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Discussion Starter #1
Overall, I'm disappointed with the "Premium" 6 speaker system. I didn't pay a lot of attention to it when I bought the car but now I'm noticing some poor performance. I saw "Premium" on the window sticker but didn't do my due diligence and really investigate what that means. Apparently, I have the base Alpine 6 speaker system. In looking what I can do with it to improve performance, here's what I've found. Please correct any wrongs for me, any and all help is appreciated.

1.) Simple fix: Replace the front door 6x9s, the dash 3.5"s, and the rear 6x9s with the Mopar Kicker upgrades. From what I've read, that is a decent improvement. My problem is that I suspect it won't yield the bass I'm after. I hate to just throw money away and don't see these upgrades being much better than what's in there.

2.) Complicated fix: I see PAC makes a device that shims in between the head unit and the amp. Part number is C2A-CHY5. Basically it gives you line level outputs and pays attention to the CAN messages destined for the amp to give you volume control. If I understand correctly, I could us this and go out to my own amp. At that point I could choose to just power a subwoofer and amp or I could run all new wires to all the speaker locations and add additional amp(s) to power these locations.

The questions that I've come up with are in regards to the "Complicated fix".

A.) If I understand correctly, the factory alpine amp has built in crossovers and sends midbass to the front 6x9s, mids and highs, to the front dash 3.5", and full range to the rear 6x9s. Is this correct? Is it also correct that this system is "smart" and the louder it goes the more it throttles down the bass to the entire system? Hence the need for the C2A-CHY5 instead of a Line Out Converter just added to the rear 6x9s. Right?

B.) If I choose to eliminate the use of the factory amp, I understand that I need to leave it plugged in, in order to retain the CAN signaling. If I run all new speakers and all new wire and run that from my own aftermarket amps, will I retain all the Nav, Parking Assist, and Safeytec warning noises that come through the audio system? I've noticed the parking assist is speaker specific. ie. if the obstruction is near the front right of the car, the warning signal comes out of that front right speaker. Will this ability be maintained when using the PAC C2A-CHY5?

One final thought was to swap the amp out with one of the better Alpine amps but I've read the wiring harnesses are not in the car. Anyone know if that's a fact? I thought about maybe just adding the sub to the rear Deck and doing the Mopar upgrades but I'm not sure which Amp to get and if the wiring is all there or not. Any help in this area would also be appreciated.
 

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I have the same system as you, and was also unimpressed with it. In fact, it is the poorest "Premium" system I've ever had. I can tell you that the wiring harness for the 8" sub on the rear deck is there, but there is no power from the amp. I don't know about the front center speaker and the rear door speaker wiring. I improved my system by adding a sub-woofer to the rear deck along with an amp to power it. I used the wires to the rear 6x9's to provide the signal to the amp and powered it directly from the battery. This greatly improved the bass from my system, which was what I was looking for. I did not notice any problem with the highs, but my hearing isn't what it used to be.



Phil
 

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You think your 6-speaker premium setup is bad... You should listen to my base model! I don't even have the wiring harness on your model to add an amp. I know; I tried.

That said, you might look into the cost of the amp from the Beats system. IIRC zach2011 did just that. He then tried to upgrade his amp a 2nd time and found the wiring harness different. Doesn't the Beats system have a subwoofer? The amp and a subwoofer (and replacing all your existing speakers) might make you happy.
 

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The Beats system actually has two subs. It has an 8" on the rear deck, same as the 10 speaker Alpine system and a 10" sub in the trunk. If I remember correctly, IIRC found that the Beats and Alpine systems use the same speakers, although the amp is different.


Phil
 

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I think the only package that sounds good is the Harmon Kardon one.
 

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The branded OEM systems suck...pure and simple. The only part of my "premium" Boston Acoustics system left in my car is the stock amp which passes through a digital signal to my aftermarket amp and the REC/NAV head unit, which is the next piece to go. Everything else is either Audio Control (LOC with summing), Hertz (3-way component speakers), Audison (main amp with 1K fifth channel for sub), Alpine (rear 6x9's) or Focal (33a subwoofer) and a few other small bits and pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, as I read, I see that this 276 watt amp is used in lots of Chrysler/Dodge vehicles in several different configurations. Some have a subwoofer. Is this amp "programmable" by the dealer to "wake up" the subwoofer portions of the amp? My thinking now is that I could upgrade to the Kicker replacements and either add a sub to the deck or build a small enclosure for the spare tire well. If the amp can have the subwoofer portions "enabled" then I could use the wires going to the deck subwoofer location for subwoofer power. I can't find any specifications online for the amp.
 

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The systems that had a subwoofer, specifically the Kicker upgrade ones, had a small separate amp vs. it being run off the main amp, which is a 4 channel only I believe.
 

