Tag: how to

Troubleshooting Car Amplifiers

Basic Car Amplifier Troubleshooting Guide

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

It can be really discouraging to install a car amplifier only to have it not work.  For those that have been there and done that, you will know what I’m talking about.  This includes pulling apart your car, running the wires, building an amp rack, and fully installing the amplifier.  After all this work, you go to listen to your new audio system and nothing plays.  After checking the connections to make sure they are all proper, where do you go from there? Every once in a while, the cause of this problem is the amplifier itself.  For a variety of reasons, it is deciding not to work or function properly.  There can be many reasons why your amp is not functioning properly and in this blog we will discuss a couple of those reasons.

Amplifier Does Not Turn On

When the amplifier does not turn on when the vehicle is turned on, the first place to look is the connections.  Make sure that the power, ground, and remote turn-on cables are properly connected.  Another common problem is the fuses. Not having a fuse inserted in the power cable from the car battery can be the cause of the amp not receiving power. Once all connections have been verified, if the amplifier is still not turning on it could be defective.

Amplifier Does Not Have Any Audio Output

When the amplifier is turning on but still has no output, the common problem is at the source.  This means that there could be a bad channel in the stereo or a bad RCA connection.  Test this by using an extra pair of RCA interconnect cables and connecting them to a different source and see if there is output. Sometimes the lack of output is because of the speakers.  Try connecting the amplifier to an external speaker that is not installed in the car.  If there is audio from the external speaker and not the car’s speakers, we can determine that the problem is with the car speakers.

There are many more reasons why an amplifier is failing to work or function properly.  Some of these reasons include: the amp going into protection mode, clipping problems, distortion, background noise, crackling, overheating, and more.  For a full guide on troubleshooting amplifiers, visit Sonic Electronix’s Knowledge Base article, Car Amplifier Troubeshooting.  There is a wealth of information there, as well as throughout the entire Knowledge Base section of the website.


How to Prevent your Vehicles Amplifier from Overheating

MTX Audio JackHammer Amps Do Not Overheat

By David D. – Product Specialist

If you have a sound system in your vehicle, then it is possible you are familiar with your amplifier overheating at times. I have had this problem before with my own system and always wondered if there was something I could do to prevent this from happening. Working at Sonic Electronix has taught me some things about car audio and now I would like to spread some of the knowledge I’ve obtained to you. In this blog, I will give you some tips that will help you prevent your car amplifier from overheating.

Amplifier quality is the biggest factor when it comes to amps overheating. Higher quality amplifiers such as MTX Audio, JL Audio, Kicker, Alpine, and Infinity are designed to use the electrical power that is provided by your vehicles battery and alternator in the most efficient way possible. The high quality amps put out music, not heat like a lower quality amplifier would. Cheap amplifiers waste more power than they actually produce in sound. That wasted power turns into heat, which causes your amplifier to overheat.

Ventilation is key when installing an amp in your vehicle.  Since heat rises, you should never mount your amplifier upside down or under carpet. If you can’t seem to stop your amp from overheating, you can get a amplifier cooling fan; this will blow the heat away from your amplifier keeping it running as it should.  Some amplifiers, such as the MTX JackHammer amplifiers, have a fan and cooling system built-in to the chassis of the amp.

Another big component of overheating is mismatching the speaker’s power to the amp. If it’s too much power from the speakers to the amp, it will cause the amplifier to overheat. Match the load of the speaker to the amp precisely as possible, this will put out the correct amount of power while producing as little heat as possible.

Proper Installation can also cut down on your amplifier overheating. Make sure you create your own ground connection; the most efficient ground connection is when the wire is touching sanded metal. You do not want the ground wire touching paint or any preexisting nut or bolt.

Higher quality amplifiers are less likely to overheat, so keep that in mind if you are installing a sound system in your vehicle. If your amp overheats all the time, your sound system is useless.


Introducing the Sonic Electronix Forums

Sonic Electronix Forum

By Kyle Duffy  – Product Specialist

Humans are naturally curious creatures, we tend to ask a lot of questions and some of us are Do-It-Yourselfers (DIY), we take matters into our own hands. Some of us will leave the dirty work to others, but still need to know the right stuff to get for the job. Thank technology for the creation of the internet (or you wouldn’t be reading this) and forums! An Internet forum is an online discussion site where you can submit questions or information for other to see and discuss. Sonic Electronix just rolled out forums of their very own, where you can go get your questions answered, answer questions to help others, or just keep up on what’s what in the car audio world. Some of you may be new to the idea of “forums”, but don’t fret, let’s see why you should join the ever growing Sonic Electronix community.

With the Sonic Electronix forum, you can ask the car audio community any questions you may have about speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers or the like. In the middle of an install you’re trying to pull off yourself, and you have no idea how to proceed? Ask on the forums! Let the community help you out, it’s best not to blow fuses, mentally or physically when you’re stuck on wiring. You may be ready to buy a big system, but want some advice on the parts you chose to make sure they are quality, compatible parts. No problem, ask on the forums! Now, I know some of you have some pretty sweet rides with bumping systems installed, and I know you want to show it off. On the Sonic Electronix forums, post some pictures and show off your ride to your fellow audiophiles. Confident you know all about car audio, maybe even installed a bunch of systems? Help out those less fortunate and answer their questions, they only wan’t some friendly advice after all.

Don’t be afraid, forums are the now, and the future. Don’t you think it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and keep up with the world population and communication?

Sonic Electronix Forums:
Car Audio Forum
Home Electronics Forum
Marine Audio Forum