Can I (or should I) power 4 18" DIY subs with an EP4000 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Can I (or should I) power 4 18" DIY subs with an EP4000

I'm currently running 2 sealed 18" SI drivers off of a Behringer EP4000. I have the opportunity to buy 2 more sealed 18" (same drivers) and was wondering if I can power them using my existing EP4000 or if I need to get another amp?

Sorry if this is a dumb question.
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 01:38 PM
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Yes....yes you should.

Edit....I know where you can get two more.
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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So how would I go about doing this safely? Do the 4 get wired in parallel to the amp? Should the amp run bridged?

I'm really hesitant to proceed with purchasing the other 2 subs before I know for sure how to wire these things up properly.

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post #4 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 02:45 PM
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Which SI drivers? VC and ohm configuration?

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post #5 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
Which SI drivers? VC and ohm configuration?
Not sure which SI drivers (although I can probably find out). These were probably built when the first SI 18" were being used in DIY subs. They are wired 4 ohms each. Previous owner was running all 4 off of the EP4000. I wasn't sure I wanted 4 new subs (already have 4 others) so initially I just bought the amp and 2 subs, but now of course I'm going back and buying the other 2.
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 03:05 PM
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Sure. Wire pairs of them up in parallel for 2 ohm loads, one pair on each channel.

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post #7 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
Sure. Wire pairs of them up in parallel for 2 ohm loads, one pair on each channel.
Awesome. Thank you.
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 06:53 PM
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You should be set as they are. Those are dual 2 ohm subs and currently all 4 are set up at 4 ohm loads. Two 4 ohm loads per channel will get you two 2 ohm loads to the amp.
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 11:11 PM
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Can you?
Yes.

Should you?
No.

An fp20k is about 8 times more powerful at this task.
It's about the same weight and slightly deeper.
90's efficient vs 50's efficient.

When you need to power 4 subs in 2RU, it's pretty much the best-value going right now.
Perfect fit for a x4 miniDSP

The next best-value would be two NUDSP-4k's, it's twice the RU but the price savings on the integrated DSP is substantial; hence why it is the most popular DIY amp around.

Since you already have an EP4k that sort of changes the dynamics a bit, but the general principle still holds.
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
Can you?
Yes.

Should you?
No....

Sure more power and DSP is better but you can't argue that he's not better off by adding two drivers - he gets lower distortion and power compression for the same SPL, higher efficiency, and higher SPL capability.

Actually if no DSP/EQ now, I'd spend less money to get that, unless OP is blessed with flat response w/o EQ.

Noah
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-29-2019, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
Can you?
Yes.

Should you?
No....

Sure more power and DSP is better but you can't argue that he's not better off by adding two drivers - he gets lower distortion and power compression for the same SPL, higher efficiency, and higher SPL capability.

Actually if no DSP/EQ now, I'd spend less money to get that (MiniDSP or inuke w/DSP), unless OP is blessed with flat response w/o EQ.

Noah
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 05:57 AM
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Under the original premise of dual 2ohm loads across an EP4K, why wouldn't he be better off 4ohm bridged to mitigate bus pumping?
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 06:04 AM
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I run 4 4-ohm subs off the EP4000. I prefer the amp bridged and all 4 subs wired in series / parallel to present a single 4 ohm load to the amp. Of the 6 EP4000's I've had, I've never once had the same performance on both channels but they perform great bridged.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
I run 4 4-ohm subs off the EP4000. I prefer the amp bridged and all 4 subs wired in series / parallel to present a single 4 ohm load to the amp. Of the 6 EP4000's I've had, I've never once had the same performance on both channels but they perform great bridged.
My experience is similar.

It's been sometime, however as I've explored all my powering options with two EP4K amps on hand, and four 4ohm Fi-IB3-18 drivers in an IB manifold, the best config is a single amp bridged mono.

My IB is easily 10xVAS, with an entire sprawling ranch home attic. The drivers achieve full stroke at somewhere around 200-300 watts.

Initially I thought two 8ohm loads on each side of the amp would be great. After more testing, I repeatedly saw the odd channel inconsistency, which I'm guessing originates from some type of high current rail dump.
The huge amounts of energy being exchanged between the power supply and the load, during worst case scenario single digit freqs approaching full power, oftentimes exhibited an odd lack of uniformity.

Yeah this is torturous for the budget amp, but bridged config alleviated these issues. Similiar results can be had inverting polarity on one channel (and then obviously switching it back afterward). However that establishes somewhat different power levels that may or may not align with your needs.

