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Old 11-04-2005, 10:43 PM   #1
IgazEro

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When to upgrade alt, Kicker L series

Hi all, first post here. I'm plotting out a system for my 2000 Monte Carlo (nice big trunk) and have a few questions.

At which point would it be a good idea to upgrade the alternator to prevent draining the battery? I've read the stock alt puts out 60-100 amps, which converts to about 900-1400 watts. So is it safe to say that with a 1200w+ amp, an alternator is a good idea, and 1500w+, very important? I would have the system on almost every time the vehicle is on.

My other question is about Kicker S15L5 vs S15L7 subs. I already searched for stuff about them so I'll spare you all the "is it good?" but I do have one specific question. Since the only real difference appears to be in power handling, if I powered them both equally, say 750w, would there be any difference in sound? Would the L7 be quieter because it's designed for higher power? Would one sound better? Or would they sound the same?

For background, I'm planning to put two 15s in this sealed box and give them as much power as I can without having to worry about the car not starting the next day. I'd appreciate any other advice relevant to my plans.

TIA
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:49 PM   #2
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First off, the l7 is a great sub. I wouldnt skimp and get an l5.
Second, it would be a shame if you put them in such a small box.

Im not a big power or alternator guy so I can give any input on that.
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homerunbrad
Second, it would be a shame if you put them in such a small box.
Thanks for the reply. I liked that box because it was made with 1" MDF rather than the usual 3/4". I'm still open to ideas, though. What box would you recommend? I know I want sealed, I like the tighter sound.
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:03 PM   #4
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From all ive read just now the l7s are awesome but that box wouldnt do the trick
i think these are ur specs on the l7s

~ Aluminum deposit cone
~ Non-resonant aluminum basket
~ Santoprene rubber surround
~ Dual 4-ohm voice coils
~ Frequency response 18-100 Hz
~ Power range 1000 watts RMS (500W per coil)
~ Peak power handling 2,000 watts
~ Sensitivity 88.5 dB SPL
~ Top-mount depth 8-3/16"
~ Sealed box volume 1.5-6.0 cubic feet
~ Ported box volume 3.0-6.0 cubic feet

now sealed is 1.5 cu to 6 and that box is only 3 so that would be a minumum i believe ide look for one thats 6 cu i believe would be a custom job and im sure someone on this forum would build you once for a decent price which would make those subs sing
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:08 PM   #5
fugyaself

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The only realy advantage the L7 has over the L5 is power handling. If you have more than 600w per sub get the L7. If not, get the L5.

While 1" MDF will resist flexing a bit better than .75" its not worth going to if your enclosure is too small. Enclosure size is easily 10x as important. IIRC the 15" solos need 2.5 - 3 cubic feet each. That enclosure is 3.3 cubes total.


Do you have a drill?


As for the alternator....no sense fixing something that isnt broken. Run your alternator until it dies(if it dies)
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:19 PM   #6
IgazEro

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJJ
im sure someone on this forum would build you once for a decent price which would make those subs sing
Any box builders out there wanna make a bid? =)


Quote:
Originally Posted by fugyaself
Do you have a drill?

As for the alternator....no sense fixing something that isnt broken. Run your alternator until it dies(if it dies)
Yes, I have a drill, why? I don't agree with your theory here though... I'd rather not find out the hard way my alternator died, and I'd rather not stress my car's electrical system with a load it isn't designed to handle. I prolly don't have the budget to upgrade it anyway, which is why I'm kinda designing my system around what the car can handle already.
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:21 PM   #7
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Talk to someone who builds boxs because you could do alot better as far as box i think ide talk to Phil hes got ton of cred on here and other forums you gotta realize alot of these sites just build these box's over and over or are machine built w/e the people on here that build them just go by bumps if they dont do good they lose business i mean these guys will hand build this box to suit your needs
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Old 11-05-2005, 01:20 AM   #8
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no need to touch the alternator at all. if you notice large amounts of dimming or rpm pulses at idle do the following:

1) upgrade the "magic 3" wires under your hood. search this forum if you dont know what the magic 3 are, it is explained thirty gabillion times.
2) still a problem after 1? shouldn't be but if it is make sure you have a deep cycle battery in your car, stock batteries dont perform too well.
3) if you still have issues then use two batteries. if you go with this just be sure to kill your system about 10min before you turn you car off (when you park for long periods of time that is). this makes 100% sure both those batteries are charged fully, which is important . After a while you will get the hang of how hard you can push your system and how long your batts need to charge and such, volt meters help a lot with this and i think your car has one stock.
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Old 11-05-2005, 01:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgazEro
Any box builders out there wanna make a bid? =)



Yes, I have a drill, why? I don't agree with your theory here though... I'd rather not find out the hard way my alternator died, and I'd rather not stress my car's electrical system with a load it isn't designed to handle. I prolly don't have the budget to upgrade it anyway, which is why I'm kinda designing my system around what the car can handle already.

Because all you need is a drill to build your own enclosure. Will cost you around $30 in materials. If you pay for a custom box you are looking at $100+ shipping at the very least.


If you are trying to stay within what you alt can handle I understand. I just thought you wanted a HO alt. You should be able to get away with anywhere between 1000-2000w on a stock electrical system. All depends on the vehicle and the type of amps you are using.
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Old 11-05-2005, 02:51 AM   #10
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I want to stay within my charging system's limits, rather than relying on the battery which would both limit my play time and force me to let it charge before I go anywhere. From the sounds of it I'll upgrade the big 3 and start with 1200-1500w into L7's, then upgrade the alt and amp later.

