big amp small subs .... need to kno

I have a friend that I can get his 500 watt rms mtx (Mono) amp for a decent price and was wondering if i could wire it to 2 alpine 200 watt rms subs… wondering if an amp can be to powerful for the subs and mess it up… can i make it just send 200 to each?? thanks

I definitely don’t mean this in a rude way, but by asking this question you’ve shown that you probably don’t yet have the knowledge that you should have before installing car stereo equipment. If you’re looking to learn how to do such things, and want hands-on experience, then find someone locally (perhaps a knowledgeable G2IC-er) and have them help you your fist time.

Otherwise, you ought to just have someone professionally install the equipment.

In answer to your question though, your amp and sub combination should be just fine. In all actuality, it’s usually having an amplifier with TOO LITTLE power that blows speakers/subs. Having a 500w amplifier driving two 200w subwoofers should be a nice matchup.

Make sure to wire your subwoofers appropriately so that you have the proper ohm load facing the amp, and you should be good to go. Good luck man! :rockon:

dont kno anything bout subs\amps… thanks

Yes it should sound nice… just make sure they aren’t in parallel are you could push 500rms to each; and YES that can cause a problem and blow the sub. However you can always make amp/deck adjustments if necessary.

Check this link out. Pass it on to ANYone interested in car audio. There is no better place to learn on the net that here IMO.

how can an underpowered speaker blow ?? this is a magnet controlled electronically…

If a speaker is underpowered you turn it up more than you should to make it louder, the amp cant play it that loud so it starts to distort, and thats what kills speakers more than anything.

With an overpowered setup your ears will start to hurt before you turn it up past the speakers rms point lol, and having an overpowered setup makes sure you dont ever get distortion…

If a speaker is underpowered you turn it up more than you should to make it louder, the amp cant play it that loud so it starts to distort, and thats what kills speakers more than anything.

THANK YOU! wish more people would understand that… save me a lot of work :slight_smile:

This is correct. To expound a bit futher, when you drive an amplifier beyond what it is capable of producing, it causes the amplifier to clip, and also causes exponentially higher levels of Harmonic Distortion (THD) and Intermodulation Distortion (IMD), and those are the things that damage speakers more than anything else (THD, specifically).

The specifications provided with a piece of equipment is almost never spot-on, but is rather an estimate on what is the appropriate amount of power for that particular unit. Depending on the company, these numbers might be overstated, others are understated; a classic half-empty/half-full situation.

Keeping that in mind, you must also realize that just because an amplifier is rated at … watts doesn’t mean that’s what it is producing all the time. As an example, I built a home theater subwoofer one time, and used a 400w monoblock amplifier to run it, but the driver was only rated at 80w. Did the speaker ever show any signs of damage? Absolutely not; but it was one of the better sounding subs in it’s power range I’ve heard to this day; it never once even hinted at distortion, even when driven at high output levels, and yes, that’s an honest and objective statement.

The bottom line here is that lots of clean power should be your ultimate goal. It will allow you plenty of headroom for peaks and bursts in your music, and allow you to stay clean and distortion-free throughout your whole listening session.

If anyone would like to discuss this further, feel free to ask questions/make comments (assuming Mondamin doesn’t mind us jacking his thread :))

speaker setup:
ive got alpine 9833 deck (27 rms, 60peak) and alpine typer speaker (50 rms)
any dangers ?

none at all

The only danger here is one which is always present, which is that if you try to overdrive the amplifier in your deck, you could damage the speakers with the ensuing distortion. Just make sure your volume is such that there is no audible distortion, and that should keep you well within the threshold of safe operation. :up::up:

Hello guys. To be honest, I believe the phrase that “too little power kills subs” is rather misleading. This is because ultimately it is actually too much power that kills speakers. Josh explained very well about how ratings on amplifiers doesn’t necessarily mean that is what is actually being produced. Just because you blow a 500 watt sub with a 400 watt amp doesn’t mean that it blew from too little power. It actually blew from too much power due to clipping.

And I hate to disagree with Josh as he has always proven to be VERY knowledgable. But THD (or even IMD) doesn’t kill subwoofers. Clipping sound really horribly distorted, but it isn’t the distortion that kills the sub, but the excess power. I head the warranty department here at Adire Audio, and am always testing speakers that I rebuild. I use a signal generator and a small 250 watt plate amp to test the speakers. I am constantly clipping the amplifier and the speakers don’t care. It’s because I don’t have enough power even at full clipping to damage them. However there is a great deal of distortion being produced. Here’s some videos I have taken of some of our speakers under full excursion (called speaker porn): As you can hear, there is a lot of distortion from the amplifier clipping (the microphone on the camera is making it sound wierd), but the sub keeps playing on without a problem. Here’s some more: And here’s a video I took where I brought an amplifier to clipping while playing music to show what clipping sounds like:

I also want to point out that usually power ratings on subwoofers are thermal only. The actual mechanical power handling of a subwoofer is enclosure dependant. Even running our 1600 watt rms 4800 watt peak sub (which uses the pro sound rating standard for those power ratings) free air you could damage the sub with 500 watts.

Steven Kephart
Adire Audio

You are way better off being “overpowered” “then underpowered” I replace more subs in systems that RMS output wattage of amp/amps for subs is lower then sub RMS wattage handeling and as the techs. at JL have told me "its not the AC power that kills speakers its the DC power of a clipping amp that kills the speaker :hmm: 94

DOH, owned again by the expansive knowledge of Steven. Class is in session, bishes!!!

In all seriousness, listen to what this guy says. He knows infinitely more than I do.

Definitely not owned. I am finding that this is a rather common misconception by many very smart people. This is the first time I have ever disagreed with you on anything. And becides, I’m just lucky enough to have an incredible resource of knowledge available to me (my boss). But bring up computers and you will most definitely “own” the conversation.

Steven Kephart
Adire Audio