Tag: Car Amplifier

MB Quart Reference MYKRO Amplifiers

MB Quart RM10001

New to the 2013 Lineup is the brand new MB Quart Reference lineup – the Reference MYKRO. This is the first time the folks at MB Quart have gone with a full-range Class D Design. They are CEA-Compliant amplifiers designed to offer a small, compact install; but still retain big, heavy output.

MB Quart RM440.4

The new MB Quart Reference MYKRO amplifiers are
available in a 4-channel, 5-channel, and a monoblock configuration. All of them use Class D technology, and the four and five channel are both full-range Class D amps.

The new MB Quart Reference MYKRO amplifiers are available in a 4-channel, 5-channel, and a monoblock configuration. All of them use Class D technology, and the four and five channel are both full-range Class D amps.

Each amplifier has a Q-Stasis pre-amplifier circuitry stage. This circuitry rejects noise and assures that clean signal is introduced into the amplifier circuitry. The signal that comes into the amplifier from the source unit can vary widely and depending on the length of the RCA cable, there is a nerly certain chance f noise being injected into that signal wire. Signal from a head unit can be as low as 2 volts and as high as 8 volts. It is critical that an amplifier be able to balance this input signal without allowing noise into the circuit. The Q-Stasis Pre Amplifier Stage keeps the signal in balanced, quiet, and ready for the amplification circuit.

These amps are the definite choice for those limited with space in their installation, but still want have a clean, powerful amplifier. The Hybrid Class D topology is designed for a small footprint, but has exceptional sound quality.
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Top Locations to Mount a Car Amplifier

There’s no greater accomplishment than installing a sound system on your own. Sometimes you’ll run into road blocks along the way, like finding a location to mount your new amplifier. There are many places that are acceptable to mount an amplifier, and it’s a matter of finding the one the works best for your application.

Underneath the Seat

One of the most common locations to mount an amplifier is underneath a seat. This method will keep your amp out of sight and leave your car looking factory. If you’re installing a 4-channel car amplifier to power your door speakers, by mounting it under your seat you will have a central location to rout all of your speaker wires. Keep in mind you will need to hide any connections that could potentially be kicked or stepped on by passengers.

Trunk or Hatch Area

Another option is to mount the amplifier in your trunk or hatch area. This is most commonly done with subwoofer amplifiers, as it’s easy to keep the length of the speaker wire leading to your subwoofer down to a minimum. Keep in mind if you have a vehicle where you can see into the trunk area, this may not be the best location.

Amplifier Rack

If you’re going for a custom look for your installation you can build what’s called an amp rack. An amplifier rack can be anything that you’ve built to hold one or multiple amps in place. You can mount amplifiers in places like under the rear deck of a sedan, hidden in open cavities of your car or any other place you can think of. If you do build a rack to hide your amplifier, make sure it has lots of ventilation as it will get hot.

Final Tips

If you want to mount a car amplifier to the back of an enclosure, add a rubber gasket wherever you put a screw in. This will reduce vibrations that travel to the amplifier, potentially causing damage. If you decide to mount your amp to the back of a seat, remember to leave a couple of extra inches on each wire in case you need to fold your seat down. Strategize your installation and plan things out before you start screwing things in. You can do it! Let us know where you prefer to mount your amplifiers in the comment section below!

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Brief Look at the Basics of How Car Amplifiers Work

At some time you may wonder, how does a car amplifier work?  Car amplifiers enhance the signal that runs through the sound system and plays them through the speakers. There are many confusions and mix-ups about how a car amplifier works.

Car Amplifier Circuit Board

Car Amplifier Circuit Board

First, an electrical signal moves into the amplifier, through a circuit board, and out the other side through the speakers.  The electrical signal may originate from wherever the sound source is, such as the radio or from the CD player. These devices direct a signal to the circuit board.  The circuit board boosts the signal as it moves through the sound system of your car.

