Subwoofer is too quiet


audionoobwhowillprobablyb

CarAudio.com Newbie
Jan 9, 2021
3
0
Michigan
I will start by saying I am very new to the car audio world. Please excuse my ignorance. I am here to learn.

I have recently purchased a Skar SDR 600rms 12" Subwoofer in a ported box tuned to 32hz.

The amplifier powering the sub is also Skar and it's rated at 800rms 1200 peak.

For a while, I've been using a stock stereo in my 2012 impala ltz to send signal to my subwoofer amplifier. To do this, I used a PAC which converted my speaker wire into RCA. The subwoofer was loud. You could feel it. However it was not the quality I was looking for. I knew I need an aftermarket stereo anyway because I wanted to set crossovers to my rear and front speakers seperate from my subwoofer.

I bought an aftermarket stereo that has a dedicated subwoofer output to be able to do what I wanted. I'm using a y splitter to convert my left and right RCA cable into the 1 connection. My subwoofer is now VERY quiet. I can kind of feel it on a FEW songs but only when the gain is dangerously high on the amp. (Way higher than I had it tuned to with the PAC converter connection on the stock head unit)

In the EQ of my stereo, there are crossovers for my front and rear speakers and then there is something called "smart bass" which has a gain that goes up to 12db and a LPF. I'm afraid of anything that SOUNDS like it's some kind of bass boost but is this my problem? Should the gain on this be set higher? Or is this just another form of bass boost.

I guess my question is what are some things I could be doing wrong or not doing at all to get the significantly louder bass I had with PAC converter? I'm doing the big 4 tomorrow with 0 guage wire. Will this help?

Is it bad to use the "smart bass" feature in the EQ to turn up the gain and then also have my gain up on my amplifier? That seems to be the only "remedy" to the low volume.

I really don't want to blow anything up haha. I've been exhausting myself looking for answers so thank you for any insight that can be provided.
 
Last edited:

Bobbytwonames

Trigger Man!
Aug 28, 2018
4,713
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Vegas
Turn your bass all the way down and turn your head unit up until it starts to distort. Then turn the gain up on your bass. Then add 10% and call it the day. You are good to go after that.
 

1aespinoza

Junior Member
May 22, 2013
957
249
Pharr, Texas
Turn your bass all the way down and turn your head unit up until it starts to distort. Then turn the gain up on your bass. Then add 10% and call it the day. You are good to go after that.
This is how I have set up my systems from day one of being into car audio. Now that I have all this infornation of clipped signals rattling around in my head, I have been paranoid about the way I use my subs. Mind you I have yet to apply this technique on my own systems, but I have never cooked a sub. Probably never will, now that I am "listening" for clipping every time I get trigger happy.
 

audiobaun

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5,000+ posts
Jun 28, 2011
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USA
This is how I have set up my systems from day one of being into car audio. Now that I have all this infornation of clipped signals rattling around in my head, I have been paranoid about the way I use my subs. Mind you I have yet to apply this technique on my own systems, but I have never cooked a sub. Probably never will, now that I am "listening" for clipping every time I get trigger happy.
Im actually surprised that I can hear fairly decent over the years and still set by ear
 
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Buck

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I bought an aftermarket stereo that has a dedicated subwoofer output to be able to do what I wanted. I'm using a y splitter to convert my left and right RCA cable into the 1 connection. My subwoofer is now VERY quiet. I can kind of feel it on a FEW songs but only when the gain is dangerously high on the amp. (Way higher than I had it tuned to with the PAC converter connection on the stock head unit)
Can you explain more about what you mean by this?
 

Buck

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When you split RCA's, you effectively half the RCA voltage that your amp sees, which will make your system half as loud if the gains aren't adjusted. I'm not quite sure that's what you did or not.
 

Foogotz

CarAudio.com Newbie
Dec 11, 2020
11
3
Ny
When you split RCA's, you effectively half the RCA voltage that your amp sees, which will make your system half as loud if the gains aren't adjusted. I'm not quite sure that's what you did or not.
Is there any other way to deal with this, like using the line out on another amp instead of using the one wire on the head unit?
 

audionoobwhowillprobablyb

CarAudio.com Newbie
Jan 9, 2021
3
0
Michigan
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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When you split RCA's, you effectively half the RCA voltage that your amp sees, which will make your system half as loud if the gains aren't adjusted. I'm not quite sure that's what you did or not.
The voltage that comes out of the RCAs was the same regardless of being split or not. I checked this because a couple people told me the same thing and it made no sense. The problem was just confusion caused by purchasing a Chinese headunit. They label things weird in the DSP probably because of translation issues idfk... My problem was the subwoofer level in the head unit was infact too low -and also the amplifier gain. I've since invested in a pocket oscilloscope (40 bucks why tf not) and tuned my shit to sound niiice.
 

Popwarhomie

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Buck

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Not true.
Dang, well that's how my stuff has acted. I was referring to if you only run one RCA cable from your head unit (not a pair). That makes my system quieter for sure. To restate, if you only have one RCA male connector plugged into one of your two amp RCA female inputs, it will be quieter. That's what I meant. I should've stated that more clearly. I literally had that happen to me when I installed my HT sub with the new bass knob, had one RCA fall out of the two and had it set that way, then plugged the second RCA in where it got pulled out and it was super loud, with how I only set it with one RCA. I've had this happen on sub amps too, sorry for not stating that correctly. By splitting RCA's, I meant you only run one RCA from the head unit to the amp, where there's only one male connector plugged in. That's what I viewed in my head with what he was explaining.
 

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