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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there everyone,

Im about to install a sound upgrade in my 2001 mod. 156, and have some questions you may be willing to help me with. (its my first car, and first time installing sound)

I got for this project:

- Alpine iDA-X305SBT (18w rms x4 channels )
- Alpine KTP-445a power pack (45w rms x4 channels)
- Morel Dotech Ovation 6 component speakers (for the front doors)
- Alpine SPS-610 (for the rear doors)
- Infintiy Basslink (for the trunk)

Would you add or change anything? Im not out to get eye-popping Meade like bass, but to have a great hi-fi quality sound for almost any type of music: classic, jazz, pop, rock, dub step, etc...

And now to the question... How to get all of it connected?

As I have figured out..

the power-pack (aka. amp) will be connected between the car and the head-unit, and hidden behind the head unit.

the rear door speakers will just be swapped with the old ones.

the basslink (powered sub) in the trunk, will need to have one cable directly to the battery, and one to an earth point (any suggestions?), and then.. what speaker cables should I put in it? the ones that are under the shelf? (got 2 speaker cables there, one at each side, with the yellow connector).

and then the front component speakers? cause now it is as it came from factory, you got the 6.5 inch speaker with its plug, and the 1"? tweeter with another plug.. but, if Im installing components of such quality as the morels, I would like to use the included crossover boxes.

The Crossover has positive and negative ports for: "Amp In" - "Tweeter Out" and "Woofer Out", so do I just connect from the old 6.5 each speakers into "Amp In" and then the others as they are named (tweeter out to tweeters and woofer out to woofers", and leave the old tweeter plugs unplugged? Is there any adjustment to do in the head unit? cause til now, it has been doing the crossover work of splitting the signal, so I guess that If I don't change anything on the HU, the cable that I install on the "amp in" of the crossover won't have that tweeter signals, and thus the crossover won't have nothing to send to the tweets.

Or do I have this all wrong?

Any suggestion of where to put the crossovers? anyone have installed some inside the doors and have some pics of it?

Any other ideas or things I should do? what about cables? would it be better off, getting rid of all the actual cabling, and rewire the whole? and any thickness in them? even for those that goes from the old plugs to the crossover and therefrom to the speakers?

should I put the basslink facing the behind of the car or the back seats?.. and maybe leaving open the compartment at the back seats?

Thanks for your kindliness, and time spent reading.

Cheers!
 

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Although I'm not totally up on the Alfa system I have done audio installs on many other cars in the past so will offer some more generic advice.

I've not heard of the Alpine Power Pack, but from your description it sounds like a small in-line amp used for component speakers. Depending on its wiring methods and size you may find it won't fit behind the head unit in the dash, there is very rarely much space behind there. Generally amps are mounted in the boot of a vehicle, for space reasons but mainly because the boot is generally cooler than the rest of the car which allows the amps to work without overheating. If it simply a plug-and-play amp that connects directly into the head unit wiring you may find some space behind the glove box and this will probably be the best area to mount it.

Your front components and crossovers are an easy install despite how complicated it first looks. The crossover receives a signal from the head unit, and then splits this signal into 2 - one for the large speaker and one for the tweeter. The only original wiring you should use (if any) is the feed into the crossover, the wiring out of the crossover should be made up by you using the contents of the kit. Mounting of the actual crossover unit is dependant on the space available in the door, but generally I've mounted them on the external door skin using double sided tape. With the door card removed check where the window sits when it is lowered, and try and mount the crossover underneath the window. A little bit of cling film over the top of the crossover unit will keep any errant water out of there.

Setting up the head unit for the front components is easy - you don't have to change anything. The crossover unit that comes with the speakers does all the signal splitting for you, ensuring the speakers only get the frequencies they can cope with.

