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Car Audio 101 - After Market Car Audio System - First Steps

Upgrading your vehicles stock wiring or the Big 3 including adding a new Kinetik power cell By Mike Stires

Mike Stiers over at Maxxsonics has put together another great video for the Car Audio community. Everyone who is thinking of upgrading their stock car audio system to an aftermarket audio system should definitely take a look.

In this video Mike will show you how to prep your car's wiring to handle the upgrade and how to replace your standard car battery with one more suited to the application. In this case, Mike uses the Kinetik KHC1800



A few words from Mike:

 So you've decided to upgrade your car stereo system? A great deal of research and planning should go into this purchase since there is a lot to consider. Do you desire a nice upgrade of your factory speakers, are you looking for a Sound Quality overall of speakers, subwoofers and amplifiers, or are you designing a vision-blurring SPL machine? It is important to make a list of exactly what you are looking to replace or add to your audio system so that you can prepare your electrical system for the investment to come. 

Many people do not realize that their vehicles factory electrical system was not designed for aftermarket audio equipment. In fact, most factory electrical systems can only handle an audio system of 600 to 1200 watts. The lower end of the scale being the smaller vehicles and most foreign rides, and the upper end being large trucks and sport utility vehicles. As you increase demand, you need to look at upgrading your battery, alternator and most importantly your Big 3. 


The Big 3 consists of upgrading three wires under the hood of your vehicle. You can completely replace the three wires detailed below, or simply add additional wires to existing factory wires, the choice is yours. The existing factory wires are generally 8 gauge or smaller and are not designed for the high current demands of an aftermarket audio system. It is recommended that you use a nice insulated 0 gauge wire so that you only have to do this series of upgraded once. 

The first of the Big 3 is the positive charging wire from your alternator to your battery positive. This wire must be fused within 12 of the positive battery terminal connection. The fuse value should be equivalent to the maximum amperage your wire can handle, which is based on the size and distance of the wire. If you have an upgraded, high output, alternator you will remove your factory alternator charge wire altogether and use the replacement described above.

The second upgrade for the Big 3 is the engine ground to chassis or in some cases, engine ground to battery negative. This is extremely important because this ground is also what ties the alternator ground, through the engine block, to the vehicle chassis. For this step, you want to add your 0 gauge ground to the existing ground. Just clean the area thoroughly and secure the two grounds using the same bolts and locations if possible. 

The final upgrade for the Big 3 is the ground wire from battery negative to chassis. If you do not have access to the frame of the vehicle, dont settle for a piece of sheet metal under the hood, but rather locate the strut tower, remove a nut from the thread, sand all paint and debris, connect the 0 gauge ground using a ring terminal on the thread and tighten the nut down. This strut thread has direct access to the vehicle frame and will provide far less resistance than using sheet metal and relying on spot welds. Leave the factory ground in place and clean any dirt, rust or debris from this connection using sandpaper or a stiff wire brush. Through these three steps, you have successfully made huge progress in improving the electrical systems performance, decreased resistance, and enhanced the ability to supply power to your aftermarket audio system. 

NZ409 Clarion 1 DIN DVD Multimedia In-Dash Receiver with Navigation

Clarion NZ409 - a 1 DIN in-dash GPS solution that doesn't compromise on quality, performance, or features

Clarion NZ409 DVD Multimedia Receiver with Built-in Navigation


Clarion NZ409


It can be fairly hard to find a decent after-market car gps and navigation solutions when you only have 1 DIN dash opening to work with or otherwise limited by space. Most of the best in-dash navigation solutions out there require you to have a 2 DIN dash opening or pay additional premiums up front, at time of purchase, or in the form of an optional navigation accessory.

This year, Clarion seeks to change that with their release of the NZ409 DVD multimedia receiver with built in navigation. For a mere fraction of the cost of other 1 DIN navigation solutions from other top car electronics manufacturers the NZ409 offers maps of all 50 US States and Canada. The mapping software provided out of the box also features 12 million built-in PoI (Points of Interest) complete with a 3D display mode for city or elevation maps, and is stored on a 2GB flash device.

