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#5292 - 05/11/1999 15:38 Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS
Michael
new poster

Registered: 20/08/1999
Posts: 11
So help me please! I received my player back in August and hit a brick wall trying to install in my Saab 9-5. Months have past, my lease was up on my saab 900, and instead of another new car I went out and got myself a gorgeous used Jag. Another brick wall. This time there's no problem mounting in the dash, but now there's nowhere to put an amp! Amp's are simply too big and the car too small. Putting an amp in the trunk is a problem because the gas tank sits right behind the backseat and would require prohibitively elaborate wiring. This car audio thing is wacked. Why must amps be the size of small briefcases. I don't believe my audio shop is trying to fool me, but maybe they just aren't very knowledgable. Any suggestions? Aren't there amps the size of paperbacks? I have a beautiful new car in the garage and I'm depressed. This sucks. I'm developing a love/hate relationship with my Empeg.


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#5293 - 05/11/1999 15:45 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: Michael]
stig
new poster

Registered: 29/10/1999
Posts: 48
Loc: Cumbria, UK
There are a number of small amps available.
They just don't put out all that much power.

Jensen do a small 88W 2 channel unit




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#5294 - 05/11/1999 16:11 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: stig]
Michael
new poster

Registered: 20/08/1999
Posts: 11
Am I gonna suffer the weak sound? Is it perfectly listenable, just not fabulous? I'm not a dedicated audiophile just a geek who hates fumbling for CD's. If the sound from a small amp is as good as a standard middle-of-the-market car audio system, I'm set.


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#5295 - 05/11/1999 19:40 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: Michael]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5481
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Michael --

If the confines of your Jaguar are as restricted as you say, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to install enough speakers (both quantity and size) to require any serious amount of power.

A simple setup (say a single 10" sub, a couple of 6" midrange, and a pair of 4" co-axials with tweeters) can be run with 100 watts or less at a volume level sufficient to cause permanent hearing damage. The better the quality of the amplifier, the louder you can play without distortion.

If you are looking for sound quality, don't fall into the trap that "bigger is better". You don't need kilowatts of power and boxes full of subwoofers to have a great sounding car.

tanstaafl.

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#5296 - 05/11/1999 21:49 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: tanstaafl.]
Michael
new poster

Registered: 20/08/1999
Posts: 11
You're giving me some hope. Against my will I will need to learn something about car audio systems. I suspect I'm being sold big amps because car audio installers can't fathom why one would spend a relative ton of money on a unit while not striving for perfect fidelity for bystanders half a mile away. It's not the volume I want but the convenience (and the visuals).

I have to say, however, that a couple of months ago no one knew what I was talking about when I described the Empeg. This time the guys where really anxious to install it. They understood it and wanted to see it live.


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#5297 - 06/11/1999 06:49 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: Michael]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3456
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
There are plenty of small amps: Cambscar did the install into my miata (removing the old mp3mobile - after they'd had a play with it ;) ) and ended up using two of the smallest, cheapest Alpine amps - two because there wasn't anywhere neat to put a 4-channel amp, so two 2-channel ones were used (I didn't want to lose any trunk space).

The amps were MRP-T306's, I think they're rated at 30W RMS x 2. Plenty loud enough for a small car.

Hugo



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#5298 - 06/11/1999 12:59 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: altman]
Cambscar
journeyman

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 61
Loc: Cambridge, UK
OK, here goes - this is probably gonna be a long one.....

First off, the bad news. There's just nowhere to fit an amp easily in the XJS. If you're really lucky, you might be able to get a couple of smaller 2 channel amps in under the front seats - but this'll mean removing the seats to fit them, and believe me, you'll regret doing that. Jaguar chose to use a stupid captive nut arrangement to hold the seats in place, and unless you're blessed with extremely small hands, you'll have a real nightmare trying to get the seats back in.

