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I am very happy with the Kenwood KACM1814 and KACM3004 in my 9-3s. Both are compact Class D 4 channel amps and fit where the factory amp goes... I reused all factory wiring. 30 minute install. I would definitely have to put in TONS more money and effort to net an improvement in sound, and I'm not sure it would be a practical improvement once done.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I will check those out. I'm no longer an audiophile... I was when I was young... on a first name basis with all the men at the local upscale audio store. We always had the latest - or actually, the "just retired" as they'd sell off the old line as soon as the new line arrived and we'd get that stuff. The days of switching back and forth between six speaker, amp, or component combos on the testing wall.

Now, not so much. I just look for reasonable sound. It's rock-n-roll, it should sound a little rough :)
 

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I've got good audio equipment at home... in the car I just need the flavor as most of my pleasure comes from my left foot. :) The stereo in the '02 was 100% new and $315 and checks every single box.

 

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I was playing around with the audio settings on my head unit on my drive to work this morning (the 9-5's shifter cable broke yesterday, so the NG900's roped into kid duty for a couple of days), and found that when I set the subwoofer polarity to negative, the bass really sprung to life. I completely take away my previous comment about road noise drowning out the door speakers at any speed. The bass is actually pretty impressive now, and with the door speaker amp hooked up to the subwoofer output, it's relatively easy to adjust the level by going a couple of levels down into the menus. If anyone still has intact door speakers and just want to replace their head unit, they're not half bad if you want to use them as a poor man's subwoofer. The head unit I have is a Pioneer MVH-S600BS media receiver, if anyone's curious.
 

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I am very happy with the Kenwood KACM1814 and KACM3004 in my 9-3s. Both are compact Class D 4 channel amps and fit where the factory amp goes... I reused all factory wiring. 30 minute install. I would definitely have to put in TONS more money and effort to net an improvement in sound, and I'm not sure it would be a practical improvement once done.
did you make/buy a din to rca adapter?
 

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Did not, because the stereo was replaced in both cases. In the end, I hate the factory stereo and pretty much demand bluetooth and USB and mp3 in my car.

However, I have done so in the past using generic solderable DIN connectors and a specific type of RCA cable that is easy to disassemble... Amazon has that stuff and I can post links if it's helpful. I preferred that approach to using bull wire and solderable RCA connectors... which I'd previously tried and been unhappy with the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Jvan: A reference to those cables would be helpful depending on which way I go. I've found that wire in pre-made cables varies tremendously... if you found some that solder well, that would be good.

Jeremy: Pardon my ignorance but by "subwoofer polarity to negative " do you mean that they are out of phase with the other speakers?
 

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I can only assume that the subwoofer/door speaker amp is now driven out of phase with the other speakers, but that seemed to be the only way to get a decent amount of bass out of the woofers. My Pioneer headunit has a bunch of options for the subwoofer, including level, crossover, crossover slope (I think), and polarity.

I used to make quite a few cables for people to adapt the door speaker amp to an aftermarket head unit. I just used whatever cheap RCA cables I found at my local computer surplus store. I never had any problems soldering them as long as I used flux and tinned them properly. I made one for my own car out of a fancier Monster Cable RCA cable. The wires in that were actually thinner than almost anything else I had seen, but they were twisted instead of coax. For such a short run, I can't imagine that made a difference, though.
 

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The twisted wire is much nicer to take apart though! :)

I used these DIN connectors:


and these RCA cables:


Looks like the perfect-length 3' ones aren't available right now, but 6' ones are for not much more. The right angle end is a nice option to have, and these are twisted pair cables with transparent jackets... very easy to take apart. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #33
FWIW, here's a photo of the rear of the stock rear speaker in a convertible and a circuit diagram. What you see on there is a "notch filter". The filter strictly limits a chunk of frequencies either side of 1Khz. In other words, it passes frequencies below the notch as well as frequencies above the notch. That might explain why the rears have a paper tweeter cone when we thought they were bass speakers. They're not... they're full range with a chunk of the frequencies cut out. Best analysis I have is that it's a 20db cut to the notch frequencies.


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