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2002 TAHOE sub and amp install

Discussion in 'Audio' started by clarkjw24, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. clarkjw24

    clarkjw24 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Dec 4, 2003
    Likes Received:
    McBee, SC 29101
    I'm trying to hook up a amp and set of subs in a friends 2002 Tahoe. I've done some searching and still have some questions. The Tahoe has a factory amplified AC Delco head (non-bose I guess, it doesn't say bose) with on star (but its not used). I think I need a special pigtail to add a set of RCAs and keep the original head unit and speaker wiring. I'm not exactly sure what its call or how it works. Could someone point me in the right direction?

    I pulled the head for chits and giggles and hooked up a aftermarket head with a standard harness. The head worked (powered up and tunned) but I couldn't get any sound out of the speakers, which told me that I was correct that another pigtail wiring is needed. But where do I find one?
  2. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Jul 17, 2004
    Likes Received:
    High velocity, Low altitude
  3. chevyin

    chevyin 1/2 ton status

    Sep 14, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Pismo Bch CA
    Without seeing the h/u's you are working with, Im gonna have to guess a bit here. Aftermarket amplifiers require an input signal, the one meant to be amplified. Pretty much all modern amps require at least RCA's for input (some use fiber optics etc). I dont think anyone is making an amp with speaker level (speaker wire) inputs anymore. So, what you need is an adapter, from speaker wire to RCA. That's the cheapest way to go, literally wire up your speaker wires to this pigtailk, and the other end is an RCA plug. This however is also the lowest tech, the noisiest way and the most susceptable to problems.

    Your next opyion is a unit like JL Audio's cleensweep. Its a unit that converts this for you, along with several other functions. That is probably the cleanest way to do this and still retain your factory head unit. The problem with that choice is they are expensive (like $300-$400), you can simply buy a decent aftermarket h/u for that price. The JL unit is pretty much meant for people who WANT to keep their factory h/u, for whatever reason, at any cost.

    The third, and probably most obvious choice, is to simply upgrade to an aftermarket h/u. The factory unit isn't made to run external amplifiers, it will lead to problems (like when using that converter pigtail, speaker wire to RCA, you effectively lose 2 channels from your head unit, those factory speakers will no longer be powered) and it will most likely be somewhat 'noisey'. Aftermarket heads have (usually) both RCA and speaker wire outputs (ones with built-in amps do). This way you could run the factory front speakers off the amp in the new head, and the amplifier off the RCA outputs coming from it. Aftermarket heads generally have more/better sound processing functions in them as well.

    But, like I said, if your friend really wants to retain his factory deck, Id first point him towards the JL Audio unit, and secondly, only as a last resort go with the speaker level to line level converter pigtails.

    Hope that helps.
  4. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

    Mar 17, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Truckee, CA
    i second what chevin said.

    On a personal note, i never wire systems from teh factory head unit. YOu can get a decent aftermarket head unit for under $200 with seperate sub pre-outs. Plus you often get AUX inputs for an ipod.

    For that amount of money, its not worht messing with the factory head unit. YOu get better sound, more functions, more audio control, and its easier with an aftermarket unit.

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