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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can the E's alternator handle an 800-1000 watts/rms system? The alternator's rating is like 44/45A so I'm sceptical. I hope I looked at it wrong.

I haven't really decided yet on what to put in amp wise. Maybe 2x 2-channel or 1x 4- channel (total up to about 400w), plus a mono amp for a sub or two (as much as 600w).

TIA
 

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[credit: http://www.eatel.net/~amptech/elecdisc/caraudio.htm - Eatel]

Alternators:
The alternator supplies all of the power to all of the electrical accessories (amplifiers, lights, power windows, power seats...) as long as the engine is running. Upgrading the alternator is generally the most cost effective way to add more performance to your system. In the next few paragraphs I'll attempt to explain why other remedies may not solve your problem and may even make it worse.

Many people want to know when they should replace their alternator. The short answer is... when it fails. If you just want the battery to remain charged and your present alternator is keeping it charged, it's doing its job. If you want a system to be as close to perfect as possible and money is no object, replace your alternator when you install the amplifiers.

Extra batteries:
Extra batteries are great if you want to listen to your system with the engine off. While the alternator is charging, the extra batteries will only draw current which could otherwise be going to your amplifiers. For proof, all you have to do is measure the voltage while the engine is running. It should be approximately 13.5-14.4 volts DC. Then turn the engine off and measure the battery voltage again. Now it'll be around 12-12.5 volts. Whenever the voltage at the battery is up around 14 volts, there is current flowing into the battery.

One Farad capacitors:
Large, one Farad, capacitors only help to maintain the charging voltage for a tiny fraction of a second under high current demand situations. They do a fine job of filling small dips in voltage and may help reduce your lights from dimming but they won't really solve your current supply problems if your alternator can't keep up.

NOTE: Capacitors DO NOT increase the charging system's voltage.

Battery Isolators:
Battery isolators only prevent draining your starting battery when playing your system with the engine off. Most of the time they will actually rob power from your system. Diode type isolators will usually have a small voltage drop across the diodes (approximately .4 - .7 volts). This loss of voltage will dissipate power in the form of heat and unless you're freezing to death, it doesn't help matters. Solenoid type isolators don't have as much voltage loss as the diode based isolators but the solenoid coil does pull current. Some coils may pull as much as 3 amps of current. Now 3 amps of current isn't much but if you're using 2 solenoids and you're already having trouble with a weak alternator, it'll just add to your problem.

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... now, all that being said - I have a 500 watt (rms) system with 2 amplifiers and the alt just barely keeps up. Under extreme loads voltage can drop slightly under 12 with a very small amount of headlight dim so I can't imagine an 800 watt system would be too much worse but you be the judge. You're correct with regard to the alternator - it's not very powerful and in addition, it's too noisy for competition or audiophile standards (honda alts are notorious for this).

If you have the money, I'd suggest upgrading to a high output alt of better quality especially if you wil go above 800 watts rms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.

I guess I'll just wait and see what happens after adding amps in. If I find it untolerable, then I'll look into better alts. I'm just afraid of voiding any warranty, specially since the alternator most likely will be replaced by a non honda part. Maybe I'll try a cap first before replacing the alt. Or, I'll just start with a more modest setup and see if I like that. Maybe 2 Soundstream Rubicon II 300.2, one doing 75x2 and one bridged doing 300x1. - or - 2 RF Power 451S's.
 

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The Rubi 75 x 2 is a good approach for the fronts. Maybe use head unit power for rear fill and consider using a class D mono amp for the sub(s). The class D amps make big power in a smaller physical footprint with lower power requirements as compared to a class AB amp of the same output. While not quite as clean as class AB, you (and 99.9999999% of humans who are able to hear) won't hear it at all in the bass range. :D

P.S. A cap won't help, in fact it will make your alt work even harder trying to keep it charged constantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again :thumbs up: :D
I thought about going with a D-class sub amp. Maybe a RF Power 501bd (300w RMS X 1 @ 4ohms, 500 @ 2), but it's 13" wide. Or just stick with Soundstream and get the Rubi 500.1 (200 x 1 @ 4, or 400 @ 2).
 

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[quote:629fb796e6="ubersam"]Thanks again :thumbs up: :D
I thought about going with a D-class sub amp. Maybe a RF Power 501bd (300w RMS X 1 @ 4ohms, 500 @ 2), but it's 13" wide. Or just stick with Soundstream and get the Rubi 500.1 (200 x 1 @ 4, or 400 @ 2).[/quote:629fb796e6]

In the past I was not a fan of MTX gear but over the past couple of years they have *really* gotten their act together on their amp line - especially their class D stuff. Being closely tied to a car audio shop, I can have just about any amp I want but when it got down to business, I wound up going with MTX because of the size mostly.

The 821D puts out a minimum of 250w rms @ 4ohm and 500w rms @ 2 ohm at 12.5v and up to 500/800 @ 2/4 ohms respectively at a 14.4v. This is very respectable considering the footprint is 11.5" x 9.75" x 2.1" with the big rubber feet, and those can come off making it even smaller. As a bonus this amp only costs about $275 street.

Couple this amp with a dual voice coil 12" or 15" high end sub like a JL or Eclipse and you've got enough clean bass to hurt yourself badly. :wink:

Check it out here: http://www.mtx.com/caraudio/products/amplifiers/thunder801D.cfm
 
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