As for a box, how would I cut MDF with a drill? Especially the holes for the subs? I don't have a jigsaw. Even if I got one, there isn't a good place to do this in my apartment (basement is all piled with crap). Carpeting sounds like a nightmare too, because I've never done it before. I'm not afraid of a little work, but it sounds pretty inconvenient for someone not already setup for it.

Are the other premade boxes really that bad that I would need a custom one? There seems to be several vendors on eBay, some using 3/4". Even though it's sealed, does it need to be a certain size, or anywhere between 1.5-6 cu.ft. is good? (bigger the better I'm assuming though?)

Thanks everyone for your help so far, I appreciate it.

Edit: With regards to upgrading the big 3, are there any ill effects of disconnecting the battery, such as resetting the computer etc? Is there anything I need to know before I do that?

Last edited by IgazEro; 11-05-2005 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Adding a question
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Old 11-05-2005, 03:18 AM   #11
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Youre really worrying about your power system too much, I run a total of 1200 wrms in a little 86 accord with a 7 year old battery just fine (no upgrades, not even the big 3).

Yeah, anywhere between 1.5 and 6. And yes, bigger is better.
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgazEro
I want to stay within my charging system's limits, rather than relying on the battery which would both limit my play time and force me to let it charge before I go anywhere. From the sounds of it I'll upgrade the big 3 and start with 1200-1500w into L7's, then upgrade the alt and amp later.

As for a box, how would I cut MDF with a drill? Especially the holes for the subs? I don't have a jigsaw. Even if I got one, there isn't a good place to do this in my apartment (basement is all piled with crap). Carpeting sounds like a nightmare too, because I've never done it before. I'm not afraid of a little work, but it sounds pretty inconvenient for someone not already setup for it.

Are the other premade boxes really that bad that I would need a custom one? There seems to be several vendors on eBay, some using 3/4". Even though it's sealed, does it need to be a certain size, or anywhere between 1.5-6 cu.ft. is good? (bigger the better I'm assuming though?)

Thanks everyone for your help so far, I appreciate it.

Edit: With regards to upgrading the big 3, are there any ill effects of disconnecting the battery, such as resetting the computer etc? Is there anything I need to know before I do that?
Well you are right you need at least a jigsaw and a drill. I forgot about cutting the hole out. The rest of the cuts can be done by home depot. So add a $10 jigsaw from harbor freight and you would be good to go.

I have known people to assemble in the kitchen. Easy to sweep up the saw dust.

You cant judge the quality of premade enclosures without seeing them. Some dont even use wood glue to hold the pieces together.
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:02 AM   #13
IgazEro

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homerunbrad
Youre really worrying about your power system too much, I run a total of 1200 wrms in a little 86 accord with a 7 year old battery just fine (no upgrades, not even the big 3).
Well things were made better back then..... ok, I'll stop


Quote:
Originally Posted by fugyaself
Well you are right you need at least a jigsaw and a drill. I forgot about cutting the hole out. The rest of the cuts can be done by home depot. So add a $10 jigsaw from harbor freight and you would be good to go..
Well $20 jigsaw it seems but anyway that's reasonable, good idea. I'm assuming Home Depot has MDF as well? Do they have carpet too or am I better off buying that online? How difficult is it to apply the carpet?
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgazEro
Hi all, first post here. I'm plotting out a system for my 2000 Monte Carlo (nice big trunk) and have a few questions.

At which point would it be a good idea to upgrade the alternator to prevent draining the battery? I've read the stock alt puts out 60-100 amps, which converts to about 900-1400 watts. So is it safe to say that with a 1200w+ amp, an alternator is a good idea, and 1500w+, very important? I would have the system on almost every time the vehicle is on.

My other question is about Kicker S15L5 vs S15L7 subs. I already searched for stuff about them so I'll spare you all the "is it good?" but I do have one specific question. Since the only real difference appears to be in power handling, if I powered them both equally, say 750w, would there be any difference in sound? Would the L7 be quieter because it's designed for higher power? Would one sound better? Or would they sound the same?

For background, I'm planning to put two 15s in this sealed box and give them as much power as I can without having to worry about the car not starting the next day. I'd appreciate any other advice relevant to my plans.

TIA
Monte Carlo has a very decent factory alt. Upgrading the system in this car is a PIA (even without onstar) because you have to retain factory HU one way or another and interfaces are very pricey and PIA to install. If you want to put subs in the trunk, the rear speakers either will have to get sealed off or removed. 2000 SS is what my wife drives, I left the whole thing alone because there is just too much fvcking around to do anything. Doing kickpanels in this car would be the way IMO...
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:43 AM   #15
IgazEro

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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_euro
Monte Carlo has a very decent factory alt. Upgrading the system in this car is a PIA (even without onstar) because you have to retain factory HU one way or another and interfaces are very pricey and PIA to install. If you want to put subs in the trunk, the rear speakers either will have to get sealed off or removed. 2000 SS is what my wife drives, I left the whole thing alone because there is just too much fvcking around to do anything. Doing kickpanels in this car would be the way IMO...
Good to hear it has a good alt. I had intended on retaining the factory HU anyway at least for a while. Why will the rear speakers need to get sealed off or removed? How hard is it to seal them off?
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