In over my head on new install.


LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Hello all. New guy here and I need some help. I'll start by saying I'm not an audio expert, but also not a total novice. I've installed probably 10 or 15 basic full car systems over the years

The vehicle in question is a 2009 Subaru legacy with the HK 9 speaker.i pulled out all the speakers headunit and amp, but retained the factory wiring. The head unit I went with us a Pioneer AVH 221 ex. Front doors are Focal RTX165 and rears are Focal RTX 130. The rear deck sub was replaced with a kicker CompRT shallow 6 3/4 dual 1 ohm coil running in free air. Everything is powered by a Clarion XC 2510 amp. Each speaker and the sub has its own channel. Wiring to the speakers is factory. Wiring from the head unit to the amp is RCA for every channel.

No matter what I do, I have like a treble crack or static. Even at low volumes with treble turned down. It's almost unlistenable. The sub will sometimes sound like it's hitting something, even though it isn't. This is random, and I have to pretty much turn it down to where you can't hear it to get it to stop. My radio antenna doesn't work. I used an adaptor harness from crutchfield for the antenna. Taking calls over Bluetooth, there is a whine that matches engine ROMs, when accelerating the pitch goes up.

Any help is appreciated, I'm overwhelmed. I know this isn't a high in system, but I still spent a decent chunk of change and currently it's worse than factory.
 

Kybasshead75

CarAudio.com Well Known
Sep 11, 2020
111
6
Ky
Hello all. New guy here and I need some help. I'll start by saying I'm not an audio expert, but also not a total novice. I've installed probably 10 or 15 basic full car systems over the years

The vehicle in question is a 2009 Subaru legacy with the HK 9 speaker.i pulled out all the speakers headunit and amp, but retained the factory wiring. The head unit I went with us a Pioneer AVH 221 ex. Front doors are Focal RTX165 and rears are Focal RTX 130. The rear deck sub was replaced with a kicker CompRT shallow 6 3/4 dual 1 ohm coil running in free air. Everything is powered by a Clarion XC 2510 amp. Each speaker and the sub has its own channel. Wiring to the speakers is factory. Wiring from the head unit to the amp is RCA for every channel.

No matter what I do, I have like a treble crack or static. Even at low volumes with treble turned down. It's almost unlistenable. The sub will sometimes sound like it's hitting something, even though it isn't. This is random, and I have to pretty much turn it down to where you can't hear it to get it to stop. My radio antenna doesn't work. I used an adaptor harness from crutchfield for the antenna. Taking calls over Bluetooth, there is a whine that matches engine ROMs, when accelerating the pitch goes up.

Any help is appreciated, I'm overwhelmed. I know this isn't a high in system, but I still spent a decent chunk of change and currently it's worse than factory.
Its a ground somewhere
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Would you recommend running a ground strap to the head unit? I will recheck my amp ground tonight. It's grounded to the threaded stud under the passenger seat where the old amp was mounted.
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
I just had a thought. The factory amp in my car had a ground wire running to it from the head unit. I left this wire open, because I figured it would have been for grounding the amp. But, the factory amp was all metal and bolted cleanly to the floor of the car with studs. Do you think that ground wire was to ground the head unit from the amp? There was no ground wire to unhook from my factory radio. I'm now thinking my head unit may be ungrounded.
 
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Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,545
797
South Coast Metro, CA
I just had a thought. The factory amp in my car had a ground wire running to it from the head unit. I left this wire open, because I figured it would have been for grounding the amp. But, the factory amp was all metal and bolted cleanly to the floor of the car with studs. Do you think that ground wire was to ground the head unit from the amp? There was no ground wire to unhook from my factory radio. I'm now thinking my head unit may be ungrounded.
if its not grounded, it wont turn on. you cant trust factory wiring, they might have split signals somewhere with random in line crossover capacitors hidden somewhere. Its best to run new wire especially if you had a factory amp.
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
They're not seat belt bolts, they are studs from the chassis that the old amp was mounted on. I'm trying everything. Ripped everything back open, ran a new wire from the amp to passenger front door. No improvement, but new issues. Front drivers speaker is almost muted, and now it thinks the front right speaker is front left. And even unplugging the RCA for the front right, the tweeter still plays slightly. Tried a new head unit ground with no improvement, but my ground spot may have been bad. Thought maybe the problem was the speakers. Picked up a half way decent set of jbls, and still getting that treble static. I'm almost ready to set the car on fire at this point. Tomorrow I'm going to install a new negative battery terminal lug because mines seen better days, and maybe run a new wire from the negative terminal to the headunit and amp. Any other suggestions?
 