Slightly better news is that it's really not that hard a car to do an install on. It takes longer than average, but doesn't really require any extraordinary degree of skill. Personally, I'd go for a decent sized 4 channel amp. All the Wilton carpet and sound deadening seems to soak up sound so much that you really need a healthy dose of power to get anything remotely decent in terms of performance. The best place to fit the amp is probably in the nearside (ie. passenger's side on a RHD UK model car - opposite side to the battery) of the boot/trunk. Where the chassis rails run under the floor, you end up with a large step either side, and outside of this, there's a small well. What you need to do is get hold of a small length (about 12inches or so) of right angle section aluminium. If you screw this down to the floor on the back edge of the chassis rail cover/step section, you can then drop an MDF panel down into the recess, and screw straight through the aluminium section into the MDF. You need to make the MDF panel big enough that it protrudes above the step by enough to mount the amp onto. Once this is in place, it should be reasonably sturdy, but it's probably also a good idea to fabricate an L bracket out of steel/aluminium to secure the top of the MDF to the steel cover section over the rear tail light cluster. Trim your MDF panel in a nice matching shade of carpet, and you've now got somewhere to mount a decent sized amp without using up any of the precious boot/trunk space.

Cabling's not too difficult, but there are a few things you do need to know. First off, power's easy, as your battery should be just a few feet from the amp. You'll need to run RCAs from the front of the car to the amp, and the best way to do this is down the left hand side of the car (same side as the amp - opposite to the battery/engine power feed to keep interference down). In the front footwell, on the side of the centre tunnel, there's an airvent with two self tapping screws holding it in. Remove these, and the whole tunnel side cover panel drops off, making it nice and easy to run cables away from the Empeg itself. Connect 2 5metre runs of speaker cable to the existing front speaker cables in the dash, and run these, together with the RCAs under the carpet to the back seat. Run the (orange) remote feed, and the ground (using something like 16amp cable, whatever that is in AWG - never can remember :-) down to the back of the car at the same time, but try and keep these 6-12inches from the RCA and speaker cables. This shouldn't prove too difficult, as the carpets just lift out, and those that don't can be gently peeled back. Once you reach the back seat, remove this completely - there's 2 8mm nuts on the underside of the lower seat squab, then the squab just lifts out. At the base of the seat back, there's 2 self-tapping screws to hold the back in place, which then lifts vertically out of 3 hooks at the top. Once the seats are out, remove the 1/4 panels either side - to do this, you need to remove 1xself-tapper at the back of the panel itself, pull the door rubber away in the door shut, peel back the leather and you'll find 2 more screws hidden abotu 2 inches in from the door seal edge. Then remove the seat belt upper mount (17mm bolt, plastic cover just pulls off), coat hanger (self-tapper hidden behind plastic cover plate that flicks out with a knife blade/small screwdriver), and the trim panel below the mount. Now, you'll see the final screw that holds the 1/4 panel in place. Once that's out of the way, a bit of gentle persuasion should have the trim panel removed.

Now, on the amp side, you'll see there's a nice big (2inch dia-ish) hole, straight through the rear bulkhead into the rear inner wing - which should mean your cables come out right beside the amp board. Get all of the above cable run through, then run 2 new cables into the boot from the rear speakers. You can use the existing cables, but there's a resistor in each one (mounted in a plastic fuseholder, about 12inches back from the speaker) which tends to catch fire/melt the fuse holder at anything above about 20w RMS.

Then it's just a matter of connecting all of the cables to the amp and hopefully you're all sorted, bar getting it all back in one piece again :-)

You may have interference problems. Jaguar being British chose to use Lucas to build their wiring harnesses, and these are a little bit less than perfect in a lot of respects. If you run the Empeg's earth cable down to the back of the car, as suggested above, then earth it to the rear chassis rail cover box section, along with the amp earth, noise should be kept to a minimum. As usual, decent RCAs are essential for the same reason. It's probably worth experimenting with the ground point for the RCA ground adaptors supplied in the Empeg kit. Try grounding them to the amp ground terminal to start with, and if you do have noise problems, try a few different points on the bodywork around the same area. If you still have problems after that, then get back to me and I'll see what else I can suggest.

