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I can confirm that these two harnesses indeed work with Giulia OEM Amplifiers (Intermediate or HK) allowing total bypass of the OEM amplifier.


AXABH-CH4 is missing two mandatory pins required with Intermediate Hifi, but these can be salvaged from the small connector, which is not needed with Intermediate (ASK Group) amplifier. According to the pin diagrams HK does not have this issue.

Here you can see original amplifier totally disconnected. OEM harness is on the left and my home-made harness using two harnesses mentioned above is on the right.

98965


Speaker tests work correctly for every speaker through this new harness. This simple device is valuable to perform the testing:


Installation will be completed during the weekend. I will report the required proxy alignments here.
 

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I can confirm that byte 112 controls the Amplifier / Line driver mode:

Byte 112: ETM Line driver mode / amplifier mode toggle. Value 0x00 = Amplifier Mode. Value 0x20 = Line Driver Mode

Byte 112 value 0x20

When the value is 0x20 ETM works in "Line driver / OEM Amplifier mode". In this mode the speaker detection is off, Volume control only works through external amplifier - fixed volume signal is sent to the OEM Amplifier and only in two channels. Other two channels are used to sent navigation messages and warning tones. Mixing of these signals happens on the amplifier and volume control, balance and fader are performed on OEM amplifier based on CANBUS signals.

You have to have an original OEM amplifier (either Intermediate - ASK Group or Harman Kardon) for this mode to make sense.

Byte 112 value 0x00
When the value is 0x00 ETM works in "Internal amplifier / Base audio mode". In this mode the speaker detection is on (you have to have resistors on outputs to avoid error messages; if resistors are not there you get audio system unavailable-error although everything works), Volume control on ETM works for the speaker outputs and navigation and warning tones are mixed to the outputs already on ETM. Basically this mode is the Base audio mode - it works exactly how the Base audio systems work.

Therefore, if you want to install new non-OEM amplifier without using Fix-82 or other solutions to "re-mix" the audio signals for external amplifier, you want to use this mode. The benefit of avoiding remixing is better sound quality, since OEM D-class amplifier on the signal path with remixing DSP is not doing good for the quality of audio.

About the bytes 31 & 47 you don't need to worry, these values will change to 0x00 when the OEM amplifier is removed.

In summary
This is the amplifier upgrade solution for all of you who want to upgrade Intermediate or HK amplifier to something else. You want to use this to simplify you installation and to get better sound quality. Having multiple non-necessary amplifiers and DSP's on your signal path is never good for the sound quality.

Order the harnesses mentioned in the previous post, built your own harness with these, install the amplifier, run proxi alignment and enjoy. Remember that before you change the proxi byte, the volume coming out from the ETM is at maximum. Just to avoid any loud surprises.
 

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I can also confirm that byte 112 controls the Amplifier / Line driver mode:

Byte 112: ETM Line driver mode / amplifier mode toggle. Value 0x00 = Amplifier Mode. Value 0x20 = Line Driver Mode

0x20

When the value is 0x20 ETM works in line driver mode. In this mode the speaker detection is off, Volume control only works through external amplifier - fixed signal is sent to the client and audio is sent only in two channels. Other two channels are used to sent navigation messages and warning tones. Mixing of these signals happen on external amplifier.

You have to have an original OEM amplifier for this mode to make sense.

0x00
When the value is 0x00 ETM works in amplifier mode. In this mode the speaker detection is on (you have to have resistors on outputs to avoid error messages; if resistors are not there you get audio system unavailable-error although everything works), Volume control on ETM works for the speaker outputs and navigation and warning tones are mixed to the outputs already on ETM. Basically this mode is the base audio mode - it works exactly how the base audio systems work.

Therefore, if you want to install new non-OEM amplifier without using Fix-82 or other solutions to "re-mix" the audio signals for external amplifier, you want to use this mode.

About the bytes 31 & 47 you don't need to worry, these values will change to 0x00 when the OEM amplifier is removed.

In summary
This is the amplifier upgrade solution for all of you who want to upgrade Intermediate or HK amplifier to something else. You want to use this to simplify you installation and to get better sound quality. Having multiple non-necessary amplifiers and DSP's on your signal path is never good for the sound quality.

