I fixed the mediocre audio in the HK system - Alfa Romeo Stelvio Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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I fixed the mediocre audio in the HK system

It made me sad that my most expensive vehicle had the worst sound system. My 2008 535xi has a Logic7 system that is beautifully balanced, warm, and bassy. My daughter's Kia has a Kenwood Android Auto/ Apple CarPlay head unit with Focal speakers and a Kicker mini box under the passenger seat. Even my wife's GLE350 with a Harmon Kardon system sounded way better than my Alfa.

Turns out it just needed a new sub. Not even a big one. In the factory location I had a JL Audio 8w3v3-4 sub and JX500/1D amp installed. It took a little bit of playing with the car's bass/mid/treble settings and the crossover, but I no longer have that exception in my head when I say i love everything about the car. It finally has the sound that it should have had from the factory and it fit in the factory sub location, so I didn't lose any cargo space and it looks 100% factory.

There is currently one downside, though. Because I removed the load from the subwoofer channel on the amp, I get an audio system malfunction on the dash. It thinks the sub is disconnected because the impedance of the high level input of the amp doesn't match the former speaker. Has anyone figured out how to either disable the check or trick the amp into thinking there's a load there?
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 12:52 AM
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From the specs the factory sub is not round...if so, that is just dumb...so yeah replacment should be all you need, glad it worked for you!


As far as the warning light..probably a resistor placed inline with the sub should do it to create the proper impedience. You shouldn't have to do that if you paid for the install though, they really should make sure there are no dash lights....

It isnt just the light. If it is the wrong resistance you run the risk of burning out other electronics do to problems in the circuit, and since it is all integrated the problems could pop up in almost any system.....

If you installed yourself you need to figure out the resistance of factory sub (probably 8 ohm but be sure don't trust me) then change your wiring to match either through resistors or rewiring the sub for higher resistance.

Probably....depends on the how it knows the sub is gone....

Like I said....go back to shop, hope they were good...

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 07:26 AM
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what he said ^
you paid someone to install and they didn't match impedance .... not smart.
perhaps they thought it was clever though as depending on the mismatch more power could be flowing to the sub, giving you what you desired.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALFAOFFROAD View Post
....
As far as the warning light..probably a resistor placed inline with the sub should do it to create the proper impedience. .....
As the (added) amplifier input is probably high impedance, more like an 8 ohm(or 4 ohms, depending on the standard Alfa speaker impedance) hi-wattage resistor in parallel (=over) the additional amp input...

My car : https://www.stelvioforum.com/forum/g...vehicle_id=559

previous Alfa's : Alfa alfetta GTV, Alfasud QV, Spider 2.0 Veloce, 164 2.0, 147 GTA, Alfa giulia AWD 280 Hp

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I'll clarify the setup. It is definitely installed correctly, but an additional amp was added to power the new sub. Instead of the factory amp going directly to the sub, the signal is sent to the high level inputs on the JL amp. The JL amp properly powers the sub. Adding a resistor in-line would create a lot of heat. That's why I was hoping to disable the warning.

On a side note, it's a round 8" sub with the tiniest magnet I've ever seen. Very cheaply constructed for the "premium" audio system. Pictures attached with a 12oz soda can for scale.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 02:01 PM
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Don't disable the warning. You will void the warrenty on your electrical system very likely. New design, first year....way too good a chance that you will be taking it in to the dealer for something to do with electrical, you want any mods to be super professional and even then expect an issue (it has been my experience)

You simply want to match the resistance the system is expecting, that is not going to add heat. Although it also may not be the problem.

Part of the worry is a change in load on the factory amp could cause all sorts of problems...burning out the factory amp being the least.

Some research online yields information as to why that light is probably comming on...

That JL amp is designed to attenuate the incoming high level signal if it is above the level the amp is designed to accept. According to the specs on JL's website that amp can handle a high level input up to 10 volts, it will attenuate any signal above that.

Harmon Kardon uses high voltage amp designs traditionally so they probably do for this amp also (more noise rejection and other benifits). I can't find specs online for Alfa specifically, but the HK amp put in Dodges with the same wattage is a 32 volt design.

The amp in the Alfa is probably the same, if this is the case that amp is attenuating the signal heavily..which will very likely cause electrical issues eventually.

Seriously go back to the shop and get them to make it right, if you installed yourself go to a shop have them get the light off....it will be worth it.

Otherwise, hopefully I'm wrong.


...like I was about the sub shape. That magnet on the sub is truly a thing of ugly...

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Last edited by ALFAOFFROAD; 09-05-2018 at 02:10 PM.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 02:59 PM
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The magnet is small because it is neodymium. This is more expensive than a typical iron magnet, especially in a sub, real benefit of weight reduction.

Alfa Romeo is Latin for "Yes I will, because of your special car."
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 04:25 PM
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The magnet is small because it is neodymium. This is more expensive than a typical iron magnet, especially in a sub, real benefit of weight reduction.
The magnet is small because it's a cheap shitty speaker.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2018, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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The magnet is small because it's a cheap shitty speaker.
This made me laugh harder than it probably should have, but after holding that thing in my hands, that is the exact phrasing I would use to describe it.

I did manage to find the exact thing I need, which is a fancy resistor. Saves me from doing the math.

https://www.audiocontrol.com/car-aud...sories/ac-lgd/

Nobody has one in stock, though. Crutchfield and Amazon are both out.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Fire2k1 View Post
This made me laugh harder than it probably should have, but after holding that thing in my hands, that is the exact phrasing I would use to describe it.

I did manage to find the exact thing I need, which is a fancy resistor. Saves me from doing the math.

https://www.audiocontrol.com/car-aud...sories/ac-lgd/

Nobody has one in stock, though. Crutchfield and Amazon are both out.
The tiny magnet pairs well with the paper cone and foam surround, all indicators of a high quality speaker...

Let us know how the resistor turns out.
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