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Mark levinson car audio question

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February 16, 2009 4:35:13 PM

i have a mark levinson system in my car. I am trying to replace the stock 16 ohm sub with after-market sub (or 2 subs). I find that 16 ohm subs are impossible to find, and i dont want to rip the ML system out, just add some bass, so what are my options? thanks in advance!
February 16, 2009 8:38:46 PM

I'm not sure if putting a crossover would work because Amp is already at 16 Ohms. Is there a switch on the amp to lower the Impedance? if not then, use four sub with FOUR 4 ohms or use TWO 8 ohms sub and put all in series.

Check your amp maximum power output RMS. So if the amp is 75W max, the speakers should be 100W to 125 W each and do not mix speakers with diferrent power handling.

Remember put the speakers on series not parallel and less speakers you put on series is better.
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February 16, 2009 10:40:15 PM

yea i think that getting two 8 ohm subs is my best bet, the only thing is that the power rating on the Mark levinson sub is 50W (100 max) so im thinking that the new 8ohm subs willbe very under-powered. What can i do to add wattage to those two subs without affecting the other speakers? can i hook up a seperate amp just for these two subs? is that possible? how would i do it? where do i get the feed? from the ML amp? from the radio? help!
February 17, 2009 12:06:26 AM

Your car audio is design for qaulity listening. What car is this anyway, BMW?

What you would need:

Line Level Output Converter.

One Amp per sub.

Wire's and fuses.

Use of mono amp is better than a stereo amp on bridge mode and don't put a high powered amp unless you're upgrading your charging system. A 150W amp is enough for a 250W sub so becareful of too much current draw. Unless you can get Nakamichi; Blaupunk or Alpine is what I've use in the past and I think would work best with your system.

I would sudgest that you also need to talk to a car audio dealers and tell them what you want to do with your system.

Read more about car speakers from the site I posted earlier. Adding speakers is not easy as you might think with changing the sound cracteristic of your system just because you want louder bass.

Here's that converter looks like: http://www.cardiscountstereos.com/catalog%20page.asp?Pr...

Although some amp like the Alpine have high level input so you don't the converter.
February 17, 2009 2:25:24 AM

Thanks for all your help Rexter!!! you the man!

ive tried to go to a couple of shops over here in chicago but ive been very disappointed. Ive had alot of questions and ideas (as you can see lol) but they seem irritated when i start to ask. All they want to do is quote me a price and tell me that they'll take care of it. I feel like im getting the shaft!

i have a 2003 lexus sc430, love the car, but with regards to the audio, it sucks! and upgrading is very expensive and stuff is hard to find. to give you an idea, the P.O.S. 8" sub it comes with is around $300 bucks to buy, and takes 2 weeks to get. what the heck?!?! LMAO

so i think im going to go with your advice and get two alpine amps with built in high level inputs and two subs (one for each amp).

last few questions, (and thanks for your patience and help)

#1) Im curious, why cant i just do what you recommended except with only one bigger amp and two subs in a parrallel circuit?

#2) next question, assuming i go with two amps: Since i will have two amps, each with a sub with the same ohm rating as its amp, i take it that i will no longer have to do the series circuit for the two subs right?

okay, this is what the process for each amp looks like in my mind: i tap into the speaker wire from the existing Mark levinson sub, the one im getting rid of, and split them and connect them to the amps (positive to positive and neg to neg). then i run speaker wire out of the each amp to its corresponding sub. (positive to pos. neg to neg). (amp 1 to sub 1 and then amp 2 to sub 2) and im done with the sound wiring right?

so my final issue: now as far as the power, should i draw it from the stock mark levinson amp? i assume i should draw the "red" power from the battery like any other amp but what about the "blue wire turn on" power? should i still go to the head unit or can i get it from the Mark levinson amp?

I think that these questions are my last ones. i really appreciate it. THANKS ALOT!!!

Dennis
February 17, 2009 2:45:04 PM

I thought Lexus uses Nakamichi unit?

It’s unfortunately that some places can’t be bothered or they just don’t know anything about the product they sell to answer your questions. You really need to find a place just encase you need extra help or for other stuff. I haven’t done car audio installation in a while so I’m a little behind with newer vehicles.

For power you need to get the power from the battery.

Red (+) goes to the positive power for the Amp. Put a fuse near the battery terminal. In any event the wire you run shorted with the chassis, because we don't want your car caught on fire.

Black (-) can be taken from the chassis of your vehicle, find any bolts screw on your chassis close to where the amp is going to be located and connect it to the negative part of the amp.

Yellow (acc) need to be connected to Accessories, usually the wire that’ll turn your car audio on when ACC from the ignition switch is selected. Underneath the dashboard is the best place to connect this wire if you don’t want to open up your car stereo. You can check the ML Sub amp because you might be able to take it from there too if the wire is not like the DIN connector wirings. I prefer to make my own switch if it’s mine but you need to turn it on and off manually.
My suggestions of two speakers were for your 16 Ohms amp. So you don’t need to install two subs anymore if you add extra amp. You can install two speakers if preferred but use 8 ohms connected in parallel or 4 ohms in parallel then switch your amp to 2 ohms, or just get 1 bigger speaker at 4 ohms. Another is to use stereo amp and connect two lower power speakers on each channel which is better than 2 speakers in parallel.

