Do i need to be carful with gains if sub and amp match??


Retrofuture30

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jan 21, 2020
67
-1
Louisiana
Nood question here do I need to be careful where i set gains if my sub and amp have the same watts rating? Can i just sit gain dead center? And not blow anything if played at high volume?
I didnt really hear no distortion when i played 50hz tone with gains up.

Heres the smp ans sub i got. Yes i know they not 2300 watts, realistically should be 650watts.

any advice appreciated, first day messing with car audio


 

02WS6

Gif Guy and Bobby's BFF
Jan 12, 2020
345
151
Sacramento
Yes, especially at this price point. There are so many variables that can go into this, its really really difficult to point you in the right direction.

First, you linked the RZ5--2500D which is the 5 channel amp instead of the RZ1-2500D which is the Mono subwoofer amp. Which one specifically do you have and how do you have it wired? 2 or 4 Ohm?

Second, what Head Unit are you running and what pre-out voltages does it provide? 2V or 5V?

Third, what car/alternator/gauge wire do you have going to the Amp? (Provides an understanding of the quality of signal going to amplifier and electrical headroom to support the amplifier draw)

Fourth, what type of box are you using? Sealed/Ported/Cu.Ft?

You're most likely not going to be able to overdrive that Subwoofer based on wattage alone, the sub is rated at 1200 RMS vs the 600-650 RMS that either the RZ5 or RZ1 amplifier can produce.

The most likely scenario at this price point is you'll cause the Amp to "clip" where the amp reaches maximum output capacity but keeps on trying to keep up with the gain ratio set, to do this it will cut the waveform which is identified as clipping. When an amp starts clipping an output signal all kinds crap can occur - Overheating, mechanical failure, protection mode etc.

In a perfect world, you're giving the Amp 4/5V preouts, with clean power, turn off all EQ/Bass Boost and measure a 40/50hz signal with a DSO Nano. Set gain based off of a clean sine wave. Gain level changes depending on all of the other conditions mentioned. Less optimal way of verifying is using a multimeter to measure VAC output to RMS rating. (V²/R=Wattage) Once you know your gain is set properly/not clipping then you make sure your sub box matches the recommended enclosure specs, this protects the sub from reaching mechanical limits and maximizes the sound it can produce.
 
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02WS6

Gif Guy and Bobby's BFF
Jan 12, 2020
345
151
Sacramento
I'm going to assume your Amp's RCA's are wired in from LOC's correct? Do you know what LOC's were used?

Electrically, I'm going to assume you've got the headroom with a Yukon Denali, depending on year and options it should have a good AD244 on the older ones or an even better 8302 on the newer ones.

I don't want another flame war but that box will leave a lot on the table as far as SQ is concerned. Most here despise prefab, for good reason. They tend to be tuned high and not well made. Something you built yourself tuned correctly can make $50 sub sound like $500 and a prefab box can make a $500 sub sound like a $50 one. Just food for thought.

Still recommend grabbing a multimeter and testing VAC output on 0db test tone or picking up a DSO Nano and measuring output signal to make sure there is no clipping at whatever max volume you listen at.
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,079
625
South Coast Metro, CA
skip all that multi-meter nonsense because you dont know what the actual clean amount of power than amp has because power acoustik doesn't do rated or anywhere close so you dont even know what number to shoot for. Play your hardest hitting song, raise the gain up till its not getting louder, now lower it a notch or two. Check for heat on the sub's cone and amp when you play for a minute to 10 minutes, keep checking up on it. If its warm and getting warmer, lower your gains slightly until its room temperature to slightly above room temp.

You can also do a little 3 dollar piezo tweeter method like this which is far more reliable than a multi-meter
 
OP
Retrofuture30

Retrofuture30

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jan 21, 2020
67
-1
Louisiana
yes its wired thru rca, I have no idea what loc was used. Had it wires last year and just hooking it up. Yea i wanted a better bigger box dont dont have the space with third row up. Ill be adding a real system in my 2nd non family car.


Ill try the multimeter this weekend and see how it goes
 
OP
Retrofuture30

Retrofuture30

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jan 21, 2020
67
-1
Louisiana
Tried the multimeter and it only goes to 26.2 volts playing 50 hz tone and i need to get to 50.00 volts.. what the hell?

