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Car subwoofer not at full power

By Musclemani ยท 8 replies
Mar 11, 2017
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  1. HI! im new this forum and I need your help! im not sure where to post so sorry in advance.

    Okay so I want to make this clear and simple as possible.

    I have a saab 93
    I have a vibe black air 12 1600watt vented subwoofer (with modifications ill explain below)
    Sony Xplod 500 watt amp - XM-504Z (YES I KNOW SONY IS ****, but its all I could afford and was cheap)

    here is the link to the subwoofer to help you with the specs: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Hi-Fi-Home-Audio/Blackair12-Blackair-Amplified-Subwoo fer-Enclosure/B003QZLKF0

    Okay so, I am using high level input on the amp and this is connected to the back rear car speakers. ALL wires are connected correctly - ground and power both read at 14volts via multimeter when the car is switched on.
    The subwoofer is connected via wires and bridged to the amp.

    Now, there is power to the sub and amp, subwoofer works HOWEVER, the sound is no way near at full power or bassy at all esp for this subwoofer (it seems to be at 1/3 of the power it should be).
    I have switched positive and negative wires (before somebody points out the obvious) I have messed around with the settings on the amp which there is barely any other than the HPF switch and levels. and still nothing. I have heard this exact subwoofer and amp in the previous owners car and it sounded amazing so I have no idea what I am doing wrong.

    Also only now have I also found out that at the back of the subwoofer there is meant to be more input/output plugs or settings but on my subwoofer there is just simply a positive and negative wire attached to a connector plug :/.

    I have tried to included pictures that I already have but I will attach more if requested. again the amp and subwoofer as it is produced amazing sound but now that I have wired it up its just MEH, the subwoofer speaker works fine but there is no bass that a subwoofer would typically produce.




  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,443   +1,415

    Wires to the woofer should be 12-10 gauge - - there's LOTS of power being used and smallish wires create resistance, even changing the impedance.

    Also verify the install as to sealing the trunk or 'porting' it with an opening.
    Spykezxp likes this.
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +252

    I'm baffled as to why you want to damage your hearing and annoy other road users. These are the cars from Hell. :(
  4. Musclemani

    Musclemani TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The thing is the amp is getting 14 volts so that's not the problem.

    The wires were already installed into the car by the previous owner who also had a sub and didn't have an issue.

    So I'm still confused as to what the porblem is, I'm hoping that it's not the High level input but I have no idea why that would be the problem
  5. Musclemani

    Musclemani TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If you heard the sound system of a Saab you'd understand why people go the lengths they do to fit a new system or a subwoofer LOL
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,443   +1,415

    Sound is not driven by voltage, but current buddy.
  7. Musclemani

    Musclemani TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I replaced the wiring from the sub to the amp with 10-gauge leads and it made no difference at all :/
  8. ErikNZ

    ErikNZ TS Member Posts: 46   +10

    What Saab 9-3 are we talking about? The first generation hatchback? The Sport Sedan 03-06 or 07-12?

    The standard sound system of the Sport Sedan is indeed terrible, it gets a bit better with the 13-speaker package (with front and back amps) that I have in my 05 Aero. The standard audio setup in my previous 03 Linear was dreadful but did improve after replacing the dash speakers with Kicker coaxials and JBL woofers in the doors - the choices not driven by preference for these brands but by the odd dimensions mandated by the cars interior. I never attempted to replace the amps in the Linear or the Aero because of the *****ic fibre optic system that plagued the 03-06 models, meaning that I would have to rewire the entire car again.

    From one Saab owner to another.... Keep calm and stay on boost :)

  9. Jollyriffic

    Jollyriffic TS Member Posts: 57   +24

    The speaker you have is dual coil, with 2x sets of leads coming off of the speaker.
    If your only running a single set into the box, then you're limiting the capability of your amp.
    The amp only puts out a max wattage per channel, so this could be your issue.
    Try 2ohm 4 channel, if that doesn't work out well bridged with jumpers 2ohm.
    ArchEnemy79 likes this.

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