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Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Help and Advice on Volvo's extremely popular car line, powered by Volvo's nearly indestructible, versatile inline 5-cylinder engine.
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Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby BEJinFbk » 06 Jun 2010, 07:57

I've seen a lot of requests for information on the Volvo OEM amplifiers and how to interface with them.
I've got a '98 V70 R that also includes the Dolby ProLogic Surround, so that's what I'm basing this on.
The thing to remember here is that the amp is just an option in an assembly line process.
It costs Volvo time and money at the factory to add an amp option, so they Keep It Simple Sound.

Every car comes prewired for at least a deck and 4, and in the Gen 1 870's case, that's really 8 speakers.
By using 8 ohm speakers with two for each corner, they can just wire the 8 ohm voice coils in parallel.
Ohm's law tells us that the stereo will see a 4 ohm load at each corner using this method.
With the basic HU's, like say an SC-816, the 4 x whatever amp in the deck just drives the speakers directly.
V70 Radio with Internal HU Amp.jpg


But people wanna Rock da Volvo, so pretty much every HU they've made in the last 15 years or so has an
AMP connector. It's a circular, 6 pin DIN connector that provides a preamp level signal for all 4 corners,
a signal ground for them and a 12 volt remote turn-on signal whenever the HU is turned on. Pretty basic stuff.
SC-901 AMP Connector.jpg

03-RCA-Diagram.jpg
(I downloaded this pic somewhere... Thanks to Whoever! :wink: )

In fact, since almost all this stuff is made by Alpine for Volvo, they stick to the same levels found in car audio
everywhere. The thing that throws most people is that they use a single 6 pin DIN, where aftermarket car audio
would normally use 4 separate RCA connections and a stand alone remote turn-on lead. (Ya know, the blue wire ).
When Volvo adds the amp, they’ve come up with a nifty cable assembly that has the DIN from HU to amp,
the speaker return leads from the amp back up to the HU location and then amp power all in one tidy package.
So adding an amp or making any changes or upgrades is Plug and Play!
X70 Radio with external amp.jpg


Fortunately, all it takes is a simple adapter to connect the DIN to RCA and it’s very easy to build or buy.
You can get them as New HU to OEM amp, OEM HU to new amp and “Add a Sub” to an OEM HU/amp.
( Search eBay for "Volvo Amp" if you don't care to solder up your own ).


There are two common amps, a 4 x 40w that mounts on the tunnel behind the HU :
X70 4 x 40 amp sm.jpg

And a 4 x 50w that gets installed under the passenger seat:
X70 4 x 50 amp and cable.jpg


If you’ve got an SC-900 or the newer SC-901, you’ll have the 4 x 50 (I’m NOT going into C70’s here…)
And you may also be lucky enough to have the Dolby ProLogic Surround option with a center channel.
Dolby Module Location.jpg


This covers only a limited segment of the available audio configurations that the 870’s may have.
Keep your eyes open for the big amps in C70’s, changer interfaces for iPods / aux inputs and the
Excellent optional Dynaudio speakers that were delivered with a very small number of these cars.

I hope it helps with whatever project you may be undertaking and helps you Drive Happy! ;)

PS - PLEASE, think of the next guy and Always Use a Wiring Harness Adapter ! :wink:
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby stone36 » 27 Jul 2010, 04:42

Awesome summary!!

So I am "rockin" the SC-816 and I think I am going to add an external amp, not because I think every Volvo wagon should by default rock the suburbs, but I have a few parts lying around so why not enjoy them.

I think [url=http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Volvo-Stereo-Radio-Factory-HU-Aftermarket-Amp-Cable-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem2eab9487ceQQitemZ200447133646QQptZCarQ5fAudioQ5fVideo]this is the type of amp cable[/url ]you were talking about on ebay. Has anyone used one of these???

I have an amp and sub but they will take a decent amount of space. What I would like to do is use the sub pictured below that I took out of a junked 2000 S40 wagon.
volvo sub.JPG


I need some help if anyone knows what the wires are for. I have a hunch that the one side (red, black, yellow/red) is power source, perhaps 12V, ground, remote on(?) respectively. And the other side (green/black, yellow /black, yellow, green/white) is the line in. Seems like a logical layout, but as pointed out above, the DIN is 6 pin and this has 7 wires.

