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High SQ amplifier suggestions

Old 03-05-2009, 09:43 AM
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High SQ amplifier suggestions

Hi everyone,
I'm new to the board and have a few questions. Used to be heavy into car audio in the early 90s, and now my brother wants some help with an install, he's looking for a good sub amp to push two 12" Phoenix gold Octane-R SVC (handle 250 W RMS each) subs in a ported box.

Question is: What are the high end amps that people are buying now days? Back then, hifonics/orion/ppi/soundstream/jl audio/phoenix gold were the talk of the town. Now I'm seeing prices for ppi/hifonics for like $200 so I'm thinking the quality is not there anymore like they used to be.

So can you guys give me some good recommendations for the Phoenix gold 12's my bro has? I'm considering the JL 500/1 v2 amp, sounds pretty good from what I've read up on it. Specs of some of the focal mono amps are pretty good as well.

Note: He already has the 8.0 Octane -R 4x75 rms amp in the car pushing the subs. Gonna switch wiring to have the 8.0 push the mids/highs and the mono amp for the subs. Want an efficient class D amp so we don't have to buy a new alternator/caps (minimize cost if possible).

Thanks for any tips, it's been years since I've been into this, so any & all suggestions are welcome.

Located in Toronto, so any good stores to visit is also helpful!

Cheers guys.

Last edited by digs; 03-05-2009 at 09:51 AM. Reason: random stuff
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:26 PM
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Kenwood Excelon and Pioneer Premeire both have a great small chassis class D amp that would deliver 600w rms into 2 ohms. These would be a ideal amp for your brother and keep you in the middle of the pack as far as budget goes. Not into the flea market or made to be inexpensive pack and not into the higher end price of Focal, Audison and others. JL is a good middle of the road amp as well, the only and sole issue with it is that it is drastically overpriced in Canada as the CDN dealers are forced to buy it from a CDN importer who marks it up excessively from what they pay for it from JL Audio in the USA. If the distributor is making more on the product than the retailer in this state of the economy or in general, there is something truly wrong. Take out the excessive $ for it and JL would sit right in the same middle of the pack as most of the better class D amps on the market today.

PPI, Orion, Soundstream, Phoenix Gold are all shells of what they used to be. Some went bankrupt and restructured and came back after being bought by another company, that gave the company a good inroad into the north american marketplace. You get what you pay for these days, flea market crap masquerading as good product, better products, good products and definitive higher end products.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MR2NR View Post
Kenwood Excelon and Pioneer Premeire both have a great small chassis class D amp that would deliver 600w rms into 2 ohms. These would be a ideal amp for your brother and keep you in the middle of the pack as far as budget goes. Not into the flea market or made to be inexpensive pack and not into the higher end price of Focal, Audison and others. JL is a good middle of the road amp as well, the only and sole issue with it is that it is drastically overpriced in Canada as the CDN dealers are forced to buy it from a CDN importer who marks it up excessively from what they pay for it from JL Audio in the USA. If the distributor is making more on the product than the retailer in this state of the economy or in general, there is something truly wrong. Take out the excessive $ for it and JL would sit right in the same middle of the pack as most of the better class D amps on the market today.
Right, but the Pion/Ken don't have a regulated power supply do they? JL is expensive but I've seen it around cheaper on ebay, about half off, so that's not too bad price wise. That situation with distribution sounds like JL's fault for giving a monopoly to that distributer, what else can happen? So if I pick up the JL around $350, then it's a good deal eh?

PPI, Orion, Soundstream, Phoenix Gold are all shells of what they used to be. Some went bankrupt and restructured and came back after being bought by another company, that gave the company a good inroad into the north american marketplace. You get what you pay for these days, flea market crap masquerading as good product, better products, good products and definitive higher end products.
Yeah it seems like they were living off their old name...I saw a PPI art series around 500W RMS for around $150 which is tempting... Focal, Audison, who else is good these days? I still have an old Hifonics Odin v7/8 (?) lying around, which I loved...

Just trying to get my head around this, thanks for the tips.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:35 PM
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Do you think you need a regulated power supply or would you prefer to have the extra power that the unregulated power supply will produce? Ebay while at times has it's place, the deal that you see by the time it lands in your hands is long gone and so is the warranty on it the second it crosses the border. My bet is that the Kenwood or Pioneer would easily fulfill the task at hand and have ample amounts of power left over. My suggestion of amps can go up or down from there depending on your budget however, until I know the investment you would like to make, I will stay right in the middle.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MR2NR View Post
Do you think you need a regulated power supply or would you prefer to have the extra power that the unregulated power supply will produce? Ebay while at times has it's place, the deal that you see by the time it lands in your hands is long gone and so is the warranty on it the second it crosses the border. My bet is that the Kenwood or Pioneer would easily fulfill the task at hand and have ample amounts of power left over. My suggestion of amps can go up or down from there depending on your budget however, until I know the investment you would like to make, I will stay right in the middle.
Yeah i know about those issues. I looked up the Pio, the premier stuff is competition grade, so yeah those are nice no doubt. The budget is around $400 for a good sub amp.

Hopefully we don't need to change the alternator by adding this amp. the car is a Acura 1.6 EL 4 cylinder.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:17 PM
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really high end SQ sub amp, for SQL subs, is a waste IMO. if it's not a full serious SQ build, the amps, so long as good solid middle end products will more than do the job. and Pretty much nobody will be able to hear the difference with those subs.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:10 PM
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Silk, thanks for the tip. I get what you're saying, thinking for the future. My bro is planning to go full JL/SQ build in the future, and figures why not buy better amp now so once less then to buy later.

Question is, what are the other brands that have good SQ other than Focal/JL? An unbiased opinion is always helpful.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:09 PM
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Audison, Zapco, Steg,Genesis,Brax,Helix
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:40 AM
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Either go with regulated all around, or unregulated all around - do not mix, especially not too good if you got regulated on subs and unregulated on cabin speakers. Seems like your current amp that you want to use is unregulated, so I would go with unregulated amp for the subs as well. You have a budget amp on the cabin speakers, so no use getting a higher end amp for the subs, if anything I would run it the other way around. Just look for a budget amp that will give you proper Class D power at the correct impedance matching the subs. My personal pick for greatly priced and awesome quality amp would be Sundown Audio, but they do full power at 1 ohm, not sure what your subs can be wired to. Sundown 1000 could be purchased here through Smartass(dealer). BTW this amp will not cost a lot and will give you enough power even at 2 ohms. Or look for a used one, they are very well built.

p.s. If you want to go nuts and very exotic, I could sell my flawless Steg(2-channel Class AB, regulated power supply), and it is over 1800 watts rms at 2 ohms bridged, and is stable down to one ohm in stereo. But it will set you back $800. They retail around $1300.

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Old 03-06-2009, 04:58 AM
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I see Digital Designs in the list of stuff you sell.
How much does a M80 go for?

The DD are great amps that rank in with the Orion Reds, Rodek RA series, PPI art series of yesteryear and a M80 will put out about 550 @ 2ohms and even more at 1 ohm if you choose to upgrade later on.
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