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Engine Noise due to ground loop or amp?

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  • Engine Noise due to ground loop or amp?

    Like many of you, I need to install an amplifier before I can install my carPC. I had Circuit City install a cheap amp I got off eBay today and the guy told me that there's a lot of engine noise and he told me that the amp sucks.

    First off, I know the amp sucks but it's a means to an end. But he was right about the engine noise, there's a lot of it. When I am not revving the engine, there's a very loud hum. When I rev the engine, the engine noise gets louder and is on top of the hum that's already there. Needless to say, I can drown out the engine noise by turning up the volume when listening to music.

    When he told me that there's a lot of engine noise, he blamed it on the fact that the amp sucks. I always thought engine noise had to do with poor grounding of the amplifier. He also suggested I buy a better amplifier (from Circuit City of course) so that these problems won't happen.

    So now I come to you guys for help. Is he right? Is it because the amp sucks? I don't think this is the problem because members here have bought cheap Pyramid amps for $20 off eBay.

    Here's what I think. I think he did not ground properly and so I'm getting very loud engine noise. But he is blaming the engine noise on the amplifier.

    What do you guys think? If the amp is to blame, then I'll just have to dip into my carPC money and buy a quality amp. But if the problem is due to his poor installion then I want to fix it myself.



  • #2
    dude it could be both. it could be the ground. but i had this happen to me before. i used 2 diff amps in same location using same wiring. one has engine whine one didnt. its about the quality of the amp ALONG with a proper ground. i would suspect the amp to be the culprit this time. you get what you pay for bro.
    i got dat ***** sittin on 22s! SUPERMAN EDITION!


    • #3
      what is the brand of the amplifier?

      if it's a super cheap amp, chances are the guy is right

      keep in mind that you get what you pay for in car audio, 10x most other areas
      Jan Bennett
      FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

      Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!


      • #4
        I think the brand is cuspid or bicuspid. Something like that.

        If it's the amp then I have no problem replacing it. I wanted to make sure it was before buying a new one.


        • #5
          lol - those are teeth....not the brand of an amp!


          do you have a picture of it?
          Jan Bennett
          FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

          Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!


          • #6
            the above post makes me laugh mainly bc I know hes sitting as his computer cracking up out loud.


            • #7
              I have visions of this guy with RCA's running into his mouth.
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?

              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


              • #8
                Haha....that joke never occured to me. Yea it's "Cuspid" and is the same as this one:


                Yea, I'm shopping around for a quality amp as we speak.

                I got another question for you guys. I got a little more driving in today and noticed that when I hit my right turn signal, I can hear the noise coming through the speakers. But the same sound does not come when I flip the left turn signal. Anyone know why this is happening? I'm not really looking for a way to fix it, but I'm tryin to learn why.


                • #9
                  just get a high pass filter ro filter out the noise. it goes on the power and helps to eliminate the noise.

                  I have Cadence amps and they ground without a problem
                  CAR INFO HERE
                  "He who dies with the most toys, wins".


                  • #10
                    holy ****!

                    Now I've got another brand to add to my list of really really really crappy amps! Thanks!

                    btw - sure, you can put the filter on there, but that's a lot like just putting a bandaid on a gash that needs stitches. Without the stitches you'll have one hell of a nasty scar....that no amount of anything will cover up...
                    Jan Bennett
                    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!


                    • #11
                      Oh yes, Cuspid definitely deserves to be on the list.

                      This was the first time I've done anything to my sound system. Even though I now have a problem, I'm learning a lot so it's a good lesson for me.


                      • #12
                        much props to you though

                        you are smart enough to realize this! You would be amazed how many people will go into denial and swear that they are using good products

                        Jan Bennett
                        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!


                        • #13
                          Here's an update on my situation:

                          The Cuspid amp was taken out. To give you an idea of how bad it was, here's what I experienced with it:

                          -When flicking the right turn signal, the speakers would pop everytime it made the "ticking" noise
                          -When flicking the left turn signal, the speakers would pop on the first "tick" but not after every tick after that.
                          -The engine whine was very loud, but could be washed out by increasing the volume.
                          -The underlying engine noise was loud, but not as loud as the whine.
                          -Speakers would crackle and pop intermittently.
                          -When pressing the brake, the speakers would pop. When letting go of the brake, the speakers would pop again but just not as loud.

                          So Circuit City took out the amp and installed a new 4 channel Sony Amp I got from Here's what happened:

                          -Circuit City told me it would take about 5 minutes to swap out the Cuspid amp for the new Sony one.
                          -5 minutes became 1.5 hours and they said bring it back tomorrow when they can devote some serious time to the problem.
                          -The next day I dropped off the car at Circuit City. They called me back a few hours later and told me the problem is that 3 of the channels are blown and that was why they were having trouble getting the sound to work.
                          -I was ****ed off needless to say. So, I told Circuit City to take out the Sony Amp.
                          -I went to the shop, bought a new Bazooka 4 channel amp from Circuit City and had them install it. Everything sounds great and I'm loving the Bazooka amplifer.
                          -Unfortunately, I spent 200 dollars on the Bazooka amp, but at this point I was so ****ed off and tired of driving back to Circuit City all the time.
                          Now I was stuck with a broken Sony Amp. So I called AADeals:
                          -One the first call, the rep told me that someone would call me back. This was Monday.
                          -No one called me back by Thursday, so I called them again. The rep told me that someone would call me back within a few hours.
                          -No one called me back Thursday, but they did call me this morning.
                          -The rep told me that they will not return my money, only authorize an exchange. After several minutes of talking, they still said that they will not refund my money due to company policy.
                          -So I agreed to send them back the broken amp and exchange it for a new one.

                          What a looong ordeal. But in the end, I have an impressive new Bazooka amplifer and will have a new Sony Amp. I wish I could have gotten my money back, but I'll probably sell it anyway and hopefully get $110 back.

                          It's been very frustrating, but a good lesson to learn so hopefully you guys starting out can learn from it.



                          • #14
                            return the bazooka amp and have 'em swap in the sony again. 30 days return policy....and it shouldn't have taken 'em more than 5 minutes to realize the problem was blwon channel leads. Most likely they were covering up for their mistake of running the signal wires too close to power wires. Ionno though, i work for Circuit City, my CC is great with installs, never have issues at all and we're knowledgeable, but that issue sounds more like an install issue....but swapping amps isn't complicated at all.


                            • #15
                              They said the reason why it was taking so long was because they couldn't figure out why sound was only coming out of one channel. So when I came back, the original guy who did the first Cuspid amp install worked on it and figure out the Sony amp was blown.

                              I asked him how he knew and he said he put both amps side by side and installed one after the other.

                              I trust this guy too and I have 100% confidence in Circuit City..well at least the guy who did the original install and the Bazooka.

                              EDIT: After driving around a bit with the Bazooka amp, I'm starting to like it more and more. If I do give it up, it's gonna be hard to do.