4 subs/1200w RMS: 1 amp @1200w or 4 amps @ 300w -which is best?


Bronze Member
Username: Invictuz

Seattle, Wa Usa

Post Number: 19
Registered: Jan-05
In a discussion yesterday two people explained that it is better to have one big amp @ 1200w RMS pushing four subs rather than four smaller amps pushing four subs.

I am trying to determine which will provide the deepest, most accurate bass.
I am not trying to determine which is easiest or cheapest.

If all the power in the world is available. If all the best, most conducive cables were used and the perfect sub/box combination is installed:

Which is going to produce the best bass; one large amp or four smaller amps to drive four subs.

I was almost convinced big amps are better until I went shopping for a larger amp today.

Magnolia Hi-Fi
I stopped at Magnolia Hi-Fi to check out the RF T2000bd and T3000bd.
I explained why I was shopping for the amp and at the cost of losing a sales he told having four amps push 300w each is better than have one amp pushing 1200w. He then took me into the install bay and grabbed a technician. Without the sales guy leading the conversation past "he has four amps pushing 300w, one for each sub, but now wants one larger amp to drive all four subs at 1200w" the technician interrupted with "that would be a step back from what you have now"

Both guys said having four smaller amps is better than having one large amp....

I wanted a second opinion...

I skipped the sales guy and started talking to the technician in the bay.
Told him I have nothing but wanted four subs and something to power them.
He called a sales guy over but continued to lead the conversation.
he mentioned some subs then began talking about powering them through a large amp.
I asked why someone would not go with dedicated amps for each sub. He said "that's only for competition and SPL" "it requires modification like alternator upgrades and harness rewire" ...when I prodded for more info he said that if your goal is to push four subs and you were willing to upgrade your vehicles electrical output the a multiple smaller amps will give you cleaner, deeper bass than a single large amp if all else is equal.
I asked which is better and why one amp dedicated to one sub times four OR one larger amp pushing all four subs.

So now I had two guys telling me one amp is better than four amps when pushing four subs and two guys telling me it is better to have four amps pushing four subs rather than one amp.

Feedback request

What do you think and why?

Is it better to have one large amp?
Its easier to power.
Its easier to wire.
Its easier to adjust.
Its easier to mount.
But does easier to manage equal better sound from your subs?
The argument can be made that with a single amp all subs have identically "conditioned" power being fed to them as it all comes from the same single source*.

Is having smaller, dedicated amps for each sub better?
You have to match gain on all amps
You have to match cutoff.
You have more power draw from alternator/battery
More wires.
More overall maintenance.
But you do have more power sources feeding long, deep, hard bass. (each amp has its own power source to generate its wattage for the sub)

* = I am curious to know what the differences in performance are for sub in the daisy chain that connects multiple subs to a mono amp.
It would seem to me that the sub closest to the middle of a daisy chain connection would receive power before any other (with power working its way from the middle to the ends in both directions)
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