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stereo install from bird to the t/a any input is welcome

This is a discussion on stereo install from bird to the t/a any input is welcome within the Stereo and Electronics forums, part of the General Help category; I am selling my 99 firebird and removing the system for the new 99 trans am: Alpine CDA-9815 head unit ...

  1. #1
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    1999 Pontiac Trans Am

    stereo install from bird to the t/a any input is welcome

    I am selling my 99 firebird and removing the system for the new 99 trans am:
    Alpine CDA-9815 head unit
    4x alpine type R 6.5" speakers (tweeter inside, only 2 wires each;built in passsive xover)
    Amp/sub (I know what to do with these)

    My questions are:
    1)I had a wiring harness from the alpine to the V6 (non monsoon) system, is this different from the monsoon variation hookups to the head unit?

    2)And will the speakers hook right up to the existing wires? I think the backseats will, but how should I deal with the front having separate tweeters.wires?

    3)Will the moonsoon be able to handle my alpine's 60x4 output, and how will it distribute it among the 10 speakers I now have?

    3)And I think the alpine has an input wire for steering wheel controls, will this hook right up and work?

  2. #2
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    Red
    1998 A4 TA

    I just got back from Car Toys shopping for an Alpine for my TA. The salesman recommended that I bypass the external monsoon amp or there would be a lot of distortion since the stock monsoon head unit ( according to him ) doesn't have an internal amp. If you didn't, you'd be piggy-packing the internal Alpine amp and external Monsoon amp.

    He also recommended higher quality speakers with my new Alpine HU, but keep in mind he's a salesman. :-)

    I asked about the steering wheel controls too. They sell some sort of adapter for 100-150 range to make that work. I'd check online or ebay though.

    I believe the wiring harness on the back of the monsoon is the same as the non-monsoon one. I'm pretty sure it's the same exact head unit with a different face, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    When I install my Alpine, I'm probably going to run one channel to each door speaker, and one channel to each back seat speaker ( and splice it to the mid and tweeter of each ). I have a small amp that'll hook up to the preamp of the HU for the hatch speakers, and another preamp out for my sub. Someone else might be able to suggest a better setup though. I won't be installing mine for a couple weeks though, so let me know how yours works out!

  3. #3
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    I greatly appreciate the reply, and it seems like we are trying to do about the same thing. I am going to try and piggyback the monsoon first since wiring through the car is a pain, I'll let you know how it works out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrad2 View Post
    I just got back from Car Toys shopping for an Alpine for my TA. The salesman recommended that I bypass the external monsoon amp or there would be a lot of distortion since the stock monsoon head unit ( according to him ) doesn't have an internal amp.

    He also recommended higher quality speakers with my new Alpine HU, but keep in mind he's a salesman. :-)

    I asked about the steering wheel controls too. They sell some sort of adapter for 100-150 range to make that work. I'd check online or ebay though.

    I believe the wiring harness on the back of the monsoon is the same as the non-monsoon one. I'm pretty sure it's the same exact head unit with a different face, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    Stock Delco HU produces almost all distortion...not the amp......and of course the HU has an internal amp that is used on Firebird Monsoon units to pwoer the tweeters...and as you said yourself -- it IS the same as non-Monsoon units -- same Delco HU, wires, etc. So when a salesman tries to give you information -- keep in mind then as well that he is a salesman. Also not sure why he thinks you'd be piggybacking an aftermarket amp with the Monsoon.....I've never known anyone to run preouts to an a/m amp and then to the Monsoon amp...... (if that's what that term was referring to even)..

    Most popular steering control adapter is SWI-X by PAC -- works as long as HU has infrared capabilities (remote).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredmr85 View Post
    Stock Delco HU produces almost all distortion...not the amp......and of course the HU has an internal amp that is used on Firebird Monsoon units to pwoer the tweeters...and as you said yourself -- it IS the same as non-Monsoon units -- same Delco HU, wires, etc. So when a salesman tries to give you information -- keep in mind then as well that he is a salesman. Also not sure why he thinks you'd be piggybacking an aftermarket amp with the Monsoon.....I've never known anyone to run preouts to an a/m amp and then to the Monsoon amp...... (if that's what that term was referring to even)..
    It does have an amp in it, but it's not strong enough to power REAL speakers. Tweeters need very little current. Besides, he's not talking about piggy-backing the monsoon with an aftermarket amp. He's talking about piggy-backing the built-in amp in his new Alpine with the monsoon, which is bound to be quite a bit stronger than the stock HU.

