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Replacement Stereo with standard sub?

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by jbw, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 7, 2005]
    Ok, I've been planning this upgrade for next year but my concert stereo volume knob (a3, 99 model) has gone so it looks like I'll be buying sooner than expected.

    I would like:

    Alpine CDA-9853 & KCA 420i (head unit & ipod adaptor).
    Kappa 50.5cs (components)
    Kappa 652.5i (coaxials)

    and to keep the standard sub (for now).

    Is this possible? Or am I going to run into problems using the standard sub with this kit?
    I wouldn't use the amp that came with the car, I'd either use the head unit or get an amp to run the rears and the standard sub. Would the following amp be up to the task:Alpine MRV-T420

    I will eventually upgrade the sub, either to an Andymac sub or I'll build my own but for now I just want a working headunit and new speakers.
    Any advice definately appreciated. Also how long, considering I've never added/removed an ice system, should I expect to spend fitting all this kit.

    ta,
    jbw
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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 7, 2005]
    jbw, the standard sub runs off the same amp as the rear speakers, and it's actually inside the sub enclosure.
    For now you'd be better off running the rears off the HU, and if you're gonna get an amp run the fronts off it (as they are far more important).
    To keep the OEM sub you'll need the RCA to mini-ISO adapter to connect the sub pre-out to the standard Audi rear amp loom. You will get a slight pop fro the sub everytime you turn the HU on, this is normal.
    You'll also need to buy or make speaker adapters for all the cabin speakers.
    You'll also need fascia adapters and an antenna amp and will probably need to reverse the perm live & ignition on on the power loom in order to keep the radio settings as Audi wire them up the wrong way (if you're lucky enough to have an ignition on feed). If there is no ignition on feed, then it's pretty easy to wire one in from the fusebox, (fuse 10 or 30 IIRC labelled Radio S-Kont).
    It's not a difficult job but is very time consuming, it'll take the best part of a day, longer if you're going with a seperate amp.
    The T420 is certainly man enough for the job but:
    1. I don't think you can run it in tri-mode so it can't run 2 speakers and a sub.
    2. Even if it could it'll blow the standard sub as it's only a 50w unit.
    So you'd be better either forgetting the amp for now, or installing a 4ch amp and keep 2 channels spare for when you get a proper sub.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with the rears at all, and you'll only get decent sound if you upgrade the sub, so I'd definately do that at the same time otherwise you'll be disappointed. You'll get a better overall sound from just upgrading the sub and leaving everything else as is.
    The fronts are a bugger to fit as the depth is only 60mm so take your time, also the Infinity's have bulky Xpovers which you may find are better located behind the glovebox, rather than behind the door card. This will mean you need to rewire the front speakers as well which is a pain.
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  4. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 7, 2005]
    Hey Andy,
    Thanks for the input. So I ditch the coaxial speakers and get an amp and sub instead. Forgive my memory but how much are your subs and have you any spare fully built for sale at the moment?
    Fascia adaptors are already got. Can you point me in the direction of an antenna amp?
    If possible can you please confirm the permenant live and ignition information:
    Will I have to take the perm live and ignition wires out of the loom then insert them back into the loom the otherway round for the alpine radio to store stations and settings?

    Many thanks for sparing the time,
    jbw
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  5. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 7, 2005]
    I would leave the OEM units in place and just wire them to the HU so at least you can fade them for rear fill.
    I've got one sub built and ready to go, it's £90 for the enclosure (satin black with gold speaker terminals and wiring) plus £85 for the JL Audio sub fitted & tested + £15 P&P (insured Parcelforce 2 day delivery).
    The antenna amp is here: aerial amp

    The permlive/switched live will depend on the HU. If it has flying leads to a standard ISO power block then you can just cut the yellow & red wires and connect them round the other way.
    If it just has the ISO plug built into the HU then you'll either have to remove the pins in the Audi socket or cut the wires on the loom or buy a male & female harness (£4 each from Maplins/Halfords) and use that to switch them over.
    But you may not even have a switched live on the Audi loom (although a 99 model should have). In which case you either run a seperate lead from the fuse box or wire both to the perm live and put up with manually switching the unit on/off.

