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Car amps. Educate me.
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Ursan Offline
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Car amps. Educate me.
Okay, so here's the deal.

My car came with a pyramid amp in the trunk. I have no idea how many watts or anything it's running.

It's powered by a heavy power line running from the battery. If I had to guess, it's something like a 6-8 gauge. (about as think as a pencil, maybe slightly thicker)

My stereo is an older Blaupunct MP3000. I like this stereo just fine.

My issues are:

1: The amp doesn't shut off when I shut the car off. I would think if the radio is off the amp would shut off.

2: Occasionally one or both rear speakers (driven off the amp)will stop working. If I shut the radio off for a minute or 2 and back on, they will start working. The front speakers (driven off the head unit) continue to work fine.

I'm thinking the amp unit isn't wired correctly, or there's something just plain wrong with it.

If I were to replace it, is there a not terribly expensive unit suggestion?

Before I got the car, the only time I heard about Pyramid wasn't in a good light. Are they bad units?

I don't know what model it is. It's aluminum with blue accent with a pair of analog meters on the top of it. Light blue backlighting. It's fed by the radio with a pair of RCA cables, the aforementioned power cable and a ground that doesn't seem to me large enough to be a proper ground. Perhaps its grounded by the base?

Is there a relay I can use to have it shut off with the car?

I'll try to get pics upon request if that will help.

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
09-15-2011 01:56 PM
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Ursan Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Okay, it's not a Pyramid, (prolly would have helped if I read the danged thing) It's a Maxxsonics (CRUNCH USA?) Drive V-150. http://www.shopping.com/75W-x-2-Amplifie...views?sb=1

I've never heard of them. It does have a ground cable, but I don't know where it terminates.

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
(This post was last modified: 09-15-2011 02:16 PM by Ursan.)
09-15-2011 02:14 PM
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Orie Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
(09-15-2011 01:56 PM)Ursan Wrote:  Okay, so here's the deal.

My car came with a pyramid amp in the trunk. I have no idea how many watts or anything it's running.

Find that out at some point. A single amp probably won't be enough to hurt the stock charging system though.

(09-15-2011 01:56 PM)Ursan Wrote:  It's powered by a heavy power line running from the battery. If I had to guess, it's something like a 6-8 gauge. (about as think as a pencil, maybe slightly thicker)

Probably 4awg. Very common.

(09-15-2011 01:56 PM)Ursan Wrote:  1: The amp doesn't shut off when I shut the car off. I would think if the radio is off the amp would shut off.

There should be a "remote on/off" wire hooked up to the accessory power feed. It probably isn't hooked up. The main power from the battery stays hot always (as it needs to pull amps directly from the battery to not cause a voltage drop in the car's main electrical system, thus causing drivability issues)

(09-15-2011 01:56 PM)Ursan Wrote:  2: Occasionally one or both rear speakers (driven off the amp)will stop working. If I shut the radio off for a minute or 2 and back on, they will start working. The front speakers (driven off the head unit) continue to work fine.

I'm thinking the amp unit isn't wired correctly, or there's something just plain wrong with it.

Sounds like the amp may be overheating. Are there any status LEDs on the amp that might indicate a fault? Could also be a wiring problem, if the amp can't pull the "amps" it needs, it will shut down.

(09-15-2011 01:56 PM)Ursan Wrote:  If I were to replace it, is there a not terribly expensive unit suggestion?

Before you replace it, check the wiring. Make sure the remote shut off is hooked up. Make sure the speakers are wired properly and nothing is shorting out (could be the reason the unit shuts down). Make sure the amp's cooling fan is working (should turn on as soon as you push sound through it).

If you replace it now, you might just have the same issue or worse, kill the new unit if you don't eliminate everything else as the issue first.

RIP seaNM9

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
-Albert Einstein
09-15-2011 02:14 PM
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Orie Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
(09-15-2011 02:14 PM)Ursan Wrote:  Okay, it's not a Pyramid, (prolly would have helped if I read the danged thing) It's a Maxxsonics Drive V-150. http://www.shopping.com/75W-x-2-Amplifie...views?sb=1

I've never heard of them. It does have a ground cable, but I don't know where it terminates.

Never heard of em either. Make sure the ground is good and it should be at LEAST the same gauge as the positive feed. It can ground to the body anywhere that is a good contact (a bolt on the body is always my choice, but make sure some newb didn't leave the paint there when they attached it).
09-15-2011 02:17 PM
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Ursan Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Here are the pics.

