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  1. #1

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    Thumbs down PA880 not all that

    So 2 months ago, I bought a PA880 from Best Buy on sale and mounted it in my Titan. After buying it I started reading all the reviews on it. At first, what I saw was how hard it hit and how powerful it was. The issues that I started seeing soon after the purchase were 1) it runs REALLY hot, 2) it overheats and goes into thermal protection and 3) the bass boost knob is marginal at best and doesn't work in a linear fashion. Guess what? All of those reviews were correct.... sort of.
    I originally mounted the amp with a DXi12 in a sealed box built to Polk's specs. The thing HAMMERED that sub hard (after break in of course). On a whim, I bought a new truck in mid June (F150 Supercrew) and installed it in that one. That is when I started experiencing what others were saying. The thing runs REALLY hot! I mean the "I can't touch it" kind of hot. It was even mounted in a more open space in the F150 and got more air. I never mounted the remote bass control in my Titan because my head unit had all the controls that I need without it. On my F150, I mounted the knob because I am wired to the stock head unit since there is no aftermarket faceplate available as of now. It has been hitting hard for the 2 months that I have had it in the truck. Today on the way home, it shut off for around 5 seconds, then came back on. I thought it was just Pandora buffering and didn't think any more of it. A few minutes later, it shut down completely and never came back on. I pulled over and disconnected the power cable to the amp and finished the drive home. When I got home, I checked it and found the fuses blown. I disconnected all power wiring to the amp then put 2 new 30A fuses in and reconnected power, then the ground. Both of the fuses instantly popped and smoke started coming out of it. It never went into overload protection or anything. It is installed with a Rockford Fosgate install kit. The really bad part here is that I cannot find the receipt. I sent Polk Customer Service an e-mail asking them if anything could be done (I'm waiting to hear back from them). I wouldn't blame them at all if they did nothing about it without the receipt, but it still makes me angry. The PA880 was a replacement for a 14 year old Rockford Fosgate Power 200 that still worked like new. When the PA880 went out, I pulled out the old RF, dusted it off and installed it in place of the PA. The thing still sounds great. It doesn't have the ability to overpower the sub the way that the PA does, but in 14 years it has never failed me. Basically, I asked if they would honor the warranty. If not, it will go in the dumpster and I will stick to reputable brands like Rockford and JL Audio.... Lesson learned. I guess they just don't make electronics the way they used to. Has anyone else had any similar experiences?

    BTW..... Rant complete.

  2. #2

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    Sounds like you shorted something out if both fuses blew instantly. And yes it runs hot - it's class AB (clearly states it). Means it is pretty inefficient and will put out quite a bit of heat. Two years ago I had the same one powering dual DXi12s @ 2ohms and it pounded hard. It did go into protect many times when it was 105F outside - my car is black. Hook it up outside your car with a 12v source to verify it is toasted.
    Main Surround -
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  3. #3

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    With it working fine in one truck then not working in another truck makes me think it's an install issue. Popping fuses usually points to wires shorting out and not necessarily an internal issue.

    Wire the amp up outside the truck. Just hook it straight to the battery with different wires and them turn it on. If it fires up and doesn't pop any fuses, chances are the problem is with a short either in the power, ground or speaker wires.

    Also, how high is your gain set? If it's higher than the halfway or noon position, there is a chance it set too high and you're over driving your amp.

    Not saying the amp isn't defective cause it very well could be but these are a couple things to check to make sure the problem isn't further upstream.
    Last edited by MacLeod; 08-21-2013 at 10:36 AM.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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  4. #4

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    Also make sure you have a good ground. Crappy grounds means less voltage, which means the amp has to try and pull more current, and more current means more heat. Do what the others are telling you.
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