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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I wired up my new deck/speakers today and noticed a few things that I didn't like.
Once was that the wires where stock and getting pretty damn old!
Another was that the speaker wires going to my drivers side door did not work!
Lastly the gauge of the stock wires is pretty weak so I would just like thicker wire!

So I was wondering how hard it would be to replace all or at least one(drivers door) of the speaker wires? I don't like buying brand new speakers and having to hook them up to ancient wiring.

Any pictures, ideas, tutorials would be greatly appreciated

*EDIT*
Also what gauge wire would you recommend for my 3-way 180 speakers?
 

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Well, to be honest, running off a regular head unit, theres no reason to upgrade your wires. Its kinf of a pain getthing them into the door anyway. Id repair the short in the wire thats not working and leave it alone.

But if you must, Id run a 16 gauge wire into the doors. Id modify the plastic plug that clips in the door jam and run the new wires through it.

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I agree with keeping the stock wiring for your setup. However, when replacing wiring, I always use 12 gauge, simply to prevent having to run new wires later if you ever upgrade to a really high powered system. At least, I know when I do my systems, I'll usually end up upgrading later. might as well have it pre-wired for it.
 

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12 gauge damn...haha littl eover kill there.

16 gauge is good for a 2 ohm load up to 24 feet minimally. Since you are going to have less then 6 feet and a nominal load of around 4 ohms you hsoul dbe good to go with 16 gauge, which will be much easier to run.

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Overkill? Maybe. I did it for two reasons:

1. The input on my main speakers take up to 12 gauge. I'd much rather have a heavy speaker wire that secures in nice and tight (the wires screw in).

2. Retention of wattage. I'm running 300 watts RMS per channel (2-Ch). The main speakers are rated at 150 RMS and the rear at 120 RMS. The rears are running through the main crossover as rear acoustic fill (attenuated at -10dB).

This is all based on the system in my CLK. Because I wanted to keep the wire length the same, I had to measure out at 25 ft of wire. None of the numbers are really at a level that would be noticeable to our ears, but wattage retention was my main reason. I was going for pure SQ in this system, so I wasn't taking any chances. Here's the numbers for both gauges. As much as it seems negligible, note the difference in the actual power delivered to the speaker.

Input:
Output per channel: 300 Watt RMS
Speaker wire length: 25 Ft
Speaker wire gauge: 16
Load Impedance: 4 Ohm

Output:
Current flow (amps): 8.25
Wire resistance (ohms): 0.2008
Voltage output at speaker output terminals on amp: 34.64
Voltage drop at full power (due to resistance in wire): 1.66
Voltage at speaker terminals: 32.99
Power delivered to speaker: 272.01
Decibel loss: 0.43

***********************************************************

Input:
Output per channel: 300 Watt RMS
Speaker wire length: 25 Ft
Speaker wire gauge: 12
Load Impedance: 4 Ohm

Output:
Current flow (amps): 8.49
Wire resistance (ohms): 0.0794
Voltage output at speaker output terminals on amp: 34.64
Voltage drop at full power (due to resistance in wire): 0.67
Voltage at speaker terminals: 33.97
Power delivered to speaker: 288.43
Decibel loss: 0.17
 

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Well, at least you have a reason haha.

I think FooFighter isnt going to need to worry with his mid grade sony deck and pioneer coaxials though :p

on a side note...those voltages you measured, hos is that done? with a test tone or white noise or something?

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not a noob to car audio, but out of the game.
 

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mattminerDOTcom said:
I think FooFighter isnt going to need to worry with his mid grade sony deck and pioneer coaxials though :p

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not a noob to car audio, but out of the game.
I can certainly tell you're not a noob. Everyone focuses on certain aspects of sound. I try not to come across as an elitist as everyone's constrained to a certain budget, and realistically, most people don't have a trained ear for the most subtle differences. I just happen to come from a music background so I'm rarely satisfied with SQ.

My first aftermarket system was replaced with an upper end system, requiring me to replace all the wires a second time. Between that nightmare and my computer (pay the bills) background, I've gotten into the habit of preparing for future upgrades.