Order the harnesses mentioned in the previous post, built your own harness with these, install the amplifier, run proxi alignment and enjoy. Remember that before you change the proxi byte, the volume coming out from the ETM is at maximum. Just to avoid any loud surprises.
Interesting. I've already cut my wires but can easily put them back together. And I've already upgraded by DSP as my old one didn't sum the high level inputs. So at this point I shouldn't really need to look to change anything. However, I get an annoying cut out for a fraction of a second on mids and tweeters when the powerful bass heavy notes hit (even with no bass speakers plugged in so I know it's not vibration / anything loose). And to try an minimise it I have to play around with gain setting on DSP and amps but that raises my noise floor too much. Maybe this is the solution but keeping my new DSP (well I've bought it now and it is very good). My only issue is that I already have 3 big amplifiers in my boot now and no spare channels to run the rear speakers as I'm still using the HK amp to run them at the moment but they are only on the minimum setting just for a bit of rear fill for the kids.
So the big question from me is how do I do a proxi alignment? Is this Alfa speak for a bit of coding? If so, do I just need MES or similar? I have a 2019 model so already have Epsonix's security gateway bypass device.
 

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Interesting. I've already cut my wires but can easily put them back together. And I've already upgraded by DSP as my old one didn't sum the high level inputs. So at this point I shouldn't really need to look to change anything. However, I get an annoying cut out for a fraction of a second on mids and tweeters when the powerful bass heavy notes hit (even with no bass speakers plugged in so I know it's not vibration / anything loose). And to try an minimise it I have to play around with gain setting on DSP and amps but that raises my noise floor too much. Maybe this is the solution but keeping my new DSP (well I've bought it now and it is very good). My only issue is that I already have 3 big amplifiers in my boot now and no spare channels to run the rear speakers as I'm still using the HK amp to run them at the moment but they are only on the minimum setting just for a bit of rear fill for the kids.
So the big question from me is how do I do a proxi alignment? Is this Alfa speak for a bit of coding? If so, do I just need MES or similar? I have a 2019 model so already have Epsonix's security gateway bypass device.
SGW bypass (2018+), obd2 adapter cables (blue and grey), and run the proxi alignment in MES.
 
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I can also confirm that byte 112 controls the Amplifier / Line driver mode:

Byte 112: ETM Line driver mode / amplifier mode toggle. Value 0x00 = Amplifier Mode. Value 0x20 = Line Driver Mode

0x20

When the value is 0x20 ETM works in line driver mode. In this mode the speaker detection is off, Volume control only works through external amplifier - fixed signal is sent to the client and audio is sent only in two channels. Other two channels are used to sent navigation messages and warning tones. Mixing of these signals happen on external amplifier.

You have to have an original OEM amplifier for this mode to make sense.

0x00
When the value is 0x00 ETM works in amplifier mode. In this mode the speaker detection is on (you have to have resistors on outputs to avoid error messages; if resistors are not there you get audio system unavailable-error although everything works), Volume control on ETM works for the speaker outputs and navigation and warning tones are mixed to the outputs already on ETM. Basically this mode is the base audio mode - it works exactly how the base audio systems work.

Therefore, if you want to install new non-OEM amplifier without using Fix-82 or other solutions to "re-mix" the audio signals for external amplifier, you want to use this mode.

About the bytes 31 & 47 you don't need to worry, these values will change to 0x00 when the OEM amplifier is removed.

In summary
This is the amplifier upgrade solution for all of you who want to upgrade Intermediate or HK amplifier to something else. You want to use this to simplify you installation and to get better sound quality. Having multiple non-necessary amplifiers and DSP's on your signal path is never good for the sound quality.

Order the harnesses mentioned in the previous post, built your own harness with these, install the amplifier, run proxi alignment and enjoy. Remember that before you change the proxi byte, the volume coming out from the ETM is at maximum. Just to avoid any loud surprises.
Also, if using low level inputs to your amps / dsp what are you using for a switched live / remote out to turn amps on? The power supply to the HK amp is permanently live so must be turned on via the canbus.
 

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Also, I have ordered the full MES kit now. I tried to connect with my laptop and a bluetooth ELM327 ODB dongle and a Carista one. Although my laptop connected to both I couldn't seem to get MES to read either of them so have to wait for the MES one to arrive now. I am considering whacking my old DSP that has a remote volume controller into the car temporarily and use that to control the volume until I can do a proxy alignment.
 

