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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize for the lengthy read, but PLEASE i need help. It's not my car, it's my friend's that I am helping him build a system for, and I have always thought I knew what I'm doing but apparently not.

He asked me a couple months ago how he could get some "bump" in his system. I said I'd help, but he's also on a TIGHT budget. So i sold him my old Alpine CDE-103BT from my first system for like $75 bucks. Pretty much in mint condition, only used for 7 or 8 months and transferred directed to his car. (2001 Dodge Stratus R/T with Stock Infinity Sound) Plugged it in, everything worked fine. Now with running some extra power, the stock infinity amplifier thing and the head unit, he blew out the rear speakers. We has not put the sub in yet or anything. We put in some infinity 6x9s, (Infinity Kappa 692.9i 2-Way). Then the sub is an RE SEx 12" dual 4 ohm, amp for the subwoofer was a soundstream DTR1.900D. Had a little trouble getting it to make it boom... I wasn't sure how to wire it up because it had 2 positives and 2 negatives on a mono amplifier. I originally had it wired up in series down to 2 ohms on one pos. and one neg. it didn't make any sound. So i assumed it was internally bridged and just plugged each set of wires into a set of pos. and neg. It seemed kinda weak at first, but its gotten better. I'll go more into detail about that in a sec. Well he was happy cuz he really didn't want a whole lot of bump. But i thought it sounded a lil weak for 600 watts rms. Then his front stage on the passenger side blew out. So he wanted to upgrade. So still on a budget, I sold him one of my like new sets of crescendo CCX6.5s for like $50, and he got a Soundstream PCx2.350 2 channel amp for cheap like $100... Well we wired everything up, and this is where the issues started. The driver's side sounded a whole lot louder then the passenger side. The cone was clearly moving more and everything. So we pulled it back apart. Switched the crossover, and it sounded better but still not equal. Btw I had 3 sets of crescendos so I have plenty of parts to swap around. We swapped the woofer and it made no difference. So since we hadn't made the bracket to put the tweeter off axis yet, we left the stock tweeters up and the one on the passenger side was evidently blown. (we just thought it was the woofer) so it's not making any noise. The driver's side was still working and hanging in there. Well today when I was listening to everything the woofer on the driver's side wasn't making any noise. The driver's side tweeter was working fine. The passenger side tweeter is blown. the passenger side woofer is "weak" in my opinion for being on 110 rms.

So here is my list of issues:

1) Was the impedance of the 6x9s an issue (2 ohms) for the stock infinity amp and my old headunit causing the stock infinity amp to burn up quicker? It's still powering them in the rear and they sound fine but that is one of the only pieces that could be messing up... I played all 3 sets of crescendos in my room and none of them had any issues. I used the headunit without issue for almost a year.

2) When we put the balance all the way to the passenger side, and the sub and bass disappears. Like almost not even moving... it is still moving a little bit. But not much. If we move it all the way to the drivers side, it still hits ok, but it's loudest in the middle. Is this a concern? Or normal?

3) The voltage on that headunit is only 2 volts, and I have the gains up pretty high in order to get any sound out of the things. Could it be an issue with the head unit and it's voltage output? Would a line driver solve this?

4) If I am running the front stage on a separate amp, and only the rear deck on the stock/headunit, the stock "infinity" amp couldn't be causing any of the problems up front correct? Unless it's just the headunit powering the rear deck... Like does the signal go from the stock amp to the head unit? Or the other way around?

5) not to do with the front stage, but do I have the sub wired up to 8 ohms? or is the soundstream DTR just not making rated power? It still dims the hell out of his lights and everything and his alternator is the same amperage as mine was stock...

I can get some pictures of how I have everything wired up tomorrow, we are going to look at it again, and try to swap out all the components to find a set that works. Personally I feel like it has to be the stock infinity amp thing, or my old headunit... Nothing else can be wrong? I hope... I have the slightest feeling it's something else electrical... he's had some idle issues and other things. But we'll see.

Thank you for reading everything, and PLEASE help... Any feedback would be appreciated. :)
 

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Speakers will "blow" because of only 2 things. Reaching it's thermal or mechanical threshold and, of course, exceeding it to the point of failure.