audioholic

not a moderator
10+ year member
Aug 31, 2003
24,270
687
Parts Unknown
Do not use the factory wiring for the h/u's power or ground.
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Update. So I put new battery cable lugs on. Nice ones. Cleaned off all corrosion. Went behind the head unit and installed a grounding block. Checked continuity between the block and the negative battery cable, 0 ohms. Checked continuity between my amp ground and battery negative, grounded at 1 ohm. This may be an issue, not a perfect ground. May run a cable from my new ground block to the amp ground, it would be about a 4 foot run. Installed new jbl speaker in passenger door and ran brand new 16 gauge speaker wire to it. Just this speaker for a test. Speaker sounds good. Less bass than the display model I heard, but pretty good overall. But, treble static still present in the speaker. My only suspects at this point are possibly the amp ground, the amp it's self, interference with the RCA cables running from the hu to the amp, or the RCA output Jack's on the hu it's self. Will troubleshoot more tomorrow, any guidance?
 

jt4x4

CarAudio.com Well Known
Jul 22, 2019
235
66
ND
If you have a long enough wire you could run it from amp ground to the battery. Just run it dirty for a test. That'll tell you if it's a grounding issue.
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Yes thats a good idea and I may try that. My thought with running a wire from the amp ground post to the new ground block for the hu, is that it would ensure the post has that nice 0 ohm ground, but would also ground the hu and the amp to the same point which would ensure no ground loop issues. Is my theory correct? I'm not an expert, just going on my experience and stuff I'm piecing together from things I read online.
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
One more thing, I left my power cable to my amp a couple feet long and coiled it next to the battery with a zip tie just in case I needed to cut off or something in the future. Can coiling the power wire cause any sort of interference?
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Ran head unit and amp to single ground. Ran new speaker wires to everything. New ground wire to hu. Made sure power and RCA are separated. Replaced front door speakers. Externally grounded RCA's. Sound deadened doors and rear deck. I've come to terms that the sub issues come from the fact that the sub is too small and can't handle the power it needs to keep up with the speakers. Ordered new 8 inch sub instead to mount in rear deck. Treble static better, but still there. I'm fairly sure it isn't a ground issue anymore. How do you guys feel about power or RCA noise isolators? Not sure where else to turn at this point.
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,545
797
South Coast Metro, CA
Ran head unit and amp to single ground. Ran new speaker wires to everything. New ground wire to hu. Made sure power and RCA are separated. Replaced front door speakers. Externally grounded RCA's. Sound deadened doors and rear deck. I've come to terms that the sub issues come from the fact that the sub is too small and can't handle the power it needs to keep up with the speakers. Ordered new 8 inch sub instead to mount in rear deck. Treble static better, but still there. I'm fairly sure it isn't a ground issue anymore. How do you guys feel about power or RCA noise isolators? Not sure where else to turn at this point.
Get an rca to aux splitter to your treble static afflicted driver's amp plugged directly from your phone. If the problem persists its a system noise issue. If it doesn't, its an rca issue either cable itself or head unit rca outputs
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Get an rca to aux splitter to your treble static afflicted driver's amp plugged directly from your phone. If the problem persists its a system noise issue. If it doesn't, its an rca issue either cable itself or head unit rca outputs
Thank you, just tried this. Plugged phone straight into the amp and the noise went away. Amp is ruled out as a problem. Will have to test RCA's when I pull the head unit back out this weekend. Kind of a pain on this car. I also noticed when I start the car, no sound from head unit, if I crank the volume up there's is a slight staticy sound. Head unit and amp grounded to the same spot, so since we ruled the amp out what do you think the issue is?
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,545
797
South Coast Metro, CA
Thank you, just tried this. Plugged phone straight into the amp and the noise went away. Amp is ruled out as a problem. Will have to test RCA's when I pull the head unit back out this weekend. Kind of a pain on this car. I also noticed when I start the car, no sound from head unit, if I crank the volume up there's is a slight staticy sound. Head unit and amp grounded to the same spot, so since we ruled the amp out what do you think the issue is?
bad rca cable or bad rca outputs on the head unit since you already addressed ground but it never hurts to check wiring again.
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
bad rca cable or bad rca outputs on the head unit since you already addressed ground but it never hurts to check wiring again.
I can wire speakers through wires instead of RCAs to test that theory. One thing just came to me though. The factory head unit, when using aux chord had alternator whine. Do you think the actual vehicle wiring could have dirty power?
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,545
797
South Coast Metro, CA
I can wire speakers through wires instead of RCAs to test that theory. One thing just came to me though. The factory head unit, when using aux chord had alternator whine. Do you think the actual vehicle wiring could have dirty power?
No because your amp is connected to the electrical system so all dirty noise related issues from that aspect is eliminated from the RCA to aux test.

Currently the main suspects are bad RCAs or bad RCA outputs or something weird going on with your head unit wiring harness, or bad head unit(least likely of the bunch).
 
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LsGuy

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Sep 11, 2020
89
5
Ohio
Awesome, thanks for the help. This amp has speaker level inputs, so if that fixes the issue then good enough. The sub has to run RCAs, but it doesn't seem to be able to hit frequencies high enough to make the noise, so no issues there.
 

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