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View Full Version : ???'s on my HLCDs & amp tower set up



mk_deuce
07-15-2010, 06:07 PM
1st of all I was told I would be fine running these speakers @ 2ohm, which if im figuring correctly will yeild me 215 watts @ each of the 4 speakers. However I was also told that it is possible that my speakers could be dropping the load to under 2 ohm which is not good for the amp. I am assuming it is necessary to run my set up @ 2ohms to get enough power to push the speakers to their potential. If its not gonna yield much more audible power I guess I will wire them back to 4 ohms to save possible wear on the amp. Any advice?

This is the descriptions of my amp/speaker setup.


Kicker ZX850.2
ZX Series 2-Channel Class AB Car Amplifier
RMS Power Rating:
4 ohms: 295 watts x 2 chan.
2 ohms: 425 watts x 2 chan.
Bridged, 4 ohms: 850 watts x 1 chan.
Max power output: 850 watts x 2 chan.



Krypt 8" HLCD (4 of these speakers)
Nominal Diameter 8 inch
Nominal Impedance 4 ohm
RMS Power 180 Watts
Peak Power 360 Watts
Sensitivity (1w/1m) 93 dB
Frequency range 60 - 20K Hz

brain_rinse
07-15-2010, 06:15 PM
Nominal impedance on those speakers is 2 ohm, so IMO you're working within the established limits of your gear. Crank it.

EarmarkMarine
07-15-2010, 06:50 PM
I believe those Krypt midbass drivers have a DCR just around 4-ohms. But because they may use a passive highpass filter only and without a symmetrical lowpass filter the impedance could potentially dip down to 3-ohms in the midrange region. Two speakers in parallel per channel could represent a 1.5-ohm load which may cause real thermal stability issues with some amplifiers.

David
Earmark Marine

brain_rinse
07-15-2010, 07:14 PM
I believe those Krypt midbass drivers have a DCR just around 4-ohms. But because they may use a passive highpass filter only and without a symmetrical lowpass filter the impedance could potentially dip down to 3-ohms in the midrange region. Two speakers in parallel per channel could represent a 1.5-ohm load which may cause real thermal stability issues with some amplifiers.

David
Earmark Marine
You clearly know best so I'm not challenging. But would those 1.5 ohm dips really present a problem for a 2 channel amp that is rated to run safely at 2 ohms? I only ask because I see installs all the time where people (unknowingly) are bridging a 4 channel to where it will see 1 ohm continuous. I'm not advocating that this is good practice, especially in a marine environment. It just makes me wonder if people get away with 1 ohm all the time if the occasional dip below 2 ohms is really a big deal. Thanks for any insight!

Brianinpdx
07-15-2010, 07:34 PM
Duece - whats the problem? is your amplifier shutting down? I see what you say you where told but whats the reality in the real world - i.e. installed and on the water?

2 ohm loads are tough on many amplifiers. If this is the case, I have 1 suggestion for you

HARPOON 500x2 @ 2 ohms.

we build this amp for guys like you that need a beast. Ask Mandley if he's been amble to shut his down.

Ask Earmark what his impression was when he received his.

on the task of making the most of what you have, if the kicker is shutting down due to 1.5 ohm / thermal issues.... add in a nice quiet fan to the cubby area and it should help a lot. If there is no thermal issues... crank it!

good luck!

-Brian
Exile

cab13367
07-15-2010, 09:33 PM
1st of all I was told I would be fine running these speakers @ 2ohm, which if im figuring correctly will yeild me 215 watts @ each of the 4 speakers. However I was also told that it is possible that my speakers could be dropping the load to under 2 ohm which is not good for the amp. I am assuming it is necessary to run my set up @ 2ohms to get enough power to push the speakers to their potential. If its not gonna yield much more audible power I guess I will wire them back to 4 ohms to save possible wear on the amp. Any advice?

This is the descriptions of my amp/speaker setup.


Kicker ZX850.2
ZX Series 2-Channel Class AB Car Amplifier
RMS Power Rating:
4 ohms: 295 watts x 2 chan.
2 ohms: 425 watts x 2 chan.
Bridged, 4 ohms: 850 watts x 1 chan.
Max power output: 850 watts x 2 chan.



