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  1. #1
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default adding an amp in a convertible

    I have a 84 convertible. It currently have a retro stereo, and an alpine 200 watt amp, a JBL subwoofer under the passenger seat, and all JBL speakers.

    I have four 6.5 inch JBL speakers in the doors and rear panels. I have two 3.5 JBL's in the dash and I had removed the stock amp and used that space to put a plate I made with two 3/4 inch JBL tweeters. Plus the subwoofer under the seat.

    Here's the issues, The amp I have isn't powerful enough for the speakers I'm running. I'm using JBL Stadiums. They are 2 ohms and they kick. According to the specs they can handle 225 watts. When I spoke to a tech at JBL to ask why my amp is always clipping and cutting out he said the speakers are rated to pull 100 watts and my amp can only push 45 RMS so I'm overworking the Alpine. He suggested a 400 watt amp that can push at least 95 watts RMS.

    I ordered a Clarion XR5420 Class D 4-Channel 400W from Amazon. Should have it in a few days. I'm hoping to get better performance out of it. But I'm actually wondering if an 800 watt amp would be better with these speakers.

    I currently have 8 actual speakers, not counting the subwoofer which is independently powered. The Clarion, just like the Alpine is a 4 channel amp. I wired it up with my four 6 inch speakers running of the Alpines 4 channels, and I wired the 3.5's and the tweeters to the head units front and rear channels. At the time it was the best idea I had. However I have no real control of the dashboard speakers since the AMP bypasses all controls. I cant fade and balance them and they aren't very loud. In fact I was thinking the tweeters weren't working for awhile until I had the dash cover off last summer and I pulled the plate and put the tweeters to my ear and they are functioning, but barely. Same thing with the 3.5's. I can put my fingers on the dash and feel it vibrate, but I can barely hear the front speakers. Considering the head unit is 300 watts, I assume that was plenty of wattage for the small speakers, but nope.

    Prior to this setup, the stereo shop that set up the alpine for my maybe 4 summers ago had the front door speakers daisy-chained to the 3.5's and the result was opposite. At that time I was getting 90% of my sound from the dash and the door speakers were doing nothing.

    Is there any wiring suggestion to get good use out of all 8 speakers? I feel I'll have the same condition with the Clarion as for how the dash speakers function bypassed from the amp, if I hard wire them to the head unit.

    The 3.5's and much smaller and handle much less wattage than the Stadiums. I don't want to blow them out, I just would like to know they function at their best capacity.

  2. #2

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    all your speakers should be the same ohms. Speaker ohms and amplifier ohms should stay the same, example 4ohm to 4ohm. Your amplifier is probably 4ohms and when you run two speakers on one channel it will drop it in half to two ohms. 400 watt amp will be fine, 800 watt would give you more power control. Run the four 6.5 with the amplifier, run the tweeters from the deck power and get rid of the 3.5 speakers, lol.

  3. #3
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Awd View Post
    all your speakers should be the same ohms. Speaker ohms and amplifier ohms should stay the same, example 4ohm to 4ohm. Your amplifier is probably 4ohms and when you run two speakers on one channel it will drop it in half to two ohms. 400 watt amp will be fine, 800 watt would give you more power control. Run the four 6.5 with the amplifier, run the tweeters from the deck power and get rid of the 3.5 speakers, lol.

    What if I bridge my old Alpine and run the 4 dash speakers off it? The Alpine is supposed to auto function between 2 and 4 ohms.

  4. #4

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    3.5” speaker are junk, imo. Yes most amps will work in 2 or 4 ohms. The level control on amp let’s you adjust the output to match your deck output.

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    so heres my update on this.

    I got the Clarion XR5420 4 channel AMP and installed it today. I was annoyed to find that this AMP fully bypasses the head unit completely. Not only are my dashboard mounted 3.5 speakers and 3/4 tweeters not making a sound, but my JBL self powered subwoofer under the passenger seat is also not making sound.

    I see the power light on the JBL lights up as soon as the head unit comes on, but no sound. Funny thing is right after I pulled the old Alpine, I tested the head unit and my dash speakers and subwoofer were all that was working, obviously because the 4 door speakers were Alpine powered.

    So has anyone seen this behavior from an AMP before? I actually had 2 Alpines, one in my Mustang and another in my old Yukon. Both set ups the same with a JBL under seat subwoofer driven by the head unit. So theoretically, it should still work. There's no controls on the Clarion XR5420 other than GAIN and High Pass Crossovers.

    Any suggestions? Even if I could live without the dashboard speakers, I need my Sub working. Its powered up, I double checked the RCA cables from the sub to the head unit. Nothing is disturbed. If I cant resolve this I will have to return the Clarion and go back to square one.
    Last edited by fgross2006; 08-03-2022 at 08:25 PM.

  6. #6
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Update on this issue. The Clarion amp was a defect. After 45 minutes on the line with a tech, we determined the amp was a defect. Amazon sent a replacement and I didn't even have to rewire it. I just pulled the 2 plugs and swapped the amp and it works great. I'm very happy with this model.

    All my speakers are running, The dash speakers and tweeters hard wired to the head unit are functioning, the JBL subwoofer is functioning and this AMP seems to run my JBL Stadium 620's like a Swiss watch. They handle the extra power, no clipping, no distortion.

    Can anyone here give advise on how to set the GAIN and HPF settings?

    I've seen instructions online that say to turn the volume on the head unit to half way, then slowly turn up the GAIN until the amp clips or the music distorts. On the old Alpine, there was always a point where it would clip. But I tried setting the GAIN on my new AMP and was able to turn it all the way to 100% with no clipping or distortion, and run it hard. I find it hard to believe that would be the correct setting. I turned the GAIN down to 3/4 to be safe, but what's your take on how to get my GAIN set just right? Could I conceivably set my GAIN's at 100% and not damage the AMP?

    Also, I totally don't understand how to set the HPF. I turned the dial all the way in both directions and could not discern any difference in sound quality. Right now I left it set at halfway up.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. But apart from that, I love this Clarion amp. It sounds great. Tomorrow I take the Mustang on a long run to give a real hard test to the new amp. I ran it for 20 minutes in the driveway, but a long run will determine if it holds up or starts clipping again.

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