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    dayday's Avatar
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    New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Long Read, Short Rant, Couple ?'s

    New member here. I recently got back into the aftermarket stereo world after a 20 year absence. I recently downsized to a '09 Pontiac Vibe for a daily driver and decided to add a system. I purchased a Clarion VX400 with Nav, JL HD 900/5, JL C2 coaxles for each of the 4 doors and a JL 8w7 in a sealed box.

    I didn't feel like spending the time installing the door speakers and wiring so I took it to a local shop for install. I had already installed the 4ga power and 6ch of RCA's for the amp before taking it to the shop. The shop installed 4 door speakers, ran 9 conductor wire back to the dash for the door speaker wiring behind the head unit, mounted and hooked up the power and RCA's to the amp under the front passenger seat and did hush mat in the spare tire area.

    My first issue was the fact that it took 7hrs to do this work. I have not done an install in quite some time but this seemed a bit excessive. Due to this unexpected time, I was rushed to get home after the work was completed. After I had some time to check out the system and install this is what I found:

    The Rear RCA's were plugged into the Front channel of the amp.
    The Front RCA's were plugged into the Rear channel of the amp. (My RCA cable ends are even labeled)
    The amp was set to 2ch input.
    The system sounded like ****, especially the sub at anything over 50% volume.

    I corrected the RCA's and set the amp to 6ch input.
    I found that the Infrasonic filter was ON, JL recommends OFF for sealed box.
    I found the Low Pass was set at 12db, JL recommends 24db.
    I metered the sub output using a 40hz sine wave and found the output to be 69.9V. JL recommends 38.7V for the 3ohm sub.
    I metered both front and rear channels using a 1KHz sine wave and found them set at 10.0V and 10.2V, JL recommends 20V for 4ohm. (I was only able to get the F and R up to 16.2V)

    I'm returning to the shop on Thursday to try and get the extra mounting items and allen wrenches that came with the amp. When I called about these items I was told that they normally just throw these items out. WOW, I thought they were mine not theirs to throw out. When I told them about the RCA mix up I was told, "You should have never switched anything", and that they had everything setup and "I" could damage the system. I was told they warranty everything for life, yet I never received anything other than a "verbal" warranty.

    I'm really uncomfortable letting these "installers" ever touch my vehicle again.

    Any suggestions for when I return to the shop? Was I wrong for looking into and taking care of the problems myself?

    I can only get the F and R channel output up to 16.2V. Could this just be a lack of output from the Clarion? It's RCA are supposed to be 2V.

    If you are an employee of this unmentioned shop and recognize my story..... Feel free to comment







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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    What do you mean the low pass was set to 12 dB? Am I missing something here?




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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    You are typically better off setting your gains by ear other than striving for some specific value. Setting them to full power according to amp output voltage will likely overpower the speakers in a normal listening environment. The goal is to sound good to you after all.

    Does the right/left and front/back fade work with the way you switched the RCA's?



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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    LPF @ 12db/oct is fine in most cases. But, what freq was it set to ?

    When you metered the channel outputs...did you disconnect the speaker wire from the amp? Also, what DMM did you use?

    Also, check to see that your fade/balance is working correctly.



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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangaroux View Post
    What do you mean the low pass was set to 12 dB? Am I missing something here?
    I assume he means the filter slope. In all honesty he might not even notice a difference between a 12 and 24dB/oct slope going to a sub



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    dayday's Avatar
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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    On the JL HD 900/5 for Subwoofer Channel Controls it has a switch labeled Low Pass Filter (OFF/12dB/24dB), JL's manual for the 8w7 recommends it be set to 24dB.




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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Yes, thanks. You beat me to it. Sorry, poor description in the original post.




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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Quote Originally Posted by l7runner View Post
    You are typically better off setting your gains by ear other than striving for some specific value. Setting them to full power according to amp output voltage will likely overpower the speakers in a normal listening environment. The goal is to sound good to you after all.

    Does the right/left and front/back fade work with the way you switched the RCA's?
    Yes, they do now. That was my first indication something was wrong. I had no fader and my audio from by Bluetooth was missing.




