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Discussion Starter #1
So i just put in Alpine 10 inch Type E's in a FOXBOX, which is awesome, with an Alpine PDX-1.600 amp. I tried mounting the amp behind the rear seats but i'm retarded and put it where the seat brackets go. I screwed it to a piece of MDF and attached it to the truck using velcro. I have the amp sitting on the floor right now but theres a few things i dont really understand yet. What do the controls on the Amp mean. I did what the instructions told me on the gain control but i dont know if i could turn it up more or if its up to high. I dont even know what that does. It also has a switch on there where i could change it between .1-1.0 and 1.0-8.0. It tells me to switch it to the one that fits my head unit. How do i find out which one it is? I have the Alpine CDA-9884. It also has the LP Filter on it. What does this do? It's the first time i have ever farted around with this kind of stuff and it took me and my friend almost 6 hours to get it all set up. I'm pretty happy with it so far. I just want to know if i could fine tune it even more or if i'm pretty much ready to rock.

I am also getting a security system once my tax refund gets deposited. The Viper 7900. Anyone have experience with this security system?
 

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I did some research on your alpine stuff and this is what i recommend....Voltage switch on 1.0-8.0 since your radio puts out 2volts on the preamp out put, put the subsonic filter on 15hz since you have a 10" sub, and LP filter on 120. Now you have done that turn your bass down on your radio control. what you want is your speakers to play highs and mids while your sub plays the lows. so best way to tune (turn the gain down on your amp and radio frist) a system is turn up the radio to where you barely start to hear distortion then from there adjust the mids and highs from the radio not the bass (yet). Leaving the volume up go to your amp and play with the gain till your subs barely start to distort. From there you can see if you need more bass or not. By turning your volume up you put everything on max level volume including your sub while still safe so you wont reach that level of blowing anything at high volumes. This is the way I tune all the systems I have installed when I was an Installation Manager. Hope it helps!!!!!
 

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Thanks for the reply. I have it all set to where it needs to be. I have the gain turned about half way up. I probably could have gone up a little more but just to be on the safe side i kept it where it was at. The 10's shake my mirrors and all and i'm happy with it but how much better would it get if i amped my 4 speakers also? I have Alpine Type-S speakers in there now.
 

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Installing a 4 channel amp will greatly increase the sound clarity. It makes your speakers more sensative to music, so you can achieve a higher sound at a lower volume setting. The only thing is on your radio you only have one more RCA out put so you're going to lose the fade from front to back on your system, you're going to have to use a "Y" splitter. But go for it!!!
 

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You really know your stuff. I really got into doing this. I was outside in a foot and a half of snow installing all this yesterday and today but it was fun. I saw a couple posts where guys made one piece of MDF that fits on the back wall. Once summer comes around i think i'm gonna do that and amp the speakers. Until then i'm gonna keep learning and i might have to buy a new vehicle now so i can put a whole new system in it haha.
 

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Ya it's an addiction!! Expensive one too! Ya my Silverado is decked out with all the good stuff. And if your going to get another vehicle, an SUV or hatchback with a basic OEM system is the way to go for a sound system IMO. If you have anymore questions let me know.
 

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Alright today i was driving to work. I got an hour drive and about 30 minutes into the drive all my speakers kinda gave out. My subs were still pounding but nowhere as good as they were. My front and rear speakers sorta became fuzzy sounding. Not clear at all. The drive home they were fine. It did this before when i just had my 4 speakers in there and i would put the fader to the front speakers and they would start working again. Any Ideas?
 

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'11 5.7L R/T Classic
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So i just put in Alpine 10 inch Type E's in a FOXBOX, which is awesome, with an Alpine PDX-1.600 amp. I tried mounting the amp behind the rear seats but i'm retarded and put it where the seat brackets go. I screwed it to a piece of MDF and attached it to the truck using velcro. I have the amp sitting on the floor right now but theres a few things i dont really understand yet. What do the controls on the Amp mean. I did what the instructions told me on the gain control but i dont know if i could turn it up more or if its up to high. I dont even know what that does. It also has a switch on there where i could change it between .1-1.0 and 1.0-8.0. It tells me to switch it to the one that fits my head unit. How do i find out which one it is? I have the Alpine CDA-9884. It also has the LP Filter on it. What does this do? It's the first time i have ever farted around with this kind of stuff and it took me and my friend almost 6 hours to get it all set up. I'm pretty happy with it so far. I just want to know if i could fine tune it even more or if i'm pretty much ready to rock.

