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Online car audio/video/alarm/installation help for SD members

BayArea 487 August 11, 2008 at 03:00 PM
I can offer you advise on any purchases you are about to make, what to look for, whats good/not good, and any problems you have that you need to troubleshoot.

My father has been in the business for decades and myself for many years, so this is our expertise. We are an award winning car audio speciality shop, and we take alot of pride in our work. Fiberglass is also something I/we specialize in, so shoot your questions!

Ive helped countless amount of SDers with their questions about purchases and what to look for when buying and installing these sorts of things, as it sometimes becomes overwhelming to any one that's not car savvyBig Grin

Things that you might have trouble with that I can help include : In dash decks, in dash navigation systems, ipod and bluetooth integration,alarms, mobile video, amplifiers, speakers and components, signal processors, subwoofers, boxes, wiring, power caps, installation kits, and installation.


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Please remember to input the following descriptions when asking for advise about a future purchase

Vehicle- Year, make, model
Parts purchased/considering- model numbers of the parts
Goal- what are you looking for (that way i know the part your buying will fulfill your needs)

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For troubleshooting:

-Year/make/model of vehicle
-Problem (bass stop working, amp clipping, etc...)
-Weird noises or lights(ex. red light on amplifier, error message on stereo, etc...)

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As a employee at a shop that is an authorized dealer for many brands, im familiar with most if not all models out there. If you have a question about any single one, just ask!

Remember: Always buy from an AUTHORIZED dealer!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know the seller is an Authorized Dealer?
All you have to do is visit the website of the product you are planning on purchasing and there will be a tab named Dealer Locator. All you do is click on that and enter your zip code and it will list all authorized dealers in a certain mileage radius.

How do I know what will fit my car?
Simply ask me what your car is and I can tell you what size speakers, radio, etc... will fit. Remember, the cool thing about car audio is customizing something that didn't come from the factory. We can make your car special and outfitted to fit your needs!

Im not looking to spend too much, can I have a decent sound system on a budget?
You sure can, ask me what your looking for and im sure I can whip up a system for you that will fit your budget. Good sound doesnt require you to spend good money Wink

*BayArea will not be held liable for any damage that results from improper installation or use of tools. I am only giving advice to help slickdealers get started on their car audio systems and to point them in the right direction.

1,312 Comments

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Joined Aug 2008
L1: Learner
10 Reputation
#3
? i had a alright system, i had 2 12's pioneer tsw120 svc 4 ohms 400 rms each the 2007 versions and a mono block mtx amp tc8001 800 rms at 2 ohms in a sealed box 1.25 internal volume each chamber hooked up in a stereo installations place, the system was in my 97'' dodge ram 1500 truck extended cab,,it was running off my factory alternator and i had a alpine head unit i got from circuit city CDE-9872........... for the past months im sure its not normal but my subs have been vibrating constantly when i have the volume fully turned down or when the volume is barely up like during commercials when talking,,,,its like the sound of a 67 camaro when you turn the ignition on and it idle's- warms up the engine but more bassey>>>>>so if you know what that is let me know thanx
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Joined Jun 2004
L6: Expert
133 Reputation
#4
Hey BayArea -

Question about MB Quart PAB 5400 amp (5-Channel):

Can I run mixed ohm loads?

Example:
- Run speakers at 4 Ohmns
- Run subwoofer at 2 Ohmns

Amp specifications are:
4 x 55 W RMS + 1 x 200 W @ 4 Ohms
4 x 80 W RMS + 1 x 300 W @ 2 Ohms
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Joined Jan 2008
L10: Grand Master
487 Reputation
Original Poster
#5
Quote from sayer View Post :
? i had a alright system, i had 2 12's pioneer tsw120 svc 4 ohms 400 rms each the 2007 versions and a mono block mtx amp tc8001 800 rms at 2 ohms in a sealed box 1.25 internal volume each chamber hooked up in a stereo installations place, the system was in my 97'' dodge ram 1500 truck extended cab,,it was running off my factory alternator and i had a alpine head unit i got from circuit city CDE-9872........... for the past months im sure its not normal but my subs have been vibrating constantly when i have the volume fully turned down or when the volume is barely up like during commercials when talking,,,,its like the sound of a 67 camaro when you turn the ignition on and it idle's- warms up the engine but more bassey>>>>>so if you know what that is let me know thanx
It might be the RCA's. In my experience, people that use cheap RCA's have alot of problems and that sounds like one of them.

When you turn off your system or put the volume on 0, does it still vibrate on subwoofers?
let me know

Quote from Rabid View Post :
Hey BayArea -

Question about MB Quart PAB 5400 amp (5-Channel):

Can I run mixed ohm loads?

Example:
- Run speakers at 4 Ohmns
- Run subwoofer at 2 Ohmns

Amp specifications are:
4 x 55 W RMS + 1 x 200 W @ 4 Ohms
4 x 80 W RMS + 1 x 300 W @ 2 Ohms
What kind of sub are you using?
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Joined Jun 2004
L6: Expert
133 Reputation
#6
Quote from BayAreaaa View Post :
It might be the RCA's. In my experience, people that use cheap RCA's have alot of problems and that sounds like one of them.

