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Old     (stewart)      Join Date: Feb 2006       02-02-2008, 12:45 PM Reply   
Currently on my tower I am running 4 speakers that have an RMS rating of 175w @ 4ohm.

Powering each pair of speakers I have a Soundstream Tarantula TRA 800.2 The amp is rated at RMS 2 x 200 at 4ohm and RMS 2 x 400 at 2 ohms. Which means I am getting 200w per speaker at 2 ohms, right?

I want to increase the overall power and sound (loudness) of the system. So, would I be better off switching to a 4 x 150w @ 4ohm amp?

I was looking at the Zapco 1000.4, Alpine Pdx-4.150 or the Planet Audio BB4.150. All of these amps are rated at 4 x 150w @ 4 ohm.

I was hoping to not double my amps and just replce my 800.2 that is why I am looking at 4 channels.

Any ideas or thoughts?

Old     (brit_rider)      Join Date: May 2004       02-02-2008, 4:02 PM Reply   
You are correct that (pending how you wired them) your 4 speakers are seeing 200 watts each and the amp is being worked hard at 2ohms.

Switching to a 4 x 150 watt amp will decrease the power going to each speaker but will allow the amp to run cooler and (depending on how decent your amp is) with less distortion at the higher volumes. Ideally when running full range speakers you want to be seeing as little distortion as possible which is why 4ohm running is generally best and buying the best amp you can afford helps alot!

The limiting factor right now is your speakers, you simply can;t expect a huge amount of sound from them (assuming they are 6.5" drivers - what are they?!) - that's where I'd make the initial change. You get what you pay for with Tower Audio. Many will direct you towards NVS, Trident, Wet Sounds etc.. which are all great pro-audio brands. I'd look into those products and then later down the line (or now if you can afford it) a high quality amplifier by a brand such as Kicker (My first choice for value and quality), Zapco, JL etc..

This is all just my personal preference. I'll announce right now that I'm a kicker dealer so am biased!
Old     (pdqwrx)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-02-2008, 11:01 PM Reply   
Stewert- You are looking at a zero sum gain situation....Why not do a Boston GT28? You should notice a huge increase in output with almost 500 true watts of very effecient power per channel. The GT28 is designed to run at 2 ohms so it won't get overly hot and it sounds amazing with lots of speaker control. The problem with doing a 4 channel is that there are very few 4 channels that actually make more then 200 real watts per channel. Unless you are looking to spend $9000.00 on the Zapco C2k4Kw (Which is really two, two channel amps in a common case). In which case you could do 2 GT28's and get almost the same performance.

Old     (stewart)      Join Date: Feb 2006       02-03-2008, 9:33 AM Reply   

I am currently running a Soundstream TRA 800.2. The RMS is 200w @ 4ohm, 400w x 2 @ 2ohm meaning i'm getting 200w @ 2ohm per speaker.

The GT-28 RMS is 200w x 2 @ 4ohm, 350w x 2 @2ohm, which would be 175w @ 2ohm per speaker.

That is less than what I have. Is there something I am missing?

I was thinking 150w x 4 @ 4ohm would be a little less powerful but more efficient thus making more volume. I guess I am wrong in thinking that?
Old     (pdqwrx)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-03-2008, 2:01 PM Reply   
Stewart- The Boston GT28 is VERY underrated and is rated at 12.5 volts not the 14.4 that many companies use for there power ratings (Soundstream even says that there will work up to 16 volts). The problem with this is that in a boat with a 150 amp alternator, once you start pulling more then 150 amps of current from the boat, the voltage will start to drop at an alarming rate. Not to mention that most alternators make there power at about 2000 rpm and up and not at idol. This means that most amps will never reach there power potential simply because of the power potential in the boat. The everyone says that they have a huge bank of batteries, thatís great but a fully charged battery is only 12.6 volts. The rest of this is a mix of experience and opinion. The Boston amps seem to offer really good speaker control at the limit of the amps power output. Some people call this "soft clipping". Other amps will really start to distort as they reach the end of there useful power output this is called "Hard Clipping" Both amps may be the same rated power but a soft clipping amp will have more useable power. The Boston amps are also fairly efficient with regards to power consumption. This is also very important on a boat with limited battery and charging ability. There are many good amps you can choose, I just know the Boston amps very well as I own them. I am running 2 GT28's in my VW GTI with less strain on the charging system then my cheaper Chinese amps I was originally using that had the same power ratings and didn't play near as loud.

Good luck deciding....
By the way, to get your tower speakers a measurable 3 db louder (Twice as loud) you will need to double your power. So your goal would need to be 400 watts per speaker. Ouch, good luck running that for very long...
Old     (pdqwrx)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-03-2008, 2:02 PM Reply   
Stewart- I guess what I am saying is that with a GT28 vs the Tra 800.2- You will get more power more often in the real world that is your boat.

Old     (stewart)      Join Date: Feb 2006       02-04-2008, 9:24 AM Reply   
Scott, thanks!

I've got the Soundstream gain cranked all the way up to push (4) Bullet Hollow Points. That is what was scaring me a bit and making me want a more powerful amp.

What about the interior speakers and sub. Right now I have the TRA 960.4 pushing (8) Polk Audio db650's and the sub is pushing an Alumapro 12".

Does BA have a 5 channel that would run the (8) Polks and the sub? Any other thoughts?

Also,I could just keep the TRA 500.1 and go with another BA amp to run the interior speakers, which one?
Old     (pdqwrx)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-04-2008, 11:19 AM Reply   
Stewart- The Soundstream amp just seems to run out of steam very quickly. The GT28 on the other hand seems to provide a ton of output.

As for the other speakers....Are you trying to stay all one company?

If not, you can run a GT28 to the tower, your TRA800.4 to the boat speakers and your 500.1 to the sub. Or you could buy a GT24 for the sub. That would put about a 1000 watts on the tower, 600-700 on the sub and your TRA on the boat speakers. Probably about doubling your boats power.

If you want to keep it all the same then ad a GT42 for the boat speakers.

Boston makes a bitchin 5 channel (GT50) but it only has about 300 watts RMS on the sub channel.

Old     (stewart)      Join Date: Feb 2006       02-04-2008, 11:42 AM Reply   
Old     (tonality)      Join Date: Mar 2005       02-04-2008, 1:49 PM Reply   
I can second that GT50...and while the RMS on the sub was kind of disappointing to me on paper, i'm using it to push 1 JL 10w6v2 and it. absolutely. pounds. Clean and smooth all day long. LOVE that GT50, and boston had a tough road breaking into my narrow-minded JL bias :-)


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