Pushing subs and amp too far?


Original poster
Feb 21, 2012

Polk Audio - PA Series Amplifiers Overview & Models Bridged 200 x 1 @ 4 ohms.

2 x 12" http://www.soundstream.com/manuals/2006/sbw/XS 10_2 12_2.pdf

So underpowering subs is a bad thing... How much am I hurting myself in the above situation?
My normal listening volume isnt quite pushing the sound out like I want so I crank it up and get it to where Im satisfied (just shy of the bass drowning out the mids and highs making them "jittery" like spl is affecting them.)
Am I damaging my subs and amp at higher volumes?

Black LT

Dec 4, 2011
Not an exact answer.
Under powering does not harm subs.
If you have a sub that can handle 1000w but have an amp putting out 750w (or 200w)- not a problem.

The problem lies in the settings. Way too many details to cover here.

There are various ways and theories on this. You have to look at your amp and see (suppose your sub is 2ohm) what the voltage output should be for a 2ohm load. Then get a test tone disk and a volt meter and set it to that voltage with your HU at around 3/4 volume (or if you checked where your HU starts clipping (bad signal)at that level).

Some people think if the sub will handle 1000 and the amp only puts out 750, that means you can turn the gains on the amp up all the way. Not true. You still have to set the amp up - either like above, with an o-scope, or someone with a very good ear.

So the saying about under powering being harmful is because people incorrectly crank up the amp and feed the sub a clipped signal. Clipping is harmful.

But turning the gain up makes it louder. Ah-ah-ah, but it's not a clean signal. You want louder, get a bigger amp

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