I am also getting a security system once my tax refund gets deposited. The Viper 7900. Anyone have experience with this security system?
One thing I would add is that you want to "set" your system NOT using the maximum volume on your head unit. The head unit can introduce an unclear signal at it's max setting. A rule of thumb is around 2/3 to 3/4 of it's max number. If you're introducing distortion at the signal's beginning then everything else is just amplifying distortion.

Also, the general rule on your low pass is to start at 80 hz and blend it with your midbass (or in this case coaxial). 120 hz is the upper end of the bass spectrum, and can cause your soundstage to fall behind you in the lower frequencies. Not always, and sometimes 120 is a compromise you have to be willing to accept (if your frontstage doesn't handle midbass very well, as may be the case without a dedicated amplifier).

About your front speakers and how they relate to your head unit's limitations - If you only have one set of preouts for your front, I'd recommend only amping the front speakers, and let the rears play off head unit power. Most experts will tell you that rear speakers hurt the quality of your soundstage until you really know what you're doing. The goal in car audio is to have your dash become a stage where you can pick out where each instrument or band member is located. If you can make the stage extend beyond the walls of your vehicle, that's even better. Also, you don't lose fade control.

Setting gains is a "set it and forget it" practice. It's not to be used as a volume knob so if you followed the Alpine instructions, you should be fine. It's very likely that your frontstage wont be able to keep up with the substage when you crank up the volume. If that's the case, you'll definitely benefit from amping the front. The .1-1.0 setting is for what are called low level inputs. Basically when you tap a speaker wire to get your signal for the bass. This is common on dodge vehicles that include the infinity package since you'd have to bypass the factory amp otherwise. So you definitely want to be on the 1.0-8.0 setting in your situation, and ideally match your head unit's preout voltage. (ex. 2V, 4v, 5V, 8V preouts). These days, less expensive decks use 2V, mid level decks use 4V, and high end decks use 5V. That's not a guarantee about a certain deck's quality, but among the audio elite, the higher the number, the stronger the performer. It's also become something of a marketing gimmick more recently, so it's no guarantee.

If your head unit has on board filtering, then you can even turn off the amps low pass filter and use the head unit. Later on you'll be able to adjust it on the fly from your head unit, versus digging around behind your back seats to try to tweak things.

If your foxbox starts jumping out of the storage holes, you can drill a hole through the bottom of both sides and bolt it down to the cab. MAKE SURE you know where you're drilling and don't hit a critical component underneath the cab. I've heard Joe say he can get Alpines making the box jump. Mine has a tendency to make the box buzz on the sides from the washers from the seat spacers vibrating toward it over time so I used duct tape to quiet it down.

I've been through my '02 and '04 rams quite extensively with my audio installs, so if you have any questions about the truck or other audio stuff, feel free to private message me. I've done the back wall amp rack, fiberglassed some tweeter pods into the a-pillars, sound deadened nearly the whole thing (pulled everything out of the truck and did a thorough job), and done all my own wiring multiple times.
 

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Alright today i was driving to work. I got an hour drive and about 30 minutes into the drive all my speakers kinda gave out. My subs were still pounding but nowhere as good as they were. My front and rear speakers sorta became fuzzy sounding. Not clear at all. The drive home they were fine. It did this before when i just had my 4 speakers in there and i would put the fader to the front speakers and they would start working again. Any Ideas?
Might be your radio amp going out. If you have the basic oem system then it's your radio, if you have the infinity system then it might be the factory amp going out or inline crossover going out. Maybe....?
 

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'11 5.7L R/T Classic
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Alright today i was driving to work. I got an hour drive and about 30 minutes into the drive all my speakers kinda gave out. My subs were still pounding but nowhere as good as they were. My front and rear speakers sorta became fuzzy sounding. Not clear at all. The drive home they were fine. It did this before when i just had my 4 speakers in there and i would put the fader to the front speakers and they would start working again. Any Ideas?
Is your amp's ground wire the same size as the power wire? like, thickness?

