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Old 04-26-2021, 09:47 AM   #1
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The time has finally come for new amp

After a couple of years playing around with my sound system, it's time to replace the BA amp. I have aftermarket Rockford Fosgate speakers and Pioneer head unit and I plan on going the K.I.S.S. route and use the S-name harness despite it being a bit pricey. What's the new consensus replacement amp that fits in the stock mounting area since I don't want a surfboard back there? Four or five channels is fine since I may replace the powered RF sub with a dedicated sub box sometimes in the future. Several of the JL amps listed in old threads are now discontinued. My preference is to go with a RF amp since I already have their speakers in the front but what ever is the most cost effective solution, so long as it's not some off-brand amp, is fine with me.
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Current - 2011 Camaro SS, M6, black, 1LE suspension parts - Current
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheap Guy View Post
After a couple of years playing around with my sound system, it's time to replace the BA amp. I have aftermarket Rockford Fosgate speakers and Pioneer head unit and I plan on going the K.I.S.S. route and use the S-name harness despite it being a bit pricey. What's the new consensus replacement amp that fits in the stock mounting area since I don't want a surfboard back there? Four or five channels is fine since I may replace the powered RF sub with a dedicated sub box sometimes in the future. Several of the JL amps listed in old threads are now discontinued. My preference is to go with a RF amp since I already have their speakers in the front but what ever is the most cost effective solution, so long as it's not some off-brand amp, is fine with me.
Look at the kicker key loc amps, it has a feature that fixes bass roll off
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Old 05-06-2021, 10:52 AM   #3
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I think you will be very happy with the Alpine PDX V9 amp and it will fit on a mounting board directly where the factory amp is mounted. I got the FARK harness and mounting board from ********.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheap Guy View Post
After a couple of years playing around with my sound system, it's time to replace the BA amp. I have aftermarket Rockford Fosgate speakers and Pioneer head unit and I plan on going the K.I.S.S. route and use the S-name harness despite it being a bit pricey. What's the new consensus replacement amp that fits in the stock mounting area since I don't want a surfboard back there? Four or five channels is fine since I may replace the powered RF sub with a dedicated sub box sometimes in the future. Several of the JL amps listed in old threads are now discontinued. My preference is to go with a RF amp since I already have their speakers in the front but what ever is the most cost effective solution, so long as it's not some off-brand amp, is fine with me.
I may have a Alpine PDR-V75, mounting board and S u b t h u m p harness for sale here soon. All in excellent shape, hardly used. PM me if you are interested.
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:45 AM   #5
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I may have a Alpine PDR-V75, mounting board and S u b t h u m p harness for sale here soon. All in excellent shape, hardly used. PM me if you are interested.
Dang, I just bought both the harness and an amp a few days ago. Oh well, at least they shipped quick.
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First - 1997 Camaro 3800 Y87, M5, Green - Gone | Second - 1997 LT1 Z28, M6, Silver - Sold | Third - 1999 LS1 Z28, M6, Pewter, Almost Stock! - Sold
Current - 2011 Camaro SS, M6, black, 1LE suspension parts - Current
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:24 PM   #6
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Pretty much done.

Ended up going with the Rockford Fosgate Prime R2-500x4 especially when a local store had it priced at $200, versus $279 everywhere else. I figured it might go better with the RF components up front and the RF powered subwoofer in the trunk. For ease of install, I used the ST mounting board and harness. While I was installing this, I also went back and redid the wiring for my RF powered subwoofer since I cheaped out with a Walmart wiring kit which has CCA wire which is universally panned as not the proper way to go. I did run separate power to both the amp and sub instead of using a power block which is probably the better way of doing it.

I still need to clean up the final wire routing to the amp but itís pretty much done and wasnít hard at all if youíre remotely familiar with car electronics. Now comes the hard part - tuning it - so Iíll be doing a lot of YT watching and reading whatever I can about tuning an amp. Even with everything set to zero, the RF components I put up front sound WAY better, to the extent that the rears really sound mediocre, but Iím done with the electronics this year, maybe Iíll replace them next year or late this fall. For now, Iíll just turned them down.

