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Experienced PC guys needs Car Audio Primer

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  • Experienced PC guys needs Car Audio Primer

    I've been building and modding computers for years, and my car will be my next project. However, I know very little about car audio. Specifically, I need somebody to point me to a good source that can answer some of my questions (printed or online). My goal is to set up a clean install, make it look as close to OEM as possible.

    - Power: How to set up the power to go from the battery without killing myself or my new 'puter.
    - Wiring: How to hide and deliver wires to all the necessary places.
    - Upholstery and Trim: Basic knowledge on how to handle and remove if necessary.
    - Line noise: No idea what causes it and how it can be avoided.
    - Basic acoustics: How to make the sound better in a car.

    So, I'm a complete newbie at car audio. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless

  • #2
    Welcome to the forums! I hope you enjoy your time here! There is a LOT of information here, the search tool will help you a lot!

    I can try to answer some parts of your questions

    - Power: Probably the best power supply is the Opus - search here for Opus!
    - Wiring: Use the standard places the factory wiring goes - pillars, under carpet etc
    - Upholstery: Most stuff in newer cars is either clipped or screwed in. If needbe, go to your local dealer and ask the best way to get x bit of trim off.
    - Line noise: Try to keep all your audio cables away from power cables. Also, try to ground your audio equipment to the same point. Use reasonable quality cables - especially for grounding, which is just as important as providing +ve voltage! Also search here for "ground loop".
    - Basic acoustics: Go to your local car audio specialists, and ask them specific questions about your car. They should be able to tell you which combinations of equipment will sound good together.

    Co-Developer of A.I.M.E.E


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick reply. I've done a lot of research on the site already, but I was looking for something more in-depth. I've heard there were some good beginner's books on car audio, I just forgot the titles. I'd like to get a good background in car audio before I start my project, especially on the details, such as how wires go through pillars and doors, and the best way to secure them. I have a vague idea of what I'm going to do with my project, but it'll be little details that will stop me dead like... um... I'm short on wire... what's the best way to extend this power cable to the trunk, or how come my factory harness doesn't match my head unit (I know the answer to that one, but it's these types of questions that will stump me).
      2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless


      • #4
        Not sure if this is more than you want, but there is a pretty in depth and well organized primer on this at

        It has been a long time since I looked at it, but I remember it being pretty detailed and easy to read. Hope it helps...



        • #5

          the forums there are full of info... Probably people there with your exact car too. I visit that site frequently cuz I just finished a full stereo install.
          Car: 2000 Audi A4 Avant 1.8t
          Carputer 2.0: removed. Back to stock.


          • #6
            try this:

            Stop Buying New Music CD's.
            Hit The RIAA where it lives.

            Indash Motorized 7", Epia Nehimiah, 512 MB, 80 GB, DVD, Wireless G, XP Pro, XM PCR, Kenwwod 5 Channel 1200 Watt Amp.


            • #7
              i'm sure the guys there a more than happy to help you out
              come and check us out !!!!