View Full Version : Kicker amps (well, actually it gets more general...)
Just wondering what experience people have had with Kicker amps.
I've read reviews saying they're good quality, bang for bucks gear.
The unit I'd be looking at particularly would be their 5-channel model, so I can bridge the 4 channels down to 2, and use them to power splits (probably Focals), then use the remaining digital subwoofer channel for my sub.
Can anyone give me any reason why this is not a good idea? Please note, I DO NOT like high volume, so I'm sure this amp will be powerful enough to drive all this stuff without me ever driving it in to clipping.
If someone wants to suggest a nice 12" sub that would be suited to this setup (most likely teamed with the JVC MP3 deck I've been asking about), that'd be great too. I listen to a large variety of music, but the majority would be hip-hoppy, breakbeaty, technoey, but pretty much all bassy kinda stuff. I want something that is tight and accurate, and has a bit of real oomph for those low bass notes when required. Again, SQ over SPL. Sealed boxes best for this?
A single JL 12" in a sealed box - simple and can't go wrong ;)
Ported would be much better for SQ than sealed. Tune a 2.5cf box to around 28Hz and it will play low and loud, but not have too much of a bump which gives boominess.
Hmm, I always thought that sealed boxes were tighter...
So are you saying that a small ported box is a good compromise? Hopefully whatever sub I'm looking at will have recommended box dimensions, so that I can be guided as to what size works best for my needs.
The thing I don't like about sealed boxes though is that they're not as able to do quick (accurate) pitch changes, and are apparently not quite as good at hitting all pitches as a ported one... I didn't wuite understand your last sentance teK, do you mean a ported one WILL boom or WON'T?
I don't want any boom added by the box - I basically want it to accurately repezent (sorry had to do it nigga-style:p) what is recorded on the CD. Remember though I still need it to be punchy, for when I listen to quicker stuff.
Got any other brand suggestions? For reference, I have an old-school car, and if you've ever seen some of these older vehicles you'll notice in the centre of the rear seat, there's a speaker grille in a lot of these vehicles (between rear passengers necks kinda). My intention is to have the sub basically ported to the cabin via this hole, after I remove the stock speaker. And possibly cutting the cones out of the 6x9s on the rear shelf to achieve same. Good idea?
Sealed boxes are tighter in the sense that they have more transient response, and the increased pressure in the box with increased cone excursion supports the cone and relieves the spider of some work. If you like fast bass hits with quick recovery then sealed boxes are the way to go.
What I meant was, provided you build a big enough box and the port is tuned low enough there will be minimal boost/boom, while still gaining all the benefits of a ported box (higher power handling, higher efficiency, less distortion at lower frequencies). Boomy ported boxes are those that are tuned high and have extremely high port boost (5+ dB).
You say you need a fast punchy box but that's a pretty subjective requirement :) What is your idea of a fast track?
Preferably you can pair the boot with the cabin somehow, be it via a fold down center seat, or stock speaker holes. Can you remove the speakers and keep the grills there or is it all sort of one piece? Letting the sound into the cabin through those holes will be great.
I'll leave the others to talk about subs as I'm no expert there, but I am quite happy with my 4 channel Kicker IX440.
Great value and the sound quality is good for the money. I think in that regard, the only thing lacking in my system is the install... everythings getting tightened up, resealed and deadened soon.
I don't turn up my system that loud, but it still does sound very good even at higher volumes that would make a car difficult to drive. This is just with 40WRMS to each of the splits, and bridged 120WRMS to a 10" sealed sub.
I personally think bridging your 4 channels to run 2 splits is overkill, I'd just get a grunty high qual 4 channel and bridge it to run the sub.
I've always wondered how the kickers go against the jaycar amps - they've got damn fine specifications.
As a final note, I do think you can go a fair bit better than the Kicker... but it depends on how far you want to go. The highs in my car sound a lot more brutal than in Brenno's car for example - with all the right PPI gear etc. I've tried my darndest to tune it out.
