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        Tuning your subs

        How to make the bass in your car sound its best

        Kenwood subs in a Sound Ordnance subwoofer box

        In this article... I'll show you how to tune your amplifier to get your subwoofers to sound just the way you want them to. Just follow these simple steps for great bass:

        One of the things I like most about subwoofers is that I can feel the musical emotion directly with my body. The low frequency beat often forces me to dance around, or, at the very least, nod my head along with the rhythm. That's why we all like music in the first place — it moves us.

        It can take a little time and effort to get the exact bass sound you want from your subs, but the rewards of a well-tuned subwoofer system are overwhelmingly cool and physically satisfying.

        Before we get started...

        If you are looking for information about buying subwoofers, please read our Subwoofer Buying Guide and check out our selection of top-rated subwoofers, then come back here to learn more about setting them up to deliver great sound.

        First, set your speaker level

        Keep in mind, distortion is the enemy — it destroys speakers, subs, and eardrums. Distortion sounds like crackling, flapping, crunching, or hissing that interferes with the distinct sound of a musical instrument. If you power your full-range car speakers with an amplifier, it is crucial that the amp's gain is properly set to prevent distortion.

        [Need an amplifier? See our full selection.]

        Step 1: Remove the distortion

        With the amp gain set low, play some music and turn up your receiver's volume until you hear the music distorting; then back off the volume until the music sounds clean again. Note or mark where the receiver's volume is. This setting is the maximum volume your receiver can go to and still play cleanly.

        Now, turn the amp's gain up until you hear distortion again; then back off the gain slightly until the distortion goes away. The amp gain is now set, so you can lower the receiver volume to a more comfortable level. Even if your speaker system does not have an amplifier, you still need to find that maximum volume point on your receiver by turning it up to just below distortion level.

        Now you're ready for some bass

        Step 2: Flatten the signal, open the low-pass filter

        Turn your sub amp's gain to its lowest, most counter-clockwise position. Switch its low-pass filter on and set it as high, clockwise, as it will go. If it has a bass boost, turn it off. If it has a remote level control, set it to its middle position so, later, you have the choice of boosting or cutting the bass on an individual song.

        Adjust your receiver's bass tone control to its middle, zero, or "flat" setting, whichever it's called on your stereo. If it has a subwoofer level control, set it, also, to its middle, or "no gain" setting. Sometimes receivers have a crossover, low-pass filter, or bass boost on their subwoofer output. Make sure those are all turned off, too.

        First, turn the gain down

        Start by turning the gain down, and turn off your filters and bass boost.

        Note: Do not use the low-pass filters, crossovers, or bass boosts on the receiver and the amplifier at the same time. Use one or the other, but not both. The reason is that something called phase distortion generates around each filter or boost's crossover frequency, muddying up the sound.

        Step 3: Adjust the subwoofer gain and low-pass filter

        Play music through your receiver at about one-quarter volume. Turn up the gain of the subwoofer amp until the sound from your subwoofer completely overpowers the other speakers, without distorting.

        Turn the gain up

        Turn the gain up until it distorts, then back it off until the sound is clean again.

        While listening to the music coming out of your sub, slowly adjust the sub amp's low-pass filter downward until all the high- and mid-frequency notes disappear.

        low-pass filter

        Adjust the low-pass filter downward to eliminate high- and mid-frequency notes.

        The low-pass filter eliminates the notes you don't want your subwoofer to play. It also acts like a tone control to capture the "edges" of the kick drum's sound; the attack and release of its boom. Filter out the cymbals, strings, vocals, and guitars. Leave the bass and the low drums.

        Step 4: Bass boost and subsonic filter

        If you have a bass boost, try carefully turning it up to hear what the bass drum sounds like when you do. Applying just a little bass boost will bring up the kick a lot. Be careful with the bass boost, if you choose to use it — this is where distortion is often introduced into a system. If you hear distortion, lower the sub amp's gain until it goes away. Use the bass boost to feel the beat in the air your sub moves.

        bass boost

        Now play with the bass boost.

        For ported subwoofers, use a subsonic filter on your amplifier to tame any overly loud low notes. This will help decrease the levels of the notes at which the enclosure resonates. Fine-tune all the filters some more to make the bass drum sound tight and dry or loose and reverberant, according to your personal taste. I like reggae and soul, so my bass is plenty loud, but it's a bit drier than most people might like. The important thing is to keep adjusting your system until you hear something you like. When you're satisfied with the tone of your system's bass and kick, turn the sub amp's gain all the way down.

        Blending all the frequencies

        Now that each piece of the puzzle is set, it's time to bring all the music into focus.

        Step 5: Matching the subwoofer level to the receiver volume

        Turn up the receiver's volume to its maximum, distortion-free position. Then slowly turn up the subwoofer amp's gain until the bass sounds balanced with the rest of the music. That should do it.

        Run your remote bass boost or level control up and down a little to hear what it does. Because of the size of the acoustic space in a car, subwoofers sometimes don't combine their sound constructively with the rest of a system's sound waves. If your bass has plenty of volume but seems to lack punch, you can sometimes help it by reversing your sub's speaker leads. This reverses the subwoofer cone's forward and backward movements, which might put all the sound waves together better than the other way. Whichever way sounds best is the right way.

        Troubleshooting any problems

        If you hear distortion coming from your subs, turn down the sub amp's gain. If, at this point, you cannot get enough bass out of your subwoofer to keep up with the other speakers without distorting, then you will need to get a bigger subwoofer and amplifier combination, with higher power-handling abilities.

        Do not lower the gain of your full-range amplifier to try and match your lack of subwoofer volume. This would endanger your full-range speakers (when the amp sends out a clipped signal) without achieving the goal of clean, full sound, which is why you put in a subwoofer to begin with. More power, especially in the bass, is always better than not having enough.

        Now you should be able to enjoy the robust fullness and beat of your music with your sub tuned up to match your system's capabilities and your ear's preference. Just remember to be polite, and turn your boom volume down when it might bother other people.

        Learn more about sound tuning

        For more information on how to tune your car sound stystem, see Adding a 4-Channel Amp. To learn more about getting the best sound out of your amplifier, take a look at our Amplifiers FAQ and Glossary articles.

        Please share your thoughts below.

        • Juan from Fullerton Ca

          Posted on 1/17/2021

          I have a bazooka with an amp that has no manual controls. The manual says low pass set to 85 hz automatically. Seems like that's the highest it will play. Anyway, the Sony head unit I bought from you has low and high pass filter controls. Can't figure whether I should set those or not and at what level. For now I set low at 80hz and have no idea what to set high pass to...80 hz? 60hz? Off?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 1/18/2021

          Juan, The high-pass filters in your receiver are for your "full-range" front and rear speakers. Set them to 85 Hz. The low-pass filter of the subwoofer channel should get turned off - the sub amp's LPF will take card of that.
        • Carlos from Victorville

          Posted on 1/9/2021

          Thank you! This helped me out a lot. I reset my head unit which reset all of the settings that were in place when I got my system hooked up. It sounded terrible but after this tutorial, I'm thumping down the street again.

        • Gerry from needless

          Posted on 1/8/2021

          can i get a good clean sound system for around 1000? like a 12 woofer box and amp. thank you

        • John Jones from Burlington

          Posted on 1/8/2021

          I have an old Orien cheaters amp from the early 90s first or second gen I was wondering if anybody knew anything about it as far as experience using run

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 1/12/2021

          John, Without knowing precisely what amp you're referring to, we can't help you with advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.
        • Chad Milhoan from Simpsonville

          Posted on 1/4/2021

          A few months ago I ordered a Kenwood Excelon DDX-396 for my car and connected it to my old slash series JL Audio 500/5. 5 channel amp. My question is that amp has really good crossovers built in and running a 3 way component set of JL Audio XR series up front with NO speakers connected at all to anything onnpurpose and a ported JL Audio 12W3V3......should I bypass the DVD players xovers OR my amps.....i am using the 3 way components JL xovers to the speakers of course also?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 1/11/2021

          Chad, I don't see any high-pass filters on that receiver, so I'd use the crossover filters of the amplifier only.
        • Lora Stonden from Capelle Aan Den Ijssel

          Posted on 12/19/2020

          Hi there, Huge fan of your content here! Anyway - to keep this short. Could you please let me know if this is a right address for and editorial inquiry? If not, I would appreciate if you can direct me to the right one. I know that has a great potential an a real base of visitors so I would really like to start a collaboration with you. Could you tell me if you would be willing to accept any type of guest post, editorial or or other form of link placement? Seeing that it's pretty hard to match your writing style, I think it would be a lot better if you could include a link to our website into a new or even older article of yours, for a fee. If this sounds like something you could do, simply reply to this email, tell me your guest post or external link policy and the price to have our website promoted on yours, and let's make a deal! :) Thanks, Lora Stonden

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 12/22/2020

          Lora, Crutchfield will not publish links to unknown sites outside the US.
        • JC from Hastings

          Posted on 11/25/2020

          When using an active crossover inline before amplifiers, where should the amps' gain and L/HPF settings be with the crossover handling those duties?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 12/6/2020

          JC, You set the amp's gain and L/HPF settings the same way you would without the crossovers.
        • Mike E from Mt Prospect, IL

          Posted on 11/19/2020

          Hi Buck. I've got a Pioneer DMH-1500NEX HU and an Infinity Basslink Mini, both from CF, installed in a 2008 Toyota Highlander with the base stock speakers, and it really sounds pretty good. However, the Pioneer unit has LPF and HPF settings for fronts, rears, and the sub and I'm a little confused about how to set them all. I was told when setting up my home AV system to set the LPF on the subs to max and use the receiver to adjust the crossover, but I don't know if that holds true in the car too. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for this specific setup to use as a starting point from which I could fine tune further?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 11/20/2020

          Mike, Start with the front and rear speakers' high-pass filter set from 80-100 Hz and the subwoofer channel's low-pass filter set to the same frequency. Then adjust to taste.
        • Daniel Goforth from Leicester

          Posted on 11/10/2020

          I was curious what would cuz my system to work on low volume and at high volume it sends the amp to protect mode and it was working fine just started this the other day

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 11/11/2020

          Daniel, It sounds like the amp's gain is set too high.
        • Michael Richardson from Compton

          Posted on 10/25/2020

          Why do some amplifiers have Bass Boost control,and some do not?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 10/26/2020

          Michael, Finding a bass boost on an amp means the designers intended the amp to be used to power a subwoofer.
        • Dan E from South San Francisco

          Posted on 10/14/2020

          Can I use the phase control instead of reversing the speaker leads, which you mention in step 5? Thanks

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 10/15/2020

          Dan, Yes.
        • Jennifer Lay from Oroville

          Posted on 10/1/2020

          Do you guys have a video showing all these steps? It would be extremely helpful.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 10/2/2020

          Jennifer, I don't think we do. And it's a good idea to do one. But video production capabilities are somewhat cramped these days, so don't expect one anytime soon.
        • Viktar Lesnikou from Saint Paul

          Posted on 9/26/2020

          Hello, I have CF-purchased xav-ax7000 head unit w Pioneer TS-A1697C components in the front and TS-A1670F 3 way coax in the rear doors of my 2011 Honda Element. Sony's default setting is HPF OFF and LPF at 100Hz. Should I mess with HPF/LPF settings if I do not have a sub in the mix? And if I should, what would be the possible setting recommendations for my setup?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 9/27/2020

          Viktar, The settings you've described are for a subwoofer. For full-range speakers, the low-pass filter should be off an the high-pass filter engaged and set to 80 - 100 Hz.
        • Rick from San Leandro 94577

          Posted on 9/10/2020

          Thank You, I've shopped Crutchfield for 30yrs These are great pointers i was unaware of. I Play Hard Rock predominantly, & Like Tight Dry kick for sure. I'm Monkey'n with my flat (on its back) Sub Tomorrow. I believe it will get a bit better

        • Kevin from Washington

          Posted on 9/3/2020

          I had a system in a 2000 Expedition that sounded fantastic. I sold that vehicle and put the same system in an 06 Ion and it sounds horrible. Guess I have to start over

        • Josh

          Posted on 8/16/2020

          All of your info is very helpful, but im still having trouble with my setup...I have 2 Boss CXX12 subs 500rms 1000 peak pushed by a boss 1500.1 mono block 1500w, 1125x1rms and cant figure out where to put my lpf....also, is it bad to use a low pass filter and a bass boost together if theyre both on my amp? Everything works good until i take a trip longer than an hour or 2 and the amp will go into protect mode due to i imagine getting too hot.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 8/18/2020

