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Thread: Wiring Home Speakers into Car

  1. #1
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    Wiring Home Speakers into Car

    Hey all,
    My name is Garrett and i'm a newbie to this forum just as I am to the world of car audio.
    First off, if this is the inappropriate sub-forum for this topic thread, i apologize and would greatly appreciate it if a moderator could move the thread to the correct sub-forum.

    Background/The Meat: I own a 1979 Ford F-250 single cab truck. For a long time I was without music because my speakers in the doors were mostly degraded into nothingness. I recently replaced my speakers with cheap ones and I am now able to listen to music, though the experience is very limited because of the old system in my truck. Since replacing my speakers, I have been craving a bit more than what I currently have, so the other day I decided to put the stereo and speakers from my room (hooked up to a 400w inverter) into my car to see how they would sound. I was completely and totally satisfied, especially with the bass produced as it was enough to make me happy without shaking my old truck to the ground. I understand that home speakers are generally rated at 8 ohms, and I gather from my reading that the resistance should not be harmful.

    Picture of what I put into my truck:Name:  Ghetto setup.JPG
Views: 798
Size:  197.9 KB

    As you can see from the picture, its nothing special but it satisfies my needs, especially in the rather confined spaces of my single cab truck.

    Questions: The main questions I have are just as novice as I am. I have read multiple threads on the different topics I need covered, but my questions were not answered as fully as I needed or I simply could not wrap my head around certain concepts.

    My truck has just two door speakers and that's it. Each of the speaker boxes from my stereo has a single smaller sized woofer, what I gather is a mid range speaker, and what I think is a higher range speaker.

    1. How would I be able to wire all of these in with my door speakers? The mid and higher range speakers from the home system are wired in tandem with one another.

    2.Would each sub-woofer take up a pre-amp output or could I wire them in tandem to utilize just one preamp or a sub-preamp output if I got a stereo with one? (The hookup contacts for the subs each have an extra metal contact that I think is designed for wiring two on the same channel?)

    3. Based purely on generally positive product reviews, I have determined that this Sony unit may be a suitable relatively low-priced head-unit. Am I completely wrong in this? Would I be better off with something else? Any recommendations or tips on what I should be looking for? Do I need to fork up some extra cash to meet my output requirements?

    4. Specific to my situation, what should I look for when purchasing an Amp? How many channels do I need (wattage, etc.?) Do I have to have my door speakers hooked up to the amp or should they just be wired into the head unit?

    5. Should run-of-the-mill speaker wire be adequate for my speaker wiring needs? I understand that a lower gauge wire will have lower resistance. Would that provide better flow of power that would result in better sound? If so, what gauge wire is generally desirable?

    For all intents and purposes, I'm trying to replace that big fat old home stereo receiver with the truck's receiver (and door speakers too!) I'm not looking to spend a fortune as I'm very easy to please.

    If there are any more pictures or any information I can provide to better assist you in understanding what i'm trying to do/what i'm working with, I would be more than happy to provide it.
    I am sorry if it seems I am asking to be front-loaded, but I admit that electronics was not my strongest point when I took high school physics. The more technical jargon tends to get lost on me.
    I am willing to learn, and I look forward to any responses I might get.
    Thanks in advance,
    -Garrett
    Last edited by Rickrollpatrol; 11-05-2013 at 12:29 AM.

  2. #2
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickrollpatrol View Post
    Hey all,
    My name is Garrett and i'm a newbie to this forum just as I am to the world of car audio.
    First off, if this is the inappropriate sub-forum for this topic thread, i apologize and would greatly appreciate it if a moderator could move the thread to the correct sub-forum.

    Background/The Meat: I own a 1979 Ford F-250 single cab truck. For a long time I was without music because my speakers in the doors were mostly degraded into nothingness. I recently replaced my speakers with cheap ones and I am now able to listen to music, though the experience is very limited because of the old system in my truck. Since replacing my speakers, I have been craving a bit more than what I currently have, so the other day I decided to put the stereo and speakers from my room (hooked up to a 400w inverter) into my car to see how they would sound. I was completely and totally satisfied, especially with the bass produced as it was enough to make me happy without shaking my old truck to the ground. I understand that home speakers are generally rated at 8 ohms, and I gather from my reading that the resistance should not be harmful.

    Picture of what I put into my truck:Name:  Ghetto setup.JPG
Views: 798
Size:  197.9 KB

    As you can see from the picture, its nothing special but it satisfies my needs, especially in the rather confined spaces of my single cab truck.

    Questions: The main questions I have are just as novice as I am. I have read multiple threads on the different topics I need covered, but my questions were not answered as fully as I needed or I simply could not wrap my head around certain concepts.

    My truck has just two door speakers and that's it. Each of the speaker boxes from my stereo has a single smaller sized woofer, what I gather is a mid range speaker, and what I think is a higher range speaker.