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Bare Minimum: upgrade to the kicker replacements, add an amp and subwoofer

Maddog has already put it succinctly. When it comes to OEM systems, the word "premium" just about means diddly. The only OEM system for the current generation that has decent speakers would be the H/K system. The beats system only improved the amp, but keeps similar (if not the same) speakers as the Alpine system, which if you've ever seen, should never be mentioned in the same sentence with premium.

Like the H/K's the kicker replacements actually have a real tweeter in them. Adding those alone will provide a great improvement over what you have. Adding an amp and subwoofer will then give you a good foundation for your sound system. That should get things going in the right direction.
 

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OK, the amp in the six speaker Alpine system is a 276 watt, 8 channel unit. The amp in the 10 speaker Alpine system is a 12 channel 506 watt unit. The Beats amp is a 522 watt 12 channel unit. The HK amp is 900 watts, but I don't know how many channels. I'd be very surprised if the 276 watt amp has enough power to handle much of a sub-woofer. Better to provide a separate amp for the sub-woofer or replace the 276 watt unit with the 506 watt Alpine unit, which has a separate channel for a sub, in my humble opinion.



Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I use the PAC device and eliminate use of the factory amp in favor of my own amp(s), will I keep the NAV and Park assist audio? If so, will it retain the speaker specific audio cues from the park assist warnings?

I wonder if its possible to disconnect the connector on the amp that goes to the factory speakers and add a mating connector to supply the signal from an aftermarket amp. Then I wouldn't have to run new speaker wire to all the factory locations.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, the amp in the six speaker Alpine system is a 276 watt, 8 channel unit. The amp in the 10 speaker Alpine system is a 12 channel 506 watt unit. The Beats amp is a 522 watt 12 channel unit. The HK amp is 900 watts, but I don't know how many channels. I'd be very surprised if the 276 watt amp has enough power to handle much of a sub-woofer. Better to provide a separate amp for the sub-woofer or replace the 276 watt unit with the 506 watt Alpine unit, which has a separate channel for a sub, in my humble opinion.



Phil
If I'm reading the parts sites correctly, that 276 watt amp is called a 384 watt amp when the sub portions of the amp are active. I think...
 

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Yes, those audio functions are preserved as long as the stock amp is in place and used to send a digital signal to an aftermarket amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, those audio functions are preserved as long as the stock amp is in place and used to send a digital signal to an aftermarket amp.
The PAC device wedges in between the head unit and the amp and produces line outs. Are those audio signals present there or do they go straight in to the factory amp?
 

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I'm not certain that the gen II work the same way as gen I.

In the gen I, you definitely lose the nav and uconnect voice options if you eliminate the stock amp. This is because those signals did not originate at the head unit and instead were routed to the stock amp.

I don't think it's the same in gen II because all of those signals now go through the head unit itself. I believe the gen II models actually separate the sound systems from the infotainment systems.

The c2a-chy5 was designed to work with the gen II cars and *should* retain all of those functions. However, you will not keep the tone controls. It is designed to receive the can-bus generated signals and convert them to audio.

A bit long-winded and I think Pac should be consulted, but having owned both a gen I and now having a gen II 300C, I think you retain Nav and Phone functions when using the c2a-chy5.
 
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Did not know about the 276 watt amp having more output and sub support. I can tell you that there is no output to the rear deck sub wiring as installed in the car, because I tested it when I installed my amp and sub. Perhaps there is a jumper or software turn on for the sub-woofer output in the amp?


Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did not know about the 276 watt amp having more output and sub support. I can tell you that there is no output to the rear deck sub wiring as installed in the car, because I tested it when I installed my amp and sub. Perhaps there is a jumper or software turn on for the sub-woofer output in the amp?


Phil
That's what I'm thinking. In our existing configuration the amp is running at best 6 channels... maybe even only 4 if the front door 6x9 and dash 3.5s are on the same channels. I'm going to go see if the dealer knows if the other portions of the amp can be woken up. If so, I know its not a lot of power but it might just run a 10" woofer built in to a custom fiberglass enclose in that foam thing they put where the spare goes. There's a good bit of space there...
 

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Did not know about the 276 watt amp having more output and sub support. I can tell you that there is no output to the rear deck sub wiring as installed in the car, because I tested it when I installed my amp and sub. Perhaps there is a jumper or software turn on for the sub-woofer output in the amp?


Phil
Unfortunately not. In my 2011 300 Limited I tried adding the Alpine/Beats rear deck subwoofer and it would not work. We found out that it is due to the main interior wiring harness being split into 2 separate harnesses - one for the front, one for the back. While the back was wired for the sub, the front harness did not have the necessary wiring to the amp harness connectors to power the sub. The car will never see it unless you change the entire front interior wiring harness and enable the sub at the dealership via programming.

This also applies for adding the 3.5" rear door speakers. The front harness (as well as each rear door harness) does not have any wiring necessary for the rear door speakers.
 
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