January 31, 2008I have 2 Kicker CVR104's, they are rated at 600RMS and are dual 4ohms, what kind of amp should I be running? This may sound like a stupid question but go easy on me.....does mono mean it can only power 1 sub as in Kicker ZX 400.1 Class D Mono Subwoofer Amplifier???
Forums : Amplifiers : Need help, what amp (1033 Views)
January 31, 2008Mono means that the amp has only one output. It has nothing to do with how many speakers or subs it can power.
January 31, 2008Ok, so would that be a good amp, or is there anything you recommend?
February 1, 2008That amp would be fine. It won't drive those subs to their optimum performance, but it will do a great job if you use your noggin and don't overdrive the amp beyond its design limitations.
February 1, 2008Tycoz, what is powering the rest of the system power wise? Sure, you can attempt to run massive power to your subs, but you may find out that you are having to dial your sub amp down to make the subs sound right with the rest of the system.
As for amps, there's tons of ways to wire them up. Subwoofers also come in a wide variety of options too. Now, based on the amp that you are talking about and the subs you have, I see a potential issue. The amplifier is only 2 ohm stable (ie, if the output of the amp is connected to a load that is less than 2 ohm, damage can occur to the amp). With that being said, you can connect a higher resistance load to it at the cost of loosing output power of the amp. Each of your subs have two 4 ohm voice coils in them. So, if you take one sub, wire the voice coils in parallel to each other, that would put you at your 2 ohm limit (like resistances run in parallel are seen as half of one of the resistances). So, adding a second subwoofer to that circuit in parallel with the first subwoofer would result in the amp seeing a 1 ohm load. This could be bad for the amp. So, you would either end up using just the one sub (assuming it is rated to handle that kind of power) or you would need to wire the voice coils on each sub in series and then wire the two subs so they are in parallel with each other (running resistances in series with each other causes their resistances to be added together (4+4=8 and then you would be running two 8 ohm resistances in parallel to each other which would result in the amp seeing a 4 ohm load). Now, as you drop the resistance seen by the amp, it will tend to make more power. So, now the question is, do you need all that power?
If you need more wiring help, let me know. I've done "a few" stereo installs. Gotta love developing a method to get a surround sound effect without having a surround sound processor in your vehicle.
Chris "Thermo" Coleman and Nukie, the radioactive 97 X
February 1, 2008Wow Thermo, first off let me thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed guide, this explained a lot. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I think I should be looking for a amp that is 4ohms stable, because I have 2 subs, right? The handling power of the subs, how it's listed in the manual, is Peak(RMS)=600(300). I'm not looking to blast the cars next to me, just nice, crisp, clean sound inside the cab, so I most likely won't be taking them to their limits....therefore I don't need a lot of power, right?
February 2, 2008Tycos, first, I can care less what the peak power is of an amp/speaker. That is a useless number and is only published to make you think you are getting something bigger and badder than you really are. So, when you see peak numbers, IGNORE THEM!!!!! I only use the peak numbers as an indicator of how far the companies are pushing the numbers of their specs. But, that is a different story all together. Requires a lot of twigget (electronic engineer) knowledge.
Now, for the amplifier stability rating, all car stereo amps are rated to be stable for atleast a 4 ohm load. So, you don't have to worry about that. The Kicker amp that you are looking at is 2 ohm stable. The trick that you are going to be facing is figuring out a wiring plan to not allow the amp to see less than 2 ohm. Personally, I would recommend taking the subs back and getting a single voice coil sub that is rated for 200 W RMS. You can then wire those two subs up in parallel with each other and power them with this amp and make things a lot easier. I'm sure it is not the answer that you are wanting to hear. The issue that I am seeing is that you can not run a single speaker as it is not rated to handle the power of the amp (will result in damage to the sub), but wiring up both subs in such a way that you don't damage the amplifier will result in the subs not receiving enough power to perform adequately. So, it is kinda a catch 22. That is why I was asking what the rest of your system is powered with. You can possibly get away with a smaller amp and run the one sub or you will need to get a larger sub amp.