So turn gains all the way up? (The sub is 2x higher then amp)
 
Last edited:
OP
Retrofuture30

Retrofuture30

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jan 21, 2020
67
-1
Louisiana
read my comment earlier. Multi-meter method completely useless in your situation.
A guy on youtube did a dyno on this amp. This the P.A amp with correct wattage. I also tried your method and turned 50hz tone up loud as it can go and put gains all the way up and it didnt distort. Just get stronger at same tone.

would you try just setting gains over half? Since no clipping?
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,079
625
South Coast Metro, CA
A guy on youtube did a dyno on this amp. This the P.A amp with correct wattage. I also tried your method and turned 50hz tone up loud as it can go and put gains all the way up and it didnt distort. Just get stronger at same tone.

would you try just setting gains over half? Since no clipping?
dont use a tone, use music your hardest hitting song. You are listening to music not test tones. Test tones are only valid if you actually analyzed the recording levels of each song in your music library and you generate a test tone that matches the recording level, not some random ass 0 db test tone you find online that will literally just give you a super innacurate setting.

Power acoustik has pretty poor quality control so the actual power output of each amp can vary. Just a thought.

Since you are using a stock head unit, you are using an LOC right? raise the level adjustments on that a lot higher and lower your gains then restart the tuning process.

See if you can find a little piezo, wire that up with your sub at the same time, The impedance is so high it wont really affect the sub the buzz noise would be clipping. very fast easy method.
 

Louisiana_CRX

dem shoes......
10+ year member
Aug 22, 2006
39,121
363
Piney Hills of Louisiana
Nood question here do I need to be careful where i set gains if my sub and amp have the same watts rating? Can i just sit gain dead center? And not blow anything if played at high volume?
I didnt really hear no distortion when i played 50hz tone with gains up.

Heres the smp ans sub i got. Yes i know they not 2300 watts, realistically should be 650watts.

any advice appreciated, first day messing with car audio


Where are you at in Louisiana?
 
OP
Retrofuture30

Retrofuture30

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jan 21, 2020
67
-1
Louisiana
dont use a tone, use music your hardest hitting song. You are listening to music not test tones. Test tones are only valid if you actually analyzed the recording levels of each song in your music library and you generate a test tone that matches the recording level, not some random ass 0 db test tone you find online that will literally just give you a super innacurate setting.

Power acoustik has pretty poor quality control so the actual power output of each amp can vary. Just a thought.

Since you are using a stock head unit, you are using an LOC right? raise the level adjustments on that a lot higher and lower your gains then restart the tuning process.

See if you can find a little piezo, wire that up with your sub at the same time, The impedance is so high it wont really affect the sub the buzz noise would be clipping. very fast easy method.
Ahhh i got you. Ill try with hard hitting music tonight. Ill look into piezo also
 

Greg B

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jun 30, 2020
28
4
Maryland
dont use a tone, use music your hardest hitting song. You are listening to music not test tones. Test tones are only valid if you actually analyzed the recording levels of each song in your music library and you generate a test tone that matches the recording level, not some random ass 0 db test tone you find online that will literally just give you a super innacurate setting.

Power acoustik has pretty poor quality control so the actual power output of each amp can vary. Just a thought.

Since you are using a stock head unit, you are using an LOC right? raise the level adjustments on that a lot higher and lower your gains then restart the tuning process.

See if you can find a little piezo, wire that up with your sub at the same time, The impedance is so high it wont really affect the sub the buzz noise would be clipping. very fast easy method.
Does the sub have to be wired up for the piezo method? I’ve done it both ways on different amp. The one where I just had the tweeter attached (the same one as the op) didn’t buzz until nearly full gain and over 40v. I did my alpine mrv with the sub on and it buzzed really early, the voltage was something like 12v which would be below rated power.
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,079
625
South Coast Metro, CA
Does the sub have to be wired up for the piezo method? I’ve done it both ways on different amp. The one where I just had the tweeter attached (the same one as the op) didn’t buzz until nearly full gain and over 40v. I did my alpine mrv with the sub on and it buzzed really early, the voltage was something like 12v which would be below rated power.
yes because a different load is presented to the amp when a sub is connected. The full gain and low gain is because all amps have different levels of sensitivity in the potentiometer. Your head unit outputs a signal, the gain is to match that signal however how much the amp has to go up is different with each amp. some amps go have gain from 9 volt to .2 volts which need a **** ton of gain before you get proper signal while others are 5 volts to .2 which need very little gain to get to proper voltage. Its all different.

for your amp that needs to go up really high, you'd need to raise the sub level and raise the head unit volume up really high because you are most likely not getting enough pre-out voltage from the head unit.
 

Greg B

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Jun 30, 2020
28
4
Maryland
Thanks jeffdachef load is what I was wondering about. Somehow when I first clicked the link it skipped to the video that’s suggested after that one. The one in the link only has the tweeter hooked up though. I’ve been meaning to check the voltage at my rca’s. I tested both with the same setup so I was surprised by the discrepancy. The pa amp goes from 6-.2 and I think the alpine was 4-.2.
I didn’t care much with the various big box store subs I’ve always used but I have an ssa demon on the way and want to make sure it’s seeing clean power.
 

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