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Voltage input to amplifier ?


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How much input voltage do most amps need ? 

Okay, so here's why I ask, and why I'm so concerned right now. My current Kenwood HU puts out 4V per ch, for 6 ch. But my amps act like this is "barely" enough ! Now (speed readers are probably going to miss this) if I turn my bass boost off on the HU, and also, off on the amp, and set my bass knob at zero, I have to turn my amp gains up to 95+ % ! Like honestly, maxing out my gains, seems barely enough ! Which is totally wrong. Now, my Kenwood HU has a "known" volume (voltage ?) control issue, which is supposed to be easily fixable with a software update. But after trying to do that 3 X's, talking with a Kenwood tech person each time, we were unable to make that happen :( Of course they told me I could pull the HU completely out and send it to them, but since its out of warranty, it might cost more than the HU is worth.

 

Anyway, skip forward to now. I have a new HU (a Pioneer) coming in this evening. It also puts out 4V per ch x 6. However, very soon, I will be installing a Dayton 408 DSP, which is only 2V per channel. So, I'm sitting here thinking, if 4V were almost not enough, how are the 2V coming from my DSP going to cut it ???

I'm trying to tell myself to quit worrying, that 1) I know my current HU has issues, and 2) if the 2V from the Dayton 408 were not enough, I would see like 9000 reviews saying exactly that. Instead, I've seen exactly zero posts, saying that unit does not make enough volts to work with their amps.

 

Have any of you ever had problems with not enough voltage to work with your amps ? Do you think 2V per ch. from my Dayton 408 DSP should be enough ?

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You'll probably be fine, Dayton is a good brand from what I've heard. 

 

What kinda bass knob do you use? One with the telephone jack to amp or rca with a pot like the pac lc-1? Pretty sure the amp ones never fully turn off, but the lc-1 can  essentially go to no output.

 

When you set gains you should always set your bass knob to either the max, to allow you to lower the signal but never go beyond your clipping point, or set it about half way to allow you to adjust based on listening preferences and songs. Never should you set it to 0 and adjust gains, you will be turning it up way beyond the clipping point you just set. Imo avoid bass boost entirely unless you are filling a hole in your frequency response and make any eq adjustments before setting gains (after which you can lower your eq bands but never raise them so you avoid any distortion/clipping).  

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4 hours ago, Joshdashef said:

You'll probably be fine, Dayton is a good brand from what I've heard. 

 

What kinda bass knob do you use? One with the telephone jack to amp or rca with a pot like the pac lc-1? Pretty sure the amp ones never fully turn off, but the lc-1 can  essentially go to no output.

 

When you set gains you should always set your bass knob to either the max, to allow you to lower the signal but never go beyond your clipping point, or set it about half way to allow you to adjust based on listening preferences and songs. Never should you set it to 0 and adjust gains, you will be turning it up way beyond the clipping point you just set. Imo avoid bass boost entirely unless you are filling a hole in your frequency response and make any eq adjustments before setting gains (after which you can lower your eq bands but never raise them so you avoid any distortion/clipping).  

Thank you Josh. When I said I set my bass knob to zero, I'm assuming 12 o'clock is zero, with 7 o'clock being -6 or -12 db's, and 5  o'clock being +6 or +12 db's... But my know doesn't have any numbers on it 😀 lol

Oh, it's the phone cord style...

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3 hours ago, MrSkippyJ said:

agreed with all that, 2v should be more than enough. sounds like something else is going on with your current setup.

TY Skippy. Your probably right. I know  probably just worried for nothing.

I do feel like the gains on my amps, even with only 2 volt inputs, shouldn't need to be cranked anymore than 75 or 80% and hopefully with the new HU and DSP, they won't...

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you getting your voltage number with what tool?

if nothing changes, nothing changes

You don't know what you don't know, till you don't know

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57 minutes ago, never knows best said:

dayton 408 puts out 3.5v

I sure don't know where I got 2 volts, but I'm glad to be mistaken, as 3.5 is obviously a lot better. 

However, upon going to check that out, I also found that the 408 has a max input of only 3.25 volts ? My new HU has 4 volt outputs.

I recently read (somewhere on this forum ?) About someone having a situation like this, and anything over the maximum voltage showed up as distortion on the DD1....

 

But anyway, okay, so hopefully 3.5 volt outputs will be enough.

 

Check out this review though....

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"Extremely flexible DSP but lowers system gain
I was running my 3-way active system using the internal crossover of a JVC KW-R930BTS deck. Inserting the DSP-408 between the deck and amps to provide more flexibility in crossover points and steeper slopes worked beautifully with one caveat. Even though the JVC's 2.5 volt RCA's are well within Dayton's input voltage requirements, turning all gains to maximum on the DSP resulted in a noticeable drop in sound level. It is not "broken-quiet", but low enough that I had to turn the gains up on all three amps. Increasing input sensitivity on the amps also increased the noise floor from negligible to a slightly obtrusive hiss. I would be interested to see test results of the DSP-408's gain structure. I bet a 2 volt input signal will not produce a 2 volt output signal. Possibly a design choice to leave headroom for EQ'ing, but an unfortunate issue in an otherwise game changing product. Reading through the questions and comments, I see others have made the same observation."
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Hmmm. I guess I will find out. 
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