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Also, I have ordered the full MES kit now. I tried to connect with my laptop and a bluetooth ELM327 ODB dongle and a Carista one. Although my laptop connected to both I couldn't seem to get MES to read either of them so have to wait for the MES one to arrive now. I am considering whacking my old DSP that has a remote volume controller into the car temporarily and use that to control the volume until I can do a proxy alignment.
bluetooth dongle won't be able to do proxi alignment
 

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Also, if using low level inputs to your amps / dsp what are you using for a switched live / remote out to turn amps on? The power supply to the HK amp is permanently live so must be turned on via the canbus.
I'm not using low-level inputs. As said above, the low-level output mode from ETM is not useful to connect to non-OEM amplifier, since it is fixed-volume and navi voices + warning beeps are not mixed in the ETM. Also fader does not work.

Therefore only amplifier mode (byte 112 = 0x00) makes sense with non-OEM amplifier. And my JL Audio VXI 600/6i amplifier starts fine if it detects signal on inputs. VXi - on the other hand - provides remote out, which can be used to start subwoofer. The "low level" and "amplifier" inputs are the same thing with VXI amplifier.
 

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bluetooth dongle won't be able to do proxi alignment
Depends on dongle. My OBDLink MX+ does proxi alignment just fine. If you link this adapter to both PC and Mobile phone, remember to disable bluetooth on you phone before trying to use PC. Otherwise nothing happens.

Avoid cheap Chinese ELM 327-adapters. They work with proxi alignment only with pure luck.

 

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I'm not using low-level inputs. As said above, the low-level output mode from ETM is not useful to connect to non-OEM amplifier, since it is fixed-volume and navi voices + warning beeps are not mixed in the ETM. Also fader does not work.
Ah yes of course, sorry, I was thinking about my own system where I might try connecting the line out into my DSP.

But then that brings me back round; forgive my ignorance on the internal workings of the ETM, but, if you are using the high level output surely the ETM is using a built in amplifier to make the signal high enough to be heard adequately through a speaker? If this is the case then why would you want to use the small (and therefore probably less capable) built in amplifier over the bigger (and probably slightly more capable) external amplifier? Both will probably apply EQ but isn't it better to bypass the ETM internal amplifier and use the intermediate / HK amplifier high level outputs instead? The only upside I can see to this is it saves you summing the different outputs to make a complete signal. But this is relatively easy.
UNLESS, all outputs from the ETM pass through it's internal amplifier but when the proxy is set to HK mode it attenuates them first. This makes no sense though; amplify then attenuate just so you can amplify again?
 

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Ah yes of course, sorry, I was thinking about my own system where I might try connecting the line out into my DSP.

But then that brings me back round; forgive my ignorance on the internal workings of the ETM, but, if you are using the high level output surely the ETM is using a built in amplifier to make the signal high enough to be heard adequately through a speaker? If this is the case then why would you want to use the small (and therefore probably less capable) built in amplifier over the bigger (and probably slightly more capable) external amplifier? Both will probably apply EQ but isn't it better to bypass the ETM internal amplifier and use the intermediate / HK amplifier high level outputs instead? The only upside I can see to this is it saves you summing the different outputs to make a complete signal. But this is relatively easy.
UNLESS, all outputs from the ETM pass through it's internal amplifier but when the proxy is set to HK mode it attenuates them first. This makes no sense though; amplify then attenuate just so you can amplify again?
There is only one "amplifier" within the ETM. The same chip either acts as a line driver or as a entry-level amplifier. When in "line driver mode" it just provides fixed line-level signal with a little less gain as in "amplifier" mode. For the sound quality, it's all the same in either mode. According to the specifications sheet, "low-gain" mode might be somewhat better, but the difference is not huge unless you drive the amplifier mode in too high power. You cannot "bypass" ETM internal amplifier, since it is the only path for the signal to go through.

Therefore adding an another mediocre D-class amplifier to the outputs (as it is in Intermediate or in HK Hifi), splitting the signal to tweeter, midrange, midbass and subwoofer and then summing all the signals back with DSP is not going to make the sound quality any better - quite the opposite. Removing all unnecessary stuff from the signal path is always better for the sound quality. And if you want to improve Giulia's audio quality, bypassing Intermediate or HK amplifier totally is exactly that.

