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Old 06-25-2003, 08:22 PM
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Is BASS an alternator killer??

Hello board, I am planning on adding 2 10 or 12 inch subs and an 800watt amp to my 300E for a little bass. I wanted to know if the subs and amp would cause an early death to my alternator. I already have HID's/Xenons. This is my original alternator we're talking about here. I have replaced my voltage regulator though. What's the verdict??
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:42 PM
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800 watts is more than a little bass. An 80 watt RMS amp would be more than ample for most applications. High power amps use switching power supplies to increase 13.6 volts to the higher voltages required to obtain those prodigious amounts of output power. So if the new amp draws an average of 10 amps or more, I wouldn't feel comfortable with an alternator rated less than 55 amps. But it's the battery that's really more important. Look into one of those new "spiral" wrapped plates dry cells. They don't have models for every car, but they are truly "state of the art" in battery technology. I designed high end car audio for a time in my carreer, and I can assure you that a high quality 100 watt amp is going to sound much better than a cheap 800 watt unit. Choose wisely. Tod
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:37 PM
apb apb is offline
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Optima battery (possibly yellow for demanding audio) and a capacitor for reserve power is probably what you need.
But that seems too much bass . . . Your cramping our style if you have a benz that's jumping up and down at red lights.
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:59 PM
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I got a 300sd with the stock alternator and an 800w amp powering 2 12s. Everything sounds good and I haven't had any problems with anything. I've been running this setup for about 2 years now. You should be fine I'm not sure how much power your headlights are drawing though but it can't be that much.
W126 1983 300SD 286,000 miles and ticking
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:25 AM
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Yeah, HID's are supposed to consume LESS power than regular halogen lamps. Get a capacitor first, and see if your lights dim when the bass hits.
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Old 07-07-2003, 11:50 PM
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I have 1800 watts 4 10's and 4 6x9's on a smaller alt. and she's fine...

you should have no problems
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Old 07-08-2003, 02:53 PM
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Those 800W are probably a peak rating. It'll be more like 75-100W at 12V into a single 4ohm load. Alpine's top "1800 watt rated" amp only gives you 350W at 12V into 4 ohms with a decent THD. That 1800W rating is a burst of peak power into one channel only with a speaker coil-horrifying amount of distortion. So don't worry about your alternator just yet... I'd echo Todd's comment about a high quality 100W amp vs. some over-hyped 800W amp.
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Old 07-08-2003, 05:07 PM
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yeah i don't like those highschool kids that say that they have a 4000 watt system. when u look at what they have and break it down to RMS its about 500 watts. and if u bench test them it would probably be 300watts (cheapo stuff).

i've done a bench test on a pyramid amp and it put out about a 1/4 of what it says. ofcourse all the big numbers are Peak @ 14.4 volts.

high end amps will have rating at what voltage and resistance.

for my experience i had a ran a 300watt rms amp on a 55amp alt with no problem. but it would be nice to keep an extra battery or jumper things in case **** happens
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:24 PM
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I have 2 amps in my car, a MTX Thunder amp that its rated at 700wats, but puts out about 170X2 at 4ohm that pushes my 2 12's and another amp, a Rockford Fosgate 4 channel amp that puts out about 40watts a channel,.
Saturday my alternator died, was it underpowered? was i drawing to much power? It has been running fine for almost 2 months. Also it is the origional alternator. Also does anyone know where i can get a mercedes quality alternator that is rated at a higher power rating, (if thats what i need) If not i will go to the local junkyard.
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Old 08-18-2003, 09:26 PM
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Here is an interesting thread:
Installed a 143A alternator in my W124 (86-95E-class) - with photos

If you're concerned about a drain on the alternator, wouldn't a capacitor help?
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:48 AM
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Can someone tell me how much the power usage and heat produced from an amplifier varies as the volume is increased/decreased.

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Old 08-19-2003, 04:44 PM
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So do you suggest a new oem altanator with a capacitator or just a higher powered alternator?
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Old 08-19-2003, 05:50 PM
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This is not my area of expertise... but if you can get a bigger alternator in as the folks on the thread I posted earlier did... why not? You have to get a new one anyway, right?

A capacitor for your audio system may or may not be needed... but it is relatively cheap and certainly would not hurt things. I'd probably put one in if it were my car.
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Old 08-21-2003, 11:28 AM
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As the author of that post, I'll agree... just upgrade the alternator. The smaller stock ones are wimpy. You can get a 143A unit for about $100. Run the beefiest cable possible to the amps, 4 gauge minimum, and if you plan a real serious install (or multple large amps) run two 4ga cables or one zero gauge. A capacitor will help cure "disco headlights" when the bass hits, or disco dash lights if you have true HID's. Phonenix Gold makes a SWEET 10-farad cap that looks like an amp, and has an integral power distribution block (Tantrum PowerGrid, cheapest source is on eBay, but probably non-authorized so no warranty even though they're new). Otherwise a standard cap or two (1 farad) may be ok, but do the alternator FIRST, and the cap second (Not the other way around!!).

BTW: 800 watts does not always equal 800 watts. A 50 watt Fosgate, Orion, or Soundstream amp will usually put out WAY more power than an "800 watt" Legacy, etc or similar cheap amp. A good hint of power output is what the amp's fuse size is. My Soundstream Reference 1000sx has an 80 amp fuse, for example, and is rated 200 watts per channel into 2 channels at 4 ohms. If your 800w amp has a 30A fuse, you can bet it can't put out serious power. What brand and model amp do you have?
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Old 08-22-2003, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by gsxr
As the author of that post, I'll agree... just upgrade the alternator. The smaller stock ones are wimpy. You can get a 143A unit for about $100.
What manufacturer? should I go with another bosch? where can I pickup one for $100 ?
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