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Discussion Starter #1
I installed a sub and an amp to the factory radio & factory speakers using a down converter and tapping into the rear speaker wire. I did this a while ago and have never been happy with the sound. No matter what I did, everything sounded muddy to me and I figured the only way to fix it was to drop the bucks on a new head unit with a sub amp output.

Then my son, who is studying audio engineering, came home for Thanksgiving and gave me a tip. I turned the base on the radio down to zero and raised up the mid and treble a few notches up from the midpoint. I then went in the trunk to my amp and cranked the gain to max. I turned on the radio and bumped up the base about 2 notches above 0. That gave me plenty of base out of the sub and reduced the base in the 4 factory speakers a lot and now they handle the mids and treble much better. The music sounds much more balanced and I'm liking the sound again. Why didn't I think of that :amazed:

This should buy me some time before I spend the money on a new head unit. At least now I can live with it. I was getting bummed about it before this change.
 

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yeah you saved money if you want the SAME sound all the time, thats why you need a head unit. i recommend a Pioneer P4000 double din, I have one and the sound customizations are unlimited. plus you can get the unit for around 300$ at some online places now I think, I paid 700$ for all the parts and installation.
 

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Pioneer P4000 double din If i go with this can i still use my steering wheel controls when i buy that special adapter, and does your driver info center still work on the car you installed that on?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I hopped in the Cobalt this morning and plugged in my iPod...no base. Turns out I blew a fuse. I guess cranking the gain in the amp all the way up wasn't a good idea. The fuse I blew is the 10 amp fuse I used on the fuse block to hook my blue wire up to. It is the Wiper fuse. Could I use the Radio 15 amp fuse for the blue wire instead?

I have an Alpine MRP-M500 mono subwoofer amp.
 

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nice. you will want to buy a new head unit eventually though. SO much of a difference. Got my whole system in today FINALLY!!! sounded great! g2 change them door speakers out for components though. The pioneer p4000 is a greeat head unit, look into that! great sound control, easy to use, very stylish! had it before it got stolen :( now i'm running a clarion max385vd, which has a nicer interface but a few minor programming design flaws. Overall I like it, but the p4000 was really a great head unit.

Dunno bout that fuse though. i got my amp's remote turn-on wire running into that same wiper fuse, we'll see if i blow it anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
nice. you will want to buy a new head unit eventually though. SO much of a difference. Got my whole system in today FINALLY!!! sounded great! g2 change them door speakers out for components though. The pioneer p4000 is a greeat head unit, look into that! great sound control, easy to use, very stylish! had it before it got stolen :( now i'm running a clarion max385vd, which has a nicer interface but a few minor programming design flaws. Overall I like it, but the p4000 was really a great head unit.

Dunno bout that fuse though. i got my amp's remote turn-on wire running into that same wiper fuse, we'll see if i blow it anytime soon.
I plugged into the 15 amp RDO fuse and replaced the 10amp fuse. Weird, but when I had the RDO fuse pulled out the key fob did not work for the locks. So I figure the antenna for the key FOB is also connected to that fuse. Well, now my sub is also connected there and so far so good - sub is kicking out again and the windshield wipers work. :)

The problem with the aftermarket radio is I have Onstar, XM, iPod, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth for my phone and the door chimes are also connected to the factory radio. So it looks like I will probably stick with the factory for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oops. That RDO fuse trick lasted until this morning. Power to that fuse does not turn off when the car is turned off. I killed the battery and the car wouldn't start this morning. So I pulled the wire and charged the battery, got it started and drove to work without my sub woofer. Just now I found a spare spot that the diagram said was a spot for a 20 amp fuse. I only has some spare 10 amp fuses so I stuck one of those in there with my amp blue wire. So far it's working and shuts off when the car is turned off.
 
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