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Old 04-21-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
Pur3vil
 
Drives: 2010 ABM 2SS/RS M6
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Location: West Chester, Ohio
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DIY Subthump 5 Channel Total System Enhancement Package Install

Hey everyone,

I just finished installing the 5 Channel Total System Enhancement Package in my 2010 Camaro, and thought I'd do a write up to help others who may want to give it a try. I have never added/replaced an amp or a sub-woofer to a car before, so I may have made some rookie mistakes, but it proves that anyone can do one of these installs. Hopefully my learning experiences will help some other novices if they decide install one of these systems. I know I would have liked to have a step by step walk through to guide me...

Alright, on the the Instructions.

The first thing that I did was to take inventory of all of the pieces that came with the package.
1 SubThump 5th Gen. Coupe Large Driver Side Stealthbox (with amp cover plate)
1 Polk PA D5000.5 Amp
1 Polk DB1240 Single Coil 12" Sub-Woofer
1 SubThump X2 harness
1 SubThump X3 harness
2 SubThump X2A harnesses
1 Wiring Kit (power & ground cable, fuse block, ring terminals, rca cables, etc.)



Some things that weren't included that I picked up:
Quick disconnect terminals 1/4" 12-10 gauge (from Radio Shack)
Self adhesive wire tie mounting squares
zip ties
Panel Popper & Upholstry Remover tool (purchased from SubThump)
Spare ring terminals (since I screwed up and the terminals pulled off of the cable multiple times)
Polk DB12G speaker grill

Now on to the fun part. I started by wiring up the sub and box and then moved on to the car. I could have started with the prep work in the car first, but I chose to do it this way.

Step 1. Remove the speaker terminal from the box. Strip one end of the wire and connect a quick disconnect terminal to each wire. Attach the quick disconnect terminal to the speaker terminal. Make note of which wire you used for positive and negative.


Step 2. Feed the non-connected end of the speaker wire into the sub box from the speaker terminal hole to the opening for the sub. Re-attache the speaker terminal to the sub box. Measure the speaker wire that is now running through the sub box to make sure that you have enough wire to connect to your sub, and that the amount you are about to cut off will reach from the speaker terminal to the amp. Once you're sure about the measurement, cut the speaker wire to length. Set aside the short piece for later. Strip the end of the wire still in the speaker box and attach a quick disconnect terminal to each wire.


Step 3. Attach the quick disconnect terminals to the sub. Make sure that you connect the wire that you chose to be the positive wire for the speaker terminal to the positive terminal on the sub.


Step 4. Install and mount the sub.


Step 4a (optional). Install and mount the speaker grill

I did notice that the grill did hang over the bottom of the box by a little bit and I was worried that it would prevent it from fitting properly once I installed the box in the car, but it seemed to work out OK. Here's a shot of the overhang of the grill.


Step 5. Position the amp in the recess. There are guide stops (for lack of a better term) that will give your amp a little room and allow space for running the RCA cables and the remote bass knob cable to the back side of the amp.


Step 6. Connect the RCA cables.

Route the RCA cables along the bottom of the amp. I tucked them behind the amp recess to keep the RCA cables away from the power cables to limit noise.

Connect the other end of the RCA cables to the appropriate terminals on the X3 harness.


Step 7. Connect the X2 harness and the remaining section of the speaker wire for the sub to the amp. Strip the end of each wire on the X2 harness and insert it into the screw terminal on the amp. Strip each end of the remaining speaker wire. Connect one end to the screw terminal on the amp and the other end to the speaker terminal on the box. Make sure that you pay attention to polarity (positive or negative) of the wires when connecting.


Step 8. Connect the provided resistor and thin ground wire per the instructions on the video link listed at the url provided on the card to which the resistor was taped.

Step 9. Cut a 12" section of the red power cable. Strip back both ends of the 12" section of cable and connect a red sleeved ring terminal to each end. Use a large pair of vice grips or a hammer in order to crimp the large ring terminals. If you use the vice grips, you will need to keep increasing the tension on them until you get a good crimp. It will take some time so be patient, or make sure that you've purchased plenty of spare ring terminals. Strip one end of the remaining red cable and attach the final red sleeved ring terminal to the stripped end. Lightly squeeze the long sides of the fuse block lid to remove it from the fuse block. Connect 1 ring terminal from each of the 2 red cables to opposite ends of the fuse block. Remove the fuse.


Step 10. Strip 1 end of the black ground cable and connect the black sleeved ring terminal.


This concludes what I did for the prep work of the sub and amp. Next I moved out to the car.

Step 11. Put the key in the ignition and turn on the power. Set your head unit EQ to flat and center your signals (everything on the tone screen should essentially be a 0). Turn the volume down to 0, just in case something goes wrong, so you don't blow a speaker. Turn off the power and open any doors that you plan on using through the rest of the install, since the window indexing won't work once you disconnect the battery.

Step 12. Open and empty your trunk (this includes removing the cargo net). Remove the floor carpet and get down to the battery. Disconnect the negative battery terminal and place it somewhere that it will not accidentally make contact with the negative terminal.