If not, go buy a new ground wire that matches your power wire's girth. If/when this happens again, feel your amp and see if it's hot.

This doesn't explain why the 4 speakers are going out. For that I'd start with asking how old is the head unit, and are you POSITIVE all the wires are secure and not rubbed through to metal anywhere?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The ground is the same size as the power. I bought a Streetwires 4 gauge wiring kit. I actually felt my amp when i got to work and when i got home and it wasnt hot at all.

It's the basic OEM system. I got the head unit in december brand new from best buy. I overpaid on it but i learned quickly and didnt go to best buy for anything else. I'm not 100% positive the wires are secure. I'll go back and check it all.

Also where did you put the ground wire. I put it on a bolt behind my backseat on one of those straps that are sitting back there. Is that alright?
 

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Regarding the grounding location:

1. Does this bolt go down to a substantial piece of metal? Sheet metal is no good. Frame is great, and running it all the way back to the negative battery terminal is perfect. I've managed to use one of the seat bolts that goes through the bottom of the cab. If you're using something different, I'd probably at least move it to the seat bolt. Those child seat bolt strap things would get a D- on the ground-o-meter. Even truck to truck coming off the same line, electrical systems can behave differently just from the factory variance of the sheet metal. Having worked on 2 different 3rd gen rams, I know each had their own distinct differences when it came to acceptable grounding.

2. Did you scrape the metal around the ground location until it was shiny everywhere it touches? A wire brush on a drill works nicely, but some rough sandpaper can do the trick with a little elbow grease, or in the worst case, a knife with an hour or so of scratching can get you to a B- in the proper location.

3. Grounding causes 90% of audio problems for first timers beyond the blatantly obvious issues like plugging the wrong things in (which it doesn't sound like you did).

Still, the front speakers cutting out doesn't really sound like a sub amp grounding problem to me right off the bat. It sounds like either a bad connection somewhere that bounced loose (or bounces loose sometimes), or a head unit issue. Another quick check is your fuses. Normally you wouldn't get any sound with a fuse issue, but 1 time out of 100 they can blow in a funny way. Did Best Buy do the install? Not talking down to anyone that works at BB or any other brick and morter, but they're not working at BB because they're the best installer in the history of car audio. Most of the "greats" move up to a dedicated car audio shop, and turnover can be high. They may not have done a thorough job. Since it's affecting both the front speakers and the subs, my guess is the head unit wiring.

How loud have you cranked it so far? Are you pretty familiar with what distortion sounds like? I'm not trying to be condescending, but is there any chance something blew? You might specifically check to make sure none of your wires have a stray strand that might have come in contact with metal near the amp or in the back of the deck.

Do you have any sort of "whine" sound that is noticeable when you rev the engine? It can sometimes come and go depending on all sorts of factors. Just from personal observation, weather can have an impact on it's pitch and loudness, but the changing tone would be very noticeable when the engine revs up (in neutral or when you're driving) and has nothing to do with what volume level you have the head unit at. Therefore it would be most noticeable when the volume is at 0.

Other than that, it might be worthwhile to do a little googling about that model number from Alpine and look for issues people may have had in common with what you're describing. I've never been a pro installer, and I haven't seen your truck, so someone else might have another idea to pitch to you. Start with the obvious and work toward the complicated. Fuses, correct plug-ins, wire strands, and speaker coils. I've read something somewhere about fader control fixing a problem before, but I can't remember what it was or how they fixed it. It might be a not so rare dodge wiring issue.

Either way, fix that ground wire just to eliminate it as an issue. You should do it anyway, even if everything was working fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The bolt is at the top right under the window. I did use a belt sander to get it all nice and shiny. I will move that this weekend unless it's really important. My truck wont be getting much use anymore this week anyways.

I did all the installing. It was my first time doing anything of that sort. I used wire nuts to connect all the wires and electrical tape around that. If i did mess the wiring up would it cut in and out like that? Always around 30-40 minutes of driving? I dont crank it up too loud. My volume goes up to 35 and i keep it at 19 or 20. When the speakers do cut out..if there is a part in the song where it gets really loud or a scream or something like that the speakers will start to work again for a second or 2 then go back to the muffled sound.