When you turn off your system or put the volume on 0, does it still vibrate on subwoofers?
let me know



What kind of sub are you using?

Kicker square 8" L7 dual 4-ohmn voice coils, wired in parallel for 2-Ohmns end load

Thanks man!!! worship
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Joined Jan 2008
L10: Grand Master
487 Reputation
Original Poster
#7
Quote from Rabid View Post :
Kicker square 8" L7 dual 4-ohmn voice coils, wired in parallel for 2-Ohmns end load

Thanks man!!! worship
Ok what I would do is run the L7 in parallel which should drop it to 2 ohms. Run it directly to the amps 1 channel for sub and run the speaker wires to the back of the deck to get the 4ohm load.

Now,if you notice that the amp shuts off or goes on protection, you might be out of luck and have to run it 8 ohms. This should be a fast test as its very easy to take the sub out and rewire it in series if it doesnt run 2 ohm stable. Let me know what happened. When i get to the shop tomorrow ill double check on that amp for you.
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Joined Jun 2004
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#8
Quote from BayAreaaa View Post :
Ok what I would do is run the L7 in parallel which should drop it to 2 ohms. Run it directly to the amps 1 channel for sub and run the speaker wires to the back of the deck to get the 4ohm load.

Now,if you notice that the amp shuts off or goes on protection, you might be out of luck and have to run it 8 ohms. This should be a fast test as its very easy to take the sub out and rewire it in series if it doesnt run 2 ohm stable. Let me know what happened. When i get to the shop tomorrow ill double check on that amp for you.

Thanks Bay! I wasn't sure if the amp would cooperate with 2 Ohms sub, 4 ohms speaker connections.
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Joined Jan 2008
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#9
Quote from Rabid View Post :
Thanks Bay! I wasn't sure if the amp would cooperate with 2 Ohms sub, 4 ohms speaker connections.
Thats why I think 5 channel amps are the weiredest yet coolest amps! I have had experiences with running them at multiple ohms, and some where i have to run them at a certain ohmage all the way around.

But like i said just try running the sub at 2 ohms (im sure thats what you want) and run the speakers at 4 ohms. If it doesnt work, just run the sub in series..let me know what happens.
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#10
Hi, I have a 2002 Honda Accord and about $250 to spend on an alarm.
I want a very good alarm system, definitely needs keyless entry and remote start would be nice too. If not how much extra would it cost for the added remote start?

I was thinking about either of these two, what do u think?
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspa...6628577516

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Py...tDetail.do
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Joined Jan 2008
L10: Grand Master
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Original Poster
#11
Quote from l34merik View Post :
Hi, I have a 2002 Honda Accord and about $250 to spend on an alarm.
I want a very good alarm system, definitely needs keyless entry and remote start would be nice too. If not how much extra would it cost for the added remote start?

I was thinking about either of these two, what do u think?
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspa...6628577516

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Py...tDetail.do
Hey,
Those 2 alarms are great basic alarms. Those will give you the basic keyless entry, flashing lights, door trigger, LED light, shock sensor. They will NOT give you remote start.
As far as price goes, thats way too much. For the Viper, you should be spending between $185-200 max. On the Python, you should be looking at about $160-175 max. I would check around for a local car audio specialist store to be able to get that pricing. Circuit City and Best Buy charge way too much.

If you want to do remote start, you will need an extra module to bypass the computer on board. It will cost you about $85 for a module plus an alarm system that has a remote start brain. A remote start system installed will cost you at least $350+ depending on the alarm.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Joined Jan 2005
Show me the money!
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#12
Quote from BayAreaaa View Post :
Hey,
Those 2 alarms are great basic alarms. Those will give you the basic keyless entry, flashing lights, door trigger, LED light, shock sensor. They will NOT give you remote start.
As far as price goes, thats way too much. For the Viper, you should be spending between $185-200 max. On the Python, you should be looking at about $160-175 max. I would check around for a local car audio specialist store to be able to get that pricing. Circuit City and Best Buy charge way too much.

If you want to do remote start, you will need an extra module to bypass the computer on board. It will cost you about $85 for a module plus an alarm system that has a remote start brain. A remote start system installed will cost you at least $350+ depending on the alarm.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
I agree. Further, BB and CC have screwed up so many cars when installing alarms. It seems like more often than not, the installers have no formal training. I've gone to Tweeter for 3 Viper remote start system installs over the years and have been very happy. The one time there was a significant issue, they jumped on it and made it right, and very quickly.

