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Old 07-16-2014, 06:18 PM
TURSTY TURSTY is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Boat: Mastercraft x-Star 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 46
Input voltages not high enough? Do I need a line driver?

Hi Guys, I have a bit of a technical question regarding the input wiring/voltages etc of my new system.

I have just install a new/rearranged set up (details below) and I am having to turn up all the gains on my amps to really high levels to get any decent volume. The sub amp is turned up to 100% gain which is crazy as it should be able to provide 2x what the sub can handle.

Head unit:
Clarion M303
2.0V pre out (at 10K ohm load) x2

The tower amp and sub amp share the rear RCA output from the head unit via RCA splitters.
The in boat speakers amp uses the Front RCA pair.
Only the inboat amp has a pass through RCA out, but I really want to be able to fade out the inboats and keep the sub running (hence the sub and towers sharing the rear channel)

Tower Amp:
Boston mobile audio gt2200
2 Ch. Power @ 2-ohm: 350 Watts x 2 (driving 4x Bullet 770 HLCD. 4 ohm and 180w each, wired in 2 pairs at 2 ohms, 260w per channel)
Input signal range 200mv to 8V

Sub amp:
Power Acoustik BAMF4000/1D
RMS @ 4Ω 1 x 1,200 (Driving 1x Kicker Solo Baric L5 12 sub, Dual 2 ohm voice coil wired to 4 ohm load 600W)
Input Sensitivity 200mV-6V

In boat speakers amp:
Power Acustik BAMF 1600/4
RMS @ 2Ω 4 x 180
RMS @ 4Ω 4 x 150
Driving 2x Bullet 6.5 coax speakers on channels 1 and 2 (4 ohm, 80W each per channel) and 4x Bullet 6.5 coax speakers on channels 3 and 4 (wired to 2 ohm and 160w per channel)
Input Sensitivity 200mV-6V

With the Head unit I have, am I correct in assuming that the only way to fix this, is to get a RCA line driver and up the input voltage to each amp to around 6v max?
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:50 PM
TURSTY TURSTY is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Boat: Mastercraft x-Star 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 46
Anyone able to confirm my thinking, or is there something else I could try?

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Old 07-20-2014, 09:50 AM
David Analog's Avatar
David Analog David Analog is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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Location: Texas
Posts: 588
More line voltage would help a 2 volt head piece even if the output was not split.

You might kill two birds with one stone by adding an EQ or variable control line driver that provides more voltage while giving you independent zone controls for tower, in-boat and subwoofer.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:10 AM
rek's Avatar
rek rek is offline
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Location: Southeast
Posts: 168
I'm going to assume you have a low gain because your splitting the RCA's at the head unit passively. Not that your signal source has a low input level such as a mp3, bluetooth, etc. In other words, you get the low volume even if you play a CD or the radio from the source unit.

If so, you might want to try a preamp that has multi output such as the jl audio cl-rlc, an active crossover, or eq with multi-outputs. The JL unit is inexpensive, high power preamp, and has a volume knob which you can leave all the way up under the dash or use it to take control of your system volume. (tower vs. in cabin)

Keep in mind high voltage pre-amps are designed to lower noise between the source unit and the amp not give amps more output. Any modern amp can handle as little as .2v input to 6v ouput. (all the way up vs all the way down amp gain) So, i think splitting RCA's actively instead of passively would probably fix your problem regardless if the preamp is 2v, 4v, etc.
Mastercraft X9 MCX (2014-Now)
Four Winns H180 (2008 - 2014)
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:07 AM
TURSTY TURSTY is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Boat: Mastercraft x-Star 2001
Location: New Zealand
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Thanks for the answers guys. I will double check the same volume levels are experienced with a CD (I was using Bluetooth which is what I usually play from. Cant remember the last time I used a CD)

If its the same, I will have a look into a line driver of some sort....or a EQ.

I have heard that the power acustic amps are complete junk (not suprising for the price) and people have said I will be lucky to see 1/5th the rated output, so if the line driver doesn't work, Ill flick this amp and get a better one.
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