Speaker cabling - there are soooo many myths here it is unreal, so to dispel the biggest of them I'll say this - most speaker cabling and connectors are of exactly the same quality. You can pay twice the price for thicker gold plated cabling and connectors, but in a road vehicle running a medium grade install and used at a reasonable listening volume, you will never notice any difference in quality. My advice is to use as much of the original speaker wiring as possible. Having done a few complete installs I have to say that replacing the speaker wiring was always the hardest part of the job!! Passing the cables through doors, fixing it all down, connectors, so many problems for absolutely no quality gain at all.

Your sub - a sub works by moving massive amounts of air. Therefore it should be mounted in a position where there is enough air to move - the rear of the back seats is an ideal place as you have a boot full of air to move. This only applies to sealed sub enclosures, as ported enclosures work in a slightly different way but that's nothing to worry about in this case.

When connecting the wiring from the head unit to the sub/amp there are a few things that you should follow - always try to avoid the phono leads alongside anything that carries power. The phono leads carry a very low power signal and are very prone to interference, and there isn't much people can do to stop it. Don't be drawn in to more expensive leads with magnetic interference protection and gold plated connectors - they do not help!! Keep your phono leads apart from other leads, and only cross other leads at a 90degree angle.

There will probably also be settings on the head units for your sub-out (the phono leads that take the signal from the head unit to the subs amp), be sure to set these settings up, as sometimes the amp won't even switch on without these settings.

Hopefully this has helped you some, and not just made it more confusing!

Mark
 

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Don't forget the stereo release tools (returnable/refundable) from Halfords. Coathangers just make a mess on the outgoing stereo that you could sell on ebay and sometimes don't work which results in wasted afternoon and a trip to Halfords anyway...

Nick
 
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Go on the ICE forum bit and ask there there will be more help possibly:thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Although I'm not totally up on the Alfa system I have done audio installs on many other cars in the past so will offer some more generic advice.

I've not heard of the Alpine Power Pack, but from your description it sounds like a small in-line amp used for component speakers. Depending on its wiring methods and size you may find it won't fit behind the head unit in the dash, there is very rarely much space behind there. Generally amps are mounted in the boot of a vehicle, for space reasons but mainly because the boot is generally cooler than the rest of the car which allows the amps to work without overheating. If it simply a plug-and-play amp that connects directly into the head unit wiring you may find some space behind the glove box and this will probably be the best area to mount it.

Your front components and crossovers are an easy install despite how complicated it first looks. The crossover receives a signal from the head unit, and then splits this signal into 2 - one for the large speaker and one for the tweeter. The only original wiring you should use (if any) is the feed into the crossover, the wiring out of the crossover should be made up by you using the contents of the kit. Mounting of the actual crossover unit is dependant on the space available in the door, but generally I've mounted them on the external door skin using double sided tape. With the door card removed check where the window sits when it is lowered, and try and mount the crossover underneath the window. A little bit of cling film over the top of the crossover unit will keep any errant water out of there.

Setting up the head unit for the front components is easy - you don't have to change anything. The crossover unit that comes with the speakers does all the signal splitting for you, ensuring the speakers only get the frequencies they can cope with.

Speaker cabling - there are soooo many myths here it is unreal, so to dispel the biggest of them I'll say this - most speaker cabling and connectors are of exactly the same quality. You can pay twice the price for thicker gold plated cabling and connectors, but in a road vehicle running a medium grade install and used at a reasonable listening volume, you will never notice any difference in quality. My advice is to use as much of the original speaker wiring as possible. Having done a few complete installs I have to say that replacing the speaker wiring was always the hardest part of the job!! Passing the cables through doors, fixing it all down, connectors, so many problems for absolutely no quality gain at all.

Your sub - a sub works by moving massive amounts of air. Therefore it should be mounted in a position where there is enough air to move - the rear of the back seats is an ideal place as you have a boot full of air to move. This only applies to sealed sub enclosures, as ported enclosures work in a slightly different way but that's nothing to worry about in this case.

When connecting the wiring from the head unit to the sub/amp there are a few things that you should follow - always try to avoid the phono leads alongside anything that carries power. The phono leads carry a very low power signal and are very prone to interference, and there isn't much people can do to stop it. Don't be drawn in to more expensive leads with magnetic interference protection and gold plated connectors - they do not help!! Keep your phono leads apart from other leads, and only cross other leads at a 90degree angle.

