Tag: Car Amplifier

Add Sound to Any Vehicle with the Kicker PXi50.2

PXi50.2
At Sonic Electronix we are commonly approached with the task of installing audio systems into vehicles that are very small, and not very accommodating of a full system. It’s one thing adding a system to a Chevrolet Tahoe, but when it comes to a vehicle such as a motorcycle, a lawn mower, a personal watercraft, or snowmobile it can be much more difficult to find a way to get your tunes playing. The introduction of the Kicker PXi50.2 from the Kicker Powersports Line is one surefire solution to add audio to literally anything with a charging system.

PXi50.2 Control Panel

The volume and some other controls are featured on a separate Control Panel that can be remotely mounted

The PXi50.2 is an extremely compact 2-channel amplifier with a built in controller for an iPod or iPhone. Using this inclusive system means that you won’t need to bother with a radio. This system can also work with any MP3 player or smart phone using the auxiliary input, but the benefit to using an iPod or iPhone is you also will charge up on the go. The volume and other controls that a radio would usually have are all located on a separate control panel.

The way the system is installed and works is very simple and ingenious. First you connect your source to the auxiliary or dock connector. This will lead to the brain of the unit which is also the amplifier. You can connect this brain to either 2 speakers, 4 speakers, or even a subwoofer. Kicker manufactures the Powersports PS5250 5-1/4″ speakers to go along with this system. Since the unit is so compact, it’s very easy to fit this system practically anywhere. The DIY possibilities using this product are practically endless! Kicker has developed an awesome product, answering the wishes of DIYers who love sound everywhere. Let us know your coolest idea for a portable sound system using the PXi50.2!

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Multi-Channel & Mono-Channel Differences

If your car audio sound system is not meeting your expectations then maybe your specifications are to blame.  When examining mono and multi-channel amplifiers, there a few specifications that you should pay closer attention to than others.

Multi-Channel Amplifiers

Pioneer GMD9500F

Pioneer GMD9500F 4-Channel Amplifier

2, 3, 4, 5 or more channel amplifiers are usually Class A/B.  The class is determined by the configuration of the circuitry.  Class A/B circuitry leans towards being more inefficient but provides higher sound quality.  This makes them ideal for mid to high frequencies but are sometimes used for subwoofers as well.  They will also run at much cooler temperatures considering the lower wattage applications they are required to be operated in.  If you are considering purchasing a multi-channel amplifier, then the following specifications should be kept in mind to sway your decision:

 

  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: This figure refers to the strength of the signal vs. the level of back ground noise.  A high value will indicate a lower background noise and as a result, a better signal.
  • THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): This is the measurement of the harmonic distortion that is present.  It can be explained as the change in the signal as it is being amplified and exactly how much it is changed.  A lower value is desirable and a THD value of less than .10% is inaudible.
  • Channel Separation:  Sometimes referred to as “cross talk” this value indicates the level of interference between channels.  This value is measured in decibels and the higher the value, the greater and more effective the channel separation will be.

Mono-Channel Amplifiers

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X1

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X1 Monoblock Amplifier

Mono-Channel Amplifiers usually are Class D.  These amplifiers are going to be able to obtain lower ohm loads and higher output which makes them ideal for subwoofers. They are more efficient then their class A/B counterparts. In recent years, monoblock amplifiers have become more efficient and with smaller chassis. Features such as signal-to-noise ratio and THD will often be negatively effected. However, these specifications are not as important as others in regards to mono-channel amps. When examining mono amplifiers there a few different specs you should pay a bit more attention to:

 

  • Damping Factor: Having a high damping factor means there is a high ratio between the nominal load impedance (typically 8W ) and the source impedance of the amplifier.  It is said that the higher this value is, the more cone control is present which results in a better system response and more accurate bass.
  •  Pre-Amp Outputs: Most Mono amps have pre-amp outputs to daisy chain multiple amplifiers together without splitting the pre-outs from your head-unit.
  • Subsonic Filter:Only on mono amplifiers, this filter allows you to block frequencies that are not able to be reproduced by your subwoofer.  This filter is usally variable between 15-50 Hz.

Using an amplifier in the wrong application is bad, mkay.

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Marine Vs Car Audio

Marine AudioEnjoy The Water

2012 offers an abundance of new audio equipment for your aquatic satisfaction.  It’s not quite summer, but now is the perfect time to start thinking of upgrading your watercraft’s audio components!  Marine audio can be installed on the likes of boats, sea-doos, jet skis, motorcycles, ATV’s, ect.  As opposed to car audio, marine audio is usually more durable and weather proof to allow for excessive wear and tear.  Getting the gear you need now will ensure an audio-inducing summer.