Step 13. Remove the rear trunk panel so that you can remove the driver's side carpet.


Step 14. Fold down the back seat and remove the driver's side carpet. This is where the panel tool comes in useful. There is a hidden clip behind a piece of plastic trim behind the rear seat (obviously on the driver's side). Here's a crude shot of where it is.


Step 15. Cut the driver's side carpet. There are instructions on the SubThump website on one of the provided cards with installation links. I chickened out of this step and decided to proceed without the carpet. There isn't much that is visible without it, except for a small section where the old amp is located. It doesn't look as good as it could without the cut pieces of carpet re-installed, but I'm OK with that. Since I didn't cut the carpet, I'm not going to tell you to re-install the cut pieces, so if you are cutting, the order of some of the following steps may get re-arranged to accommodate the carpeting.

Step 16. Re-install the rear panel.

Step 17. Run the remote bass knob line if you are using it. I ran mine out of the trunk along the main power line, beside the rear set, under the front of the rear seat, a brief stretch in the open from the rear seat to the center console, under the center console, up behind the dash, and out in the opening under the steering wheel. I wanted to hide the exposed section under the carpet, but I couldn't find a way to do it without removing the rear seat. I don't show it, but I used double sided tape to adhere the bass knob to the dash under the spot where the HUD controls would be, if I had them. This position should let the key prevent the light on the bass knob from hitting me in the eye while driving at night.
Starting at the rear:

Ending up at the front:

And yes, my dash, pedals, and my car in general all need to be cleaned.

Step 18: Tie the wire bundles out of the way per the installation instructions on the SubThump site.

While you're in the trunk, this is as good of a time as any to install the X2A harnesses on the rear speakers.



Step 19. Make sure the fuse is out of the fuse block and connect the power cable to the battery. Secure the fuse block. Connect the ground wire to a grounding point or the disconnected negative battery cable. Put the amp in the trunk and connect the power, ground, remote turn on, and harnesses. Insert the fuse into the fuse block tighten the terminals and re-attach the fuse block lid. Re-attach the negative battery terminal. Close up the battery access area and re-insert the floor carpet.


Step 20. Put the sub box in the trunk, leave it on its back so the sub is facing up and re-connect the speaker wires to the amp. If you have a right angle screw driver, or a good way to get at the controls to tune the amp, you can mount the amp and put the box into place now. If not, leave the amp unmounted until you finish the initial tune of the amp.


Step 21. Power up the car. The amp should turn on. Check to make sure that it didn't flip into protection mode, and slowly start turning up the volume and adjusting the amp to tune it. There are various methods for tuning an amp, and I'm not going to go into them, because I'm still getting mine adjusted, so I haven't picked a good way yet. Like I said, try to get it tuned as close to what you want as you can because I found the amp difficult to adjust once it was mounted due to the lack of space to get a screw driver in to adjust the controls. It can be done with the right tools...


Step 22. Once you've finished tuning, or if you think that you can tune the amp with it fully installed, flip the box on it's side and install it in the side of the trunk. The SubThump site instructions tell you the specifics about how to move it around to get it to fit properly and how to avoid the driver's side rear speaker. Remember to bend the carpet mounting bracket out of the way to get a proper fit. (I knew that I forgot a step the first time )




Step 23. Install the cover plate, grab a cold one, and enjoy.



Hopefully this DIY will help some of you out, and show fellow newbies that this can be done on your own. I want to give a big thank you to Steve at SubThump.com for building a great product and answering all of my questions before and after purchasing this kit. I was going for sound quality (SQ), not raw power (SPL), and this Polk system sounds good. It will sound even better when I get it properly tuned. I'll post some settings that i used when I get that figured out.

If any of the more experienced installers read this and see anything that I did blatantly wrong, please let me know so that I can correct it for others, and fix my own install.

Finally, sorry if some of the pictures are kinda crappy (or too big), that's the joys of using a camera phone.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #2
ChriSS84
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That's cool, but I will never buy from that guy.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
Pur3vil
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChriSS84 View Post
That's cool, but I will never buy from that guy.
That's your choice.
I've had nothing but good things to say about my experience with SubThump. Good product, good customer service. I hadn't heard of them prior to hanging out in the audio forums, but lots of people seemed to have good things to say about them, so I went with them.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
insomniac2k2
 
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Great write up. I just did the same install this weekend. The Polk kit sounds amazing. Now I know what i was missing from the factory crap!

My only gripe is with the generic install instructions. I found myself wasting a few hours just trying to fill in the gaps and figuring out what i was missing. Your write up will help others to cut this install down to a very short period.

Steve was very responsive when i sent him emails. He sent me links to other spots on his website that showed how to do those few things that were not included in the generic instructions. But because this was done by email, it made what needed to a 2-3 hour install a 1.5 day install with lots of time gap. That may not sound like much, but when Friday is all you had available on your kid schedule, finishing your install on Saturday meant that its fight night with your wife..

