be remotely as good as it could be. :-/
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:30 AM   #10
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Factory systems tend to over EQ the midbass. You need to make cuts in the midbass levels through the Bit-10.

Tuning takes time.
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