    If you replace the stock HU with another that puts out, say 50W or whatever, and then leave the stock wiring, everything hooked up to the monsoon amp will be out of phase with the speakers hooked directly to the Alpine HU because of the amp delay. This is what preamps are for. They send the signal out to your external amps before the internal ones so the music is in sync.

    I'm not going to argue about the stock HU being crap (it really is), but piggy-backing amps may not sound good either. If you've ever hooked a sub up without using a preamp, listen closely, and you'll notice the beat doesn't match up quite right with the other speakers. With midrange speakers it'll sound less crisp... and more like noise. Maybe it won't be too noticeable though.

    If you can afford to, I'd bypass the monsoon amp altogether and hook all the speakers straight to your new Alpine, or replace it with another amp you can hook up to your Alpine's preamp.

    And, for every amp the signal goes through, there's going to be loss in quality, that's just how it is.

    Let me know how it works out.

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    ...I don't mean to talk you out of how you were going to set it up though. I was just trying to clear up my original post. I've had similar setups in other cars and it sounds okay, but for the best quality, if you have the time and money, I'd rewire the speakers and bypass the amp. On the road, I doubt you'd notice the difference anyway. haha

    Keep me updated on how it works out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrad2 View Post
    If you replace the stock HU with another that puts out, say 50W or whatever, and then leave the stock wiring, everything hooked up to the monsoon amp will be out of phase with the speakers hooked directly to the Alpine HU because of the amp delay. This is what preamps are for. They send the signal out to your external amps before the internal ones so the music is in sync.

    I'm not going to argue about the stock HU being crap (it really is), but piggy-backing amps may not sound good either. If you've ever hooked a sub up without using a preamp, listen closely, and you'll notice the beat doesn't match up quite right with the other speakers. With midrange speakers it'll sound less crisp... and more like noise. Maybe it won't be too noticeable though.

    If you can afford to, I'd bypass the monsoon amp altogether and hook all the speakers straight to your new Alpine, or replace it with another amp you can hook up to your Alpine's preamp.
    I wasn't trying to correct you -- just the salesman. And I agreed, and said the HU was crap and the main cause of distortion. The salesman was thinking that Monsoon worked like the Bose cars did -- low level, rather than Monsoon which simply uses high level inputs to the amp.

    Check what you said about "amp delay".....in our cars there is absolutely nothing wrong with running some stuff off HU power and others on amps........or some on amps using speaker level inputs, and others with low-level...... not once have I heard or read about a complaint regarding this in our cars. The only thing that will suffer is quality.

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    I was just trying to clarify what I had said at first, because I reread it and it was pretty long-winded. I didn't take it personally or anything. :-)

    I doubt he'll notice a difference either. Maybe when the car isn't running if you listen really closely, but with the car running.. nah. You'll be surprised how much louder your stereo sounds when everything is in sync though. I'm a bit of an audiophile, so piggy backing amps would be totally unacceptable. It's probably all in my head... but hey, we all have our things. haha

    You're right to question the salesman... those guys are total crooks.

  9. #9
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    Piggybacking amps -- are you referring to how the initial setup uses speaker level inputs for the Monsoon amp? The Pontiac version of the Monsoon system does this AND has all tweeters powered by the Delco HU. Shouldn't be any phasing problems with that.

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    You wouldn't notice with Tweeters. Maybe I'll test it with an Oscope when I swap my HU just for fun. If you hook all the mids up through the monsoon amp like it is it'll be fine too, but you're sacrificing sound quality. You're mids might be disproportionately louder too ( which you can remedy with the EQ ). Again, it may be fine for him. I really didn't mean to start a debate. In fact, mine is hooked up that way... even my sub which is noticeably out of phase if you listen closely. I've had similar setups in other cars too, and it's fine. I was really just throwing that out there for his information. I didn't know how much time/money he wanted to spend on this. I'm an Elect. Engineer so I get carried away with these sort of things.

