Sunday 20 February 2011

E39: Amp Swap

With the RCA-feed splitting off the rear-speakers there's no separate controls for the amp on the head-unit. I can turn the Bass up and down in the Tone settings, but its making the rest of the speakers tinny and not lowering the subs enough, so they're just overpowering the sound. They're getting the entire frequency band too, most head-unit sub controls have a lo-pass filter as standard, so I'm getting a lot of unfamiliar hums and wobbles.

My awesome Alpine V12, which matches my Alpine R subs, is a straight mono-block amp and has no controls for volume and filtering either, so I've been forced to make the decision to devolve back to my old, less good Toxic Audio amp. It's not a pretty amp, but it still kicks out 1000w like the Alpine and it has a host more features - 2, 3 or 4 channels with separate volume knobs for each and tunable lo-pass + hi-pass filters. The answer to all my prayers, or so I thought. You can tell the drive of the sound is of a lower quality straight away and it doesn't feel as thumping as the Alpine even turned up loud. The lo-pass filter is also crap and cuts off everything above the low-end rumble, so I've switched it off anyway.

At least the volume of the subs is better matched to the rest of the system now so the speakers are sounding natural again. We'll give it a week while I mess with the settings, but I can't help thinking the Alpine just sounds better. A solution is at hand though - I've found separate sub-crossover units on eBay for less than £10 that have vol. for each channel and great looking filters. It's something else to draw power, but it seems this is the only way left to get this system sounding as good as it could.

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