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Discussion Starter #1
I have a non-Bose (base) headunit, and I have replaced the front speakers with Infinity Kappa 60.5cs component speakers and the rear speakers with Infinity Kappa 62.5i. The speakers are very nice and sound great, but I am wondering how much I am missing without using an external amp. I like the natural accurate sound and not the glass shattering bass, so I don't plan on adding a sub. Should I go through the hassle of adding a 4 channel external amp with speaker level input? (I already used the connector on the back of HU for an external CD changer, so I can't use a PAC converter to get pre-amp output) Do you have any recommendation? Or I won't hear much difference with or without the amp because I hardly crack up the volume?
 

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I'm genuinely surprised you are happy without an amp. But the only thing that matters really is that you are pleased. Right? Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well, my question is how much difference does an amp make if I need to use the speaker level inputs.
 

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It will probably sound cleaner.
 

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as an ollld audiophile.....

The more watts you have, the more damping factor you have for your speakers. Damping factor is the ability of the amp to pull the speaker back to rest before the next push. If the amp has no guts, the speaker is never at rest and the clarity is lacking in lows and mids. Like Tyler said, an amp will make it cleaner.
That being said.....
There is a large body of folks who say, expecting the clarity and refinement of a home or studio system, in a car, is rediculous. And I agree to a certain extent. I do love my bass. I do have a sub for my video system and all 3 computers in my house. I have a bandpass enclosure for my Mo as well--it has been in my last 3 vehicles. For simplicity and easy addition to my various vehicle types, I chose to mount my sub amp on my band pass enclosure. It is amazing the differance a sub makes.

I have the same non bose unit as you. I can't crank mine up loud enough on some tracks I love the most. But you better believe it thumps and blurrs my mirrors on the sections where it needs it most.


:2:

But, it is in my ears not yours--to each their own!
 

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well, my question is how much difference does an amp make if I need to use the speaker level inputs.
People are usually pleasantly surprised at how good their "stock" head unit can sound when properly integrated with an amp. A quality amp will usually have adequate speaker level inputs. If not, you can be certain by buying a quality level converter from David Navone such as the NE-774V:

http://www.davidnavone.com/adaptor_products.htm

:6:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to all the input. I think I will get an amp. Any recommendation? All 4 of my speakers are 2 ohms. The front are rated 90Wrms and rear are 75Wrms, and I don't have a sub. Is Infinity 7541a a good choice?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After some research, it seems MTX TC-4004 is a good choice for my system. I like the "smart engage" feature that automatically turns on the amp without a remote turn-on wire. Do you have any input on the quality of the MTX amp? Thanks.
 

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BTW, how much is the MO's stock bose amp is rated...
Is it two channels or four channels? Just wondering if it's good enough to pump some high perfomance speakers.


NZM
 

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Bose stock amp is not even close to aftermarket. I had it running a set of Boston Acoustic Pro60 components and Diamond Coaxial and it did not have enought power at all. Around 40-60watts/channel. The Bostons handle 150RMS so not even close. Deffinitly upgrade to a good amp if you are planning to. MTX is mid range, if you want to spend a little cash and get a good clean amp I suggest ZAPCO or a good mid range 4 channel is Alpine.
 

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The stock amp is 225 watts total (45W per channel)... no where near enough to power decent speakers, or even the stock ones.
 

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I think I will post a follow up. I finally completed my MTX amp installation. Took me 5 hard working days to find a way to securely mount the amp and run the wires. I made a custom wooden board and install my amp at the Bose amp location. (I have a Base system, so no amp was there.) It really is the best location as it is hidden and I lose no truck space. It is not easy at all and in hindsight I should hire a pro to do it. Seemingly simple things such as fishing the power wire through the firewall from the engine compartment proves to be quite difficult. I still can't figure out how to run the speaker wires to the front door speakers. It seems very difficult to get to the door wire harness without removing the entire lower front panel, so I settled on running the speaker wires from my amp to the speaker harness behind the headunit and goes through the stock speaker wires. The rear door speakers are easier to access, and I can cut into the wires and solder from center column. I used Stinger 16AWG twisted speaker wires and they are very good in quality. I have no engine noise at all even though the front speaker wires are routed right next to the power cable. Originally I wanted to route all speaker wires to the right side and the power line on the left side, but after routing 5 speaker wires the plastic channel on the right side is full. This was my concern on using higher gauge wires, so 16AWG seems to be a good size.

Performance wise, I am very satisfied with the sound. The high and mid are much cleaner and the low is much deeper. There are a few notes that I didn't know my speakers can reproduce. I hear much more details in my music. The MTX amp really brings out the true glory of my Infinite Kappa component set in the front and Kappa coaxial in the rear. I think the MTX amp is quite decent. Using the high level input, the silence in my music track is still silent and I don't hear a noticeable hiss. I would say the sound improvement is about 15% to my ears. In fact, I am so happy with my bass that I cancel my plan on adding a sub woofer. I prefer a more natural sound anyway. Plus the sub woofer will draw a lot of current from the battery. I hate to find my battery drained while I listen to my music and wait for someone with my engine shut off. Overall, it is well worth the money and effort to install an amp if you have installed decent speakers. However, I would pay someone to do it if I need to do it again. The electrical connection is easy if you have the wiring diagram. It is the mechanical installation that is hard.
 