There will probably also be settings on the head units for your sub-out (the phono leads that take the signal from the head unit to the subs amp), be sure to set these settings up, as sometimes the amp won't even switch on without these settings.

Hopefully this has helped you some, and not just made it more confusing!

Mark
Thanks a lot Mark,

well you enlightened some and confused on some other things ;) hehe..

but let me simplify 2 key things.

yes the alpine power-pack is a 4 channel amp "plug & play" into the the head unit. some have it install behind the glove box, and others just behind the head unit. So no extra wiring from it.

the car has already on the front doors the 6.5" woofers and the 1" or so tweeters, and what I was thinking is.. are the signal splitted already? or does the woofer and tweeter receive same signal with all frequencies?

I guess I could just try it and see what happens? (how it sounds?)


then in the trunk there is already to wires with their plug under the shelf, one at the left and one at the right... I guess they where designated to have two 6x9 on the shelf? but... do I just plug one to the basslink or both? or none? in that case... what wire is the right one, where can I find it?


I hope this explained a bit more my 2 concerns.





Don't forget the stereo release tools (returnable/refundable) from Halfords. Coathangers just make a mess on the outgoing stereo that you could sell on ebay and sometimes don't work which results in wasted afternoon and a trip to Halfords anyway...

Nick
Hi Nick,

well... my head unit came with this release tools, so no problem here ;) Thx anyway.


Go on the ICE forum bit and ask there there will be more help possibly:thumbs:
I was about to post this there, but didn't feel it was the right place, so I did a search on sound systems on the forum and most of them where inside here. But I will indeed check that part of the forum as well, maybe I find some info.

Thx for the tip :)
 
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Just a quick point you may want to check be careful if you decide to fix the power amp behind the glove box .
1. Not sure there is much room if any
2. The wiring for dash air bag is up there somewhere so just make sure you don't get it to close or damage it . Alfa are not brill at giving any space to fit anything just be aware you may find things squeezed in where you don't expect them . :D
Oh yeah good luck with it sounds like your gonna be busy :thumbs:
 
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Are your 610s 6x9's or round door speakers?
If they are 6x9s I think in the 156 the covers are there on the shelf but no speakers unless it had a factory upgrade :thumbs:
Think it came as standard with rear door speakers not rear shelf so this space should be ready to fit . You may need to move the wiring if that's so as not sure the wiring goes to the shelf .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are your 610s 6x9's or round door speakers?
If they are 6x9s I think in the 156 the covers are there on the shelf but no speakers unless it had a factory upgrade :thumbs:
Think it came as standard with rear door speakers not rear shelf so this space should be ready to fit . You may need to move the wiring if that's so as not sure the wiring goes to the shelf .
Yes, thanks on that info on space.. I´ll find somewhere to squeeze that m%#"fu%#! is not that big at dimensions: (7-7/8"W x 1-1/2"H x 2-9/16"D) ;)

no the 610´s are 6.5 inches and are going to be installed on the rear doors.

I thought the shelf was ready for some 6x9 but found out they wherent... I buyed a year ago, a pair 6x9´s Rockford Fosgate P1694, and couldn't attach them to anything!.. and after lots of reading about how unnecessary they are, I won't be cutting the shelf, so I don't think I´ll be installing anything there, though.. the wires are already there between the shelf and the yellowish isolation stuff as it came standard in the car, what I don't know is if I should plug those (both or only 1) into the infinity basslink in the trunk... or extend a new wire/s for the bass.

