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WHY IS MY AMPLIFIER GETTING HOT???

WHY IS MY AMPLIFIER GETTING HOT???

There could be many reasons why the amplifier gets hot. The first question is, does it get hot instantly or does it take a while? This is a very important question. If it gets hot very quickly, then there’s probably a speaker that is shorted out or almost ready to short out.  If the amplifier gets hot quickly but works and THEN thermals off (like 10-20 minutes) then…the first Test is checking the impedance of your speakers. At this time, you should probably push the cone in and out EVENLY (and slowly) to see if there are any shorts when you move it.  The second test…is there a voltage drop?  Get your meter out and see if the voltage drops rapidly when “pounding your system”??   If so, there could be an issue with your battery and or charging system.   Or bad connections, OR you’re using CCA wire (NEVER use CCA wire!  It voids our warranty on CICADA amplifiers if you do!!!)  Get that checked out.  Voltage drops of MORE than 0.7 volts are NO good!!!

The next thing to do is readjust gains. Make sure they are set “correctly”.  This is usually the number one question tech support ever gets. Is how to set gains correctly.  This is actually very easy. But some people try to make it very difficult. The problem is there are so many people on the Internet spouting all kinds of ways to do it. Some champion that you use a voltmeter, or you use a scope or use a DD1+ or many other ways to do this. I’m old school. The easiest way is to set it up by ear. The issue is you’re dealing with music, not sine wave, so setting up gains with Sinewave is a waste of time.  It works, but.  You’ll have a super clean. Low distortion system that does not “Hit”.  Sounds good, just doesn’t play very loud.  That’s because music is dynamic and has a crest factor of 10-20 dB (depending on the music, who recorded it, etc.)  It is super easy to set gains.  At least if you do it my way.  Use some dynamic music of YOUR choice, something you listen to all the time and something that is NOT super compressed, meaning NOT some 128mps MP3 recording your brother gave you, (or…that you yanked – legally… off the internet. Wink Wink…Right..)

  1. Play the music you’re chosen in whatever head unit you are using. A head unit with MORE voltage out is ALWAYS the best choice.  And BTR’s (Blue Tooth Receivers), are not a great choice as they typically are less than 2 volts out.  Whatever you use, it is what it is.   The gain setting will NOT change UNLESS you change source.  Meaning if your head unit has BT built-in ….does the BT have the same signal strength (voltage) as CD or AUX.  For example, let’s say that the CD output off your radio is 5 volts out (measured with a scope and a 1kHz Sinewave).  What does BT put out (voltage-wise) at the same volume setting as the CD?  Or AUX?   If these are ALL different output voltages, then you have ISSUES!!   Because it will be very difficult to set gain.  IF you ONLY use BT (which is typical) then set gains up using BT and again your music selection.
  2. Now go to your amplifier(s) While playing YOUR music set the High Pass levels. The assumption here is you’ve preset crossovers already.  IF not, do it NOW before setting gains.   With music playing on your Mids/Highs  – adjust gain UP till the speakers distort.  One there, turn it back a hair.
  3. Turn the system off and then back on again to a normal level. Now set rear speaker gains.  And then on to sub (if you have one)
  4. That’s it! Wasn’t that EASY!

Listen IF you want to set your gains with a DD1+ or a voltmeter or a scope…I don’t care.  Not my system.  Look I’ve set gains on 1,000’s of IASCA cars over the last 20 yrs.   Helped write the damn rule books.  Trained 10’s of thousands of installers all over the world.  Hell, I have 5 Oscilloscopes here in my office?  And how many do you have??  So knock yourself out.  See if it is any better or quicker?  (NOPE!!)