                                              The Difference

Kicker 10ZXM7005

5-Channel ZXM Series Marine Amplifier

Marine audio differentiates from car audio in a few major ways. Marine amplifiers and subwoofers are water resistant due to their increased exposure to salt or fresh water. They have special manufacturing designs such as watertight seals, coated circuit boards, and waterproof wired remote controllers. Another thing to take into consideration is sunlight exposure.  Usually, audio components are going to be exposed to long hours in the summer sun.  To compensate for this, manufacturers will coat parts with ultraviolet resistant materials.

 

JL Audio Marine M10W5-CG-WH

10" Single 4 ohms Marine Subwoofer Driver

When your audio components are wet or dampened, they are susceptible to corrosion.  Marine speaker wire is designed to reduce the risk of corrosion with stranded copper wire.  This wire also makes it flexible which is great for absorbing shock damage caused by the movement of the harsh marine environment. Due to the openness of a marine environment, marine speakers will always have hard dome tweeters to create the loudest sound projection obtainable. Marine head units will have rubberized buttons and splash guards to protect the internal parts from being wet. Today, there are an abundance of manufacturers who offer multiple lines of marine audio products to fit your specific needs.

 

We have a huge selection,  check it out!:

Marine Audio

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Amplifier Crossovers

Cross It Over

You might be wondering why amplifiers have features such as low-pass, high-pass, and subsonic filters.  A lot of people will install an amplifier without properly setting these controls which can result in poor audio quality.  We are here to make sure this does not happpen to you!  Crossovers are filters which means they use capacitors and inductors to block or pass different ranges of frequencies.  There are two types of crossovers: active and passive.  Passive are not adjustable and require no work on your part as it is already installed and preset depending on the capacitor or inductor that is already installed inside the device or crossover.  Active are usually adjustable in that you can select the crossover points.  There are a few important terms to consider when refering to crossovers:

Hifonics GLX18001D

Low-Pass Filter- This allows the low frequencies to pass or be allowed to play.  This feature is used mainly for subwoofers.  The low frequency spectrum will contain any frequency of about 100 Hz or lower.

High-Pass Filter- This allows the high frequencies to pass or be allowed to play.  Mainly used for Mid-bass drivers and tweeters.  The high pass will usually be for frequencies of 100 HZ and up.

Subsonic Filter- This filter prevents any frequencies that are not audible to be blocked.  This filter is usually set around 20 Hz.  It is essentially a safe guard to keep you from damaging your subwoofer.

Phase- This feature ensures that the sound from your subwoofer reaches you at the same time as your speakers.  For example, if you are hearing an echo, your should set your phase to 0.  This feature is adjustable from 0-180 degrees.

Bass EQ- Also known as a bass boost, this feature is designed to boost select frequencies, usually around 40 or 45 Hz.

Gain or Level- This function is used to match the voltage that is coming from your headunit in order to prevent clipping.

Rolloff or Slope- This concept is the most difficult to comprehend.  This describes the rate in which the audio level will increase or decrease per octave as the frequency rises or falls.  Most commonly, amplifiers will have a 12dB octave slope.  Basically what this means is that once you have changed the frequency of the signal by a factor of 2 or 1 octave, the signal will change by 12 dB.

 

Rolloff

Crossover Rolloff

 

 

 

 

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Lanzar OptiDrive Series Amplifiers

LanzarUnleash the Beast

If we know our customers, bass is one of the most important aspects of their audio systems.  In order to achieve such bass, you must have an amplifier that will be able to fill the bill. The folks at Lanzar have revamped their OptiDrive series amplifiers for 2012.  Most of these beastly amps are now 0.5 ohm stable meaning they are ideal for competitions and daily use alike. Having the ability to maintain 0.5 ohm stability can keep the frustration away from people who own Dual 2 ohm subwoofers.  Two Dual 2 ohm subwoofers can ether be wired in Series configuration at an impedance of 2 ohms or in parallel configuration at an impedance of 0.5 ohms in which these amplifiers can accomplish.  The OptiDrive Series is available in ten monoblocks and two 4-channel models so you can be certain that you can find an amplifier to fit your application.

Lanzar OPTI3500D

OptiDrive Series Monoblock Class D Car Amplifier

Features Galore 

An amplifier is only as good as the versatility and quality it can achieve.  The Optidrive Series amplifiers all share a variety of different functions and features that make them an invaluable purchase.  They all include built in low and high-pass filters for proper tuning and sound customization. The included wired bass control knob ensures that bass levels can be conveniently controlled from a user-defined location. Pre-amp outputs are present to daisy chain multiple amplifiers together which is ideal for competitions.  As well as a heavy duty power coated heatsink for maximum heat dissipation.  Combined with a subsonic filter and a 180 degree phase control, you have an amplifier that is ready to take on any challenge.

Monoblock Models:

Bass Knob

Included Remote Bass Knob

4-Channel Models:

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