          Josh, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.
        • Shawn Schmidt from Bellefontaine, Ohio

          Posted on 8/11/2020

          Buck, Great tutorial. I added a JL power wedge plus 10 to my factory system (uconnect 8.4 2020 Ram 1500) I notice when I turn the bass knob up, my system volume goes down, like the sub is pulling on my system. I used the high power inputs. The amp doesn't seem to drain headlights etc. could the high imputs be causing this? Polarity seems correct on my sub. Not sure if I should get RCA adapter to stop the pull, but not sure if that will work. Thanks in advance for any suggestions l. Trying to tune with your suggestions above.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 8/11/2020

          Shawn, You're describing masking, where the loudness of the sub makes the other speakers seem quieter. Using either a high- or low-level input for the sub amp has no effect on how much power the amp draws from the electrical system.
        • Vernon Hoffman from Newport, WA

          Posted on 8/11/2020

          Buck, quick question about 15" subs. I have a an Alpine CDA 9833 deck with a Alpine MRV T320 amp, not sure of the door speakers but they are nice and clean( I assume alpine) . There is a Alpine MRD_1000 mono block amp to power the 2 subs..I need new ones. They sit in custom boxes under the rear seat in a 2004 Dodge ram quad cab, what are your recommendations for subs under $600.00 for 2

        • Kyle from Metairie

          Posted on 8/8/2020

          I just bought 2 sundown sa v2 12s and the guy told me that I needed a 3,000 watt amp. I have a fosgate prime 1200 mono amp when at 1 ohlm should put out 1200 rms watts. He said that my fosgate amp wouldn't move my new 12s but I hooked it up anyway and and they push these sundown 12s with no problem . I called and told him and he said that my amp will distort the signal to the speaker and blow them. I set the gain with a multimeter so I need a second opinion. Is that true?

        • Dave Masters from SPENCER PARK;WA

          Posted on 7/26/2020

          Hi, I have 2 12" Alpine type R 2ohm DVC 1221D subs and am running them with a S-A60D. I am using a KENWOOD DDX8032BT deck, its old but awesome! Can you please tell me the settings I need for the deck/sub? EQ is flat, Xover is on through, everything is off. The subs are running at 2ohm stable.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 8/3/2020

          Dave, Most people start with the receiver's speaker high-pass filters set to around 80 Hz and the sub output channel flat, with the sub amp's low-pass filter also set to around 80 Hz. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help tuning your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.
        • Jake from Vallejo

          Posted on 7/23/2020

          My amp has low pass high pass and full on a switch. My head unit also has a low pass filter also. The question I have is how do I turn the low pass filter off on the amp? Do I put the switch to the high pass filter side? I can move the switch to high pass low pass or full. Amp is a hitron hra 2500b

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 7/29/2020

          Jake, You turn the low-pass filter off by setting the switch to Full.
        • Josh from Edgerton

          Posted on 7/17/2020

          I have a Sony head unit and in the Subwoofer setting it has lpf 80,100,120 and it can't be turned off. My question is how do I properly set my amplifiers lpf? Should it be turned all the way down? It's range is from 40 to 180 hz.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 7/20/2020

          Josh, I recommend setting the receiver's low-pass filter to 100 Hz and turning off the filter on the amp.
        • Forrest from Sioux Falls

          Posted on 6/29/2020

          I have a Alpine SA-60M and a JL audio sub thats 300 rms. the amp does 330 rms at 4 ohms x 1. how do i set the amp with a meter so its not over powering it? i play bass cds and one part of the song the sub was banging hard and making noise. right now the gain is set to 10 oclock i also have a sub level on the cd player and not sure how to set that right. it goes from off to 0-15. need a target volt for the amp. any help would be appreciated.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 6/30/2020

          Forest, If the subwoofer's impedance is 4 ohms, 34.6 volts will produce 300 watts. This is an application of Ohm's Law, where voltage equals the square root of the product of the wattage times the impedance.
        • Steve from Kitchener

          Posted on 6/21/2020

          The only problem I'm having with my stereo as I have a set of Alpine Component speakers in the front separate Tweeter I just find no matter what I do I have too many highs at high-volume Overpowers my rear speakers and sub

        • Arthur m from Crestline

          Posted on 6/13/2020

          I have Power Acoustik Rzr1-2500d class D mono block Subwoofer Amplifier and a 2000 watt Pyle power 4 ohm sub will this tutorial work for me

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 6/15/2020

          Arthur, Yes.
        • Gary from La Crosse wi

          Posted on 5/9/2020

          I have a Orion hcca124 reconed to 1ohm I'm running a Dd m2b amplifier is it safe to run the sub at .5 ohms with that amplifier

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 5/11/2020

          Gary, That amp will not handle a 0.5-ohm load.
        • JS from Athens

          Posted on 4/23/2020

          Why not just use an oscilloscope to set the max volume without clipping on the receiver speaker outputs, then you'll never feed your amp a clipped signal, repeat with the amp, and Done.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/24/2020

          JS, Most people don't own or have access to an oscilloscope, so our instructions on tuning doesn't include that. People who do have oscilloscopes probably already know how to use one for gain-setting and don't need the guidance this article provides.
        • Jeff r Smith from Salina

          Posted on 4/18/2020

          Just bought a pioneer avh2440 cd player to replace the deck i had, and the old deck seemed to have alot better sound quality with the sub, i know the new deck as alot more options with setting tone but i cant seem to get it where i want it, i have 2 sa10d4 subs with a sae2000d amp i have the amp set where i want it but the deck is frustrating me, not enough boomy bass like before and rock music bass kicks dont hit nearly as hard.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/20/2020

          Jeff, There are a lot of control features buried in that receiver's menu, including EQ for the subwoofer channel. If you bought the receiver at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.
        • MIChael DEMILLE from Salem

          Posted on 4/12/2020

          Hi buck ,I have a pioneer deh 80rs,and a RF prime 4 ch amp,i am using the amp to do jbl comp on the doors and bridged sub.should i use the front rca out and the sub rca out or the front and rear instead,then I could adjust with fade I guess?,not using one set.thanks,mike

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/13/2020

          Michael, Although it's not at all clear what's in your system, I think you should use the receiver's sub output for your sub amp's input so you'll be able to control the sub from the receiver.
        • Kyle from WILLIAMSPORT

          Posted on 4/7/2020

          I have an ACR-1 Audio Control Bass Knob... should I keep this halfway when setting the gain at 50 HZ Test Tone?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/7/2020

          Kyle, When you set amp gain, you're setting it to attain maximum volume without distortion. If you were to set your gain with the bass knob set halfway, when you turn up the bass knob you could blow your sub. Set gain with the bass knob set to maximum.
        • Shane Mattson from Sandown

          Posted on 3/9/2020

          I strongly recommend using a DSP such as the JL Audio TWK-88, which has allowed me to bring my boat audio system to a whole new level. For instance, I turned the amplifier gains down to the point where I could no longer hear any hiss coming from the speakers when the head unit is muted. Before the TWK-88, I set the inputs using the voltmeter and achieved 17.x vac with head unit output at 3/4 using a test tone (recommended gain setting procedure by JL Audio) but there was a lot of hiss from the speakers when the system was muted. With the TWK-88 I'm able to lower the amplifier gains significantly and control the input level from the head unit and provide the amplifiers with a clean signal at all listening levels. With the TWK-88 I have considerable control over the frequency spectrum to each driver, and setting the distance and additional signal delay creates an amazing soundstage throughout the cockpit. I learned a lot and still have some more tuning to do to dial it in even more. Right now I have an extremely powerful, clean, and very entertaining system to listen to. Leveraging a DSP is a must-have in my opinion.

        • Karo Flores from Anderson Sc

          Posted on 2/10/2020

          Hi I own a set of DB drive 12" platinums 1750 watts 900 rms in a Q Bomb ported box, with matching DB drive 3k mono block amp. Im attempting to adjust my subs in a 2019 honda civic si, how do i adjust it correctly? The amp has lpf bass and gains for some odd reason im having hell of a time trying to correct the bass. Ive eliminated the high pitch noise coming through my speakers on start up, now trying to lower the 59hrz to a more suitable place without having to pay someone to build me a box.

        • Frank Fiorenini from Great Falls

          Posted on 2/6/2020

          I have an Infinity Kappa K5 and want to be sure I am setting my sub up properly. I have my sub input set to Int, the phase at 0 currently and before I try to set the sub gains, I want to know where to start with the sub frequency, bass boost and HP frequency dials? I can figure it out with trial and error but having a base to start with would be great. Thank you in advance.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 2/6/2020

          Frank, Start with the bass boost and the HP controls turned fully counter-clockwise. Then set the amp gain. If your subwoofer is in a ported enclosure you'd set the HP control to 10 Hz above the enclosure's tuned frequency. If you want to increase the bass, you can carefully increase the boost, but then you'll have to re-set the amp gain.
        • Jeff from state farm from Brooklyn

          Posted on 1/30/2020

          Can you guys make a video of this please. I'm a visual learner.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 1/31/2020

          Jeff, Good idea. I'll put in a proposal to the video team.
        • Kristian G from Las Vegas

          Posted on 1/19/2020

          Nobody should do any of this, there are proper ways to set gain and everything and this is far from it. This is a great way to immediately blow your speakers/subs. Can't believe Crutchfield would alow this post

        • Gabriel Sanchez

          Posted on 1/6/2020

          Just use a DD1 and CC1 by SMD!! Does everything for you!!

        • Ryan from watseka

          Posted on 12/30/2019

          hey sir, I was given a Boss audio 2300 dvc 4 ohm and a 1800 dvc 4 ohm subs and Power Acoustik RZ1-2300D amp. what would be the best way to wire the subs to the amp. I have never used a single channel amp before so any advise would greatly be helpful

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 12/31/2019

          Ryan, The only safe way to wire that gear together is like this.
        • Jamal

          Posted on 12/21/2019

          I have two Rockford fosgate R2D4 10s Dvc 4ohm what amp would you recommend to pair these with and should I wire down to an 1 ohm load?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 12/23/2019

          Jamal, Two DVC 4-ohm subs rated for 250 watts RMS each will work well with an amplifier that can put out up to 500 watts RMS at 1 or 4 ohms, like a Rockford Fosgate T750X1bd wired at 4 ohms.
        • John from Garland, TX

          Posted on 12/19/2019

          I have a question. I bought a Rockford Fosgate R500X1D and I am trying to find out if its safe to pair it up with Rockford Fosgate Punch P3 P3SD210 Punch P3 10-Inch 300 Watt Shallow Subwoofer - 2 Ohm. I am a novice when it comes to sound. Please advise.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 12/19/2019

          John, That amp and sub match up together perfectly, wired like this.
        • Courtney from Baton Rouge

          Posted on 11/26/2019

          What would case my amps output to shut off under a deep base load? It only last a moment but it is worrisome, can this harm my system. How do I trouble shot it?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 11/30/2019

          Courtney, It sounds like your amplifier is going into protect mode in efforts to survive. Either the sub's impedance load (ohms) is too small, or the amp gain is set too high.
        • George Ortiz from Chandler

          Posted on 11/16/2019

          Hey Buck, I've toggled different settings for my ATG Mono 1625/1 @ 2ohms to a (1) 12" W7 JL sub in my Chevy traverse in-line from - stock receiver - line converter Audiocontrol LC2i pre amp output - Audiocontrol epicenter (sweep) (wide) freq. - Then to the amp - would this method imply to the same settings you instruct before bringing up the low pass and gain ? I bypass the epicenter to make the changes with the signal enhanced from the LC2i at 5v to the amplifier input for the lack of bass dropping due to the stock radio. What would you recommend setting the LC2i input signal voltage to the input sensitivity on the amplifier before tuning ? Also after that is set after reconnecting the epicenter jumpers @ 7v output per spec does this effect the settings trying to achieve pushing 1000rms for the 3ohm JL W7 ? I like to have my subs moving buildings when I play but I don't want to be leaning to much towards the danger zone haha. Thank you in advance Sincerely , -GTO Jr

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 11/16/2019

          George, The LC2i has AccuBass bass-restoration circuitry and the Epicenter is a bass-restoration device, so it's odd to have them both in a system. Perhaps you're not using the AccuBass feature. The output level of the LC2i should be set so it won't clip the input of the next device in the signal chain. Check out AudioControl's instructions on how to set up their gear - they're incredibly well-written and easy to understand.
        • Randy from Charleston SC

          Posted on 11/14/2019

          Hi Buck, I recently bought a 12" dual 4 ohm sub rated at 1000w RMS. My amp is the alpine PDR M65 which birthsheet says is 750 watts @2 ohms. Is this amp powerful enough for the sub or should I get something else? What's the best way to wire this amp if so? Thanks

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 11/15/2019

          Randy, I can't confirm your sub's specs without knowing its brand name and model number, but it'll probably be safe to wire that gear together like this. If this isn't loud enough for you, you can get a larger amp - presumably with an output of up to 1000 watts RMS at 2 ohms.
        • Kevin Smoot from Gravois Mills

          Posted on 11/13/2019

          You should recommend that people buy the smd dd1 or dd1+ distortion detector to set gains or an oscilloscope. Novices using your techniques are more likely than not to introduce clippings in their system.

