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Installing circuit breaker with the right capacity as to not blow subwoofer?

 

New member
Username: Masterelyt

Post Number: 4
Registered: Aug-09
Is it feasible to install a circuit breaker of the right value on the power wire of an amplifier so that it is impossible to blow the connected sub woofer? I want to know this because I am running one 350W RMS (1200W RMS peak) sub woofer at 2 ohms on an amp that will provide 800W RMS at 2 ohms and I know that it should be fairly easy to blow the sub with that much excess power lying dormant. I currently have a 20A breaker installed and it has not been tripped yet, does this not mean that I could theoretically be running the sub at a much higher volume? I make this assumption because according to this chart (http://www.the12volt.com/info/recwirsz.asp), a sub woofer running at 350W RMS should be able to draw ~36A.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 11525
Registered: Jul-06
Just use whatever fuse or curcuit breaker size is for you gauge of wire. And no using a smaller one does not make it impossible to blow a sub.

Use a meter to set the amp gain to whatever maximum output you want. Having more power than you will actually use is NEVER a bad thing.

Subs are almost always blown from clipping, very rarely from too much power.
 

New member
Username: Masterelyt

Post Number: 5
Registered: Aug-09
How would I use a meter (and what kind of meter?) to determine the maximum output?

And on another note, will clipping occur directly from the head unit if I have it turned up all the way? (I don't run it that loud) Or just from the amp if it is being overdriven?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 14122
Registered: Dec-03
Tyler, short answer is no.

it's not current draw from the alternator that damages the sub. It's usually clipping at the amplifier.

yoou can fuse teh speaker wire, as well as the amplifier itself, and still damage a sub.
 

New member
Username: Masterelyt

Post Number: 6
Registered: Aug-09
Okay... well I'm not terribly worried about clipping in this situation based on the quality of my amp and the fact that I am only using about 50% of the power output. But my main concern is the actual physical limitations of the sub.

Assuming that clipping is not a significant factor, how many watts (rms) might the sub woofer be able to realistically handle?
 

Gold Member
Username: Livin_loud

MW2 Addict

Post Number: 3258
Registered: Jan-06
it depends greatly on the make and model(?)
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 14129
Registered: Dec-03
typically you can run an amp rated for about 50% more than the continuous power handling of the driver, since you shouldn't ever see the rated power from the amplifier in a music/daily driver situation for any sustained period. That siad, you should hear the driver distort or bottom out before you do any damage. Your ears are your best defense against damage to drivers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Canaanwhite

Monroe, Louisiana USA

Post Number: 87
Registered: Nov-10
breakers are the best way to go....so you don't have deal with fuses...plus it is easy to kill the power by usually pushing a button or flipping a switch if you have to change or add something....to your system....no more wrenches...or allen wrenches or worry about a wire slipping and blowing up your battery when the hot lead gnds out accidently under the hood.....
 

New member
Username: Masterelyt

Post Number: 7
Registered: Aug-09
is this distortion going to be overly audible? or is it something subtle that i might not be able to detect due to the low frequencies? because i know i've spent quite a bit of time adjusting gain values and crossover frequencies on my amp and i've had it pretty loud but have never really heard anything i would classify as distortion....

and yeah i agree, breakers ftw i've blown 2 fuses due to a short in my power line, but i tripped my breaker about 20 times when i first installed my stereo because i had accidentally grounded one contact on an in-dash power switch and i couldn't figure out what was wrong :P
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 14148
Registered: Dec-03
yes under the hood circuit breakeers work well. I used a 150A klaxon ckt bkr in my Festiva's system and it worked very well.
However, fuses have their place, and still work well at the distribution block and speaker lines.

distortion in subs in a car isn't really audible till 10+% so yeah you can get distortion without hearing it. Quite a bit in fact. Clipping in solid state amplifiers is fairly easy to detect, as it's even-ordered and more harsh. If you have the gain set on the amp properly and the amp gets enough current, it shouldn't clip.
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