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FAQ's & General Information

Old 02-07-2007, 02:27 PM
says hiththth
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Default FAQ's & General Information

***Welcome to the audio & video section of the forums. This thread was created for users to post helpful general tech and facts pertaining to this section. I would prefer that write ups be done in your own post and I will sticky it at the top of the page. This thread is not open to discussion, simply general tech and facts only. Any discussion post made will be deleted so that users don't have to browse through endless pages of discussion to find a helpful fact.***

Here are some quick little run downs of questions posted here on a regular basis:

What is bridging an amp?
Bridging literally refers to taking two channels of an amp and combining them to turn the amp into a one channel amp. On a two channel amp you use the + off of one channel and the - on the other channel. This increases the power output to higher levels than you would get going off of just a single channel. Bridging the amp is often rated in 4 ohm loads so make sure your subs are designed to operate at 4 ohm loads or else your subs will be operating at an unstable ohm load. Verify the bridged RMS wattage and OHM load before bridging an amp. Bridging an amp can cause distortion in sound quality so keep that in mind before bridging.

What's the best brand of speakers and component speakers?
THERE ARE NO BEST BRAND OF SPEAKERS! When comparing what is the top of the line speaker, you are generally comparing what sounds best to you. Although I can't tell you the best speaker for you, I will relate you to some quality brands:
MB Quarts
Boston Acoustics

Why do my headlights, interior lights, etc. dim when my subs hit?
Well, your headlights are dimming because there is a drop in the voltage level that is available to all your vehicles power using accessories. Dimming is often caused by the large voltage demanded by your new amp. Your best bet is to check all your wiring and make sure it is all hooked up securely one bad connection can cause shorts and voltage drops which will dim lights. Also make sure everything is grounded, one poor ground (rather it be by connection or location) will cause dimming. The battery and alternator are usually the last places of concern but can and depending on the voltage demands, will need to be upgraded when running larger systems.

Most problems of headlight dimming can be solved by upgrading the Big 3.
The Alternator to the Battery
The Battery to the Chassis
The Engine ground to the Chassis
The changing of these 3 wires to a larger gauge can not only help your electrical system, but it can benefit you in any competition you may enter.

Keep this in mind when deciding what awg to choose, always look at the power charts of your amp, and if it requires 4 awg then use no less than 4 awg. Use 2 awg if you can, and if you are feeling nutty, go all out and use 0/1.

Last edited by jthorn9; 04-09-2011 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:39 PM
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Brands I like for various equipment in no order:

Speakers (Components):
1. CDT
2. Boston Acoustics
3. Resonent Engineering
4. Elemental Designs (Basically CDT HD)
5. Diamond Audio Hex and M6
6. Crystal (Great for the money)
7. Rainbow
8. Eclipse
9. Image Dynamics (Horns FTW)
10. MB Quart (Low line stuff is really harsh)
11. Oz Audio
12. Polk (Momo's and DB Comps)
13. Focal (High end stuf only)
14. Custom active setup with Dayton Euro mids and tweets. (Very nice if proper active crossover is utilized)
15. Dynaudio

1. Eclipse 81XX and 82XX series
2. Resonent Engineering
3. Elemetnal Designs
5. Image Dynamics
6. Arc Audio
7. Incrimator Audio (SPL)
8. Fi audio (never heard but get great reviews)
9. Rainbow
10. Adire Audio

1. Profile (Cheap, reliable, and puts out rated power)
2. Diamond Audio D5,D6,D7
3. Brax
4. Tru Technology
5. Arc Audio
6. Resonent Engineering
7. Elemental Designs
8. PPI Art Series
9. Old Soundstream
10. Memphis
11. McIntosh

Those are just off the top of my head.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:42 PM
says hiththth
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On amps, Mcintosh, and Zapco make some amazing amps, but they are pricey.

Also, Resonant Engineering got bought out by US Amps, and now they are produced somewhere in China. They don't make quality stuff like the old drivers.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:04 PM
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The first step to quality audio is the front stage and source unit.