        • Ravi malok from Meerut

          Posted on 10/14/2019

          Hello buck I read your article and it's great.i want some help .I have car which have company fitted music system with 4 door speakers.Now I purchase pioneer wxt300 sub woofer and fitted to my old music system. I am hearing distortion or double sound speakers bass and subwoofer bass coming differently.my sub woofer has amp gain ,frequency ,and bass boost. Where I should set them to get good sound overall.please guide me.

        • Vishal K. from Campbell, CA

          Posted on 9/23/2019

          Hi Buck, I've been enjoying your articles quite a bit. I particularly like your method of setting gain! I have a JL Audio 10" sub with a JX-250/1 mono amp (200wRMS bass system) connected to the factory stereo of my 2016 Tiguan. I like to keep my volumes low to moderate & my EQ/bass extremely balanced. I turned the Input Sensitivity knob down to about 10 o'clock, which is much lower than what the installer set. Is there any harm in setting this gain knob too low? The way it sounds now is perfectly blended with the factory speakers. BTW, I did not rely on your method for this; I just used my ears to set all of the controls on the amp.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 9/24/2019

          Vishal, As long as it sounds good and you don't play loud distortion, then everything's safe.
        • Ralf from New York

          Posted on 8/29/2019

          You can not turn off the lp filter on that head unit as well as on the pdx m6. Thats my dilema. Not sure what settings to use since im not supposed to use both.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 8/29/2019

          Ralf, If you can't turn the low-pass filter of your receiver off, then set it to its highest setting. Then it won't interfere with the sub amp's Low-pass filter's 80 Hz initial setting.
        • Ralf from New York

          Posted on 8/27/2019

          I meant to say that theres no way to turn off the lpf on the head unit of my amp. What would you recommend is the best setting.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 8/27/2019

          Ralf, That receiver, or head unit, has both high- and low-pass filters that you shouldn't use if you're using the filters on the amps. The PDX-F4 also has low- and high-pas filters that can be turned off and on. The PDX-M6 low-pass filter should be used to eliminate high notes from the bass signal. A good place to start is around 80 Hz for low-pass filter of the sub amp and for the high-pass filters of the 4-channel amp. Fine-tune each until the music sounds good to you.
        • Ralf from New York

          Posted on 8/27/2019

          I recently upgraded to the alpine ilx- 107. Ive paired it with my alpine pdx f4 and pdx m6. From what I can tell, you ate mot able to turn off the hpf on this head unit or the pdx f4. What is your suggestion on the hpf setting for my set up? Thanks.

        • Travis from Rochester, NY

          Posted on 7/31/2019

          So you're not recommending people set the gain properly with a DMM? Yikes, Buck. The square root of the Desired RMS x speaker impedance will ALWAYS yield the BEST results when setting gain... For example, I want the full 120wrms from my Alpine X-A70F and I'm running the X series components. 120 (desired RMS) x 4 (driver Impedance) is 480. The square root of 480 is 21.9. So disconnecting the speakers from the amplifier, playing a 1khz test tone, plugging in my DMM to the proper outputs of the amp, adjusting the gain until i get 21.9VAC reading on my DMM, and boom! Proper gain set.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 8/1/2019

          Travis, I actually recommend using test tones and ears to set amp gain, as shown in the article How to set gain with test tones. To accurately measure your amplifier's output power with a multimeter, use a 60 Hz tone for a subwoofer amp, and a 100 Hz tone for a full-range amp with its high-pass filter turned off. This is because most meters are made to measure AC voltage accurately at 50-60 Hz (the common frequency of all power systems around the world). Using a standard hand-held multimeter to measure the voltage of a higher-frequency signal results in readings that are much lower and leads to inaccurate power calculations and gain-setting. A multimeter also can't tell if the signal is clipped or not.
        • Clif Wilbert from Phoenixville

          Posted on 7/22/2019

          I have a Pioneer AVH-501EX and Infinity 6530cx in front and rear of my Jeep Wrangler. I am adding a Sound Ordnance M350-1 and an Alpine SBV-10-WRA to the system. What is the best way to wire the new amp and subwoofer and best way to control the Infinitys for best sound? I bought the Infinitys and Sound Ordnance from Crutchfield

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 7/22/2019

          Clif, If you bought your new amp at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help wiring your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice.
        • Steve from Spartanburg SC

          Posted on 7/18/2019

          Hi, I recently purchased an Alpine CDE-175BT head and Rockville USS10 10" 800w Slim Under-Seat Active Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer. Can I tune in the subwoofer with the head unit? Am I better off using the adjustments on the subwoofer? If I use the adjustments on the subwoofer, what do I do to the settings on the head, there's a lot of settings there that I'm unsure of? If I use the head, what do I do with the adjustments on the subwoofer?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 7/19/2019

          Chris, As is noted in the article, Do not use the low-pass filters, crossovers, or bass boosts on the receiver and the amplifier at the same time. Use one or the other, but not both. Whichever one you don't use, set to no boosts and full range operation.
        • Travis from Beaumont tx

          Posted on 7/13/2019

          Howdy, I have 2 shok industries elite x 15's in a nice ported box. I also have a kicker cx1200.1 pushing them wires at 2 ohm . The speakers are 1500 rms a piece. My amp takes awhile to get hot. But I was wondering, since there only getting like 600 watts threw at em, is it safe to set my gain near all the way up... because when I do...they KNOCK!

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 7/15/2019

          Travis, The gain knob sets the amp's input sensitivity, not its output volume. You should set your amp's gain as described in this article - start with gain low; play a signal or song; turn up until distortion becomes audible; turn gain down until distortion goes away. The way you're doing it will endanger your subs.
        • Garrett from San Bruno

          Posted on 7/12/2019

          Wanted to say thank you for this article! I've had decent systems in my rides forever, but never knew EXACTLY what I was adjusting as I fiddled with all those knobs, switches and dials. Your article outlined each ones function perfectly. Thanks again!

        • Delroy from Brooklyn

          Posted on 7/2/2019

          Hey freind I will like to know how will I going about tuning an amp with a half din eq in the system. I have power acoustic 4band eq

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 7/3/2019

          Delroy, Start off with the amp gain set to minimum. Play a favorite tune and adjust the EQ to the way you like it to sound. Then go ahead and go through the tuning steps laid out in this article.
        • Trey Thibodeaux from LUMBERTON

          Posted on 6/8/2019

          I just bought an Infinity Kapa 600 mono amp through yall. I was told it was a good match for my subs, 10" pioneer TSSW2502S4. I had a old school fosgate punch 600 on it before and it just seems like it doesnt hit has hard as it did. Just wondering the best way to wire the subs for optimal thump.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 6/10/2019

          Trey, Assuming you're talking about two subwoofers - the best way to wire your gear together is like this.
        • Tom from Canfield, Oh

          Posted on 5/23/2019

          Recently purchased power sub Rockford Fosgate P300-10 from crutchfield to install in my 2016 Honda Civic touring w/ factory sub already installed Question is can I tap the wires coming out of factory amp to the factory sub for line inputs to new P300-10

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 5/24/2019

          Tom, When you use the factory subwoofer wiring for your sub's input signal, don't forget to use a line output converter (LOC) to reduce the signal strength of the factory amplified signal down to the level your sub's input can handle.
        • Kevin from Roseville, CA

          Posted on 5/20/2019

          Hi Buck, I have a 2011 TSX with the stock receiver. I can adjust bass and the subwoofer, since the car originally comes with a stock sub. In this article on step number 2, paragraph 2, you say to tune the receiver bass tone and sub control to the middle positions on the receiver. Is this correct? I ordered a new set-up through you guys and will be installing it myself, so I wanted to make sure I understand this right. Thank you for your time, Kevin

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 5/21/2019

          Kevin, This step is part of flattening the signal before step 3: setting the gain.
        • Steve Mooney from LAGUNA NIGUEL

          Posted on 5/16/2019

          Hey Buck I got a Kenwood DDX6905S and a 4 channel Infinity Kappa K4. It sounds great when using sirius or the radio. But when I use the Apple carplay either thru the cable or bluetooth, the rt. speaker in front sounds horrible-full of distortion I guess is what you call it. THe bass seems way deeper and less crisp (to say the least) Any ideas?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 5/20/2019

          Steve, It sounds like you have a bad cable. Change it out and see what happens. If you bought your gear at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.
        • Ronnie Hutton from Marion

          Posted on 5/15/2019

          What do i do when my amp doesnt have a gain knob

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 5/17/2019

          Ronnie, Your amp may be made for a specific application and has its gain set internally. But I can't tell for sure without knowing exactly what the amp is (brand name and model number).
        • Rion

          Posted on 5/7/2019

          Sweet thanks buck! ty for the links. Also I have the gain set at normal and low freq at 80, does that sound ok to you? I can't find the right voltage for me stock Honda head unit. Hard for me to set it with the apt complex I live at. Thanks

        • Rion

          Posted on 5/6/2019

          Hi , I have a mono pioneer 9701 (800 2hm rms) to a kicker l7s 12 scc that recommends 750rms, does it sound safe to use? suggestions on gain and lpf settings?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 5/6/2019

          Rion, Kicker L7S subs come in DVC 4-ohm and DVC 2-ohm models. If you have the 4-ohm version, you could safely wire it to that amp like this. If you have the 2-ohm version, you can only safely wire it to that amp like this.
        • Trel

          Posted on 4/25/2019

          Can u explain this using a planet audio 600 watt amp ? And one Kenwood 10" sub ?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/25/2019

          Trel, The directions for tuning a sub are the same for all brands of amplifiers.
        • Paul from Macon, Ga

          Posted on 4/9/2019

          I'm stuck w my 2018 accord head unit. I planned on putting in a lci2 line converter, convert to RCA and restore the Bass honda is eliminating. How do you do the lci2 accubass adjustments in agreement with the adjustments you have outlined.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/13/2019

          Paul, AudioControl has the best and clearest-written instructions that I know of. When you get your LC2i, just follow the instructions for setting the AccuBASS. You won't be disappointed.
        • Delmain from South Africa

          Posted on 4/7/2019

          Hi Buck. What is your opinion on the Pioneer GM-D amps? I wana get the Gm-d9601 amp but it does not have subsonic filter. Is this a deal breaker? I want to run a 15inch in ported enclosure

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 4/13/2019

          Delmain, In the US, that amplifier has been discontinued, and replaced with Pioneer's GM-DX971, which also lacks a subsonic filter. A similarly powered amp with a subsonic filter would be a Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D, but I don't know if it's available in your country.
        • Brian from Bonita springs

          Posted on 3/22/2019

          Hey man I just got a sub and amp installed and realize I need to tune my amp to get it to sound the way I want. Was I supposed to have my amp connected to my door speakers and dash speakers as well? I'm pretty sure only the sub is connected to the amp just wondering if that's normal or if that's will affect my sub

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/23/2019

          Brian, It sounds like you had a sub and amp installed. The way it normally works is that the one amp powers the subwoofer, and nothing else. Your door and dash speakers will be powered by the factory radio or amplifier.
        • Wayne from South Africa

          Posted on 3/22/2019

          Hi Buck. I have 2 x Pioneer TS-W3003d4 subs in a ported enclosure I bought off the shelf (not sure what frequency it is tuned at ) paired with a GM-D9601 amp. This amp does not have subsonic filter. Am I at risk of damaging any of my equipment? If so, Is there anything I can do to solve this? Thank you for all the helpful advice