Krypt 8" HLCD (4 of these speakers)
Nominal Diameter 8 inch
Nominal Impedance 4 ohm
RMS Power 180 Watts
Peak Power 360 Watts
Sensitivity (1w/1m) 93 dB
Frequency range 60 - 20K Hz

Your amp is seeing a 2 ohm load because you have four speakers wired in parallel and being driven by 2 channels. There is no way to wire 4 four ohm speakers to a 2 channel amp and present a 4 ohm load to the amp. Like Brian said, if your amp is seeing something less than 2 ohms, it will get hot and may go into protect mode. If its not going into protect (shutting down), then you're golden.

EarmarkMarine
07-15-2010, 10:31 PM
Brian,
I hear you but those multi-channel amplifiers loaded down to 1-ohm sound terrible even though their owners may not recognize it. So I don't go by what others may be doing. Often they run fewer channels because they're restrained by budget or they think they are cheating the laws of physics with inordinately low loads. Ohms Law doesn't apply when you have a limited supply resource (the DC to AC to DC switching power supply). When you hit that wall you clip and compress. Very few amplifiers are truely equipped to run lower than 2-ohm stereo loads or 4-ohm bridged loads without serious degradation or thermal issues. Heat changes performance. As the load is lowered distortion rises, damping falls, efficiency falls, voltage sags, etc. Most amplifiers are biased to operate optimumly at a particular load where performance suffers in one respect or another on either side of that peak. You're going to pay a real premium for those few amplifiers that maintain a consistent level of performance over a broad range of supply voltages and load impedances. But we all take a few liberties in boat stereos. The acid test is whether or not the amplifier shuts down on a 95 degree plus day. So in the above scenerio of the OP it should work and if it doesn't then you know why. A more comprehensive crossover design definitely can be friendlier to an amplifier. I believe Phil with Kicker could add to that.

And yes the Exile amplifier has excess heat sink mass and twin power supplies to meet the demands of some tough conditions. Its very similar to having two monoblocks.

David
Earmark Marine

Brianinpdx
07-16-2010, 03:35 AM
Allgood points from good people. Honestly if the op has the amp on hand already I'd crank it up and put it to the test.

In my experience, the 95 degree day usually brings with it a cubby temp of 115+ degrees on the skin of any given ampliifer. Ultimatley time under tension will tell. And if your amp does turn off that's a good thing because it's protecting itself.

Let us know how it works out.

Cheers!

Brian
Exile audio

Brianinpdx
07-16-2010, 03:38 AM
On second thought... I wantto start a thread titled,

Show me how to cheat the laws of physics and the sum of all nodes is not zero!!'

---- passes the mic to Phil.

mk_deuce
07-16-2010, 10:22 AM
Well I believe the amp was deffective from the start actually. I had the speakers wired @ 4 ohms & it acted funny a few times. i.e. one side went out, but never thermal. I wired it to 2 ohm and it ran great for about the 3 hrs then acted like it was over voltaged then went into protect mode but wouldnt come out of it. (again it never went to thermal) I had to send it in & Kicker warrantied it so when I get it back I want to make sure I dont wire the speakers as to make it unecessarily hard on the amp for no extra audible gain.







Duece - whats the problem? is your amplifier shutting down? I see what you say you where told but whats the reality in the real world - i.e. installed and on the water?

2 ohm loads are tough on many amplifiers. If this is the case, I have 1 suggestion for you

HARPOON 500x2 @ 2 ohms.

we build this amp for guys like you that need a beast. Ask Mandley if he's been amble to shut his down.

Ask Earmark what his impression was when he received his.

on the task of making the most of what you have, if the kicker is shutting down due to 1.5 ohm / thermal issues.... add in a nice quiet fan to the cubby area and it should help a lot. If there is no thermal issues... crank it!

good luck!

-Brian
Exile

philwsailz
07-16-2010, 12:04 PM
I believe those Krypt midbass drivers have a DCR just around 4-ohms. But because they may use a passive highpass filter only and without a symmetrical lowpass filter the impedance could potentially dip down to 3-ohms in the midrange region. Two speakers in parallel per channel could represent a 1.5-ohm load which may cause real thermal stability issues with some amplifiers.

David
Earmark Marine

David is totally correct, IF there is no complementary low-pass crossover section on these speakers.