NVX JAD1200.1 Car Amplifier

NVX JAD1200.1 Car Amplifier

A frequently misinterpreted functioning of car amplifiers is their output.  The output of each car amplifier differs and can be determined very easily.  The RMS (root mean square) rating of the amplifier does not tell you very much about the amplifier because most amplifiers will only reach this level for a segment of a second at a time.  Instead, you can calculate the actual output of your amplifier by multiplying the peak output by 0.7 and then subtracting the amp’s announced peak performance number from the number you just calculated.

Kicker ZX500.1 Car Amplifier

Kicker ZX500.1 Car Amplifier

Another characteristic of the car amplifier that is normally mistaken is the bridging.  An amplifier that is bridged or can be bridged is simply an amplifier that can create one power supply out of the left and right power supplies.  This can significantly boost the power supply to one subwoofer.

When looking at bridgeable amplifiers the term “bridgeable” basically means that the amplifier has the ability to combine the left and the right channel wattage into a single output for one subwoofer. Many amplifiers are not bridgeable either way make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendation before bridging the channels. To bridge an amplifier, simply place the negative cable of the speaker to the negative terminal of one channel, and the positive cable to the positive of the other. The united power will send the total of both channel’s power to one speaker.

Make sure to check out the vast amount of car amplifiers we have here at Sonic Electronix and find one compatible for your needs today.

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Want to hook up your own subwoofer?

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on car audio (being that I am one of the newest team members here at Sonic Electronix) and even though I highly recommend you get this done by a trained professional, there is always an opportunity to learn something new and try it yourself. Stereo systems are at least as simple as most other single accessory electrical systems, but they are still electrical systems. Physically wiring the system is the easiest part of installation. The rest of it is knowing what you’re working with and figuring out what to connect to what and in what way. But once you know what all those numbers and ratings on the amps and speakers mean, the process pretty much explains itself.

First and foremost you need to determine your amplifier’s minimum stable impedance  in ohms of resistance. You’ll typically find the stable impedance rating between 1 ohm for a powerful amp and 5 to 10 ohms for a less powerful one. The lower the amp’s stable ohm rating, the more power it can transmit through a single channel without frying. For this blog, I’m going to explain this if I were using an amplifier with a 2-ohm minimum staple impedance.

Now go ahead and check your subwoofer’s ohms of impedance. This works the same way as the amp does; a massive, powerful subwoofer has large coil windings that provide little resistance to power flow and a smaller speaker provides more resistance. This will determine whether you need to wire the subs in parallel or in series. Compare your amplifier’s ohm rating to the speakers. If the speaker ohm reading is lower than the amp’s, then connecting that single speaker directly to the amp output will fry your amp. You’ll need another speaker and you’ll need to connect the speakers in a series circuit instead of a parallel circuit.

Connect a parallel circuit in just the way you’d think ( positive to positive and negative to negative). As long as none of the speakers in your system have a lower ohm rating than the amp, then you’ll want to connect them directly to the amp terminals. This will give you the best chance at nailing down the ground pounding power you are looking for.

Connect the first part a series circuit by wiring the positive lead of one speaker to the positive terminal on your amp. Connect the negative terminal on that speaker to the positive terminal on the next in your series. If you only need two speakers to meet your amp’s minimum impedance, then connect the negative terminal on the second speaker to the negative terminal on your amp.

Wire as many speakers into the series as you need to meet your amp’s minimum amp impedance. Connect them all positive to negative with the positive and negative terminals on the speakers on the ends of your series connected to the appropriate terminals on your amp.

Now do remember that every car is different, so if you have any questions feel free to contact us here and Sonic Electronix and we’d love to help you out. Of course it’s going to be a little intimidating, but please make sure that you never work on your cars electrical system unless you are absolutely comfortable with it.

Make sure to check out all of our subwoofers here at Sonic Electronix, our Subwoofer Olympics Event, and look into starting your next project now!

