What's the best wire gauge to run to the HU? - diyAudio
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Old 26th May 2008, 11:18 PM   #1
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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Default What's the best wire gauge to run to the HU?

I'm redoing the car. The head unit will only be used for its pre-amp (iDA-X100) right now there's a really small wire running to it. I would guess 20 gauge or so. Maybe a touch bigger than what comes out of the HU itself.

Is there any gain to run say a 14 or 16 gauge or larger?
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Old 26th May 2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: What's the best wire gauge to run to the HU?

Quote:
Originally posted by phrarod
I'm redoing the car. The head unit will only be used for its pre-amp (iDA-X100) right now there's a really small wire running to it. I would guess 20 gauge or so. Maybe a touch bigger than what comes out of the HU itself.

Is there any gain to run say a 14 or 16 gauge or larger?
If you don't plan on using the internal amp then no, there is really no point.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 05:42 AM   #3
owdi is offline owdi  United States
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Do you have a problem with alternator whine? If not, there's nothing to be gained by increasing wire guage.

Personally I like to have a common power and ground point for my entire system, to eliminate any chance of a ground loop. Right now I'm running 10 awg to the HU for power and ground, which is overkill, but it's what I had on hand.

Dan
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Old 2nd June 2008, 06:00 AM   #4
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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Thanks everyone. That makes it official. owdi I agree and the installer that did the car years ago did a star ground which I kept in place.
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Old 4th June 2008, 03:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by owdi
Do you have a problem with alternator whine? If not, there's nothing to be gained by increasing wire guage.

Personally I like to have a common power and ground point for my entire system, to eliminate any chance of a ground loop. Right now I'm running 10 awg to the HU for power and ground, which is overkill, but it's what I had on hand.

Dan
Nothing wrong with that! Thick wire is the best. Overkill=necessity

I used 12 AWG THWN house wire for power and ground as well for the HU in my Celica. Also with an external 4700 uf cap behind the HU in parallel to the power and gnd wires for a bit more filtering and peak current.

I recommend thick wire so there's no voltage dips when the bass hits and much less distortion. I've seen so many HU that distort due to the thin crappy factory wiring having too much resistance.

My brother upgraded from factory wire to 12AWG as well and it was a BIG difference in performance. It was in a Geo Tracker. The thicker wire cleaned up the bass and allowed it to go louder.

However, If not using the internal amp, it's not necessary to have thick power wires.
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Old 4th June 2008, 04:13 AM   #6
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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I do run 12g to the amp, but with this new HU I'm having trouble getting that tight punchy bass I used to get. This setup has 4V output which is more than the other one but the bass is weak.
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Old 10th June 2008, 06:56 AM   #7
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Could just be your HU doesn't have as much bass..........

Try the EQ settings, or adjusting the bass? Also there may be some sort of "loudness" button that boost bass & treble like on many units.
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Old 10th June 2008, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by phrarod
I do run 12g to the amp, but with this new HU I'm having trouble getting that tight punchy bass I used to get. This setup has 4V output which is more than the other one but the bass is weak.
What is the amp rated at? Is it powering subs or fullrange speakers like 6x9's? If it powers subs, are you sure your using the sub pre-outs and not the rear? Maybe there is a high-pass setting on the HU that is active?

I can't imagine that a $400 Alpine HU would lack bass if setup properly.
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Old 10th June 2008, 04:42 PM   #9
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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In all the HU eventually cost $450 because you have to buy the EQ add-ons. No matter what I did manually I couldn't get tight bass. Then I ran the software and microphone that comes with the add-on KTX-H100.

I was skeptical but it made a huge difference compensating for any odd acoustics in the car. Sounds great now. Odd as the cheap Sony only did good bass and nothing else. The amp is a Soundstream MC245. The subs are 8" Assassins.
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Old 10th June 2008, 04:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by phrarod
In all the HU eventually cost $450 because you have to buy the EQ add-ons. No matter what I did manually I couldn't get tight bass. Then I ran the software and microphone that comes with the add-on KTX-H100.

I was skeptical but it made a huge difference compensating for any odd acoustics in the car. Sounds great now. Odd as the cheap Sony only did good bass and nothing else. The amp is a Soundstream MC245. The subs are 8" Assassins.
Nice. I didn't really look at the specs for the HU so I didn't realise it had that capability.
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