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    HU's Line Level Output to AMP's Speaker Level Input

    I recently purchased an Empeg (Rio Car) mp3 player. It is a single DIN unit which I plan to use to replace my factory head unit.

    The only problem is that the unit only has line level outputs. The current factory setup (96 explorer premium JBL sound) has a separate amplifier. However, I am told that it only accepts speaker level input.

    Four places I talked told me I needed to purchase a new amplifier and then launched into a hard sales pitch. They told me that it was impossible to use my current amplifier in any way. Most of the prices they were quoting me were $250-300 including installation.

    The other two places said something about there being a converter that would increase the output to a high enough level to be used by the amplifier. I didn't get the part name, but they both said they would have to try to find one and then custom order it (cost of $30-60).

    My question is, what kind of sound could I expect out of this kind of setup. With a good installation, would I be able to get the same level of quality out of my current factory setup? I plan to upgrade the rest of my car's stereo, but I would rather wait to save up some money.

    Also, anybody that can direct me to an actual part name/number would be my new shero.


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    muffmanaj is offline Member

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    i would say just buy a new amp you will have a easier install and more than likely alot better sound

    JBL 1200.1 with Two type R 12's

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    I appreciate the quick reply and the honest answer. I'm not very knowledgeable in car audio, so I'm wondering why this would be a much more difficult install.

    My thinking is...
    If I buy an amp, I want to get a nice one, which costs a lot of $$ (whats the point of buying an el cheapo one if I upgrade it 6 months down the line), but, unfortunately, I'm not very rich right now, and without replacing a lot of other stuff, my audio improvement is going to be marginal.

    These RCA OEM line level adapters are cheap enough, if I could find one, that it would be a good stop-gap measure. If I later decide to upgrade the amplifier, I really haven't lost a lot of money. Alternately, when I upgrade, I could instead invest in a nice subwoofer and keep the factory speakers, etc. for a while longer.

    My question is threefold, then:
    1. What exactly are these called?
    2. Where can I find some?
    3. How would it compare to my current factory setup in terms of audio quality?

    Any further enlightenment would be much appreciated,


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    I've come across this unit:
    PAC OEM-1. It seems as if it will let me integrate the empeg with my factory system and still even keep my rear radio controls. Cost is $40 shipped from audiowarehouse and affsave, $80 + shipping from tunetown. I believe Custom Sound sells the same thing here in town for $60.

    Here's the manufacturer's catalogue:

    Here are the places I've found that sell it:

    If this is the right thing, I think I could probably do the install myself, all I need to find is a kit, wiring harness, antenna extender, DIN removal tool, crimp tool and connectors... and maybe some other stuff I havent thought of...


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    OEM integration

    You may be talking about the exact same thing, as I don't know the name of the company, but when researching subwoofer options in my 1991 Thunderbird Super Coupe with factory subwoofer and JBL sound system, there was a company who sold all of the factory integration wiring to connect external sub amps and subs to the factory system, and also sold cables to connect aftermarket head units to the factory aplifier system and speakers.

    Have you (or anyone else) had a chance to actually use your empeg? I just purchased the 10GB model on clearance for $320. I've wanted one for quite some time and was even willing to pay the $1200 or so they wanted for it originally. Finding it $800 cheaper definately made my day, and will allow me to have the money to purchase the amp I'll need to drive the front speakers as the empeg has no internal amplifier.

    If anyone has had any experience with their empeg, good or bad, or any tips/tricks for installation or use, please let me know. Thanks.

    1988 Mustang GT
    JVC cass. w/ 12-disc changer
    Clarion 200.1 mono amp
    2 12" MTX Thunder 3000 4ohm
    Kicker 40.2 amp (for rears)
    2 Clarion 5X7 rears
    Kicker Impulse 350i fronts

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