With a full symmetrical crossover, half of the system has an imedance rising to infinity while the other half is lowering down to DCR on either side of the center frequency. So assuming the compression driver and the midrange driver are both 4-ohms, (as an example) and wired in parallel, the fully symmetrical crossover maintains a 4-ohm load at the amplifier. The Kicker KM6500.2 is designed this way, as it has a symmetrical crossover.

Without a low-pass curcuit on a two way system, the 4-ohm DCR of the midrange driver is in parallel with the compression driver, showing 4-ohms impedance well past the compression driver's crossover frequency where finally the natural inductance of the voice coil causes its impedance to rise. A voice coil is a natural inductor, since it is a coil of wire, around a ferrite core, just like a common iron-core crossover inductor. At crossover frequency, you have a 4-ohm, or slightly higher midrange impedance in parallel with what probably is a 6-ohm compression driver impedance. For those values, you are showing 2.4 ohms to the amp from a single midrange/horn coaxial unit, not 4-ohms.

Assuming the inductance of the midrange driver is already affecting the midrange driver at crossover, and maybe the midrange driver has an impedance of 6-ohms at the compression driver's crossover frequency. A 6-ohm midrange impedance in parallel with a 6-ohm compression driver impedance results in a 3-ohm impedance at crossover frequency.

So, as David points out, without a symmetrical low-pass crossover to complement the compression driver's high pass crossover you get impedance dips. This is whay you usually see me recommending a single 4-ohm speaker per amplifier channel for most full-range applications like with typical coaxial loudspeakers.




You clearly know best so I'm not challenging. But would those 1.5 ohm dips really present a problem for a 2 channel amp that is rated to run safely at 2 ohms? I only ask because I see installs all the time where people (unknowingly) are bridging a 4 channel to where it will see 1 ohm continuous. I'm not advocating that this is good practice, especially in a marine environment. It just makes me wonder if people get away with 1 ohm all the time if the occasional dip below 2 ohms is really a big deal. Thanks for any insight!

I think the best answer to your question is simplty: yes.

I am not sure that the folks who unwittingly or unknowingly wire to 1-ohm per channel are really getting away with anything. The inevitable is just around the corner, the thing either constantly goes into protection mode, or it simply blows up.

A little history:
The first round of amplifiers that were finally officially reported to be 2-ohm stable back in the day were stereo amplifers being put into subwoofer service. We did not have 1,000 watt, 1,500 watt or 2,500 watt amps back in the day, so to make bass, you moved jumpers around on the power supply transformers to allow you to run higher current, either by bridging a stereo amp into a single 4-ohm woofer, or using the same amp to drive four 4-ohm woofers. The original intent of bridging and 2-ohm operation was to drive subwoofers, where the load was inductive rather than capacitive. With a subwoofer, the impedance is always rising with frequency, so there are no impedance dips. I am not sure it was ever the intent of the industry for people to start bridging and parallel loading amps for full range applications.

These days, history is often lost, and too often people fail to deliver the full message, in part because it is complex, complicated, and makes lots of folk's heads spin, (like some of you reading this! :D)

4-ohm full range speakers are not 4-ohm, any more than 6-1/2 speakers are 6 and a half inches..... Both terms are generalities.... For the very reasons I point out above int eh crossover explanation, a coax spekare that measures 4-ohms DCR will have an impedance dip at crossover when actually played. Combine this with the fact that most "4-ohm" speakers have a 3.4 - 3.6 ohm DCR out of the box and you have a double-whammy at crossover.

Too many times, people complain that their amplifier shuts down with the 8 speakers they have wire to it. Too many times, I just have to laugh, and start thinking about how best to explain it, and to help. That is why I have my mantra:

IN GENERAL, and for most full-range applications, (in-boat coaxials, etc) the best practice is to wire one speaker to each amp channel.

There are multiple benefits for the boat audio enthusiast:

Current draw is minimized, resulting in cooler lasting amplifiers,

Minimal current draw meanas longer sitting with the motor off in party cove.

Clipping is minimized and headroom is maximized

No fires or explosions


MK DEUCE-

For your original question, wiring the Krypts in parallel is likely going to make the amp shut down. Go ahead and try it, but do so making sure of the following:

high-pass crossover is turned ON
CROSSOVER FREQUENCY (HZ) is at 100Hz or even higher
BASS BOOT is turned totally off

GAIN is very subjective. Turn it up a little, then with a loud cd, (I like Nickleback for this) turn your radio up until you start to hear it distort, i.e. get crunchy and bad sounding. This is usually at around 75% of the radio’s max volume. Then turn the radio down a little, and turn the INPUT SENSITIVITY up until you hear the amp starting to make things sound bad, distorted, crunchy, etc, then turn INPUT SENSITIVITY down a little.

