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Old 09-11-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
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Porsche Audiophiles Please Help!

Porsche Audiophiles Please Help!

I just acquired a 2001 Boxster S and the dealer who sold the car replaced the factory head unit, which was a CD220R, with an Alpine CDE-143BT with 18W x 4. The dealer had a chain radio store install it and what they did was bypass the factory 40W x 6 amp and used the power of the new head unit to drive the speakers. They cut the wires going to the factory amp and wired the speaker outputs from the new Alpine to the wires cut from the factory amp for the speakers. All but 2 wires to the factory amp have been cut; the 2 wires still connected are brown and red/blue. The car has speakers in the dash and in the doors as well as the factory rear speaker kit. When the Alpine was wired up the rear speakers were not connected, in the pics below I believe the loose plug is for the rear speakers. The car also was set up with a DSP unit, now powerless it appears, an in dash CD changer as well as a changer in the front trunk, all factory, that also appear to now be powerless too. The Alpine works fine, however, no rear speakers. I am looking for advice on how to get the rear speakers connected and whether or not I should try to wire in the factory amp and disable the amp output from the new Alpine head unit. Any input on how to re-connect DSP if I go that route would be greatly appreciated. I have read several posts on the boards and understand Harvey Peck at PnP is a great resource, however, I have had no success locating him. Thank you in advance for all the valuable feedback. Love the car! Bob










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Old 09-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #2
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Porsche Audiophiles Please Help!

I just acquired a 2001 Boxster S and the dealer who sold the car replaced the factory head unit, which was a CD220R, with an Alpine CDE-143BT with 18W x 4. The dealer had a chain radio store install it and what they did was bypass the factory 40W x 6 amp and used the power of the new head unit to drive the speakers. They cut the wires going to the factory amp and wired the speaker outputs from the new Alpine to the wires cut from the factory amp for the speakers. All but 2 wires to the factory amp have been cut; the 2 wires still connected are brown and red/blue. The car has speakers in the dash and in the doors as well as the factory rear speaker kit. When the Alpine was wired up the rear speakers were not connected, in the pics below I believe the loose plug is for the rear speakers. The car also was set up with a DSP unit, now powerless it appears, an in dash CD changer as well as a changer in the front trunk, all factory, that also appear to now be powerless too. The Alpine works fine, however, no rear speakers. I am looking for advice on how to get the rear speakers connected and whether or not I should try to wire in the factory amp and disable the amp output from the new Alpine head unit. Any input on how to re-connect DSP if I go that route would be greatly appreciated. I have read several posts on the boards and understand Harvey Peck at PnP is a great resource, however, I have had no success locating him. Thank you in advance for all the valuable feedback. Love the car! Bob







The "loose plug" in your pictures is for the rare factory cell phone, not the rear speakers. And as much as I hate to say it, whoever did that install is a butcher. You do not need to cut wires to do this, especially in the way that they did it so it cannot be reconnected. They are also responsible for why the components do not work, because they did not know what they were cutting.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:53 AM   #3
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The factory amp is horrible. I would not use it unless you had to. The easiest way is to get a 6 channel amp to run all of your speakers. Or get a better 2 channel amp to run 2 speakers and run the rest from your Alpine. The connector in the pics under the dash is for a factory phone option. It has switched and unswitched power. It is great for running extra power sources for ipods and radar detectors.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:22 PM   #4
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I have no ear for sound... none. As a result the stock CDR220 with the DSP (which you have) is fine for me.

I would recommend getting ahold of Woodie (aka; itsnotanova) http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-parts-sale-wanted/52469-parting-out-whole-lot-boxsters.html and have see if he can sell you the parts you need to get back to stock. Or, go to a stereo shop that knows what they are doing and get that unit working.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:31 PM   #5
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Soo much I could say. So little time. I'm a heavy audiophile. The factory speakers are just pure junk. Upgrading them is worth it on so many levels. My entire factory amp system has been removed and the wires we're re wired into a new legit amp. It's not hard to locate speaker wires usually car manufactures twist speaker wires together in pair. To locate which speaker this is you can use a test meter with a negative/positive switch to apply power or you can use a battery to pop the speakers. Then label them. I'd stay away from using the internal amp of the radio unless you don't care for quality like others do. Unless your trying out the new Sony deck that has a legit class d 4 channel amp built into it. I went the route of 5v preamp outputs with a DSP that has 10v outputs.

