Does my system have enough power?


Chris21206

CarAudio.com Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
6
0
New York
Hi, I’m new to this forum but I’m just starting to get into car audio and I’ve purchased my first big system. I have concerns that the installer that I go to has my subs on too big of an amp (sundown x12’s are rated at 1500W RMS), and secondly, that my voltage drop is too low and I’m damaging my system. I start the car at around 14.4 volts, and the lowest I’ll drop with the subs (right before clipping) is 12.4-12.6 volts. This amp is clipping very easily. I wonder if it’s due to a lack of electrical? Do I need more? Everyone says sundown takes more than rated power but is 8K too much? I don’t notice the subs getting hot unless they’ve been playing for 30 minutes to 1 hour straight. Just looking for any advice in general about the system. I’m only 18, and new to car audio.

Thanks,


My equipment:
2007 Nissan Xterra
JVC Touchscreen head unit w/CarPlay
1 XS Power D3400 (used as starting battery)
1 XS Power XP950 (second battery in trunk)
H/O 250AMP Alternator
1 Rockville 4 Farad Power Capacitor (just using it because why not I had it lying around)
Big 3 (All wires to amps, batteries, alternator use Sky High 0 gauge wire)
Sky High
CT sounds Voltage Meter
Taramps BASS 8K (8,000W RMS stable at 1 Ohm)
Taramps DS800x4 2 Ohm (Mids/Highs)
Infinity Reference Component Speakers 6930 series(2 sets 1 in back, 1 in front)
2 Sundown X12’s (4OHM subs wired down to 1OHM) in a custom made box tuned to 28-30 ish hz

(included in this post are pics of the system)
 

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sicone22

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Aug 25, 2020
48
8
Minneapolis, MN
Ditch the cap, there is absolutely no need for that as it is way too small to have a positive effect on anything. but why is there 3 wires on 1 side and 2 on the other? The wires coming out are worrisome, please post a picture of the amps power inputs.

1 run and 2 batteries is not enough. That amp will push rated at 12V, I don't know if those subs will or will not take the power at whatever ohm you are actually seeing. You are new you said so there is "box rise" (changes the impedance as the excursion changes) so the amp will never actually see 1ohm load but this is still pushing it even for sundowns reputation.

You say it is clipping very easy... What makes you say the amp is clipping? Where is your voltage meter metering from?

Being new to car audio you are jumping in the deep end head first, I like it! There is A LOT to learn and A LOT of bulls.... you are going to read of peoples opinions. Do not ride the coat tails of any 1 brand, just cause it cost more don't make it better, just cause its loud doesn't mean its good. Bass is worst than a drug habit and probably more expensive than one too!

This is prime example of why taramps is getting a bad name as unreliable. It needs power. why they don't include input adapters I do not know. why shops are installing them with insufficient power, well apparently many shops are incompetent as it appears lately. Ill customz, jims, im sure many others make input adapter for taramps specifically.
 
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Chris21206

Chris21206

CarAudio.com Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
6
0
New York
Hi, I’m new to this forum but I’m just starting to get into car audio and I’ve purchased my first big system. I have concerns that the installer that I go to has my subs on too big of an amp (sundown x12’s are rated at 1500W RMS), and secondly, that my voltage drop is too low and I’m damaging my system. I start the car at around 14.4 volts, and the lowest I’ll drop with the subs (right before clipping) is 12.4-12.6 volts. This amp is clipping very easily. I wonder if it’s due to a lack of electrical? Do I need more? Everyone says sundown takes more than rated power but is 8K too much? I don’t notice the subs getting hot unless they’ve been playing for 30 minutes to 1 hour straight. Just looking for any advice in general about the system. I’m only 18, and new to car audio.

Thanks,


My equipment:
2007 Nissan Xterra
JVC Touchscreen head unit w/CarPlay
1 XS Power D3400 (used as starting battery)
1 XS Power XP950 (second battery in trunk)
H/O 250AMP Alternator
1 Rockville 4 Farad Power Capacitor (just using it because why not I had it lying around)
Big 3 (All wires to amps, batteries, alternator use Sky High 0 gauge wire)
Sky High
CT sounds Voltage Meter
Taramps BASS 8K (8,000W RMS stable at 1 Ohm)
Taramps DS800x4 2 Ohm (Mids/Highs)
Infinity Reference Component Speakers 6930 series(2 sets 1 in back, 1 in front)
2 Sundown X12’s (4OHM subs wired down to 1OHM) in a custom made box tuned to 28-30 ish hz

(included in this post are pics of the system)
Ditch the cap, there is absolutely no need for that as it is way too small to have a positive effect on anything. but why is there 3 wires on 1 side and 2 on the other? The wires coming out are worrisome, please post a picture of the amps power inputs.

1 run and 2 batteries is not enough. That amp will push rated at 12V, I don't know if those subs will or will not take the power at whatever ohm you are actually seeing. You are new you said so there is "box rise" (changes the impedance as the excursion changes) so the amp will never actually see 1ohm load but this is still pushing it even for sundowns reputation.

