Question on Head Units


New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
Does anyone own a PANASONIC CQ-HX2083U ?
Ive seen the stats, and it looks like it only has a pair of 4 volt pre-outs. Should i go for 3? I like the radio tons, and it SAYS it puts 60 watts to 4 channels. looks like a good choice for me. Ill be using it for 6 pioneer speakers, two mid bass drivers, and 2 JL 12W7s.

Does this radio lack in anything for all that equipment?

Thanks for your feedback!

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1127
Registered: 12-2003
a: panasonic has poor reliability.
b: you'd be better off with 3 pre-outs @ 4V or better (read Alpine or Eclipse or Pioneer Premier)
c: 60W x 4 is max. real output is about 11 watts x 4
d: never ever put more than one speaker per channel on a head unit's power, unless it's a component separate set.
do NOT run subs on a head unit's power.
midbass and subs need a separate amplifier.

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
o i knew about the seperate amps.
Qualitywise, id get a clarion, or alpine head. But they dont make any i like.
If my head only supports one speaker per channel, and it has 4 channels. how do i split it so i can get the sound out to more equipment?
I know about the amps and mid bass drivers.. my mid bass and extra two speakers will both be driven on their own amps. all i need is the data getting to them. the subs will each have a 2500d. and id never run a sub off my head.
I was taking a look at the Kenwood MD 969 something. better choice?
i think it has 3 or 4 Five volt preouts.
My first choice was the Sony CDX-M850MP. but i dont like it no more. I want a black face, that remains black when turned off.

Thanks for the answers. I got alot to talk about. i check my email bout every 5 min, so my replys should be quick unless im away from my desk.

True: id get a panasonic more for video than audio.

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2004

this is the one i like. but id rather use this box, and put slot style ports on the sides, to take advantage of the gaps between the trunk and the box. I also thought of leaving two of the round ports in the front. Ported/Bandpass? I would almost halve the inner volume for the subs though, to keep it tight, and air moving.

sound like a good idea? yea, i have the cash to experiment with different box ideas.


Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1135
Registered: 12-2003
I only check this forum maybe 2-3 times a day tops. sorry for slow replies.
I'm not a fan of kenwood or sony.

look at a good 4 channel amp instead of the head unit and you'll be good for all 6 speakers.
just realize a head unit isn't designed for a 2 Ohm load, thus not using 2 speakers on one channel. the amp will go into protection.

have you looked at Eclipse for a head unit? They are soem of the best you can get. Alpine is offering a lot of new models for 2004 as well and (I think)

for amps, trey JBL, Avionixx, or Cadence for inexpensive 4 channel and sub amps both. I can suggest better amps if you have a bigger budget as well.

for a sub box, stick to sealed or ported.
I don't suggest bandpass, as they are loud at the cost of not hitting deep, and poor general SQ.

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2004
Ive never tried Eclipse, but im looking at the moment. Im kind of a perfectionist when it comes to quality, and you usually get what you pay for. So i would like to dish out the dough, regardless of cost. I was looking at some Orion or Viper aplifiers.

I would like a certain look on my head unit. Im not at all worried about the power to each speaker from the head unit. I planned to boost them with a 4 channel amp anyways.

to me a low cost means poor quality. it means to me that the company is cutting corners and lying to try to make a profit. Because it is so low, it cost them less to make it, and therefore they are still making a profit off of me.

I have two 6.5" 120w 3 way pioneers in the front of my car. and two 6x9" 260w 4 ways in the back. I want to either put another pair of either of the aforementioned in the trunk, on a small 2-ch amp, and a pair of 6.5" mid-bass drivers in my rear doors if i can, on another 2-ch amp. on top of the amp for my 4 in-cabin speakers, and the two amps to drive my bass-engine in the trunk. It will be something.. but im doing all the research now and then some. Every time i think i have my purchase plan down, another road opens.
checking out those radios.. in the meantime, check out the head im looking at. &storeId=11251&catalogId=11005&itemId=62908&catGroupId=11085&modelNo=CQ-HX2083U& surfModel=CQ-HX2083U

generally, id like a completely black face. but i want the head to support my subs, at least.
Id like NO knobs.. and less buttons, with a remote, but the knobs on the Alpines are great. Everything else is crap, and when you wiggle it, the whole face or radio creaks and wiggles with it. unacceptable.

and Q: say i have 6 speakers, 2 tweeters and 4 subs? (two large and two small) how do i split the signal from my head to all of these units? If i need some box or splitter or something.. i can just amplify the signal to each unit right? problem is i dont want distortion or clipping.
Thats why id use 2500watt amps to one channel at 4 ohm for my W7s.