Got some car parts stores with audio section, but they don't know anything, or are going to get their feet outside the store to see the car or anything... unless I pay them lots of money, just to check it out! so no option.. I must do this myself.

what I found out reading lots of articles on the net, was that the money should be spent in the front speakers.. and components are the way to go, the rear doors could just use the ones that came with the car, but some cheap alpine, sony, or anything almost, would be better than the standard ones. so I got the alpine cheap. then if you want more bass.. a sub is the way to go... 8" are ok, 10" are better, and 12" are in fact to much!.. (for good quality hi-fi like music).. if you want eye-popping get the biggest the trunk can fit!.. and so many amps your wallet can afford!, but again, Im not trying to pop eyes out of chicks! ;)

:p
 

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!Reported - to move to ICE forum. ;)

Lots of questions, so the answers will be complex...

the power-pack (aka. amp) will be connected between the car and the head-unit, and hidden behind the head unit.
Morel Ovation are a beautiful set of speakers. The Alpine Power Pack is nothing special. My first suggestion is to ditch the Power Pack, or just use two channels for the rear speakers. Then buy a proper amplifier for your Morels, and run them 'properly'. A nice amp offering 50~100WRMS per channel @ 4ohm would be good. Realise, that the '5WRMS extra' makes little difference. The issue with the Power Pack is that...it lacks really grunty power! It's fine for some entry level speakers and will do wonders compared with just the headunit, but it still lacks bandwidth and dynamic range to mix it with a proper amplifier. Thus, you will be missing out on good punchy midbass for example, and really clear, detailed highs that the Morel tweeters can provide. So, the PPack is a weak link.

the basslink (powered sub) in the trunk, will need to have one cable directly to the battery, and one to an earth point (any suggestions?)
One option is to find the factory groundwire lug/bolt in the corner of the boot, used for things like the rear tail lights and BOSE amplifier (when fitted). Crimp a suitably sized ring terminal onto the end of your groundwire, and add it to this grounding point.

Alternatively, drill an 8mm hole in the spare wheel well, sand back the paint to bare metal, then bolt your ring terminal there. Sounds scary, but it provides a very solid ground point, and I routinely do this. Remove the spare wheel, and choose a suitable spot, distanced from the fuel tank. I suggest the left hand side, near where the exhaust is; this provide room 'under the car' beside the exhaust to use a spanner to help tighten the bolt.

Here's my GT's groundwire: http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL97/467659/20006312/352168369.jpg
Here's my 155's groundwires: http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL97/467659/23309799/389095668.jpg

On the 'outside', smear some silicone or grease around the bolts to make the area water proof.

what speaker cables should I put in it? the ones that are under the shelf? (got 2 speaker cables there, one at each side, with the yellow connector).

and then the front component speakers? cause now it is as it came from factory, you got the 6.5 inch speaker with its plug, and the 1"? tweeter with another plug.. but, if Im installing components of such quality as the morels, I would like to use the included crossover boxes.
Of course, you must include the crossovers. The factory speakers send a fullrange signal to the 6.5" woofer (no lowpass filter), and a branch comes of the woofer wiring to go the tweeter (fullrange at this stage). The factory tweeter has a small capacitor hidden in the housing, which functions as a basic 6dB/octave highpass filter.

Rear speakers: you can either fit them in the doors, where the factory ones are. Or you can customise your rear parcel shelf to fit them (I presume your car has no parcel shelf speakers?). I did this in my 156 because I built an elaborate 5.1 system; I built framed bafflers, cut out the plastic in the shelf following the contour, and built new speaker grills from scratch.

Given rear speakers are a low priority, and for rear passengers, I suggest just putting them in the rear doors. Normally - if you're the only one in the car - you would 'fade' right to the front so that the rear speakers don't interfere with your 'front soundstage'.

The wiring into the doors is complex, so it's up to your skills and determination what you want to do. This is because there is a multipin/wired plug in the door jam, so passing new wire through this is technically difficult.

