View Full Version : A Few Questions for Those Who Know
04-24-2004, 03:40 AM
A few ignorant questions:
First, the scenario. I own a '93 Isuzu trooper. A year ago, seeking an upgrade for the stock speakers I purchased 2 Sony 3-way 6.5's and 2 Sony 3-way 5-1/4's. After some time one of the rear 5-1/4's went bad. The dude at Best Buy said it was because it was underpowered. They replaced them but I never installed them b/c I was afraid they would have similar problems. I recently bought a Polk Momo M12 (enclosed) on ebay and am thinking about powering it with a Rockford Fosgate 500s, 501s, 550s, or 551s--whichever I can get the best deal on. Is this a good idea? Also, it was suggested that I get a 4 channel amp with at least 400 watts continuous to power the 4 sony speakers already installed--is this the right line of thinking? Also, I recently spoke with a guy at a local car audio place and he said the dude at Best Buy was full of crap and further suggested that the problem with my rear speaker was that it had gotten more bass than it could handle. He also suggested that the deck would provide enough power for the 4 sony speakers. He granted that an amp would make them louder, but seeing as how I was under something of a budget, that it would be fine. He said I should buy a capacitor(s) to limit the bass going at least to the rear 5-1/4's and perhaps the 6.5's so that turning up the volume would only raise the mids and highs and the bass would only be affected on the Polk Momo sub. Basically I don't know if any of this stuff is true and I am looking for a cost conscious solution. Please advise. Thanks.
04-24-2004, 11:38 AM
I hate to say this but it would seem as though the guy at Best Buy was right....yuck! Whats this world coming to?!
A head unit typically puts out about 10-15 RMS per channel. I know they all claim 50 -75 each but look at a 50x2 amp, its about twice the size of the entire head unit and about 3 times bigger than the hu's amplifier. So how can an amp 3 times smaller than a 50x2 put out 50x4? It cant, hence the hu's "max" rating which is worthless. Youre getting around 15 rms and on top of that its going to be very dirty power as well.
Now oddly enough, this small amount of power will be almost as loud as 35-40 rms off a normal amp, but the distortion will be about 5 times as much. So when you cranked the volume up to a repectable level, you fed a lot a crap into the speakers and the Sonys are probably not the best built speakers to begin with and, voila! You now have some neat looking paper weights!
My advice, buy some Polk DB 6.5 and 5.25 coaxials which are close to the Sonys in price ($120 and $110) but lightyears ahead in build and sound quality! Then buy an amp that puts out about 50x4. This Coustic (http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/COU481QE) is a dandy and is $190. If you want something a little cheaper try this Profile (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-luoU4nc2BDk/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?s=0&c=3&g=120&I=489CL440&o=p&a=0&cc=01&avf=N). These are damn decent amps and you cant beat em for $130. However Id recommend the Coustic. I think they sound pretty good and theyre built like a tank. Ive been using them since about '91 and although theyre not competition level, they are a great amp.
For the sub youre gonna want at least 400 rms but I wouldnt go more then 500. Here is another Profile (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-luoU4nc2BDk/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?s=0&c=3&g=110&I=489CA600&o=m&a=0&cc=01&avf=N) that cranks out 450x1 and goes for a mere $140! This Coustic (http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/COU401DB) would be my pick though as Coustic is my favorite budget amp. It puts out less than the Profile, 400, but Coustic is generally very underrated so Id wager youre getting at least 425-440. Either one, youll be happy.
You dont have to stick with these 2 brands but just stick around 50x4 for the mids and highs and 400-500x1 for the sub and youll be fine.
04-24-2004, 01:12 PM
Why wouldn't you put more than 500 on an MM12? Correct me if I'm wrong, but cody is throwing more than 600 on his with no problem. From what I've heard, they can take a ton of power, you just have to be dang sure to break them in properly.
04-24-2004, 03:24 PM
Generally speaker manufactuerers rate their speakers at the point where you get the best balance between performance versus wear and tear on the speaker. In other words, 500 would give you the best SQ, any more would not signifigantly increase SQ but would increase the strain on the sub a great deal and cut down on the life of the sub.