When it comes to powering subwoofers, the rule I use is the power going to the subs should be somewhere between 50-100% of the sub rating. So, in your case, you subs are rated for 300 W RMS each (150 W RMS for each coil). Since you have 2, you have the capability of up to 600 W RMS of bass. using my rule, you need an amp that is capable of outputting somewhere in the range of 300-600 W RMS at the ohm load of the subs (dependent on how you wire the subs up). In your case, the subs can be wired up in either a 4 ohm or 1 ohm load configuration. Since the Kicker amp you are looking at is not 1 ohm stable, that leaves you with the 4 ohm configuration. In the 4 ohm configuration, the amp only puts out 200 W RMS. Will the amp give you bass, of course. I'm not saying that. But, what you will experience is at low volumes the amp is not going to output enough power to move the subs, therefore you will get no bass. So, you dial up the amp to make it generate the bass. This leads to another problem now that when you dial up the volume, your subs are going to be getting power to really make them work, which will drown out the rest of your music. So, as you can see, it is a balance. That is why I ask about the rating of the rest of your system. A general rule of thumb is to take the total power going to your mid/high range speakers and run that same power to your subs. This should provide you with a nice balance at all volumes. If you like listening to rap or other music that focuses on a lot of bass, then you can bump up the sub power to 125-150% of the mid/high power.
You don't need serious power to get lots of sound. It is a matter of finding the right components. Just for example, I built a system for my son and we used a single 5 channel amp (Kenwood KAC-959, great amp). It was rated for 310 W RMS the way we had it wired up (4x40 W RMS to the mids/highs, 1x150 for the subs). He took it to school and they put it on a decible meter, he was hitting just shy of 140 dB. We were flipping quarters on the roof of the car. A friend of his had a 3000 W (not sure if it was RMS or peak, odds are peak) amp just for his subs. My son's car was almost as loud as his running significantly less power. All because things were not properly matched up on the other kids car.
Find out the power going to the rest of your system and we can get you a properly sized amp for what you listen to. That way you only have to build the system once, not be constantly upgrading this piece and then that piece. Just to give you an idea of the amp that I am looking to install into my Altima, I am tossing around 3 amps right now. I'm really wanting the Soundstream TRA880.5, Kicker ZX700.5, and the Soundstream XTA600.5, (in order of desire). I like the 5 channel amps as I can run a single set of RCAs back and then be able to adjust everything on one component (amp). They are also normally set up with the right balance of power too.
Chris "Thermo" Coleman and Nukie, the radioactive 97 X
February 2, 2008I agree with Thermo. My last system used one 4 channel amp, a Phoenix Gold titanium 475. I ran a set of MB Quart 3 way components up front with 2 channels & 2 JL Audio w3 dvc8 at 4 ohms bridging the channels. I hit 130 db with this setup using the song Flashdance that the USAC made you use in sound quality competition. I know it would hit harder with different music. It would shake the cab of my F150 excab like crazy. I have a JL Audio 500 in my F250 running my subs & a Kenwood 250 watt 2 channel running the 4 door speakers. I plan to add the PG 475 & MB quarts for the front speakers & use the kenwood for the rears.
February 2, 2008Thanks a lot guys, I'm really getting a lesson here, I really appreciate it. Thermo- The set up I have, (bare with me cause I'm just going to give you all the specs..I know you could care less about peak power but I will list it anyways) door speakers= 4 Pioneer TS-A6881R 260w-peak 50w-nominal, those are just being powered by my head unit which is a Jensen VM9022 280w-peak 60wx4-nominal. About that amp that I had referenced, I'm not set on that, I just had seen on here or F150online a guy who had one of my same sub woofers and that particular amp so I thought maybe that would work. Unfortunately I can not return the 2nd sub, I'm pretty much stuck with it, plus the box I have is built for 2 subs for under the rear seat. I hope this helps, and again I really appreciate all the help from you and everyone else, I'm learning a lot.
February 2, 2008Also the music type I listen to is Country, Rock, and sometimes rap(for the good bass hahaha)
February 2, 2008Tycos, based on your head unit, if you run that amp with those subs, then running them with the coils on a sub being run in series with each other and then the two subs wired in parallel to each other should be a nice match.
Now, I will tell you right now that the Jensen unit that you are running is not outputting the power that it is quoting. I haven't seen a Jensen unit that has. I'm not a big fan of Jensen. They work and they are cheap, but in the world of car audio, you get what you pay for. You want proof, it is simple, if the radio is outputting a nominal 60W but your speakers are only rated for 50W nominal, then why aren't the speakers blown by now? You are overpowering the speakers when at full volume. Just a point to ponder. Also, just for your information, when they say "nominal", it is the same as saying "RMS" (root mean squared). RMS is just the average of the output in simple terms.
If you listen mainly to rock/country (a man after my own heart), then you will be just fine with that amp and sub combo. If you have the room, running the subs in a single reflex box would give you a bit firmer bass response, improving the sound quality. Granted, I will tell you right now that the sound quality would be greatly improved if you went with an external amp for all of the speakers vice relying on the dash unit to power some of the speakers. But, I can also understand that you don't have unlimited funds either.
Chris "Thermo" Coleman and Nukie, the radioactive 97 X