Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

Aftermarket 1000 watt amp model Y

I wanted to wait some time before posting to get a good timeline but I have tested and am sure no error messages so far.
I am a local installer and have done car audio for well over a decade, dating back to the old circuit city days. After well over a hundred hours of research I decided to go ahead and put a system after NVX posted a video about their setup. Coming from a high power background I didn’t think 500rms would work so I wanted to push a bit more power and one of the NVX guys thought their VAD1000.1 would work but only advised 500watts.
Being hard headed I went ahead and did 2L7T shallows (at 500rms a piece) to the VAD1000.1 and I’m happy to report no errors and the sound is amazing!!
The box is a custom build. I used an audio control LC2I for processing(still playing with the tuning) I have a trim just for looks but used grills so I can put the factory piece back on. Important note I ran 4guage power to the battery under the hood and not the penthouse. Hope others can benefit from the info.
 

Attachments

  • 98BA3B9A-F6C5-40A2-9E23-3E2A61B08C1D.jpeg
    98BA3B9A-F6C5-40A2-9E23-3E2A61B08C1D.jpeg
    726 KB · Views: 281
  • E3F0112E-4D90-42C8-B357-72860F1C8C0E.jpeg
    E3F0112E-4D90-42C8-B357-72860F1C8C0E.jpeg
    753.1 KB · Views: 171
  • 59CF37C9-CCAD-41A2-92F2-680DD23C2534.jpeg
    59CF37C9-CCAD-41A2-92F2-680DD23C2534.jpeg
    711.1 KB · Views: 178
  • FD4E6470-F680-4A4C-AD94-A2DE038D93AD.jpeg
    FD4E6470-F680-4A4C-AD94-A2DE038D93AD.jpeg
    633.9 KB · Views: 195
  • DE590480-DC36-4649-B0CD-83E79999A8D1.jpeg
    DE590480-DC36-4649-B0CD-83E79999A8D1.jpeg
    557.2 KB · Views: 174
  • E47046A1-9BCE-454C-8F6F-509114805649.jpeg
    E47046A1-9BCE-454C-8F6F-509114805649.jpeg
    595.3 KB · Views: 168
I wanted to wait some time before posting to get a good timeline but I have tested and am sure no error messages so far.
I am a local installer and have done car audio for well over a decade, dating back to the old circuit city days. After well over a hundred hours of research I decided to go ahead and put a system after NVX posted a video about their setup. Coming from a high power background I didn’t think 500rms would work so I wanted to push a bit more power and one of the NVX guys thought their VAD1000.1 would work but only advised 500watts.
Being hard headed I went ahead and did 2L7T shallows (at 500rms a piece) to the VAD1000.1 and I’m happy to report no errors and the sound is amazing!!
The box is a custom build. I used an audio control LC2I for processing(still playing with the tuning) I have a trim just for looks but used grills so I can put the factory piece back on. Important note I ran 4guage power to the battery under the hood and not the penthouse. Hope others can benefit from the info.
Badass setup. If it wasn't JL I would have done the solo barracks. my second favorite subs!
 
Badass setup. If it wasn't JL I would have done the solo barracks. my second favorite subs!
After seeing your JL setup I started to go that route but I’ve been a kicker fanatic since circuit city back when I had a solo X 12”, so I figured I’d try it out. It definitely doesn’t disappoint. My only wish is I could have a ported box but sounds great if I could get it tuned the way I want.
 
After seeing your JL setup I started to go that route but I’ve been a kicker fanatic since circuit city back when I had a solo X 12”, so I figured I’d try it out. It definitely doesn’t disappoint. My only wish is I could have a ported box but sounds great if I could get it tuned the way I want.
Upgrade to JL Amp, I wanted to try out the new German Helix stuff. If I had a chance to do it again, I would done JL Amp.
 
Upgrade to JL Amp, I wanted to try out the new German Helix stuff. If I had a chance to do it again, I would done JL Amp.
Why so? I mean the JL amp. I needed more power but was afraid of the electrical system. I actually have a 500/1 but I needed a 1 ohm setup. The other amps I have are wayyyyyy too big (ZX1500.1, Brutus 3400, skar RP2000) however I do want to know the max Tesla can handle without issue.
 

Attachments

  • 20876953-E32E-4288-B541-8F44BE63F16B.jpeg
    20876953-E32E-4288-B541-8F44BE63F16B.jpeg
    610 KB · Views: 176
  • Like
Reactions: SWIPE
Looks great. Please keep us updated if you have any battery issues as you continue to use.