The signal starts with a nice headunit that has reasonably high output voltage, and lots of nice options. I prefer one that has built in high and low pass crossovers. That means you can eliminate unwanted frequencies at the source instead of your amp.

After the souce is upgraded an amplified component set is the best way to improve your overall sound. The amps inside headunits are weak so a stand alone amplifier is needed for optimal frequency reproduction.

A component set has separate mids, tweets and crossovers. One key factor often over looked is the install of the front stage speakers. Make sure to use lots of sound deadener on your doors and I use sound deadener to seal the doors as well. Sometimes if the speaker mounting location is plastic and rattles, some modeling clay can be used to dampen the vibrations.

The second step is in low frequency production.

If you follow the insrcutions above, you will have much better full range sound and a drastic improvment in midbass and bass. If you would like to further augment your sound for more percussion in the low end, buy a sub.

If you like your music faithfully reproduced I prefer to install a sub in a small sealed enclouse for optimal suspenion stiffness. This means that your sub only moves when it is driven. An poorly sealed or ported enclosure uses the usupension material to return the cone to its origin, when you use pressure the bass does not tend to lag as poorly. Low frequencies take a lot of power to generate, so a powerful amplifier is needed. More deadening should take place around the sub to reduce vibrations and then you should be good to go.

Third, any professional that prefers quality of sound to quantity of sound will inform you that rear speakers are not recommended. There are two ways to think about this. You do not go to a concert and turn around to hear from behind you, so why would you want that sensation in a car. Also wouldn't you rather spend any additional money in the budget to further upgrade the frontstage that you actually hear. If you have rear passengers, and you have followed the above insturctions, they will be able to hear.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:31 PM
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FAQ's in the Audio/Video Forum
How do I hook up an aftermarket CD player to my Mach 460 Audio System?

This is the harness you will need; there are a few companies that make them. This is what it will look like though, this particular one is from Scosche.
This piece is also for head units that have front and rear audio outputs. Many head units under $200 will not have these. Yes there is another way to put in the head unit you want but this is the cleanest and best way to do it. This is of course if you insist on utilizing your Mach amps. I do suggest getting aftermarket amplifiers and speakers for the best sound, but many people are satisfied with this solution.

This is an interface you can use if your head unit doesn't have RCA outputs. I won't perform near as well but it will work. Again this is close to what it should look like this is the product from Scosche.

Where’s the best place to run my power wire for an amplifier?
NEVER run your power wire through the door jam. It can start a fire this has happened to many people that wanted to save time, and actually on Mustangs it’s easier and less time consuming to run the wire through the grommet I’m going to show you. So there is no excuse to ever use the door jam. These pictures are from a SN95 Mustang, look for similair grommets for you Foxbody. The 99-04layout isvery similiar to SN95 firewall.

This picture was taken from the left side of my brake pedal. Refer to where the steering shaft is located to find which grommet to run your wire through.

This is where the grommet is located if you look under your hood. This picture was taken from the suspension tower on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

How do I wire my subwoofers correctly?
Here’s a link that will tell you exactly how to wire your subwoofers correctly, and to achieve your desired impedance. Simply open the page, click whether you have Single Voice Coil or Dual Voice Coil subwoofers and it will show you how to wire them with up to 6 subwoofers.
Subwoofer Diagrams

What is the model number for a battery that will fit in my Mustang?

Odyssey Batteries PC1200

Stinger Electronics SP1000

Stinger Electronics SPV 44

Northstar NSB75

Kinetik Audio HC800

Optima 34/

I want better SQ and SPL, I need a Capacitor right?[/align][hr]

After studying a little history on large 1 Farad capacitors in car audio, you'd be amazed that they even sell at all. How useful are they? What do they really do? Will a Cap 'improve' my sound quality? Will it Prevent my lights from dimming? Will it audibly affect my audio system in any way?

Before you get the truth to any of the above questions, chances are, you've probably spent $100 or more on one of these devices. However, let's study a little history regarding this issue.

