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Install Guide

You will need a full wiring kit to install your stereo system
Head Unit
The head unit is the source for the musical signal, whether it goes straight into the speakers, into an equalizer, or into an amplifier. If the signal is distorted or noisy, that is what you are going to hear. Installing an aftermarket head unit is almost always going to give you a cleaner signal (and more output) than a factory radio...not to mention tons of more features. It is important to make sure that the install is done correctly, though. It doesn't matter whether you drive an old work truck or a nice new vehicle, installing a deck doesn't have to be a big pain or a big expense. A lot of shops charge a flat rate to install a deck, no matter whether it takes 10 minutes or it takes an hour. (I know that doesn't sound fair, but it happens. I've done installs in less than fifteen minutes that the customer got charged full price on.) By learning the basic principles of wiring and sound system design you can choose and install your own unit and save money at the same time!  Plus, the aftermarket decks will give you a lot of options, like the ability to easily add amps, CD changers, satellite radio, and more.
If you are like most car audio enthusiasts, you probably assume that there is not a much to doing an amp install. Unfortunately, most of the time when an amateur installs an amp, it doesn't always get done right. I know ...I've charged good money to fix botched installs done by well-meaning, but untrained people. Doing an install wrong will cost you more in the long run: you'll either pay to have it installed correctly, or your amp gets damaged by a bad install, or your car gets damaged...
There is a lot to know about a proper amplifier install: the proper size wire to use, the proper way to ground an amp, running cables, and more. Plus if you want to wire an amplifier up to a factory radio, you want to make sure you're doing it right, or you could damage the amp and the radio...and if you're in the market for a new amplifier, you can't afford not to learn all you can from a professional like myself -it will save you a LOT of money. There are so many features and specs to look for on an amp, it can be pretty confusing, especially if you're new to car audio.
As you probably already know, the basic design of a speaker includes only two wires. While you might assume that you've got a 50/50 chance of getting the wiring right, you're only partially correct. There are so many other variables, (like speaker mounting, speaker placement and speaker selection), that the odds of you guessing your way through a complete install are pretty slim. Replacing the speakers in an audio system is probably one of the most noticable improvements you could make to your sound system, because most factory installed speakers are pretty bad. Some newer vehicles use large or non-standard sized radios which require a more involved install, but even these systems can benefit from upgraded speakers. Unfortunately, a lot of car stereo shops will charge a flat rate to install speakers, even when it is a simple, twenty minute job. You don't have to spend a fortune on speakers; a decent set of two-way speakers is a huge improvement over the cheap factory speakers...but you've got to install them right.
That's because those companies want to sell you a woofer, or a box (or both) but don't really care if you understand subs or enclosure design. That way, if you don't get it right the first time, they will gladly sell you a different one!
There is a lot to know about enclosure design and speaker selection, particularly when it comes to system design and set-up. How many of your friends try to tell you they know about sub boxes, but don't even know how to calculate the volume of an enclosure? Can they explain the difference between sealed, ported, or band-pass enclosures? There is also a specification on speakers that confuses a lot of people, and that is impedance, which is measured in OHMs. Want to learn how to wire up four dual-voice coil, 2 ohm subwoofers so that it won't overload your 4ohm amplifer? Want to build a box for those four subs?
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