You say it is clipping very easy... What makes you say the amp is clipping? Where is your voltage meter metering from?

Being new to car audio you are jumping in the deep end head first, I like it! There is A LOT to learn and A LOT of bulls.... you are going to read of peoples opinions. Do not ride the coat tails of any 1 brand, just cause it cost more don't make it better, just cause its loud doesn't mean its good. Bass is worst than a drug habit and probably more expensive than one too!

This is prime example of why taramps is getting a bad name as unreliable. It needs power. why they don't include input adapters I do not know. why shops are installing them with insufficient power, well apparently many shops are incompetent as it appears lately. Ill customz, jims, im sure many others make input adapter for taramps specifically.
Thanks so much for your reply! I had planned on getting rid of the cap either way. I agree there’s no use for it. To address your concern of the wires, the wire on the right side of the picture isn’t 0 gauge like the others (there’s actually 4 0 gauge wires running to the back), and it was all professionally installed by my installer.. I was considering adding another XS Power D3400 as I don’t have nearly enough $ to switch to lithium.. About the ohmage of the box.. I’m not 100% sure but I remember when I was with my installer he was please to see a “1.0 ohm reading” when he hooked some form of device to the subs before they went into the box. He said that was “good”. If you say the amp does rated at 12V my question is am I actually pushing 8K to my subs? I feel like (based on what you’ve told me) that they aren’t getting their full 8K.. in other words if my clip light is turning on when I have the gain high how could I be clipping if I’m not using the amp to it’s fullest potential? The subs don’t get hot and they’re only rated 3000W combined RMS so if I’m pushing full 8K wouldn’t they be getting really hot? I don’t know where my meter is metering from.. the installer installed it, and I’d have to trace the wire back in hopes of finding where it would be. Should I add more XS power batteries? If so how many, what models, and what location?
Thanks so much for your help,
Chris
 

Popwarhomie

10+ year member
Jan 22, 2010
8,482
1,354
FL
No you aren't getting anywhere near 8k after box rise.

$340 for an XS power D3400. I would just get two G31 Duracell AGMs from Sams club and remove the XP950.
 
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Chris21206

Chris21206

CarAudio.com Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
6
0
New York
No you aren't getting anywhere near 8k after box rise.

$340 for an XS power D3400. I would just get two G31 Duracell AGMs from Sams club and remove the XP950.
Ok I will probably end up picking those up. Thanks!
I don’t fully understand “box rise” that’s a brand new term to me so I’m going to watch videos and research it.. If my clip light tells me that I’m clipping is that because of under voltage (not enough AGM batteries), or is it because I’m using the amp to it’s fullest potential at whatever signal I’m trying to produce? (I’m under the impression that when you clip, your using the amp’s full 8K watts and that’s all you can get). And that whenever you see clipping, you should turn your knob down right away?
 

hispls

CarAudio.com Veteran
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
11,313
435
Central Maine
Do I need more?
In regards to electrical upgrades the answer is almost always "yes". In regards to your 8K amp you definitely don't have close to enough battery to properly power that and yes you're risking breaking your amp. When you can get enough reserve behind the amp to make its power you'll probably blow your subs if you're not careful.
 
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Chris21206

Chris21206

CarAudio.com Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
6
0
New York
In regards to electrical upgrades the answer is almost always "yes". In regards to your 8K amp you definitely don't have close to enough battery to properly power that and yes you're risking breaking your amp. When you can get enough reserve behind the amp to make its power you'll probably blow your subs if you're not careful.
Ok. I don’t want to blow $1000 worth of subs like those were. Should I have a new box built and add an additional 2 sundown x12’s? Upgrading the power, and have 4 subs on 8K instead of only the 2? How can be the most careful with my subs now trying to ensure that they last me the longest? I only just got this system over this past summer. I eventually want to make the switch to lithium but should I not combine lithium with agm batteries? I was actually looking at Down4SoundShop’s lithium LTO 6.0 which says you can use both your existing AGM batteries, and the lithium bank. Is that good?
 

Popwarhomie

10+ year member
Jan 22, 2010
8,482
1,354
FL
Those batteries are not worth your money and cant be ran with AGM.

Ok I will probably end up picking those up. Thanks!
I don’t fully understand “box rise” that’s a brand new term to me so I’m going to watch videos and research it.. If my clip light tells me that I’m clipping is that because of under voltage (not enough AGM batteries), or is it because I’m using the amp to it’s fullest potential at whatever signal I’m trying to produce? (I’m under the impression that when you clip, your using the amp’s full 8K watts and that’s all you can get). And that whenever you see clipping, you should turn your knob down right away?
What rca voltage is your headunit putting out? All Taramps other than the Smart 3 do best on 1.8-2 volts input. They seem to clip less with lower rca voltage and higher gain.

If you want to add a lithium bank the XS power Titan 8 can be ran with AGM batteries and its much better than the boo boo D4S battery.
 
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Chris21206

Chris21206

CarAudio.com Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
6
0
New York
Those batteries are not worth your money and cant be ran with AGM.



