Help with gain setting with line output converter


verdi73

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 7, 2020
4
0
colorado springs
Ok so I know that this has been asked a thousand times but I still don't understand. I drive a honda civic with stock radio. I have both the line output converter and the amplifier at max gain setting and I feel like the sub can still be pushed farther. I know its bad to push them to max but when I lower down the gain I can barely hear the sub. My stock speakers are really loud and turning my head unit up past more than 20 (max volume is 40) has lots of distortion in them.

My equipment is
Skar audio SDR-12 600 watt RMS
Skar audio RP-800.1D | 800 WATT
Scoche line output converter
 

Lasherž

CarAudio.com Elite
Apr 27, 2020
1,236
284
United States
Ok so I know that this has been asked a thousand times but I still don't understand. I drive a honda civic with stock radio. I have both the line output converter and the amplifier at max gain setting and I feel like the sub can still be pushed farther. I know its bad to push them to max but when I lower down the gain I can barely hear the sub. My stock speakers are really loud and turning my head unit up past more than 20 (max volume is 40) has lots of distortion in them.

My equipment is
Skar audio SDR-12 600 watt RMS
Skar audio RP-800.1D | 800 WATT
Scoche line output converter
There's a few things that don't make sense to me in this. So your factory speakers are only able to reach 20 before distortion and the range is 40? that's a bit strange, usually you get to at least 3/4 before that. Another thing is that with your line out converter choice, there's options on the side of it. Are you sure that's set up correctly? You should never have to max your gain on an amplifier, you're running huge risk of feedback loops if you do that. The signal should be stronger than it is. Are you sure you've adjusted the gain and plugged into the right set? There are more than one gain settings for multiple channels on there.


Beyond all that, this LOC isn't the best choice for your system. Ideally you'd get a new head unit and run RCAs from that, but since you're using stock the best option is an LOC that has bass differentials so your factory unit isn't robbing the amplifier of bass as the volume goes up. An LOC like this would be much better and you'd notice an improvement regardless of your problem here.
If you want to maintain the fader if you ever get a 4 channel amp to go with that mono amp then you could get this instead.

When i switched vehicles to one that didn't give me the option of easily swapping the head unit I used a passive LOC like that one and it was pretty lackluster. Upgrading to the LC2i brought the quality back from my old car and I no longer had issues with bass levels weakening with volume.
 

blazian87

CarAudio.com Elite
10+ year member
Mar 12, 2007
1,475
70
Los Angeles, CA
Ok so I know that this has been asked a thousand times but I still don't understand. I drive a honda civic with stock radio. I have both the line output converter and the amplifier at max gain setting and I feel like the sub can still be pushed farther. I know its bad to push them to max but when I lower down the gain I can barely hear the sub. My stock speakers are really loud and turning my head unit up past more than 20 (max volume is 40) has lots of distortion in them.

My equipment is
Skar audio SDR-12 600 watt RMS
Skar audio RP-800.1D | 800 WATT
Scoche line output converter
Please don't set your amp gains to max. It will blow all your gear to smithereens. Cheap LOC's are known to have super weak signals, thus forcing you to max out your amp to get any output at all, if any. They are absolute crap. And I'm willing to bet your sub enclosure is too small. The only thing that can help you temporarily on output is to place your enclosure all to way to the end of your trunk lid facing sub to a rear loading wall. Still not as effective as making some key changes in your system...

Most important thing to help your situation is to start with replacing stock radio with a good aftermarket headunit (ideally 4v outputs) and getting a custom built ported box for your sub. Those 2 things alone will already show you huge improvement compared to what you have. Of course upgrading amp and subs would help but the results won't be as drastic as the 2 things I mentioned. If you need any help how to go about executing this, just ask. We are happy to help.
 

verdi73

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 7, 2020
4
0
colorado springs
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
There's a few things that don't make sense to me in this. So your factory speakers are only able to reach 20 before distortion and the range is 40? that's a bit strange, usually you get to at least 3/4 before that. Another thing is that with your line out converter choice, there's options on the side of it. Are you sure that's set up correctly? You should never have to max your gain on an amplifier, you're running huge risk of feedback loops if you do that. The signal should be stronger than it is. Are you sure you've adjusted the gain and plugged into the right set? There are more than one gain settings for multiple channels on there.


Beyond all that, this LOC isn't the best choice for your system. Ideally you'd get a new head unit and run RCAs from that, but since you're using stock the best option is an LOC that has bass differentials so your factory unit isn't robbing the amplifier of bass as the volume goes up. An LOC like this would be much better and you'd notice an improvement regardless of your problem here.
If you want to maintain the fader if you ever get a 4 channel amp to go with that mono amp then you could get this instead.

