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2013 DC: run a sub, speakers off a 4 channel amp?

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Old 07-21-2014, 12:10 PM   #1
sloken [OP] sloken is offline
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2013 DC: run a sub, speakers off a 4 channel amp?

Hi all. I'm pretty ignorant (OK, very ignorant when it comes to car audio). I used to own a 2012 ram 3500 that had a pretty sweet OEM alpine system with sub, and 7 speakers. I loved how that sounded.

Last week, I downsized for a 1year old 2013 DCLB TRD with touchscreen but no JBL. The previous owner had some aftermarket audio stuff put in...I took the truck to a shop b/c I didn't know how/want to tear off the doors, and he looked up the previous owner's history: he had aftermarket speakers installed (but they weren't sold to him by the shop), as well as a Kenwood XR-400-4 amp installed behind the back drivers side seat. When I take a flashlight and look up close at the tweeters, I can see they're Massive Audio brand. I can't see any writing on the other speakers.

I scoured these forums yesterday as there's been a really annoying hiss whenever the key is at ACC or ON. Seems like it was the gains knobs which i turned way down, so the hiss is very minimal and barely noticeable now.

As for my thread title/question: I miss the thump of my old truck's sub. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and the audio quality in my current truck can't keep up...it sounds tinny and the speakers rattle and sound horrible when I have my music moderately loud. Here's my ignorant question:

Do I need to have a new amp installed if I want to have a sub added? Or can each front speaker be run off of one channel, the rears off of another, and the sub off the 4th?

Right now, I want to keep the factory HU. Yes I know and have read how it's crap, but at this point I'm not ready to tear it out and potentially lose steering wheel controls.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:20 PM   #2
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What I would recommend, assuming you don't want to spend a bunch of $$$ is to run the fronts off the amp's front channels, run the rears off the HU (and turn them all the way down, unless you have passengers you want to keep happy), and bridge the rear channels to a sub (assuming the amp supports bridging the rear channels, if it doesn't, you can still get a DVC sub and run one VC to each rear amp channel).

BTW, there are adapters that will allow the steering wheel controls to be used with a new HU.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurkin View Post
What I would recommend, assuming you don't want to spend a bunch of $$$ is to run the fronts off the amp's front channels, run the rears off the HU (and turn them all the way down, unless you have passengers you want to keep happy), and bridge the rear channels to a sub (assuming the amp supports bridging the rear channels, if it doesn't, you can still get a DVC sub and run one VC to each rear amp channel).

BTW, there are adapters that will allow the steering wheel controls to be used with a new HU.
This is exactly what I have done in the past. Most 4-channel amps are basically 2 amps in a single unit with the expectation that this is how you plan to run it (hi-pass and low-pass cutoffs, etc.).

You will need a sub box that fits somewhere convenient, like behind the rear seat. I built one out of MDF, but you can buy them. You will also need new front speakers, and you'll probably want front component speakers so you can mount the separate tweeters in a better spot.

If you plan to keep the stock head unit, you'll need an amp with speaker-level inputs. Most amps have these, but I would recommend spending some money on a new head unit that has proper preamp outputs. You will be happier with the sound in the end.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:29 AM   #4
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OK thanks guys. I found out about the Kicker Hideaway yesterday and it seems like something I'd want to try. Problem is, it's tough to get shipped to Canada and not get ripped off on shipping. I also found this one from Hertz that a local shop carries.

http://www.madmanmckay.ca/en/catalog...Hertz-EBXF20,5

but I don't know if it's powered or not.

Ps a "powered sub" means it has a built-in amp, correct?

If I went with a solution like this, could I conceivably get away with no modifications to the existing aftermarket speaker and amp setup, since the sub already has an amp built-in?
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloken View Post
OK thanks guys. I found out about the Kicker Hideaway yesterday and it seems like something I'd want to try. Problem is, it's tough to get shipped to Canada and not get ripped off on shipping. I also found this one from Hertz that a local shop carries.

http://www.madmanmckay.ca/en/catalog...Hertz-EBXF20,5

but I don't know if it's powered or not.

Ps a "powered sub" means it has a built-in amp, correct?

If I went with a solution like this, could I conceivably get away with no modifications to the existing aftermarket speaker and amp setup, since the sub already has an amp built-in?
That Hertz one does not appear to be powered, so you would have to provide your own amp. Powered does mean built-in amp.

Even if you go with a powered sub, you are probably going to want to do something with the rest of the system. All a sub would do is add bass and bass volume, the rest of the system would sound the same.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #6
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Ok, thanks for the headsup re: the Hertz. The previous owner did upgrade with aftermarket speakers as well, I just don't know what brand. I'm happy with the resulting sound right now, I just want the lower frequencies filled out more
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:06 PM   #7
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OK, so I found a low profile kicker compRT with box that should fit behind the back seat: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-4Nv7fGM...40TCWRT82.html

The Hideaway was a pain in the ass to find /ship to Canada and the one above was easily found here. As for setup and install: I don't have many/any rear passengers to keep happy, so I'm interested in what you guys suggested running the rear speakers off the HU.

This is the amp that was in the truck: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-lFSX3jT...n-XR400-4.html
Under the Details tab, there's a line that says " Bridged Power (Watts x Channels) 200x2". Does this mean that the rear channels can be bridged like you guys said?

I appreciate the help...i know full and well I won't be getting as nice sound as with something like a Stealthbox, which is what every car audio store seems to be trying to cram down my throat. Your input is giving me a somewhat-informed view before walking in there. Assuming this setup (4 channel amp powering the sub plus 2 front speakers and the 2 rear speakers off the HU) is feasible, now I just have to convince the techs to actually do it this way...
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:51 AM   #8
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Yes, that amp has separate settings for front and rear, so you can bridge the rear and set the low pass filter to only send bass to the sub.

This is a very typical way to setup a decent sounding system without spending a ton of money. What you are asking them is not out of the ordinary. They just want to sell you more stuff.

When you can, post of pick of that sub box behind the rear seat. Interested in seeing how it fits.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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will do, thanks!
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