Some vital info about your Mach 460/1000

Discussion in 'Mustang Sound & Shine All' started by MustangJunkie, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. I spent the last two weekends replacing the stereo system in my Mustang (most of that time was spent making the custom mounts for the tweeters and the DDX7015 head unit). I'm an acoustician/physicist/electrical engineer by trade and a serious audiophile and let me tell you, the Mach 460 isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Some things I learned:

    The door and rear "super sound" speakers (not the tweeters) are rated at 6 ohms. That's been stated before on this board so it should come as no surprise. What killed me was how these drivers were wired. There are two amps that drive these four speakers, each amp driving two speakers in parallel. The parallel wiring drops the impedance seen by the amp to 3 ohms which is why you can't just pop 4-ohm aftermarket drivers in their places since this would make the impedance 2 ohms which is a significant increase in power required of the amp.

    Ok, "what's the big deal?" you ask. When I skimmed the circuit schematics I just assumed that each side was wired in parallel, i.e. the left door speaker and left rear speaker are connected to one amp and the right door speaker and right rear speaker connected to the other amp. Nope. While I was trying to figure out a way to use the factory wiring for my new system I saw that the front speakers are wired together and the rear speakers are wired together--you are not getting stereo from the bigger drivers! I don't know how it's wired in the head unit but I'm assuming the two amps are driving the same signal, i.e. mono signal. Unbelievable! :nonono: Don't believe me? Just look at the schematics that you can download from

    I recall seeing somewhere that the crossover frequency for the "tweeter" and "woofer" is around 300 Hz. It's low enough so that they can ALMOST get away with wiring the speakers like that (sound is ALMOST omni-directional at that frequency). However, for those of you who replaced only the drivers in the door sails beware. Aftermarket tweeters normally require high pass filtering above around 2.5 - 3.5 kHz (as my Infinity's do) so you would be putting incredible stress on your tweeters by driving them with the stock head unit which would be sending signals down to 300 Hz which is too low for a real tweeter to handle. Besides, the balance between the midrange/woofer and tweeter would not be right (you may be getting too little or too much highs).

    Needless to say, the sound of my new system is at least 1000x better than the stock system and I didn't even put in outboard amps! It's hard to believe that Ford and other car manufacturers would install such crap stereos in their cars (I just saw the pics of the 2005 Mustang Shaker speakers in another thread). It would be so much easier for them to simply OEM some regular head units (with built-in amps) and some decent speakers and install those rather than come up with some convoluted setup like the Mach system. It truly is convoluted! :notnice:
  2. Thanks for the detailed info!
  3. I am like audio illiterate so most of that stuff you wrote makes no sense to me. Sounds like you are pretty knowledgable in this area.

    All I know is the mach460 sounds alot better than my old stereo in the 93 Cavalier :D
  4. I'm need to put a new head unit in this weekend, let me know how easy it was for you, what harness did you use. thanks
  5. I like the mach 460, works great for me.
  6. Very interesting information, from what I understood anyway :p. I've done work with combination circuits before, can you go into a little more depth on the parts being in parallel?
  7. Very good info...The mach 460 does the job fo rthe average person but if your into audio its best to just got the whole system and do it right.
  8. car hear the radio exhaust too loud :D
  9. don't remember how the mach 460 sounded, i took that junk out as soon as i took delivery. I do remember how great the salesmen said it was...haha.
    put in an alpine head unit, boston acoustic 6.5 components and jl amp and sub. sounds great for a vert....that is when i'm not listening to my exhaust.
  10. TenaciousD, since I was replacing the entire system I couldn't use any harness. I just snipped off the proprietary connectors in the dash and snap-connected the wires to the head unit's harness. These connectors work really nicely:

    There is a harness that allows one to replace just the head unit and that's the Metra 70-5519. Again, that's if you're keeping the amps and speakers. Oh, and my installation was tough only because I went with a head unit that you have to custom-fit into the dash (since it was double DIN I couldn't use any of the installation kits). Taking apart a Mustang's interior is relatively easy when you compare it to other cars. Just be delicate when pulling things off and putting things back on.

    ACSPONY, wiring in parallel would mean something like connecting two speakers to the same speaker output terminal at the back of your home theater amplifier. Both speakers will receive the same signal except now the amp has to work twice as hard to power them. If the amp isn't super beefy or the speakers are low impedance then the amp will overheat and shut down.

    02GTKB, I hear ya on that one. Actually, one of the reasons I decided to replace the Mach system was so that I can play music loud and with little distortion over the wind noise when the vert top is down. But now that you mention the exhaust I need a sound system that can play loud enough so I can hear some tunes over my phat MAC exhaust. :)
  11. :stupid:
  12. Hmmmm, so, understanding very little :(, what would I need to do to install, say, a pair of rockford components with crossovers and tweeters? Would this not work with the stock 460 amp/head configuration?
  13. FalconGuy,

    Yeah, you can't just change out the speakers. That's a huge no-no. The Mach 460 has its own crossover built into the head unit that divides the frequency spectrum to suit the speakers already in the system. After connecting my new speakers (before putting in the crossovers and head unit) out of curiosity I turned on the Mach head unit to see what it would sound like. It sounded REALLY bad. :notnice:

    I see you're in Northern VA too. Where are you located exactly?
  14. I live in springfield :D

    I have an Alpine 9807 (I think? Its been a year) head unit also, and an adaptor for it for the mustang. But I feel wary about getting rid of the stock system :(. However, if I were to put that in, would I then be free to put in what speakers I want? I also understand there will problem be an amp problem...

    I also have a 450 watt lighting audio amp I got for $50 new, and a nice amp wiring kit. But this car seems to be too complicated, so I never got around to doing anything on the audio :(

  15. Me too but I understand what you are saying. Thanks for posting this infor and I hope that if/when I do change my system that you can give me some more information.
  16. im glad i never had the mach system in my car lol. i was thinking why dont you leave the mach in and use those amps to power just the front speaker like 1 amp per speaker and run aftermarket speakers so then it will run at 4ohms. then get a 2ch amp and run it to the back speakers and then a mono amp for your 2 big 12's thats a good setup if you want to keep the mach in. i think this would work if not someone say dont do it. if not take all that crap out add a 4ch amp and 4 new speaker and a new deck and some subs. youll be so muched pleased i love my setup and its still not enough :(
  17. So are you saying that the mach speakers cannot be blown because the amp puts out 3 ohms and the speakers are 4 ohms? Correct me if im wrong, just trying to to understand so i dont blow em.
  18. Diesel, you can blow any speaker if you drive it too hard. The problem occurs when you're driving aftermarket speakers with the factory amps. The factory woofers are 6 ohms and aftermarket drivers are normally 4 ohms. Less ohmage means more current must be supplied by the amp. In the case of the Mach 460, the amps aren't capable of driving 4 ohm speakers the way the system is configured.

    FalconGuy, I don't advise using the factory amps and speakers when installing a new head unit. It's just too damn complicated that way since it's not just about using the right harness as you can see in the following link:

    It's really not too bad installing a new system. You can very easily use the factory wiring if you don't intend to use outboard amps. Each "tweeter" is fed a signal directly from the factory head unit. I just used these existing wires to send the full audio signal from each channel of the new head unit to each door and rear channel crossover which would in turn feed a tweeter and woofer. The crossover boxes were mounted in the doors behind the 5x7 drivers and in the back under the speaker enclosures (I have a convertible).'re done.

    Btw, I'm in McLean. :cheers:
  19. Nice :D Mclean, I know a few people from there from doing crew (the sport lol).

    *Sigh* Im going to have to take a serious look at all my audio stuff now

    Are you in NVMC?