When i switched vehicles to one that didn't give me the option of easily swapping the head unit I used a passive LOC like that one and it was pretty lackluster. Upgrading to the LC2i brought the quality back from my old car and I no longer had issues with bass levels weakening with volume.
Im sorry I didn't specify which line output converter is, its the cheap one, LOC90 that im using which has a left and right channel gain. I really dont want to spend 100+ dollars for a line output converter which was the same price as the sub itself. Do you think it would help on my radio to turn up the bass volume so it sends more to the line output converter?. Thanks for your reply nonetheless
 

verdi73

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 7, 2020
4
0
colorado springs
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Please don't set your amp gains to max. It will blow all your gear to smithereens. Cheap LOC's are known to have super weak signals, thus forcing you to max out your amp to get any output at all, if any. They are absolute crap. And I'm willing to bet your sub enclosure is too small. The only thing that can help you temporarily on output is to place your enclosure all to way to the end of your trunk lid facing sub to a rear loading wall. Still not as effective as making some key changes in your system...

Most important thing to help your situation is to start with replacing stock radio with a good aftermarket headunit (ideally 4v outputs) and getting a custom built ported box for your sub. Those 2 things alone will already show you huge improvement compared to what you have. Of course upgrading amp and subs would help but the results won't be as drastic as the 2 things I mentioned. If you need any help how to go about executing this, just ask. We are happy to help.
Ok so first the box I am using is made by skar, I bought the loaded enclosure which came with everything. Also, will having the gain setting high destroy the equipment if the sub isnt moving much. Ive seen the sub in other cars and it moves a lot more than mine does. Thanks for your reply anyways.
 

blazian87

CarAudio.com Elite
10+ year member
Mar 12, 2007
1,475
70
Los Angeles, CA
Also, will having the gain setting high destroy the equipment if the sub isnt moving much.
Well if your signal is that weak that you barely have output at max gain, you should still be safe from any real damage (unless you start adding in bass boost, then there's a good chance you're distorting the signal which can eventually lead to damage). That just tells you right there your signal source is the main culprit. That stock radio is just a hindrance and causes more problems for you in achieving your desired results. I wouldn't be surprised if you gained like 3db just from swapping to a decent headunit.

I don't trust what skar says in general. They are not a trustworthy company but I guess it does the job. I usually stay away from prefab loaded enclosures as they are not my cup of tea and the specs are usually nowhere close to what they say.

Also note that just because your sub isn't "moving" much doesn't necessarily mean it's not working hard. In sealed boxes, you'll usually see the cone push harder vs a ported box which will not be moving much especially when playing close to tuning freq. It's not a very good indicator to know whether your amp is pushing hard or not.
 

Lasherž

CarAudio.com Elite
Apr 27, 2020
1,236
284
United States
Im sorry I didn't specify which line output converter is, its the cheap one, LOC90 that im using which has a left and right channel gain. I really dont want to spend 100+ dollars for a line output converter which was the same price as the sub itself. Do you think it would help on my radio to turn up the bass volume so it sends more to the line output converter?. Thanks for your reply nonetheless
Well look at it this way. If you want the closest thing you can get to good quality signal without replacing the head unit then 100 dollars is about the cheapest you can get unless you go used market. Yes it will help with the bass volume, it will allow your amp to actually stretch its legs. Right now it's a good thing your amp gain doesn't go any higher because it would likely hit some distortion and peak all at once.

Your signal is weak and that's dangerous. Even if you don't use the bass boost. Effectively your amp is probably getting like a sub 1v signal and that's not too far away from what you can get from interference from a close power cable. If you amplify the power cable interference it will demand more power to produce it, which will cause more interference... It's like someone putting the mic in front of the speaker, except with bass and it'll potentially damage your amplifier, your subwoofer, maybe even your hearing when the amp output goes to pure square waves.

The best case scenario for you is to get a new head unit, but that will come with a conversion kit custom to your car and will run you probably 500 dollars just to put a junky one in there, maybe more and 700 to get something decent. The alternative is the 100 dollar LOC. It's the cheapest option that allows you to keep stock with minimal sacrifices. The LC2i produces so much signal that you'll barely need to touch your gain knob (up to 8.5v rms) and it also corrects the bass curve which is crucial for enjoying bass at different volumes without drastic changes in intensity.
 
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