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/23/2019

          Wayne, If it sounds like the sub is playing a particular note, around the box's tuned frequency, way louder than the other notes, the only way to safety, without a subsonic filter, is to turn the volume down.
        • Alexis Pinero from Santa Rosa

          Posted on 3/19/2019

          Good morning, My system right now is pretty weak right now but any advice would be appreciated. 1997 Camry four door Sony MEX Xb100BT head unit Kicker 6.5 2ways (doors) Kicker 6x9 3ways (rear) Kicker Solo Baric S1217 Sub (trunk) Dual XPR82D amp bridged Ok, so I know I am way under powered for the sub, so where should I for now set the gain? I have tried step one and two nicely. I can feel the sub then it seems the bass floats away. Plus I have seen different info on said sub, like I may not be matching, Ohms wise. I've seen 1/4, then 2 Ohms for this sub. (Having to check internet due to paperwork loss). Lastly, I have my H/U set at 80hpf and 80 lpf but plan on calling the amp manufacturer to see how I keep any crossover setting off on the amp. There is literally no off switch on the amp for the crossover. Other then gain, I have each all the way down. Am I failing at steps three through five by having 80/80? Please help a lowly person with any advice. It would be greatly appreciated

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/19/2019

          Alexis, Setting that amplifier's crossover switch to "full" turns it off. If you want to use the low-pass filter of your amp to tune the bass, switch the crossover to "LPF" and turn off the low-pass filter of the receiver. If your sub is a Kicker 12" Solo-Baric L7S, then it's dual voice coil (DVC), 2-ohms (each coil), rated for 750 watts RMS.
        • Kevin sti from The bayyy

          Posted on 3/18/2019

          I have a 2019 sti base , stock head unit , 2 Jl audio 10inch w6v4 With A JL audio RD 500/1 With a audio controller lc2i How would I set up the subs wiring ?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/18/2019

          Kevin, The only safe way to wire that gear together is like this.
        • Jay from Tuscaloosa

          Posted on 3/17/2019

          I have a 6 speakers plus 1 sub. I have a 4 channel amp. My head unit output is 30warts rms per channel. Would I get the most by connecting the front tweeters and mids to the head unit and then use the amp for the rear speakers and sub?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/18/2019

          Jay, Most people do it the other way around - they power their front speakers and tweeters with two amp channels and the sub with the amp's rear channels bridged, and the rear speakers off the receiver's power. But way will work aa well.
        • Scott from Minnesota

          Posted on 3/10/2019

          Hi Buck - Thanks for the article, it is very helpful. One thing I don't understand is when you say not to turn down amp gains to match an underpowered sub. You said it puts the full range speakers at risk. Why would they be at additional risk if you turned the gain *down* on the amp? That seems like less risk to me, I think I'm missing something... Thx

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/13/2019

          Scott, The point was about not using the amp's gain control to lower a signal's volume. You use the receiver's volume and sub level controls for that. When gain is set too low, an amp can clip the signals of the loud portions of music, and possibly damage the speakers.
        • Bradley Damian from pmb

          Posted on 3/3/2019

          yo..my amps lpf component broke...is it still safe to use in the meantime.. you know before I replace it

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/4/2019

          Bradley, A general rule of thumb about electronic equipment is that if some part of a device's circuitry fails, it will be unwise or unsafe to continue using the device until it's been repaired or replaced. Your sub is probably safe for now, playing high frequencies it's not supposed to play, but something else may go haywire in your amplifier, taking the sub out with it.
        • Ronnie from Centerville

          Posted on 2/27/2019

          I have 2 alpine type r 12's. They are the swr 12d2. With a Rockford Fosgate mono block amp. The t1500.1 bdcp. My subs are in a ported box with port to the side. They sit on my back seat of my 4 door 2009 GMC Sierra 1500. I need help understanding what clipping sounds like and how to tune the amp. I tend to over think things and really need help.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 3/1/2019

          Ronnie, When listening to music, clipping sounds like crackling, flapping, crunching, or hissing that interferes with the distinct sound of a musical instrument. Male vocals develop a rasp, female vocals turn thin and harsh. If you're using test tones, clipping occurs when the clear humming tone changes to a buzz.
        • Trevor Vogel from Canton

          Posted on 2/17/2019

          Im trying to tune my subwoofer, is it better to tune with a 40hz test tone or with a song that has a lot of bass. if the test tone is better than would all the information above be the same?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 2/18/2019

          Trevor, Test tones are really only useful for setting amp gain. For dialing in the right tone for your sub, play music you're familiar with.
        • Felipe from Anderson

          Posted on 2/4/2019

          Why so much misinformation on how to correctly tune am amp?

        • Edson from Paramaribo

          Posted on 12/29/2018

          Powerbass asa 1200.2 how rms is that?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 12/31/2018

          Edson, That amplifier's specs are: 300 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms, 600 watts RMS x 2 at 2 ohms, and 1200 watts RMS x 1 bridged at 4 ohms.
        • Erwin from Santa ana

          Posted on 10/26/2018

          I still don't understand it. my amp only has these features Jl 500/1d jx 1. The filter frequency selector 2. Input sensitivity control 3. Base boost All I want is my sub to sound clean and loud , I only have one jl w7 10 3 ohm sub with a ported box all I ask for is if anyone has an idea What hz should I be at and how much of the input sensitivity I should put

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 10/26/2018

          Erwin, If you bought you amp or sub from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help setting up your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.
        • Tim from Buffalo

          Posted on 10/25/2018

          You can also set your gains more accurately with a dmm and some test tones. I realize this isn't a phesable choice for some but I wanted to add for the ones who are capable to do so.

        • Erwin from Santa ana

          Posted on 10/22/2018

          I have a jl 500/1d mono jx amp how would I tune that amp sub w7 10

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 10/24/2018

          Erwin, If you click on the links at the top of the article you will find step-by-step instructions on how to tune your amp and sub.
        • Anthony from Hephzibah

          Posted on 10/17/2018

          Hey Buck, Do you recommend using the low pass filter crossover etc. on the receiver or the amp? Thanks for this article, it is very helpful.

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 10/19/2018

          Anthony, Use whichever one you feel more comfortable with.
        • Versanchez from Santa Fe ,new mexico

          Posted on 9/13/2018

          I have a 2006 extended cab truck and need new subs, my question is what would be BEST for under the seat. My current box just sits in the back with the seat up . I'd like to use the seat without removing the subs when needed. I've been afraid of underseat subs cause I don't want to lose sound.

        • Eduardo Cardenal

          Posted on 9/13/2018

          Hi! What can I do to protect my subwoofer if my amp doesn't have any subsonic filter? It can be purchased separately? Is necessary? How else I could use a subsonic on my path to The sun?

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 9/14/2018

          Eduardo, A subsonic filter becomes necessary when a subwoofer and enclosure, usually the ported kind, resonate and play certain low frequencies much louder than the rest, wasting energy trying to play notes no one can hear. If you need one, you can get an aftermarket equalizer with an onboard subsonic filter, like an AudioControl EQL.
        • Moses from Malaysia

          Posted on 9/11/2018

          Hi Mr Buck. What about if i have an active sub woofer? do i need to open the amp board and set the gain using speaker out port? Thank You

          Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          on 9/14/2018

          Moses, Without knowing precisely what amp and sub you're referring to, we can't help you with advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.
        • Kaden from N.las Vegas

          Posted on 8/11/2018

          Whats Good Buck? Hey Brother, i was looking at the Sound Ord/Pioneer 500watt bass package with the 12" subs. Now im am completely ignorant when it comes to any hooking up systems or what i actually need to sound the way i want it. I have a Nissan Titan king cab and was also looking at one of the jvc decks thats like 6.5 " screen. Any way im not looking to enter any contests but i wanna here my music and the guy next to me needs to be very upset also, lol, but really want clean sound all music types and bumping that i can feel, ya know the mirror shaking and stuff but very clean. Will the pkg i described above give me that? Thanks for your time

        • David from Philadelphia

          Posted on 5/19/2018

          Hey Buck, hope I can get your help. I have a Kenwood KMMBT318U head unit and a PIONEER TS-WX120A underseat subwoofer. I read your article above and a bunch of the comments, but I'm still lost. The head unit has all kinds of options for subwoofer and bass levels and then a bunch of crossover choices. The subwoofer also has a crossover and gain control. Any suggestions about how to tame all this? Hey, I LOVE Crutcfield, BTW!

        • Manuel from Springfield

          Posted on 5/13/2018

          K thank you very much. I also wired my new subs in parallel/series so the amp would recieve 4 ohm an not 1 ohm. The sub an amp guide to tuning your system works great. Geek squad said there warranty is void if i mess with it but i dont care. I want it to dound good an my subs where putting words out some. Thank you very much!!!

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 5/12/2018

          Manuel, If you think something's wrong with you stereo installation, you should go back to the installer and have them fix it. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. Even if you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • Manuel from Springfield

          Posted on 5/12/2018

          Thank you very much!!! Its to late for me to go mess with my subs right now but i believe that article on tuning will greatly help me but the only thing i dont under stand is how come my 2 qauntum 200rms subs would hit about just as hard has my planet audio 750rms when they went wack. I dont feel im getting what i should have for bass. Shouldn't each planet audio sub put more than both the quantums could put out together? Are the realy 750 rms or is it just words? I think ill have it figured out i just dont know if they realy have 750 watt rms. My rockford fosgate 4 channel amp is hooked up to my jbl door speakers but the passenger door sounds way louder then the rest. The driver door jbl speaker is sometimes loud and some time cuts out a little. One of the back door jbl speakers dont hardly put no sound. These are brand new jbl door speakers and i had them all hooked up professionally by the Geek Squad. Did they leave a short or are the wires not fully connected?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 5/8/2018

          Von, That amplifier will never be able to shake windows or trigger alarms - it just isn't powerful enough. It can put out 4 channels of 70 watts RMS each, or two channels of 175 watts RMS into 4 ohm loads. This is not nearly enough power to run the 400 watts RMS rated sub you mention.

        • Von John from Kuwait

          Posted on 5/8/2018

          Good day. I just purchased Sony XM N1004 1000W amp and planning to use it for powering Sony 12 inch XS GTR121LD DVC subs. . planning on dedicating the amp for the subwoofers only. Please teach me to get the bass the shakes the windows and triggers car alarms.. Thank-you and God bless

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 4/17/2018

          Brad, The numerical markings on your amplifier's gain knob refer to the receiver output strength in volts RMS. If your receiver puts out 6.5 VRMS, you'd set this amp's gain to minimum setting to achieve full power output. If your receiver can only muster 0.2 VRMS out, then you'd set the gain to maximum clockwise. And you're right: set gain to avoid distortion.

        • Brad from Boston

          Posted on 4/16/2018

          My gain knob reads 6.5V to .2V (with H and Normal settings inbetween) when reading in a clockwise direction. Although the numbers are getting smaller, its still going "small gain" to "big gain" clockwise, correct? I know its basically a potentiometer, but I want to understand the gain ratio better. Your process is much appreciated. My amp is rated for a higher RMS power than the speakers so I was worried about setting the gain to ensure I don't blow them. It seems like your method will keep the power below the max threshold by avoiding distortion. Thanks!

        • Michael from OKC

          Posted on 4/13/2018

          Excellent and easiest instructions on how to tune an amp to make your system sound its best.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 4/4/2018

          Igo, I don't recommend setting an amp's gain with a voltmeter because you can't tell if the signal being used is distorted or not. The method will work as long as the maximum signal coming from the receiver is clean and unclipped. That sub's voice coils will need to get wired in series to present the amplifier a 3-ohm load, which it can handle. The amp is capable of putting out 1050 watts RMS at 3 ohms, well within the sub's power rating range. In order to achieve 1050 watts RMS through a 3-ohm load takes 56.1 volts AC. Most meters read AC voltage as an RMS value, but are only accurate around 60 Hz.

        • Igo V

          Posted on 4/1/2018

          Hi , I currently installed a JL13W7 in a sealed box and I'm running a Hifonics Be35-2100.1 amp. Confused on Ohms law and setting the gain to specific voltage. Any chance you could simplify the numbers for me. I have the voltmeter just don't know how to reach to RMS voltage for this amp. Thank you

        • Mike from Tampa

          Posted on 3/8/2018

          Need some advice on how to properly set my amplifier controls. I have a precision power black ice 2600.D mono amp powering two, 12" Precision Power P.12D4 subwoofers at 1 ohm, they hit very hard but still need some tuning, what do you suggest? Thank you

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 2/16/2018

          Jeff, Sending 563 watts RMS to a sub rated for 300 watts RMS means it's getting 188% of its rated power, which may be a bit too much for it.