    1. How would I be able to wire all of these in with my door speakers? The mid and higher range speakers from the home system are wired in tandem with one another.

    2.Would each sub-woofer take up a pre-amp output or could I wire them in tandem to utilize just one preamp or a sub-preamp output if I got a stereo with one? (The hookup contacts for the subs each have an extra metal contact that I think is designed for wiring two on the same channel?)

    3. Based purely on generally positive product reviews, I have determined that this Sony unit may be a suitable relatively low-priced head-unit. Am I completely wrong in this? Would I be better off with something else? Any recommendations or tips on what I should be looking for? Do I need to fork up some extra cash to meet my output requirements?

    4. Specific to my situation, what should I look for when purchasing an Amp? How many channels do I need (wattage, etc.?) Do I have to have my door speakers hooked up to the amp or should they just be wired into the head unit?

    5. Should run-of-the-mill speaker wire be adequate for my speaker wiring needs? I understand that a lower gauge wire will have lower resistance. Would that provide better flow of power that would result in better sound? If so, what gauge wire is generally desirable?

    For all intents and purposes, I'm trying to replace that big fat old home stereo receiver with the truck's receiver (and door speakers too!) I'm not looking to spend a fortune as I'm very easy to please.

    If there are any more pictures or any information I can provide to better assist you in understanding what i'm trying to do/what i'm working with, I would be more than happy to provide it.
    I am sorry if it seems I am asking to be front-loaded, but I admit that electronics was not my strongest point when I took high school physics. The more technical jargon tends to get lost on me.
    I am willing to learn, and I look forward to any responses I might get.
    Thanks in advance,
    -Garrett
    not to sound like an a-hole... but just do it right. those big speakers have to take up a lot of room and you have enough to purchase an amp?. your best bet is to keep your stock head unit, get some good door speakers (polk db's) a moderate subwoofer and a 4 chan amp (two chans for the door speakers and bridge the other two for a small sub.
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  3. #3
    Raw Wave
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    Similar to above, IMO forget about using a home system. Apart from not being able to wire in with existing speakers, home stuff probably isn't sufficiently rugged.

    I have a 2 door ute with an Alpine CDE-121 ($95 on sale; $199 RRP) and 6" 2 (or 3?) way speakers in the doors. Originally Sony or Pioneer or similar for ~$170 I later replaced them with "cheap" Audiolines costing ~$25 which are just as good. (They do sound different, but as to which are better I can't decide.) I also have headrest speakers but lately haven't been using them (they started crackling - I've been meaning to replace with some cheap 2" PC add-on speakers).
    Is it good enough? One day I pulled up to a former car stereo installer coworker (that actually knew his stuff!) and he was wondering wtf I had. He thought the bass boomed and was inquiring about my sub... LOL.

    Two things come to mind. In ye olde days the general rule for domestic (home) sound was that speakers should comprise half the cost of the system.
    The other is that the 'reader' (HU) etc must be good quality.

    Alpine certainly covers the quality HU side of things. I had an Alpine, then 2 cheapies ($50), and went back to Alpine. The refitted 'default state' Alpine was immediately far superior to the tuned in cheapies. Plus I could hear the Alpine at high speeds without distortion (it's an old ute) - I couldn't even hear the cheapies. (As to their distortion at those volumes....)
    Since then I decided that if I could not afford Alpine or quality, I'd rather go without.
    Lately I've also decided not to worry about a CD. MP3 & USB is fine. If I want CDs I'll plug a CD player into the aux input.

    If you have the room for your domestic speaker, sure, why not - provided they match the HU or whatever AND they are properly bolted down. They may not last long - temperature variations, vibration, dust, etc.
    But I doubt you could wire in your door speakers unless say - f.ex - they are all 4 Ohms and you can parallel as 2 Ohms and the HU-whatever handles 2 Ohms. But I doubt that would sound good anyhow.
    Wiring as front & rear is a different issue. (My headrests are 'rear' speakers and hence handled by the Alpine's fader.)

    As for the electronics - domestics might use 12V internally (if low power - ie up to ~20W per channel into 4 Ohms), but that's a regulated 12V not automotive 12V. Hence you'd need a dc-dc converter that can handle the total power, else a dc-ac inverter if you use an AC system. IMO - forget it.

  4. #4
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_fx View Post
    not to sound like an a-hole... but just do it right. those big speakers have to take up a lot of room and you have enough to purchase an amp?. your best bet is to keep your stock head unit, get some good door speakers (polk db's) a moderate subwoofer and a 4 chan amp (two chans for the door speakers and bridge the other two for a small sub.


    I have no problem sounding like an *******.
    Don't do it, Rickrollpatrol.

    Since you have to buy an amp anyway, get hardware that was designed for the harsh environment of a vehicle rather than a cheaply-produced piece that's designed to sit on a shelf.
    Last edited by DarquePervert; 02-06-2014 at 06:23 AM.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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