I used to do some crazy systems in my cars, and enjoyed doing all the work myself. The one I liked best was back in 1997. It was a JVC headunit with a 6-disc changer in the trunk; I had a US Amps 50x2 that was quite happy down to 1 ohm, so I ran my front Kicker components and my rear Pioneer coaxs in parallel from the 2 channels, and also had a Kicker Solobaric 10" 4ohm sub running from the bridged channel. I estimated about 50 watts at all 4 corners, then about 250 watts to the sub. Each had passive inline coil crossovers after the amp for frequency filtering. Lastly, I had a 1 farad cap so I didn't choke the life out of my little car's electrical system. Damn, I loved that thing.

BayAreaaa, it's nice of you to offer your expertise on this. Can you offer deals on equipment too? woot
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Joined Jan 2008
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Original Poster
#13
Quote from heavylee View Post :
I agree. Further, BB and CC have screwed up so many cars when installing alarms. It seems like more often than not, the installers have no formal training. I've gone to Tweeter for 3 Viper remote start system installs over the years and have been very happy. The one time there was a significant issue, they jumped on it and made it right, and very quickly.

BayAreaaa, it's nice of you to offer your expertise on this. Can you offer deals on equipment too? woot
I never suggest places like CC, Best buy, Frys for car audio products or installation. I feel this field requires more than just schooling, but experience. Those big box stores hire just about anyone and have a book of certain cars they dont do because of there difficulty. Many times we have done jobs at the store and were able to complete it from our years of experience and studying. We are serious professionals (most specialist shops are), but the kids you find working at the big box stores are there to get a paycheck and leave.

I can offer you good prices from my shop alone, but thats about it. Most online retailers of car audio are NOT authorized dealers. As i stated in original post, always buy from an authorized dealer (to protect your warranty).

If you ever find something you want, send me the link or let me know what it is and ill let you know whats a good price or not.
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Joined Feb 2005
SD O-6 Colonel
303 Reputation
#14
I've done my own alarm and stereo installs , but so far nothing i've installed, except some after market HID lights, work properly...my poor 2k6 suzuki reno Frown.

At any rate, I'd like to have all the components repaired and probably replace the head unit i've installed (the alarm works *ok*).

My stereo install worked for about 2 months then the left speakers started going out. Went back in and rewired everything via crimping, but its still intermittent. Did I mention the LCD went out on me ?

Wired up an infiniti 1300a amp which sounded GREAT for a grand total of about 3 weeks, but I had it mounted in the middle section behind the center console (I usually don't have passengers back there, and the amp had nice blue lights on it), then my girlfriend knocked a can of cream soda onto it...sigh.

First alarm install went not so well. Went with an off brand unit that worked for a bit, but the actuator never fired. Went back in to rewire and shorted the unit out by accidentially touching the ground to power. Lesson learned. On the same install I tried to do the remote start which DID work (and impressed the heck out of friends/family/onlookers), however I didn't crimp and tried to cut the wire to make my own wiring, but something must have gotten crossed as the ignition fuse blew once (but I knew where to look).

Went with an autopage (forgot the model) which works ok now. Only problem is is that my drivers side door didn't come from the factory with an actuator (hence my alarm install), and my education on physics hasn't allowed me to position the actuator to reliably fire the lock up, so I must manually unlock but I can lock via remote (silly I know).

Parts broken..lol...lets see...
Door panels (back on)
door trim hinges (fixed for the most part)
various fuses, including ignition fuse (fixed)

But hey, for a first timer....my car still works! I freaked out about 100 times (specially with the blown fuses) but I know the ins and outs of my car like a champ now.

But here I am, beaten and bruised. I admit, I do not need to be doing this type of work. IT feels great to get my hands dirty, and i'm willing to learn, but for all the money and time i've spent for nothing to work, I guess I should just call it done. I would consider going to the installer institute down in (florida?) but the tuition is outragious, on top of my fees here at the university of washington ~.~.

So, how do you guys find good installers? I've asked my local dealer who they recommend, but they couldn't tell me anyone (I think they are surprised someone asked).

I've seen a few local shops, but i've heard a few horror stories for just about every place.

I know most of the stuff i've done in my car doesn't work to a degree, but I have basic electrical knowledge and have appropriately wired all signal / low voltage wires, ground and power wires in a safe, reliable manner (as far as I can tell).

Some of the extreme hack jobs i've seen are down right dangerous, and not knowing how they did it / being able to fix it myself worries me.

Should I stroll into a shop and ask to see their work? What are some local resources I can go to to find a reliable installer?

I'm in Tacoma/Seattle, Wa BTW.

Thanks for any help.
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#15
Hi, thx for the reply. It's nice to see the SD community being so diverse and being able to help each other on stuff besides deals. If you ever need any computer advice, don't be afraid to ask.

So why would you pay more for the viper than the python? From the websites of both, I thought they pretty much had all the same features. Since I don't really know too much about cars, what brand of alarms would you recommend? Like I said, security and keyless entry is something I definitely want. But it would be nice if I could get a remote start too but it's not really needed. If it's too much I'd rather spend the money on sub+amp instead of the remote start.

Oh and since my car's a 2002 Accord, it has a chip in the key. Does that mean I'll have to lose a key or buy a new one for the security system to work? Thanks
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