PS: i dont want inexpensive anything. Its like putting refurbished fuel injectors in my car.

Bronze Member
Username: Gecko

Post Number: 31
Registered: 01-2004
After reading your last post I really think you NEED to go to an Eclipse dealer to check out those decks. If you want quality, these are the decks for you. You could also check out Nakamichi head units, they are mostly black and great quality.

I really feel you would regret purchasing the Panasonic shortly after getting everything installed.

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2004
Aight. knowing nothing much about head units, i wont hesitate to go with the flow. no panasonic for me. but i dont know about these Eclipse's. They look solid. but i dont like the whole look in my car. i have a light interior and a dark dash. I want a black face. I might just go with a high powered alpine. Why do all the eclipses have to look so gaudy? too much shiyat on em.
too many colors, and the remote controls are cheap as all get out.

I really dont care what is popular to show off.
I want priority 1) It to be BLACK and look good.
and priority 2) It to function well.
And from those two points i find the balance.
Im sure the Eclipse recievers are some of the best. im only asking who would be considered next in line behind Eclipse. I do have to give them props, i used to have Eclipse subs in my yukon XL, 6 of em. They were good subs.
Im going to take a good look at Alpine, Clarion, and Kenwood.
I honestly see nothing wrong with Kenwood..

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2004
Oh looky. every Avoinixx amplifier had a .05% THD rating. someones cutting corners. And i bet they are giving themselves some credit too.
at the moment, i think im liking this unit. =DXZ745MP
and the JBL amps have good stats, but id rather have something long and flat looking. Vipers or Orions, PPI, or Phoenix Gold amps. ya? no?

Bronze Member
Username: Gecko

Post Number: 32
Registered: 01-2004
Hey Jonathan,
Sorry I havent looked at the new eclipse line, they are kind of ugly... if your dealer has any left over from the last two years they used to be alot more subdued and more black.

Kenwood decks really aren't too bad, I am still using a Kenwood Exelon x811 in my car. The only complaint I have about the unit is that it is very laid back and the eq points are at the wrong frequencies for me.
If you pair the unit with some nice brighter components it sounds pretty good.

As for amplifiers I really like the Kicker ZX series amps if you can still find them around. They are long and all black with silver/black endcaps and they are SOLID amps. I'm annoyed all the current kicker amps are freakin ugly though. Oh, and all these amps were very underrated so ignore the lower specs on these.
PPI amps are nice and sleek looking and are also built very solid.

Hope that helped some.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1144
Registered: 12-2003
a: ignore THD. It's a meaningless spec for an amplifier.
you couldn't hear a .05%THD if you tried.
you actually can't ehar distortion below 1%, and in a car, below 10%.
Look at a McIntosh amplifier some time. They cost about $35,000 for 75W x 2 @ 8 Ohms. They have a 10% THD. They are considered some of the best amplifiers on the market for home audio.
THD also has various ways of being measured which will give misleading specs since nobody tells you which method they use to measure. burst or continuous, notch bandwidth, or full spectrum, and so forth. The FCC has one way, the EAC has another. Neither will give ever remotely similar results. Don't be misled by paper statistics on products.

Ok, you want quality, regardless of price? Now you're talking my kind of system, and I can suggest to you products to consider:

head unit:
Eclipse, hands down. 8V/16V pre-outs and outstanding quality.
Get an 8443 or 8053 with eclipse commander for CD, or look at their DVD players.