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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    I metered the outputs with the speakers disconnected. Everything is working great now and sounds alot better. I plan on fine tuning it by ear to music once I have more time.




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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Quote Originally Posted by dayday View Post
    I metered the outputs with the speakers disconnected. Everything is working great now and sounds alot better. I plan on fine tuning it by ear to music once I have more time.
    Look like they just messed up from the beginning.
    It would have been best if you just tested the install, then returned it ORIGINAL install settings. Pics would have helped.
    If you know what you are doing, ask DIRECT QUESTIONS!

    Perhaps, show them that the fade/balance didn't work. Ask why the sub sounded like it did. Then pull out the JL manual, and ask them to show you that the amp's output voltage matches the (or is even anywhere close to) the JL recommended spec.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    I'm a retailer, and see alot of BS from 2 other local shops (the other local shops are cool though, try to maintain a good relationship w/ them)

    Hell, I had a guy come in today w/ a Kicker zx1500.1 install w/ the amp was shutting off all the time. I check the voltage at the amp w/ vehicle running...11.2v, no load to amp.
    Checked voltage at the batt, 14.8v. Pulled a panel and found that shop's ground. 1/0ga cable, 1 COATED screw thru the ring terminal, bad crimp, paint around the terminal wasn't even sanded away. Just to make sure, checked voltage before and after the fuse holder at the batt, still 14.8v. W/ the amp playing, voltage dropped below 10v. Amp would protect (obviously). Even direct to the ground point, I still got 11.2v w/ no load to the amp.

    I told/showed the customer that the ground was obviously the problem. 3.6v drop from batt to amp at rest w/ 1/0ga cable??? yea...math doesn't lie.
    Customer asked if it was the other places fault or was the amp bad, I said....I don't know about the amp, but the ground HAS to be fixed, regardless of the amp. I never changed the install at all, just spiked the contact points w/ my Fluke DMM. Took me 5mins in the parking lot, didn't charge the customer a dime to trouble shoot it. Told him to take it back to that other shop, tell them what I found, have them warranty their install.

    I could have fixed the failure in another 5mins w/ a wire wheel on my drill, but rather, I told him what they should do to fix it. It would only take them 5mins to fix (an install they originally got PAID FOR) also. But, we will not "go into" any install done outside our shop without giving the customer a 'worst case' total re-install price.


    /yet another one of my long retail based rants.



    Canaan White...'04 Avalanche
    HU Eclipse 7200MkII
    AMPS DD C4a(front active), 2 DD M2B
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    SUBS...SOMETHING LOUD SOON!!?
    WIRES XSCORPION
    TEAM SOUTH

    Desiard Street Pawn and Car Audio, Monroe, La...XScorpion and DD Audio Dealer.
    Shop Phone 318-343-8283

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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Installers are hit and miss good luck



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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    If you knew so much about metering and how to setup everything, how come you didnt just do it yourself? Sounds kinda odd to me



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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Quote Originally Posted by SB3BabyHuey View Post
    If you knew so much about metering and how to setup everything, how come you didnt just do it yourself? Sounds kinda odd to me
    From the OP.
    Quote Originally Posted by dayday View Post
    ...I didn't feel like spending the time installing the door speakers and wiring so I took it to a local shop for install...
    There are 4 types of people in the audio world from what I gather:
    -The first type is those who don't have a clue nor care to have clue and would rather pay someone that does.
    -The second type are the people who think they have clue, install themselves, and either kill equipment due to clipping and low voltage, set themselves up for a fire, or end up having issues and taking it to a shop to fix their mistakes.
    -The third type is where I'd classify the OP. Has a clue. At least enough to get the job done, however feels that their time is more valuable and doesn't/didn't know that shops can be so clueless.
    -The forth type are those you find on sites like these. We who know enough about audio and the horror stories that are told and therefore know better than to let someone else touch our rides.



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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    sounds like you rushed them or they ran into problems causing a rush. ive done that but i always warn the customer or let them come back. a big install has taken me upwards of 11hrs esp when deadener is involved.



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    Re: New Member / Local Shop Install / Problems :(

    Ya the amount of times seems about right, especially depending on how much had to be taken apart.

    Totally agree with daboy



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