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Unread 11-22-2009, 04:50 PM   #1
tjchad04
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Amp too weak for this sub???

I just installed a new 6.5" kicker sub in a custom box made out of 1/2" mdf nestled snuggly inside my tuffy center console. It is being powered by an xtant 1.1i that i got off ebay.

This is the sub: Kicker 08CVT654 6.5" 4-OHM Voice Coil Thin Comp SUB: Compare Prices, View Price History and Read Reviews at NexTag

This is the amp: xtant 1.1i Amplifier

So I got it all hooked up and I can barely hear this sub. It just sounds so weak. Its right by my hip, I can barely feel this thing hit let alone hear it. Don't think I'm the ******* buying a 6.5" sub and expecting booty bounce bass. I just want it to round out the sound and have a decent amount of thump. But right now it just seems so quiet, like quieter than the stock sub was.

Can I adjust the gain on the amp to make the sub louder? Or do I need to buy more amp? The reason I got this amp is because its so small and I can hide it anywhere. Will the gain make the sub louder? Or is it the fact that I have a 150 watt sub being powered by a 100 watt amp?

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Unread 11-22-2009, 06:01 PM   #2
XJ Jay
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what did you expect out of 6.5 sub
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Unread 11-22-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
tjchad04
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i expected it to be louder than the stock sub, quite significantly louder...not too much to ask i think
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Unread 11-22-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
XJ Jay
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a sub that rated for 150 watts in a sealed box and a amp that probably puts out 125ish or so. agreed it should have a bit more then stock. what head unit are you using, what your LPF set at etc........also the gain is ment to match the input voltage, if you have the gain pinned at zero, you will need to turn it up still you hear some distortion/muddy bass then back it down a tad.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:17 AM   #5
tjchad04
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The headunit is a jvc kd-g420...there arent any high or low pass filters, there is no seperate sub adjustment. Raised the bass setting cranks up the bass to all speakers and sounds bad. What should I do, adjust the gain on the amp and see where that gets me? buying a new HU would suck because i've had this one for a long time so i dont really care if someone steals it when the top is off. buying a new amp is an option i guess...but what about something like this amp line driver: PAC TURBO 1 Variable Line Driver - TURBO 1 - Buy.com
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Unread 11-23-2009, 07:49 AM   #6
SirGCal
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The problem with the stock setup isn't the sub; it's the box... If you want to boost it's output, you really have to reinforce the box. A few layers of fiberglass will work wounders or at least a layer of dynamat will help. As for the sub, that sub is weak. I've seen it now in three installs and my old JL 6W0's at 75W can whoop em. The new JL 6W3's can literally feed them their own magnets for breakfast. Just a different class of product. That kicker is really more of a stock enhancer, not a real sub truely, at least from performance I've heard from some. One guy had six of those in his Tahoe and it sounded like one OK 8, maybe 10... really unimpressive honestly.

So that's the whole picture. The amp there is a potent little thing. Used it many times. Though it's not really quite so strong being used for subs... Though not sure why exactly. It works but... Maybe the rails are just a bit short. I've used them in the past and basically expect to get about 85W out of them truly and cleanly. Up toward their rated 100W, they were, ehh... Little disappointing from an otherwise nice company like Xtant. But it was the first micro-amp too so can't expect it to be perfect.

All in all, with that combination, I'd expect it to be roughly around the performance of the stock setup, maybe a slight less to a slight more depending on if your stock setup was a sucky one or a gifted one (I've seen both, poor quality control I figure from the stock systems).
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Originally Posted by SirGCal
If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 07:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjchad04 View Post
The headunit is a jvc kd-g420...there arent any high or low pass filters, there is no seperate sub adjustment. Raised the bass setting cranks up the bass to all speakers and sounds bad. What should I do, adjust the gain on the amp and see where that gets me? buying a new HU would suck because i've had this one for a long time so i dont really care if someone steals it when the top is off. buying a new amp is an option i guess...but what about something like this amp line driver: PAC TURBO 1 Variable Line Driver - TURBO 1 - Buy.com
Well, the catch is, do you want full sound control? If so you may want a good head unit with three preout pairs (6 outputs). That alone could enhance the sub as well as keep the fill from distorting to next week. Doesn't have to be expensive either. Crutchfield has a collection of lower brands starting around 100. For an install like this, they should be fine.

With the PAC you linked, there's two big issues. 1) gain is not a volume knob. Setting it to the input voltage is the proper goal for a proper setup. This goes above and beyond that enabling clipping extreme. But it still wouldn't fix your problem. You could make the sub stronger at lower levels but... it will still sound poor. 2) there's no filtering. The biggest problem here is that you have high frequencies going to the sub and low frequencies going to the fill. That just makes everything sound bad and adds to the cancellation factors seriously bringing down the overall sound of the vehicle. Getting a slightly better head unit with full crossover support, or amps with crossover controls on them or at least 'bass blockers' for the fill speakers, can make all the difference in the world.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGCal
If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 08:38 AM   #8
tjchad04
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Thanks sirgcal! So it seems I should come to expect close to stock performance out of this $200ish setup when I could have just bought a $15 pyramid and replaced the stock sub and probably been at the same place. It's pretty disappointing that this amount of equipment i bought can't rival the OE 30 watt piece of paper in a plastic box. anyways, from the information you provided here are my options:

1. buy new HU
2. return kicker, get jl 6w0 (the xtant would push this?)
3. new amp? booo...i like this little thing
4. buy an xj so i dont have to worry about theft lol
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #9
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Update: first i want to just put in perspective just how quiet this thing really was. A minute ago i was in the jeep messing with the HU and I literally couldn't decided if the vibration i felt on the center console was from the sub or the speakers. I couldn't tell if the sub was even playing.