US Amps
JL Audio

Focal Utopias
DynAudio System 360
Diamond Hex

JL Audio W7 line
Image Dynamics (ID)
Digital Dynamics (DD)

Signal Processing:

with that, you'll probably be soending about $6k-$8k on equipment, plus whatever the installers will charge to put it all in, but you'll have a system second to none for SQ.

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2004
Thank you! perhaps if i was blind in my right eye id get an Eclipse. Kicker amps.. i always had a soft spot for, but as you say, theyre pretty ugly heh.. but i will have my amps on showcase in the trunk with some lighting, so whatever they are has to have a blue/black/steel look so the light will play on them right. Hell yea PPI's are good amps. Viper, Orion, PPI, are all made by directed audio. All very solid stuff. People tell me to stay away from em just because of the price. thing is, you get what you pay for..

One thing about the Kenwoods. Ive never used a seperate EQ before. Could i use one of those to adjust the freq quirks in the kenwood unit?
Im also now looking at the expensive alpine that folds into itself, i dont care about all the buttons, the remote is functional.

Does it matter what the preout voltage is?
(partly in response to GlassWolf)
I didnt know what was high until now. i thought 3 was the standard. and the more preouts you have the better. What if you have no preouts? how do you get the signal to your speakers? do you have to split them all? i dont understand this one..

Then i saw 4v preouts. ooooo ahhhh.. then 5. OOOOOOO AHHHHH. and now 8/16v. HMMMMM. but the heads are ugly. so again.. i gotta find the balance or find a reason.. clearer quality sound to the speakers with higher voltage preouts? better clarity? or more freeflowing juice?

New member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2004
components already looking at.

Sinfoni - nope..
Zapco - yea, but no.
McIntosh - no Macs.
US Amps - seen em. blah.
JL Audio - no high-watt models. (yet? 2k4?)

Components: - These are what?
Focal Utopias - uh
DynAudio System 360 - uh
Diamond Hex - sounds familiar, crossovers?

JL Audio W7 line - getting 2 12W7s.
Image Dynamics (ID) - no
Digital Dynamics (DD) - no
Treo - never heard of em

Signal Processing:
AudioControl - ok.

what about phoenix gold for all that stuff?
And i can get some Audiobahn equipment half off, like cables, distribution blocks, EQs and fusebox stuff. What kind of fusebox would i need? or Capacitors? Im kind of liking the Audiobahn and SoundStream caps right now. I might consider rack Caps. I might have a 3 story agled display.

I will probably use Monster cable or audiobahn for cables. I dont like audiobahn amps, but their subs seem ok. I will get my electrical stuff from them and save some cash.

Ive pretty much outlined my system, and all the amps needed to power the sucker.. will i need a juicebox? a gell cell battery or something?
a better alternator?
I want the juice to flow with no little hiccups. ill take a look now..

Thanks everyone for the help. stay tuned! haha.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1155
Registered: 12-2003
short answers:
kenwood = crap
audiobahn = crap

Sinfoni = some of the best amplifiers money can buy
McIntosh Labs = owned by the parent company of Marantz and Denon. Also some of the best amps you can buy. NO relation to Apple computers.
Zapco = Also some of the best amps you can buy, with the SymbioLink tech, using a 15V line driver to their signal processors. You won't find a cleaner signal path than Zapco from the line driver forward to the finals of the amplifiers.

How much power do you want from JL amps?
4 channels, they offer the 300/4 and 450/4, and mono sub amps, the 1000/1. all of those are severely under-rated for power and produce at least 20% more power RMS, than their rated specs.

PPI and Orion are now in with PG, Viper, etc.. all owned by Directed, and all factory production mediocre performance middle of the road products, just like RF now.
If you want good PPI and Orion and RF, jump back about 10+ years to the PPI Art series, Orion HCCA, GX, and SX lines, and even the XTR series, and RF's original Punch and Punch HD and Power lines of amplifiers. Anything after those is mass produced crutchfield/circuit city fare and not what I'd call high end.

Clarion makes good ehad units. Not on par with Eclipse, but fair game against perhaps Pioneer Premier and Alpine, untill you get to Pioneer's and Alpine's higher end models.

