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Are the newer cadence and and zapco amps any good, heard good things...Anybody running either of these mono amp
 

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Historically speaking, Zapco established the high end of amplifiers & external processors in the mobile audio world. They literally stood alone as the reference standard, and other OEMs have been catching up since. Unlike many brands, they have maintained a strong resemblance to their lineage. Other brand names have come and gone, some "names" remain in business but have no relationship to their once excellent product offerings.

I have no experience with Cadence so can't comment there, but as a one time professional in the mobile audio business, I chose to purchase Zapco recently based on history and the excellent VALUE they offer today. At one time, the term "value" had no kinship with the Zapco name, but after research and now personal experience, I can say with confidence Zapco has wonderfully competitive products, offering value for the $ and state of the art in circuit design. It remains to be seen if they are as reliable as they once were. I can say this much, the pair of STX2's I'm running have been brutalized, pushed as hard as a mid-powered amp should ever be pushed while being exposed to ambient temperature extremes - and less than ideal installation orientation for MAX_HEAT_DISSAPATION. Driving a 2 ohm load, they'll deploy circuit protection appropriately when pushed too hard, and that's a really great thing as some amps are either triggered pre-maturely or not at all, resulting in self destruction.

The upper end of Zapco products are pricey indeed, but you get what you pay for. They compete with the best out there and seem to be relatively bullet proof in their current iteration.

My current system consists of a vintage - still state of the art - Zapco "151" with the 200 power supply, producing 100 Watts/channel. That amp drives the mid/high front end, while a pair of STX2's drive mid bass and sub. I couldn't be happier.

Based on your previous posts and system description, it's unclear you'll enjoy the distinction these amps offer, but in terms of reliability, it's unlikely you can do better than Zapco.

Best of luck.
 

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I am in process of upgrading system..Little at a time, first big 3 which I have a question, I will be running 0 gauge for big 3.. My question is I see numerous posts on this topic..Am I replacing cables that exist..or am I simply adding on to existing 4 gauge factory wires??new battery clamp . And need change my powerwire since it is 8 gauge and could be under powering my 900 watt class d amp a little..I'm planning on either 4 gauge or 0 gauge to amp...
 

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I am in process of upgrading system..Little at a time, first big 3 which I have a question, I will be running 0 gauge for big 3.. My question is I see numerous posts on this topic..Am I replacing cables that exist..or am I simply adding on to existing 4 gauge factory wires??new battery clamp . And need change my powerwire since it is 8 gauge and could be under powering my 900 watt class d amp a little..I'm planning on either 4 gauge or 0 gauge to amp...
optimus, to answer your question directly - you are SUPPLEMENTING the vehicle power system with a completely new circuit dedicated to powering a new accessory that Honda had not planned for - in the context of what you have mentioned so far you should not be adding demand on existing factory circuits.

Before designing the DC supply elements of your system, there must be an overall system goal.

"The big 3" *can mean* different things to different people. To some, the Big 3 involves use of "storage" capacitors. To others it involves not only + between bat and power distribution blocks but "improving" the negative of legs "2 & 3" between batt, engine and chassis. So the first thing is defining your understanding of the term.

IF your definition of the Big 3 includes the use of (a) storage capacitor(s), the value of their contribution is questionable. That topic already dominates hundreds of threads across various audio forums and shouldn't derail this thread. Suffice to say: some see storage caps as pure eye candy - some insist their systems perform better with them. Speaking for myself, I spend $ where it counts and eye candy only goes so far. The function of storage caps can be defined as a "temporary, instantaneous source of V" (not A) and in that regard, the effect is QUESTIONABLE because V is only half of the power equation. V means little when A is also required by an audio amp. Anyhoo...

On the finer points of DC power planning:
When someone is considering 0 gauge DC cable, they are *usually* designing for competition level systems - perhaps not for actual SQ competition - but for systems demanding the V & A that multiple - VERY LARGE - amps require to achieve MAX_OUTPUT. There is much to consider with this topic but... at the basic level, I SERIOUSLY doubt the RL "needs" a 0 gauge DC supply system UNLESS you are going HOG WILD with the overall system. IF your system goal requires that kind of A capacity, you should be considering a supplemental battery system - because the factory power system is NOT designed for the additional demands 0 gauge wired accessories need.

Even if there is factory 4 gauge DC cable distribution points which could be tapped for delivery to the amps you have in mind, I would suggest NOT using them because they are intended to power specific components that an accessory would subtract from. The rule for adding any high current accessory is to stay away from "adding" demand to existing circuits.