Agreed on the ported vs sealed box, that is my only wish too. Love the dual NVX setup and can’t beat the form factor but miss the strong deep notes. More power could help haha.

Curious why you grabbed power from the 12V battery vs penthouse. A very debated topic.
 
Looks great. Please keep us updated if you have any battery issues as you continue to use.

Agreed on the ported vs sealed box, that is my only wish too. Love the dual NVX setup and can’t beat the form factor but miss the strong deep notes. More power could help haha.

Curious why you grabbed power from the 12V battery vs penthouse. A very debated topic.
Trust me when I say it gets strong off of 1000rms. But I truly miss ported like you wouldn’t believe.
I was waiting on someone to ask. I found a great deal on the amp off of eBay. The initial amp when I ran 2ga at the penthouse gave a bad smell and went right into protect. I immediately started guessing if something went wrong with the power or if it was a bad idea so I got the replacement amp and ran to the 12V just to be sure. It could have been a bad amp or could have been something with the penthouse but my concluding thought was it would be much easier to explain to Tesla about tapping to the 12V battery VS the penthouse.
 
Gotcha, warranty concerns, fair point.

First time I tapped the penthouse it was scary given the location of the bolt and it was arcing while live. Second time I did a full shutdown of the car, unhooked the 12V battery and disabled high voltage connector. Much safer way to do it, didn’t pucker up as much haha.

Could see a future failure of DC converter being blamed on amp tapped into penthouse, thus the interest in your build. So far this 500w amp has been flawless for many months. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Redman122905
Gotcha, warranty concerns, fair point.

First time I tapped the penthouse it was scary given the location of the bolt and it was arcing while live. Second time I did a full shutdown of the car, unhooked the 12V battery and disabled high voltage connector. Much safer way to do it, didn’t pucker up as much haha.

Could see a future failure of DC converter being blamed on amp tapped into penthouse, thus the interest in your build. So far this 500w amp has been flawless for many months. Thanks!
I really wanted to do a full shutdown but thinking back to every electronic Manuel I’ve ever read that said “before you start disconnect the negative battery terminal” and I never have… so basically I just winged it lol.
As far as the 500W you can’t honestly tell me you don’t wish you had more power. That was my whole mindset in doing this experiment. And the money invested was a “all or nothing” experiment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SWIPE and C-Bus Y
I really wanted to do a full shutdown but thinking back to every electronic Manuel I’ve ever read that said “before you start disconnect the negative battery terminal” and I never have… so basically I just winged it lol.
As far as the 500W you can’t honestly tell me you don’t wish you had more power. That was my whole mindset in doing this experiment. And the money invested was a “all or nothing” experiment.
Gotcha, warranty concerns, fair point.

First time I tapped the penthouse it was scary given the location of the bolt and it was arcing while live. Second time I did a full shutdown of the car, unhooked the 12V battery and disabled high voltage connector. Much safer way to do it, didn’t pucker up as much haha.

Could see a future failure of DC converter being blamed on amp tapped into penthouse, thus the interest in your build. So far this 500w amp has been flawless for many months. Thanks!

You really should disconnect the power fully- you are going to be the guy we find dead next to his Tesla. The connector under the seat can provide 200 amps at 12V. That's 2400W of power and it will kill you hard. Accidentally drop a wrench on there and you get free arc welding.

It's really easy to do this right:
1) Leave open the hood and doors
2) Power off car from service screen. Wait for clunk of high voltage connectors releasing. 5 minutes.
3) Disconnect the ground wire from the front 12V battery.
4) Disconnect the connector right next to penthouse bolt. It's a bail connector, open bail, pull up.


I've been studying this fairly hard for months now, and the reason the car throws codes is if it detects too much inrush current when powered up. So if your amp has giant capacitors for example, that initial power on can make the car think there is a short on the penthouse connector and it throws a breaker, and then the codes to report.

As long as you don't have heavy inrush at power up, the DC-DC converter doesn't really care about the draw. So for example if you can set your amp to power up only on input signal, that will be later than that first split second power up.