Components = separates. mids/highs.. all the speakers that aren't subs.
all of those listed speakers are in the $600+/pair range, and worth every penny.

12W7s are a good sub choice. For those, use one JL 500.1 amp per 12W7.
perfect match there.

forget about capacitors. they don't do anything.
what you will need is 1/0 AWG power distribution and fusing, and a high output alternator for the high current amplifiers.

for power distro try

yes for their products.
good site. for their amplifiers for McIntosh.
expect to pay in the four figure range for both Sinfoni and McIntosh

Tim L.
Unregistered guest
sorry to interrupt the flow of discussion,..

Glass.. for subs, don't u mean, Digital Designs? =P

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2004
Okies. first off thanks.

I dont have anything against one particular Kenwood Head. and im still considering it.
ok so ufck audiobahn. who i get my good looking fuseboxes and power distributors from?

Yesh Clarion makes good stuf. lookin at em now.
If JLs pop and hiss like you say, then ill put them back on my possibility list. They do look good visually.

Still looking into Zapco. looks good so far.

I might forget about capacitors, if i can find an alternator that puts out enough juice that can fit under my hood. If it cant, then id have to go for another battery or something in the trunk ya? no? I dont own a tank here. My electrical system is pretty weak as it is, id rather get a nice battery and a cap or two just to be on the juicy side, so i dont have to worry about anything.

12W7 and a 500.1 amp? if it puts out more power then they say they do then what.. 550? 600 watts? thats still too low for me. id feel like i was underpowering my dubs. id rather overpower it or run it next to the yellow band. Besides i want to put 4 ohms of power through each sub. I saw the stats. And id rather just stick a 1000.1 on each sub. Anything wrong with the 1000.1 amp on the W7? from JL users i hears its the best matchup.
I never really agreed, but wanted something better.

What i dont want, is a 2 or 3,000 dollar amp that puts the same power as a 2500D, 1200D or 1000D.
Also what i dont want is some 4000-6000 watt unit. or anything that has 2 channels, to be used for subs. Id rather just have solid block power, 1000 dollars an amp and below for each sub.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 13
Registered: 02-2004
O yea. here is a crutchfield comparison of some head units im considering buying. not the best comparison, but it works. =01&pt2=0&ITM158M8800=on&ITM257KDA7000=on&ITM500CDA7897=on&ITM113KDCX979=on&ITM1 58CDXM3DI=on&ITM020DXZ945=on&ITM130DEHP940=on&IMAGE4.x=21&IMAGE4.y=5

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 12-2003
yeah sorry.
I was trying to type and get ready to run out the door.
Digital Design..

power distro is pretty much all the same.
or use the audiobahn stuff if ya get it cheap.

I avoid kenwood due to poor reliability.
over 15 years of it.

Clarion's MP3/CD heads with 24bit DACs are good for the price, and that price tends to be very competitive.

JL's slash series amps and W7 subs are great. the amps have regulated power supplies and output stages so you get guaranteed power regardless of load and input voltage within specs.

ok, you need the high output alternator for the electrical demands as long as teh motor is running in the car. that is your only supply of current. period. You can fit a high output alternator in nearly anything. I had a 150A lestek alternator in a ford festiva. worked fine.
capacitors are a sales gimmick and do nothing for you. the deep cycle batteries are only for when the engine is off, and still need the alternator to charge them, as well as a battery isolator to split them from the starter battery.

the JL 500/1 produces, on a scope, around 600-650wRMS. JL designed the 500/1 and 12W7 to be a good match together. The 1000/1 is a similar match to the JL 13W7 13.5" sub.

you never want to overpower a sub. The power rating of a sub is a thermal rating. if more power is applied, the voice coils overeheat and they melt. You then have a dead sub.
Trust me, when I say a 500/1 on a 12W7 is plenty, and here's a video to demonstrate this:
the 1000/1 on a 12W7 will void it's warranty and will damage teh sub.
If you want a pair of 1000/1 amps, you'll want a pair of 13W7s, or use one 1000/1 and a pair of 12W7s on that amp.

keep in mind, the JL amps put out the same power regardless of load between 1.5 to 4 Ohms.