With so many speakers damaged in this install and not knowing how to properly wire up an amp, i would seriously pull fuses out of everything involved in the car audio install, unwire everything and take it to a shop.

There are far too many speakers in this install with not enough knowledge as to what is going on.

you need test tools, DMM would help greatly and an oscope obviously because "to the ear" must not be cutting it on those damaged speakers.

If you are not willing to drop the money on these tools, then a shop will have to rewire and inspect everything.
 

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I think you need to remove the stock amp and redo the whole system from scratch.
Im kinda confused on how your running the stock amp and head unit at the same time plus the front stage on an amp.
 

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when you hooked up the new amp for the front stage did you run all new wires to them? with all of whats was said that stock amp needs to come out and run new wires from the headunit to the rear speakers or hook up another amp for the rear speakers, i would just run new wires to the rear speakers and bypass the factory wiring/amp no point in spending extra money on rear fill. as for the sub if you wired to 4 ohm coils in series then yes it is an 8 ohm load and you need to run the coils in parallel to get to a 2 ohm load. a dmm is something you need to get, you can get them for $15 almost anywhere and it is def something that will help greatly with the install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for all your input!

It seemed like all the stock speakers blew up... The rear one actually ripped the surround, and the front one just got fuzzy and wasn't making the proper noises... Plus the tweeter on the passenger side doesn't make any noise at all.

I have a DMM, just not really sure how to check anything with it. I mean, use the ohms thing to figure out what my impedance is but I just dunno what the amplifier is actually seeing for the sub if it has 2 sets of inputs, and it's a mono. I meant parallel. It was a long day yesterday. With that amp it only gives ratings on power at 1 or 2 ohms... So 2 ohms was my only logical option.

As for the front stage, yes. I ran all new wires 16 gauge i believe from the trunk. So the front stage is no longer associated with anything but the RCA signal from the headunit, and that's it.

From my understanding of the stock "infinity sound" it has a separate amplifier under the seat. For wiring up the head unit I just used the wire harness that came with the dash kit. So I have no idea if i am bypassing the stock amp, or if it's sending the signal to my head unit first...

And all my previous installs have gone flawlessly, without issue. I just don't understand what is making everything mess up... I honestly think it's the "infinity sound" ****. But we can certainly remove the bastard. I believe the headunit has a defeatable option so the head unit amplifier isn't there... I dunno if that would help with isolating anything...

I will get pictures today of everything. It is cold as **** outside... So we'll see what I can do. And I think my dad has a o-scope at his work. But it's from the stone-age. it's about as big as a large backpack. I'll post some pics up, and thank you guys for all your input. :)
 

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so if you ran all new wires to the front speakers and one side sounds quieter than the other and all the speakers test out good then it sounds like an issue with the amp, try a different amp if you have one. also check to make sure that both channels do not have seperate gains. the infinity amp shouldnt feed any signals back to the headunit but if it was inline to the speakers it would be what was powering the speakers.
 

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If you are running the HU speaker wires directly into the factory amp(which I think you are)you probably have DC offset problems which is what is killing the 6x9's.So yes i would get that factory amp out of the signal chain.That is your biggest problem.Almost all HU have 6 volts dc on the speaker outputs relative to the chasis ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. I went to take pictures yesterday and it was too cold, and my stupid battery died... So I'm going to try and get some up of everything soon. I'm going to go see about getting the amp tested to make sure the output is equal on both sides. Then we are going to re-wire the headunit and bypass the factory amp so that won't be an issue. I also emailed soundstream on how to properly wire that amp. I hope to get some answers here soon. Thanks so much for everything guys. I'll keep you updated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are some pics of everything... Sorry some of it is a little sloppy. :(

basically today I brought over my sundown SAX 100.4 and hooked it up in place of the 2 channel. Still had the issue of the passenger side being a lot weaker. So it's not a faulty amp. I also checked, there is only one gain dial, so it would have to be balanced right? Well, then I unplugged the stock infinity amplifier. Basically the passenger side is still weak. And we lost the rear stage. So it wasn't an issue with the infinity either. But we can go back and bypass it later. We still have radio, and all that so it's not a big deal. We checked all of our connections and they all looked fine. The driver's side woofer is working well (where i think it should be), and so is the stock tweeter. We replaced the busted tweeter on the passenger side and it works just fine. Sounds nice actually, but still just as weak. I contacted SS about the subwoofer amp, and they said I could have wired it either way. So my wiring for the sub is ok, and gives us a 2 ohm load. I guess its just a little overrated on power.