A site that I've referred to in the past has many calculators on it that I've found useful.

http://www.bcae1.com/

http://www.bcae1.com/wire.htm
 

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Cool site. The one thing to note, that I dint see on that site, is that the nominal resistance of a speaker is usually nowhere close to the active resistance. for example, while playing a high frequency sound, the reistance of the 4 ohm nominal speaker goes much higher then 4, so the current draw is actually less. this usually becomes apparent especially when dealing with subwoofer setups.

at least you are using math to back up what you do, and using bigger wire never hurts, thats for sure :)

The other thing i noticed on the site you linked too, is that hes saying a 1db or less loss is acceptable...seems like you are beating that by quite a bit with either gauge wire. For normal setups, that would be fine. I know SQ is a whole nother (strange) world.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK I found the problem and hooked the speaker up and it worked fine.

My future plan is to buy an amp to power all four of my speakers and then a sub in the future. If I was to do this would I need a 5-channel amp?

I assume that since my speakers are 180W max that an amp could boost them up quite a bit more than what my cheap Sony deck can. The deck says 50x4 but in reality it only give out like 15-20 per channel. Why is that? And would an amp make that much of a difference?
 

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FooFighter said:
If I was to do this would I need a 5-channel amp?

I assume that since my speakers are 180W max that an amp could boost them up quite a bit more than what my cheap Sony deck can. The deck says 50x4 but in reality it only give out like 15-20 per channel. Why is that? And would an amp make that much of a difference?
Sorry if this doesn't quite flow... I'm writing this between projects at work.

The amp depends on what quality speakers you have. For a normal "average" system, a 5 channel will work. Just make sure your sub is matched in power rating.

As for how things are rated: Most companies rate things in "peak power". This number is actually quite irrelevant, as your system will rarely, if ever, hit peak power. They simply use this number to make their products seem better. The average person only knows "more wattage is better". The higher end companies will rate things in RMS power because this is the number that should be matched between the speakers and amp. Even still, wattage is not the only factor. Sensitivity is very important because some speakers require less power for the same volume (labeled as the efficiency).

With the head unit, you want a higher voltage output when it comes to the amp, as it's a line level feed (wattage from the HU does not matter). A higher voltage is going to result in a cleaner signal, allowing higher volume with less distortion.

I don't recommend buying components on your own if you're new at audio. You have to choose the advise given carefully also. The sales guy will likely push the equipment with the highest commission or kick back for him, and most people into audio go strictly for "loud boom" without paying any attention to separation, clarity or balance (nor do most people actually know how to properly achieve this, specific to the type of vehicle).

An easy analogy for why you want power - you have to move a voice coil that's providing resistance. The key is not really more is better, as much as matching the required power of the speaker with the output of the amp. It's always better to slightly overpower speakers than to under power them. As an amp is pushed harder, the level of distortion goes up. So, if your speakers require 150 watts, but your amp only provides 100 watts, at 90%, the amp will cause a distorted signal, and eventually burn out the voice coil. Think of it like this: Which vehicle would run more efficiently? A geo metro with a hummer engine, or a hummer with a geo metro engine? In the first case, the engine would never be pushed past 50% power. In the second case, how far would that hummer make it before that little 3 cylinder engine **** itself?

With speakers, it's not quite that drastic, but it's the best analogy I could come up with, off the cuff.

The biggest thing I'd suggest is to figure out your budget and start asking for opinions.

Remember - if you're piecing it together over time, start with the subs. If you put high end speakers in first, you'll turn them up in an attempt to get more bass, eventually blowing them out before you get the sub. People always say they won't push the mains for bass, but they ALWAYS do. Buy your amps first, then your sub, then the main speakers. It requires patience, but it's so worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
K thanks for the info.
In the mean time I had to mount my speakers somehow because I always have to move my car from one garage to another, so I ghetto mounted the speakers to the car. This is how it turned out:



Every time I want to drive my car somewhere I have to get a 24 hour permit for it. Here is a pic of some of them. Costs me $20 each time :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
-Both back speaker brackets. (For 6.5" speakers)
-Both front Speaker Covers.

Other stuff I need for my car not audio related:
-Possibly the entire front bulkhead for a 90 CRX SI
-Wheel well covers + splash guards for both the front and back
-The tiny little sunroof crank cover.

Also I am planning to go and check out these parts on a local junked 89 CRX. Which if any of these parts could I steal off of a 89 crx?
 
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