Options:
1. connect the Power Pack directly to the factory wires beginning in the factory ISO plug connected to the factory headunit; easy enough if you buy a matching ISO plug to directly connect; if adding a new amp for the Morels, you can also run the new wire to the plug behind the headunit; thus, rely on the factory wiring from there to the new speakers/xovers
2. run new wire and join into the factory wires in the cabin, shortly before exiting to the multipin plugs/doors; so, locate the factory speakerwires (wiring diagram and/or multimeter and tracing wires, which in itself is a bit of a skill), cut them, and solder/shrink wrap your new wires; carefully observe polarity (+/-)
3. drill out spare holes in the multipin plugs, and carefully thread new wire through; I can't recall the 156 plugs, but I figure there's spare holes; in my GT, I did this, and it was tedious but worth it; it involved dismantling the plugs, carefully drilling, and then threading new wire: http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL97/467659/19095446/313622717.jpg

For ease if installation, I recommend option 1. So, buy an ISO plug similar to the brown one on the left of this google picture: http://et.sikorait.pl/files/gfx/resized/800x600/30281-kabel_car_audio_2xiso_z_poweraudio_et-9077.jpg

Join your new speakerwire to the relevant wires, and plug it into the Alfa ISO speakerwire plug.

If requiring new speakerwire, then 16awg (American Wire Gauge) is fine for your needs; 14awg and 12awg are thicker/thicker-again, but overkill.

The Crossover has positive and negative ports for: "Amp In" - "Tweeter Out" and "Woofer Out", so do I just connect from the old 6.5 each speakers into "Amp In" and then the others as they are named (tweeter out to tweeters and woofer out to woofers", and leave the old tweeter plugs unplugged?
Pretty much, yes. Again, carefully observe polarity (+/-).

Any suggestion of where to put the crossovers? anyone have installed some inside the doors and have some pics of it?
If the tweeters are mounted in the doors, then have the xovers in the doors. For quality installation, also seal over the large service holes; bang for buck, use self-adhesive sound deadener (eg: Dynamat Xtreme). Sealing the holes helps create a sealed enclosure for the woofers, and they'll sound MUCH better for it (imaging a home audio speaker enclosure with massive holes in it!). In doing so, you also ensure no water/moisture can get out. Then, you can mount the xovers in the space between the back of the door trims and the door, wherever they fit.

Sound deadened/sealed GT/155/156 doors:
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL97/467659/19095446/314773601.jpg
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL97/467659/23404276/393962195.jpg
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1272/13516784/24230619/404615648.jpg

the car has already on the front doors the 6.5" woofers and the 1" or so tweeters, and what I was thinking is.. are the signal splitted already? or does the woofer and tweeter receive same signal with all frequencies?
As mentioned above, they both receive a fullrange signal: to the woofer, and to the tweeter up to the point of the little capacitor.

then in the trunk there is already to wires with their plug under the shelf, one at the left and one at the right... I guess they where designated to have two 6x9 on the shelf?
I've never seen a 156 saloon with factory parcel shelf speakers, so I don't know what size they were designed for. But 6x9 is too big. More like 5x7 at the biggest. I fitted a set of 4" 2-way components.

do I just plug one to the basslink or both? or none?
Neither.

Your Basslink should have RCA audio inputs. So you use the Alpine X305S's 'subwoofer preout', and use RCA cables to connect the audio from the headunit to the subwoofer amplifier.

:)
 

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I have an x305 in a 156 - my only comment is why do you need an amp? I can't remember what the door speakers are (certainly an upgrade over the rubbish standard items), but the head unit is more than capable of melting my ears when I turn it up. Biggest improvement is mounting the speakers in the doors properly. I'd do this before spending money on anything else.
 

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The inbuilt amplifier circuitry/chips in a headunit are fine for factory speakers or entry level speakers. Higher quality speakers tend to be less sensitive/efficient, so you need to feed them more power; that would mean having to turn the headunit volume considerably higher, and then you face issues of distortion and clipping, well before hurting your ears. ;) A headunit like this would be capable of around 20WRMS per channel, yet still not sound like a good amplifier that is producing 20WRMS.

Higher quality speakers will benefit from a good amplifier. I mentioned the benefits above. One doesn't have to spend a fortune on an amplifier (though you can!), because the law of diminishing returns kicks in pretty quickly with them.

:)
 

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Maybe! :)

But I'm not referring to only loudness. It's about the sound quality.

:)
 
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