I know before anyone even posts what you're going to say, use search.
I've used search and read all the previous threads and they don't address my particular issue as it is.
So I'll explain and see if anyone else has any advice or experience in this.
Now, the subwoofers are new in an enclosure made for them, it's ported.
I was going to get AQ (soundqubed) SDC2.5 12's but when I had the cash to spend they decided to refashion their product line (they're out of stock for a few months) long story short I got these.
I actually like them, a lot of people hate on kicker and that's fine I know better subs are made and I'm ok with that.
They're hooked up to an old kx600.1 amp I got off a buddy awhile back that he hardly used.
The gains are set by ear, I know what distortion sounds like, I also have a DMM and I've been told to set gains by ear by some people and with a DMM by others. Some say using sine waves as a way to set gain is unrealistic unless you're going to drive around all day listening to sine waves (I don't) others of course disagree.
I know what clipping sounds like, when the signal is "cut" by the amp and you lose "definition" in the sound (it goes from sounding like bump bump booooooooommm, to a muddy constant boomy crap and you lose the bumps.) that's a bad way to explain it but that's the only way I can in words.
I've been tuning this system trying to get it perfect for a week or so, only had it about 2.
It starts to audibly clip at the 5 dash out of 7 mark.
So I set it on the 4th dash and left it there.
Now I listen to rap, rock, and techno, I also use my remote bass knob (not a boost)
As I've gone from the "break in" phase and been moving the gain from the second notch to the 4th I've been getting a stronger "new box, electronic, glue, whatever) smell.
Now let me say, my last subwoofer also had this smell, it was one of those beginner subs where the amp is fitting to the sub made for the sub and sold as a package, it also had this smell no matter what, if I stick my head in the port I still smell it as well as MDF.
Now on the way home I was listening to my sub fairly loud and I got this smell again throughout my car. It's ported as I said I also have my seat down. I can feel the sub pushing air into the cabin (I have a small car and ride with the backseat down) it isn't clipping and I set my gains with HU volume at 28/35 and usually listen at 25-27 max.
I've never smelled a "burning" smell, I've soldered tons of wires and done plenty of installs and I know that smell it isn't that.
It's a weird sweetish smell and when I touch the cones of the woofers they're very lightly warm, comparable to maybe an insulated coffee cup with warm (not hot) coffee. That's the only thing I can think of but it isn't hot at all, and within less than 25 seconds it's gone. The amp also is barely warm to the touch.
I just went out to the car and after letting it sit two hours the smell is still in the box if I stick my head in the port. This box has polyfill, if that matters.
The sub had this smell slightly when I first opened it but as I've played it and it's pushed out air it's gotten worse. Maybe I'm being overly cautious and it's just blowing tons of "new subwoofer" smell into my car and it's the coils breaking in, but I'm not sure.
The smell may sometimes vary a bit to being very sweet to a weird sweet plasticy smell and the closest thing I can compare it to is new motherboards, video cards, and hard drives when first opened.
Should I just break down and download a sine wave and set the gains using my DMM or am I probably fine?
Also I realize the amp is 600.1 at 2 ohms, the subs are wired properly and 2 ohm.
They're rated at 400rms each, I also realize clipping can and will ruin subs despite having an underpowered amp, I plan to upgrade to a soundqubed 1200.1d very soon after I do another car install and get paid at work.
Sorry for the long post, just being thorough and answering all the "gains set too high zomgzogzomg" responses before they get posted.
Bass boost at 0, loudness on HU 0, HPF at 120hz, LPF at 120hz, bass center set to 80hz with Q curve set to 1.00
That should be all pertinent information.