If I can I would like to use the ebay cable and connect it to this amp/sub. I have no expectations of vibrating the trunk, but it can't sound worse and I will still have the other amp/sub that I can use with the ebay cable.


Can anyone confirm what these S40 wires line up with?


FYI when I soldered my one DIN I as soon as I turned on the SC-816 It popped and was done. Had to go to the junk yard and buy two more. So I'll be buying the next one from ebay...
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby BEJinFbk » 27 Jul 2010, 04:56

Fortunately, this site hosts a wealth of information,
including complete wiring manuals! Here ya go:

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/volvo-wiring-diagrams/
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby stone36 » 27 Jul 2010, 05:31

Sweet, thanks. So I don't know a ton about wiring diagrams but I was able to figure out I was mostly right and get a specific on the L/R breakdown.

A couple questions:

First, the Red/Yellow goes to ACC CONN, do I need to connect this to something or will the 12V off the stereo suffice? If I have to can I just splice that off anything else that connects to and ACC CONN?

Second, I hoped the 4 RCA's on the ebay cable would match up but was not thinking straight, the cable is Front/Back, Left/Right and the V40 sub is L/R +/-, how can I connect this to the ebay cable?

Any help is appreciated.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby vjaneczko » 27 Jul 2010, 17:02

I'm not 100% positive, but here are my thoughts:

The ACC CONN should be connected to your antenna wire. It’s also known as a ‘Remote Power On’ or as noted in the previous picture, ‘12V Remote’. It's a way to electronically turn on a device, such as the power antenna or an amp. It doesn’t supply enough amps to power the amplifier. For that, you’ll probably have to run a wire from the battery – with a fuse in-line near the battery, of course!

Does the sub/amp have RCA connectors on it? If not, then it’ll be using the speaker wires straight off the head unit, which is known as ‘speaker-level inputs’ and not the DIN/RCA connections, known as ‘preamp inputs’.

Since the enclosure appears to contain one subwoofer mounted in a box with a baffle yet you have four wires, I’ll guess that the woofer has a dual voice coil. This means that you connect the left and right channels and the woofer reproduces sound from both channels. Since low notes are omnidirectional, it’s quite common for this setup. If this is the case, connecting left-to-right wires ‘by mistake’ isn’t a big deal at all.

If you can locate the Volvo part number, do a search to see if you can find any of the spec’s to confirm my theory. I’d also check the wiring diagram of the S40 to see what kind of wiring setup they had for the amp. That may give you a good idea on how the speaker inputs were wired to the factory headunit and the rear speakers – parallel or in series.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby BEJinFbk » 27 Jul 2010, 18:14

It sounds like everyone is headed the right direction here.
Black - Ground
Red - Battery Power
Red/Yellow - Remote on power

The only thing you'll need from the DIN connector is the remote on.

The other 4 leads are speaker level inputs to the sub amp.
They aren't actually connected to the sub speaker and that woofer is probably a standard single voicecoil unit.
Those two speaker hookups are just the input of the line output converter in the amp and are dropping the speaker
level signal to a preamp level for the sub amp. It monos the left/right signals internally and feeds the resulting mono
signal to the sub amp. Connecting them in parallel is the way to go and will show no significant load to the HU amp
like a speaker would.

Left and right shouldn't be an issue here, but polarity is. I haven't pulled the diagrams on this,
but I did spy some interesting wire colors on the back side of the speaker input connector in your pic.
Your polarity answer may be there.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby stone36 » 27 Jul 2010, 22:41

Here is another image that has been wandering around the internet... All of the below info is from "Bay 13" over on Volvospeed.
radioconnectors.jpg


Here is the description of what's what:
This layout is taken from a 1995 schematic, probably an SC-815 or 816, but all the SC's I've had plug in the same so it should be somewhat universal.

Lead colors are shown by letters: SB = Black, GR = Gray, W = White, R = Red, BN = Brown, Y = Yellow, P = Pink, BL = Blue, GN = Green, OR = Orange, VO = Violet.

