Questions Re Replacing Head Unit & Speakers


Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
Woodbridge, VA
Hey guys,

I have a 1990 LX with premium sound. I just bought a new head unit and speakers and tried to "plug and play" with the wiring setup that went with the PO's aftermarket head unit, which crapped out a while back, but the sound is terrible. I read it's a good idea to bypass the amp and wire straight to speakers to prevent that, so here are my questions:

1) The amp in my car is a Kenwood, so I assume that's not factory. I think one of the POs had it set up with a subwoofer and all, but I'm just looking to do a basic head unit/speaker replacement. Should I still bypass the amp and wire straight to the speakers? The Kenwood amp doesn't appear to have the same wiring setup as the original, but the system doesn't work when I unplug the amp, so I assume the PO hadn't wired straight to speakers. It still had the original speakers, so I guess his wiring through the amp still made sense..

2) I tested out the head unit-straight-to-speaker concept by just hooking up the red, back, and yellow wires and one single speaker (I cut the rest of the speaker wires off--plan to reconnect with solder). Thing is, the new speaker I wired straight to the head unit STILL sounded like crap. Is that an indication that I ended up with a bad head unit or speaker?

3) If I should still wire straight to speakers, what's the best way to get the new wires to the door and rear speakers? I know there's a boot that encases all the wiring to the door and whatnot, and I assume I'll need to disassemble the door panel somewhat to route the new wires, but are there any tricks to make it easier? Also, I have no idea how to route the new wiring all the way to the back speakers. Any help is appreciated.

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