Now all subs are different and this could not be the case with the Polk but I like to play it safe. At $200+ a pop, they get expensive! ;)
04-24-2004, 04:31 PM
ok, im going to try to touch a little but on all bases here
from the beginning
do you have an aftermarket radio?
if so, what is it?
if not, get that before you get an amp/sub
why did your speaker blow?
1. its a sony speaker, sony speakers are crap, im sorry to tell you this after the fact, but thats how life goes sometimes
theyre made ****ty and are sold at prices that are outrageous for what you get
2. do you have a stock radio?
if so, thats part of the problem, the stock radio's internal amp probably puts out a whopping 2 watts of power, most do
when you try to ask too much of this amp--another words, were you playing it too loud?:D --dont worry, were all guilty of it...cept maybe macleod...if its over 100 watts its too loud for him:D
but anyway, when you turn the volume up, it puts stress on the radios tiny little amp which causes distortion
distortion f***s up speakers
capacitors, also known as bass blockers, help reduce distortion
the best buy guy probably didnt mean it this way, but he was still right all the same
you will hear a lot about "clean" watts and "dirty" watts
"dirty" watts means a distorted signal
like what i said b4, trying to ask too much of an amp it starts to distort
it sends this distorted signal to the speaker
speakers are not made to play distortion, and they blow
"clean" watts are watts free of distortion
no matter what, radio amp's make dirty watts...theyre not great amps, the size of the radio limits how much they can do
which is why underpowering a speaker from a radio will blow a speaker before over powering a speaker from a good amp will
but the best buy guy probably meant theyre underpowered, buy an amp from me so i can get commission
or he had no idea what he was talking about--my guess is a little bit of both
so after you get an aftermarket radio, or if you already have one
my next move is to get better speakers
you dont HAVE to, but i would
id go with these these JBL (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-ZXvx0PRQeNn/cgi-bin/ProdSearch.asp?Search=JBL+GTO&Go.x=0&Go.y=0) speakers
if you dont want to get a big amp, dont get the components
just go to where it says "Speakers"
then look at the 5.25" and the 6.5" speakers
you seem like youre on a budget and these will not break the bank
theyre not as good as polks, but polks are more expensive
if you do get those speakers an amp for them is recommended, but not required
an amp has many benefits:
it will make your speakers sound better at any volume
you can play them louder
they will actually make your speakers last longer
you wont have to buy bass blockers(which is what the guy was talking about when he told you capacitors...theyre one and the same)
plus, theres the cooless factor:
the look of having 2 amps
you can honestly say all my speakers are amped
you guessed it...money
this hifonics 4-channel amp (http://www.acaraudio.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=46&products_id=1135) is my amp of choice
its $220 which is EXTREMELY cheap...it probably retails around 500-600 bucks
ok so is $220 too expensive?
ok...id still get the amp...but if it is totally out of the question, then you need to pick up a pair of bass blockers
you can get em at Radio Shack
all you do is cut the speaker wire, not the ground, just the power, and put the two ends into the 2 end of the bass blocker, crimp and your done
if that sounds EXTREMELY easy...its because it is...you can install them in about 30 seconds
ok, after you have your radio, wiring, speakers if you choose to replace them, amp if you choose to get it, or bass blockers if you dont want the amp
but wait...you did catch that i put wiring after radio right?
of course you did;)
i havent mentioned it before b/c it all ties together with the amp/bassblockers/speakers
you need to replace your speaker wire
dont worry, its cheap
go the radio shack, pick up 50ft of 18awg speaker wire
if you replace your speakers and are getting an amp, do the wiring at the same time
if youre just getting bass blockers, doesnt matter if your replacing the sonys or not, do the wiring at the same time
ok so whats next?
woohoo, everyone loves subs:)
well, out of the amps you listed, id get the 551S
i have 2 550S which is the same thing but older
1 going to each of my mm12s
i wouldnt get RF
trust me on this one...i have 4 RF amps in my truck now...well...3, one is in the box waiting to get shipped back for repairs...
so what would i go with?
again....this hifonics amp (http://www.acaraudio.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=46&products_id=1133)
probably cheaper than the RF and its less likely to **** out on you like 2 of my RF amps have
and of course the mm12 you picked out is a wonderful sub
you know theyre $180 at sounddomain (http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/POLMM12) right?