14 pin "A" connector:
1A = Dash Left Speaker +
2A = Dash Left Speaker -
3A = Antenna +
4A = Battery + 12V
5A = Not used
6A = Ground
7A = Dash Right Speaker +
8A = Dash Right Speaker -
9A = Not used
10A = Rheostat +
11A = Rheostat Ground
12A Battery + 12V
13A = ACC +
14A = Ground

10 pin "B" connector:
1B = Left Rear Speaker -
2B = Left Rear Speaker +
3B = Left Front Door Speaker -
4B = Left Front Door Speaker +
5B = Right Rear Speaker -
6B = Right Rear Speaker +
7B & 8B = Not used
9B = Right Front Door Speaker -
10B = Right Front Door Speaker +

The rear speaker wires supply the rear hat shelf and door speakers if installed, wire coloring is the same for the hat shelf and the rear door speakers.

For my purposes it looks like I could get by without an additional cable by splicing into the A pin 12a, 13a, 14a for my power side and on the B pin 1B, 2B, 5B, 6B, for my "line level". Would that throw my HU amp off incredibly? Or would it be better to run +/- wires off my rear pillar speakers?

Sorry I still have a lot to learn about ohm's, load, and electronics in general.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby stone36 » 28 Jul 2010, 05:10

To add to my quest...

I think I might just bag this whole OEM sub and go traditional amp/sub set up. I pulled the amp section off the V70 sub and it looks like this:
IMG_1265.JPG

IMG_1270.JPG

As a reference point the copper circular wiring has the diameter of about a quarter. Again I don't know a tone about electronics but this looks like it pumps out about 6 watts per channel...
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby thecheat » 28 Jul 2010, 15:08

You've got some sort of amp and coil (low pass crossover) there... Might be more than 10 watts... Try and google the amp ic part number, you should be able to find a data sheet.

Don't forget you also only have a 6" sub so you are limited in SPL in that respect. I have a 6" subwoofer and a 20 watt amp for my home theater setup and it is plenty for the large room it is in. This setup with 10 watts won't rock the house but you will notice it.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby stone36 » 28 Jul 2010, 15:18

Good point on the size vs. power... But I WISH I had a 6, it's only like 4.25. I guess the Swede's aren't known for their booms :)
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby thecheat » 28 Jul 2010, 15:39

I suppose the picture was deceiving in size... You could always hook it up and see what happens, worst case you will be wired up for something real.

I want to add a little something but i don't want a big speaker box in the back. I haven't taken up the carpet in the back, how much room is in the floor of the wagon? Are there any caveties to hide an amp and a speaker box in?
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby stone36 » 28 Jul 2010, 16:01

You can hied the amp super easily because you have two piece "flooring" that is made of wood, you can easily screw the amp into that and it is out of the way, under those panels is a carpeted storage liner, then under that is the spare tire, If you don't store anything in that liner, you can pull it out and probably fit something small in there. If you pull the spare out you have TONS of room, though I don't recommend that.

I am now thinking of getting something like a small bose home sub, with the built in cross over, then run the high outs to the rear pillar speakers, see what the stock sound like wired directly, and maybe look at what upgraded tweeters will fit there (I like things to look as original as possible). I replaced the front door speakers and it sounds better, really good highs, I just need a little bit of bass for loud highway driving and to balance the highs.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby precopster » 01 Feb 2011, 07:23

Excellent write-up BEJinfbk . I have an older CR-824 head unit from my 960 which was previously hooked into a under-dash amp which I suspect was faulty--output was only audible through one left dash speaker!!

Now that I have a amp bypass cable with ISO outputs I would like to put this HU back into the car while using the ISO adapter. This way I don't have to remove the amp which, quite frankly looks like too much contortion work for me.

Can anyone provide pin-outs for the radio/cassette as pictured below? Just the large connector will do as the others are provided by this post. Much appreciated.
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Re: Amplifier - How Volvo adds it

Postby ojdorson » 13 Aug 2011, 04:02

BEJinFbk wrote:
03-RCA-Diagram.jpg
(I downloaded this pic somewhere... Thanks to Whoever! :wink: )


I just made my second din-to-RCA cable using this picture. It's wrong. The 12 Remote is correct, and the front right/left are correct. The rear left work but the rear right does NOT. I'm guessing that the ground pin and rear right pin are mixed up here. It's late so I won't get a chance to resolder this until tomorrow. I'll report back.
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