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Old 02-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
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Car Audio guys ? on amplifier set up

Over the past few weeks i've been researching what the cost will be to completely overhaul my sound system. So far i've decided on the Head Unit, SubWoofer and speakers. The final piece to decide on is an amplifier.

My question is am i better served going with a 5 channel marine amp to power the speakers & sub or should i go with a 4 channel amp for the speakers and then go with a 1 channel amp to power the sub?

The 5 channel amp i'm looking at is the JL Audio M700 (marine). Am i better off using a marine quality amp in case i get caught out in the rain or should i not worry about that?

TIA

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Old 02-12-2014, 02:58 PM   #2
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Where are you planning on putting the amp and what sub and speakers are you going to be using?

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Old 02-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #3
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Are the speakers your running in the front and speaker bar capable of being run off of the after market head unit or will they need additional power? If they need additional power the 5 channel would be a good route. If you are just amplifying the sub then a nice bridgeable amp would work well also. Marine amp vs regular is just going to depend on where it will be mounted and the conditions it will be exposed to in my opinion.

I have a JL amp bridged running a JL stealth box with 1 10 inch sub and it works great. I am still running the stock speakers in the bar and front because I did the kicker upgrade in my last jeep and didn't see a lot of difference with running it off the stock radio with no additional power to them.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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I think i would put the amp under the front passenger seat. I only drive the jeep on weekends (Friday-Sunday) and won't be taking it off road. It will be mainly a cruiser with the top off during the spring/fall. It's a JKU for the record.

The speakers are capable of being run off the aftermarket head unit, but i don't know if i would want to have that power it. The HU is a Kenwood DHX790 and it has 50Wx4 channel. Unless i'm mistaken, i think that would be a problem when it comes to powering the sub (Kicker 8" comp 200Watt ) since i need an extra channel on the HU to power it.

The speakers i'm going to run are Hertz and they can handle over 125 watts, so i don't want to under power them.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:54 PM   #5
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The 5 channel would work fine for that setup. Not sure but is the marine amp priced higher than non marine ones because of the marine tag? If so you could get a better non marine one and mount it up under the dash to keep it out of the rain.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:14 PM   #6
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The 5 channel would work fine for that setup. Not sure but is the marine amp priced higher than non marine ones because of the marine tag? If so you could get a better non marine one and mount it up under the dash to keep it out of the rain.
They are about the same price. Matter of fact, i can find the Marine one a tad bit cheaper on the internet, but i've net yet pulled the trigger.

Here are the specs on it:

  • 5-channel marine amplifier
  • 75 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 180 watts RMS at 4 ohms
  • 100 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohms + 300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • 200 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms + 300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • Class-D design
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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Do you have the 2 ohm or 4 ohm version of the kicker comp 8"? Either way that amp looks like it would be a good match for your setup. I've always been happy with my jl amp.

As a side note, be careful of where you're ordering it off of the internet if you want a warranty on it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:24 PM   #8
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Do you have the 2 ohm or 4 ohm version of the kicker comp 8"? Either way that amp looks like it would be a good match for your setup. I've always been happy with my jl amp.

As a side note, be careful of where you're ordering it off of the internet if you want a warranty on it.
I think it's the 2ohm version, but here is the description.

This sub handles up to 200 watts RMS to bring out the depth your music's been missing, and its dual 2-ohm voice coils give you more wiring options when setting up your system. This versatile sub works well in sealed or ported enclosures, and it's even suitable for free-air applications.

I'm going to pull the trigger on the JL Marine Amp. As far as warranty goes, everything less the amp will be purchased from Crutchfield and the Amp will be purchased from Sonic Electronix
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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Crutchfield is awesome. Never ordered from sonic so I can't comment on that. As for the sub, the dual 2 ohm voice coils will see 4 ohms at the amp, which if I remember right was rated for 150 watts at 4 ohms, so it should be a good match.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:22 PM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about marine grade anything in a Jeep. It's not like you are going to heavily splash water on your components, like you would in a boat. The speakers point down, under the sound bar, and the front speakers are behind a grill. So, a little rain splash won't hurt them. Unless, you plan to leave your Jeep out in the rain and snow with the top off. Plus, most aftermarket speakers use some sort of rubber composite for the cones and tweeters, unlike the factory speakers which uses paper.
Rain and moisture will kill the paper speakers, but, it won't damage the rubber composite used in most aftermarket speakers.

You can't power the sub from the HU, regardless of whether it has a sub out. You still need an amp. The HU will not provide enough power for the sub. This is why the sub has RCA outputs. It is meant to be plugged into an amp. A HU will never have speaker wire outputs for a subwoofer, because the subwoofer can't be run properly that way. The subwoofer will have speaker wire inputs, but it is meant to come from the amp.

Your amp will be protected from slight rain drizzle, in most reasonable locations. If it is under the seat, rain won't touch it. Under the dash, rain won't touch it.

For the amp, it really depends on the power handling capability of your speakers.
You would want to closely match your speakers to the amp.

I personally like the 5-Channel Alpine PDX-V9. It costs less than the JL M700, and it is more powerful. Plus, there is a special under the dash mount for it, but it might also work with the similar sized JL M700. It really depends on your speaker's handling capacity, to determine the proper amp.
TJ/LJ Amp Mount

The JL700 is a good match for the Kicker, if it is 200watts RMS. The Hertz speakers are also a good match for the 75watt RMS amp, if they are 125watts RMS. You won't damage the speakers with that amp, with the lower power. It is clean wattage and leaves a little good head room for the speakers. Just be sure that the speakers are 125watts RMS power, and not max power.