        • Jeff from Westminster, OC, Cal

          Posted on 2/15/2018

          I just recently had a budget sub system installed in my 2004 Honda Civic 2 door coupe. I choose a Blaupunkt 1500W max 1-Channel Full Range Amplifier which has RMS power of 563W Model #AMP1501. For the sub put a Blaupunkt 10" Single Voice Coil Subwoofer with 600W max power Model #GBW101 which has a RMS power rating of 300W into a Scosche 10" Slot Ported Single Subwoofer Enclosure...so 563W RMS amp going to 300W RMS amp which I believe falls in to the higher end of your power matching guidelines. I have the low pass on the amp set around 80 HZ. My issue is the amp is barely warm to the touch when pushed hard for a decent period of time, but I am getting an "electrical heat stress" odor/smell from the air being pushed from the sub port. So I conclude that my amp is not stressed but my sub is. I would like to push my amp gain a little more but I'm afraid too because of the smell at higher sound pressure levels when I play more sine wavy electronic music. Also scared to push the xmax on the sub to a slap. The bass quality is unbelievable for such a cheap sub as I have had JL's and a Type R in my past. What do you think? Will I alleviate my fear of burning out or slapping my Blaupunkt sub by switching it out to a sub with higher power handling?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 12/26/2017

          Edson, Not knowing anything about your vehicle or sound system makes it impossible to diagnose an issue. Maybe your car has an active noise reduction system that interferes with your aftermarket stereo.

        • Edson

          Posted on 12/24/2017

          Hello.how come every time i turn up the volume my bass drops.what seems to be the problem?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 12/7/2017

          Jdog, This article was written to help you tune your subwoofer system - just follow each step. Assuming your 2-channel amp (not mono) is bridged to run your sub, after setting the gain, engage the low-pass crossover. Start with it around 100 Hz and adjust until your sub sounds good. A benefit of buying gear from Crutchfield, is that you could call Tech Support for free help tuning your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • Jdog Montes from San Antonio

          Posted on 12/6/2017

          Hello. Im new to Car Audio. I put a HiFonics Single 600watt Sub in Ported Box and Planet Audio Anarchy 1000.2 Mono 1000watt amp in my car. My Question is how to set the levels on the amp. Should i use Low,High, or Full range setting? And what frequency do i set them? Like i said im a Newbie. So any Info would be much appreciated. Thank you.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/21/2017

          Minh, My online searches turned up a 400-watt rated Thunder 7500 series loaded enclosure with 4-ohms impedance, and a component dual voice coil (DVC) 4-ohm version of the same sub, so maybe your sub has a DVC 4-ohm driver inside wired to 2 ohms. That amp will put out 500 watts RMS to it - plenty of power, I think.

        • Minh

          Posted on 11/20/2017

          Hi. My subwoofer installed is a MTX Audio Thunder 7500 [Sledge Hammer], but I can't seem to find this particular model online? On the box, it says 2 ohms on the bottom and I can't seem to find this subwoofer online at all. Am I missing something here? 2 ohms or 4 ohms? I was thinking to buy the Pioneer GM-D8601 Mono 1600W. 4 ohms: 300 watts x 1 chan. 2 ohms: 500 watts x1 chan. Whatever ohms the subwoofer is, would it be enough? I'd like to take full advantage of the subwoofer. Regards.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/20/2017

          Matt, Theoretically, a sub's low-pass crossover frequency and speakers' high-pass crossover frequency should be the same. That works well in a perfect acoustic space, like a home stereo. In your car, you may find that tweaking the filters to slightly different settings sounds better.

        • Matt from Atlanta

          Posted on 11/17/2017

          Do the sub low pass and amp crossover need to match?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/17/2017

          Matt, A good place to start is with both filters set to around 100 Hz. Then, play some familiar music and tweak each control until your speakers and sub sounds the best to you.

        • Matt from atlanta

          Posted on 11/17/2017

          Hi Buck. Great article. I've got Focal 6x9s up front and the Alpine 8 inch under seat sub along with a JL Audio JX400. I'm new to car audio and am having trouble getting it fine tuned. Where should I set crossovers and the low pass on the sub?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/12/2017

          Brad, Without knowing precisely what subs and amp you're referring to, we can't help you with advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.

        • Brad

          Posted on 11/9/2017

          I have a 2 12" subs at 1200 watts with a 1000 watt Pioneer amp. Any advice? Thanks

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 10/11/2017

          Adam, The best settings are the ones that make your music sound good and balanced. Set the amp's gain so no distortion ever plays, set the low-pass filter to clear up the bass sound, and set the subsonic filter to its lowest setting. After that, adjust to taste.

        • Adam Green from Green bay

          Posted on 10/11/2017

          Hello. Just a tuning question. I need to know the best settings for a rockville db14 4000p, 2000rms powering a power acoustik bamf 154. With sub control plugged in.

        • Dean from Calgary

          Posted on 9/12/2017

          Thanks Buck! I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. I'll update you when I get a chance to change the settings. I love your guys tutorials!! Keep up the good work!! Thanks Again!

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 9/12/2017

          Dean, I suggest you set the subsonic filter to 36 Hz or lower and the low-pass filter to around 90 Hz. If you still want more thump, you can raise the bass boost some. Just be sure to reset the amp gain if you do use the boost.

        • Dean from Calgary

          Posted on 9/11/2017

          Hi Buck, I have Clarion NZ501 and 2 Clarion 12" 500w RMS ea. in a 2 Ported Bassworx SLRP212 inverted Box tuned (36hz). I have the subs wired @ 2 ohms Total as per your instructions. They connect to one set of input terminal and I am running a MTX Thunder 1000XD Amp 1,000 watts x 1@2 ohms. I have my subs on top of the box inverted facing down (magnets and wiring on top of the box). It looks awesome and mean! I followed your instructions on setting them up. They thump hard but I just can't get that low low bass thump that I so desire. I am looking for that heart thumping pounding low low bass sound that I hear and feel from other cars passing by when I'm inside my house. I have tried everything but nothing seems to achieve what I want. I have everything set up right (I think) as per your instructions. Right now I have the gain around 3db and BB off, SS around 38-40, LPF around 55-60. Is there anything you suggest I adjust from the settings I have already? Please help me if you can..THANKS!

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 9/5/2017

          Hunter, I can't explain anything about a system made up of unknown gear. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify all the equipment and vehicle by brand names and model numbers.

        • Hunter White from Seattle

          Posted on 9/3/2017

          I have my 2 15" 250 watt rms kickers hooked up to a 1200 watt amp (I'd never turn the gain up too far though) and they've done me good for years but after I wired it to my new stereo receiver, I noticed that the HPF on the receiver affects the door speakers AS WELL as the subs. So I can't turn it down too much or it will damage the door speakers and it bottlenecks the low notes of the subs. It's currently at 100hz and if I were to turn it down to, say, 60hz, the music gets louder, distorted at higher volumes, and low notes try to go through door speakers but the subs hit the low notes like I remember before. It seems like it's acting like an LPF more than and HPF unless I'm misunderstanding. I'm just looking for insight on maybe where I went wrong installing it or if there's an explanation for this behavior?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 8/1/2017

          Jack, The front channels running your speakers should have the high-pass filter engaged to keep distorting bass sounds away from small speakers. The low-pass filter for the subwoofer channels should be engaged to keep high notes away from the sub's signal. A good place to start is to set both the same, at around 100 Hz. Then adjust each to where they sound their best. These filters have no effect on bass volume, however.

        • Jas from San Francisco

          Posted on 7/31/2017

          Hi Buck, Quick question on this guide. At the step of setting the LPF, what level should the subsonic (HPF) dial be at? I understand that once I have the LPF set correctly, I move on to setting the subsonic, but not sure where the subsonic should be before setting the LPF. Thanks!

        • Jack from karachi

          Posted on 7/31/2017

          Hello im using rockmars amp of 3000 watt and my sub and speakers both are connected to the single amp (4 channel) i have pioneer speakets 550w and sub is kenwood kfcw3010 (200) rated power. So ive been trying but im confused what hpf and lpf settings for my sub to use to get clearer and louder bass thanks

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 7/12/2017

          Chris, Low-pass filters, crossovers, and bass boosts are active electronic features found in receivers and amplifiers. Component speakers, coaxial speakers, and subwoofers are passive devices and have no onboard tuning features at all. But maybe I'm misunderstanding your question. The quote refers to creating distortion by using the same kind of filter with two different electronic devices.

        • Chris s from Riverside , MO

          Posted on 7/11/2017

          "Note: Do not use the low-pass filters, crossovers, or bass boosts on the receiver and the amplifier at the same time" does this apply to component set up or coaxles or just sub application?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 5/11/2017

          Chris, Skar Audio makes their ZVX subs in both DVC 2-ohm and DVC 1-ohm models. No matter which ones you have, you should wire them to that amp like this diagram. (For the 1-ohm models, change the 2s in the diagram to 1s.) In this wiring scheme, the voice coils of each sub are wired together in series, and the two subs themselves are wired together in parallel.

        • Chris Smith from Des Moines Iowa

          Posted on 5/11/2017

          Question I have to 15" SKAR zvx in ported box on a 3000 watt Hifonics amp and I was wondering how I should wire these and parallel or series and how I should have the amp setup awaiting your answer things

        • 2er from Oakland CA

          Posted on 4/23/2017

          Just bought my Pioneer BT head unit with Crutchfield. As a audio newby, it was a eye opener as to how how many options are available to refine sound. New to me, except the equalizer. Anyway, went at it on my own to optimize the Kicker KS6.5 system w/ K8 underseat sub. After hours of trying on my own and using your's and other's instructions, got close to working well. It was after FOLLOWING your instructions and reading the comments was the key. It all takes time and learning, but couldn't be happier with the outcome. Now I understand all the nuances of optimizing my settings. The main thing for one to understand is LPF/ HPF (Crossover/ Cut), and how to drive the speakers as designed and listening closely, with the sound stage in mind. Seemingly complex at first, now I can refine the system at will. The head unit amp is very good (for $129?!), but may venture into adding a amp to drive the speakers to perfection. With the sounds' clarity and feel, I really have a new appreciation for music. This setup rocks. Thanks for sharing.

        • Bryan from Dubai

          Posted on 4/13/2017

          Hi i just upgraded my car audio with focal componet and woofer rear and a p25db sub powered by a focal fpp5300. Sub is wired as a 2 ohms..i have an audio control eqx conected on my oem stereo to my amp. How will i tune the sub and speakers

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/3/2017

          Matthew, None of these tuning tips are written in stone, so just about any way you can make it sound good is okay. You can't hurt anything with a little vocal playing through the sub. Try engaging that 125 Hz filter and listen to whether or not it makes it sound better. Go ahead and fiddle around with things, have fun.

        • Matthew from Nottingham

          Posted on 1/1/2017

          Just to check I'm not in the wrong because it sounds great, I tried your way of tuning my sub (great advice btw) but it didn't sound right: notes missing, higher and lower notes getting muddled. I noticed my head unit had a LPF - off/125htz/75htz. So following your advice not to use both filters - HU and amp together I left my amp controlling my sub open/far right as it would go, and used my HU filter at 75htz then followed your steps for speaker protection and bring "the pieces of the puzzle" together. It sounds spot on although I can hear some voice and higher notes coming through the sub - would this damage the speaker? Should I use the 125hts LPF filter on the head unit to remove the high notes? Is this way of tuning a sub way off the mark? Thanks

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 12/12/2016

          Livin, Try disconnecting one of your subs and see if that doesn't sound better balanced. Maybe two 2000-watt subs are just too much.

        • Livin loud from Bury

          Posted on 12/11/2016

          I have 2 lanzar amp mono block 2000di, 2000 watts true rms as 1 ohms, I'm running a twister audio system F4 560 amp on a pair of focal 6-9, my 2 lanzar are powering 2 kickers cvr comps 15 inch at 2 ohms, I still have to much bass over the my vocal, my bass is turned all the way down on the eq to,

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/28/2016

          Daniel, The bass your door speakers are attempting to play may indeed be interfering with your subwoofers' clean sound. Maybe installing a couple of bass blockers on those speakers will help.

