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Old 02-28-2003, 11:11 AM   #1
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My '92 and '93 both have the factory cassette unit with EQ and steering wheel radio controls. Because of the steering wheel controls, I've decided to keep using the factory head units.

I had a 12-disc RF CD changer installed in each of them, but I'd like more power.

Do these cars have a separate amp, or is the amp built-in to the head unit?

If the amp is external, I'd like to replace it with a more powerful one...will I need to know anything special about doing this? The only unusual thing I saw so far is that the rear deck speakers look like they have 2 voice coils because of the "note gain" control on the center console.

Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2003, 03:03 PM   #2
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The amp is built into the head unit. Its a really small amp, probably under 200 watts. Adding a amp isn't that hard, just takes a little time. I'm not sure how you would do it with the stock head unit though because it doesn't have rca outs. Putting a seperate amp in will make the speakers sound alot better and give you all the power they need. Check the howto put an amp in the tech thing to get an idea of what you would have to do.
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Old 02-28-2003, 03:51 PM   #3
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there are these things out there that convert high pass output to low pass output(ie rca outputs) They arent that expensive. They plug into the speaker wires coming out of the factory deck. Try that out
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Old 02-28-2003, 06:29 PM   #4
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But instead of taking out the headunit just tap into the rear speaker wires underneath the deck, alot faster and less work.
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Old 02-28-2003, 09:59 PM   #5
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I did mine that way with my 250 watt MTX amp. I paid about $20 at Best Buy for a line converter box. It has rca jacks on 1 side and wires on the other. The wires tap into your rear speaker wires. I tapped mine right behind the head unit. And then I ran my rca jacks from the box, along the side foot rails and through the back seat to the trunk. Very simple job. As far as speakers, I think the rule is you can add 20% amp power to the handling capacity of speaker. Ex 300 watt speaker should get about 60 watts.
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Old 03-01-2003, 08:41 AM   #6
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billha
You are right about the rear speakers being dual voice coil. My 96 has the "note gain" control. 1 voice coil is driven full range and the other only low frequencies and can be adjusted by the control. I found the wires that carry the LF signal, just ran them into an amp that has high level inputs, and out to a sub box in the trunk. This way the "note gain" control on the dash will operate the new amp. If the amp does not have high level inputs then you need a high to low converter as mentioned in other posts.
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:39 PM   #7
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It'* too bad that these factory systems don't have external amps already, but in my case, the low level of power output is most disappointing when using the RF CD changer that was added. The RF unit has multiple output level settings, and even at the highest setting the volume control has to be well over 50% in order to hear a decent sound level.

Running the Low Frequuency signal to an amp dedicated to a subwoofer is a good idea. I wasn't planning on using any subwoofers or a box, but I'll give it some thought.

Who can tell me how much background noise there is when using line level-to-RCA adaptors rather than using the line level inputs with an external amp?

I have spare amplifiers that have line level inputs as well as low-level RCA inputs, and I suspect that the sound quality would be better if I use the line level inputs, and that would also make the rear speaker/amp upgrade easier because the rear amp(*) could then use the speaker leads in the trunk and all I'd need to do is to route a fused power line to the trunk for the rear amp(*), right? And for the front speakers, whether the line level inputs or the low level inputs are used for the added amp(*), either way I'd have to access the front speaker wires behind the dash.
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:18 PM   #8
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FYI those bonnys with the gain control have a separate stock bass amplifier below the stock radio that provides extra power for the 6X9 subwoofers in the trunk.
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Old 03-04-2003, 09:14 PM   #9
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Using the line level inputs on the amp would be better than an external line level adapter that would accomplish the same thing. Although low level RCA cables from the head unit are best, the speaker wires from the small sub amp can be removed from the 6X9 "subs" and connected into the high level inputs on a larger amp and out to a real sub in a box for a quick and easy install. Running a power wire with fuse from the battery is required, and the trigger wire can be connected to the power antenna wire that is turned on by the radio.
Is the RF changer a Radio Frequency or a Rockford Fosgate?
The first Rockford head units were made by Delco, and their changer would plug into factory cassette radios that had a multipin connector on the back and CD control buttons on the front.
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Old 03-21-2003, 08:08 PM   #10
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Has any one added their own amp, I'm trying to but where would I drill the hole that the power cable is gona go thru. Or if you have had an amp installed could you check and see where they drille the whole at for the power cable. A pic would be very helpful too!
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