Here are a few questions we have received over the last few years, and the answers we've given.
Subject: Capacitor Hook Up/Amp-Speaker Compatibility
A capacitor is simply a device that parallels the power supply. Simply connect the + and - on the capacitor to the same poles on the amplifier power input, along with the battery cables.
The capacitor's action is wholly internal: by accumulating a massive charge during quiet periods, and releasing it in moments when transient peaks being passed by the amplifier, require it, you can avoid some early clipping distortion. However avoiding much more destructive clipping depends on two things: a clean signal that does not have amplitude of a magnitude sufficient to drive the amplifier beyond it's clean signal capacity, and an amplifier capable of yielding a clean signal at levels that permit ample headroom for the woofers you have and meet your subjective loudness needs.
If your amplifier is rated at 1000 watts into 2 channels max power, it may be insufficient to meet the objective above with the woofers you have. If the rating is in RMS watts, then you are in good shape.
Max power works like this:
Both chan.=1000 watts Max
This ratio is perfectly satisfactory if you play the system at only moderate levels, and NEVER permit very loud heavy bass to be played. Otherwise, you should consider an amplifier with an output capacity between 440 and 500 watts RMS. This will provide sufficient headroom to avoid some or most destructive clipping as larger amplitude signals are introduced. It is simply not possible to totally eliminate clipping, unless the maximum amplitude (loudness) of the incoming signal is also limited.
Subject: Amplifier/Speaker Compatibility
Thus, your principal interest appears to be in acquiring an amp and woofer box to provide a more compelling bass response. The choice of how to proceed will be determined by the level of acoustical ambition you wish to indulge. The range is: from providing a satisfying hi-fi experience within the car, to rattling the neighbor's windows three block down (and possibly incurring the wrath of legal authority.) Any of these variations can be accommodated with equipment we have available.
Since you are not looking for anything "too Loud," I'd say the former level might be satisfactory. It's also less expensive. Something like the Hammer Model HK2802X, which is a 2-Channel Bridgeable 70-Watt/chan Amplifier should do the trick quite nicely.
Since your directional information is supplied by the other speakers, you need only have extra power for the production of bass. It is available for $119.00.
As for speakers, You need only a woofer about 8" to 10" in size, in a complimentary single bandpass enclosure. The Pyramid Model #BPASS5 Three-Chamber model has a Tuned Port and One 10" Poly Laminate Woofer rated at 150 Watts RMS power handling.
Since bass is non-directional, you just need one bandpass subwoofer to do a reasonably good job. The amplifier is bridgeable, and can provide the full output of right and left inputs to the one mono channel.
Our educational section may provide more insight of a technical nature. If you have additional questions, let me know.
I'd suggest you check for a problem somewhere in the installation, if the amplifier is known to be working.
Disconnect the input cables at their source and momentarily touch the tips. If no hum or buzz is heard then the problem is likely not at the source.
Check the amp for a power light. Make sure the switch is on, and that the operational set-up switches are configured correctly.
Check the speaker connections. It's not likely that both speakers are incorrectly connected, but anything's possible.
Check the power supply fuse and connection. If you have a meter, confirm the presence of the correct voltage at the amp's terminal.
**Make certain you have connected the power turn on cable from the receiver (head-end) unit.
If all this checks out, you may have a defective amp. If you wish further advice, on this, please supply more details.
Subject: Blowing Speakers
Thank You A lot,
DISCONTINUE using the speakers immediately until you can ascertain whether they are in fact, defective. Shorted voice coils, or scraping of the form against the magnet structure, will short circuit and damage your receiver/amplifier.
The important specification in your Pioneer receiver is the power output per channel rated in RMS. It is probable that the figure of 180 watts is the peak output, which means the actual output in RMS is more like 90 watts. Divide this into 4 channels (I assume it is a 4 channel unit) and the actual power output is 22.5 watts per channel RMS. This is still pretty respectable however, if you are using regular 4" to 6.5" car speakers, or even 6 x 9's.
But, if you have these 10's in a box, and you are trying to make the big bass sound, you will definitely need a power amp to go with the speakers. The receiver alone is simply inadequate for that purpose. For most 10 inch speakers an amp rated at 100 to 200 watts peak ( or 50 to 100 watts RMS) should do the trick. They should be compatible with the requirements of the woofer to within 65 to 110 percent of its rated handling power.
Good Luck with your system!
Subject: Eliminating Unwanted Noise
After you have determined that there is noise in the system, determine if the amplifier is causing the noise. To do this, mute the signal at the inputs to the amp by disconnecting the input cable and turning down the gain (volume) controls. If there is no noise, then the amp is fine. However, if there is noise, then use a test speaker at the amp's output. If this stops the noise, then the problem is originating in the speaker wiring, or the passive crossovers. Check to make sure that none of these are shorting with the body of the car, and try it again. If noise is still present when using the test speaker, then there may be a problem with the power supply on the amp.
Try isolating the power supply by turning off the engine - if this does not get rid of the noise, then there is something seriously wrong with the amp, and it should be replaced. If the noise goes away, then there may be a problem with power supply filtering or isolation. This can be fixed by changing the amp's ground point or by adding external supply filtering.
1. Make sure your amp is properly grounded to a heavy frame part with adequate gauge wire.
2. If the noise is present in the system's other speakers connected to your receiver, then the car's power system is definitely involved.
There are many popular noise suppression systems on the market ranging from a simple capacitor to an elaborate filtering circuit. Since the noise source is seldom known with precision, try the simplest and least expensive solution first. A non-polarized 50 mfd. 50 volt electrolytic capacitor costing about $1.50 may do it. Try installing this directly on the alternator output terminal. Since its non polarized, either end may be used.
Subject: What Is Gained By Adding Subwoofers
Example: If I have a subwoofer that will put out 120db with the power that I feed to it, What will the db gain be by adding the second identical subwoofer with the same amount of power?
It would seem that merely adding another woofer to a system would simply double the sound pressure level in the listening space. However there is a peculiar quality to the production of low level bass effects that is called phase cancellation. It can be produced by the action of the woofer directly, or as the consequence of an improper enclosure, or as a result of room (interior) reflections. Anytime that frequencies below 100 Hz are produced, even by just one woofer, cancellation can become a factor. So when you have 2 or more subwoofers, a situation can easily arise wherein you can have effectively less, rather than more, bass energy produced. How to proceed...
In a word, EXPERIMENT! There are many methods of dealing with phase cancellation. If you do not use the services of a good professional installer, you will need an audio generator, and a sound level meter at a minimum. Two controllable variables are: the electrical polarities (the + and - on the input terminals) and the position of the enclosure in the listening area.
In fact, before you buy that next sub (unless you're buying it from us, of course) I recommend that you experiment with those two factors in your existing sub, if you believe the bass to be inadequate. Good Luck! If you have additional questions, please let us know.
Subject: Elevated Woofer Cone
Possible causes of failure apart from internal faults, may be any or some combination of the following:
1. Connection to speaker with an improper impedance. 4 ohm is usually optimal.
2. Playing low frequency high volume program with the gain and loudness set too high.
3. Power feed cable too small for amp demand.
If the damage is confirmed to be in the amplifier, you will need to have it repaired.
DO NOT USE THIS UNIT! It will damage your speaker.