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chrisw.

Running my amp at lower impedance than it's meant for?

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  The main thing to remember is that amp manufacturers #1 goal is to make money, that's hard to do when you have a lot of warranty claims or for people to stop buying their product due to a bad rap of reliability. For the average consumer a car audio system is buying an amp having it installed and that's it. Often times the install is not enough to sufficiently power the amp at it's rated power wired to manufacturers specs. Top that with the fact that 90% of people won't do any type of electrical upgrades.

  You being on this site already takes you out of the 90% group and puts you into the 10% who are active car audio enthusiasts, where most will have made improvements to the electrical environment of their vehicle. 

  There are 4 things regardless of impedance that need to be addressed and far more important when trying to do what you are asking.

1. Adequate electrical both for power and the negative ground side.

2. A clean audio signal

3. Keep the amp from clipping (which isn't always due to a dirty audio signal).

4. Heat. Take 2 identical amps and give 1 a healthy electrical supply and the other a sub standard supply. Run them at top of their rated power and you will notice that the amp with the adequate power supply will run much cooler even though both are putting out the same amount of power. Most amps have thermal protection but don't rely on it, if constantly shutting down due to thermal it won't last long, even though considered "protection" at that temperature the electrical components are degrading at a very slow pace.

Every amp will have a threshold of where damage will occur from too low of an impedance but keeping the 4 items listed above in check most amplifiers will live happily at half (and often times even lower) of the manufacturers spec.

Some people will disagree but there are many people out there that run their equipment below specs everyday in their daily rigs.

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