Audio and ElectronicsDiscuss in-car entertainment systems, audio and video systems, car alarms and other electronics topics.
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I've got a single amp, single sub setup, with an inline Capacitor, forget the brand, but I'm pretty certain it's 1farad. Grounding kit under the hood. Positive to Cap comes directly from Bat, ground goes into a bolt at the top of the seat mounting With an ohm meeter I confirmed this is a very good ground point. Been working perfectly for 1 year.
Today, amp sounds like it's cutting out while driving to work. Open the seat hatch, unbolt and move the ground around, put it back, screwed it tight...that didn't fix the problem. With the car just on, not running, the inside lights were diming and the led on the Amp was cutting in and out with the overhead light as bass would come and go.
I ran a wire outside the car from neg bat terminal to the negative on the cap, and it did something funky when the car was first turned on (not started, just turned on)...Radio off, the sub started thumping like a clock for about 30 beats, then quiet. Turned on the radio, and it was cranking just like there was nothing wrong with it. Then, i pulled this extra ground out of the picture, and the radio still worked great for a good 5 minutes solid. Inside lights didn't dim at all. I turned the car off, back on, still worked just fine.
What the hell was that? I'm not going to presume that this is fixed, because I've been there before, I figure something's culprit. I'm going to search for adequate grounding and either add to or move the existing ground. I don't want to run another cable from under the hood if i can avoid it.
Anyway, how do you test a Cap? It's old, been in three cars now, probably 7, 8 years old? I don't want to replace it if it's working fine, but I'm not sure what to do to test it...
sounds like its time for a new one. i personally dont like usuing them as to me they are just a band aid. i would do the big3 wiring mod i just did it it made a pretty decent improvement, windows go up faster slightly easier starts and no headlight dimming. also i would recommend a new battery. caps do work but to me u could spend the money on other things. my buddy uses them all the time he has to replace them like every 3-5 years.
the big3 is basically a little more than what u have. (1) 4AWG or bigger run to a new chassis ground (2) motor block to the same chassis ground (3) battery + to alt with an in line fuse rated for the size wire u use. it improved starts,eliminated dimming and makes the windows go up faster. im running 2 12''s with a 1200watt amp and i can crank it at idle with the lights on and it wont dim.
It really sounds to me like a bad ground. Could also be the RCA connections that are sending an extremely distorted signal to the amp, double check and make sure the rca's aren't touching any metal, or aren't getting pinched hard enough to pierce to the wire anywhere along the way.
I guess it could also be the Cap but like bigpopaj369 says most people with decent setups do not use Caps as it is just a band-aid at best and a pointless marketing Scheme for the companies to make some extra profit at worst. Try eliminating the Cap from the equation all together for testing.
Last edited by DMCfirestar500; 03-24-2010 at 10:01 AM.
I Ordered a new CAP, hasn't gotten here yet. But I've been troubleshooting this some more. I have a feeling the Amp is the culprit. If I disconnect the line in, all troubles are gone. As soon as I connected it back again, thumpthumpthump. I can suppress it some with the remote volume connection, makes it more intermittent. But I've added a better ground to the system, and still have the problems. I ordered a new amp, another bazooka. Maybe not the best brand out there, but the price is right and I don't need to get/run another remote volume control to it, just use everything I've already got back there. I'll put in the new CAP too.
Here's the Amp, any of you got anything good/bad to say about it?
should have save the money. a cap will not help much...
move the ground to another part of the car. the seat bolt may be ok...but there's usually some sorta locktite or other compounds in the bolt threads. i suggest grounding it somewhere else. but swap the amp, it might be the culprit.
1989 Maxima SE: Sold
2006 Maxima SE: RIP
2013 Accord EX-L V6: Current ride
u definitely should have saved up and got something better i did the same thing and spent $150 on a boss amp that blew in 4 weeks. i found one like 700 times better than the one i had and it was literally only $30 more.
For those of you disregarding the Cap, why? Have you ever used one? I have, and it's an obvious difference for many different reasons. Bass response being the most obvious.
Seriously, have any of you ever used one? You do know that all your amplifiers have them inside as well right?
I'm surprised at the discontent for something that obviously works. As far as the battery instead, it's roughly the same solution, at least it provides the same result. But the bat requires a bit more space I'm not willing to give up.
In the end, it did turn out to be a ground issue. But not at the points in the car, rather the ground right on the amp screw was loose. I never got in to check that until I pulled the whole box out.
I went ahead and put in the new Cap and it delivers. The new amp wasn't as impressive as I had hoped, sending it back. I expected it to be more powerful then my current amp, and it was far less. I was dumbfounded. Not sure what went wrong, unless it's an impedance things. I'm bridged on the current amp, but the new amp is a mono , therefore bridging is moot. But it still should have been better.
Anyway, for the most part, problem has been solved, an didn't cost that much to fix it/make things better.
bazooka amp + cap would cost more than just getting a much better amp. This is one of the main reasons a lot of people don't like caps.
The other is they're like plug wires. Everyone who paid for them knows for sure they help, but no objective measurements show any difference. And the only info manufacturers provide is completely useless. Wow, 2 more sparklefairymagics when an uncapped system can only put out .23? That's a huge difference!
I'm convinced. When the time comes to actually upgrade, I won't go with a Bazooka again. The one I have in there now I picked up about 7+ years ago. Still seems to be working great, I just wanted more punch.
Turns out I owe Obama $900 in taxes this year, so I guess it's a good thing I sent back that new POS Bazooka and saved the cash.