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How to wire up speakers to head unit? - Car Audio & Video

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**** connectors, or solder

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

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How do i connect speakers to head unit


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Hi, what you want to do is just connect the speaker wires from the head unit straight across to the pre-amp inputs of the amp. If you have a sub, also connect the pre-amp outputs of the head unit to the 2 sub inputs of the amp. Connect the blue wire of the head unit to the turn-on terminal of the amp and connect power wires to both units. May I ask what speakers are you using?

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My passenger side speaker does not work and i was trying to find the wiring diagram so i could trace the wires bk and c if i can sort the problem


I would gain access to your speaker, and check the connection there. If that is alright, I would just run new speaker wire to your head unit. Then there is no confusion about a bad connection, so you can trouble shoot if it is your speaker or head unit that is bad.

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Need wiring diagram


Step 1 Understand the basics of all car stereo systems. A car stereo system consists of 4 main components and the wiring that connects them. These are the head unit, the main speakers, optional amplifiers and the subwoofers, which are also optional but generally considered a necessary part of any good system.
Step 2 Know that the core of any car stereo is the head unit, which is the cassette or CD player that goes in the dash. All the other components are connected to the head unit by at least one pair of wires.
Step 3 Know about car speakers. The main speakers are usually 2 in the front and 2 in the back, although with what are known as component speakers, each speaker is broken down into two speakers: one for the highs and one for the bass. Each speaker or speaker set (known as a channel) connects to the head unit via a pair of wires. Generally if you are installing a new head unit you want to install new speakers.
Step 4 Know about amplifiers. Amplifiers provide extra power to your speakers and/or extra channels of power for additional speakers. The most common use for an amplifier (amp) is to power subwoofers. The amp connects to your head unit via an RCA cable and often a "remote on" wire, and also connects directly to your car battery through a fused "hot" wire and to the car's chassis with a short ground wire. This article assumes the use of a single amplifier connected to a pair of subwoofers. If you do not have these components simply ignore the steps specific to the amp, doing so will not affect the rest of your installation.
Step 5 Know about subwoofers. Subwoofers are part of any good stereo system. They provide the deep bass that small speakers cannot achieve. Subwoofers are connected to the amplifier which can usually be mounted right to the subwoofer box. If you do not have subwoofers you can simply ignore the steps specific to them.
Preparing for the installation
Step 1 Be properly prepared. This is extremely important since you do not want to realize you're missing something in the middle of the installation.
Step 2 Purchase the following: A car stereo wire harness which connects the existing wiring for your old head unit to your new one (this will be specific to BOTH the model and year of your car AND to the make of your new head unit); an amplifier wiring kit which will contain all the wires to get power and signal to your amplifier; six feet of 14-gauge speaker wire for the subwoofers. Your speakers should have come with their own speaker wires.
Step 3 Obtain a guide to removing the dash, doors panels (or whatever compartment the speakers are in), and floor molding of your car. You may be able to find a guide for this online. If not, you can get a repair manual for your car at most automotive stores and online).
Step 4 Gather the following tools: Screwdrivers to fit the job, pliers, wire cutters, wire strippers, a utility knife, sand paper or a file, electrical tape, a 9-volt battery, and any other tools that the instructions for installing the head unit and your car guides specify.
Installation Process
Step 1 Disconnect the ground (negative) cable from your battery first and foremost. NEVER work on the electrical system of your car with this connected.
Step 2 Install your new speakers. Start by removing the paneling of the speaker enclosure. Unscrew and disconnect the old speaker.

Ideally the speaker wire will be connected to the old speakers with a metal clip that can then slide right on to your new ones. If not, cut the wire off the old speakers, strip about half an inch of it, then cut the last 6 inches or so off the speaker wire that came with your speakers so you have the proper connectors with a little wire attached, strip a half inch of those wires and twist connect them to the existing speaker wire. Bend the twists so they are in-line with the wire and wrap each connection in electrical tape so no wire is showing to protect them.

Attach the connectors to your new speaker. Make sure to connect the negative wire (-/black) to the negative terminal on the speaker and the positive wire (+/red or white) to the positive one. Screw the speaker in place. If you have component speakers, and therefore a crossover, make sure the crossover is secured in the speaker compartment so that it does not bounce around while you drive.

Wait to put the speaker enclosures back together until you have installed the head unit.
Step 3 Follow the instructions you got for removing whatever part of the dash covers it and take out your existing head unit. Connect the car stereo wire harness to the connector that was attached to your old radio and attach the other end to your new one. Connect the antenna cable (the single wire with the big plug at the end) to your new head unit as well.

If the speaker wires are separate from the harness connect them using the method of stripping, twisting, and taping described above. Do this one at a time or use masking tape to label the wire to avoid confusion. If you are having trouble figuring out which wires go to which speaker or which is positive and negative read the tip at the bottom of this section.

