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Mr Chill 04-22-2012 03:58 PM

Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
So I just traded my '06 Laredo for an '05 Limited and the audio needs attention...

In the last Jeep, the factory system was really simple. I was able to install a Kenwood deck and run Pioneer speakers through the factory wiring... No problem. With the Boston system in the Limited, things are a pain in the butt. I bought an adapter that lets my Kenwood talk to the Boston amp through the CAN-BUS, but this dinky thing has a potentiometer worth about 3 cents and frankly it sounds like poop.

So, here's the plan... Bypass the Boston amp. My audio dealer has agreed to exchange the worthless adapter and my eXcelon X500-1 sub amp for credit toward an eXcelon X700-5. This new amp does 50x4 plus 500x1 @ 2Ohms. I am going to leave all the door speakers alone and replace the dash with Infinity Reference 3032cf. I would go Kappa, but metal tweeters just aren't my thing. Anyway, the X700-5 will install right where I have the X500-1 (cargo floor).

I just need to run two more sets of rca's out back, 4 sets of speaker wire to the factory amp location, and hijack the Boston output harness.

At this point, my only question is what does the factory wiring use to split signal between the dash and front doors and can that device handle 50 watts?

JMLoughrey 04-22-2012 04:08 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
The dash and the doors are on there own separate channels.

That link should give you a little more insight on what the wiring is like.

As for not replacing the door speakers, you'll honestly probably blow them and they may not sound great.

Madanio24 04-22-2012 04:50 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
On mine I bypassed the ap and changed all the speakers. I used a 3 way crossover on the front door channels to allow me to throw a mid in the dash. Worked great.

Mr Chill 04-22-2012 05:11 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
Ok so it sounds like this plan is a no go.

Is there any other way to get my aftermarket headunit to talk to the boston amp? I do not have a factory radio to work with. I wouldn't mind using an adapter if I could avoid the cheap adjustable pot this Axxess (Metra) unit uses. Either way the dash speakers are getting replaced.

Back to the drawing board...

Madanio24 04-22-2012 07:07 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
Not sure i had the AXXESS harness and it sucked. Half the times only the front channel would work and half the times nothing would work. That pushed me to bypass the factory amp. If u can get a cheap 4 channel amplifier they sell an adapter to connect right to the factory amp to power your speakers. Then for the head unit all you will need is power, remote, accessory, antenna and your rca's. I have an alpine double din and bypassing the factory amp was one of the best things i ever did.

Mr Chill 04-22-2012 10:04 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
I am going to try the pac-audio adapter in place of the axxess and replace the dash speakers with infinity's and see where we land on sound quality. Im not inclined to do a full tear-out at this time but I feel like eventually that's where this is leading.

Thanks for the input, i'll report back when it's done!

Madanio24 04-23-2012 02:24 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...

Mr Chill 04-27-2012 02:02 AM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
These adapters are giving me problems. First I get massive distortion and a wavering sound level with the Axxess adapter, so I swap it out for the Pac-audio adapter and have a whole new set of problems. Now the dash speakers play super loud and the rest much quieter. There is also fuzz coming through the line, background hissing if you will. I went over the install three times and cannot see where I went wrong. These adapters don't seem that complicated... Power, accessory, ground, remote on, illumination, two channels of audio. Im not using an SWI module and my Kenwood doesn't do nav.

Grrrrrrrrrrr. Im having a hard time believing there are only two products on the market designed to let an aftermarket radio talk to this Boston amp and NEITHER OF THEM WORK.

Am I missing something? I know the electronics in the Axxess were crap - it did the job, just poorly. This pac-audio unit has me stumped. Its obviously sending signal to the factory amp, but the hissing noise and front bias? I don't get it...

Madanio24 04-27-2012 11:46 AM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
That sucks' I am not sure why your dash speakers are so loud but the dash speakers are tied to the other 2 channels so you can't manually adjust the dash speakers. That's why I went aftermarket, was tired of problems.

Mr Chill 04-27-2012 01:15 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
According to the wiring diagrams on wkjeeps the dash speakers have their own two channels on the boston six channel amp. I called tech support where I bought the adapter and infinity dash speakers and they think the infinity's are causing an impedance issue. Ok so why has no one else complained about Infinity Reference speakers doing this?

Im switching the infinity's out for the stockers to test the theory. Will report back...

Mr Chill 04-27-2012 04:55 PM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
Hooked the factory speakers back in the dash. Now the dash AND the front doors play extremely loud, the rear doors and my SUBS are barely playing at all. What the hell happened?!?

Is the headunit damaged? Factory amp gone haywire?

Here's what I know...

Im done fooling with this. Im too pissed off to go putting a multimeter on every single wire in the system. Im dropping it off at Custom Sounds in the morning. 15 years spent doing my own installs and never had something infuriate me like this Boston system.

Mr Chill 04-28-2012 09:31 AM

Re: Bypassing Boston amp with Kenwood 5ch...
Ok apparently it helps to drink beer and goof off when doing this kind of thing. After I cooled off, played with a lot of settings and managed to get a decent outcome.

Volume offset -8
Subwoofer level +11
Sensitivity on sub amp turned all the way up
HPF 100Hz
LPF 85Hz

There is still a slight hiss through the speakers. I chalk it up to adapter noise. Im gonna do some listening and see what needs work still.

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