New system, sub smells


Mpoole96

YukonBassProject
Premium Member
Nov 13, 2019
65
22
Aurora CO
I'll start by saying I'm not a genius but I'm not an idiot either.
I just finished installing a system into my 2002 GMC Yukon. A bit of backstory that doesn't matter in the slightest, I originally put this equipment in my 2004 cavalier. My wife bought me a 12" ZV5 for Christmas. I got it all put in by new years then the day after I put it in my motor took a dump and I got the yukon.
Anyway, a few things to note before I get into my question. I built the box myself with extreme care and with a blueprint from Mark from car audio fabrication, so I have confidence it is a proper enclosure for this sub and that it was built correctly. Secondly I set the gain using a 0 DB sweep with an AMM1 across the entire frequency band that I'm using (20-80 hz).
Now onto the situation. I set everything up, It sounds awesome, but the sub gets smelly in a hurry (5-10 minutes and it starts to smell). While setting the gain I specifically went soft (wanting to take it slow, let things break in at low power) During the sweep I never went over 1000 watts (using real time power mode) and did not clip. I'm using an orion XTR 2500 which hit 3600 watts at 14.4 on the amp dyno so I have headroom on my amp. Overall I have a sub that's conservatively rated at 2000 watts RMS, a clean signal coming from the head unit, gain set very conservatively at 1000 max across the entire frequency range I'm using, a box that was specifically designed for this sub, but it still smells pretty bad
1 last thing I want to add is that I'm using a DEH-80 PRS in network mode. Sub is crossed over at 80hz at a 36DB slope. Gain was set with everything on flat (how I like my setups anyway).
If anyone has any ideas why I'm having so much trouble or maybe spotted a big nono in my procedure please let me know. Thanks in andance.
 
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Mpoole96

Mpoole96

YukonBassProject
Premium Member
Nov 13, 2019
65
22
Aurora CO
More I want to add. I have set gains on several systems in the past and have never had any trouble. All the other systems I've set up were lower grade and had amps that matched the rms (ex: 600W rms sub 600w rms amp)
This is the first high powered sub I've ever had and the first time I've used an amp that was capable of delivering more power than the sub is rated for. That's where my mind goes when I try to figure out the problem.
 
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Louisiana_CRX

dem shoes......
10+ year member
Aug 22, 2006
39,311
395
Piney Hills of Louisiana
Sounds like a nice setup that you have but the sub must be clipping somehow . Do you have an o scope to check your sine wave ? Another thing that comes to mind is maybe the amp is having issues with the power supply and producing some dc output voltage to the sub.
 
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Mpoole96

Mpoole96

YukonBassProject
Premium Member
Nov 13, 2019
65
22
Aurora CO
Appreciate the complement. Just in case your curious I have a focal ps165f flax sires component set for my mids and highs all independently powered and crossed over with the deh80prs like I already stated the system sounds awesome.
I dont have an oscope only a dd1 and an amm1 from smd (should have bought an oscope to begin with) I'd set the gain with the dd1 but I'm scared I will over power the sub if I go off of a distortion alone. I dont love that I set the gain in real time power mode on the amm 1 but I needed to be able to see how much power I was giving the sub because I know the amp can do more than what I'm rated for and I figured I must be good if I never see over 1000 watts and no clipping (distortion light). As for the amp power supply could it have something to do with my alternator? I'm very aware I need a good eletrical system and have a 370 billet from mechman on the way but for the moment I'm running on the stock alternator with the big 3. Another thing to note is that the entire system is running off of 1 15' run of 0 guage ofc. All the charts and such that I could find say that 1 run is plenty for the amount of amperage I'm dealing with (roughly 300 at peak output) but maybe that gets into the whole dc thing (never heard of it before now) If anything I've said rang some bells please let me know. I'm willing to try anything. Last thing I need is to blow up the nicest sub I've ever owned.
Thanks a bunch for the reply
 

Louisiana_CRX

dem shoes......
10+ year member
Aug 22, 2006
39,311
395
Piney Hills of Louisiana
Appreciate the complement. Just in case your curious I have a focal ps165f flax sires component set for my mids and highs all independently powered and crossed over with the deh80prs like I already stated the system sounds awesome.
I dont have an oscope only a dd1 and an amm1 from smd (should have bought an oscope to begin with) I'd set the gain with the dd1 but I'm scared I will over power the sub if I go off of a distortion alone. I dont love that I set the gain in real time power mode on the amm 1 but I needed to be able to see how much power I was giving the sub because I know the amp can do more than what I'm rated for and I figured I must be good if I never see over 1000 watts and no clipping (distortion light). As for the amp power supply could it have something to do with my alternator? I'm very aware I need a good eletrical system and have a 370 billet from mechman on the way but for the moment I'm running on the stock alternator with the big 3. Another thing to note is that the entire system is running off of 1 15' run of 0 guage ofc. All the charts and such that I could find say that 1 run is plenty for the amount of amperage I'm dealing with (roughly 300 at peak output) but maybe that gets into the whole dc thing (never heard of it before now) If anything I've said rang some bells please let me know. I'm willing to try anything. Last thing I need is to blow up the nicest sub I've ever owned.
Thanks a bunch for the reply
Do you happen to have another sub amp that you could try ? For some reason I have a feeling it’s something in the amp going bad
 

Boomin_tahoe

Hurtin' feelings errrday.
10+ year member
Jul 24, 2005
15,678
250
WA
I couldn't find where it was stated if the sub starts to smell at low or high volume? Also....give the dims on the enclosure if you can, and port area as well as tuning.
 
