I'm about to break my stereo system with a sledgehammer.....
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This is a discussion on I'm about to break my stereo system with a sledgehammer..... within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Is car stereo always this frustrating? I've about had it with my stereo install. Perhaps a few clubwrxers with more ...

  1. #1
    Registered User volkl23's Avatar
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    Angry I'm about to break my stereo system with a sledgehammer.....

    Is car stereo always this frustrating?

    I've about had it with my stereo install. Perhaps a few clubwrxers with more know-how can school me so I don't go ape and just destroy everything.

    So I have the dreaded miscelaneous car whine and buzz/hum sound. I've isolated that the culprit is my basslink subwoofer.

    So here's the low-down. I have an amp connected to my headunit. There is a very very slight hum at volume 0, but I can live with that, since you can't hear it once you turn the music above 0. However, my basslink is introducing a lot of noise in the system.

    Here's what happens... whenever I connect my rcas to the back of the head unit, I get a strong humming sound, which is greatly magnified when I start the car and rev the engine... the so-called alternator whine.

    What's odd, is that if I touch with my bare fingers the rca plug on the back of my headunit, I get the same hum, so now I'm not so sure what the problem is. I have my amp grounded in the back with a big 0 guage ground wire to a bolt I screwed in (sanded and prepped). I also have my basslink grounded to the same bolt. I've heard it's better to ground to the same point.

    My headunit is just grounded to the stock ground wire. I notice when I touch any rca plugs (metal part when connected to HU), it gives me a hum, but when I touch the rear or subwoofer rca plug of the HU, it's even louder.

    Everything was fine before I introduced the basslink. I've noticed I'm getting shocked more frequently too when I touch my car. Could this be a grounding problem?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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  3. #2
    Registered User weatherman's Avatar
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    did you upgrade the door speakers as well, if so check and make sure everything is kosher with the + and - terminals left right ect....and nothing is touching what it shouldn't. you didn't run the rca's along side your power leads from battery to amp did you? that would cause tons of HUMMMMMMMM
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  4. #3
    Registered User volkl23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weatherman
    did you upgrade the door speakers as well, if so check and make sure everything is kosher with the + and - terminals left right ect....and nothing is touching what it shouldn't. you didn't run the rca's along side your power leads from battery to amp did you? that would cause tons of HUMMMMMMMM
    ps. nice sti blk and silver same as mines !!
    Even if the speakers were wired incorrectly, it should make the humming noise without the basslink, right? I think the speakers are fine. It's just whenever I connect the rcas of the basslink to the HU that I get that annoying sound/alternator whine.

    Thanks though.
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  5. #4
    Registered User weatherman's Avatar
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    well actually the amp AMPLIFIES the signal and that includes improper speaker leads or any tiny thing thats wrong in the setup. without the amp connected you wouldn't hear the problem as much. sorry I feel your pain, I have spent hours trying to locate improper grounds and hmm noises in the past.
    "speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary, thats what gets you killed!" >Jeremy Clarkson

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    Registered User wRxOne's Avatar
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    It is definitly a grounding problem. Make you check the what the basslink is grounded to. You might have to get some sandpaper to make sure your getting a metal to metal contact for the ground wire. I currently have my amp grounded to the rear shock tower bolt, no buzzing/humming noise. Post a pic of your install if possible, i've been installing ICE (in car entertainment) for years and should be able to find your problem.

    -alex

  7. #6
    Registered User volkl23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wRxOne
    It is definitly a grounding problem. Make you check the what the basslink is grounded to. You might have to get some sandpaper to make sure your getting a metal to metal contact for the ground wire. I currently have my amp grounded to the rear shock tower bolt, no buzzing/humming noise. Post a pic of your install if possible, i've been installing ICE (in car entertainment) for years and should be able to find your problem.

    -alex
    I'm grounding it to the same place I'm grounding my amp. I'm using a big 0Ga for the amp (OVERKILL) and an 8GA from the basslink to the same bolt. I screwed a screw through some metal in the trunk.

    If it is a grounding problem, wouldn't it appear (hum and alternator whine) with my amp when then basslink is disconnected?

    As of now, i get a hum with the car off and very strong alternator whine with it on when the RCAs of the basslink are connected.
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    Is your you power wire ran close to your ground? If it is close by say one inch then you will get humming out of your speakers.
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  9. #8
    Registered User wRxOne's Avatar
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    Is your power wire ran along with your RCA cables? Running such a big wire will cause interference, I generally run RCA's on the passenger side and the power wire on the driver side to avoid interference. Are you running two seperate power cables from the battery? Instead why not get a distribution block off the 0G wire. Are you grounding your RCA's? Some of the high end RCA's come with a grounding wire and should only be grounded on the deck side of your connection. Did you try using a seperate ground for your basslink?

  10. #9
    Registered User ScoobVee's Avatar
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    I doubt its a bad ground, the system would usually shut down as soon as you crank it up


    Could be a few things

    Cheap RCA's (they can transmit interference from factory wiring)
    Ran the RCA's on the same side as the power cable
    Your gain is sunk (turned all the way up)
    - Local Riceist

  11. #10
    Registered User volkl23's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses. After doing everything that was suggested: reground to better location (i.e. big bolt under seat) in the trunk, and also regrounding the HU, I still had that super-annoying hum and alternator whine when the engine was on. I decided to take Acquacow's suggestion and try a ground-loop isolator.

    It worked! After plugging it in between my HU rca pre-out and my subwoofer, ALL signs of hum and alternator whine is gone! The best part is that I didn't hear any percievable auditory differences with isolator and without!

    I am so relieved! I have a bunch of wires in my dash-console, 10 connected RCAs, a cigarette adapter for my Sirius Receiver, a pioneer aux connector for my Pioneer HU, and a few other things. I did notice that when I pushed my HU back to be reattached to the console, I was getting pretty bad EM noise. I found that the RCAs were touching the bare metal parts of the chassis, so I taped up all the metal portions of the RCAs with electrical tape. That seemed to fix things up.

    Thanks again guys!
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  12. #11
    Registered User ynotajb's Avatar
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    DO IT,,, then post pics


    nevermind .. i see you already fixed it ,, ,awesome and have fun with the beats!
    dude one time i tried to put the trailer bully into the coiler, and I got all messed up

  13. #12
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    walmart sells a little rca box called a "group loop isolator" it cost 15$ its a cheap fix for a big headache.

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