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Help me talk some sense into a teenage son (1st Generation Audio Advice)

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
Killer [OP] Killer is offline
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Help me talk some sense into a teenage son (1st Generation Audio Advice)

My son (16 year old & 6'-4") has a 1998 TRD Tacoma xTended cab v6 with a stock alternator. About 20 years ago, I worked as an installer and salesperson at a stereo store (until I decided it had to be away to make an easier living).

So before I gave him the Tacoma, I installed the following system for him: Pioneer Double Din DVD 3200BT, Alpine PDX-5 Class D amp (75w x 4 + 300w sub channel), 3 Pairs of MB Quart component 4 ohm speakers (front doors, rear panels & Q Form Kick Panels) and a JL Audio Stealthbox (sealed with one 4 ohm 10" JL sub).

I also installed everything else on my profile (he paid nothing, we owe nothing on this truck and I fixed everything wrong with this truck). When he turned 16, I gave him the truck with the understanding that I am doing nothing else on this truck because I have to start saving for my other son's (15) car.

Needless to say, he wants more bump (but, he is happy with the mids and highs). He took out the Stealthbox and installed my old MTX Thunderform box (out of my old 2001 Dodge truck) sealed with two 10" MTX 4500 subs (total sub load 4 ohms). The two 10's do bump more but, now he is wanting to put them in a ported box.

The ported box will take up most of his back seat (so I don't like this idea). I am trying to get him a custom ported box that will only take up one back seat and will not come up past the window line. Do you think a ported box that size will be louder?

Also he wants my old Orion 800.4 Class A/B amp (100w x 4) just for the subs, I told him that his alternator would not be able to provide enough current for the Orion and Alpine amps. Needless to say, he does not believe this and just wants to hook this up.

I tried to explain to him the difference between 8 ohm (each MTX is 8 ohm) and 4 ohm sub (JL Audio).

In return he wants to sale the MTX Thunderform box (unloaded) and the JL Audio Stealthbox (loaded).

So tell me what you think about the ported box and/or adding the extra amplifier? Or if you have another suggestion, please let me know. I just don't want to see him waste his money.

Btw, he reads this website too, so please no flaming.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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As an old timer I would say you have been way more than generous.
Offer your skills as an installer and help install anything he wants to upgrade the system that HE buys.

Work helps build a great understanding of value.
Best of luck on the truck system.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OH-MAN View Post
As an old timer I would say you have been way more than generous.
Offer your skills as an installer and help install anything he wants to upgrade the system that HE buys.

Work helps build a great understanding of value.
Best of luck on the truck system.
this^.

also from everything ive heard ported boxes are louder but have to be bigger...and also they are not as responsive (accurate) as sealed boxes?


I am no expert, im am just relaying what Ive read on multiple forums.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
My pee parts itch
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Does your son have a job? I only ask this because he will need the money to replace the alternator when the rectifier burns up.

He's 16 so unfortunately it will be all bass for the next 4 to 40 years.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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when ever putting that much power through a truck its always a good idea to upgrade an alternator. you can get a 160 amp on ebay for like 160 bucks!!

i dont know the math.. but how many amps does that add up too? the stock alternator is an 80amp, so maybe show him the math and he will understand?

or let him do what he wants, when his alternator cant keep up he will need to order one and wait a week for it to get there so he can drive his truck.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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geeze, sounds like he already has a nice system. Like someone else said, you have been extremely helpful and if he isnt satisfied then make him buy the other stuff and you help install it. Im 17 and buy all my stuff, but I would rather have armor or tires or recovery gear or somethin like that especially if i already have a pretty badass system.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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Alright....

The reason for the BUMP is the sub channel on that Alpine amp. 300 watts isnt that much and that PDX5 is a pretty efficient amplifier. I would use that Orion amp to run the MB quarts and sell the PDX amp to get a larger SUB amp. Since the final load of the two 10s is 4ohms then a larger 2ch amp bridged would be the best way to go.