A long time ago, in a land far away, 2 elves...Ok, Richard Clark & Wayne Harris (Carsound magazine and the inventor of DB Drag, respectively) separately came up with a solution to preventing their lights from dimming.


As you may know, Richard Clark is one of the founders of autosound2000 Tech Briefs, Carsound magazine, and a published author of the industry of mobile electronics. In SQ competitions, he posted a record of 1234 1st place finishes, and only ended up NOT 1st in his first event. I've heard that he had minor system problems, but judging by his record, he must have corrected it. (evidently, he needed a Capacitor )

Wayne Harris was previously a leader at Rockford Fosgate in their development. Later, in his free time, he created the organization we call DB DRAG. Wayne was the first SQ World Champion from the organization we know as IASCA (International AutoSound Challenge Association).

Both of these gurus are both legends, and considered the leading experts in the field. During their competition days, both guyz came up with a way to assist in the prevention of voltage drops. In SQ competitions, the look of your system is actually more important than the sound, and having your lights NOT dim under high playing levels is a competitive advantage.

As you may know, an amplifiers is made up a battery of little capacitors, resistors, etc. What has been common engineering knowledge is that capacitors store energy, and more or bigger ones assist in balancing the power supply.

Wayne came up with the idea of putting several dozen 'little' (approx 100uF) capacitors on a circuit board to 'extend' the power supplies storage. At about the same time, or shortly afterward, Richard came up with the idea of one huge mondo capacitor (I believe it was 800,000uF or 0.8F) to do the job.

Eventually, Richard won. The large cylindrical tubes won over the complicated 48 caps strapped to a circuit board. However, what did this really accomplish? Let's start here:


Basically, capacitors are an energy storage device. Large, 1 Farad or more
capacitors store energy (electrons) between their plates. Capacitors differ
from batteries because batteries store energy in the form of chemical
energy--and rely on acid as the place of storage. For a more detailed
description of a capacitor, go here:

Then on the right hand side, scroll down to CAPACITOR. Keep in mind the use
of capacitors in an audio system.


The number 1 reason would have to be because their lights dim when their
system is playing HARD. In car audio, we are told that a capacitor is
designed to prevent the voltage drop associated with your lights dimming.
The number2 reason is that it is rumored to 'improve' sound quality or
'stiffen' the power supply/source.


Headlights brightness is in direct proportion to the source voltage. For
instance, if your car is running, system voltage is ~12.5 -14.4 VOLTS. Your
lights will be much brighter than when your car is turned off--where battery
voltage is ~12V. Most car alternators put out between 75 to 120 amps of
current. When this current draw threshold of the charging system is
exceeded, system voltage will drop as power demands are now shared by the
alternator and the storage devices (battery & cap). We are using battery
reserves beyond this point until the demand lessens

When playing your system really hard. Your lights dim because your
alternator can't keep up it's charging voltage (around 13.8V) and therefore,
demand exceeds output. When this happens, your electronic devices are
dipping into the power storage of the battery. Since the battery stores
power at ~ 12-12.5V, there is a 1.3 to 1.8V drop in voltage available. This
in turn is why your lights dim dow
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:28 PM
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:10 AM
says hiththth
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Why do my subs make a "Popping" Noise when I turn off my car?
This kind of problem is often caused by transients in the signal processor as it powers down finding their way into the signal path, which the amplifier then transmits to the speakers. Most of the time this problem will be easily solved by adding a little turn-off delay to the processor. This allows the processor to stay on for a short time after the amps haveshut down, therefore preventing the pop sound you hear. Many comps and equalizers that are sold today have built in delays. Use this to your advantage.

What's a line driver?
Well, a line driver is a device that amplifies a signal, like a low-level signal output from a cd player. Line drivers are always made to amplify the line level signal to as much as ten volts. This is useless UNLESS the receiving end can handle ten volts as input. To solve this problem, there are line receivers which bring the line level voltage down from ten volts or more to around one volt. Most of the time the line driver and receiver are placed as close to the sending signal source and destination as possible, to minimize noise pick up.