At that point, you have max output from the amp, at the max output setting of the radio. From this point, if the towers are too loud, turn the INPUT SENSITIVITY down. You cannot turn the amp up past the setting you found without causing distortion and potential damage.




If after all of this you find that the amp shuts down, it is because you are dipping below 2-ohms. You have a couple of options:

Wire each side's pair in series, taking the impedance from 2-ohm nominal with dips to 1.5 or lower to 8-ohms nominal with dips approaching 6-ohms.

Buy an additional 850.2 and wire the 4 speakers up to the 4 amp channels.

Consider selling your 850.2 and trading into an 850.4 which delicers about perfect power for your 4 HLCD coaxes.



Let me know what you think, if you have any more questions, or if you wnat some more explanation. Sorry for writing the big book, but I thouhg I shuold tell th whole story! Sorry for being late to reply!!!

Phil
Kicker

mk_deuce
07-16-2010, 01:10 PM
Phill,

You obviously know far more than I ever will however I have a few stupid questions. I was under the assumption that when I wired 2 of the speakers (per channel) in series it was putting them @ 4 ohms, not 8? If it puts them @ 8 wouldnt this be only like 70 watts a speaker? If not what is the correct power figures to each speaker wire in series?

Also I like the idea of getting the 850.4 4 channel amp however wouldnt this require me to run 2 extra sets of wires thru the tower so each speaker gets its own channel? Running tower wire = sucks!!

EarmarkMarine
07-16-2010, 01:42 PM
Many of my previous comments were directed at Brain's questions, not Brian. I keep repeating that mistake.
MM, Its extremely important to put a boat into storage with an empty bilge as this can really compound the issue. Just an addition to a good point.
To add to Phil's comments, a 2-inch multi-layer subwoofer voice coil for example may double its DCR by 100 hz and the impedance may take off above 150hz. But a smaller single-layer coil in a midrange may have an impedance that slowly rises and doesn't change significantly until maybe 8khz. And, you can't measure the true overall impedance or even the collective DCR with a basic multimeter, particularly since the highpass section is capacitor-coupled and won't pass DC. Knowing these and other less obvious details and the correct analysis of the individual components and how they truely interface can have a profound affect on the system's final performance.

David
Earmark Marine

EarmarkMarine
07-16-2010, 01:49 PM
MK,
On an unregulated 4-channel amplifier the final output power and resuting stability should be equal for 4-channel 4-ohms or 2-channel bridged into 8-ohms. With a seriesed configuration at the top of the tower (just a simple jumper from one pod to the other) you can maintain a four total conductor tower harness without running new wires. However two HLCDs per side deserve 12-ga wire.

David
Earmark Marine

philwsailz
07-16-2010, 02:42 PM
Phill,

I like the idea of getting the 850.4 4 channel amp however wouldnt this require me to run 2 extra sets of wires thru the tower so each speaker gets its own channel? Running tower wire = sucks!!

David points out the easy way. Let me say what he said a different way:

With a 4-channel ZX850.4, wire each side pair of speakers in series to take the load to 8-ohms on a single speaker wire per side. Then run the 8-ohm load per side to a bridged half of the 850.4 amp. That will deliver the same power to each speaker as you would have with each speaker on it own amp channel. The impedance loading will be the same too, but you use half the wire runs.

I do agree with David too that you owe your spekaers 12ga wire if you go this route. Hopefully it is as easy as tying aome 12ga onto your esisting wire and pulling it through.


As for series wiring, when you wire two speakers together in series, you add the individual impedance values up to get the new load value. two 4-ohm loads add up to 8. A 4 and an 8 add up to 12, etc.

Parallel wiring is the tricky part. For similar loads, the impedance halves, but for non-matched loads, say a 4-ohm load in parallel with a 6-ohm load, you can find the value by taking the product, (4x6) and dividing it by the sum (4+6) resulting in 24/10 or 2.4 ohms.

Phil
Kicker



Phil
Kicker

jmvotto
07-16-2010, 03:34 PM
Wow, that's good stuff, but boy my head is just a spinning. takes me back to advanced physics in 12th grade.... LOL