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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend with a jeep wrangler, open top and everything, so obviously he cannot have anything fancy in his truck. He asked me what he can do to improve the sound, maybe have a crappy HU with AUX IN and no amp, I was thinking the other way round - can I just install the amp somewhere hidden, and connect ipod/mp3 player directly to the "LINE IN" of the amp? Since all he needs is to plug in his MP3 player. would that work?

Any build threads on wranglers? what do people do with this totally impractical truck!? Any good suggestions?
 

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You couls probablt do that with a cable that goes from the headphone jack to a pair of RCAs. I dont know how strong the signal is so if you cant get sufficient volume you might look at a line driver. Probably be more practical to get an HU with ipod control. I believer the pioneer 600ub is going for 125-150 right now
 

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I've done it in a similar vehicle with a Zapco SLB-U and the optional volume knob, driving a Zapco I-Force amp.

You could do it with an Arc Mini, too, because it has balanced inputs.

Most of those cheapo line drivers sounded like ass when I tested them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can see that if the mp3 player is not loud enough I'd need a line driver, but what has balanced inputs got to do with it? I thought balanced inputs are for HUs that have balanced outputs?
 

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I think the balanced line drivers step the voltage way up and have cleaner sound than a regular line driver. For what you are going to spend Id do a head unit with an aux input or one with ipod controls.
 

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The Zapco SLB-U has balanced outputs, which the downstream amp must be able to accept - but I used it because it has a volume knob option.

Had zip to do with "loudness". iPod preamp output sections sound like crap driving a long length of RCA, compared to using a docking connector with charging capability, using the fixed line out, and having a volume knob.

Just because this is a Jeep doesn't mean I'm gonna give advice that sounds like ass...
 

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I haven't tried plugging the iPod directly to a car stereo amp, but I have plugged it directly to my SONY ES receiver and to my car stereo through my Alpine PXE-H650's "CD INPUT" RCA jacks with the mentioned "headphone jack to RCA cable".

While the level is a little lower than plugging up an actual CD player (I'll assume from an impedance mismatch??) the sound quality is perfect. From what I could tell with a serious and lengthy A/B test, the sound quality rivaled my reference audio source; an old SONY ES CD player that I have. Just for reassurance, I've compared this ES CD player to many others over the years (direct A/B comparisions), and the sound quality was obviously better every time. It's a great CD player.

I'd say give it a try. I think the results will be much better than expected.
 

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We're looking to do the same thing in a friends Jeep Wrangler the reason being he does hard core offroading and deep water passages. We drown his last head unit and soaked his amp a while back so it's impractical to have anything that's not quick disconnect now. I really think we'll be able to work something out, I'll post up any pics once he settles on a setup.
 

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I have plugged an ipod nano directly into the rca inputs of several different car audio amplifiers on several occasions. Didn't hurt anything a bit. Admittedly it was a short duration, approximately 1 hour, for test/trouble shooting purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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1/8" cable (headphone jack) to LR RCA...it works just fine...no need to comlicate things, no need to take thoughts and possibilities from people who haven't done it...1/8"-RCA's works just fine into an amp..

and we just had this discussion with 60ndown...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is good to hear, so for those of us that only needs to play from our mp3 players, i.e. only need an AUX-IN interface, we don't even need a fancy HU, maybe save the dash space for some nice processor/EQ and just have a 3.5mm to RCA cable to connect with the MP3 player.

however, a volume control would be nice :)

I will get to hook it all up next week, lets hope it really works and nothing blows up.
 

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volume control=scroll wheel..

the only way your going to blow something up is if you are really reckless with gains
 

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awesome info. I was wanting to do the same thing in my truck. should i get the eq to improve sound quality from the mp3?
 
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