In addition to all the great navigation features, you'll still have access to all the features you'd expect from a top-of-the-line car audio/video receiver. iPod connectivity is built-in and you simply need to use your standard USB iPod cable to playback and control your music files right from the on-screen controls or included wireless remote. A full set of 6 (3 pairs) of RCA pre-amp outputs are located on the rear along with a dedicated rear view camera input and two rear A/V RCA inputs.

Audiobahn's A2150HCT and A2200HCT (High Current) Car Amplifiers

Back for a limited time, Audiobahn A2150HCT and A2200HCT Car amplifiers

The Legendary Audiobahn A2150HCT and A2200HCT (High Current) Car Amplifiers

Available again for a limited time!

These high current car amplifiers continue to be some of the most sought after products Audiobahn ever made. They produce ridiculous amounts of power, without ever over-heating. Even though they are 2 channel amplifiers they can be wired down to a 1-ohm impedance for maximum power output.

Audiobahn A2150HCT Audiobahn A2200HCT
Audiobahn A2150HCT Audiobahn A2200HCT
Power Output
  • 150 watts x 2 @ 4 ohms stereo
  • 300 watts x 2 @ 2 ohms stereo
  • 450 watts x 2 @ 1 ohm stereo
  • 300 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms mono
  • 600 watts x 1 @ 2 ohms mono
  • 1200 watts x 1 @1 ohms mono
Additional Features
  • High Current Circuitry
  • PWM MOSFET Power Supply
  • Double Sided Glass Epoxy Circuit Board
  • S/N Ratio: >100dB
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz - 40KHz (± 1dB)
  • Remote Bass Control with Blue Backlight Knobs
  • Variable 24dB Hi-pass Crossover: 50Hz - 750Hz
  • Variable 24dB Low-pass Crossover: 30Hz - 120Hz
  • Variable Subsonic Filter: 20Hz to 45Hz
  • Variable Bass Boost: 0-18dB
  • Variable Bass Boost Frequency: 40Hz-100Hz
  • RCA Throughput Connections
  • 4-way Protection Circuitry: Thermal, Short Circuit, Overload & DC Offset
  • Dual Cooling Fans
  • VU Meters Indicating Output Response
  • Cobalt Blue Illumination
  • High Gloss Chrome Plated Finish
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 3 11/16" x 12" x 17"
Power Output
  • 4 Ohms Stereo : 200 x 2
  • 2 Ohms Stereo : 400 x 2
  • 1 Ohms Stereo : 600 x 2
  • 4 Ohms Mono : 400 x 1
  • 2 Ohms Mono : 800 x 1
  • 1 Ohms Mono : 1600 x 1
Additional Features
  • High Current Circuitry
  • PWM MOSFET Power Supply
  • Double Sided Glass Epoxy Circuit Board
  • S/N Ratio : > 100dB
  • Frequency Response : 10Hz - 40KHz (+/-dB)
  • Remote Bass Control With Blue Backlight Knobs
  • Variable 24dB High-pass Crossover :50Hz-750Hz
  • Variable 24dB Low Pass Crossover : 30Hz- 120Hz
  • Variable Subsonic Filter : 20Hz to 45Hz
  • Variable Bass Boost : 0 - 18 dB
  • Variable Bass Boost Frequency : 40Hz - 100Hz
  • RCA Throughput Connections
  • 4-way Protection Circuitry : Thermal, Short Circuit, Overload, and DC Offset
  • Dual Cooling Fans
  • VU Meters indicating Output Response
  • Cobalt Blue Illumination
  • High Gloss Chrome Plated Finish
  • Dimension(H x W x D) : 3 11/16" x 12" x 23 1/16"

Sony XS-MP1620B Car Marine Audio speakers

Special deal on Sony XS-MP1620B Car/Marine Speakers at OnlineCarStereo.com your car audio/stereo super store

Sony XS-MP1620B

Rescession Bustin Deal!

Looking for a great set of marine speakers at a price you can't beat? Check out the Sony XS-MP1620B - 6-1/2" 2-way 160W Marine Speakers. These speakers normally retail between $69 - $129 but for a limited time we're slashing the price to $35! No, it's not a typo and yes, they are brand new - factory sealed. Also, dont let the "marine speaker" tag fool you, these speakers will work for just about any car audio/stereo application that requires 6.5" car speakers.