My thought is unfortunately that it has to the the headunit having a weak signal transmission on the right side. Either that, or I have an issue along one of the wires...

And I guess there was some confusion on what is what here...

HU: alpine CDE-103bt + stock infinity amplifer powering the aftermarket infinity 6x9s in the rear.

FS: Crescendo CCX6.5s off the soundstream PCX2.350

Sub: RE SEx 12" off a soundstream DTR1.900 @ 2 ohms for 600 wrms

Hopefully that better explains what is powering what... Anyways...

Door: I know i took a couple shortcuts. He is rather impatient and wants things done quickly. Feed the power wire and speaker wire through door jam... Used 6x8 to 6.5 ABS speaker plates leftover from my car to mount the crescendos in his stock location. Actually worked pretty well. Crossovers are just temporarily there. Duct taped to the plastic. Little ghetto. I'd rather them both be inside the car, but that's just me.



Trunk: Ok this looks worse than it actually is. I have 4 awg from the front to a tsunami distribution block which has (1) 4 gauge out to the subwoofer amp, and (1) 8 gauge out to the 2 channel. I ran the remote wire to the sub amp, and then ran a lead to the 2 channel. I grounded to the same bolt under the seat. No pic of that. I wasn't taking that damn seat out again. I have the 14 gauge speaker wire to both doors. The blue wire is to the passenger door. (weaker side) clear is to the driver's side, and is actually a bit longer travel distance. RCAs come from the headunit up front which I have pics of.




 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Part II... lol. darn 10 image limit... lol

Up Front: I definitely too the easy way out and twisted wires, then electrical taped them. I plan to fix this when I rewire the headunit for him. Then that is the stupid infinity stock amplifier there...




 

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You need to tell your buddy to be patient if you're doing this for free. If you were aware you were taking unnecessary shortcuts it's your responsibility as a friend to explain that doing it right takes more time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know. I have told him over and over again. But he just wants it done. I am the exact opposite. I have 4k worth of stuff sitting in my room waiting to be put in since august last year. I have been slowly amassing parts, getting the right ones that fit. And when I put it together, It will be absolutely perfect. But he just wants it done before it gets warm out i guess. And yes I'm putting it all in for free, and I really am happy someone acknowledges the fact it's on my own free time, when i work 2 jobs and go to school full time I hate spending my entire day off working on this if it's 34 degrees outside, I get no garage or anything to work in... Most of the time it's the autozone parking lot since he doesn't want his parents to know he's spending his money on audio. And I understand he's on a budget, but man... Like there some things you just can't skip out on. I hope that finally once something goes wrong, I will be able to explain why I wanted to take an entire day running power wire through the fire wall or actually feeding the speaker wire through the rubber sleeve in the door... But he drives like d-bag. The subwoofer amp was mounted vertically like it's designed and from driving I guess it pulled out of the cardboard/wooden floor piece. I mean that's some pretty vicious lateral g's. I don't see the car even lasting 2 more years at this rate. But there is just no talking to this kid. I am more than happy to do work for free because I like doing this stuff, and even sometimes spending some of my money or using my things. (I gave him about 2 feet of 4 gauge power wire, and close to 25ft of speaker wire) but not when it's like he's on ass everyday til it's "done"... Sorry for the mini rant fellas... Quality must not be appreciated anymore. Should have just told him to grab a kicker bundle from bestbuy, let them install it for $500 and call it a day...

But back to the system... See anything that looks off? I mean other than the sloppiness. Like everything hooked up correctly? I'm going to rewire the headunit some time this week when I get some free time... Hopefully i'll be allowed to do it the right way.
 

