Well for the past two weeks I have been tweeking my system non-stop. I have an Alpine Type R and a Kicker kx400.1. For some reason this sub and amp combo do not seem to be bumping very hard at all. I currently have the gains on my amp set almost to max, and even with it set so high I'm still not feeling the bass. So my question is, is it normal for the gains on the amp to be set at almost max when the rms output of the amp is a little below the rms handling of my sub? (kicker=447rms, type R=500rms)
As long as the preamp/drive signal has sufficient level, the amplifier will produce its maximum power output level. The gain controls are used to match the amplifer's gain to the gain of the other amplifiers in the system (in the case of a multi-amp system). The gain controls also allow you to match the amplifier(s) to the head unit. Not all head units have the same maximum preamp output voltage.