In my car the Intermediate amplifier is now bypassed and JL Audio VXi600/6i with built-in DSP is connected directly to the front left, front right, rear left and rear right outputs from the ETM. Yes, it is "amplifier level" output, but there is no quality difference to "line output".
 

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OK thank you for the explanation. Obviously I understand the less poor quality components in the signal path the better, I just didn't see the logic in using a built in amplifier over an external one but as you explained it has to pass through the ETM amplifier regardless then I will try the line output maybe today (taken from the HK amplifier input) until my MES cables turn up then I can do the proxy alignment and make it high level again.
 

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OK thank you for the explanation. Obviously I understand the less poor quality components in the signal path the better, I just didn't see the logic in using a built in amplifier over an external one but as you explained it has to pass through the ETM amplifier regardless then I will try the line output maybe today (taken from the HK amplifier input) until my MES cables turn up then I can do the proxy alignment and make it high level again.
Remember that if you change the ETM to amplifier mode, you cannot use OEM HK amplifier anymore for any purpose. It has to be disconnected totally. So you need to find an another solution for your rear channels.
 

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I can confirm that byte 112 controls the Amplifier / Line driver mode:

Byte 112: ETM Line driver mode / amplifier mode toggle. Value 0x00 = Amplifier Mode. Value 0x20 = Line Driver Mode

Byte 112 value 0x20

When the value is 0x20 ETM works in "Line driver / OEM Amplifier mode". In this mode the speaker detection is off, Volume control only works through external amplifier - fixed volume signal is sent to the OEM Amplifier and only in two channels. Other two channels are used to sent navigation messages and warning tones. Mixing of these signals happens on the amplifier and volume control, balance and fader are performed on OEM amplifier based on CANBUS signals.

You have to have an original OEM amplifier (either Intermediate - ASK Group or Harman Kardon) for this mode to make sense.

Byte 112 value 0x00
When the value is 0x00 ETM works in "Internal amplifier / Base audio mode". In this mode the speaker detection is on (you have to have resistors on outputs to avoid error messages; if resistors are not there you get audio system unavailable-error although everything works), Volume control on ETM works for the speaker outputs and navigation and warning tones are mixed to the outputs already on ETM. Basically this mode is the Base audio mode - it works exactly how the Base audio systems work.

Therefore, if you want to install new non-OEM amplifier without using Fix-82 or other solutions to "re-mix" the audio signals for external amplifier, you want to use this mode. The benefit of avoiding remixing is better sound quality, since OEM D-class amplifier on the signal path with remixing DSP is not doing good for the quality of audio.

About the bytes 31 & 47 you don't need to worry, these values will change to 0x00 when the OEM amplifier is removed.

In summary
This is the amplifier upgrade solution for all of you who want to upgrade Intermediate or HK amplifier to something else. You want to use this to simplify you installation and to get better sound quality. Having multiple non-necessary amplifiers and DSP's on your signal path is never good for the sound quality.

Order the harnesses mentioned in the previous post, built your own harness with these, install the amplifier, run proxi alignment and enjoy. Remember that before you change the proxi byte, the volume coming out from the ETM is at maximum. Just to avoid any loud surprises.
I have the MES multiplexed kit now and it seems to work with my SGW bypass as I can see and clear all DTCs.
However, when I go into the Proxi Alignment section all I get are options to enable or disable various parameters. I can't see any actual bytes or their values. Am I doing something wrong?
 

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I have the MES multiplexed kit now and it seems to work with my SGW bypass as I can see and clear all DTCs.
However, when I go into the Proxi Alignment section all I get are options to enable or disable various parameters. I can't see any actual bytes or their values. Am I doing something wrong?
Press Ctrl-Alt-C on proxy alignment screen. Now you can see the "raw" set of proxi bytes you can edit.

Before starting, please ensure that you have Blue and Grey adapters that work. Without those you cannot complete proxi alignment. In the end you need to do couple of sensor resets within ABS module. This is normal.

Edit: If you really have MES Multiplexed kit, then you don't need those adapters.
 