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If its the HU you should be able to just swap L and R RCA and then the other side will sound weak. Swap the speaker wires on the amp to see if its the amp.

Most mono sub amps now are ++-- and both sets to the same channel. Put the DMM on those wires on ohms to see what the amp is seeing. If you take bare amp and see ~0ohms + to + on the amp then you know they are connected to same channel.

Remember it is very hard to gauge how loud a system is, your hearing works much better comparing things. So get in another car then in his before saying it sounds so weak for X wattage. Lots of times you can put a system in and especially if the SQ is good it does not 'sound' loud. Its because the crappy or clipping stuff in there before sounded loud just like Hendrix guitar does. And there is no doubt if the guy blew the stock stuff he is beating it to death and likes big distortion. That means he will just try to blow this stuff up too.

Using factory amps is difficult at best. Often they are low power you really need 50rms/ch to start with and that is easy to find anyway. Best to just RCA to new amp and to speakers, don't use factory stuff and stay away from the headache and lack of performance. You should match the ohms of the old speakers if you replace them on a factory amp, or use higher ohms to be safe but it will not go as loud then. If you use lower hard to say how it will work.

You are a nice guy but hey, if he does not give a * about your efforts then IMHO you should gently direct your efforts to a better place. Get it working and slide away from that project lol. Always remind him he owes you if you are getting nothing, maybe someday you might get something, maybe. Do some reading on here you can learn a lot in short time, hit some tech areas like 12volt and bcae1.com you will be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks man! The thing with the RCAs is a good idea. We were going to put another headunit in for testing purposes. And now i know what to do with my DMM lmao! The only thing i used it for before was checking voltage on the battery and random speakers I don't know the impedance of... Like when I took my klipsch 2.1 apart. :D (its a 6 ohm subwoofer strangely) and i absolutely LOVE the12volt.com... I use it to take some quick measurements on boxes and such. Not heard of the other one. I'll have to check it out. :) And I like to listen to my music loud... but not to the point where I check the DB meter to see if i am louder than the other guy. Really, I just want it to get louder than what I can sing so no one hears how bad I am... lmfao.

but the listening test thing... We were getting some cone movement on the 6.5s and clearly the driver's side is moving more than passenger side... but i understand what you are saying about the loudness factor. I was running a soundstream t5 15 on my first build off 1100 watts. (Another soundstream amp) and it knocked really well. But my friend who has a rockford t1 (aluminum cone face) 12" off 850 watts (kicker amp) put mine to shame really. But then again, mine was sealed and his was ported... but this DTR amp just feels like it's not making the amount of power it should. 600 watts on a ported 12 should be slappin. and as a general rule, doubling the wattage only increases the DB by like 3 right? Anyways... I really hope we figure this out tomorrow. I've got work at 3 am this morning til about 8... And he wants me to come over in the morning to get it done. :/ ugh. Its supposed to be like 65-70 degrees. Gotta love Maryland weather... this morning it was 23. But I hope it's the headunit honestly. I overpaid for it when I got it. I didn't know anything about car audio back then. I have an active warranty. Get my moneyz back... or send me something newer that's comparable. And i'm probably going to tell him to leave the factory stuff in place so the rear deck still plays. Not trying to bankroll anymore speaker wire for him.

And I want to finish this project almost as much as him now. But mostly because I am over it. I really really like audio. Like... all I do is read about different things every day. it's what i do in my spare time... but honestly when I do something like this for someone it's fun. I like doing it. but if i am going to put MY name on it... I want it to be right. I have been building up practically a book of install pics i've done for a number of ppl the right way... and i wanna take it to a shop so i can get a job doing this part time while i finish college. It's certainly not the cheapest hobby... but to me it's the most rewarding. I love when everything comes together in balance, and you have an ear-gasm. lol.