Do not put your new head unit into the dash yet-you still need to connect the amplifier to it. Put the speaker enclosures back together now.
Step 4 Attach the thick positive (+/red) power cable for your amplifier to the connector on positive terminal of your battery. The kit you purchased should have come with an o-ring on one end of the wire (you may have to crimp it on yourself, if so do it on the end with the fuse), this ring can be sandwiched in the bolt on the connector that connects your car to the battery.
Step 5 Put the fuse in the fuse holder.
Step 6 Run the power cable through the firewall of your car (there is usually an opening on the drivers side) and along to the back of the car where your amp is. It is usually best to run this wire under the plastic molding that goes along the bottom edge of your car, you never want the power cable to come near any speaker wires. At the same time run the remote on wire (a really thin wire from the amplifier wiring kit), through the dash where the head unit will sit, along with the power cable to the amp.
Step 7 On the other side of the car run the RCA signal cable through the dash from the head unit to the amp (it's a pair of wires together with connectors on each end).
Step 8 In the back of the car pick exactly where your amp and subwoofers are going to go. Part of choosing this is that the thick black ground cable (negative) needs to have a place to connect to the metal frame of your car. This should be as short as possible, you never want the ground cable to be longer than 3 feet.
Step 9 Find a good screw or bolt, take if off and sandpaper the metal surface that the o-ring will make contact with, then screw it down tightly.
Step 10 Attach the RCA signal cable and the remote on cable to your head unit and attach the power, ground, RCA signal, and remote on wires to your amp.
Step 11 If you have not already done so, place your subwoofer box in the trunk and attach your amplifier to it if that is what you are doing. If you are not going to screw your amp to the subwoofer box then it must be secured to something else.
Step 12 Attach the 14-gauge speaker wires to the left and right channels of the amplifier and to the speaker connectors of the subwoofer box.
Step 13
Mount your head unit into the dash. Double check all of the connections on the back of it to make sure they are secure. Then slide your head unit into its slot in the dash and screw it securely in place. Before you re-attach the dash, reconnect the ground (negative) cable to your car battery and turn the stereo on and move around the car listening to each speaker to make sure everything is working properly. Then put the dash back on. That's all!

Good luck.

Mar 26, 2010 | Car Audio & Video

1 Answer

Head unit blown out possibly ????


souds like the wires on the speakers is the wrong way round or the speakers are ****

Dec 14, 2009 | Alpine SPS-600C Car Component System

1 Answer

Putting Speakers in Door Dont Know how to wire them correctly


Wiring speakers with reverse polarity doesnt have adverse effects. It cant give distorted sound. Seems like the wiring from the head unit to the speaker might be at fault. For testing purposes, connect the speaker directly to the head unit, bypassing, the car wiring. If the sound comes out alright, you have to replace the car wiring. If it is still distorted, speaker might be at fault. Try with a different speaker.

Oct 20, 2009 | Pioneer TS-G1642R Car Speaker

1 Answer

1999 Audi A4 Rear Speakers


The large block is a factory amplifier - in your car (as was in mine) you had a partially-amplified system. The front speakers were driven at speaker level from the head unit, but the rears were fed a line-level signal from the head unit to the amp, which then boosted to speaker level. The harness then sent the speaker level signal to each rear speaker.

What you can do is fit your new head unit. The fronts will interface perfectly with no issues. For the rear, run new wires from the adapter harness at the back of your head unit, back to the new rear speakers, and connect them directly. Then everything will work as it should.

Dec 17, 2008 | Alpine DDW-F30A Car Speaker

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Wiring on back of head unit


You don't need to change the cables from the head unit on.  Just strip of the end of the wires where the old speakers are and crimp on the proper connectors to connect them.  Alternatively you can just solder the wires directly to the speakers.  I always **** splice at least 6" of wires onto the end so you have more wire to work.  The only reason you would change the wires would be because you are putting more than 200 watts per channel.  You didn't speak of an amp so no worries.
James Mac

Sep 09, 2008 | JBL LC-S960 Car Speaker

1 Answer

Hello i would like to add a din head unit a few 6/9s and maybe a sub if poss into my saab 9-3 vector sport 56 plate is it possible with my existing 7 factory fitted speakers so that when i come to sell my...


My suggestion is to go to your local audio shop and pickup a dash kit and wiring harness to hook up the din head unit. I actually wouldn't recommend putting in aftermarket speakers unless you don't plan on reselling or they are blown. You could hook a sub up by running your power wire to your amp like usual, hook your amp turn-on wire to an accessory wire and buy a "line level converter" you will tap into factory speaker wires with this and it will convert it to RCAs. You will only need to do this if you are using the factory head unit. Also, unless the aftermarket unit has features that you want that the factory one doesn't, I wouldn't bother with that either. Good luck. Let me know if you need any more help.
-Andrew Hawkins

Aug 28, 2008 | Car Audio & Video

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