        • Daniel Rounds from Pittsburgh

          Posted on 11/27/2016

          Hey there I have an "interference" question. 2010 dodge ram. 2 MTX 10" powered by 1200 watt pioneer mono amp. PAC adapter in back of stock receiver to accomodate RCA. (Subs were bought off Crutchfield almost 10 years ago! Still kickin!) Since I installed in new truck, the tune has definitely "changed" and I think it might have something to do with stock recievers eq settings which are....basic. Bass -9 to +9 and same for mids and trebs. The problem is that I am getting muddy sounds and interference with the bass kicks and tones. Nothing huge but irritating to me. Could this be my door speakers making bass they shouldnt? Note: receiver eq affects all speakers including sub. I usually have the base on receiver all the way down mid at +3 and treb at +6.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/9/2016

          Paul, Step 4, in this process of sub tuning, ends with lowering the bass gain in anticipation of step 5. There, it describes how to turn the full-range sound up and then raise the bass to match.

        • Paul from Knoxville,

          Posted on 11/9/2016

          You talk about setting gain then start adjusting bass boost being sure to adjust gain/boost to find what sounds the best to your tatse, without distortion but you turn to say "When you're satisfied with the tone of your system's bass and kick, turn the sub amp's gain all the way down" why would we turn gain down when we get everything sounding good . I've always ran some bass boost with the gain, and as long as you turn the gain down as boost up it should be fine? (2006-present, (4000w@1ohm)) But if boost is not all the way up then gain shouldn't need be all the way down as long as there isn't any distortion right?? Explain why you suggest turning gain all the way down please.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 10/3/2016

          Jay, Amplifier gain should be set so no distortion can ever play, not for a specific knob position. Check out this article for help setting amp gain. As long as the signals are undistorted, those subs should handle that amplifier's output power just fine.

        • Jay from Dallas, TX

          Posted on 10/3/2016

          Hey buck i currently have a power acoustik gt1-6000.1 d rated at 3000 w rms at 2 ohms and two alpine type r rated at 1000 w rms at 2 ohm , what do you think is the best way to have the gain on the amplifier to get the most power safely? one quarter up half? i currently have it at half gain and it does not distort but im concerned it might blow them or damage them , do you think they can handle more? thanks in advance for your advice as i only have a little time in the car audio scene.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 8/1/2016

          David, A web search for "a memphis street edge 250 watt amp" comes up with the 16-SE1.250 Memphis Street Edge 250-watt mono amplifier, and if you have all your speakers and subs connected to it you should get a lot of distortion. Maybe I'm misunderstanding exactly what you have and how they're connected. If you bought any of your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • David SMITH from San antonio

          Posted on 8/1/2016

          Hello, I have a question. I have a memphis street edge 250 watt amp. I have a 12 inch jbl sub aswell. I have my speakers wired to the amp, and the sub is powered by the same amp. I had to use a loc behind the head unit, because it looks nice. My issue is that, I'm not sure I fully grasped your instructions. I followed them, but I'm still getting distortion in my system. It's most noticeable when I'm listening to a heavy bass song and someone is singing or talking at the same time the bass is hitting. The voice becomes very distorted. Am I missing something? I turned the bass boost off in the head unit. Only thing the head unit is boosting is the treble. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 6/3/2016

          Rob, Setting an amplifier's gain (input level on your amp) properly is the best way to prevent speakers from blowing. Check out this article for some guidance there. If you bought your speakers or amp at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • Rob

          Posted on 6/3/2016

          I installed 8 Polk DB651 (2-wired parallell) powered by an Infinity Kappa Four in a boat. I have my settings on the HP crossover turned up to 260HZ because I only want highs to filter through. At this range I had no clipping or distortion at all but unfortunately I cooked all 8 tweeters 3 hours into playing (literally could smell them) In setting up the next batch how do I make sure as to not overpower them, like I said, they sounded great.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 5/23/2016

          James, If you were asking in a pro audio forum, I'd say you'd need a limiter or compressor to soften the kick drum's initial, very steep transient noise but leave the bass reverberations alone. In car audio, you do it with crossover or EQ filters. Try turning down the frequencies around 1000 and 2000 Hz, to soften some of those hard hits.

        • James from OLATHE

          Posted on 5/21/2016

          Hey man, love these instructions and how helpful you've been to folks. I've got a small question. You mentioned tuning to get the edge of kick drums, and bass hits, is there a way to tune it to get less of the kick drum hits, but still just as much of the resonating bass? I feel the bass hits over power the resonating bass a lot in my setup.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 5/9/2016

          Chip, I can't tell you what to expect with that MTX sub without knowing what model it is, but if you're satisfied with that Kenwood powered sub's 75 watts RMS output, then go ahead and get that - you'll definitely save space.

        • Chip OBrien from Hackettstown

          Posted on 5/8/2016

          I have a 2008 Durango with a Kenwood KDC-BT955HD head unit, Infinity Reference 6.5" speakers, with the fronts being components. I have an uninstalled Alpine MRV 353 5 channel amp (50X4 and 150X1) that I was thinking of having installed (have a 10" Box with MTX BT xtreme and 12" MTX also), but then I saw the Kenwood KSC-SW11 powered under-seat amplifier. I'm not looking for earth shaking bass, so I wonder if this is the better way to go. I also like the idea of the sub being out of the way.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 4/28/2016

          Clairice, The AudioControl LC7i is a line output converter with gain controls and bass enhancer. I suggest reading the owner's manual carefully - it's well-written and informative. It says to set the LC7i's gains with the amp's gain turned all the way down at first. After that, you can follow this article's advice on tuning the bass, knowing that you have extra gain stages and a bass enhancer (like a bass boost) to tune.

        • Clairice from Knightdale, NC

          Posted on 4/28/2016

          Buck, thanks for your reply to my post on your blown sub page. I now have a question about my own car. We will be installing an lc7i with accubase in my stage 3 Ford focus st Saturday, of course leaving the stock head unit in. The lc7i will be between the stock Sony amp and a rockford 400 rd. The converter is adjustable, so is the process for tuning roughly the same?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 4/25/2016

          Glen, Many people use test tones to set amplifier gain, but using them for tuning a system's sound wouldn't work or tell you anything about the sound except at the exact frequency of each test tone. Maybe you're thinking of multi-frequency pink noise, which many people use along with a real-time analyzer (RTA) to equalize a system's frequency response, but that doesn't measure or prevent distortion. Your ears are the best things for perceiving distortion: it makes smooth voices hoarse, strings hiss, and drums crackle. The ultimate goal is for music to sound its best - that's what we listen to, not tones.

        • Glen from North Bay, ON

          Posted on 4/24/2016

          Hi Buck. Appreciate you answering questions on this very helpful tutorial. I was wondering if test tones can be used in place of the music, and if that might provide more accurate distortion points?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 3/23/2016

          Dave, This article focuses on bass tuning, but you are correct that that information should have been included. For finding your receiver's maximum clean volume you should indeed first set the filters and EQ the way you normally listen to music.

        • Dave from Sherbrooke

          Posted on 3/23/2016

          Hi Buck. When you start your tutorial, you say to turn up the volume till it distorts. Do you have the receiver's bass and treble set to 0 or do you have them set to how you usually listen to your music?? Thanks

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 3/21/2016

          Zack, I'm not familiar with that amplifier, but you should be alright switching each sub to its 2-ohm setting and wiring the subs to the amp like this.

        • Zack

          Posted on 3/19/2016

          I have 2 kicker comp r 12 inch subs and they have switchs on the bottom of each sub that say ether 2 ohm or 8 ohm depending on what position you put them, i have a 2700 spl amp power them which would beat the most efficient way to wire them and which switch position is better

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 3/17/2016

          John, You have a tough choice with that gear. Either under-power the sub with up to 120 watts RMS wired to the 2-channel amp like this. Or use the subwoofer channel of the 5-channel amp, driving the sub with up to 500 watts RMS wired like this. Either way will work as long as you don't play loud distortion through the sub. You're the only one who can decide which way is better.

        • John from Sooke, B.C.

          Posted on 3/17/2016

          Hello Buck, I am getting a Pioneer FH-X721BT , Kenwood KAC-7005PS, Polk Audio db1040DVC and 4 Infinity Reference 6032si. My intention was to run everything off the 5 channel Kenwood but I have my old Kenwood KAC-629s sitting there so I was wondering if it might not be better to have the infinitys running from the 5 channel and using the KAC-629S to run the sub... what would be the best way to hook this up?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 3/11/2016

          Brad, The amp's input has no effect on the crossover/filter. When set to 50 Hz, a low-pass filter attenuates, turns down, all the frequencies above that setting. At 50 Hz, the crossover has turned it down by 3 dB. One octave higher, at 100 Hz, the signal will have been turned down a total of 15 dB. That's low volume, but not entirely off - so it's normal to hear a 100 Hz tone with the low-pass set at 50 Hz. The purpose of the low-pass filter in a subwoofer amp is to remove the higher frequency sounds, and I think that's best done by listening to music rather than test tones.

        • Brad from Hollidaysburg, PA

          Posted on 3/10/2016

          I have a question regarding my subwoofer crossover settings. I recently got a kicker 12cx300.1 mono amp tied to a 10" Rockford fosgate P1S2. I kept my stock head unit and used the kicker KISL to tap into my rear speakers and come out to the RCA input of the amp. The amp input level is set to high. The stock head unit has no subwoofer settings, just a graphic equalizer for sound adjustment. When I play back bass test tones it seems the sub plays regardless of what I set. For example if I set the crossover as low as it goes at 50hz, and then play a 100hz test tone, I still hear it come out of the sub. It just seems like the amp crossover settings are ignored and its playing everything it can. Is this because of the speaker level input? Can it be better set up?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 3/4/2016

          Brandon, Running a subwoofer amplifier with the gain and bass boost on full are usually indications that you need a larger amp. And you should definitely not use your vehicle's fuse box to obtain power for your amplifier. The positive power cable should connect directly to the battery, through an in-line fuse mounted near the battery. Use 4-gauge wire and a 70- to 100-A fuse.

        • Brandon guess from Clarksville

          Posted on 3/3/2016

          Thanks the setup is only loud enough for me when I turn the gain and bass boost all the way up so does that mean I should get another amp .......cause since im turning my bass boost all the way up that means im distorting the signal rite????? And does using low out put converter robbing me of sound vs. Using a preamp cd player im using my factory cd player I have the l.o.c left and rite channel running from my factory sub also is it okay to run my power wire from the main fuse box post our do I need to run it straight from my battery

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 3/2/2016

          Brandon, Wired like this, that amp would be able to send each sub about 350 watts RMS, 700 watts total, which, as you note, is a lot less power than their RMS ratings. But you should be alright as long as that 700 watts RMS output is loud enough for you. Under-powering by itself causes no harm to a subwoofer - after all, you can turn the volume of a sub down without hurting it. Problems arise when the top clean output doesn't sound loud enough and the source or bass boost gets turned up beyond distortion levels sending clipped signals through the subs possibly damaging them.

        • Brandon guess from Clarksville

          Posted on 3/1/2016

          Hi buc im wondering if it's going to hurt my two subs that have a power rating of 1000 rms a peice ,hooking them up to a one channel mono block re audio amp power rated 700x1 rms @ 2 ohms since I have two dvc 2 ohm subs I can only wre them down to two ohm or 0.5 ohms my amp is 1000x1 rms at 1 ohm my subs are 10 inch spl glw 10 2 ohm dvc wat should I do ive heard of underpowering subs hurt them

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 2/23/2016

          Steve, If you want to use the low-pass filter in your subwoofer amplifier and you can't defeat the low-pass filter of your receiver, then what you describe is the way to go. The effects of each filter ought to be far enough away from each other in frequency to not interact badly.

        • Steve Stockland from Amery, WI

          Posted on 2/23/2016

          Hi Buck. Thanks for the great info. I have a Pioneer HU with 2 sets of Pre-outs; Front and switchable Rear/Sub. The Front is ran to a 4 channel Sony amp using Y-cables. This powers my Pioneer 6.5's in the doors and 6x9's in the rear deck. Settings on the amp are "HPF@80Hz or OFF" for 2 of the channels, and "LPF@80Hz or OFF" for the other 2 channels. Since I want HPF on all 4, i have the amp's settings "OFF" and use the HU's HPF. The Rear/Sub-out runs to a monoblock amp to power my Sony sub. If I have the HU set to "Sub" it forces LPF, and I can't turn the LPF off on either the HU or the amp. If the HU is set to "Rear" then I have HPF on my sub, and therefore no bass. If I turn the LPF all the way up to 200Hz on the HU, will I be able to use the variable LPF on the amp with minimal effect of the phase distortion you mentioned?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 2/22/2016

          Sumit, I'm not familiar with the particular DSP (digital signal processor) you're referring to, but with a lot of patient tuning, most DSPs will improve the sound quality, including that of vocals and bass. Give us a call and one of our Advisors can help you pick out the best DSP for your vehicle and system.