But anyways, thanks again fellas. I really like the community here. :) I am going to get this resolved tomorrow and hopefully never have to deal with him anymore. Unfortunately we work together at one of my jobs... And may be going to the same 4 year school. :/ blah. But down to baltimore I know of a couple morel dealers and such. >:) can you say deep discounts?? :D I'll keep you guys updated on tomorrow's progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright folks, here's what happened. I had him turn the system on again to get a base reading. And it sounded ****ing perfect. Absolutely beautiful. Both sides were hitting equally. So i figured it was probably a temperture issue and a bad connection somewhere. So he left to go pick his sister up from work, and it went back to being weak. So after he dropped her off, I swapped the RCAs on the amplifier (put the left in the right, and right in the left) and the other side sounded weaker. Also, a faded to the weaker side in both cases and we lost the subwoofer. My verdict is the headunit. It was to be an unbalanced voltage signal from the one side. Because there is really no other possibility. Can't be the amp... we checked all the wiring. Only thing left to do is change the headunit. But this could also explain why my original system didn't hit as hard as it should have, and why it requires so much gain to get sound out of the amplifiers. When it sounded awesome for a minute we had the volume at 5 for a comfortable listening. When it was weak, we needed the volume at 10 or 11.

Thank you everyone for all of your input. I'm going to swap the headunit and see what happens. Let me know if you guys have any other thoughts or possibilities. :)
 

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Alright folks, here's what happened. I had him turn the system on again to get a base reading. And it sounded ****ing perfect. Absolutely beautiful. Both sides were hitting equally. So i figured it was probably a temperture issue and a bad connection somewhere. So he left to go pick his sister up from work, and it went back to being weak. So after he dropped her off, I swapped the RCAs on the amplifier (put the left in the right, and right in the left) and the other side sounded weaker. Also, a faded to the weaker side in both cases and we lost the subwoofer. My verdict is the headunit. It was to be an unbalanced voltage signal from the one side. Because there is really no other possibility. Can't be the amp... we checked all the wiring. Only thing left to do is change the headunit. But this could also explain why my original system didn't hit as hard as it should have, and why it requires so much gain to get sound out of the amplifiers. When it sounded awesome for a minute we had the volume at 5 for a comfortable listening. When it was weak, we needed the volume at 10 or 11.

Thank you everyone for all of your input. I'm going to swap the headunit and see what happens. Let me know if you guys have any other thoughts or possibilities. :)
5 on the dial for comfortable listening!:eek: I hope you turn the gains down when you wrap everything up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For sure. When it wasn't working correctly, it needed to be double that. It goes up to 35 but i hardly ever wanna crank anything that far. I really like 10 to be comfortable and 20 to be the limit. But I just realized it's kind of a ****ty time to buy a headunit with all the next year's stuff coming out in the next month or so. What's left is pretty much lame... I've only ever bought alpine. I don't really have any idea about single din pioneer/clarion/kenwood decks that are any good. My hope is to go to one of the local shops and snag last year's model for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So we bought a new headunit today... And the problem still persists. I can't even describe my level of frustration. I am going to rip every ****ing wire out of that car, and do it again. If that doesn't solve the problem, I will change out the woofers, tweets, crossovers, etc. And if still doesn't work... I can at least say I tried my best. Then we're taking it to a shop.
 

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So we bought a new headunit today... And the problem still persists. I can't even describe my level of frustration. I am going to rip every ****ing wire out of that car, and do it again. If that doesn't solve the problem, I will change out the woofers, tweets, crossovers, etc. And if still doesn't work... I can at least say I tried my best. Then we're taking it to a shop.
Try changing the RCAs from the deck to the FS amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well the issue is the sub goes out too whenever I fade it to the weaker side. So i don't even know if swapping the rca's out, and changing all the wiring will fix it. But i've got an extra set of RCAs we'll try out. Then if that doesn't solve anything, we are bypassing the factory amplifier, running all new speaker wire everywhere and doing it the correct way. I think when I ran it through the door, the rubber piece might be pressing down on the wire and possibly cutting it, which would resulting in metal on metal and maybe a poor/weak signal? But that still doesn't account for the subwoofer cutting out too... I mean we have had it come in and out intermittently here recently. Its back working fine this morning. but yesterday sounded like ****. :/ I dunno. I'll keep you guys updated.
 
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