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Press Ctrl-Alt-C on proxy alignment screen. Now you can see the "raw" set of proxi bytes you can edit.

Before starting, please ensure that you have Blue and Grey adapters that work. Without those you cannot complete proxi alignment. In the end you need to do couple of sensor resets within ABS module. This is normal.

Edit: If you really have MES Multiplexed kit, then you don't need those adapters.
Thanks the ctrl alt C did the trick. Yes, I have the multiplexed version so no adapters required.
I swapped over to the ETM output (rather than HK output) quickly last night. It sounded terrible and distorted even at low volume but much louder. I suspect the gains need to be turned down on my DSP and amps and possibly move the jumpers in the DSP to the higher input setting. As I didn't have time to do this I put the car back to how it was. I have my first service on Tuesday so will take the SGW bypass out and try again maybe next weekend.
 

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Thanks the ctrl alt C did the trick. Yes, I have the multiplexed version so no adapters required.
I swapped over to the ETM output (rather than HK output) quickly last night. It sounded terrible and distorted even at low volume but much louder. I suspect the gains need to be turned down on my DSP and amps and possibly move the jumpers in the DSP to the higher input setting. As I didn't have time to do this I put the car back to how it was. I have my first service on Tuesday so will take the SGW bypass out and try again maybe next weekend.
Remember that when you do this, the volume control also starts working for ETM outputs. So you can also turn volume down to avoid too high output. But yes, you need to tweak DSP input gain down to avoid overload of DSP inputs.

I'm just amazed how good this new setup sounds. I have a set of favorite CD's converted to MP3 on a USB stick. I now need to do the conversion again to convert them to FLAC format instead. This lossless format should sound even better. And yes, Giulia ETM supports it.
 

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Here are pictures of the install. You can see factory amp in left side of car.

Didn't write down color codes of speakers coming out of amp should have that would have been helpful to everyone here in the forum. Maybe next guy will. I built panel behind seat to mount amps, DSP and crossovers to. Built second false wall to cover up equipment so still looks stock.

Disconnected center and rear speakers to make it pure stereo sound with studio quality.
I’m thinking of buying a Stelvio but I’m concerned about the poor sound quality. I would like to upgrade the system also but is the signal of the head unit good enough to get a good final quality?
 

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This post is one place for those looking to dramatically improve the sound quality of the Alfa Romeo stereo system.

Some things that I discovered while upgrading my system. First is that the center channel is always on regardless of whether the surround is on or off. Also the crossover to the subwoofer is extremely poor. Vocals are also being fed into the sub making it strain to try to reproduce those higher frequencies. Simply putting an inline low pass 100mhz 4 ohm filter from parts express ($18) might help sound quality some for those not wanting to add or replace any of the speakers. Those looking to just replace the sub will need to cross it over also or it will not really improve sound even if sub is good. For those looking to do more here are some other options.

1. Easiest and cheapest way is to add a subwoofer such as the premade JL audio sub box with 10 inch sub, audiocontrol LC2i to get signal for sub and adjust for missing bass as volume is increased. Keep stock speakers. This will play very loud and will satisfy most people. I initially did this by adding a JL audio RD500/1 amp with the JL Audio CS110TG-TW3. The bass was clean, tight powerful and almost everyone who got in my car thought is sounded great. However, the stock speakers tend to have too much midrange and the tweeter can sound piercing at times and is hard to listen to for an extended period of time. If you like the treble in the stock radio you will love will absolutely love this upgrade. And yes I am very picky and an audiophile with a home system costing more than many people’s cars.

2. Next option is to replace with stock speakers however they are crossed over inside the amp so not sure how good this will sound since you can not use the supplied crossovers with the speakers. Not being able to use supplied crossovers will dramatically negatively effect the sound quality but would still likely sound better then the cheap little speakers supplied with stock sound system. You can see from pictures that stock speakers have a magnet not much bigger than a half dollar.
3. Since the stock amp is not sending out full channel signals you will be required to use a DSP unit in order to add an aftermarket amp. So your next cheapest option is to get a 5 channel amp with a bullt in DSP unit such as the audiocontrol LC-6.1200. This saves the expense of buying both a DSP and an amp. Then replacing the stock speakers will sound dramatically better since they will now use the supplied crossovers and have a full range signal outputting to them.