Last edited by jthorn9; 04-09-2011 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:05 PM
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Please use this information to your advantage, there are about 6 members that have spent some hours gathering and compiling this to save you time, money and sheer frustration.

I want some bass, but I have virtually no money. Is there anything I can do beside some cheap Sony $30 woofer and pre-fab box I found in a dumpster?

Yes there sure is. If you have a power saw of some sort, some glue and a credit/debit card and$50 available (that $50 includes your box and the woofer mind you) you will be set. As you may read in this link, it's not going to me block shaking audiophile sound quality, but for what it is, it's damn impressive! All this is, is a OEM 12" driver from eD, a sheetof MDF from your local hardware store and an hour or two worth the work, drop it in your trunk, use it as a woofer in your party room, buy and build one just to have something to play around with. This box is also to spec with eD's 13Kv2 and their 13Ov2. So... if you end up building something like this but just want it louder, you already have the box made up, order the bigger driver and drop it in!

I simply dont live by any good stores that sell decent Car Audio, or I can't afford what I want at a local shop, where can I go online?

There's some online stores that are excellent, some are authorized dealers, some have a great selection, some have excellent customer service, many have great prices. Here are a few that many of us have found to have all of those elements.

I am about to purchase a subwoofer and I am building my own enclosure but I have no idea how to calculate what size box I need, nor how to construct it properly, have any tips?

Yes this webpage has a tool on it where you can input your dimensions and it will tell you the final internal volume of your box, it also has construction tips!

You can also download a program like WinISD. It is a great little program that also gives you a tone generator, great to use if you are setting up/tuning a well put together system in your car. You can download WinISD here:

I would basically just like to learn more about car audio in general, any site that can give me tons of information? is a site full of information. Tons and tons and tons on there. Use thetable of contentson the right to your advantage.

You guys talk alot about putting 6.5" component speakers in the front doors of our cars, but the factory size is 5x7, how will these fit?

It's very simple, go to Wal-Mart and buy 1 or 2 of those hardwood (Technically called HDF) type clipboards. Uninstall your factory or existing 5x7, lay it face down on the clipboard, trace it. Then cut out where you trace and then trace where you would like the new speaker mounted within the 5x7 cutout and cut again, the mount your speaker in the cutout, then mount the cutout in the door. And there you have it.

Last edited by jthorn9; 04-09-2011 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:01 PM
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***Compliments to mmorningstar for this info***

Foxbody Head Unit Install and Amp Bypass

1- I purchased a Metra Harness, good for all Fords 1986-1994 # 71-1770.

2- Remove old unit, I used the Metra tools, you will notice upon unplugging the factory harness that the speaker harness only has 5 wires, this is because it is running to an amp, mine was located behind the head unit, but I've heard some are under the seat. I disconnected the two crews holding it in, snaked it out and unplugged the two sockets on top of the amp, you may have to do this while it is still in the dash, don't be alarmed if the harness plugs break, you won't need them.

3- Now when you plug in your new harness to the factory one from the headunit you will notice the new headunit powers up but NO SOUND. Ahh Hah, this is because you are not going to use the original factory harness. Ford was thinking ahead when they installed these pitiful amps in our fox bodies. Here comes the hard part.

4- Set the old factory harness you unplugged from the stock head unit aside. Get ready to be a contortionist, actually it's not that bad. You need to get down with your head on the passenger side floorwell, push yourself under the dash so you are trying to look up behind where that headunit was, you need to trace the unplugged stock amplifier wires from step 2. You will find that they connect to two plugs mounted neatly on a bracket behind the AC/Heater controls. The top of these unplug and guess what, they look exactly like the plugs you disconnected from the factory headunit, that's because these are the factory amplifier bypass plugs, already thougtfully supplied to you by FoMoCo! You should be able to reach up in a and unplug them, snake them back out front, and plug them into your Metra Harness, thus eliminating the factory amp setup.

5- Throw factory amp and headunit in trash can.
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