but i am sorry to say there is one more thing you go have to spend money on...
more wiring stuff
this wiring kit (http://knukonceptz.com/productDetail.cfm?prodID=KOLAK44) is what you need if you go with the 4 channel amp
the 12awg speaker wire is too big for your other speakers, but perfect for the sub...so youll have some extra 12awg speaker wire...it doesnt come with 18...so youll still have to buy that
if you just want to amp the sub, then id go with
this wiring kit (http://knukonceptz.com/productDetail.cfm?prodID=KOLAK4)
and thats all folks
hope this helps...it took me forever to type this up...lol
04-24-2004, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by exalted512
dont worry, were all guilty of it...cept maybe macleod...if its over 100 watts its too loud for him
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thats what they said about Einstein too......or was it Son of Sam...I never can remember! :p
Am I the only dude in here over 30?!? LOL
04-25-2004, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by MacLeod
Am I the only dude in here over 30?!?
man youre ancient!!!
04-25-2004, 12:29 AM
Thanks guys for all the help. To answer a few extra questions you posed--I got my MM12 for $150 so I think I did alright there. I have budgeted no more than $500 to get the whole deal done and if i can come in under that number it would be great. You're right, the Sony's are crap, but they are better than the stock speakers I had before. The radio installed is a stock Isuzu radio tape deck in one part and then the cd player in a separate unit. So do I go for the Bass Blockers or is the 4 way amp worth the upgrade or should I, as a couple of you suggested, get a whole new deck. One other consideration I have to bare in mind is the ease of transfer to another vehicle. I anticipate getting another ride and I would like to be able to just lift everything I put into this trooper into whatever I get to replace it. Buying a new deck may complicate things. Also, I greatly appreciate the detail that you guys go to in explaining exactly how to do things. I have absolutely ZERO knowledge on how to do all this stuff so the information and insight you all provide is proving to be extremely helpful. Thanks again.
04-25-2004, 01:16 AM
this pioneer deck (http://www.electronicscity.com/product_info.php?cPath=175_105&products_id=226&osCsid=f9bd98b68d177233f577ef9c00efabf6) is a pretty good entry llevel deck and its only $180
decks are very easily moved to other vehicles, just remember to keep your stock one around...
cut the wires and crimp em down...easy as that
go to your local best buy...they will have metra kits for your specific car
it will tell you what wires go to what and so on
head units look hard...but all it is is matching wire colors and crimping them down
id DEF. get the deck before i got any amps
it makes it much easier to intall amps
i think its worth it to get the 4 channel amp...but that puts you $200 over budget...but then again i probably wouldnt bother in amping sony speakers...
id just get the bass blockers
the great thing is if you ever do want to upgrade, its not that hard
when wiring an amp you have a power wire coming from the battery to the amp
just cut the power wire before you get to the amp and put it in a distro block
a distro block allows you to have one wire in and 2 coming out(1 to each amp)
so after you get the radio, sub and amp for the sub and you want to upgrade, its always an option
but if you were to get an amp for your regular speakers...get rid of the sony first...
if you have any more questions like amp installation of radio installation, well be glad to help
04-25-2004, 01:36 AM
$500 is gonna be tough to get to with decent equipment but Ill give it a shot. Its good that you already got your sub so we can spend the rest of the scratch on some better equipment.
This Alpine (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-FyK323sLkzw/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?s=0&c=3&g=300&I=500CDA9825&o=m&a=0&cc=01&avf=N) is my pick for a head unit. Its only $200 but has 3, 4 volt preouts which is great! OK, thats $200.
This Phoenix Gold (http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/PHOT6004) is a great choice for an amp. You run it in 5 channel mode and it will spit out 75 rms to the front and rear speakers and 300 to the sub and for $240 is a great deal.
Well weve got $60 left so we aint gonna make it. However, I recommend going with only front speakers for now. It will be cheaper and easier on your amp. Besides, you wont miss em. I dont run rear speakers and virtually all SQ competition cars dont have em. There is nothing wrong with them, other than they pull your soundstage to the rear.
These Polk DBs (http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/POLDB675) shall be your speakers of choice. They are 7" so theyll have full rich sound.