As far as the rest of the system goes, it's worth spending a little more on some decent speakers in a car like the Jag. The standard ones are heinously nasty Philips units normally, totally out of place in a car that costs as much as a new Jag. The fronts can be easily swapped for something like Infinity Kappas, although you'll probably have to mount the tweeters on the dash top, as there's very little room in the doors. Run off a decent output though, these sound pretty good without being ridiculously expensive. Subs in the boot area are pretty much a complete waste of time, as there's a thick steel bulkhead between there and the passenger compartment. What you can do, is fabricate a replacement panel that fits within the rear 1/4 to take a 6 inch mid-bass driver, which should give you a decent increase in bass without going over the top. You can even squeeze an 8", or even 10" driver in behing this panel, and I have done in the past, but it takes some doing, and is probably best left to someone who does that sort of thing on a regular basis, unless you're really practical, and not averse to some pretty extensive woodworking.

I think that just about covers everything :-) I've tried to explain as clearly as possible, and hopefully all of the above should either allow you to do the job yourself, or at least give a pro-installer a few useful pointers. Needless to say, if you need any clarification on anything, just give me a shout - I'd sketch a quick diagram of the boot arrangement, but my artistic skills never were too good :-)

Dominic - in Haynes manual mode ;-)


Cambridge Car Audio
http://www.cambscaraudio.co.uk

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#5299 - 08/11/1999 18:14 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: Cambscar]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5481
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Dominic --

You are truly the most generous and helpful contributor on this whole bbs. I think empeg should give you some sort of reward. Please, please keep up the well-written and informative posts.

tanstaafl.

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#5300 - 11/11/1999 16:37 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: tanstaafl.]
Cambscar
journeyman

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 61
Loc: Cambridge, UK
I think empeg should give you some sort of reward.

What, like a free Empeg?? Or maybe that sexy little Netwinder Hugo's got sitting on one of the desks in the Empeg office? I would say a job, but my boss is probably reading this ;-)

Getting to play with The Next Big Thingtm before everyone else in the industry does is reward enough most of the time. Helping someone 1000 miles away who you'd never even have had the chance to speak too's pretty cool too. Oh yeah, then there's the fact Hugo's taken in a lot of stuff I've mentioned, and actually come back to tell me it'll be incorporated into future development. You just don't get that sort of opportunity with all the other manufacturers out there. I'd say the whole situation's pretty rewarding already....

Besides which, I reckon Linus is ahead of me in the queue on that front ;-)

Dominic


Cambridge Car Audio
http://www.cambscaraudio.co.uk

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#5301 - 12/11/1999 17:19 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: Cambscar]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5328
Loc: Cambridge UK
> Or maybe that sexy little Netwinder Hugo's got sitting on one of the desks in
> the Empeg office?

Sorry, it's too busy being our doorbell!

Rob



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#5302 - 14/11/1999 05:57 Re: Installing in a '95 Jaguar XJS [Re: Cambscar]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
I think Dominic's boss should reward him, too. I can't imagine better publicity for a shop than what Dominic's employer is geting here.

(Pitty I am two or three thousand kilometers away. I was seriously considering finding some excuse do make a trip to UK with my Twingo, pick up the empeg personally and have Dominic and his pals install it. Besides, that way I would probably succeed smugling it back home - import duties of various kind add up to some 40% here in Croatia. Hmm, perhaps this saving is all excuse I need :)

Cheers!

Dragi "Bonzi" Raos
Zagreb, Croatia
#5196
_________________________
Dragi "Bonzi" Raos Q#5196 MkII #080000376, 18GB green MkIIa #040103247, 60GB blue

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#5303 - 19/11/1999 10:28 It's in. I rule. Thanks so much for the help! [Re: Cambscar]
Michael
new poster

Registered: 20/08/1999
Posts: 11
I took it to another place and they had Rockford 4 channel amp that fit like a glove under the passenger's seat. The installation is really clean. Strangely enough, this place, Car Essentials in Pittsfield Massachusettes, had already done an Empeg installation. The told me mine sounded a lot better though I realized later that this was probably due to the quality of the MP3's I'd loaded and not the preamp ouptuts.

Once again thanks so much, and hey you Empegers, congratulations on your show at Comdex. It looked great.