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Mpoole96

Mpoole96

YukonBassProject
Premium Member
Nov 13, 2019
65
22
Aurora CO
The sub starts to smell at what I would consider my normal listening volume. Its high but not crazy high, and the sub is never played over the volume I used to set the gain.
The enclosure is 2.5 cubes with 40 square inch port area. Tuned to 32 hz
Screenshot_20200123-082936_Gallery.jpg


I want to say its just the sub breaking in but I'm hesitant to. My bro has 4 sundown 8's, cant remember exactly which ones, that are rated 750 each and hes got them powered on a sundown scv 4K. Not once have we smelled anything even when he did a 1 minute average with music basically clipping the entire time.

I have my brothers 4k I can try. It's a royal pain to get to but I'm willing to try it
 
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Mpoole96

Mpoole96

YukonBassProject
Premium Member
Nov 13, 2019
65
22
Aurora CO
Wanted to update this post. I went back and set the gain again using a DD1. I knew the amp could over power my sub so I set the gain at volume level 60 (my max clean signal from my head unit is 61 so I play it safe at 60). I only turn my system to 48, 50 max so I figured it wouldn't be too much power at the lower playing volume and surely not clipping. That seemed to work great for the 30 minutes or so I was able to play it. Then after work I went back and did the math to see how many volts I wanted to see to get to a good wattage output. 50 volts puts me at 2500 watts which I think is safe. I went back with the DD1 to see the voltage I was putting out (while simultaneously detecting any distortion) at volume level 50 and, like it was meant to be, it was right at 50v.
Overall I've learned that using the amm1 in real time power mode is not a reliable way to set gain. Too much fluctuation in input voltage while bumping and too much change in ohm load with different frequencies.
Me and the wife went on a good hour long drive while bumping mostly decaf and bass boosted tracks with no problems at all.
Thanks for all the replies. If this ever comes up again hopefully someone will learn from this thread.
All in all if you have an amp that can overpower your sub, use an o scope or similar device to confirm you won't clip until well past your target output then do the math (square root of (target wattage x wired ohm load)) and set your gain to that voltage. Ex: target wattage is 2500. My sub is wired to 1 ohm 2500x1 is 2500. The square root of 2500 is 50 so I know I need to turn up the gain until I have an output of 50v. Later I might go up to 3000 in which case I will set the gain to roughly 55v. If done with an oscope or similar device while using a 0DB test tone, you will know for certain your not overpowering your system and not clipping.
I know that most everyone on this site knows how to set gains no matter the situation but this has been a learning experience for me and I wanted to share my realization for anyone who needs it
 
Last edited:

Boomin_tahoe

Hurtin' feelings errrday.
10+ year member
Jul 24, 2005
15,678
250
WA
Wanted to update this post. I went back and set the gain again using a DD1. I knew the amp could over power my sub so I set the gain at volume level 60 (my max clean signal from my head unit is 61 so I play it safe at 60). I only turn my system to 48, 50 max so I figured it wouldn't be too much power at the lower playing volume and surely not clipping. That seemed to work great for the 30 minutes or so I was able to play it. Then after work I went back and did the math to see how many volts I wanted to see to get to a good wattage output. 50 volts puts me at 2500 watts which I think is safe. I went back with the DD1 to see the voltage I was putting out (while simultaneously detecting any distortion) at volume level 50 and, like it was meant to be, it was right at 50v.
Overall I've learned that using the amm1 in real time power mode is not a reliable way to set gain. Too much fluctuation in input voltage while bumping and too much change in ohm load with different frequencies.
Me and the wife went on a good hour long drive while bumping mostly decaf and bass boosted tracks with no problems at all.
Thanks for all the replies. If this ever comes up again hopefully someone will learn from this thread.
All in all if you have an amp that can overpower your sub, use an o scope or similar device to confirm you won't clip until well past your target output then do the math (square root of (target wattage x wired ohm load)) and set your gain to that voltage. Ex: target wattage is 2500. My sub is wired to 1 ohm 2500x1 is 2500. The square root of 2500 is 50 so I know I need to turn up the gain until I have an output of 50v. Later I might go up to 3000 in which case I will set the gain to roughly 55v. If done with an oscope or similar device while using a 0DB test tone, you will know for certain your not overpowering your system and not clipping.
I know that most everyone on this site knows how to set gains no matter the situation but this has been a learning experience for me and I wanted to share my realization for anyone who needs it
Good info man. But what's throwing me off is the fact that you're setting the gain using a 0DB test tone. When I set my gains for sub amp, I go by what the subs rms is, look at the chart online/google for the targeted gain voltage setting is for 1, 2 or 4 ohms then I would use a 40Hz tone to find voltage target for the amps' gain setting. For instance I gotta 3000 watt amp I'll just use my DMM and the 40Hz tone to find the voltage of 54.77 or close to it. I'll use a 1000Hz test tone for setting my mids/highs section of the amp, same theory. If my speakers are 125 rms, then voltage target is 15.81 or close to it.
 
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Mpoole96

Mpoole96

YukonBassProject
Premium Member
Nov 13, 2019
65
22
Aurora CO
Good info man. But what's throwing me off is the fact that you're setting the gain using a 0DB test tone. When I set my gains for sub amp, I go by what the subs rms is, look at the chart online/google for the targeted gain voltage setting is for 1, 2 or 4 ohms then I would use a 40Hz tone to find voltage target for the amps' gain setting. For instance I gotta 3000 watt amp I'll just use my DMM and the 40Hz tone to find the voltage of 54.77 or close to it. I'll use a 1000Hz test tone for setting my mids/highs section of the amp, same theory. If my speakers are 125 rms, then voltage target is 15.81 or close to it.
What you said is basically the same as what I ended up doing, along with help from the dd1. I don't understand the confusion with the 0db test tone. I need a sound that is at the highest level possible to ensure I won't be hearing anything louder.
 

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