Well there you go. A pretty good sounding system for $550. Not too bad.
04-25-2004, 01:53 AM
if you play MP3s, that alpine will not let you do it, otherwise, its a decent unit
04-25-2004, 03:24 AM
I think there is some consensus among those of you responding. Or at least, I'll writte out what I think you all are telling me and you can respond and tell me if I get it right. First, I need to get a Head Unit and that it is more important than getting a 4 channel amp--I guess that could wait til further down the road when I have a few more dollars. Second, the head unit should be good to power my crappy Sony speakers with bass blockers on them until I can afford, again, a 4 channel amp and some decent component speakers. So, I suposed I should buy the amp to power the MM12 and the Head Unit as well as the kit from best buy to wire it all and some bass blockers, though I'm still not sure what those are, how much they cost, or how to install them. Also, another question. I currently have an iPod with most of my music and use an FM broadcaster to play it over my radio. Its not the highest quality sound, but it works. Is there anyway to run some sort of direct line (firewire, RCA etc.?) directly from the iPod either into an amp or into the head unit or anything else? Thanks again for all your help guys, I really do appreciate it.
04-25-2004, 06:25 AM
id get the head unit before the sub and amp
to tell you the truth, i have no idea how to install an amp without an aftermarket radio...
bass blockers run like $5 a pair or so
after monday i might be able to get some pics up of how to install them
as far as the ipod, i have no idea...
04-25-2004, 06:46 AM
bass blockers, if you go to an electronics store and ask for capacitors (if you tell them the application they should know which one's you'll need) and they'll cost you no more than a buck each.
as for the ipod, if you get the pioneer deck that was mentioned earlier (or any pioneer deck with the letter p in the model number) will have a set of aux rca inputs. what you do is get a short rca to mini (small headphone jack) i'd get one that's male rca and female mini so you can just have an extra length of male to male mini that you don't have to have sticking out of your dash all the time. hook the rca end up to the deck and the mini end up to the ipod, select AUX for your input source and fire up the ipod. pretty easy and just do it at the same time as you install the HU to save on work, should cost you no more than 10-20 bucks depending on the brand of wiring you go with....
04-25-2004, 06:40 PM
As I read your replies and think through it I begin to understand why my first thought should have been to get a new head unit. The old head unit really is a piece of trash, puts out no power (no clean power anyway, thanks for clearing that up for me). I can buy a new head unit that will put out 4x50 and really not even need a 4 channel amp--especially with my crummy sony speakers. So in the short term I buy a new Pioneer HU--I am currently looking for a deal on eBay (any thoughts about that?), waiting for my MM12 to show up, and looking for an amp to power the MM12. Also, the insight about looking for a "P" in the model number on the pioneer HU's was a good insight. I had no idea which ones had the aux RCA. I am sitll not sure which amp I should be looking for to power the MM12. Some things i have read suggest a mono channel amp with at least 500w rms, some have suggested a 300x2 and then to bridge it (what the heck does that mean--bridging I mean) and then MacLeod tells me I don't even need 500w to power the sub, that it can do with less. So I need a little clarification in that area. Also, on the Pioneer HU's, what is the difference between the premier series and the normal pioneer? Those of you who have been responding, thanks, just kind of look over the various issues I have raised--if you can make any sense of this post--and reply where you seed the need. Thanks for continuing to help a newbie. My knowledge, though still small, is miles ahead of where it was just 3 days ago.
04-25-2004, 06:54 PM
bridging a 2 channel amp:
a 2 channel amp you have 2 channels(obviously)
each channel has a positive and negative hook up
you take the speaker wire, hook the negative of the wire to the negative of one channel, the positive on of the same wire to the positive to the OTHER channel
and btw, 50x4 is a peak rating
most decks put out 18-23 watts RMS
if you shop ebay, make sure its "new in box" from a user who has A LOT of positive feedback
premier units are built better/last longer
04-25-2004, 08:34 PM
the premier line also has a 2 year warranty, if i were you i'd just go with an authorized internet dealer, there are ones with good enough prices and that way you know that you're getting a warranty.
04-26-2004, 03:12 AM
What amp should I buy to power my MM12?
04-26-2004, 09:33 AM
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