Frankly, I get the impression that he is just a very busy guy, but he is doing his absolute best to put together good product. I'm certainly not bashing him. I hope that he just takes a little polite criticism to "go the extra mile" to put together a more thorough cheat sheet in the kits with correct links to the things that most people that don't live in audio land will need to know.

By the way, are you getting lots of whine in your speakers when you turn up the gains just a tiny bit(when the car is running of course)? All my connections are soldered, but it seems that i need to chase down whats causing my noise. I don't want to blame it on the amp quite yet.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
Pur3vil
 
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I do have an odd whine when I put the key in the ignition or hit the unlock, but once I give actual power to turn on the head unit, I don't notice it anymore. Once I get it all dialed in, it will sound a lot better. At the moment, mine sounds a little hollow for lack of a better term, but I know that I still need to set my crossover points and increase my gain. I just need to take my car away from my neighbors so I can turn the volume up and tune it properly.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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Hmm. My whine is definitely NOT going away with amp tuning. Any reasonable gain immediately makes it worse.

I had that odd hollow sound when i was trying to use regular zoning control on my kenwood (which worked perfectly before this kit was added). No matter what i did, everything just sounded off. After messing around a bit on my stereo side, i determined it definitely wasnt the issue. I went back and flipped the dip switch from 4 channel to stereo. Sounded amazingly different and better. Give it a try.

It bothers me that i have to have it in stereo, because it messes with my zoning control of my deck. It makes the speaker intercept for NAV voice, etc sound crappy and muffled. So far, this is the lesser of 2 evils.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:43 AM   #7
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After playing with mine some, I have determined that my whine is alternator whine. If I turn the volume on the head unit up high enough, it drowns out the whine, at least until the song gets quiet or I turn the head unit off. I did confirm that if I unplug the RCAs into the amp, the whine stops, so I'm going to double check my wiring to make sure that I don't have the RCAs too close to the power or ground wires anywhere, and maybe try a GLI inline with the RCAs. If I figure out how to fix it, I'll let you know.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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Same alternator whine here. One would figure that this far into the game of audio electronics, this would no longer be an issue....

Where is your amp grounded?

Edit: Looks like you grounded off the battery. Same here. I've read that this is known to cause noise. You may want to shoot Steve a message about it. I will give a new ground location a try in the next day or so. This is where just the most minor set of directions would be helpful.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
Pur3vil
 
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Ok, I fixed my whine. Either my X3 harness or my RCA cables were routed too close to my power cables. I ran the RCAs up the back of the amp (passed the amp settings) and along the top of the amp. This keeps the RCAs away from the power and ground terminals on the amp itself. I also moved the harness farther away behind the sub to get everything farther from the power cables. I could get it farther if I put in a longer remote wire. As it stands right now, I have no audible alternator whine (or I went partially deaf between getting to work and my lunch break). Once I put the longer remote wire in, I'll be able to fully push back the front side of the sub box. It's angled out slightly at the moment due to the position of the harness behind the box, but it's not noticeable with the rear seat up.


It sounds great now. I still have a little tweaking to do with the filters in the amp to get it perfect, but it's pretty good. I also need to verify that I didn't switch an RCA cable or something because it appears that my Fade(Front-Rear) is adjusting my Balance (Left-Right), but that should be easily corrected once I confirm what I wired where...
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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I will re-route my signal wires again and see what I get. I was beginning to believe it was the line-out converter, but maybe there is still hope for not needing extra hardware.

Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #11
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I have the 5.1 subthump system but I have the older infiniti amp/sub. I have a terrible whine noise also. I tried ground loop isolators, drilled a hole and grounded to the frame, moved my wires around to avoid interference or whatever and even took my car to a professional audio store. I could NOT fix the whine. It is so annoying. I regret buying the system and wish there was a fix. If anyone can help me, let me know. I think I am screwed and just have to take the system out and try somethings else. Sucks I paid so much for a system that drives me crazy.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Mine is also being caused by my RCA's running near my amp. I will invest in some better ones and route the RCA's straight up (ugly style). I just barely get a whine that can be heard on very low volume.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dosin View Post
I have the 5.1 subthump system but I have the older infiniti amp/sub. I have a terrible whine noise also. I tried ground loop isolators, drilled a hole and grounded to the frame, moved my wires around to avoid interference or whatever and even took my car to a professional audio store. I could NOT fix the whine. It is so annoying. I regret buying the system and wish there was a fix. If anyone can help me, let me know. I think I am screwed and just have to take the system out and try somethings else. Sucks I paid so much for a system that drives me crazy.
I have the Infinity setup and no whine
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
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Thanks for the how to! I intend to get this setup soon. Good job!

Anyone know why the " 5 Channel Total System Enhancement Package" thread closed? I can't even find that package on SubThumps site.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #15
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I'm guessing that something is out of stock with the system and that's why you can't find it. I know Steve@subthump said something about another revision to the FARK harness(es), so that's a likely culprit.

I'm not sure about the thread. There was an old one that got closed because Subthump's forum sponsorship had lapsed over a long weekend or something a while ago...

You could always email subthump to ask about the kit, as they'd know much more about its availability than I would.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:31 PM   #16
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Thank you for the write up!
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