    Remember you'll need a 4 ch amp like the MRV-F345 as the sub needs at least 200wrms bridged.
    Cheers, Andy
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  6. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 8, 2005]
    Thanks mate you're a star.
    Any chance you can hold that sub (the entire lot - enclosure and JL sub) for me till the 20th Nov? I promise I'll take it, I just need to make sure my finances are in order. Do you want a cheque? I would do it through paypal but you'll lose a few quid. Up to you though.

    If I run the fronts and rears off the head unit and get an amp for the sub, is there still need for a 4ch amp? I can save myself £70 if I get the MRV-T320 to run the sub instead (220wrms bridged). Or will that setup sound rubbish? I can spend the cash if need be, but just want to be sure of my options.

    Lastly, does anyone know if the alpine SPS-171A components are an easier fit in the front than the Kappa 50.5cs?

    ta,
    jbw
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  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 8, 2005]
    Yeah no problem, cheque is preferable please.
    No you'll only need a 2 ch amp if you run everything else off the HU, I did this in my A3T and it sounded really good. The HU is more than capable and it'll be driven less hard as well with the sub doing the heavy work. Makes the install easier as well!
    Those Alpine 171's are 6.5".
    You can only fit 5.25" in the front without custom door builds.
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  8. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 9, 2005]
    Thanks mate, I'll send you a cheque (for £190) next week. Please can you include instructions for a simple lad - I've not done this kind of thing before. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    I foresee these fronts being a pain. Seeing as it's my first install I would like something relatively painless. Is it impossible to get those kappa crossovers in the doors?
    If so can anyone recommend any other components that will be an easier fit but still sound good?

    Many thanks,
    jbw
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  9. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 9, 2005]
    The Kappa crossovers will fit in the doors no problem, i cable tied mine kinda widthways to the black bar that runs through the door when i had mine,

    HTH
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  10. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 9, 2005]
    Thanks Mawhitey, the idea of putting them behind the glovebox sent shivers down my spine.

    So I've now got:

    Alpine CDA-9853 & KCA 420i (head unit & ipod adaptor).
    Kappa 50.5cs (components)
    Alpine MRV-T320 bridged running AndyMac Sub
    Standard rear speakers
    Plus aerial amp and fascia adaptors.

    Anything blindingly wrong with this setup before I go order it?

    ta,
    jbw
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  11. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 9, 2005]
    Looks ok to me, have you thought of adapters for the front speakers or are you making them??( if needed) also you will need a wiring kit for the amp, min 8wg, fuse, remote, rca cable etc
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  12. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 9, 2005]
    Yes you'll need adapters for the fronts. Don't get the Autoleads ones though they don't fit properly.
    #11
  13. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 10, 2005]
    I'll probably buy the adaptors - thanks for the heads up AndyMac
    I've found an Autolead ISO loom , could this potentially solve my issue with the permlive and ignition live cables?
    As for the wiring will the Autoleads PC4-20 wiring kit do the job?

    I'm confused about the amp wiring. I presume it wires to the battery for power source? If so can I use the previous connections from the audi/bose amp but replace with the new wiring kit? Where do fuses go... along the wire?

    ta,
    jbw
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  14. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 10, 2005]
    I think that ISO loom is just a socket, you need both socket and plug if you don't wanna cut the existing loom.
    The amp kit is not meaty enough you need 8AWG power.
    The power cable runs from the amp all the way to the battery and the fuse is inline near the battery connection.
    As you're replacing the head unit then there is nothing on the existing audi/bose amp loom that is of use. You can't use the power from it as it is only a feeble 5 amp cable.
    The pre-outs and remote on are hooked into the mini ISO loom at the HU which you won't be using (as it's non standard and **** quality).
    You install the new HU using the Audi power ISO (black one), reverse the permlive & ignition on, then run the new RCA's & remote on to the new amp. Power for the amp s straight from the battery and earth should be direct to chassis as close to the amp as possible (the big allen key bolt holding the passenger seat belt runner is a good anchor point).
    #13
  15. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 10, 2005]
    This is truely the largest can of worms ever!
    I'm afraid I don't understand the differences between 8 and 10 AWG cabling.
    Do the RCA's run the audio signal from the HU to the amp?
    Power and RCA cables should not crossover, right?
    The remote on lead tells the amp to switch on when I switch the stereo on, right?
    Your instructions for stealth sub tell me to put the amp behind the rear door panel next to the sub, does that mean I run the power cable and the RCA's down the same side of the car?