On that type of power you do not need to upgrade your alternator. That system shouldn't draw too many amps. Not until you get into the 2k RMS range then electrical system upgrades should be on your list. Do the "BIG 3" that mean upgrade three wires under the hood for better more stable power. The Big three consist of 1. The power wire from the Alternator to the battery (fuse if going bigger then 4ga). 2. Upgrade the battery ground wire. 3. Upgrade the engine block to frame ground wire.

What is the RMS on those MTX woofers? Also what type of music does he listen to?
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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It sounds to me like you've been more than generous to your son. But he is only 16 and will want to bump for a few more years. IMO Let him buy his stuff and you just help him install it. Just an idea but you could run a 10" Kicker L3 in a nice slot port box. That shouldn't take up too much space, will sound awesome, and will get more than enough bump in a tiny X-cab. You can get the 2 ohm version and wire in series for a finial 4 ohm load and your amp will push the L3 right in the middle of it's rms range.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
On that type of power you do not need to upgrade your alternator.
The stock alternator is 80 amps. Conservatively, with accessories the truck itself is pulling 30 to 50 amps. Now add a 40 amp pull figuring a 500 watt usage considering he's 16 and likes the bass. A state of discharge has already occurred and it will be new alternator time sooner than later.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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My suggestion would be to let him sell the subs and the boxes if he can but ONLY if he knows what he'll get in advance and by knowing that you will not be funding him further.

The Orion amp is not needed. 300watts is plenty for a good amount of bump in a small cab like that. A ported box with a good efficient speaker will get VERY loud off that amount of power. Tell him to research subs that are more efficient than what he has now that are 2 or 4ohms (final impedance on the amp). The sub should be one that does well ported too.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:23 AM   #12
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You sound like you've been overwelmingly generous and i would let the buck stop there. If he wants more let him learn the value of a dollar. A ported box is going to take up quite a bit of space and if not properly tuned is going to sound much worse. Personally i think these small cabins sound the best with sealed enclosures. ported doesn't necessarily mean louder. A properly build and spec'd sealed enclosure will make a lot of bass.

Another option is you could drop in a 2ohm sub to that jl stealthbox, and you would be able to get that full 300w from that amp, instead of the 150w @4ohm you're getting now.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexterdog View Post
The stock alternator is 80 amps. Conservatively, with accessories the truck itself is pulling 30 to 50 amps. Now add a 40 amp pull figuring a 500 watt usage considering he's 16 and likes the bass. A state of discharge has already occurred and it will be new alternator time sooner than later.
So that amp is doing a full 500 watts all the time? Everytime he turns the stereo on that amp is drawing 40 amps? I mean what is he listening to? Not music... even at full tilt that alpine amp isn't going to kill that alternator.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:30 PM   #14
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Killer,

first, I think you have been very generous. My parents also provided my first car, but I paid for that when I totaled it. I did buy all my stereo stuff myself, but I will leave that alone.

To clear up a few things listed above -

The Alpine PDX-5 does the same power at 2 or 4 ohm, so changing subs from 4 to 2ohm would be a waste.

No amp actually puts out anywhere near "rated" power continuously. Or, draws full power from the cars electrical system all the time.

A ported box is almost always louder than sealed. Given an ideal situation, normally about 3db louder, or the equivalent of doubling the power to the same speaker in a sealed box. So if he wants bump, thats the easiest, most efficient way to go.

Like Steven said above, a good sub in a well designed ported box, that 350w could blow you away.

I would probably stay with class D amps on that small of an alternator if adding serious power, but you probably wont shorten life much, for general use.

If he (you) are willing to give up one side or seat in the back, even staying below the window lines, you should be able to get a ton of performance, fairly cheaply. A ported 12 or 15 should fit, (Dayton HO 15 in ~3 cubes, tuned around 28hz can get stupid loud in a house, on only 200w...) and will be a fantastic choice.

Alternately, sell the PDX, get a decent 2 or 4 channel for the mids/highs, and a little more powerful sub amp, and something like a Type R 12 in a ported box will be fantastic as well.

This is not to say a sealed box isnt plenty, but for some people (including myself 10 years ago), loud is important.

I dont think it is a mistake, but maybe a bit misguided. The information you gave him was correct, and probably more sensible for most. But if we cant do stupid, inconsequential things as a teenager, where would we be?
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