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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have a Kicker Competition C12a 4Ohm (supposedly can handle 400w RMS) and I need a amp to drive it. I want to spend under $200 and still get the most possible out of the sub. The amps I'm considering and the prices I can get them for are:

Hifonics Zeus Z400 $189.00
Pioneer GM-X952 (Continuous Power (14.4V): 300Wx1 (4ohm) Bridged) $129.00
Pheonix Gold Tantrum T300.2 $209.00
Pheonix Gold Tantrum T250.2 $179.00
Pheonix Gold QX350.2 $219.00
Precision Power PPI4480 4-Channel Amplifier (240W x 2 Channel: @ 4 Ohms Bridged) $229.95
Power Acoustik SP2X-520 2-Channel Sapphire Series Amplifier $159.95
Rockford Fosgate Punch 250.2 2-Channel Amplifier $189.95
Rockford Fosgate POWER 250.2 $229.00

Which is the best value? I ordered the Pioneer from one place but they were out of stock with no ETA so I cancelled.

Also, would a sealed or ported enclosure be best for this sub? Sealed gives better SQ, and ported gives better SPL, right? This sub is better for SPL, so should I work with the sub's strengths or try to balance out its weaknesses?

Muchos gracias!
 

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Dantzing,

In order of my personal preferences:

Phoenix Gold
RF
PPI
Pioneer
Hifonics
Power Acoustik

Something to consider with the PPI: Unless the C12a is a DVC, the 4 channel will be of little use. If the amp is capable of bridging 3 channels, you could run 2 channels to the front stage, and then the remaining channel to the sub.

if you are just looking for a sub amp, i would say the PG amp would be the best quality for the $, with the Punch amp a close second.

Remember, as always, you get what you pay for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are PG amps underrated like RF? I've been told that an 250w RF amp should put out over 300w easy
Other than the power ratings, does anyone know the differences between the different PG and RF amps?

I was thinking that with the PPI amp, I could bridge two of the channels and run 240w to my sub and have the other two channels free so I could add another sub later or will that not work? $230 just seems like a very good price for that amp.
 

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Well, I just remember the old Rockford stuff as being kick-ass (and as you mentioned, under-rated). The newer stuff i'm not THAT familiar with, the last time i dealt with it was with an older Symmetry piece i had. I kinda lost a lot of respect for RF when it showed up in Best Buy/Crutchfield. it kind of lost that competitive aura for me and just became a piece of "consumer electronics". There is a long history behind RF, and about 3 years back, you could have seen that MTX had almost identical board layout as the older Punch series amps, because a few RF engineers went to MTX.

I've had a few Phoenix Gold pieces, and while they may not be "underrated", the build quality is incredible on them. You get a good piece of sound quality.

You can do what you had said with the PPI four channel if you bridged it to two channels and ran to subs. that is a good price for a little bang.

With all of this mentioned, i would just make sure that all the ratings you are looking at are the RMS spec. Make sure of the voltage as well, and be sure that you can provide that voltage to the amplifier (case in point: the Pioneer. Continuous power @ 14.4V. Make sure you can provide 14.4 to get optimum performance out of that amp). More voltage in = more power out.


PPI, RF and PG are all "competition" brands. You see a lot of the gear in the lanes, and they are most definitely reputable brands.
 

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Dantzig, the RFs are underrated, yes. The certificate that came with my Punch 250.2 that I got in February (I believe it was now) showed it had been factory tested at 418w @ 2ohm...
 

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Dantzig-
While not too underrated on their lower-end amps, their higher end ones are.. and any amp PG makes is absolutely indestructable.

I love my Phoenix Gold amp and subs, i would HIGHLY RECCOMMEND any of the PG's you listed.. I am not familiar with the tantrums, but the QX is the lowest-end line of amps they make.. so if the tantrums are higher-end, get one of those.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
here's the lowdown, i'm going on 10+ years on industry knowledge.
Rockford Fosgate - great amps in the early 90's, come 96 they started going down hill, they still make a decent amplifier. Not the greatest sound quality, power output midrange, but they send these maximum power outputs at 2ohms and those amps aren't stable at that load, they will blow power supplies in time.

Phoenix Gold - their tantrum line, sucks for the money...the QX line right now good midrange amps and they don't break the bank either, they are both still the lower end. they have a flashy name and decent power ratings. when you start to get into their higher lines they are the cleanest sounding amps you will ever hear.

Hifonics - honestly i was a dealer for them...say away, i can't beleive how many of those blew in time.

Power Acoustic - those are basically like kmart amps

PPI - honestly i haven't heard, or kept on on reading about them.

MTX, Orion, MMats, and hell those new JL amps are all amazing

with that sub that you have, put it in a ported box and get yourself at least 250 watts, aim the sub at the back of the car and you will have a good amount of slam. that kicker comp is a tight sub, unless you are competing you won't notice the difference of it's sound quality in a ported vs sealed...what you will notice is you need alot more power sealed to make that bad boy shake your mirror
 

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When choosing an amp to run that sub its not always the most important thing to look at how many watts the amp puts out because if its not clean you wont be able to get all that power from it any ways. The rockford birth certificate says 400watts from their 250 watt amp but they dont specify that that was taken from a frequency test cd. which isnt real world stuff. they also rate their amps at 13.8 volts. Phoenix gold amps are the cleanest amps i've ever used. I use the zx series though. i'm pretty familiar with the qx also and they kick for the money.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I currently have the 250A2 RF amp it is way underated. It could handle that sub easily. I will be selling my amp soon when I get my new JL amp and subz.
 

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My Zx600ti (which is for sale by the way) is advertised at 600wrms x 1 @ 4 ohm, but the Certificate Of Performance has it pushing 625.44wrms x 1 @ 4 ohm.. So yes, PG amps are also underrated. And they are badass to boot.
 

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My RF 800.2 is actually putting out 1038 watts according to the birth certificate that came with it. I have 2 friends with Fosgate amps, one has the 360.2 which is putting out 500 watts, the other has the 500.2 which is putting out 675. RF would be my amp of choice.

Scuba Steve
 
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