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I've collected the stuff but have delayed the install...

I made a custom wooden board and install my amp at the Bose amp location.
I plan on installing my amp there, too. I have purchased commercial harnesses. I plan to plug a speaker harness into the back of the headunit, then run speaker wiring back to the amp's speaker level inputs. I'll then run speaker wiring from the amp back to where the stock speaker harness begins (i.e. the one I unplugged). I have a commercial harness that will mate with it. By taking this approach, I have not cut into the stock wiring. :D I plan to cut one wire leading to each of the stock tweets in the dash and cover the "stubs" with heatshrink tubing. Otherwise, I'll connect my aftermarket coax's to the stock speaker wire in the doors. One compromise I've made is to choose speakers with "self-contained" crossovers so as to avoid adding the chore of drilling into the doors to add more speaker wiring for separate tweeters. I expect to have to modify the existing speaker mounts and/or the rain shields. Making a baffle from wood is no problem. :)

Running power wiring from the battery to the amp is often no fun. But here I'm using 4 ga at the most, and I may settle for 8. Finding the right spot through the firewall and being careful will lead to success. :rolleyes:

Given the frequent questions here on audio upgrades, I should take quality pictures and put together a modestly priced package that I could market to Murano owners... :eek: :2:

I'll try to create something if/when I get there. ;) Wish me luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't know about the Bose headunit, but the Base headunit has the front and rear speaker output in two different harnesses. In both harnesses there are other wires for other connections. So unless you rewire all of the wires on the harness back to the vehicle, you probably will find something not working. I just found it is much easier to cut the 4 pairs of speaker wires from the two harnesses and solder directly to them. (Apply heat shrink tube of course, don't settle for electrical tape. They will fall off and give you short.) If you ever need to take out your amp, just cut the wires and re-solder them. It takes only a few seconds to solder a joint, and they are hidden behind the headunit anyway, so it wasn't an issue to me.

Regarding the power line, if you plan on to add a 2nd amp for the subwoofer, a 4 AWG is a good choice as you will need to share the same power line for both amp. If you plan on to have just one 4 channel amp, then an 8 AWG is very sufficient. The smaller wire is easier to hide under the door trim, and it fits perfectly on the clips on the top of the plastic channel on the driver side, giving it a nice separation between the speaker wires inside the plastic channel and the power line. I think the clips may be designed for the factory Bose amp power line.

The space of the factory Bose amp location is not very big, so you probably want to measure your amp to see if it fits. Mine is about 10"x15", and I can barely fit it in there without interfering with the folding down of the back seat. It was so tight that I had to cut a corner of the custom board off to make it fit. If you amp is wider or longer than that, you may have a hard time fitting it in that spot.
 

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I talked to an local audio store and he cautioned me that no amp is going to work well with Murano because of the way the headunit is setup. He was mentioning something about wiring being too low or something like that. Is that true? Is it even worth considering an AMP if it is not going work 100%??
 

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They probably just don't want to work on it, because they are a bit of a pain to wire.

It'll be fine, lots of people have added amps to the stock head unit (myself included, until I upgraded that too).

I assume they're referring to the fairly low level output signals. You won't get top of the line quality from that head unit, but you will definately notice an improvement in sound quality.
 

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When you say you wont get top of the line quality...what do you mean? What is the loss? The installer I talk to was ready to install and at the same price as everything else but he just cautioned me that I maybe disappointed later on, although there would be an overall improvement. Is it worth the moneY? Some of those amps are pretty expensive...even more so considering you are not going to get top quality from it. Don't we spend all this "xtra" money to get top quality. I mean the bose unit which comes standard is not bad...
 

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The Bose head unit it pretty good. But if you spend $1000 on a new head unit, you'll notice a big jump in sound quality on top of what you noticed from the addition of amps.

For comparison, the Bose head unit puts out a signal level of 2.83V. A lot of stock head units put out about 2V, and a lot of aftermarket ones put out between 3V and 5V.

Personally, what I noticed most about upgrading to a top quality head unit was not that the sound quality was greatly improved, but that the stereo separation was greatly improved. For comparison, my head unit has 8V outputs.

I definately feel it's worth it to upgrade to amps, and I would have stuck with the stock head unit forever, except the cd player died just out of warranty. I wasn't about to pay $1500 for a stock cd player when I had a quality one under my bed that I could install myself for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
muranomania, if you are planning to upgrade the stock speakers, you definitely want to replace your Bose amp. (I assume you have the Bose system) From what I heard, it just does not have enough juice to drive a decent pair of aftermarket component speakers. If you are planning to keep your stock speakers, your Bose amp is probably the best match for your stock speakers. I think your local installer just does not want to do it for you as it is a pain to wire and mount the amp in Murano. You can use a PAC unit to get the low level output to feed your after market amp, but you need to be careful to separate the power line from the low level lines to avoid the noise introduced into your system, or you can use the high (speaker) level output if your amp supports it. I am using the high level input on a MTX TC4004 with Infinite Kappa component speakers, and I am very satisfied with the performance. I got zero engine noise as the high level signal is less susceptible to noise.
 
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