Unfortunately with things like car stereos, it’s always more important to get the damn things in and enjoy them then to make sure it’s 100% perfect.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go back and make sure that everything is done properly.
To this end, I wanted to show you some good tips in making sure that everything is well set up to ensure you get the best sound quality.
Below is a photo of one of the crossovers in the front. The crossover links the door speaker and the tweeter in the dash.
You’ll notice a few things that I’ve done that just make everything better.
Firstly, all wires are labelled. When you have to move wires around, or replace components, it’s important to be able to identify which wire is which. Believe me, adding a little bit of electrical tape to a wire could mean saving hours later on.
Secondly, the crossover itself is clearly marked. Not only is this good practice, but it means that if anyone else ever has to work on my stereo they know exactly what everything is and what is does.
Next, you’ll see that I’ve put “spade” connectors on each of the wires. This means that the connection is perfect. The metal connector (shaped like a U) fits in flush with the screw in clamp and makes sure the connection is solid.
To put the spades on, I first made sure the wires were clean and tidy and then pushed them into the spade terminal. I then crimped it to hold the wire in place (I just used a pair of pliers), and then I soldered the top of the wire so that the connection is complete.
To further reduce the chance of the connection coming loose, I have put heat shrink over the top of the spade connector and wire so that it all holds nicely together. You can probably see where I went a little too close with the lighter
So, all this may seem like overkill, and it is. However, I know that it’s properly set up, I won’t have to do it again and I won’t have any problems from the connection.
I highly recommend that you do this. Your Saab was made with quality workmanship, so you should do the same with any modifications.
Edit: Rather than make a new post, I thought I’d just add to this one since it seemed to fit.
Below is a couple of pictures of how I actually join wires. It may help if you haven’t done this sort of thing before, but you don’t have to be a master to be able to do things well.
I always talk about the twist/solder/heatshrink method of joining wires. This is one of the best ways to do this.
Basically, get the wires you want to join and strip the ends. Leave about 1 – 1.5 cm of wire exposed on either side of the join. Then twist the two lots of bare wires together so that they are entwined as much as possible. Also, you’ll notice in this photo that it’s necessary to put the heatshrink over the wires BEFORE you join them. Just slip them over the end and they’ll sit there until you’re finished soldering. You can cut them to the required length beforehand to make it easier.
The next step is to put solder around the join to help hold it together. This will make the join stronger, but the conductive element of the solder will also make sure that the current still flows through fine. Less is more, but you need enough to make sure it holds. Huge gobs of solder won’t help, but just put enough to bond them.
The final step is to move the heatshrink into place and gently heat. Firstly, make sure the solder has cooled before doing this, otherwise the heatshrink will catch on it and shrink immediately. You can use a variety of things to make it shrink. The easiest is probably a cigarette lighter, just wave the flame over the heatshrink, turning the wire as you go so it shrinks evenly. You can also use a blowtorch, heat gun or hairdryer.
This is one of the best methods to make sure your joins are solid and allow the current to pass through well. If every wire in your set up is like this, you’ll find the whole system will actually sound better as there are no loose connections slowing down the current.