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JBL MS-8 Sound Processor Overview

THE BEGINNING:

2008+ Mitsubishi Lancer Rockford Fosgate Amplified Sound System Diagram

When someone says to me, “Come check out my awesome sound system!” Deep down I sigh to myself knowing that they will have two subwoofers in the trunk powered by a no name amplifier as well as a cheap head unit. Sure enough, it’s just bass… sloppy and inaccurate but loud bass. If only they knew what amazing sound lay just on the horizon. They can have loud, deep bass but obtain quality with their current setup. Where are the mids and highs? How about accurate, punchy bass? Does no one want that live concert, movie theater type sound? I bought a new 2008+ Mitsubishi Lancer and wanted to get the best possible sound from my factory amplified sound system, I had decided to hold off on an entire system until the vehicle was paid off. The JBL MS-8 was rumored to rock socks off, so I pulled the trigger and purchased one. It would integrate with my factory amplified navigation and sound system nicely. The system is made up of the following:

  • Navigation Headunit
  • 8-Channel DSP Amplifier
  • Front 6.5″ Component Speakers
  • Rear Coaxial Speakers
  • Trunk Mounted 10″ Subwoofer

INSTALLATION:

I had to do quite a bit of research before the installation of the MS-8 because I wanted to be absolutely sure I was cutting into the correct wires of my factory amplified sound system, which looked like rainbow spaghetti. If I had a basic, non-amplified or aftermarket sound system, the installation would have been very easy and straightforward. I used the hi-level input and output of the MS-8, which were two wiring harnesses. The clearly labeled harnesses made it easy to crimp all of the wires together once I had the colors figured out. I connected the MS-8 to the output side of the factory amplifier between the amp and speakers themselves, it would utilize it’s own high quality built-in amplifier from now on. Installation was slightly more difficult than a regular amplifier, but only because of the factory wiring.

CALIBRATION:

The included LCD display and bi-aural microphone are used for setup, calibration, and tuning of the MS-8. It can be mounted anywhere within the vehicle or simply used once and then unplugged and stored. I opted to store the display once I finished using it, however I connect it often to make adjustments to the 31-band EQ or the listening position. You must tell the MS-8 what speakers are connected to each channel, so make sure to write them down ahead of time. I then had to set the crossover points for each speaker and was delighted that I had this kind of control of my system. However, I had no idea what crossover points the factory system’s speakers were set at and Rockford Fosgate wouldn’t reveal that information to me, trust me I asked. This was a big pain in my side, but crucial to getting the best sound. The first x-over points I selected made the MS-8 sound awful and muddy, so keep that in mind if you are un-happy with the outcome, just re-calibrate with new x-over points. Finally, I donned the bi-aural microphone headset like a champion and started the sound calibrations. The measurements will take about 5 minutes to complete at which point the unit will calculate the frequency response, level and arrival time for each of the 8 output channels. Finally, it auto-tunes the car using 48 measurements per seat, up to 4 seats total (driver, passenger, two rear seats). Impressive isn’t it? Just make sure no one sees you during calibration. Looking in all directions with the headset on and the car making tons of awkward beeping noises will leave people wondering.

THE DEFINING MOMENT:
When completed, the MS-8 was ready to output the optimized tune from all of its calibrations. I was immediately impressed. I could no longer pinpoint the individual speakers in my car, all I knew was that the sound was coming from the front dashboard and all around me. More than just raising the center stage, the MS-8’s quality amplifier brought out the little nuances in my music that I was never able to hear before from the stock amplifier. Cymbals sounded like they were crashing, the bass drum was punchy and even vocals were more human and sibilant. I turned the calibrations off to revert back to the factory sound output and felt disgusted that I had ever thought it was good, at which point I immediately turned the MS-8 back on. Had I spent the same amount of money on just upgrading my speakers and radio, I would have better quality sound from the individual speakers but without time alignment and staging, it’s almost pointless. Now that I have the MS-8, adding upgraded components will be a breeze and they will sound significantly better with the additional calibrations.

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