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Is my amp big enough

By directorj17 ยท 32 replies
Feb 4, 2004
  1. YingYang

    YingYang TS Rookie Posts: 19

    You are completely right to say that you don't need 1000w to push any driver (well, maybe most...). I never endorsed needing 1000w but it allows some nice headroom if you ever want more output. I hooked up my sister's ride with 2200w available but she never ever uses that much; it's like just because you have a Dodge Viper doesn't mean you have to drive 100+ mph. It's available but it's not something that is used daily.

    Personally, I am an SQL guy who dabbles in SPL competition only as a hobby. Honestly, without serious electrical system upgrades, your alternator will crap out within a half hour if you try pumping too much power which is why SPL competitors only use their stereo for 1-3 seconds and then shut everything down.

    If you want to know what my current car system. It's all stock except for the head unit. I'm upgrading to a cheap component set and a 8" sub later and then I am finished. This is all going to be run off of a 5-channel amp with a 300w sub channel. Unless it is a competition vehicle, I try to keep it simple because I have no desire to have anyone listen to my system but me. My sister's vehicle is a temporary setting for a competition system that also can be used as a daily driver; I just didn't have lower powered amps to switch out and I won't give her my collector edition gear. :D

    These are the same people we in the professional car audio industry hate as well. They drop a few grand on a system and have it installed for the sole purpose of being loud. They put those aweful coffee can exhausts on their 1.8L Hondas and drive around residential neighboorhoods at 3AM blasting their music and rattles.

    No one that I know of in the competition circuits and take it seriously will do that because most of us know how annoying it is. Some of us have kids who we don't want to be wakened up in the middle of the night by some wannabe "playa/gangsta." Because of them, our community is getting a bad rap based on the few *****s who don't respect those who actually enjoy not hearing someone else's music at the stoplight or at some ungodly hour of night.

    Love the last commment. We have sound dampening to get rid of those rattles which comes in the form of Dynamat, Second Skin, BrownBread, and even high temp mastic sheeting which can be bought at most home improvement stores.

    Just to be a ***, some subs can't be pushed with less than 1000w because of the stiffness of the suspension and these are strictly competition subs. MTX RFLs and Shocker Signiture Series come to mind immediately. The also have no way to dissipate the heat so they burn up when playing more than short tone bursts; no music playing on them at all...Sorry, just had to provide an exception to that one statement.:rolleyes:
  2. YingYang

    YingYang TS Rookie Posts: 19

    It's all good. I respect the people who can debate on this matter instead of throwing hissy fits. Exchange of information and ideas comes from expressing them and testing theories.

    Hearing damage begins well below what we percieve as loud. Our ears are more accute to the 1kHz to 3kHz range which is why 120db at 60Hz is tolarable and 120db at 3kHz will make you keel over in pain.

    Also, bass frequencies travel much further and are able to penetrate better than higher frequencies which is why they are so damn annoying to most people. Most of car audio amounts to bragging rights to some degree but there is a time and place for it. Obviously, 177.7db at a stoplight is not something that should be done (that is the current SPL record by Team BS at the Db Drag world finals, BTW).
  3. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Im sorry, I assumed he wanted to actually listen to music on his stereo. Silly me!

    I appreciate your refreshing attitude towards my tirade. I'm just afraid that I am becoming totally out of touch whith what is cool anymore and I needed to vent. <deep breath> I'm much better now, thanks!. :grinthumb
  4. erickdj

    erickdj TS Rookie Posts: 69

    That's exactly my point, some subs are just too stiff to be powered by a low wattage amp. That's exactly the case with the 15" L7, 300 watts just wont' "cut it". :rolleyes: Being the competitor you are, I would expect you to know that.:confused:
  5. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Any single speaker that would take more than 300 watts to play at safe volume levels in a car is a piece of crap, improperly installed or one of them there "competiton" subs where the competition seems to be who can display the greatest disregard for actual functionality. If the goal is instantanious, high-level output why not just run the leads from the amp directly into the gas tank?
  6. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Moral of the story - Ditch both the speaker and the amp and get something more sensible instead.

    directorj17 - I bet you've already given up on all this discussion. Just look at what you started. :D
  7. erickdj

    erickdj TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I'd say, Keep the amp, get a 12" sub that doesn't have the same power needs of a 15" L7. All along the problem hasn't been wether 300 watts is good for sound in a car, I'd say it's plenty of power to give you some good bass at a reasonable volume level. The problem is using it to power a 15" L7. Like godataloss said, it's about listening to the bass at safe levels. A 15" L7 can go way beyond safe levels given the right amount of power, that's what it's intended for. Remember the original question: Is my amp(300 watts) big enough? Yes, it's big enough for good bass, just not big enough for a 15" L7.
  8. YingYang

    YingYang TS Rookie Posts: 19

    The suspension isn't that stiff. If all he wants is some low end extention then while maintaining SQ, then 300w is perfectly fine. If he wants to take full use of the driver's potentional, then yes, another 1000w would accomplish that. I fail to see where it asks "Will my setup be loud?"

    I'll get into how power consumption is a function of frequency, if you want, and then introduce cabin gain due to wave refraction. Also, you have to take into account the preout voltage of the RCA outputs on the head unit as well as the vehicle in which it's in. Ever seen the video of Team Xtreme (I think, can't remember since it has been awhile) with two 6.5" Audiobahns hitting ~146db with only 200w going to them in a VW Golf hatchback? This was verified on a Termlab mic and when playing music it maintained its SQ with no problem. It shows exactly why 90% is install.

    Nic hits it on the head. The equipment he is asking about will be more challenging to make sound good than other products out there. I surmise this person only wanted some bass in his car and someone either tried to sell him the equipment or he found a good price at a dealer. Answer the questions I posed in the first question and I can make a much better suggestion as to what to buy.
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