What rca voltage is your headunit putting out? All Taramps other than the Smart 3 do best on 1.8-2 volts input. They seem to clip less with lower rca voltage and higher gain.

If you want to add a lithium bank the XS power Titan 8 can be ran with AGM batteries and its much better than the boo boo D4S battery.
The head unit is a JVC KW-M750 BT, and it says on bestbuy.com that it has a 4V preout? Is that too high? I probably would grab that Titan 8 that looks like a really good value. I also would like to upgrade my door speakers because they aren’t loud enough to go along with the 8K. They’re pretty loud, but I ended up blowing one of the tweeters in the front with the 800W Taramps amp. Would you reccomend another set of components (I don’t have the money to do door pods right now as much as I’d like to). Would it be better to save for door pods, or could I get some in the factory location that would sound better than the infinity reference components? The infinity tweeters blew, and I replaced them with some super tweeters that I had laying around. The issue with the super tweeters is that they sound extremely bright, and I don’t know how to turn them down as I am new and I don’t understand how to adjust gains and eq (on the radio). I believe that I should pull my door panel because the infinity reference components have a plus 3db button that I believe is pushed on the crossovers. Would that help?
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,544
796
South Coast Metro, CA
Sub up port rear or both sub and port to the rear if you want any actual bass. Port up is pretty bad on an xterra vs rear firing port. Like a 3 db difference. Sorry for assuming this but It sounds like you feel the system should be louder from the way you are speaking. Otherwise I doubt you would care about clip light so much.
 
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Chris21206

Chris21206

CarAudio.com Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
6
0
New York
Sub up port rear or both sub and port to the rear if you want any actual bass. Port up is pretty bad on an xterra vs rear firing port. Like a 3 db difference. Sorry for assuming this but It sounds like you feel the system should be louder from the way you are speaking. Otherwise I doubt you would care about clip light so much.
The plus 3db I was referring to is for the door speakers in terms of the tweeters being too loud (they have a +3db button if you want to boost the tweeters on the crossover). Surprisingly I think that the box sounds really good for the Xterra it hits really hard I just clip when I turn knob around 65%-75% depending on the song. The box hits lows really well but it doesn’t play low low it’ll play down to about 28hz.
 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
18,544
796
South Coast Metro, CA
The plus 3db I was referring to is for the door speakers in terms of the tweeters being too loud (they have a +3db button if you want to boost the tweeters on the crossover). Surprisingly I think that the box sounds really good for the Xterra it hits really hard I just clip when I turn knob around 65%-75% depending on the song. The box hits lows really well but it doesn’t play low low it’ll play down to about 28hz.
The 3 db difference i was talking about what you would see if the sub was firing backwards. Youll get the 28hz and under when you fire to the rear as well. We've done a lot of testing in an xterra, port firing back is loudest and lowest 145 vs 148 db in our test.
 

hispls

CarAudio.com Veteran
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
11,313
435
Central Maine
Ok. I don’t want to blow $1000 worth of subs like those were. Should I have a new box built and add an additional 2 sundown x12’s? Upgrading the power, and have 4 subs on 8K instead of only the 2? How can be the most careful with my subs now trying to ensure that they last me the longest? I only just got this system over this past summer. I eventually want to make the switch to lithium but should I not combine lithium with agm batteries? I was actually looking at Down4SoundShop’s lithium LTO 6.0 which says you can use both your existing AGM batteries, and the lithium bank. Is that good?
I'd think you'd be quite a bit safer running 4 subs on your amp, you'd certainly have plenty of warning (smell) before you burned up coils. If you get your electrical right and dial in your amp so that you're seeing its full potential it'll make enough power to burn up two of those subs very quickly.

I cannot vouch for any of the off-the-shelf LTO batteries and I have my doubts running any of them with AGM is doing you any favors. Regardless of what their marketing hype says your AGM will want to rest at 12.6-12.8 and your LTO bank will always want to sit higher than that so your AGM will always be parasitic on the system. Bear in mind LTO is meant to do 20,000+ charge cycles over 15-20 years so it's probably not going to make them fail any time soon but IMO it's not optimum. '

I bought loose cells from China, some copper bar stock from out in the midwest, and built my own banks but this is probably impractical for most folks and was a bit of a pain in the arse.
 

sicone22

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Aug 25, 2020
48
8
Minneapolis, MN
Yes the clipping light is because low voltage. You can always tune the amp down which will make it more efficient and more reliable. Just cause it can, doesn't mean it has to. Remember you are not playing with throw away subwoofers from big box stores. One reason they are more expensive is because those are the last subwoofers you would ever have too buy (they are not, not by a long shot, you'll change up in a year.....maybe 2 probably 6 months 😂) these drivers can be rebuilt, amplifiers can be rebuilt (most the time but sometimes it is not worth it, I do not know if you can make a driver deemed worthless or not aside from physical damage but every part can be replaced)

Electrical is the silent killer that so many don't realize. It is expensive, It is hard to drop that much money on since it's a need not a want. Just make the power system adaptable as once the initial gut punch is surpassed it is easier to swallow.
 

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