Power isn't everything.
My IASCA car used an amp putting out 160wRMS x 2 @ 2 Ohms, class-AB, and drove two DVC Cerwin-Vega 12" subs, and I was hitting 151dB on the meter.
That's loud enough to hurt, and make it hard to breathe in the car. Any louder than that isn't what you'd want to be sitting in the same car with unless you're already completely deaf.

Crutchfield has good product info and images, but they are overpriced, and beyond that, they carry a lot of crap products they'll try very hard to push on you, like sony and kenwood and audiobahn.
be very wary of crutchfield in that regard.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 15
Registered: 02-2004
digital whatever lol. i knew what GW meant.
I seem to be stuck between Clarion and Apline heads. More i look the better they look against kenwood and sony. (except for those 5v preouts on the kenwood)

Alternators. hm. Anywhere i can find out what comes stock in my rig? i know its been replaced recently, i just think it was the cheapest soloution alternator. Whats the average amperage for a mid size 4 door sedan?
do you suggest a 150amp alternator for my future system? better than that? just so i have a referance, whats the highest amps an alt can put out? say like in an SUV.

And i dont plan on buying anything from crutchfield, oh hell no.. i just use them for reviews and comparisons, stuff like that. tutorials and guides. not alot of other car audio stores online have comparison features. and even Crutchfields charts arent complete sometimes.
I'll check out those links.. Thanks man. ill post if i get caught up on something.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1219
Registered: 12-2003
honest advice here.. forget Sony entirely. please.
You'll rue the day you ever chose to buy a Sony product for car audio. They are on par with pyramid and legacy. total, pure, unadulterated crap.

Kenwood I find to have mediocre to sub-par performance, good looks, good features, and moderate to poor reliability.
Clarion and Alpine are good choices both.
Stick to 4V pre-outs or you may start finding that few amplifeirs will accept the higher voltages, and you'll encounter problems. Remember, higher line voltages don't mean teh system will be any louder. It's strictly an issue of signal resolution.

stock alternator ratings. contact any local AutoZone or similar car parts shop. They can look that up based on make/model/year/motor of the car.
these guys all have high output alternators made to order, or see any local starter and alternator shop and talk to them about a rebuild, or replacement.
the average stock alternator is 65-100A, and usually that stock alternator is fit to the demands of the car without the aftermarket audio system.
the alternator you'll want will depend on the current draw of the amplifiers you choose to go with and the stock rating of the alternator you have now.
you'll want to add the current draw of the amps to the stock rating. that'll tell you the siez you want to upgrade to.


Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 16
Registered: 02-2004
I dropped sony weeks ago. Just curious. dropped kenwood already when you, and someone else said stick to 4v preouts. thanks on that one. And i knew it was all signal resolution.. peeps in other forums seemed to veer away from that question, and i never found out exactly.
anyways.. If i decide to upgrade from 12W7s to 13W7s, then ill have two 1000/1 amps, thats 2000 watts roughly right? prob a bit more. plus what other amps? one 2ch for my tweeters, one 2ch for my drivers, and one 2ch for the 6x9s in the back, and another set of components in the rear doors if that works out, that would be 2 small amps, 3 medium amps, and two large amps. i can give you a thread to another discussion where ive pretty much finalized my system.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 17
Registered: 02-2004
Oh. i have no idea what the draw in power will be in amps... and if 200 amp alternators are out there for a car my size. If the alternator cranks out too many amps, is that bad for the battery? or does it not matter because input is regulated?
Or does batt and alt have to match just right?