Today after about 50 minutes of driving the speakers actually started turning off and on. Almost like the cd was scratched but it wasnt and the same songs and speakers worked fine for a half hour on the way home...then started again except they didnt turn off and on. I felt my amp and it was just a little warm both times.

I havent noticed any whine coming from the engine.

By the way Ceri, how are those Nitto Tires workin out for you? I'm in need of new ones and was gonna go with Goodyear Fortera Triple Treads but i was checking out your truck and saw the Nitto's. I've never even heard of them before. Then again i've never had to buy tires for any vehicle.
 

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The bolt is at the top right under the window. I did use a belt sander to get it all nice and shiny. I will move that this weekend unless it's really important. My truck wont be getting much use anymore this week anyways.

I did all the installing. It was my first time doing anything of that sort. I used wire nuts to connect all the wires and electrical tape around that. If i did mess the wiring up would it cut in and out like that? Always around 30-40 minutes of driving? I dont crank it up too loud. My volume goes up to 35 and i keep it at 19 or 20. When the speakers do cut out..if there is a part in the song where it gets really loud or a scream or something like that the speakers will start to work again for a second or 2 then go back to the muffled sound.

Today after about 50 minutes of driving the speakers actually started turning off and on. Almost like the cd was scratched but it wasnt and the same songs and speakers worked fine for a half hour on the way home...then started again except they didnt turn off and on. I felt my amp and it was just a little warm both times.

I havent noticed any whine coming from the engine.

By the way Ceri, how are those Nitto Tires workin out for you? I'm in need of new ones and was gonna go with Goodyear Fortera Triple Treads but i was checking out your truck and saw the Nitto's. I've never even heard of them before. Then again i've never had to buy tires for any vehicle.
Moving the ground can wait until the weekend, but it's definitely worth fixing soon. What you're describing sounds to me like the amp going into protection mode from overheating. What ohm ratings are each of the speakers?

Before I knew anything about car audio, the previous owner of my '02 had thrown together a very shotty system with an old 2 channel amp. He had a 4 ohm DVC sub wired to a 2 ohm load going to an amp that could only handle a 4 ohm load bridged. The amp would get extremely hot to the touch (actually left a burn mark on the carpet eventually), but it would cut out after about 20 minutes on the dot and go into protect mode. It would still hum at a low volume with the song, but wouldn't play what I'd call music. I only played it at a low to medium volume level and an ignorant observer wouldn't have guessed I had a sub system at all. That's what brought me to dodgetalk in the first place, and I've since done my fair share of reading and researching on audio. So, double check that you have the subs and speakers wired correctly. Also be sure your speakers aren't throwing anything more than a 4 ohm load at the head unit. If you wire them in parallel for some reason, you've probably only got a 2 ohm load going to the deck, and it's unstable. Most head units don't like anything less than 4 ohms.

Regarding the tires, the biggest seller for me was the aggressive sidewall pattern. They grip exceptionally well, but they do come with their fair share of road noise. A little louder than the Goodyears on the highway. I've sound deadened my truck pretty well and it annoys my picky ears over 70 mph. It's a night and day difference though when it comes to safety and hugging the road. We had some ice on the roads down here in Texas a week or two ago and I didn't slip and slide at all like the Goodyears did. The sound thing probably isn't a big deal for most people, but I'm a freak about little noises after a few years of tweaking an audio system.
 

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Another somewhat far fetched possibilty is a faulty crossover circuit. If you reversed the crossover, you'd get a muffled and quieter sound out of the speakers. I'm no expert on the internals of an amp (or an onboard head unit amp), but if something were to overheat and cause it to switch the crossover, you might get something like what you're describing.

This is a pretty far fetched possibility, but it just crossed my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The Subs are 4 ohm and i dont know if the subs or amp have anything to do with this. This was happening when i put the 4 door speakers in. When it happened i faded the music to the front door 6x9's. It's supposed to be 50 here on saturday so i'm gonna tear the panels off and check it out. And then i think a good wash clay and wax is in order. It might be possible that i have the wires hooked up to the speakers differently. But i still dont get why it would work then not work.

