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Old 07-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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Amp install question

Just a couple quick questions. And a little background info.

1. How much have you paid to have an amp kit installed? (6 channel, double cab)

2. Is it kosher to wire the amp speaker output to the factory speaker wiring?

When I installed my amp on my previous vehicle, I routed the speaker output from the amp right to the doors. However when talking to my local stereo shop, they said if I had them install the amp, they would rout the amp to the factory speaker wiring(right behind the radio). Seems like the factory wiring would be a little thin and would be an unnecessarily long run. Seems a little lazy to me. When asked about it, they said any shop would do the same. I've done all my own installs in the past, but unfortunately don't have the time to do one myself right now.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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When I worked at a shop we usually ran the wires back up to the radio and connected to stock wiring. But this was for basic installs of simple amps and simple speakers such as infinity, Polk, Sony, kenwood, pioneer, and most other common over the counter speakers. With a basic system, the listener won't notice the difference. It save a lot of time and a lot of wire.

They make "9-wire" just for that purpose. Its about the size of a single 4g power cable but has 9 wires in it. 2 for each speaker and 1 for the amp turn on wire. A few feet of this is cheaper amd easier than running wire to each door.

HOWEVER, I would never do an install that way for any mid-high quality setup. If your gonna be running speakers like JL audio, Focal, MB Quartz, etc then pay the shop the extra to run wire to each door. We always charged more to do that. And usually quite a bit more. I'd probably expect $50-75 extra for that depending on the shop labor rate and quality of wire used. But make sure if your gonna pay more for that, then they better use better wire than stock otherwise its pointless. That's why its important to pick a shop u trust and double check the work.

The only benefit to using the stock wire is a slight decrease in your chances for alternator whine or ground loop issues. But a good install won't have those problems anyways.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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OK that was a long post. Here's the bottom line, you have to do the math on it. Find out your amp and speaker power ratings. Determine the continuous and max current draw from each speaker. This will be a rough estimate because the only way to know for sure is actually measure the current with a multi meter once the gains are set on the amp. Once you know your general current draw, you can determine the length of wire to each speaker both both scenarios (straight to speaker or back to OEM wires). With current and length you can determine wire gauge required. If your stock wire is large enough for the calculations then just go the easy route. If they arent, then purchase the correct size wire and run it direct. Gotta do the math on it all though.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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Wow a lot of info, thanks. I am thinking about going with the brand speakers they sell on TacoTunes. They seem to be pretty well liked. Are they considered to be "simple" or higher quality? I can't remember brand right off hand. The amp I have is a lower end 4 channel but I want to have the option of grading to a higher end 5 channel later on.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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Our trucks are really easy to run wires through, even into the doors. If the shop is too lazy to do this for your new amplifier install, it sounds like you need to find a better shop or do the install yourself. Using the factory wires for a pair of component speakers and an amplifier install at my shop would never be okay.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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Shane, that's kinda what I figured. Maybe I'll wait to do it myself or have someone do it when I get orders and move.

The speakers I'm considering are Image Dynamics BTW.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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Well like I said it all really comes down to power. Sometimes cheap stuff uses more power than expensive stuff. More power doesn't always mean better. So with that said, it would depend on your amp power ratings mostly.

Regardless of the power though, its ALWAYS better to use new wire and run it direct. Its the right way to do it. But in all honesty if your system isn't anything too special or powerful it really won't hurt to use OEM wires. But I'd still say just run new wire if you can. But the gauge speaker wire does matter still. Too big can be just as bad as too small. Still gotta do the math to determine wire gauge required.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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Well when it comes time to do/hire someone to do the install I'll have to study up on electrical theory and figure it out. Appreciate all the good info, guys!
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProForce View Post
Well like I said it all really comes down to power. Sometimes cheap stuff uses more power than expensive stuff. More power doesn't always mean better. So with that said, it would depend on your amp power ratings mostly.

Regardless of the power though, its ALWAYS better to use new wire and run it direct. Its the right way to do it. But in all honesty if your system isn't anything too special or powerful it really won't hurt to use OEM wires. But I'd still say just run new wire if you can. But the gauge speaker wire does matter still. Too big can be just as bad as too small. Still gotta do the math to determine wire gauge required.
^^^ this. I've run 60-80W/channel door speakers from both stock wiring and my own wire runs. Personally, I have never noticed a difference in sound either way. But, if you have the option and means to run new wires, do so, it won't hurt and you'll be better placed if you decide to upgrade later.

Another option is for you to run the speaker wires yourself and have the shop install the rest, but if you can run the speaker wires you can certainly install the rest of the system.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
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Also, keep in mind that using the factory wiring from behind the radio when installing a component set of speakers with passive crossovers forces you to put the crossovers in the doors. This is in advisable in my opinion.

And in regards to the wiring gauge, the worst thing you could do is use a lesser gauge wire that would rob you of any power you deserve to get from your new amplifier. As long as you're not over powering the piss out of your speakers, and you have a carefully tuned gain structure, thicker wire is always the safer bet. I personally used 12ga wire for my door speakers.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #11
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That's what I figured...I've had some training in electronics and can't really see how having too big of a gauge can hurt. But I'll research it none-the-less.
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