sorry i just have tons of questions..
process of elimination =)
ive answered half my own questions from the answers ive already found.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2004
Oh oh oh! The following are clarion and alpine units. two clarion and one alpine. Im really liking the alpine unit but if the model i linked to is obsolete or old or something.. help me out, a few websites told me that this model is "unavailable" and "out of stock" and "not available anymore" and all that mess. And there should be a model or two with the same retractable face. If theres a newer model, and i got the older one, help me out with the model #. Thanks all! Glass and Co., could ya recommend a unit from these 3? ct=DXZ745MP# ct=DXZ945MP#.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1229
Registered: 12-2003
ok, time for a little schoolin' here.
Stick to the KISS mentality. "keep it simple, stupid"

you'll want the two 1000/1 amps for 13W7s yes
the only other amp you'll really need is a JL 450/4
the front channels will handle the front components, using the component crossover for tweeters and mids.
the rear two channels will handle the 6x9s in the back for rear fill.
here are a few things to keep on mind:

you want a strong front stage.
imaging will rely on good speaker placement, as will soundstage, but the soundstage will really also depend on keepint the front strong so the musicians will sound like they are up in front of you on a stage, and not behind you, next to you, or down by your ankles.
Rear fill is just that. fill. it should be muted, and crossed over to handle vocal ranges only. if rear fill is overpowered, it will drown out the front stage, and you'll actually notice the back speakers are even there, which ideally, you really shouldn't.
The more speakers you add, the more complex things become with phase shift, time correction, etc and the more likely you are to louse up a good soundstage. see "KISS"

good system setup:
-good head unit
-good electronic crossover if not supplied by head unit
-4 channel amp for mids/highs
-mono or stereo amp for subs (2 in your case)
-1 set of separates for the front
-1 set of coaxials or mids for the back
-2 subs in a good custom box.
good power distribution, and an adequate alternator.
with that, you should be set. anything beyond that, and you're getting into trouble unless you're trying to set up a 5.1 system for DVDs.. that gets a bit complex as well.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1230
Registered: 12-2003
the alternator can be larger than needed. it will only supply as much current, within it's physical limits, as the system demands.
same way a computer power supply works. a 450W power supply doesn't always draw, or put out 450W. that's how much it "can" put out, if needed. It really only supplies as much as the system demands.

Try the Alpine CDA-7897 for Phantom Face ge1.x=0&image1.y=0
or Alpine CDA-9815 with motorized, non-Phantom face, and V-Drive MOSFET amp: &image1.y=0

use to fine the Alpine or Clarion you like, then use and for best pricing.

Bronze Member
Username: Gecko

Post Number: 35
Registered: 01-2004
I like clarion stuff lately this one ct=DXZ745MP# actually looks alot like the older Eclipse decks I was trying to refer you to. The only shortfall I can see is the EQ on the Clarion unit is only a two band parametric while the alpine has a 5 band which used correctly gives extreme control over tuning your system.
Here is the alpine website incase you want more information about the 9815.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 12-2003
you can always get an Audiocontrol 1/3 octave EQ to make up for environment.
That allos supplies you with a 9V line driver.

Older Eclipse units were pretty. I loved the early 90s ones for looks. sleek, simple, black.. touch-screen face on some.

If ya go Clarion, try to get their ProAudio line.
Those are sweet.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2004
So this Clarion head i like with an additional EQ in the trunk or wherever? Audiocontrol huh. a 1/3 octave? one 9v line driver? or is it more than one line driver? and whats a line driver.. the main line that is splitable? or just a single output to a unit or set of units? Id have to go take a look at it. dont have time at the moment.. maybe in a few mins.

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1240
Registered: 12-2003
they have a 1/2 and 1/3 octave EQ model both.
the EQL may be what you want.
it's 1/2 octave, 30 band I think?
I used to have one but I forget.
the line driver is built into all of their EQs I think. It just boosts the line voltage signal up to 9V, or where ever you wet it.
usually 4V is fine.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 20
Registered: 02-2004
Thanks alot man. checking em out now.
And i only need one of these things right?
could i get a model higher? or are you telling me exactly the unit that i need?