If your system requires 0 gauge cable, you should be considering a whole bunch of things - like - routing the cable to the interior, which isn't gonna be thru the firewall - at least not the way I'd do it. Clamping grommets, negative distro blocks, connection point between batt, block & frame, where frame connection is made, how the 'bare metal" point of frame connection will be protected from corrosion, how to design for loop isolation between batt neg and amps, ETC. You've got a lot to plan for here.

This stuff is complex and potentially dangerous. Don't be frivolous - make sure you are absolutely confident with each part of the DC power system you have in mind. Your personal safety and the safety of your passengers depends on how you implement high current power systems in a vehicle. 600 amp current delivery from a factory battery can melt frigging steel, so PLEASE be careful.

Quick story to underscore the potential danger of what you might be considering:
I personally witnessed an uninformed/ill prepared individual handle a charged 1f capacitor in such a way that he got knocked on his @$$. After getting up from the shop floor with hair standing straight up, light wisps of smoke emanating from his skull (emphasis added), he exclaimed "EFF THAT!!", threw the cap on the ground and walked out of the garage. He was handling a battery. A high voltage, low current battery, but a battery none-the-less, and he didn't know its potential or how to protect himself and others from what it could do if handled improperly. But he does now - or perhaps he made the decision to stay the hell away from something he doesn't care to understand. So YAH, you gotta be careful and confident.
 

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2 complete different qualities and pricing.

If you have the room and can spend more, Zapco, they are mostly class AB amps, large size ones.

Class AB amps is a topic with different opinions, the most SQ demanding people tend to like them over class D amp's just for the main full range channels no so much for sub's, they claim the sound is smoother and with more dynamics. The quality components and sound from Zapco is there, I have seen many people going from JL and Alpine expensive line of amps and to the newer Zapco amps and don't regret the change. But Gary Summers says, he can't tell the difference and prefers to have more room and use like 5 Alpine amplifiers in his 2010 SQ world Championship Car combined with Morel components and subs. All that besides class AB being less power efficient than class D, although newer designs tend to be more efficient than very old 20 year old class AB designs. I believe some are class AB,D or AB F, but still class AB for the most part.
 

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Various classes of amplifiers in production today have been around for decades, class C being "newest" among them. Pure class A amps are top of the food chain for transistor designs, class A/B is a derivation of class A that was first designed to be more current efficient - but has always been considered "inferior" to pure class A. Class D takes current efficiency to an new level with continuous switching rather than full linear (class A) of partial switching (class A/B).

In home and professional audio, current efficiency is important primarily due concerns of heat generation. Anyone who has been around a pure class A amp can testify they run HOT, even when idling. So call A/B was developed to address that heat issue. Class D is nothing more than a continuation of addressing that concern.

Class D made its first inroads to the mobile audio world as low frequency amplifiers ONLY. Because that is where current efficiency is most important AND where distortion is least detected by the human ear. They were entirely too "grainy" to be used at any frequency above 200hz or so. "Full range" class D amps are relatively new on the audio scene, mostly due to development of newer, faster switching MOSFETs in response to demand across all forms of audio enthusiasts, not the least of which was television and computers where available current is very limited. Now, even the golden ear guys are starting to warm up to class D as the OEMs who cater to the 1% consumer market begin offering monstrous stand alone full range amplifiers operating in class D mode.

In mobile audio, current efficiency is more critical than fixed installations because high current DC delivery systems can become quite exotic in order to satisfy the demands of mega watt installations. The average driver/hobbyist isn't gonna go where that trail leads.

The bottom line is simple, each class of amp and each amp within each class of amp has a "sound" of its own. Sonically speaking, the ultimate goal of any amplification system is to behave as if its not even there. And since that level of audio nirvana is subjective in nature, individual listeners will always have their preferences. Said another way, if someone is espousing the virtues of this-over-that, you are hearing words constructed around their preferences, which may or may not align with your own. Its exactly like someone preferring ranch dressing to dip their french fries in where someone else might prefer ketchup.

All components in the audio chain are exactly the same it that regard, they are "supposed" to disappear and do only one thing: fool the listener into thinking they are hearing a live performance. Which is a very difficult goal to achieve. Personally, I quit chasing nirvana and prefer to design and install systems with characteristics that deny their component limitations and capitalize on their environment. It's more fun that way, and personally rewarding. Especially when getting that job done at a reasonable cost.
 
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