Public Address (PA) System

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As a follow-up review to the Uniden Bearcat CB radio, I also installed a PA system during this implementation. Back in 2012 when I installed the CB in my old Jeep, I also installed a PA then; however, I just used a cheap Radio Shack PA speaker rated at 100 watts but never applied any power to it via an amplifier.  The Uniden Bearcat PA system output is only 2.5 watts @ 10% distortion (per their user’s manual).

This time around, not only did I decide to go with a much higher quality speaker, but I also hooked up some juice to the speaker via a high power amplifier.  The speaker I went with this time was an Abrams Dynamite Series 100 watt ultra low profile PA speaker.  This sucker is built like a tank, extremely durable, and probably weighs around 5-10 pounds!  In order to use this speaker to its potential, simply connecting the PA output from the Bearcat directly to the speaker would not be enough volume to really use the system.  So, in comes the SSL Evolution 1500w monoblock amplifier 🙂

Why 1500 watts you might ask?

The Abrams speaker, if you notice the fine details around its specifications, has an incredibly high ohm rating @ 11 Ohms!!  So, when you factor that in, it takes much much more than matching wattage and going with a small 100-200w amp.  I went with the monoblock because I obviously only need 1 channel, no real point in going with a two or four channel amp, as the rest of those channels would simply never be used.

This particular SSL Evolution series is rated at 563w @ 4ohm stable, which means when you crank up the ohms to match what the speaker is rated at, you are going to be somewhere around 200 watts maximum output.  This is more than enough to power this speaker, and could frankly blow it if you cranked the amp all the way up.  Luckily, this amp not only supports full-range (which you want for a PA speaker, no point in applying a crossover since you aren’t pushing lows through this), but also has an output level adjustment.  Currently, I have mine set around 1/3 of the way up, and that is more than enough volume with the CB’s volume control knob cranked all the way up.

The only downside to the SSL EVO amp is it is quite large.  I found the best place to  mount this to be under the passenger seat.  It isn’t rated for marine use, so if it ever got extremely wet, I would expect it to fail; however, that’s why I just went with a cheap amp (only $66 at the time I purchased).  No point in bringing in a Rockford Fosgate Punch, Kicker or another name brand just to power a CB’s PA speaker lol.

As far as the installation, I chose to mount the Abrams speaker right behind the factory grill.  There is a perfect mount point via the metal bar that runs parallel to the factory bumper.  Drill two small holes here after centering the speaker, use two self-tapping metal screws with some Loctite, and you’re good to go!  Super solid mounting location.

*Also, a question I had when researching this speaker was, what to do with the two wires coming out of the speaker?  The typical thought process here would be one is positive and one is negative, just like your typical speaker would have.  However, when reaching out to their support department and reviewing the Q&A on Amazon, it would appear, due to the nature of the type of speaker, these really aren’t +/-; so you can attach them in either orientation and have it work just fine.  I chose to attach the black wire coming from the speaker to the negative terminal on the amp, and the white wire I used for the positive terminal.  Although I didn’t try the opposite configuration, I have been told it should work in either orientation.  Mine works flawlessly with white (+) and black (-).


…If you’re going to do it, do it right…

Abrams Dynamite PA Speaker SSL Evolution 1500w Monoblock Amp

2 thoughts on “Public Address (PA) System

  1. Dan Empen

    Hello Matt, I purchased the exact components you did for this for my 2000 Jeep, but am a little confused on how to wire it up to my Cobra CB radio PA output to the amplifier Can you share with me the wiring configuration you did for this? DId you wire CB PA output to just one of the High Level speaker inputs? What configuration did you leave all the other switches/knobs at? Did you use the Subwoofer remote control? What do you do with the Remote connection on the main power block?, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hey Dan, sorry for the delay, just now seeing this post. So basically, the wiring was the 3.5mm” jack in the back of the PA to the amp input. This was a 3.5mm cable to a pair of RCA’s (your typical R and L channel). I ran this to the input on the amplifier. From there, the amp is connected to the PA speaker just like a regular speaker would connect (R and L channel) going to the amplifier outputs. Didn’t mess with anything subwoofer related, and had to fine tune all the knobs and adjustments. If you have a crossover on the amp, you’ll have to adjust that way up since you actually DO want highs to pass out the amp lol (disabled completely if the amp supports it). The remote control connection is simply what fires up the amp, so you would connect that to a fuse just as if you were wiring up a sound system.. You can find a fuse that powers up with the ignition, there are a few options (not sure exactly which one I connected to). Hope this helps out some.

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