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 21
Registered: 02-2004
Oh oh. With my system, i need a new battery probably.. alternator for sure, and im going to try for a 200 or 250 amp alt. Should i get another, smaller battery in the trunk? Because i need 3 1/0 wires from the battery right? goody.. because nobody seems to make a battery terminal with 3 1/0 outputs. closest thing i saw was a single 1/0 and 2 4ga outputs. What does my cars electrical system need? 4 or 8 ga? To the starter?
I gotta know what im wiring.. and what ga it accepts. Is it pretty generic for cars? or does it depend on what car i have and what wires the manufacturer decided to use? then ill have to get up in the hood and check it out.
I think i got.. 2 1/0 to the trunk, another 1/0 split to my other amps? or not split.. and then whatever the regular wire is that goes to the starter, and car distro, all off the positive post right?
holler if i miss something.
Then... negative to the alternator.. and ground everything.. and high amp or whatever distro blocks with fuses build in where needed, and additional fuseblocks for everything else. and what.. a single inline ANL type 200amp fuseblock near the battery for every 1/0 running out?
150 amp ANL? do i need fuseblocks for the negative to the alternator? fuseblocks for the other little wires to the cars electrical? The cap and rotors distributor is wired directly to the battery isnt it? So ill need 4 ga or something for that eh?

Im almost done =)

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1249
Registered: 12-2003
Ok the EQL is a 2 channel (stereo) model.
They hace single channel models you can buy if ya want to adjust each channel from the head unit separately (expensive to do) and so on. look around teh site and find what works for ya.

as for the charging system..
you replace the stock alternator with the high output one.
you use ONE 1/0 gauge cable from the battery to teh trunk for the amps. use the same cable size to wire the alternator and battery positive and ground points. remember this electrical path is one big chain. it all has to handle the same current. *at* the amplifiers you can use a distribution block and split down to smaller 4AWG cable for the short distance from teh block to the amps tehmselves. remember the cable's max current rating is also based on the distance it's run.

for the batteries, you can use deepcycles in the trunk if you want them to handle the system when the engine is off.
you'll need a battery isolator to separate those batteries from the starter battery.
talk to teh guys at
they can set you all up for a good charging system, and they handle alternators up to 270A. That's all they do.

you'll want a large fuse at the battery, and individual fuses on each amp on the positive lines.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 22
Registered: 02-2004
Hummaty hum humm. aight. so i only need one 1/0 from the battery that will go to the trunk, solely for the 3 amps there. what about the amp in the front on the passenger side in the cabin?
Dont i need yet another wire for that sucker?
could i use Lightning Audios battery terminal with the single 1/0 output, and dual 4ga outputs? and one to the amp in the cabin directly, and the other to be split to other areas of the car that need power?

I dont necessarily want another battery, or batteries in the trunk, but i dont want my lights to dim, or the volume, bass, power to wobble. if another battery will help keep power levels high and juice flowing, then ill wire it that way.
Couldnt i wire my front battery to a better, faster battery in the rear and run my amps off the battery back there so the cable distances are shortest? and wire the front battery to the rear battery and the alternator to both? or is something canceling out there..

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1257
Registered: 12-2003
"could i use Lightning Audios battery terminal with the single 1/0 output, and dual 4ga outputs? and one to the amp in the cabin directly, and the other to be split to other areas of the car that need power?"

good idea. sure.
1/0 to the trunk. 4AWG to the other amp

if you use two batteries, you go from the alternator and regulator to a device called an isolator.
this device lets the alternator charge both batteries, but doesn't let the two batteries see each other.. so the audio system runs off of the battery in the trunk and the car starts using the one under the hood. if one dies, the other is untouched.
the battery in the back would be an optima yellowtop deepcycle RG battery.
the one under the hood wound be a high cranking amp starter battery.
the only time thise setup helps is for competitions where the battery supplies all of the power for teh system.
when nthe motor is running, the alternator supplies all power and the battery(ies) are in a charging state and not sued by the audio system.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 23
Registered: 02-2004
Hmmmm. ok. would you suggest Lightning Audios Strike batteries for under the hood?
and just ONE optima yellowtop right? mine isnt exactly going to be a showstopping competition system. Regulator is already under my hood im guessing.. so how much is an isolator? $20 +/-?
how much does tha yellowtop cost?