4. Most expensive option is to use an external DSP and an aftermarket amplifier. You can use a cheap LC6i but because the front speakers use all 6 inputs it you lose the fader in the dash. The best LC8i or JL audio fix 82 if you want to keep the fader working. I went with the DM-810 so I could hook up a laptop and completely customize each input, summoning on each output, adjust crossovers, in addition to 30 band EQ. Other similar options Focal FSP-8, Rockford Fosgate 3sixty3 and audison. There are probably plenty of others just look for 8 or more inputs since the Alfa uses 6 inputs on fronts alone. If you go this route i suggest you pick one that you can log into with a computer and equalize sound with a 30 band eq.

Now for which equipment to replace with. Front speakers are a 3 way component speaker so this limits what options you have unless you change to a 2 way component speaker and leave midrange empty.

3 way speakers for fronts

Focal 165AS3 $470.99 Great brand, well made plays on brighter side, very good speaker can handle lots of power.
What Hi-Fi? | Tech news and reviews
Focal PS 165F3 $999.99 Great Brand top end speaker very loud very good and extremely powerful speaker. Awesome speaker but very expensive
Search - PASMAG is the Tuner's Source for Modified Car Culture since 1999
JL Audio C5653 $849.99 Great brand top end speaker, very balanced warm sound, sounds great but expensive
JL Audio C5 653 Component Review
Morel Virtus Nano 603 $749.99 High end speaker but have never heard them personally
Precision Power PPI P65C3 $249.99 Top notch speaker at a terrific price. Excellent reviews and sounds almost as good as the high end focals and JL Audio at a fraction of the price. Very good value and if cost is an issue go with this one.
http://www.pasmag.com/car-audio/test-reports/3641-precision-power-p65c3-component-speaker-review
Hertz Energy ESK 163L.5 $399 Not familiar with this one
Cadence QRS6K3 – $136.95 very inexpensive starting at $125 online no idea of quality
Brand X at Walmart $145.18 Great price doubt very good quality but probably better then stock speakers

https://www.caraudionow.com/best-6-5-component-car-speakers/
http://caraudiohq.net/best-6-5-component-speakers/
http://www.sakerracing.com/car-speakers/best-car-speaker-reviews/

Rear speakers are 6 ½ inch 2 way components that I would simply buy to match what brand you choose for front. Try not to mix brands as timbre gets messed up and dramatically effects sound quality.

Amplifiers

Anything less then around 7.25 inches will fit in compartment under the trunk, easily hidden out of sight

Inexpensive

soundstream Picasso Nano PN5.640D very small and amazingly powerful 5 channel amp very good value
RetroSound Technophonic not familiar with it
JBL GTR-7535 Nice amp fits well and allows you to stream Bluetooth directly to the amplifier

More expensive

The JL audio RD and XD series will fit right in there hidden out of the way.
Kicker 43CXA600.5 Good brand never heard amp
Memphis Audio 16-MXA5.750 Marine Amp just means more moisture resistant but very high quality and will fit nicely in hidden compartment. Good brand
Alpine PDR-V75

If you are willing to mount amp elsewhere then many more options become available.

So for disclosure I went with the JL Audio HD 900/5 for my amp. JL Audio C5653 in front, JL Audio C3650 in rear, audiocontrol DM810, and JL Audio CS110TG-TW3 for sub. I disabled center speaker and stock subwoofer. Sound is definitely studio quality and very happy with sound. Negative is disconnecting stock speakers puts a yellow speaker in the dash with warning stereo not available. Car is sensing the resistance of the speakers is gone. This is a little annoying. Stereo works fine but warning is always on. Audiocontrol rep tells me putting in resistors prior to DSP will turn off warnings might try it one day when I have time to kill. Draw on car is not very substantial with this amplifier as it is very efficient 80% less than standard amps. Very little heat generated and amplifier does not strain at all even at very high volumes as I have gain turned way down on amp. My biggest concern is the car’s auto shut off I have to turn if off every time I get in because I feel the draw at lights will be very hard on battery.
I’m thinking of buying a Stelvio but I’m concerned about the poor sound quality. I would like to upgrade the system also but is the signal of the head unit good enough to get a good final quality?
 
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