[Image: IMG_3234.jpg]

[Image: IMG_3233.jpg]

[Image: IMG_3230.jpg]

[Image: IMG_3229.jpg]

[Image: IMG_3228.jpg]

[Image: IMG_3227.jpg]

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
09-15-2011 02:25 PM
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Orie Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Looks like the wiring is correct. That small blue wire called "TURN ON" is the remote on wire i was talking about. The thing looks VERY dusty. Take it all off and clean everything. Use an air compressor to blow out the inside of the amp. That alone may fix your issues. Make a note of where the wires came from and you won't have any trouble. I would track down the ground wire and make sure it's cleanly grounded to the frame. But, it looks like someone did an ok job putting it together.

Blue wire almost looks like the insulation is blocking the contact.

Edit: keep an eye on the "PROTECT" LED when it stops working - does it light up?

RIP seaNM9

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
-Albert Einstein
(This post was last modified: 09-15-2011 02:30 PM by Orie.)
09-15-2011 02:29 PM
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Ursan Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
(09-15-2011 02:29 PM)Orie Wrote:  Looks like the wiring is correct. That small blue wire called "TURN ON" is the remote on wire i was talking about. The thing looks VERY dusty. Take it all off and clean everything. Use an air compressor to blow out the inside of the amp. That alone may fix your issues. Make a note of where the wires came from and you won't have any trouble. I would track down the ground wire and make sure it's cleanly grounded to the frame. But, it looks like someone did an ok job putting it together.

Blue wire almost looks like the insulation is blocking the contact.

Edit: keep an eye on the "PROTECT" LED when it stops working - does it light up?

I can't tell if the "protect" LED comes on because it's usually when I'm driving.

Do those amp default to on? I ask because if the wire isn't connected correctly (at either end) would it power on?

I'll pull it out and give it a good cleaning. Perhaps I'll mount it under the speaker tray or on the back of the rear seats there. I'll give it a good cleaning.

Apparently these are (were) sold at best but about 10 years ago.

If I do decide to replace it, what's a good brand to go with? Would it use the same connections?

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
09-15-2011 04:59 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Car amps. Educate me.
If you want to replace it I can get you CDT amps for very reasonable prices. Or I may have something else brewing in the shop.

The wiring looks OK, but check to be sure it's properly grounded and the power supply is properly connected.
Check for power on the blue turn-on lead with the key off. If it has power it's not wired properly. It should be wired to the remote turn-on on your HU, usually a pwr antenna lead.

If it's cutting out only while driving there could be a variety of issues. Could be the amp powering down or loss of signal to the amp or even bad connection to the speakers. Connections are going to be the big thing to check. If they are good then you may just have a junk amp. It wansn't anything expensive when it was new.

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09-15-2011 05:16 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Do you have 2 amps in the car?

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09-15-2011 05:17 PM
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Ursan Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
(09-15-2011 05:17 PM)badvlvo Wrote:  Do you have 2 amps in the car?

No, just the one. The usual issue is one side or the other would die. I'd check and re-check the connections. I'm almost tempted to open it up and check for bad connections or solder joins.

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
09-15-2011 10:47 PM
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badvlvo Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Why 2 pair of RCA's connected to the amp? That could be part of the problem. One pair will run give signal, what is the other pair doing?

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09-16-2011 10:20 AM
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Ursan Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
(09-16-2011 10:20 AM)badvlvo Wrote:  Why 2 pair of RCA's connected to the amp? That could be part of the problem. One pair will run give signal, what is the other pair doing?

Here are the PDF for that unit. http://www.maxxsonics.net/manuals/crunch...50-600.pdf

That's a good question, RCA are already a +/- feed, if it's only driving a pair of speakers then why are there 4? Unless they also drive the front speakers? Icon_scratch

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
09-16-2011 11:44 AM
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badvlvo Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Unplug the pair from (1) in your instructions, the low-level output jacks UNLESS you are running an amp for the other speakers off that output. That could be part of your problem.

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09-16-2011 01:08 PM
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Ursan Offline
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RE: Car amps. Educate me.
Anyone here do amp repairs? Is it worth it? What's a good replacement for something of similar capabilities?

Volvo Chaos Theory
It has been known that if two Volvos collide at any given time in this dimension then a random small car in a small Russian town will actually disintegrate and cause a rip in the fabric of space and time, this is the only known reason for athletics.
07-09-2013 07:56 PM
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