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Tuning an amp for SPL

Old 03-30-2011, 06:31 AM
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Tuning an amp for SPL

Hey guys,
Ill be entering into my first SPL competition this summer and I was wondering if there's anything significantly different about tuning for SPL vice the 'normal' way?

The way I've done it now is increased the gain on the amps with the head unit at max (it doesnt clip at max) while listening to a sin wave until the tone changes.

Im using my head unit's lpf at 80Hz and I've set the subsonic filter to 20Hz.

The "max load" (yellow) light on my Massive D100x lights up when the subs are doing their thing but I've never seen the overload (red) light on.

Should I be clipping the signal at all to my subs for max SPL?

Sorry, I tried a search but couldnt find what I was looking for.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:59 AM
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the only tru fire way of tuning is with a termlab......end of story......and start a logbook, write down every change u make, so u can go back to the one that was loudest..

or just max out everything on the deck and crank the gains....hehehe...JK
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:26 AM
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actually the only REAL way is with an oscilliscope(a real one), I had the pleasure of seeing what a difference it makes when helping Bart with his setup....and what a difference it made(seeing where you ACTUALLY clip at)
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:51 AM
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actually the only real way is amp dependant.

you do need a termlab tho. oscilliscope isnt the best way, it tells you where you are clipping, but doesnt tell you that's where you will obtain your max spl. you might be maxing out before the clipping point. you need termlab regardless.

i seen french guys actually burping with osscilliscope instead of a termlab, i was like WTF BRO??? they said they can tell what their loudest volume is by seeing where it clips and what their best note is by seeing at which point most power is produced. in theory that works but in reality it doesnt. you can be maxed way before clipping and you could be louder with less power. efficiency is the name of the game.

so yah, you need to be a meter to set up your amp, cant just do it by ear.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:22 PM
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Anyone know the closest termlab near Victoria, BC?
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:17 PM
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most car audio shops have one and may for a small fee or sum beerz let u use it....or sometimes theres a dood around that has one and u can exchange beerz for tune time????
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:59 PM
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See Ken @ SSL Sound Solutions on the Colwood strip. He tunes with a handheld to find your frequency and uses termlab when he puts on competitions. He spends a good amount of time with you playing your music and tones to see what works best.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:29 PM
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If you use a scope at the amp with no load, everything will change when you apply the load.

The best way for SPL is with the SPL meter, and a bit clipped is the way to go, for every class.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:29 AM
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I 100% agree you would need a termlab or similar SPL meter for what you want to find...


In terms of clipping there is more then one way to overdrive an amp... and if you are limited by current you stand to loose output...
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:29 AM
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if you dont have access to a term lab, and your going to compete. Id recommend first turning your sub sonic filter OFF. you want to have your gains set so you can reach about 80% of your volume on your Head unit, sending a stronger input signal as well to your amp.
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