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-   -   Do I really need a regulated amp? (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/car-audio/136560-do-i-really-need-regulated-amp.html)

speakerbug 15th January 2009 01:46 AM

Do I really need a regulated amp?
 
I plan on installing a sub with 3 ohms( JL 13TW5). I don't want to spend top dollar for a new or used jl 500/1. Can anyone reccomend other brands or models that would fill the bill ? I plan on shopping on Craigslist and ebay for a used amp - prefersably under $200.


Thanks

jol50 15th January 2009 03:52 AM

LOL, I got into amps more to answer that kind of question, but now it is even harder to answer! Do you have other brands you like, and what power level do you need? What is regulated? You mean the new amps that run any ohm load? Any amp that can handle 2 ohms like most any class D should work fine at 3 with a little less output.

speakerbug 15th January 2009 01:57 PM

good used mono amp 500 RMS
 
Hi and thanks.

I believe the JL sub I bought requires 500 watts RMS at 3 ohms. ( although I've read that it actually runs closer to 4 ohms) I will be using it in a Mini Cooper and so don't think I'll need to crank it to loud.... I have no brand loyalty - except to JL subs.

I've heard that sub amps can have a up to 10 % distortion and not be audible. I don't know if its true, but suggest that I don't need to spring for a top quality JL amp. I have read that the audiobahn amps are not to reliable, but other than that, I' open to sugestions. I have seen a few class D Kenwood mono amps that claim 500 RMS at 2 ohms, I'm leaning towards that.

jol50 15th January 2009 07:33 PM

I don't think sub distortion is that much of an issue, most any amp I've seen is <1% at rated rms output except real cheap amps with bogus ratings that just make less power. And on subs it is not as noticeable if it does distort, yet power is so cheap just get a larger amp if you need to. I would go class d. If you get a real cheap amp certainly plan on one rated larger than you need, and great amps may be underrated or able to run lower loads.

I like Kenwoods for their price range, the 910x/915x class d are bargains IMO. They seem to work great and are IIRC 850/950rms at 2 ohms, though I've never power tested one. I've sold them for 100 used, great deal for near 1kw amp. Have not seen the smaller class d but most kenwoods are similar inside. Most Kenwoods seem to work well they just are not the most durable, yet some others break more often. I would call them one of the cheapest decent amps to use but just my .02. Hard to complain for the price. Some say the excelons are really nice.

The newer ICE amps like the Pioneer PRS are interesting, they can run full range and are a type of class D. I don't know much about them. Just would give you more options in the future to have one of those. I have almost always run cheaper amps on subs and never had an issue other than lack of power, I can't say the same for highs though.

I wish more people here that know a lot about amps would comment on quality of certain brands (hint, hint), but it is very difficult to do. Old amps we know from many years of experience how good they are. Then again it seems that in a price range, some manufacturers must be doing something right. Take some old names like Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, RF, MTX, and they have been around a long time with relatively little change. SoundStream for example is a much different product today than the old ones were. Certainly the issue today is poor reliability with cheap amps.

Have seen some of the Audiobahn class AB and they are a cheaper amp that worked ok, though plenty were blown up. Same with power acoustik, spl, insignia, pyramid, blitz, sony, etc. I'd say the kenwood is better built than those are IMO. One factor is who runs the amps, hard to say if a brand is abused more. I mean minivans are rated the safest cars on the road but its more because of who drives them. I have a newer kicker I don't like, but some people think they are great and others don't.

speakerbug 15th January 2009 07:47 PM

That answers everything - except 1 thing
 
Thanks for the really usefull info

last thing....

I forgot to ask... is it a gimick or really usefull to have a separate dial / control to be able to adjust the sub volume ? I know it can be adjusted through my head unit, but pushing itty bitty buttons while driving is a lot tougher than just turning a dial up and down.

I think I just answered my own question!

jol50 15th January 2009 08:32 PM

You just did is right. I can get to it sort of easy with my HU if I leave the settings menu at sub level, but still a pain. The issue I have is source material from radio to songs is all different, I have to mess with it all the time. If my next amp has one it will go on there or I'll use a processor with one. My current amp does have one but I didn't put it in at the time as I had a crossover in front with a gain. For as long as I remember I have used a crossover with high and low gains, in front.

aznboi3644 15th January 2009 08:54 PM

Re: good used mono amp 500 RMS
 
Quote:

Originally posted by speakerbug
Hi and thanks.

I believe the JL sub I bought requires 500 watts RMS at 3 ohms. ( although I've read that it actually runs closer to 4 ohms) I will be using it in a Mini Cooper and so don't think I'll need to crank it to loud.... I have no brand loyalty - except to JL subs.

I've heard that sub amps can have a up to 10 % distortion and not be audible. I don't know if its true, but suggest that I don't need to spring for a top quality JL amp. I have read that the audiobahn amps are not to reliable, but other than that, I' open to sugestions. I have seen a few class D Kenwood mono amps that claim 500 RMS at 2 ohms, I'm leaning towards that.

the power handling number is NOT what the subwoofer NEEDS. It just tells you how much thermal/mechanical power it can take before things go wrong. You can power it with 100 watts and be happy...it all depends on the enclosure and its efficiency.

speakerbug 15th January 2009 09:03 PM

good point
 
For some stupid reason, I had the 500 RMS in my head as a minimum requirerment. While the JL 13TW5 is sort of ineffient, if I push it to 500 RMS, my poor little mini cooper would probably shake apart.

I'll definitely check out some smaller amps as well.

jol50 15th January 2009 10:59 PM

I tested the alpine mrp-m450 (400rms@2ohm) and it seemed to work well but did not use in a car. I think they went to a M500 for the new model. The 450 could be had used pretty reasonable last time I looked, but just a suggestion. Wish I would have kept the one I had but I like alpines too. The M650 is longer.

Last setup I had as a single 12 box I tried a few subs in it running on an old soundstream rubicon 300w. It was in trunk of smaller sedan and it was plenty loud for sure, just didn't have the bottom for me so I went with an IB setup with four 12s....that actually can make too much output. My highs are too weak to keep up with it now, but if they could they would go too loud as the subs really thunder on only 420rms rated class D and could take more power. So I plan to beef the highs and slim down the subs.


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