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Old 09-11-2015, 02:08 PM   #6
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I'm more of a home stereo audiophile. I have a tube based system that I love. I have had great car systems in the past. But I feel in this car it just isn't worth it. Driving with the top down isn't the best environment, which is what I do every chance I get. With that being said, the after market deck has better power than the factory amp. Of course a dedicated after market amp will be better than running the speakers from the deck. I also agree that the speakers are junk. So almost any new speakers will be an improvement from the stock ones. It all depends on how much time and or money you want to spend. The install job in your car was not done well, so to get back to stock it will take as much time as going with a new amp. I would just go with a 6 channel amp, new speakers and be done with it.
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:26 PM   #7
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I replaced the original speakers which were partially rotted away with infinity reference, and it made a difference but not a WOW! difference. I replaced the head unit with an 80 watt per channel unit, and that made a WOW! difference. Putting door speakers in actually did less than I anticipated. I'd suggest the best dash speakers you can find and replacing the original amplifiers as a start.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:03 PM   #8
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I'm more of a home stereo audiophile. I have a tube based system that I love. I have had great car systems in the past. But I feel in this car it just isn't worth it. Driving with the top down isn't the best environment, which is what I do every chance I get. With that being said, the after market deck has better power than the factory amp. Of course a dedicated after market amp will be better than running the speakers from the deck. I also agree that the speakers are junk. So almost any new speakers will be an improvement from the stock ones. It all depends on how much time and or money you want to spend. The install job in your car was not done well, so to get back to stock it will take as much time as going with a new amp. I would just go with a 6 channel amp, new speakers and be done with it.
Ahh. Used to have a Macintosh 2300 amp. Close to a piece of wire with gain
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:28 PM   #9
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I replaced the original speakers which were partially rotted away with infinity reference, and it made a difference but not a WOW! difference. I replaced the head unit with an 80 watt per channel unit, and that made a WOW! difference. Putting door speakers in actually did less than I anticipated. I'd suggest the best dash speakers you can find and replacing the original amplifiers as a start.
I don't really care about the dash speakers. I have some aftermarket but I'm about to disconnect them. They are too small to handle the power I'm feeding them. Also your 80w is only max power. Not nominal. And the amp built into every deck besides the new Sony with the legit built in class d amp isn't worth much. The rear speakers idk about. They point at back of the seat. for a while I was running a 4 channel set to 3 channels. Front channels split between the dash and doors. Awesome audio. Now I'm building a dual amp setup with a 4 channel bridged to 2 around 160wrms. And then 2 ch x 600wrms for the 2 13in JL audio subs. Gonna be fun.

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Old 09-12-2015, 09:17 AM   #10
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I don't really care about the dash speakers. I have some aftermarket but I'm about to disconnect them. They are too small to handle the power I'm feeding them. Also your 80w is only max power. Not nominal. And the amp built into every deck besides the new Sony with the legit built in class d amp isn't worth much. The rear speakers idk about. They point at back of the seat. for a while I was running a 4 channel set to 3 channels. Front channels split between the dash and doors. Awesome audio. Now I'm building a dual amp setup with a 4 channel bridged to 2 around 160wrms. And then 2 ch x 600wrms for the 2 13in JL audio subs. Gonna be fun.

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Where do you put 2 13in subs? I'm struggling with an 8 inch. Where are you mounting your other drivers?
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:57 AM   #11
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The stock amp makes a decent wheel chock.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:08 AM   #12
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Where do you put 2 13in subs? I'm struggling with an 8 inch. Where are you mounting your other drivers?
1 13in JL TW5 will fit with tons of room to spare under the soft top when it's down. Or 2 8in tw3s in their own JL box. Those 2 8s in their box is about the size of the factory bose sub enclosure. And supply awesome bass. More than anyone I've seen on here would know what to do with lol. The space under the soft top is very large. I was going to use expanding foam to make a larger form fit fiberglass enclosure but I just removed the soft top entirelly. Window is ripped and frame is a Lil bent. I hate drop tops. Now there is soo much room in the form of the drop top I can easilly put in 2 13in tw5s which are 600wrms ea, and if I wanted 2 6.5in components on each side ... box is clamped down by the rear deck. Subs are protected by 5% uv tint. I measured just a basic box using 3/4 mdf... there was 2.2cuFt. Of space. The tw5s only need .80. The Rockford 12s requires 1.00.

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Old 09-12-2015, 11:16 AM   #13
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The stock amp makes a decent wheel chock.
Lol mine is in some random shop being used to hold a car still right now

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Old 09-12-2015, 12:18 PM   #14
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Finally got a lil time to hit up the computer to view this page. Been using tapatalk. The wires on my amp harness was "hacked" the same way. Which is fine. There are ways to T Tap them which is very bulky, you can skin the sheeth and solder in additional wires... As for adaptor harness plugs, I've yet to see one made for the Amp. Mine were soldered and heat shrink tubing applied to extend the wires to the floor board where I have a flush amp/crossover rack/false floor. Carpeted to the same black. Looks awesome minus the old amp I'm still currently using. When I do my new setup it will all change.

From the looks of your pics, you can fix all of that. Assuming you wanted to go back to the factory system. IDK why anyone would since its just worthless. 4ch Amps are becoming extremely small these days. If you want something clean and small to install for the components, get yourself a new Alpine Amp. Its about half the size of the stock amp. Cut off the rest of the plugs, remove some of the rubber sheeth, twist them, get some rosin and some .015 Silver Solder and use it to harden the tips... For a more professional install. Use a battery or something to locate which speaker is which, or maybe google will result in a pinout. Wire in the new amp and mount it in the factory location. Hell if you wanted, you could use the Stock Amp Mounting Plate, mount it to this and have enough room to have a decent sized fuse holder installed for the amp in a clean fashion.

Trust me you can make a clean install of a nice small amp look exactly factory. If you mount the new amp to the inside of the amp mounting plate like the factory amp is, the glow from the Alpine Square Light will look cool at night time. You wont really see its an alpine amp but you'll see a lil glow of blue. Will be Athletically pleasing.
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:19 PM   #15
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Thanks Everyone!

The direction I want to go based on the feedback regarding the factory amp is to acquire a better 6 channel amp and wire in the unconnected factory rear speaker kit and mount the new amp to factory bracket. The door and dash speakers may not be original- they sound good . I still need to investigate that. May be able to disconnect factory DSP and replace with some cup holders since that will be moot if i move away from factory amp. I don't want to go back to the stock unit, I plan to keep the Alpine for now and get all 6 speakers playing. If anyone has a resource identifying speaker wires coming out of factory amp I would appreciate you sharing it with me. Seems like mating the Alpine head unit to an Alpine amp might be the best. I appreciate all the feedback!

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