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#5304 - 21/11/1999 21:06 Re: It's in. I rule. Thanks so much for the help! [Re: Michael]
zli_mcla
new poster

Registered: 14/06/1999
Posts: 10
Michael, I am the one that who had the installation done in Car Essentials, Pittsfield. They really did a nice job on my 1996 Rav4 and I am very happy about the installation. Yours sound better that mines? Very possible, due to the limitation on Rav4, I only have 2 speakers and a 10 inch sub in it, but since I don't really have a good hear so ......

Do you want to get together something so you can show me your "better" sound? you can email me at : [email protected]


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#5305 - 30/11/1999 19:33 Shutdown after long use [Re: Michael]
Michael
new poster

Registered: 20/08/1999
Posts: 11
I have the alternator whine, but see there's lots of advice elsewhere on how to fix it. I have a worse problem. After more than an hour playtime the empeg goes silent and won't deliver sound again without a power cycle. I believe this to be a problem with my installation and not the empeg. The amp, which is installed very snugly under the passenger seat, gets burning hot. First time things shut down was because I blew the amp's fuse. Now with a higher grade fuse a power cycle gets the sound back. I don't appear to be harming the empeg, though it's worrisome. Is this natural for the amp to get so hot? Do I just need more air circulation? Seems fishy.

Hey zli_mcla, what amp did you get? We will definitely need to compare and contrast when I'm in town again.


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#5306 - 30/11/1999 22:10 Re: Shutdown after long use [Re: Michael]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5481
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
>>The amp, which is installed very snugly under the passenger seat, gets burning hot.

Depends what you mean by "burning hot". It is not unusual for an amp to get warm, but if it is getting so hot that you cannot lay your hand on it and hold it there, then that is too hot.

>> Now with a higher grade fuse...

This is not a good idea. If you are popping the original fuses, then something is wrong. By putting a heavier fuse in, all you are doing is setting yourself up for a fire.

>>Do I just need more air circulation?

Depends on how much you have now. At a minimum you should have an inch of free air all around, and not be in a sealed encosure.

My strong recommendation is that you have this setup looked at and diagnosed by a professional installer. I think you could be headed for very serious trouble here.

tanstaafl.

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#5307 - 01/12/1999 03:47 Re: Shutdown after long use [Re: Michael]
schofiel
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/06/1999
Posts: 2992
Loc: Wareham, Dorset, UK
What's the temperature of the empeg like when it shuts down?

It sounds to me as if the amp, or some other peripheral such as an automatic aerial, is pulling too much current from the empeg. Look at the current coming out of the remote enable wire being drawn by the amp or aerial.

If the amp is getting hot, then it is either being used a lot or there is a genuine problem. You could have current runing to earth (DC ground) or it is drawing a lot of current from the empeg. Either situation will not be healthy.

Don't jack up the fuse rating unless it is an absolutely do-or-die, get-you home situation, this is seriously dangerous practice. You need to get this investigated immediately, or disconnect the whole setup until you can if that's not possible. Play safe with your life (and your empeg...)

_________________________
One of the few remaining Mk1 owners... #00015

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#5308 - 01/12/1999 09:47 Re: Shutdown after long use [Re: Michael]
tadzio
journeyman

Registered: 08/09/1999
Posts: 76
Loc: Munich. Germany
Could it be that you connected the amp's main power line to the empeg switched power output? Then you're probably overloading something in the empeg. That empeg output line is meant as a control line (with low current, i.e. high impedance on the other side) rather than a high-current power supply. Usually amps have an input connector for this line, and they use a relay internally to switch themselves on or off, depending on the voltage of that control line. They draw the current they need from a separate line that feeds +12V, no matter whether the head unit(the empeg) is on or off. So, check to make sure that the empeg's switched power output is not wired to the main power input of the amp.

Daniel


_________________________
--- "I love deadlines. I love the WHOOSHing noise they make as they go by." - Douglas Adams

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#5309 - 02/12/1999 15:18 Re: Shutdown after long use [Re: Michael]
zli_mcla
new poster

Registered: 14/06/1999
Posts: 10
I got a Precision Power 4400. I use it to drive both the 10" JL Audio sub and a pair of MB Quart at front.
Compare and contrast? sure, just let me know when do you want.


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