Any draw over 200A is going to throw the breaker as well, so that's the upper limit of what you'd ever want here. I'd recommend not going that high regardless, because the 12V system is used for other stuff in the car like the main computer and your driving lights. I personally am going to only set up a 1kw audio system, but if you want to push it it some, you could go as high as 180A or about 2000W. If you go that high it probably makes sense to set up with a stiffening capacitor and a relay to avoid the inrush problem. (Sorry missed earlier question- I don't know of best cap to use there.)

There is a thread from a guy using the penthouse connector to power a 12V-120VAC inverter, and running his house off the 2000W inverter. So we know that all works OK, even if Tesla will give you the side-eye. For stereo use, it won't be a constant 2000W draw, so it's quite a lot less than this inverter case.


For my setup, I'm going to use 2 Class D amps with max 90A draw that can powerup on signal, so I don't currently think I'll need to use the bypass relay. Of course if I ever get codes, I'll add it. BTW, if you ever get the codes, you need to reboot the car by pulling that DC-DC converter plug under the seat.

For what it's worth, I tried to read everything on the net about the penthouse vs. 12V front battery for powering the stereo, and my conclusion is that the penthouse is the best spot. The front 12V battery is more complicated than a normal car, because the Tesla is trying to detect early failures of that battery. When it goes bad it disables your entire car. Their monitoring system doesn't work well if you add extra draws to the 12V battery, and makes the car think it's losing power. Also, we know the 12V battery is a weak spot in their design, and I want to avoid putting any additional load on it.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SWIPE and C-Bus Y
This is partly true. Error codes are thrown by the current draw, especially at start up, true. 12volt battery failure and unrelated error codes are all about deep sleep and what you used as a turn on lead. If you used signal sensing as a turn on lead, the car will never fully sleep, draining the battery, and setting off sensor codes. Perhaps not right away, but will eventually. The key is to use a hard wired turn on lead that you've tested to ENSURE it shuts down completely when you exit the car. Most errors and battery drain are because people skipped this critical step
 
I used signal sense from the factory subwoofer wires as the turn on lead AND power the LOC from the power wire going to the factory amp. My LOC sends remote turn on to the AMP. Both sources should be disabled while in deep sleep and aftermarket amp does not turn on, although deep sleep can take several minutes from exiting vehicle.

Part of me wants to wire the LOC ground wire to a manual switch by the driver seat to physically turn everything off while not in use. Too bad bass knobs don’t have an “off” feature to completely turn off an amp.
 
I used signal sense from the factory subwoofer wires as the turn on lead AND power the LOC from the power wire going to the factory amp. My LOC sends remote turn on to the AMP. Both sources should be disabled while in deep sleep and aftermarket amp does not turn on, although deep sleep can take several minutes from exiting vehicle.

Part of me wants to wire the LOC ground wire to a manual switch by the driver seat to physically turn everything off while not in use. Too bad bass knobs don’t have an “off” feature to completely turn off an amp.
I contemplated the same. But after realizing I want loosing much range and no crazy power issues I think I’m good with it. Would love to have a bass knob with it included, that maybe a feature added in future amps who knows. We used to do that back in the day to bypass the video screen in older monitors that we didn’t want to wire up relays for.
 
Here's a thread that talks about Tesla pushing back on doing a 12V battery replacement under warranty with them claiming that the battery was damaged more quickly because of an aftermarket stereo.

Tesla blaming aftermarket audio for charging faults and 12v failure

That's them being a little too picky, but it's a good example of why I think the penthouse connector is clearly the preferred choice.

For what's it's worth, I put together a blog post detailing some of the concerns regarding powering a stereo in a blog post. It has some links to the stuff I researched.

Aftermarket stereo - draft
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bradford_G
Here's a thread that talks about Tesla pushing back on doing a 12V battery replacement under warranty with them claiming that the battery was damaged more quickly because of an aftermarket stereo.

Tesla blaming aftermarket audio for charging faults and 12v failure

That's them being a little too picky, but it's a good example of why I think the penthouse connector is clearly the preferred choice.

For what's it's worth, I put together a blog post detailing some of the concerns regarding powering a stereo in a blog post. It has some links to the stuff I researched.

Aftermarket stereo - draft
Thanks! I saw the post about the service center blaming the aftermarket system. That’s to get the battery changed under warranty. I’d prefer to upgrade the battery I have if not add another to it. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a factory battery replaced under warranty anyway. I’ve always ran optima yellow tops in most of my other vehicles. But yea I ran mines with a service loop near the penthouse in case I wanted to change it so time will tell.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top