And i think you sold me on those tires when you talked about the ice. We get some pretty good snow storms up here in Ohio. A really bad ice/snow storm just recently and the hemi and crappy tires does not make a good combination. Hell, i was coming off the highway on a rainy day. It was 45 degrees out so it wasnt icy and i had my back end slide out on me while i was turning. I think i was just spinning the tire and didnt realize it.
 

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The Subs are 4 ohm and i dont know if the subs or amp have anything to do with this. This was happening when i put the 4 door speakers in. When it happened i faded the music to the front door 6x9's. It's supposed to be 50 here on saturday so i'm gonna tear the panels off and check it out. And then i think a good wash clay and wax is in order. It might be possible that i have the wires hooked up to the speakers differently. But i still dont get why it would work then not work.

And i think you sold me on those tires when you talked about the ice. We get some pretty good snow storms up here in Ohio. A really bad ice/snow storm just recently and the hemi and crappy tires does not make a good combination. Hell, i was coming off the highway on a rainy day. It was 45 degrees out so it wasnt icy and i had my back end slide out on me while i was turning. I think i was just spinning the tire and didnt realize it.
Yeah, check the wires, and especially check your doors for any light burn markets from a wire making contact with metal.

If you understand what ohms are all about, sending a signal that's 2 ohms to an amp that can only handle 4 ohms will cause it to overheat trying to put out too much power. This applies to CD player's internal amp too, and CD players usually aren't rated for any less than 4 ohms. I think the Alpine coaxials are all rated for 4 ohms, but if some wires are crossed on the connection, it could possibly be creating a problem. If it keeps giving you problems after you've verified all the connections, it might be time to buy an amp for the door speakers and try to remove the CD player's internal amp from the equation.

If I understand the situation correctly, you no longer have any oem components in your sound system, other than factory wiring, and you don't have the door speakers amped. Swap the ground point, check all your wires and make sure nothing is touching metal to metal, check all your connection points to make sure there's no stray wires. If you've done all that, then the only real places to look at are the internals of the components themselves. Since your doors aren't amped, it's pretty much got to be a bad head unit. I haven't been that current on Alpine as of late, but I did read somewhere that people said they have a 38% DOA rate with their newest line, so quality may be going downhill in a big way. It would be quite a shame, as they have had one of the most solid reputations in the industry for a long long time.

About the tires, I don't want to give the false impression that you can floor the hemi from a stop in the middle of an icy intersection. They will slip if you make them, or don't behave yourself in bad weather, but if you drive with a heightened sense of awareness, you'll be happy. When I drive around in a parking garage, I get that 80's cop show effect of squeeky tires on every turn, even after about 6000 miles. Discount Tire sells them as their "Best" line for our trucks. Mine are 305/50R20s on a 2wd and there's no rubbing at all. You may be able to clear a 305/55R20 on a 2wd.
 

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I noticed on one of the earlier post you mentioned subsonic settings. If your using the vented box its VERY important that you set the subsonic filter to 30hz. If its sealed then it doesnt matter and you can turn it as low as it will go or even turn it off. The vent tunning is 35 hz and you don't want anything much lower than 30hz going through at high power. Most filters are 12-18db so you will still get bass thats lower than 30hz but it almost eliminates unloading the cone at high volume on bass cd's that play 20hz test tones.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Alright i checked out all the speaker wires and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I had them taped up pretty good but i secured them all using wire nuts this time. All i can do now is hope for the best.

As for the ground wire. The connector that is on the ground wire is not big enough for me to get the seat bolt through it. I cant drill it and make it bigger either. The bolt is just too big. I may end up just buying another ground wire long enough to run it to the battery.

So once i amp the speakers, if it is a bad head unit, would this problem just go away? I was really tempted to go to best buy and put a 4 channel on my credit card but decided against it.

I have the sealed box. I have it set to 15hz right now i believe. What kind of sound difference would i get if i turned that off?
 

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You won't hear any difference. Subsonic filters are mostly used with vented boxes. Its still good to set it around 20hz so your not wasting power on sounds you can't hear.
 
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