You will be under powering the speakers if they are 125watts RMS, just powered by the HU. The HU unit is not 50watts RMS. It is 50watts max power, with a lot of distortion which can blow out speakers. Please note that under powering the speakers will not blow them out. It is the distortion that blows out the speakers. The HU is normally only around 14watts RMS, in the 50x4 rated HU's.

The first part of my statement is just my opinion about marine grade stuff in a Jeep.

The second part regarding distortion and under powering speakers is fact.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:53 PM   #11
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Correction---if the sub is 2ohms, then the amp is 300watts, and too much for the 200watt sub.

You could try setting the gains properly and then setting the volume limit using a multimeter. Then, you would know your safe volume level. You could also do the same thing using an external EQ with built in subwoofer level, and then set the subwoofer safe level on the EQ. I like the latter because you can individually control the subwoofer level, regardless of the HU volume level.

But, then, if you have 4ohm speakers and 2ohm sub it can get messy and complicated.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:30 AM   #12
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The sub is dual 2ohm thus it is 4ohm
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:59 AM   #13
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Thanks guys for all the responses. All of the stuff i bought should be in by mid next week, so hopefully i'll have it installed by the weekend. I'll be sure to post some photos of the finished product when i'm done.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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Good deal. Let us know how it sounds
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:58 PM   #15
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I'm familiar with Sonic Electronix. They are NOT authorized to sell JL Audio. You can't know for sure if the product is new, if it still has the serial number intact, or if they will have the same product in stock in the future.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:51 PM   #16
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The sub is dual 2ohm thus it is 4ohm
Not true. It depends on whether it is the CompD or CompS. It also depends on how it is wired.
But, if it is 2ohm dual voice core it can be wired to 4ohms.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:57 AM   #17
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New to this thread but looking at upgrading my sound system right away in my JKUWW which has been ordered but still waiting for arrival.Can anyone tell me if the stock 130 radio has an amp? I am pretty new to this after market radio stuff. Any input would be great.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:36 PM   #18
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Not true. It depends on whether it is the CompD or CompS. It also depends on how it is wired. But, if it is 2ohm dual voice core it can be wired to 4ohms.
The type of sub doesn't change the fact that the OP said it was a dual 2 ohm sub. Assuming that he doesn't want it wired to 1 ohm at the amp, the only other logical choice is 4 ohm, so king is correct.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:43 PM   #19
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New to this thread but looking at upgrading my sound system right away in my JKUWW which has been ordered but still waiting for arrival.Can anyone tell me if the stock 130 radio has an amp? I am pretty new to this after market radio stuff. Any input would be great.
My understanding is the amp is under the driver side. So I just got my 130 basic radio 2014 sport S unlimited yesterday and there is no amp under there. But there is a nice opening to put one it seems
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:43 PM   #20
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The type of sub doesn't change the fact that the OP said it was a dual 2 ohm sub. Assuming that he doesn't want it wired to 1 ohm at the amp, the only other logical choice is 4 ohm, so king is correct.
I will concede since the sub is a 2-ohm "dual core".
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:04 AM   #21
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So if space permits it it's OK to install an amp under the dash somewhere? No issue with heat? A lot of people comment on installing under the passenger seat but I would rather get the amp under the dash if possible has anyone done this before.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:56 AM   #22
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FYI, The box the subwoofer came in states the sub can be powered up to 400w. Also, i'm going to have the amp installed under the front passenger seat. I don't think it would be possible to put any decent sized amp under the dash.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:44 AM   #23
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So if space permits it it's OK to install an amp under the dash somewhere? No issue with heat? A lot of people comment on installing under the passenger seat but I would rather get the amp under the dash if possible has anyone done this before.
This is kind of hard to give a straight answer to. I'd say if space and amp permit then you can stick it under there. Some amps would probably get a little hot, others might not; but yes a lot of people have stuck them under there with no problems. In fact it's where they stick some of the stock amps.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:03 PM   #24
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Skinny Pedal Underdash Mount

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FYI, The box the subwoofer came in states the sub can be powered up to 400w.
That is peak wattage not continuous. There is a big difference. You don't match your components based on max wattage. You match them based on the RMS value. If you try to run even 300watts through that subwoofer continuous it will blow out.

I know this from pass experience. My professional installer installed 4x6 Infinity Kappas in my Wrangler and they were rated @180watts peak, 60watts RMS. My 100watt RMS amp, ripped the midrange right out of the housing. And, I never cranked those things past 70watts. This was an over sight on my part, having not designed a audio system in a while. The Audio shop also accepted part of the blame and I was able to replace all the speakers for half price. This time I got the proper RMS speakers for my amp.

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Also, i'm going to have the amp installed under the front passenger seat. I don't think it would be possible to put any decent sized amp under the dash.
I have the Alpine PDX-V9 and the skinny pedal under the dash mount. I just haven't got around to installing it yet. I have been kind of delaying the installation until I bedline my Wrangler, and then I'll move it from under the rear seat to under the dash. I was pointed to the under dash mount by other forum members who have it.

TJ/LJ Amp Mount



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Old 02-17-2014, 09:33 PM   #25
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So when you mounted the Alpine amp under the dash above the pedals, did you have to make a custom bracket to hold it or mount it to or was their existing material to mount to? Again thanks to all for your patience I know I am getting a little ahead of myself since my Jeep is in production and I don't have the luxury yet of just walking out to my garage and properly studying it. I'm just excited and trying to narrow down my audio build so when the jeep comes I can get right on the installation.

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