‘fading’). I’ve taken the liberty to “borrow” from our “Down Under” fellow 12 volt guys (read Australia here ) ) and used something they wrote about correctly setting gains from a couple years ago and added some of my own additional information (see credits at the end of the article)  Hey…Why reinvent the wheel?? Having our ears detect midbass being reproduced from the rear of the car adversely affects the soundstage. 4 to 7” diameter) that are part of the front-speaker setup are fed too much bass, especially when delivered a ‘full range’ signal. Hi again Buck Thanks for that. Below is a picture of a GOOD voice coil and a BURNT voice coil. What this all means is even IF you HU ‘s volume control goes up to say,”45” but the scope shows noticeable clipping at “37”, turning the volume control past this part (38,39,40,41, etc) is pure distortion and not good for the amplifier, system or speakers. Test tones are obviously very different to conditions to playing actual music. 17. This transition is typically sudden and harsh, but some amps have soft clipping, which is far less noticeable. The gain control on ANY amplifier is NOT a volume control. The implication is that the gain setting on the amplifier must be much higher than predicted. By Larry Frederick and Friends. By using our site, you agree to our. Of course, these maximum “advertised” output signal voltages are only achieved when the HU volume is turned up to full (wherever that may be!). The formula for finding total resistance of speakers wired in parallel is a little trickier. These alignments have particular properties of how they create their slope “shape”, particularly where the relationship of two filters will be used near one another. Time alignment can many times solve a lot of these subwoofer placement issues. 7. Period. Not what you thought? Again, play the CD and turn the HU volume to the level used to set the other gains. clean The clean channel will have little to no gain, depending on the exact amplifier you’re using. In general, preamp level signals don’t go through fewer components in the headunit and are often recommended for connecting to the amplifier. Otherwise, if the subwoofer overpowers the front stage, the bass will not blend in well and it will not sound that great. The wider the range over which you can use the volume control on the HU, the finer the control you have. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Play music that is well-recorded and you are familiar with, featuring the entire frequency bandwidth from sub bass to treble. ETC. You know the gains are set incorrectly when the system gets very loud…VERY quickly and the master volume control is not near its limit. This will vary from car to car and system to system (depending on path lengths, subs used, enclosures, etc). For example, an amplifier may produce only 100WRMS of power, beyond which it will clip. Right?? It’s bad all the way around. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Set Subsonic to 30-35Hz. How do I best utilize crossovers (filters)? Input VOLTAGE has EVERYTHING to do with it!!! The choice of frequency where the HP filter is set is a compromise: it is always better to have MORE midbass (70-150Hz range depending on the physical properties of the speaker itself) from the front speakers, asking too much of them will diminish their power handling. By using a HP filter to remove bass, it will greatly improve the power handling of the speaker and avoid over-excursion. Note that if you can ‘hear’ a subwoofer’s location, it will be because the subwoofer is either reproducing higher frequencies or there are rattles and vibrations that localize it. Now let us say the HU is delivering a 2V signal via the preouts (typically the RCA outputs) at it’s maximum usable volume position BEFORE signal clipping occurs. This is a must, otherwise, car amp can catch fire. Play your test music. *W = Watts (Electrical Power). , the systems distorts quickly, eccessove hiss at higher levels (tell tale sign that gains are set TOO high)and the amplifier runs really HOT really FAST. To achieve a nicely balanced system between front and rear speakers, and the subwoofer, their respective levels need to be matched. 15. Obviously a scope is the easiest way. 13. Your gain setting determines how hard you're driving the preamp section of your amp. Posted on 9/19/2016 . The advertised voltage found in the specifications on your HU refers to the output signal under test bench conditions: usually by playing a constant signal like a test tone (sine wave) at a fixed frequency and it does not always mean that the advertised specification for output voltage is the same amount of output voltage that’s “clean” and free of distortion. Whenever you listen to music you can lower the sub bass for various tracks yet still set it higher for others; it gives good flexibility. Basically having the gains set TOO high causes all sorts of issues. This excess of bass in that small speaker will cause premature distortion from over-excursion and reduce its power handling. 18. The amplifier is usually an aftermarket part that is installed trunk of a car or the rear of a truck. you want it to sound as if all of the bass is coming from your front speakers, rather than noticing that it is coming from the subwoofer at the rear of the car). *HU = Headunit d. Please remember that if you have a subwoofer volume control on the headunit and/or a bass knob for the amplifier, set it to the maximum before you set the gains on the sub amp. Turn off ‘loudness’ and set any EQ to flat. However, as a rough guide, the HP can be set depending on the size of the speakers: *6 to 7” speakers: 50-100Hz with 12dB/octave (or higher!) The installation will also be a variable, particularly the subwoofer enclosure design and location, as well as the installation/location of the front stage drivers, as well as the filters themselves. Other schools of thought have been that you should always start your crossover at least one octave above the speaker’s Fs (Resonant frequency –or Fs). Say it out loud! Most enthusiasts using a subwoofer never switch any ‘loudness’ setting on; it is unnecessary. By this, I mean make sure the subwoofer is at a similar volume to your front stage. For example, if the gain is set where the amp requires an input signal of 3V to produce full power but the HU only delivers 2V even at full volume, the amp will never reach full power. Turning input gain up (or down) does not make the amp more powerful. You need to know WHERE your HU clips at, Note that clipping, per se, is not dangerous for the speaker. Sure, it may peak as high as 4V, but never reach that level in a sustained manner, at least under music conditions. If input clipping occurs to rapidly (by having the input gains CRANKED!!) Many people push their equipment beyond its limits. If you want to use bass boost on a sub amp, set it prior to setting the gains on the amp and use the center frequency of the bass boost (45 Hz for most amps) as your test tone. Turn gain all the way down (full anticlockwise). Most audio equipment dies for one simple reason. That's a recording you are very familiar with and know what it's supposed to sound like. It takes a LOT of time and abuse to do this. For example burned voice coils of speakers (typically subwoofers). Inevitably the customer’s buddy says that because you have the gain settings tuned WAY down, the amplifier is NOT delivering full power!! I personally do not like under or over lapping crossovers. This has been discussed above. Trying to set amp gain using an inaccurate meter reading the voltage of different frequencies through an unknown impedance will not work very well. The gain setting remains true however; that is, if you set the gain to the ‘1V’ marking, the amp will produce full power when the HU delivers 1V with an oscilloscope measuring this with a 1,000 Hz sinewave.

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