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1260
Registered: 12-2003
any good sears diehard gold makes a great starter battery

the optima yellowtop is $100-170 depending on if you go ebay or local autozone.
one is fine.

the isolator you can find on eBay or any RV supply shop. prive varies by amperage rating.
you'll need one rated to match the alternator, so 200A or whatever teh alternator ends up being.
they aren't all that expensive.. they're just a power diode network essentially, with heatsinks.
they let current through one way and split it up for each battery. pretty simple.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 24
Registered: 02-2004
sears sweet. i love sears. okedoke, as long as the battery is under $200 i can factor it in. isolators dont sound that expensive. doesnt sound to expensive.

Sooo.. should i use the extra battery in the trunk? or just use the LA terminal and distribute power that way?

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1280
Registered: 12-2003
if you're not going to run the stereo for long periods of time without the motor running, just use a good starter battery and forget the isolator and second battery.
you won't need them.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 25
Registered: 02-2004
Reason i want the kill switch idea is so that if the engine IS off, i can still have basic sound, 4 speakers no amps. Thing is, if my front set is hooked to an amp, and my 6x9s are hooked to an amp, and i couldnt kill them, could i just have a gain knob up front for the two amps and turn it down a little while still keeping the volume up? or does gain not work like that?

Just running those two amps wont drain the battery much will it? especially if i have a high cranking alternator and a high capacity battery? i probably wont run the in-cabin speakers/components, which are run by the two amplifiers, for more than a half hour at a time.. the most i might play music is if i stop to talk to someone in a parking lot somewhere. or for a few minutes while i fill out a bank slip.
know what i mean?

no battery in the trunk then.
i just thougtht itd be a good idea to help get more power to the amps faster. shortening the cables to the amps. but the idea cancels itself out. So nobody makes a terminal that has 2 1/0s and one 4ga cable?
Why doesnt anyone make a terminal with 3 1/0s? it draws power too quick or something? strange..

If i could find a terminal that has two 1/0s and a 4ga then i could split one of the 1/0s and send a 4ga to the car electronics, 1/0 to the trunk, 4 ga to the amp in the front, and the other 4 ga to the amp for the 6x9s, leaving the 1/0 solely for the amps for the subs in the trunk yea?

Again thanks for the help man.

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 26
Registered: 02-2004 ct=DXZ745MP#

OK im deciding on these two Heads. Clarion and Alpine, respectively.
I will go with either. But Clarion doesnt tell me exactly how many 4v preouts i get. is that 6 of them? it says 6 channels. and then it says it has another 2 outputs of some kind. I like this head. But i like the Alpine head better, it sinks into the head unit mechanically.

Im torn between the two, but i need a head asap..

here is the alpine link. &p_subcategory=45&p_main=10

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1293
Registered: 12-2003
the kill switch thing is a cute idea, but too complicated and rather pointless.
don't bother. keep it simple.
I had an 820 watt system using class-AB amps throughout (read low efficiency) and on a diehard gold 1200CCA battery I could run my system for hours without any problem with the engine off, even at high volume.

why do you think you need three 1/0AWG lines?
again, 1/0AWG cable can handle up to 350 AMPERES of current.
You'd need a really large alternator(s) to excede that limit.

you're really trying to over-complicate things..

Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 27
Registered: 02-2004
Uhh. not intentionally.. So no kill switch, but a gain relay mounted up front? the bass knob that comes with most amplifiers, does that go down to zero bass?
I dont want to turn the volume down to 0.
my family hates bass, with a passion. they didnt have it back in the 30s and 40s.. apparently.
I care not if its complicated, as long as it works. Is there a feature on head units that lets you kill certain channels? or would that be bad for the amps?

Bronze Member
Username: Gecko

Post Number: 36
Registered: 01-2004
Jonathon it would be easy to add a kill switch to the amp running the subwoofers since you thought of it before doing the install. You just need to run 2 remote turn ons from the deck and the one for the sub amp would have a switch up front by you.

The EASIER way is through the deck, both of the headunits you are looking at have an adjustment for sub-level (the volume of the subwoofers) so you'd just need to turn that all the way down to 0 and you would have no subwoofers playing.


Bronze Member
Username: Timberjon

Post Number: 28
Registered: 02-2004
Thanks Pete, and GW, im now in the final stages of my systems preorder. Looking at Stinger electrical stuff at the moment..
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