Installing your mono amp and setting your gains – The simple way
This article will help guide you through running the wires from your amp kit and installing your mono amplifier properly. Proper installation of your amplifier is important to avoid damage to your subwoofer / amplifier, and ensures that everything sounds great in the end.
Items Needed for install
- Allen Wrenches
- Gain Knob
- Amp Kit
- Woofer (in a box)
- Panel Poppers
- Wire crimper/cutters
- Wrench or Ratchet with sockets (for your battery terminal)
Power and Ground: Wire placement
Lets take a moment to evaluate where you will be running your wires (Power, Ground, Remote Turn-On, RCAs, Remote Gain Knob), and the best location for your amplifier.Ensure that you keep your power and RCAs separated as running them together has the potential to cause noise that you will hear through your speakers. If you are unable to run them independently try to space them as far apart as possible.
First locate your ground; We suggest finding a solid chassis ground and urge against using seat belt bolts due to safety hazards. Make sure your chosen location is free of paint or rust. If there is paint or rust present sand the area until it is nice and shiny then clean thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol or a cleaning agent. Once this is done bolt the ground eyelet to the vehicle – DO NOT use self taping screws.
Next you’ll install your fuse – making sure that it is within 12″ of the battery then you will run your power wire from the fuse block to the input power of the amplifier. You will want to run this through a grommet in your vehicle’s firewall. If you are unable to find a grommet you can always make a new hole and add your own grommet. When doing this always make sure to trace out where the drill bit is going to go as you don’t want to hit anything on the other side of the firewall. Attempt to make the power connection as short of a distance as possible. Too long of a wire may cause loss of amperage.
Lastly run your remote turn-on, RCAs, and remote gain knob (if applicable). All three of these will be run to the front of the vehicle near the head unit. The remote turn-on needs to be connected to a 12v power source such as the accessory on at the back of the head unit. This is what wakes the amp on and allows it to obtain power from your charging system. It’s critical that this wire is hooked up to a wire that only sees power when the vehicle is turned on or you will drain your battery. Once you have everything hooked up make sure to power on your system and make sure the amp comes on and has output before tidying up and putting the vehicle back together. (These same steps are used when installing a multi-channel amp)
Note: This option is the faster and easier option, but common sense and experience is key.
Set your Low Pass Filter (LPF) between 90-100Hz.You will then set your Subsonic to 30Hz. These settings are assuming your box is tuned between 35-45Hz. Ensure that your amp is set to master (if applicable).The Bass Boost should be off, as it is used to increase output but causes distortion to happen faster. Make sure your gain is all the way down (Remote Bass Knob to ¾).On your head unit, access your Equalizer (EQ) settings and bass controls making certain that they are all at 0. If your amplifier has a master, slave switch make sure you switch it to master if running it on its own.
Choose a CD to play, preferably a recorded CD and not an mp3 due to possible distortion. A USB stick will work great too if a CD is not available. Turn the head unit volume three-quarters of the way up. Take your Remote Bass Knob and watch as slowly turn the gain up on the amp as you will notice the clipping indicator light on the knob begin to flicker as the frequencies in the music change. A clipped signal will cause the voice coil on your subwoofer to burn, therefore the clipping indicator light should not be allowed to glow solid or flicker continuously on constant playing, or stay red on transients.
We understand there are many methods and other steps that come with installing a system that some might prefer to use. Though we have found these to be the easiest for the newcomer Basshead! If you have questions please contact us.
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