        • sumit

          Posted on 2/20/2016

          Do digital signal processors improve and increase the vocal and bass in a car system? I am planning to buy a pioneer dsp. Should I buy one?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 2/18/2016

          Jordan, That receiver has about nine different controls that adjust the sound of the bass, including subwoofer level, bass boost, bass EQ center frequency and level, and a low-pass filter. You'll need to experiment with each one to hear what effect it has on the sound in order to dial in the best tone. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help tuning your system. Their toll-free number will be found on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • Jordan Wetz from Denver

          Posted on 2/18/2016

          Got a question for Buck. I have my amp tuned correctly I think and have no clipping but my head unit (kDC x895 kenwood) has a bass frequency setting that is stumping me. I have tried every setting and notice that when the frequency is set to 50hz on my head unit the bass is really low volume and doesn't seem to hit hard but when I turn the frequency up to its max of 150hz the bass seems way louder and more responsive but only seems to play more of the mid range bass. What setting should I use here? I want deep and mid bass but can't find the right combination of amp tuning and head unit tweaking. Any advice or further info needed to give correct advice? My amp is a hifonics brutus 1200w and the subs are 2 rockford fosgate p3 12's if that helps any. Thanks in advance.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 2/16/2016

          James, Assuming you're referring to a Sound Ordnance B-8P, yes - following the steps in this article should help you attain good-sounding bass.

        • James from Rubicon

          Posted on 2/15/2016

          I purchased a Sound Ordnance 8-BP Powered Subwoofer last August. Would these instructions also apply to that sub?

        • Ethan J Spinks from Buford

          Posted on 1/29/2016

          Absolutely awesome step by step instructions. Thank you so much. this helps me out a lot. I just got 2 polk MM1240 Subs and the polk MM6501 Full-range speakers for my f150 and i have been having some issues with the subs cutting out at times. I have the polk PA660.4 and the PA1000.1, so i was very confused on why things were not sounding the way i was expecting them to.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/21/2016

          Aaron, I think you're asking about the use of a low-pass filter - right? To remove the highs from a subwoofer's signal, you should use the low-pass filter on your receiver or your amplifier but not both at the same time.

        • Aaron from Largo

          Posted on 1/20/2016

          can using a high/low converter effect tuning an amplifer? Or can I still adjust the highs out of the sub through the amp?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/19/2016

          Moawiya, When you raise the frequency setting of an LPF (low-pass filter, also known as a high-cut filter), you're allowing higher frequency tones to play along with the low notes.

        • Moawiya Al Anazi from Cairo

          Posted on 1/18/2016

          Hi there, let me get straight to the subject. i've noticed when i set the LPF on my receiver (headunit) to 120HZ i can feel the bass getting boomier and augemented while setting it on 50HZ gives a tight and accurate bass. My question is: when the LPF frequency goes up does it mean more bass or is it the other way around?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/8/2016

          Brian, Start with the sub level set as high as you'll ever want it before setting the amp gain. Same with the bass boost. You can always safely turn the levels down later, but raising them after setting the gain could result in dangerous clipping. Use the low-pass filter on either your receiver or amplifier but not both at the same time. I suggest turning the filter off on your receiver and use the variable low-pass filter of the amp. Follow the steps in the article and start with it at 250 Hz and lower it slowly until you hear the bass sound clear..

        • Brian

          Posted on 1/6/2016

          I have jvc stereo with mono amp for 2 12inch install. Amp is R500X1D N sub is Mtx 2 12in. Sub. What I try figure out that do I need put sub level on stereo high it goes up to 0-8? Then ajust the gain? Also I have LPF setting on sterreo says through-55hz-85hz-120hz. Which should I put it on? Also bass boost on amp should just be on min? It has LP on amp from 50-250hz where should it be at? THANK YOU

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/6/2016

          Keith, There's very little luck involved in car audio tuning. Your listening and tuning skills are probably a lot better than you thought. When you found the receiver's maximum volume before distortion, you in effect set the levels for your dash speakers. If you find that the amplified speakers are overwhelming them, you can turn down the amp gains to achieve a better blend.

        • Keith Etheredge from Columbus, IN

          Posted on 1/5/2016

          Thank you Buck! This article, and your other on 4 channel full range amplifiers, just kicked my 2013 RAM 1500's system up several notches of awesome! I had a question, although I am not likely to change any settings on the system now... I'll ask anyway. In my system I have two kicker 3.5" dash speakers powered by the factory 8.4 inch touchscreen head unit. Along with those, are pairs of kicker 6.5" front doors and 6x9" rear doors, and a JL Audio 10TW1 subwoofer. All doors and the sub are powered by a JL Audio XD700/5v2 amplifier. My question is... how should we properly blend in the speakers powered by the aftermarket amplifier with those dash speakers driven by the head unit? Since I have no gain adjustment on the head unit, I basically ignored them and followed your instructions for the other speakers. I'm beyond pleased with the results, but did I just get lucky? Thanks!

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/5/2016

          Eugene, It sounds like you're using a subwoofer originally from another vehicle or a home stereo system, and it has such a high sensitivity that even a little amplification overwhelms it. Try running it off of just one channel of that amp, unbridged, and see if that works better. Maybe your source is distorting and turning down the volume of the sub out of the receiver or line output converter will solve the issue. Otherwise you should look into getting a subwoofer and amplifier more suited for each other and a car application.

        • Eugene from Beirut

          Posted on 1/4/2016

          Hi, I newly installed an 8" Bose 8 Oms subwoofer sealed under passenger seat and bridged it with 2 channels out of 4 channel boss 3000w amp. I am assumming that the amp is very powerful so I am lowering the gain and all to bare minimum and not even one quarter and I'm not getting any clear sound out of the Bose, it distorts and about to blow up in pcs. Anything you could recommend with the investment I have done here without re-investing again with a smaller amp? Thanks

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 1/4/2016

          J, Following all the steps in this article should lead you to a balanced sound. Did you set your receiver's volume and full-range amplifier's gain for maximum signal before distortion? If your sub amp is getting its signal from the receiver's subwoofer output, maybe lowering the subwoofer volume in the receiver's menu will help bring the bass in line.

        • J

          Posted on 12/31/2015

          Hey Buck, I have read all of the different "tuning" articles on here and I am still at a loss. I think I am on the opposite side of the spectrum in that my front stage is being totally over-powered by my subwoofer and I am struggling to bring balance to the force. I read so many positive reviews on the Polk DB6501 components and how if you put power to them they will really crank out the sound but I have them on a Rockford Fosgate P300x2 and I am not sharing that experience. I have cut the gain and db back on the sub alot is there anything else I can do to get these highs and mids up to scratch with the lows or did I just go overboard with the bass it's a 12" 4ohm dvc being powered by a Kenwood KAC 9106-D.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 12/12/2015

          Clay, Not knowing exactly what amplifier or subwoofer you have make it impossible to give advice on how to set the gains and filters. If you bought your gear at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help with your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • Clay318 from Columbia

          Posted on 12/11/2015

          Hi, a few months ago I install a 12 inch Orion XTR subwoofer and I'm using an older kicker amp that is 780 watts if I'm not mistaken. The sub is in an enclosed box that is pretty thin and seems to be made for a jeep, not my suv. I am getting some rattle and I'm positive that it is not blown. Is the box too small or are my settings not correct. I don't have a LPF option on my amp, I have a sub setting on it that includes dials that have X-Over Freq.(HZ)(50-200), a gain setting from 0-11, a bass boost setting from 0-18. And then two knobs that say Amp next to them with X-Over Freq again with 50-200 and another gain setting with 0-11. On my radio receiver, I have a group in settings called detail set and it has two different settings in that. Including LPF SUB-W that lets me change it from 85-160HZ, and a SUB-W Phase button that lets me do Normal or REV. Please help me, I don't know what these things mean and where to set it.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 12/7/2015

          James, You should use the high-pass filter on your receiver to clear low bass notes from your full-range speakers, and use the low-pass filter on your powered subwoofer to clear high frequencies away from the bass tones. A good place to start is with both set around 100 Hz, but the printing on most electronic devices is rarely exactly accurate for pointing controls. Follow the steps in this article and you should be able to dial in the tone you're looking for in your system.

        • James Brown from Middleburg

          Posted on 12/6/2015

          I recently installed a Kenwood KSC-SW11 powered sub under my seat and a Pioneer DXT-X2769UI head unit. Even though I'm an old dog (58), I've never had or installed a sub and have just a couple of questions. 1) The HU has settings for HPF and LPF, should they be set the same (eg. both at 80), or should the HPF be set lower, or set to off? 2) The Kenwood only has volume, frequency and phase for controls. I'm assuming if I LPF is set to 80 on the HU, then the frequency control knob on the sub should be set at 80 also? Kind of hard to tell exactly where 80 is on the sub's dial that ranges from 50 to 125. Thanks for the help, James.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/30/2015

          Kai, It's possible that a phase problem can make certain frequencies not play well. Have you tried tuning a high-pass filter for the full-range speakers to see if that clears up those low notes? Is there a subsonic filter or bass boost on the sub amp that needs adjustment? It's also very possible the sub and enclosure just can't play those notes without some heavy EQ boosts in the areas that need it.

        • Kai

          Posted on 11/27/2015

          Quick question, I installed a Boston subwoofer in a ported box in my car and noticed a large gap in the 50-75 hz range where the sub isn't very loud at all compared to frequencies higher and lower. My crossover is set to around 110 hz and the box is tuned to 34 hz. Is this due to it being out of phase with my speakers? Or is the box just unable to play that particular range? Thanks

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/23/2015

          Mark, When a manufacturer describes their subwoofer as DVC 4-ohm rated for 500 watts RMS, they mean that the sub has two voice coils, each of which has a nominal impedance of 4 ohms, and that the sub has a total power rating of 500 watts RMS, 250 for each voice coil.

        • Mark Gray

          Posted on 11/20/2015

          Hello, good question, hypocritical, a single dvc subwoofer, rated 500 watts RMS at 4 ohms. Now I know you can power each coil with a separate channel or two separate amplifiers if the amplifiers are identical and output/frequency match precisely. But since the sub is rated 500 watts, is that 500 watts per coil? Or does the manufacturer rating assume both coils are energized together so the combined coils see an input of 500 watts RMS regardless of impedance? So, again hypothetically, using two amps for the one 500w rms DVC Sub, would I use two amps rated at 500w rms each or 250w rms each? This question has bugged me for a long time....Thank you Regards please email me as well as post your response.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/17/2015

          Sumit, Your eardrums hurt because your friend plays his stereo too loud. I'd say you could: a) Ask him to turn the volume down; b) Wear earplugs when you're in his car; or c) Don't get in his car.

        • sumit

          Posted on 11/17/2015

          My friend's car has one 15' kicker L7 1200rms and one kicker 1000rms amp. Lot of money spent. But it hurts my eardrums when I sit in his car. Is it due very high bass or power(1000rms) or his system is not tuned properly? How to rectify it?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/15/2015

          Jeetu, I recommend you set the low-pass filter of your amplifier to clear high- and mid-range sounds from your subwoofer according to how this article says, not according to the specifications published by subwoofer manufacturers. In other words, you should tune a system using your ears, not with your eyes looking at numbers. Different subs have different frequency responses and sound different and the only way you can tell which is better is to listen and find out which sounds better to you. And the only way to tell if your system is distorting is to hear it.

        • Jeetu

          Posted on 11/15/2015

          Some subs have wide freq response for eg 20hz-1000hz and some subs have narrow freq response for eg. 20hz-125hz. Which of these are better? And my sub has freq response 20hz-125hz. Does this mean that i should set low pass filter of amp on 125hz or below. And if i set my amp lpf above 125hz ,will it distort?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 11/12/2015

          Jeetu, Those directions mean for you to turn the volume of the receiver down, from the previous setting, to one-quarter full volume. This is so you can isolate the sound of the bass from the full-range sound so you can tune it clearly.

