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Old 02-22-2011, 03:59 AM   #1
PLU Schmidty

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Car Stereo problem - bass cutting out/losing power

Im new and realize this has probably been asked quite a few times. I glanced at the FAQs and saw one or two related questions, but there were only a few answers/solutions.
I guess the 1st thing is to let you know what I have.
- My head unit is a Sony CDX-GT310 52w x 4. I got it mainly for the aux plug in on the front for my ipod.
- I have Polk audio speakers all around.
- A single 15" Kicker L7 2008 model in a ported custom made box. The box is somewhere around 3 cubic feet, it takes up my whole trunk. (its approximately 15" high, 3 feet long and 2 feet wide eyeballing it) The sub is 1000 watts rms and 2000 max I believe.
- Its powered by a Kicker SX 1250.1 Class D Subwoofer Amplifier. It was tested and has a certificate showing 1377 true watts or something like that.
- The wiring kit is Knukoncepts 4 gauge wiring.
- My car is a 1997 saturn SL2 (piece of crap I know but it was free)

So the last couple of weeks my bass has been cutting in and out, not because of high volume just sort of randomly. I recently had a cap installed to help the alternator and battery (not that they were having problems just to help them in the long run). The cap was off amazon, SSL something. It was like $150 cheaper than in a store. It was 2 farad. The first thing I did was check my ground wire because Ive had ground wire issues before. The screw was stripped and the wire was slightly loose. I bolted in a new one and it seemed to fix the problem, at least for a day or so. Then the problem came back. The other day I checked all my wiring to the amp, and tightened everything back up. I noticed the connections inside the cap were loose, but couldnt get to them. I hooked everything back up, and made sure everything was tight and turn my car on. The cap didnt even turn on, so i just took it out, figuring it was a piece of crap and was causing problems. I thought i had solved the problem, because my system was perfectly fine before the cap was installed I believe. Apparently though, the problem still occurs and Im clueless. Im assuming something is wrong with my amplifier.

I thought Id post here because I have no idea what the problem is and need some suggestions on how to fix it. Please keep in mind that I am not very knowledgable about all this, I know the basics, but nothing technical.

My system is around 3 years old. The problem seems to happen mainly when I am coming to a stop or are stopped at a stop light. Once I start moving it comes on again after about 10 seconds. Sometimes its fine and the bass only cuts out once, sometimes its like 5 times during one song. Its really frustrating and I ned to figure it out soon before my system completely goes out and the problem worsens. Please help. And Im sorry if this is a common question.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:05 AM   #2
PLU Schmidty

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Also, the sub is wired to 1 ohm.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:16 AM   #3
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it sounds like a loose wire or possibly bad alternator or battery. Did you check the wiring under the hood? This all start when you installed the cap? If so the problem will almost certainly related to that. It wouldn`t be a bad idea to have the alternator and battery tested as well. It is always good to rule things out systematically.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:24 AM   #4
PLU Schmidty

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Im pretty sure the problem started after the cap was installed. Im 90% sure. The battery is relatively new. The old one was corroded so when I was getting my first system installed we had to get a new one to get it installed. It was like a $70 die hard battery. Where could I go to get the alternator checked?

Also, I got the cap installed at Best Buy, only because my friend and I couldnt figure it out. We had it like 90% hooked up but it needed a remote wire connected as well which we couldnt do. The guy at best buy didnt charge the cap when he installed it. Would that have any affect? He said it doesnt really matter.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:42 AM   #5
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You can get the alternator checked at most auto parts stores.

I assume you've probably turned up the bass, turned on the loudness, adjusted the gain or the bass boost, etc.

Either way, all that is happening is the alternator puts out less current at idle (when you stop). This can cause a voltage drop and the amp will shut down. BTW, you're hammering the hell out of that battery.

I'd suggest going over all amp connections. Clean the ground connection and apply di-electric grease. You want to check that grounds coming off the battery's negative terminal. Clean and check the connections at the battery and the alternator.

Do the big three upgrade (see search function).
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:49 AM   #6
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My sub is at the lowest settings. On the deck the sub setting is at -10, the aux setting is below 0, the low is at -10. On the amp im not sure what the gains and whatnot are set to, Ive only touched the setting back there once. But im pretty sure everything is not turned up, because my car is a pile and cant take it, which is why everything is turned down. (on the deck anyways)

Ive looked into the big 3 upgrade, but it would be a lot more hastle then its worth. i think the connection to the alternator was inside the alternator or unreachable which is why my friend and I decided not to do it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLU Schmidty View Post
My sub is at the lowest settings. On the deck the sub setting is at -10, the aux setting is below 0, the low is at -10. On the amp im not sure what the gains and whatnot are set to, Ive only touched the setting back there once. But im pretty sure everything is not turned up, because my car is a pile and cant take it, which is why everything is turned down. (on the deck anyways)

Ive looked into the big 3 upgrade, but it would be a lot more hastle then its worth. i think the connection to the alternator was inside the alternator or unreachable which is why my friend and I decided not to do it.
If the big 3 is more trouble than it's worth, then you should limit yourself to ~3-500 watt systems. 1kw systems require the big 3 and in many cases an alternator upgrade.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:08 AM   #8
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If I could do it, I would, but Id need someone more knowledgable than my friend to take a look under my hood and see it its doable.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLU Schmidty View Post
If I could do it, I would, but Id need someone more knowledgable than my friend to take a look under my hood and see it its doable.
It's one of the easiest things you can do. Maybe your alt is hard to get to, but it's literally 3 wires - a socket wrench and 1-2 hours for an amateur. You can't run a high power sub without providing it the proper juice.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:27 AM   #10
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Ill look into it again. But one of the things i had to upgrade was unreachable im pretty sure. Im getting the battery and alternator checked tomorrow hopefully.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:00 AM   #11
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can the upgrades be done at different times? or do they all have to be done at once? Also, when you upgrade your positive from the alternator to the battery do you have to have a circuit breaker or fusebox? or can you do it without one?
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #12
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no you dont need to fuse it
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:43 AM   #13
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It's only the bass cutting out, right? You mentioned you had some trouble locating a remote wire so you had Best Buy finish the install... Where did they get the remote lead from? Is it tied off of the amp? When you removed the cap, what did you do with the remote lead that it had? Is it possible to take some pictures of the amp wiring and the cap wiring? It does sound like a wiring issue to me... A loose connection maybe that comes and goes, or maybe a 12v remote lead that is shorting out... It's hard to isolate this type of thing over the internet...More info, please.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:47 AM   #14
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my friend and i knew how to attach the ground and power wire to the cap, but we werent sure if it needed a remote wire or not. The guy at best buy just used a small 6 inch remote wire and twisted it with the one used to tun on my amp and connected that to the cap. Ive already disconnected the cap. but basically he wired the ground i was using for my amp to the cap, then ran another ground from the cap to the amp. Same thing with the power wire. I dont know if that helps.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:48 AM   #15
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Did you completely remove the additional power and remote wires when you took the cap out, or did you simply leave them there?
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