So, I turn the gain dial on the amp just a pinch (thanks xj jay) and it literally sprung to life. The driver seat started buzzing like a pissed off bee hive. So per the suggestions above I attempted to adjust the gain some more to fine tune it, like just off of muddy bass sound. well i couldn't really find that setting because i guess i just don't have the ear for that. but thank god this sub is finally kicking, i was mulling over the idea in my head all day to either buy a new HU or sub before I even touched the gain on the amp.

So thanks for the suggestions guys. I think down the road I will update the head unit to have full sound control (per sirgcal's always respected advice)...but that isn't happening until some low life yoinks the one i have now.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:55 PM   #10
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When you want to sell me the Xtant 1.1 send me a PM.

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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
SirGCal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjchad04 View Post
Thanks sirgcal! So it seems I should come to expect close to stock performance out of this $200ish setup when I could have just bought a $15 pyramid and replaced the stock sub and probably been at the same place. It's pretty disappointing that this amount of equipment i bought can't rival the OE 30 watt piece of paper in a plastic box. anyways, from the information you provided here are my options:

1. buy new HU
2. return kicker, get jl 6w0 (the xtant would push this?)
3. new amp? booo...i like this little thing
4. buy an xj so i dont have to worry about theft lol
Actually, the stock one's I've tested are around 75W RMS. It's a 2-ohm DVC wired to 1-ohm. Hence the reason it's hard to find good replacements. Wired down to 2-ohms it's only going to be around 40W and 4-ohms around 20W.

So in the end, you're running roughly just about the same as the stock setup.. Hence the results. Granted better equipment, but still the crappy box... A setup is only as good as it's weakest part.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGCal
If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjchad04 View Post
Update: first i want to just put in perspective just how quiet this thing really was. A minute ago i was in the jeep messing with the HU and I literally couldn't decided if the vibration i felt on the center console was from the sub or the speakers. I couldn't tell if the sub was even playing.

So, I turn the gain dial on the amp just a pinch (thanks xj jay) and it literally sprung to life. The driver seat started buzzing like a pissed off bee hive. So per the suggestions above I attempted to adjust the gain some more to fine tune it, like just off of muddy bass sound. well i couldn't really find that setting because i guess i just don't have the ear for that. but thank god this sub is finally kicking, i was mulling over the idea in my head all day to either buy a new HU or sub before I even touched the gain on the amp.

So thanks for the suggestions guys. I think down the road I will update the head unit to have full sound control (per sirgcal's always respected advice)...but that isn't happening until some low life yoinks the one i have now.
Ahhh.. So you didn't have the gain properly adjusted. That could be a big catch. Though be careful not to over-cheat that also or worse results will happen (think damage). I have 'how to set that up' guides on my website too to get it right in the ballpark so you'll have a good reference point...

Good catch XJ. I tend to assume that if they dropped in an amp, they adjusted that. So I overlooked it. But if you want to nail the settings as best you can; see my website for simple easy to do instructions and the files you need... All you need is a meter and a blank CD (or usb capable system or something...).
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Sir G. Cal - 2k Sahara TJ

Living and loving on borrowed time. Life with Multiple Sclerosis. My MS/Life blog, Audio and Electronic write-ups, project how-tos, pictures, stories, and more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGCal
If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #13
tjchad04
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yep, the gain was all the way down or whatever, as soon as i moved that dial the sub tripled in volume...at least. also, i'm not running the OE plastic box. i made one out of mdf, see first post.

so i guess to quantify the difference, at least as far as loudness goes, its almost twice as loud as the stock setup i would say. so the amp or the HU at this point is the weakest link, but i will not part with it because its just so darn small and i can hide it anywhere, and no new HU on the horizon for now.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:08 PM   #14
SirGCal
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Ahh... well with the box built, sorry missed that, then ya, I'd expect that setup to out perform the stock one by a little bit, especially if you had one of the crappy stock ones.
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Sir G. Cal - 2k Sahara TJ

Living and loving on borrowed time. Life with Multiple Sclerosis. My MS/Life blog, Audio and Electronic write-ups, project how-tos, pictures, stories, and more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGCal
If you can't take a nano-second to press shift/period/etc. and make proper sentences and paragraphs, I don't know if I can take a few minutes to respond to your topics... It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but a little effort goes a long way.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 07:50 PM   #15
XJ Jay
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glad to hear the sub has some out put. i hope you readjusted the settings on the head unit so that the speakers them selves can play with out sounding like garbage. once you have the head unit settings sorted out and the speakers playing/sounding half decent, its time to bring in the sub woofer to match rest of the system. given the size of the sub, and the fact that your running head unit power on stock speakers i would set the LPF at 100Hz, as im sure the factory speakers are well on there way out at that point. then start to bring in the gain, as SirGCal stated use his amp setting tutorial to get a solid base setting(really good for the car audio noobs, so they dont go crazy on the gain) from there you can fine tune the EQ settings on the headunit, and touch up the gain if ya need. and i stress the word touch up.

it does sound like your head unit is sorta weak sauce, a headunit with a high pass filter(HPF) for your speakers will really help clean the sound up. also a sub woofer volume control is a must. next inline would be replacement speakers.
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