One thing I recommend is that don’t remove the old sub because it need to support the others speakers to fill the frequency gap that the others can’t produce.

Are you going make your own enclosure or get a pre-made box?

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=MRP-M500&lang=en&tab=F you need 10A on this unit so get a wire guage 14AWG max load for the wire is 20Amp but start with 10Amp fuse and if the fuse blow up then increases by 2 = 12Amp until it stop blowing up.

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=SWE-1043&lang=en&tab=F

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=SWS-1023D&lang=en&tab=F

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=SWE-1243&lang=en&tab=F

Among the three speakers I prefer the SWS-1023D but they’re all good whichever one of those you chose. One of these units is more than enough for your vehicle. If you need more power then you need to upgrade you electrical distribution. As for wires for these speakers you need to ask the dealer whats best suite it needs. standard speaker wires are fine so you don't need to get fancy on it.

Sorry if my explanations aren't clear then let know.
February 17, 2009 4:31:21 PM

rexter said:
I thought Lexus uses Nakamichi unit?

It’s unfortunately that some places can’t be bothered or they just don’t know anything about the product they sell to answer your questions. You really need to find a place just encase you need extra help or for other stuff. I haven’t done car audio installation in a while so I’m a little behind with newer vehicles.

For power you need to get the power from the battery.

Red (+) goes to the positive power for the Amp. Put a fuse near the battery terminal. In any event the wire you run shorted with the chassis, because we don't want your car caught on fire.

Black (-) can be taken from the chassis of your vehicle, find any bolts screw on your chassis close to where the amp is going to be located and connect it to the negative part of the amp.

Yellow (acc) need to be connected to Accessories, usually the wire that’ll turn your car audio on when ACC from the ignition switch is selected. Underneath the dashboard is the best place to connect this wire if you don’t want to open up your car stereo. You can check the ML Sub amp because you might be able to take it from there too if the wire is not like the DIN connector wirings. I prefer to make my own switch if it’s mine but you need to turn it on and off manually.
My suggestions of two speakers were for your 16 Ohms amp. So you don’t need to install two subs anymore if you add extra amp. You can install two speakers if preferred but use 8 ohms connected in parallel or 4 ohms in parallel then switch your amp to 2 ohms, or just get 1 bigger speaker at 4 ohms. Another is to use stereo amp and connect two lower power speakers on each channel which is better than 2 speakers in parallel.

One thing I recommend is that don’t remove the old sub because it need to support the others speakers to fill the frequency gap that the others can’t produce.

Are you going make your own enclosure or get a pre-made box?

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=MRP-M500&lang=en&tab=F you need 10A on this unit so get a wire guage 14AWG max load for the wire is 20Amp but start with 10Amp fuse and if the fuse blow up then increases by 2 = 12Amp until it stop blowing up.

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=SWE-1043&lang=en&tab=F

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=SWS-1023D&lang=en&tab=F

http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=SWE-1243&lang=en&tab=F

Among the three speakers I prefer the SWS-1023D but they’re all good whichever one of those you chose. One of these units is more than enough for your vehicle. If you need more power then you need to upgrade you electrical distribution. As for wires for these speakers you need to ask the dealer whats best suite it needs. standard speaker wires are fine so you don't need to get fancy on it.

Sorry if my explanations aren't clear then let know.

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wow thanks for all the help. I think that pretty much covers everything.

i will def. leave the ML sub as is,

Ill try to steal the accessory power from the ML amp so that the new amp turns on with the rest of the audio. If the connector is a DIN on the ML amp and i cant figure it out ill probably just put a switch like you said. Im just trying to avoid a switch because last time i did that (10 years ago) i kept forgetting to turn it off and i kept killing my battery.

And i think ill go with one amp, and do a single but bigger sub at 4ohm. which sub would you recommend with this single sub setup?

As far as the enclosure, i think ill just get a prefabricated one, i really wanted to get my hands dirty and do it all myself, i wanted to experiment and make one out of fiberglass or MDF with a plexiglass top. I found some good sites on enclosure construction. I would just want the personal satisfaction of knowing i did it all myself. Im pretty handy and i have all the tools but im starting to think that i may be biting off more than i can chew. =)

Seems like i have quite a project coming up. lol
February 18, 2009 3:06:56 AM

1st Choice - SWS-1243D
2nd choice - SWE-1243

The manual switch can be bothersome but the one good thing about it is that you can disable it if not needed. But like you said just remember to turn it off.

One last thing, when you use electrical tape after joining the wires together use a good quality quick tie to hold the end of the tape. This will prevent the electrical tape from loosening up if not properly stretch or the adhesive melts from heat.

Unfortunately I don't have a link on how to tap or splice the wire Mil Spec way so you need to check that yourself. Ask an Electrician or a Electonics Technician to show you how to do it.
!