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Old 05-08-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default I need an expert opinion on amp install

Ok, I have posted before about a Refurb Kicker SX700.5 that I bought and arrived DOA(started smoking on start up). Well, yesterday I got the replacement. This unit wont work for me either. Here is the symptoms (this assumes all gains etc. are in the lowest setting):

When the unit is powered (B+, REM, GND) with nothing else connected it powers on
With the speaker outputs connected (all four channels and sub) the unit stays powered on
When you connect the high level inputs [HLI] the unit goes into protect unless the volume on the HU is set to lowest
With the HLIs removed and an ipod connected to amp1 preamp ins (per kicker instructions) the unit plays BUT if you adjust the gains on amp1 or 2 even slightly the unit goes into protect. The sub channel (amp3) gain and boost can be adjusted quite a bit before the unit goes into protect.

This is how it is connected:

4ga B+ and GND run directly to the positive and negative terminals on the battery. Each cable is less than 5 feet long. B+ is fused with an 80amp Maxi. (kicker calls for 90a which does not exist).
The 4ga cable is actually battery cable from checker auto with pressed on fittings and thin strand wire.
The REM wire is run from an ACC on fuse in the under seat fuse box (18ga wire)
The front channels from the deck are connected to amp1 rear to amp2

Can anybody come up with ideas why this is happening or ways to test for problems? It took a month to get my replacement from this horrible company and I've got a claim in with paypal but Kicker wants me to send it to them for them to fix. I just dont know what to do.

I appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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what head unit are you using?

you GND does not need to run to the battery, ( i think thats how i read it) those are the main things that stick out to me.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:30 PM   #3
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GND to battery won't affect anything. The best place you can go actually. But the length of GND run you have is a bit long though. try taking it to a closer point to the amp to see if any different.

To me it sounds like you have a power issue though to the amp. This 4ga wire your running, is it alot of smaller wire bundled into insulation or larger coper runs inside the insulation? Not that it should make a difference, but im curious i guess. If your GND and power wire are all good.....your fighting junk amps im sorry to say. i have seen them on ebay and they do sell cheap...but it makes you wonder were all the refurbs are coming from. i mean, they are refurb in quantity for a reason. i had thought of buying one before, but the sheer quantity of them on there for sale made me skeptical to buy one in case of problems.

My suggestion, find a small junk amp..something if it smokes you dont care..hit a pawn shop.....pickup a $10-15 amp..or garage sale..... just something cheap....hook it up to your cable runs and see what it does.....
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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1st I am using the factory head unit and thus am required to use the high level inputs.

2nd the power wiring is 4ga fine stranded like you would find in any amp install kit. The only difference is that it has a high temp rating for the insulation. The battery is under the seat very close to the amp so I see no reason not to run the GND back to NEG on the battery. The run is less than 5 feet. The only oddball in this set up is that on the power lead I used about 4 feet of 4ga thick strand (home electrical grade) copper wiring that is commonly used for grounding a house. This goes from the fuse block to the amp. From the fuse block to the battery I used the previously mentioned automotive grade cable with the integrated ring terminal. I know its cheap but thats why i buy refurb amps in the first place .

I'm going to just get my money back I think. Unless you guys really think there is a realistic possiblility that its my wiring. The only difference with house grade 4ga and auto grade is the finer strand wire which could be considered more dense. I know it sounds ghetto but in reality it is very neat and orderly.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:58 PM   #5
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before you send the amp back, install a piece of standard auto battery cable if need be from local auto store..or a piece of auto 4ga from a friend or something and replace the wire from the fuse to the amp. put the amp in back seat if need be to test this if can't find a piece long enough.

im not going to say its the house wiring that is your problem, but i am curious now if it can cause an issue. my own concern would be the insulation on the wiring.... but im no expert on house wiring by any means. take out that variable and let us know what happens?

are you sure you have no bad wiring to speakers causing a short of some sort in them? what are you running speaker wise from the amp? aftermarket...stock...? what ohm are the speakers being ran on it?
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #6
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2 things
First, the house wiring. Get to a finer multi-stranded wire.
Second, the connectors to the wire. Make sure you have GOOD, SOLID connections. If you can, flood-fill the connector to ensure each and every nook is filled and making contact. No matter how big the cable is, if the connector end is not on good, you'll have problems.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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It sounds like theres an internal short in the amp. When there is no input signal the amp is probably drawing a lot of amperage, but not enough for it to go into protect, but when theres any input signal it sends voltage to the speaker which overloads the amp. Measure your speaker leads with an ohmmeter to make sure they arent shorted out. Sounds like am amp defect.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:23 AM   #8
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Well just for the heck of it I'll install some fine-strand wire tomarrow and see if it makes a difference.

When the amp is plugged in it sucks the battery voltage down pretty quickly. Even with the car running, the volt-meter on the dash is well under 12v, but jumps to 14 when the amp is unplugged. I checked the speakers for a short by touching each pair of leads to the amp outputs one at a time and none put the amp into protect (this is with no input). Also the speakers (which are aftermarket BTW) function without issue when connected to the HU directly.

Thanks for the insights I'm just gonna get my money back but I want to rule out any issue that could cause a problem with a new amp and i'm just curious.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:10 AM   #9
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If its drawing a lot of power when its just plugged in then its definately faulty. No question. Get your money back.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:08 AM   #10
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yes, it is sounding like a faulty amp, but as you said, please try replacing that wire before you do....i think we are all curious now.

hearing the part on the voltage was good info to have.
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