    P.S. The phase shift is subtle. It would only cause a loss in sound definition. Sound waves out of phase might make higher pitched sounds, and maybe voice, less crisp. It's not like you'll hear an echo or something someone would come in here and complain about. It's not a big deal... just not ideal.
    Last edited by Cyrad2; 06-25-2007 at 08:46 PM.

  11. #11
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    trust me -- I understand what you're saying (I'm also a EE for Exelon/ComEd power) -- what you were initially saying was implying that speaker level inputs = out of phase. There is nothing wrong with "piggybacking" an aftermarket HU in place of the stocker....the only thing some notice may be an increase in volume sensitivity.....phasing doesn't change. The only think wrong with "piggybacking" amps is when you are using a unit as poor as the stock one and amplifying a distorted signal....the Monsoon amp is a completely ordinary amp that runs of of speaker level inputs........isn't necessarily piggybacking in the way I understand that term..

    It can never be ideal....what you're trying to get into just has to be accepted (if I'm taking what you're saying properly).

  12. #12
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    So my alpine has 60x4, and this will plug into stock harness that goes to the monsoon amp which then splits it out to all 10 speakers correct? So should I leave all 10 speakers in place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 99bluebird View Post
    So my alpine has 60x4, and this will plug into stock harness that goes to the monsoon amp which then splits it out to all 10 speakers correct? So should I leave all 10 speakers in place?
    yes - if you only wish to replace the HU for now

    4 of your speakers are powered by the HU directly (tweeters), not the Monsoon amp

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    I understand youfredmr85. Like I said in my last post, if all mids are hooked up through the monsoon like stock... it's fine. I'm agreeing with you. I guess I was partially mixed up between what I was going to do, and how he's actually doing it, and your first post: "Also not sure why he thinks you'd be piggybacking an aftermarket amp with the Monsoon.....I've never known anyone to run preouts to an a/m amp and then to the Monsoon amp......" threw me off as well, because that's not what I was trying to suggest. I must have worded my first post wrong, because I don't think you were understanding what I was trying to say. As I go back through and read, I'm totally with you now.

    I still think it's a shame to send the signals from your beautiful new Alpine HU through that monsoon amp if it's not necessary. But whatever... no biggie. My lazy butt might do that same thing when it actually comes down to running wires all over the damn place.

    you MUST be an engineer... haha I didn't really mean ideal. I meant, as good as it could be another way.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrad2 View Post
    I still think it's a shame to send the signals from your beautiful new Alpine HU through that monsoon amp if it's not necessary.
    agreed -- but regardless of the HU, high-level outputs aren't that great anyway -- so powering speakers directly with them provides no real advantage...

    In that mess - I don't even know if the poster's questions were answered:

    ---

    1)I had a wiring harness from the alpine to the V6 (non monsoon) system, is this different from the monsoon variation hookups to the head unit?
    what years? All Delco HUs for Monsoon and non-Monsoon systems are identical.

    2)And will the speakers hook right up to the existing wires? I think the backseats will, but how should I deal with the front having separate tweeters.wires?
    rear sails are DVC and lower freqs. only...unless you pull hatch speakers forward.


    3)Will the moonsoon be able to handle my alpine's 60x4 output, and how will it distribute it among the 10 speakers I now have?
    easily....RMS power is much lower (~18-20 regardless of HU)

    4)And I think the alpine has an input wire for steering wheel controls, will this hook right up and work?
    I don't think so....but I'm not familiar with that HU..

    --

    you have an amp and a sub, right? and a new HU....and speakers -- since it appears you want full range in the sails, put a pair there, the other up front -- forget about the hatch speakers and add your amp/sub to HU NF pre-out -- wouldn't be depending on the Monsoon amp at all then, which could improve SQ - and definitely may prevent other random Monsoon problems... As Cyrad2 suggested -- wire directly to the HU if you have the time.

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