Rolex, that lead is hot all the time. When I had my hands free kit for my cellphone installed, I had it wired up there, and it was always on. I can see your point about the stereo installer and a capacitor (yea, that's what I meant). If the HO alternator can keep the battery charged and power all the extras, go for it. Now I just remembered something - don't Optima batteries have to be taken out of the car and bench charged at least once a year to maintain their life expectancy? If so, how long was yours sitting before you bought it?
From what I read about them before buying, they can sit in a vehicle or on a shelf for up to a year without boost charging. They will absorb almost 100% of the charge from the alternator and are very slow to give up their charge. I did not find anything on the website that indicated they needed to be removed and specifically charged outside the vehicle.
There's no way to know how long this battery sat in the store, but it's entirely posible that it could have been low on charge and the Escalades "toys" drew enough current to zap it out. Couple that with the very low (300-400) rpm rough idling I had going, and it may not have been getting enough juice to maintain a charge capable of turning over the engine. The volt meter would regularly fall to 11-12 during all the rough idling. At any rate, whatever the problem was has not re-occured. After the thorough cleaning of the intake, PCV system, injectors, and a carbon clean it's idling smoothly
at 600 rpm...and the volt meter reads 14 at idle.
For now I'm taking the sit back and see what happens / if it ain't broken don't fix it approach.
ETA: the power light on the amplifier will not come on until the ignition is switched on.