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HOW TO: STEREO, SPEAKER, BATTERY, SUBWOOFER

 
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Old 20 Mar 2011, 10:32 pm
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Default Setting the gains for your subwoofer

Most amps will specify the specific voltage output an amp should have given a certain load. A simple google search will provide this if it is not included in your instruction manual.

Now, dialing in your amp;
1. Download or purchase a CD with test tones recorded at reference level (0db)
2. Disconnect your sub from your amp.
3. Connect a multimeter/voltmeter to the speaker terminal outputs on your amplifier making sure your meter is set to measure DC voltage. Gain on your amp should be at a minimum.
4. Insert media (test tones), and disable any and all sound enhancements as well as equalizer.
5. Depending what your speaker frequency cut-off is, just disable your interior speakers so that only your subwoofer is playing. You could also try setting the cut-off at a higher frequency than the test tone you will playback for your subwoofer.
6. Play said-media at 3/4 max volume, or even a notch above that.
7. While media plays, take note of what your meter displays. Raise the gain until specific voltage is acquired.
8. Turn everything off, hook everything up and you're ready to go as far as your subwoofer goes!

Here's a great source for test tones - Realm of Excursion

Enjoy!

-Freddy
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Sticky: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

I second this for a sticky to the power that be
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 01:48 pm
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Default Re: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

I feel that this info is not complete enough to deserve a sticky. He doesn't explain "specific" voltage or the fact that the voltage will be different with every system depending on the rms of the amp or the desired output to match the rms of the speaker being driven.
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 02:05 pm
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Default Re: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

Also, the preferred method of setting gains is with an oscilloscope. You can get the maximum output of the amplifier not the "posted" RMS.
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 02:16 pm
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Default Re: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowpt View Post
I feel that this info is not complete enough to deserve a sticky. He doesn't explain "specific" voltage or the fact that the voltage will be different with every system depending on the rms of the amp or the desired output to match the rms of the speaker being driven.
Quote:
Most amps will specify the specific voltage output an amp should have given a certain load. A simple google search will provide this if it is not included in your instruction manual.
Exactly why I started this thread with the above written.


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Originally Posted by lowpt View Post
Also, the preferred method of setting gains is with an oscilloscope. You can get the maximum output of the amplifier not the "posted" RMS.
True, but not many of us have an oscilloscope at our disposal. We're trying to achieve the maximum output at safe levels here, not the maximum output in general.

Any and all of this pertains to both home and mobile audio. The main difference is in a vehicle, you tune your setup to achieve a true, flat frequency response given your vehicles acoustics. In a listening room, you have much more flexibility in terms of placement as well as ways to null out standing waves, blending of speakers and so forth.

I'm not saying my way is the only way by any means but it's a sure way to properly and safely adjust your gains on a subwoofer. Be surprised how many people turn up the gain much higher than they should simply due to lack of knowledge.

Let's discuss this via PM
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 02:20 pm
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Default Re: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

I overlooked that part at first and was in the process of correcting my mistake when you posted. I do agree that this is a way to "safely" adjust the settings for anyone that uderstands how to.
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 02:23 pm
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Default Re: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

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Originally Posted by lowpt View Post
I overlooked that part at first and was in the process of correcting my mistake when you posted. I do agree that this is a way to "safely" adjust the settings for anyone that uderstands how to.
Thanks.

You do however make a valid point about what the subwoofer will see, since a subwoofer isn't exactly matched to any given amp.

Rule of thumb is, in a ported enclosure you can get away with slightly underpowering a subwoofer. Whereas in a sealed enclosure you can get away with slightly overpowering a subwoofer.

A very important thing to add to that is, if you're running a ported enclosure make sure you enable the subsonic filter on your amplifier!
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Old 21 Mar 2011, 05:41 pm
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Default Re: Setting the gains for your subwoofer

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowpt View Post
I feel that this info is not complete enough to deserve a sticky. He doesn't explain "specific" voltage or the fact that the voltage will be different with every system depending on the rms of the amp or the desired output to match the rms of the speaker being driven.
Writing a sticky is purely voluntary; and to help the PT cruiser community. If you don't like this one; you are more than welcome to write your own; on any topic you think may or may not be of importance to the sound forum; or any other forum.

Kawizx9r; keep up the good work.

PEACE!

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