    I'm hoping all this will be easier once I see everything and have pulled out the panels so all is visible.
    I feel rude taking up so much of your time Andy, you should know it is most appreciated.

    ta,
    jbw
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  16. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 10, 2005]
    8 AWG is thicker can handle more current - up to about 600w. You need double the amp power for the cable as you really don't want it anywhere near capacity.
    Everything else is absolutely right.
    I run the power & RCA's down the same side all the time, it's really only an issue for very powerful sound off type systems it'll become an issue (engine whine/interference), or if you're running a really cheap & nasty amp/RCA's.
    Cheers, Andy
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  17. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 11, 2005]
    Thanks mate,
    I've found a couple of 8 gauge kits. Is stinger a decent make to go with?
    Stinger SWK8 Wiring kit

    To wire the front and rear speakers to the head unit I need RCA cables for the pre-outs, right?
    How do they attach to the speakers? Do I have to take the RCA plugs off the speaker end of the cable and wire them on to the speakers? Or is that dodgy? Should I get terminals or loops (or whatever they're called) to keep everything tidy?

    ta,
    jbw
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  18. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 11, 2005]
    No, the cabin speakers need to be wired with speaker cable from the speaker out plug on the back of the HU.
    RCA cables carry low level signals (pre-outs) that haven't yet been amplified i.e. to go to a seperate amp. Speaker cable carries the amplified signal either from the internal amp in the HU or from a seperate amp.
    Most amp wiring kits include speaker cable.
    The front speakers are already wired up to a standard ISO speaker connector behind the HU, The ISO connector has pins for both front & rear speakers, but the Audi connector doesn't have anything wired for the rears (as the rears run off a seperate amp).
    So you'll either need to cut off the Audi socket and wire up a new one with connections for front & rears or if you don't want to cut the Audi wiring then you'll need a male & female ISO speaker harness so you can plug the male one into the Audi loom and then use the fully wired socket to wire up both the front & rears.
    Stinger are pretty good for snesible money.
    #17
  19. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 11, 2005]
    Ha ha... I've finally picked up a PDF of the headunit manual and can see all the connections at the back of it. Most of this is making alot more sense now.

    So this is the list now:
    Alpine CDA-9853 & KCA 420i (head unit & ipod adaptor).
    Kappa 50.5cs (fronts)
    Alpine MRV-T320 (to run the stealthsub)
    aerial amp
    fascia adaptors
    speaker adaptors (for the fronts)
    Stinger SWK8 Wiring kit

    Is that everything, have I missed anything?
    My only concern now is wiring the amp to the battery... any advice anyone?

    ta,
    jbw
    #18
  20. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 12, 2005]
    If you let me know your e-mail address I'll send you the power cable instructions.
    Bust basically you go through the bulkhead via the spare rubber grommet near the pollen filter under the splash guard top right of the engine bay.
    The cable then drops straight into the passenget footwell.
    From the grommet to the battery the cable can run through the big plastic trunking and under the airbox.
    A thick wire coathanger is a useful tool as you need something to break through the sealed grommet. Some silicone as well to seal it up again round the cable.
    #19
  21. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 12, 2005]
    Thanks again Andy. I feel alot more confident now with this install. I'll PM you my email address for the power cable instructions.

    Many thanks,
    jbw
    #20
  22. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Nov 28, 2005]
    Has anyone ever fitted an alpine ipod adaptor, or similar, in their A3? If so any advice on where to put it. I obviously want it out of sight, that includes just stuffing it in the glovebox.
    I would like to have the ipod in the little shelf just down to the right of the steering wheel.
    Anyone have any advice?

    ta,
    jbw
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