How to Install a Car Equalizer
- Screwdrivers (Flat, Phillips) and Screws
- Wire Stripper
- Amp Kit (RCA cables, Power/Ground Wires, Terminals, Remote Lead)
- Wire Crimper
- Electrical Tape
You may need one or more of the following: Drill, Socket Wrench set, Soldering Iron, Wire ties
Some equalizers are designed to be mounted in the dash, above or below your head unit. Remote mount equalizers can be mounted in the trunk or anywhere else between the head unit and the amp. The key is to put your equalizer in a location where you can easily access it for making sound adjustments.
Install a remote-mount EQ using screws and a screwdriver. You may want to create a platform for the EQ if you anticipate your vehicle's rattling will skew the EQ performance. Sometimes mounting an EQ directly on a vehicle's steel surface can cause distortions to due the vibrations from uneven roads.
Installing an in-dash EQ in the dash requires some custom modifications. Mount the EQ below or above the head unit for a secure and easily accesible position. Or you can attach a special mounting kit below the dash and house the EQ right below the dash. Where you mount the EQ depends on how much available space is in your dash and how much modification you are comfortable performing on your vehicle.
EQ Wiring Configuration
You need to connect the EQ to the fuse panel to generate 12-volt power. Strip one end of 16 gauge wire and connect it to the EQ’s power input. Run the wire to the fuse panel and connect the wire with a fuse tap to the 12-volt power source. For the ground connection, you must undo a bolt or a screw that is near the EQ (or drill a hole to add one). Use the crimping tool to crimp a ring terminal to the end of your wire, and then fasten the bolt/screw back into the hole.
To generate the turn-on signal, remove the head unit from the dash and pick out the turn-on wire (typically a blue wire). Strip a small piece at the end of the turn-on wire. Now take an additional wire that will stretch from the head unit to the EQ, and strip off a piece from the end of it. Connect the two wires with a crimp tool or a solder. Use electrical tape to fasten the connection and to prevent an electrical short. Run the turn-on lead from your dash to the EQ and fasten the wires with wire ties. But before you put the head unit back in, you need to setup the signal connection. To do so, connect a set of RCA cables to the head unit’s preamp outputs. Tape the RCA cables together to prevent them from separating. Run the RCA cables through the dash to the equalizer and connect them to the EQ inputs.
Use additional RCA cables to connect the EQ to the amplifier (one set of RCA cables per amp). Connect the RCA cables to the amp’s outputs and run them back through to the EQ’s inputs. Do not run the cords alongside the amp’s power cables, doing so could lead to undesirable sound distortion.
Turn on the EQ and make sure all of the functions work properly. If everything works, put the head unit back into place, and you're ready to rock.
About the Author
Written by Gary Brikowski. Check out Sound Processors for more information