Additional Info

  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • RMS Power Range : 2-45 Watts
  • Peak Power Handling: 160 Watts
  • Frequency response: 35-26000 Hz
  • Diameter: 6.5 Inch
  • 2-way 6-1/2" black marine speakers
  • Polypropylene woofer with rubber surround
  • Poly cone tweeter
  • Power range: 2-45 watts RMS (160 watts peak power)
  • Frequency response: 40-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • Top-mount depth: 2-1/2


Available at OnlineCarStereo.com your car audio/stereo and video super store.

Alpine CDA-105 Car Audio/Stereo In-Dash Receiver

Take a peek at the Alpine CDA-105 Car Audio/Stereo In-Dash Receiver | at OnlineCarStereo.com your car audio/stereo and video super store

Alpine CDA-105

Alpine Steps Up "Out of the Box" Connectivity

Alpine CDA-105 car audio/stereo receiver 

For years Alpine has been a leading manufacturer of high quality car audio/stereo and video receivers. When you buy Alpine products, you can expect to get car electronics made from the highest quality materials that produce amazing sound. The downside was; unless you went for Alpine's "top of the line" products, you'd have to spend more for USB and iPod connectivity.

With the CDA-105 this is no longer the case. We're not saying that this in-dash receiver is lower quality than it's counterparts. Not only can you expect the level of quality and performance you'd expect from an Alpine receiver, but you now get the added benefit of having a USB port in the front of your receiver. With the built-in USB port you can connect a USB memory device to play your favorite digital music files while ignoring other types of files on the device. You can also control your iPod directly from the receiver without paying for additional parts or adapters.


Available at OnlineCarStereo.com your car audio/stereo and video super store.

Jensen VM9223 Car Audio/Stereo, Video and Multimedia Receiver

Jensen VM9223 Car Audio/Stereo/Video Multimedia Receiver highlights at OnlineCarStereo.com your car audio/stereo super store.

Jensen VM9223

Mobile Video That Won't Break the Budget

Jensen is known for producing car audio/stereo and video equipment which are full of features, for reasonable prices; and the VM9223 is no exception. This 2-DIN Touchscreen CD/DVD multimedia receiver also comes equipped a 7" motorized screen, Wireless remote, front 3.5mm A/V input with adapter wire, and a USB port in the rear which doubles as an SD card reader for all your digital multimedia files like: DVD, Xvid, MPEG1, MPEG2, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, and WMA. Additional expandability options include backup camera via a dedicated rearview camera input and one additional set of rear RCA A/V inputs.



Additional Features and Specifications
  • Front panel audio/video input
  • Rear RCA A/V input
  • Navigation Ready - NAV101 and NAV102
  • Bluetooth Ready - BTM10
  • Steering Wheel Control (SWC) Interface
  • Three band equalizer - bass, midrange and treble
  • Eight preset EQ curves
  • Supports SD Cards up to 8GB

As always this new Jensen receiver is in stock and ready to ship from OnlineCarStereo.com your car audio/stereo and video super store.

Sony MEX-BT5700U - CD/MP3 Receiver w/ Bluetooth

Newly released Sony MEX-BT5700U Car Audio/Stereo receiver

Sony MEX-BT5700U - CD/MP3/WMA/AAC Receiver with Built-In Bluetooth

 Sony MEX-BT5700U Car audio stereo receiver

This car audio/stereo MP3/CD receiver is one of the few true Bluetooth receivers available. Not only does the built-in bluetooth allow you to enjoy hands-free calling, it also allows you to stream digital audio files stored on a bluetooth enabled media device wirelessly! With AVRCP 1.3 profile support the MEX-BT5700U will also automatically detect and display media metadata and contact information from your bluetooth devices.

The MEX-BT5700U is also packed with all the features you've come to expect from a sony source unit:

  • USB 1-wire for iPod and other USB devices
    • Allows you to connect a USB device, iPod, or iPhone directly to the front face plate.
  • Flip-Down, four-line display
  • Quick-BrowZer with Jump Mode and Sony's "Zappin" technology
    • A speedy user interface that allows you to find your digital audio files quickly and easily
  • Passenger Controls
  • Playback of popular digital media files like: MP3, WMA, AAC
  • Front Aux input
  • Wireless Remote control