Hmm, well, put it this way, most of the stuff I listen to is probably about 180-230 BPM I'd say, with the hip hop stuff obviously registering well below.
As far as styles of music goes, if this helps, I listen to a lot of funky stuff, nu-skool breaks, hmm, now I think of it I'm sure a ported sub would be fine really... It would be rare I'd try to drive it so quick it couldn't keep up. And a well-powered sub kicks faster too, right?
I haven't examined the speaker ass'y's at the back so I don't know if the grilles can be left in there with no speaker etc. But if not, like I said, out comes the Stanley knife. :D
Adrian, the splits I'm looking at I believe have Xovers that allow the toning down of the tweets. Which is good, because too much treble blows. :)
hehehe Tex has the jungle-istic drum&bass fever!
Tex, my crossover have the switches too! Doh!
(Still too high...)
Oh, and another thing, I'm going to have all my stereo cabling installed soon when my car is re-wired, so it'll be all ready to plug stuff in to when I buy all the gear. I want as little spreading of the components as possible, hence I'd kinda value a compact system as far as the number of components and their distribution through the vehicle.
Therefore I'd prefer one amp to run everything, and have it centrally mounted, perhaps under a front seat. That way all the components are pretty much equidistant from it, and it's easy to get to... That's my rationale anyway. Am I an idiot? :D
Adrian, what splits have you got? I'd be looking at Focal Polyglass I think...
Phwoar 5chan amp under a front seat. Do you have a full reclining couch seat or something? :D . Hometime now, have to go. If girlfriend lets me use my computer later at home I'll finish posting this thread :(
Well I checked the dimensions of the amp on the Kicker site today, and it's about 50-something cm long... It might fit, but I haven't checked clearances yet - for all I know there won't be enough headroom for the amp to sit under the seat anyway!
Measurements are required. :)
IIRC lower impedance loads reduce the damping factor of amplifiers, damping factor is 'good' because it lets the amp 'control' the speaker more effectively. So when you bridge 2 channels and power a 4 ohm speaker each channel of the amp 'sees' a 2 ohm load. Besides which if you have a 4x50W amp and you bridge it then you're looking at 120-150W for each split, which is quite a fair chunk of power. And if you have a high pass filter on your splits (hypothetically) then you have no hope of getting that sort of power out and retaining your hearing.
Additionally, digital amps (ie class D amps) still aren't good enough for high fidelity IMO. Sure, it's more difficult to hear distortion in bass but I've seen class D amps with distortion figures around 1% which is not good IMO.... if you just want ultimate grunt then class D is definitely the most efficient way of getting it though.
As an example, the a 4x100W amplifier would give you 100W to each split as well as 300 watts (approx) to the sub running off the other 2 channels bridged. 500 watts is plenty of grunt if you don't like your music loud. 500W is twice as loud as 50 watts, which is about what my head unit can handle (across all channels, in RMS terms). and most of the time that's enough, it only clips when I try to go nuts.
If you aren't running rears then a 4 channel amp would probably do you nicely.
When it comes to subs, either sealed or ported but tuned very low. Don't forget that cars experience cabin gain so a sub that's flat down to 20Hz in free air will probably sound terrible in a car. After calculating my hi-fi speakers and building the boxes I ended up lengthening the ports in order to tune it lower, because it sounded boomy in my room. At least if you design a ported box, you have the chance to change your ports in order to alter the tuning. But if you just built a nice big sealed enclosure you'd probably get a similar result, because typically sealed speakers tend to roll off a bit earlier, which is the same as tuning a ported box quite low.
Anyway, the trick is not to take anyone's word as gospel and to think about it for a while. Something always pops up as the most sensible option if you give it time. Maybe a class D sub channel is the best option for you, just because I'm biassed towards normal class AB amps (was that a pun? :p) doesn't mean they have to sound better!
Cool, cheers Geoff, I'll be doing some research before I hand over the folding stuff. :)
Points noted re: damping factor.
The review I originally read for this amp said the digital signal for the sub channel produced excellent sound - I'll try find the article for ya, just so you can read exactly what it was about.
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