        • jeetu

          Posted on 11/12/2015

          Step 3 Play music through your receiver at about one-quarter volume. Turn up the gain of the subwoofer amp until the sound from your subwoofer completely overpowers the other speakers, without distorting. This one quarter volume is one quarter of previously set reciever's volume while tuning full range speaker or one quarter of reciever's total volume?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 10/27/2015

          Ian, You wire two DVC 4-ohm subwoofers to form a 1-ohm load like this. Not knowing what exactly you currently have "seriesed" - voice coils, subs, or both - I can't say whether it's bad, good, or indifferent.

        • Ian from South Bend, IN

          Posted on 10/26/2015

          Randy, How would you suggest I wire two DVC / 4 Ohm woofers to a one-channel amplifier delivering 1000/1Ohm. Currently, they are seriesed. Is that a bad idea? Thank you.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 10/26/2015

          Kyle, You can wire that subwoofer to that amp like you propose, but you need to be careful of a couple things. Both voice coils of that DVC sub need to get the exact same signal or the sub will distort. That means the identical signal needs to go to the front and rear channels, and that the gains need to get set identically as well.

        • kyle davis from Pocatello

          Posted on 10/25/2015

          so i have a Boston Acoustics GTA-704. I want to bridge both the rear channel and the front channel both at 4 ohms to power a Alpine SWS-10D4. In the manual, do i set it up how it is in example 3? Link: manual

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 10/19/2015

          Nishaan, I assume you're using that 4-channel amp to drive your front soundstage with two channels and your sub with the other two channels bridged together. The amp has separate gain controls for the front and rear channels, so there should be no problem setting the gains. Set the gain for the full-range speakers first, with the EQ settings set to flat. Add your tone settings and reset the gain to compensate. Then work on the subwoofer channel's gain and tone settings. You can set amp gains using a multimeter and test tones, if you know how to use a meter and can figure the target voltages, but tuning by ear and with music often ensures a cleaner, more distortion-free setup than can be accomplished by reading numbers off a meter.

        • Nishaan from Johannesburg

          Posted on 10/19/2015

          Hello, i have been hunting high and low online for ways to tune my system and stumbled accross your website. I have a series of questions: firstly my system comprises of, Digital Designs C5C amplifier, Digital Design 512 subwoofer in a spec enclosure that I built, and Focal PS165v splits for front stage. I do not have any sound matting done at this stage nor do I have a high output alternator for better voltage. my reciever is the sony GT620UI due to that i have one amplifier to tune my entire system it is difficult to set the gains. first question: does the radio equelizer need to be on 0 or must it be on -6? 2nd: does the settings on the EQ effect how the sub plays? 3rd: while reading your artical you never mentioned after tuning do you set the eq as in pick up the trebble or lows etc or do you just leave it? 4th: I have a backboard will that cause me loose bass in the cabin ( car is a hatch back) 5th: I have heard the proper way of setting a system is to use a multi meter but obviously this artical is for those that have correct me if im wrong.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 10/6/2015

          Kornel, If your amp gets its signal from speaker wire connections, set the amp's input to Hi. If you're using RCA cables from the receiver's preamp output, set it to Lo. And because you're using this amp for bass, you should engage the low-pass filter by setting the Xover to Lo. Following the five steps described above will help get you great-sounding bass.

        • Kornel from Vancouver

          Posted on 10/6/2015

          Hello, I have 4 Alpine speakers 60 and 80RMS in front and back powered by head unit (Sony). I have a kicker 300.1 Amp powering my Sub (Not connected to speakers) Im wondering if I should have my Input level set to Hi or Lo. Also my XOVER option to OFF or LO. If I have it set to OFF i hear music coming from my sub, if its on LO I just have BASS.

        • randy from missouri city

          Posted on 9/10/2015

          Buck, I went ahead and bought the Oscilloscope ARM DSO Nano DSO201 so I can really tell if I am clipping. At $60 that is a steal and I know I will be using it in the future on other equipment. Thanks again for the replies.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 9/10/2015

          Randy, You can indeed clip the amp if you apply bass boost after setting the amp's gain. Set your tones, boosts, and sub level to the highest you'll ever set them, then set the gain, then lower the levels and boosts to where you'd usually set them. Now, you can be assured that any time you apply boost, the amp won't clip.

        • Randy from Missouri City

          Posted on 9/9/2015

          Thanks for the reply. Ok so I am understanding that when I adjust my gain on the amp I should turn my (headunit) SW setting all the way up to 15 so I won't clip on different songs? (I mainly listen to Electronic Dance Music if this helps at all). I had the bass boost on my old sub, but decided to remove it this time around. Also on the headunit I have my bass frequency setting set to 50hz. It doesn't go any lower than 50hz btw. I usually use a 50hz tone, but I will use a 60hz tone and run my gain up to 39.XX volts. Now on the bass control adjusting this (0-8) it won't bring the voltage up at all on the sub and cause it to clip?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 9/9/2015

          Randy, You have a lot of different controls for your bass, The subwoofer control on your receiver lets you adjust the volume of your subwoofer for each song you play. If you think you may turn the bass up all the way sometimes, go ahead and set up your gain-setting with this set to full volume. The bass control is a tone control, a boost/cut at 100 Hz. Your amplifier also has a bass tone control, the wired remote bass boost (0-18 dB at 50 Hz). Set one or the other of these to whatever tone sounds best to you. Then, if you set the amp gain using a 60 Hz 0 dB test tone and a volt meter, a 40-volts AC RMS reading would result in a full 800-watt output into 2 ohms.

        • Randy from Missouri City

          Posted on 9/8/2015

          Hello Buck, I am sure my questions are pretty simple and I am just over looking them. I just purchased a Alpine Type R SWR-10D4 and want to wire it into a 2ohm (I know how to do this). Now my amp is a Pioneer GM-D9601 and it is rated at 800w RMS @ 2ohm load. So on my headunit (Kenwood DDX-719) I have both a subwoofer and bass setting. I have been reading around and some say to set the SW setting to max (0-15) and leave the bass setting on 0. Which do I do here? Now with the DMM I would want to turn the gain up to a bit under 40 volts since the SWR-10D4 can handle 1000w RMS peak. correct?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 9/1/2015

          Carlos, A HPF or high-pass filter blocks low notes from getting to a speaker, so using one for a subwoofer won't do any good.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 9/1/2015

          James, There is nothing wrong with using your loudness setting or bass boost to make the bass sound the way you like. Loudness is usually employed when listening to soft music in order to improve bass and treble response, but if you like it keep it.

        • Carlos from San Jose

          Posted on 8/31/2015

          what about the HPF???

        • James from Homestead

          Posted on 8/31/2015

          Yes I have a question, what if I have my gains about 25% and I have loudness on, is it ok if loudness is on and will it do any harm to my amp and sub? I heard it's bad but when I put loudness it rattles my car a lot more but the volume is less ,I have a 1200 watt kicker amp and a 1200 watt dual comps loaded box so in total its 600 rms watts .can I use bass boost better or loudness ?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 8/26/2015

          Kyle, If you're asking whether or not you can hook up a different subwoofer to your amp, then the answer is yes. If you're asking whether or not you can add a second sub to your system, the answer is maybe. It depends on the amp's capabilities and the impedance and power ratings of the subs.

        • Kyle from Shelbyville

          Posted on 8/26/2015

          I have a 10" 4 OHM 10C104 Comp KICKER sub with a 500 watt Legacy amp. Is that the only 10" sub that I can hook up to that amp?

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 8/24/2015

          Sam, If you bought your gear at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

        • Sam from Rockport

          Posted on 8/24/2015

          I have no idea what you were saying in the article. The sentences and definitions used don't fit the names of the adjustments so its no good for me. I have 2 10 in subs (probox) under my back seat in my Dodge ram. Pioneer with GPS and 7" screen and a 1000 watt amp for the subs and 8oo watt amp for my 6x9s in all 4 doors. I have 2 2" tweeters in my dash. It freekin kicks but I want more sound from my doors to match my dash sound. I spent too much already but my right dash speaker comes on sometimes and don't know what's up with it. I had it replaced once but I guess it wasn't the speaker.

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 8/18/2015

          Kevin, There are a few ways of wiring multiple subwoofers together to form a 1-ohm load so that amp can put out maximum power. You can browse through some subwoofer wiring diagrams at this link to see a good selection. One that could apply to your situation is this diagram that shows two DVC 4-ohm subs wired to a mono amp. You'd want each sub rated for between 750 and 1200 watts RMS.

        • kevin Ha'aoto from Honiara,Solomon izla

          Posted on 8/18/2015

          Hi,my name Kevin and I'm from Solomon island. Well I have a situation here which I bought an sound stream amplifier 4000 watts 1 ohm stable.then I want to use its max power rating which is 2000 RMS x 1@1 ohm. Well how many sub would you reccommend to use or how many watts sub should I use if I want to use between 2-4 sub? Awaiting your answers

        • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

          Posted on 7/21/2015

          Rick, The section you quote from concerns how to react to a situation where the bass is inadequate. Turning down an amp's gain indeed reduces the chance that the amp will clip the signal, but it increases the chances that a person trying for louder bass will clip the signal coming from the receiver by turning up the volume, and that could be dangerous for speakers and subs. The solution for when full-range speakers are overpowering a sub is not to turn the speakers down but to get a more powerful amp for the sub.

        • Rick

          Posted on 7/20/2015

          " Do not lower the gain of your full-range amplifier to try and match your lack of subwoofer volume. This would endanger your full-range speakers (when the amp sends out a clipped signal) without achieving the goal of clean, full sound, which is why you put in a subwoofer to begin with." This confuses me. Wouldn't lowering the gain reduce the chance of clipping?

        • Awinash Ragothaman from Durham, NC

          Posted on 6/10/2015

          Part 2: The Best Buy professional there did a great job and was kind enough to let me play around with the amp's settings. He even had it installed on the back of the seat where I could reach the settings easily. I played around with the amp's settings and was able to somewhat reach a setting that I could've grown into liking. But it still wasn't the way I wanted it: tight, repsonsive, precise and balanced. I noticed a lag between my subwoofer and the actuall song, the bass was still boomy, I could feel the bass but not hear it and lots more issues. It was then that I stumbled upon this guide. I followed it verbose and I must say, I am very VERY pleased with the outcome. I was able to get the exact same sound quality that I had dreamed of for years. I am now able to have audiophile quality sound in my car every single day. Heck, it even sounds better than my home theater. Thank you very much Crutchfield and Buck Pomerantz. Your contribution is very much appreciated.

        • Awinash Ragothaman from Durham, NC

          Posted on 6/10/2015

          Part1: First a little insight: With all the little money I could muster, and splitting the cost of the car into monthly payments, I bought a 2005 Nissan Maxima (with aftermarket Premier radio and OEM Bose speakers) in May 2014. Music is my heart and soul and I wanted to invest in a good subwoofer and mono amp for the setup. I saved for months and bought an Alpine MRX-M55 amplifier and a Rockford Fosgate P2-1X12 loaded enclosure and had them installed at Best Buy. I was told to not play around with the gain setting as that would void the installation warranty. It was installed in a tight space and I would've had to physically remove the amp to actually get to the settings and I didn't bother doing it. I tinkered around with whatever settings I could find in the head unit but it just didn't sound right. There was this artificial boom and I had to keep changing settings for every song I heard. I initially thought it was the RF enclosure (it was ported) and bought a sealed enclosure hoping to get a bit more precision. But that didn't help either. Well, the Nissan died on me in May 2015, but I had saved up enough to get myself a brand new Hyundai Sonata Sport (touchscreen radio without Nav). I removed the Alpine and RF from the Maxima and had it reinstalled at a Best Buy in another state I moved to.

        • Matthew W.

          Posted on 5/20/2015

          "Note: Do not use the low-pass filters, crossovers, or bass boosts on the receiver and the amplifier at the same time - use one or the other, but not both." Great advice! This just confirms my suspicion of why the left channels of both of my BRAND NEW subwoofer amplifiers would stop playing after less than 30 seconds of being powered on. Once I disabled the bass boost and low-pass filters on the amplifiers, everything appeared to work just fine. However, I still felt that I was being short-changed because my amplifiers would only work if didn't use certain features. But just as the above article mentions, I was attempting to use the low-pass filters on both the amplifiers and the head unit. I've never been so happy to know that the issue was user error. Thank you for the confirmation.