NOTE: Before reading this, I have to
say that you will never read anything like this from any other store.
They rarely give you the truth. This is the truth, these are the
facts. We see problems with subwoofer systems with 1 out
of every 100 people that buy from us. If you understand this below,you
will never be that one!
In the few minutes that we normally have in talking with people at our store guiding them to the correct subwoofer, and amplifier set up, we sometimes (Rare) run into a little problem that is not with our store, but a worldwide understanding on how subwoofers work, and understanding subwoofers and amplifier limits. Many times, we will guide people to what they want by asking a few simple questions.
#1 What type of music do you listen to?
#2 How hard do you want it to hit?
#3 Do you want to hear it perfect inside the car, or would you like to hear it for a block or more?
#4 How much do you want to invest in
your bass system?
These questions help us understand what you want, but most people tend to misguide us in their answers to their questions. We are not saying you are lying to us, we are just stating that most people do not understand the complexity of choosing your bass system. We have to know exactly what you want.
In all other aspects of car audio, we rarely run into any problems. Decks, Door Speakers, Alarms, are rarely a problem. It is the Amplifier and Subwoofers that most people do not understand, and can easily choose something inadequate to what they want because we do not have the correct information up front.
I understand everyone wants the hardest hitting bass at the lowest price, and we do that. But it always goes back to the old rule. You get what you pay for. We do have the lowest prices and the best selection to achieve your goal, but you need to understand several things in regards to your selection of a subwoofer system. A sub system consists of an Amplifier, and a Bass Speaker(s).
Many factors come into play in regards to choosing the correct bass system and for it to function at 100%!
Do you have the correct stereo?
Are you adding onto a factory stereo?
Do you have the room for the correct enclosure?
Do you have the correct battery power, or are willing to add second batteries to keep your amp choice running?
If you choose a "Ferrari" type speaker, are you willing to step up to the "Ferrari" type amp to run it?
When choosing your subwoofer system you need to understand one thing. Every subwoofer and amplifier can and will blow up if used outside of its operating range. PERIOD.
No matter if you spend $39 or $10,000 on a subwoofer; it will blow up in 5 minutes or less if operated outside of its operating range. These situations are not covered by any warranty.
Subwoofers and Amplifiers are like your engine in your car. If you put your car in neutral, and push the accelerator to the floor, it will run for a matter of time, but will soon fail due to overheating at redline. This is true for amplifiers and subwoofers. If you purchase an amp or sub that is too small for your needs, and run it to "Red Line" it will fail. And when it fails due to running it at &quto;Red Line" we get into a situation where no manufacturer will cover the amp or the subwoofer under warranty.
All amplifiers and subwoofers have an operating range. Of course the better the amp and sub, the higher the operating range. Also, if you miss-match a sub with too small of an amplifier, you can easily damage the speaker and amp from "Lack of Power". If you buy a $300 sub and put it with a $100 amp, you will hurt both.
If you buy the correct amplifier (Big Enough) it will run cool, and last forever in many cases. If you buy the correct subs, and operate them within the specified operating range, they too in many cases will last 10 to 20 years in many cases. We have witnessed many systems that we installed 10 to 20 years ago still working fine because the amp and subs were matched, and installed correctly.
We at Outrageous Audio know exactly what amps match best with each sub in all price ranges. We will guide you to the best of our ability. Many times people come in and invest $250 on an amp and sub, telling us that "They Understand" the limits of the system, and 2 weeks later they come in and the subwoofers are blown to bits. Of course they are upset and the comments that we here are as follows.
"I was just going down the street and it stopped working."
"You sold them to me, and they should keep working."
"I was hardly playing them at all."
"I don't have enough power to blow these subs."
In blown subwoofer or amplifier situations,
we see many times that the adjustments on the amplifier have been turned
up FULL, or on the deck, the subwoofer control is at "MAX", and
the bass controls at "MAX". Another problem with sub system
adjustments is leaving the "LOUD" feature on your stereo turned
"OFF". When your system leaves Outrageous Audio, we always
adjust all of these features to optimum performance for the operating
range of the sub system.
Other problems we run into, is when people wire the amplifiers in the wrong configuration. Please read about wiring speakers in the "Learn the Truth" section on this site.
Here are some basic rules to follow when buying a subwoofer system that work most of the time.
Whatever you spend on the sub, you should spend 2X (two times) that amount on the amplifier. So if you buy a Subwoofer for $99, you should expect to pay $200 for the amp to match it. Simple.
Whatever the amp is rated at (1 Ohm, 2 Ohm, 4Ohm) Never wire the amp to its lowest rating. If the amp is 2Ohm stable, always wire the amp no less than 4Ohms. If the amp is 1 Ohm stable, never wire the amp below 2Ohms. Very simple.
Always make sure you buy the correct wire for the sub system you purchase. If you don't invest in the correct wire, you may be "Strangling" your amp. Your amp is begging for power, and if you run too small of wire, and do not use the proper connectors, it will fail. It is like feeding your amp with a "Kinked" hose.
The reason why I am typing this is to give you a basic understanding on subwoofer systems. We, at Outrageous Audio, always guide you to the best product at the best price to which you can afford. But if you do not give us accurate information up front, then the communication fails, and you may end up in a bad situation.
Just picture a Dragster on the race track. Those guys spend ONE MILLION DOLLARS or more on the top of the line engines. But when they run them too hard BOOOOM!! Do you think they can go back to the manufacturer for warranty? Nope.
I hope this helps you in the understanding
of subs, and amps. Every situation varies, I am just trying to
give you some basic understanding that no other store would tell you.
Many people ask us this question "How loud can I turn it up?"
That is an impossible question to answer. It depends on many factors. All music is not the same. Rap music is recorded with an emphasis on BASS. Rock music is usually recorded with more mids and highs with not much emphasis on Bass. So if you have a rock song playing, you will be able to turn the system up louder with a rock song, rather than a Rap Song. The Rap song will push the subwoofer system outside of its operating limits faster than a rock song. Make sense?
Also, when operating a stereo system, you can turn up the subwoofer section at lower volumes, and as the volume increases, you would want to adjust the subs down a bit. Make Sense?
The goal is to keep the Subwoofer system within its operating range.
Basic Rule...if it sounds funny or
distorted you are damaging your system! Turn it down, or buy bigger
For more information on car audio please visit our Education section.