Now the better way to have done this would have to get a five channel amp and the sub box thatís a custom fit for the Camaro. I may actually do that down the line.
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Current - 2011 Camaro SS, M6, black, 1LE suspension parts - Current
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:56 PM   #7
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Good job. Did you get the S u b t h u m p rear speaker pigtails? Otherwise the rears wonít sound too good with a 4 channel amp. Actually, they still were lacking in sound quality with them I thought. I was just in my car today putting the stock amp back in. I could never get it to sound the way I wanted it to. I just put in a new headunit and it sounded even worse. Went back to stock amp with much better results.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:15 AM   #8
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Good job. Did you get the S u b t h u m p rear speaker pigtails? Otherwise the rears won’t sound too good with a 4 channel amp. Actually, they still were lacking in sound quality with them I thought. I was just in my car today putting the stock amp back in. I could never get it to sound the way I wanted it to. I just put in a new headunit and it sounded even worse. Went back to stock amp with much better results.
Thanks!

I’m debating on the pigtails. I really mainly like a front sound stage and have the rears turned down anyway so it’s not a big deal but I really want it done as right as I can cost effectively do. That means I’m looking at rear speakers. It’s not that big a deal for me to spend a day doing it - it’s just that it’s going to be a never ending cycle - next I’ll want an integrated sub box, which will require another or a five channel amp, then better front speakers, etc. I’ve already changed the headunit three times just to upgrade to better technology (CarPlay then wireless CarPlay).

Edit: I put the pigtails on the rear speaker this morning. While it definitely makes a difference, they still sound weak (as expected) compared to the fronts. Smh, now I'm checking Crutchfield for bargains!
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My Little Mid-Life Crisis Cure!

First - 1997 Camaro 3800 Y87, M5, Green - Gone | Second - 1997 LT1 Z28, M6, Silver - Sold | Third - 1999 LS1 Z28, M6, Pewter, Almost Stock! - Sold
Current - 2011 Camaro SS, M6, black, 1LE suspension parts - Current

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Old 05-11-2021, 02:32 PM   #9
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I felt the same way about the rears. I am not overly excited about taking the rear speakers out and replacing them. I think I may replace the fronts and like you go to a front dominant soundstage and call it quits.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:22 PM   #10
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I just finished buttoning everything up - I'm going to pay $30 for someone professional to tune all the gains and other stuff - and it sounds a lot better than it did before. Having said all that, it still doesn't sound as good as the system in a ten year old Chrysler to be honest. I think GM wasn't all that concerned about the system in the Camaro, figuring they'd throw whatever in there to keep the price down. The main issue is the system has almost no bass in stock set up, and I'm not even a big bass person. When you make all the adjustments to improve the bass, the clarity goes to crap. So now I'm into a new head unit (and associated hardware), new front speakers, and now a new amp - all quality stuff and it does sound a lot better but dang, it took all this to just get decent sound out of this car, and I'm not even an audiophile or whatever they call sound fanatics. I'm very tempted to keep chasing a better sound but right now, if I want to sell my car, it would take about an hour to put it back to stock. If I did new speakers in the rear, no way would I even think about doing it twice.

So I'm done - I think everything in this set up is all follows:

Pioneer Radio -DMH-W4660NEX - $500.00 (open box)
PAC Kit - RPK5-GM4101 - $300.00
Rockford Fosgate R1675-S (Front Speakers) - $80.00
Rockford Fosgate R2-500x4 (amp) - $200.00
Rockford Fosgate P300-8P (powered subwoofer) - $220.00
S-People stuff (harness, mounting bracket) - $155.00
Misc. stuff (amp kit, etc.) - $100.00
Approx. Total: $1550.00

You can probably do better on some items (I splurged on the head unit because I love wireless CarPlay) and I got discounts on some of the others (amp is regular price of $279.00) but you get idea of what it will end up costing you to chase just decent sound over the stock BA setup. From what I've read, $1600 isn't that bad for a decent upgrade. The good thing is you can easily do this yourself if you have just minimal skills and there's no real hacking up your car to do this.
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My Little Mid-Life Crisis Cure!

First - 1997 Camaro 3800 Y87, M5, Green - Gone | Second - 1997 LT1 Z28, M6, Silver - Sold | Third - 1999 LS1 Z28, M6, Pewter, Almost Stock! - Sold
Current - 2011 Camaro SS, M6, black, 1LE suspension parts - Current

Last edited by Cheap Guy; 05-13-2021 at 09:46 AM.
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