With an IB, it's been my experience without that acoustic high pass filter of small sealed, you really need to get the power levels correct as to be between bottoming the coil or have an anemic response.

The high excursion low power operation excels at minimizing thermal compression and minimizing flux modulation current distortion.
That said, this is but one of many ways to achieve that same goal.
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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All great info. I have a miniDSP btw.
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post #16 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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So would this be the correct way to wire them to the EP4000 bridged?
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post #17 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toothboy View Post
So would this be the correct way to wire them to the EP4000 bridged?
Yes, as long as all four of the drivers are identical.

Are your drivers dual 2ohm coils,... as represented in this graphic?
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post #18 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FOH View Post
Yes, as long as all four of the drivers are identical.

Are your drivers dual 2ohm coils,... as represented in this graphic?
yes
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post #19 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:49 PM
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Additionally, I'd ask the previous owner what impedance configs they successfully employed.

Be mindful of the proper amp settings, ie., dip switches, and front gain pots.
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post #20 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I know there has been some past confusion on how to properly set the EP4000's switches to properly do bridged mode...if anyone has any pointers on how to set the switches I'd appreciate it.
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post #21 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post
Additionally, I'd ask the previous owner what impedance configs they successfully employed.

Be mindful of the proper amp settings, ie., dip switches, and front gain pots.
Previous owner was running a pair off of each amp channel.
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post #22 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toothboy View Post
Previous owner was running a pair off of each amp channel.
Stereo 2ohm, or stereo 8ohm?
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post #23 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FOH View Post
Stereo 2ohm, or stereo 8ohm?
Stereo 2 ohm
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post #24 of 28 Old 07-30-2019, 01:54 PM
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I'm previous owner. Started with 8 ohm loads in the very beginning just to compare to 2 ohm loads. Certainly more output at 2 ohm.
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post #25 of 28 Old 07-31-2019, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toothboy View Post
So would this be the correct way to wire them to the EP4000 bridged?
Yes if each is a 4ohm driver.

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post #26 of 28 Old 07-31-2019, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post
front gain pots.
They aren't gains, they are input attenuators.

Fully CW means no loss.
Fully CCW means maximum loss.
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post #27 of 28 Old 08-02-2019, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
They aren't gains, they are input attenuators.


Brother, good point that is what they do, they attenuate the input.

However, as to what they are, ...I know what they are, you know what they are, Behringer knows what they are...
They're gain pots. They are potentiometers,... the point of access for gain staging adjustments. As to what they're called, myself I like gain pots. In the pro realm as a FOH engineer, that's what they're called as a trade name.


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post #28 of 28 Old 08-02-2019, 07:01 PM
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We know that we know.

Yes they are resistive "potentiometers", but they don't "gain" anything.
-0db is no loss of input voltage and -Infinity basically means 100% loss of input voltage.

To me "gain" means: the ability to take something and make it louder. Which they don't\can't do.

Amplifiers have a fixed gain, and input attentuators, and fancier amps (like the FP's) have input sensitivity adjustment;
and fancier amplifiers still, such as the crowns, inukes, powersoft etc have onboard DSP that have true "static gain" adjustment in the software(only), and often input sensitivity adjustment and load monitoring and EQ, limiters (and a bunch of other junk) in the software too.

I like calling them what they are: input attentuators, that way the noobs don't get confused as to their purpose/function. hehe!

The master volume knob and trims and level-sliders on your AVR/preamp/mixing-board are true "gains" or level controls (at least as far as the external-facing implementation it is...), they boost and output more voltage that what went in.

"gain structure optimization" I'll let pass, because their isn't a better phrase for it.
The goal of that being: to be able to output max-power without early-clipping any inputs or outputs in the system (digital and analog inclusive).

Often it is a battle between:
"how loud can the system get without electrically clipping"
vs
"how many acoustical db's can the system safely generate"
vs
"how loud does the user actually desire/want it to be"
vs
"a realistic/achievable/tolerable average(or maximum) SPL level with say 20db of dynamics headroom i.e. standard THX calibration / recording studio mixing standards".

Which are 4 entirely-different things and often inter-competing things.
A 20db swing takes a lot of horses, that's a 100x increase in power (beyond the average-level) without clipping or melting or bottoming out.
Few systems can actually achieve that, and that's just THX-level, not even factoring in a hot or aggressive playback level yet.

It is problem I've been terrorized with for years. It took like 32 subwoofers and 100kW of FP amplification to have sufficient headroom to meet the demands I was desiring/placing on the system. 16 subs and 8 "normal" pro-amplifiers simply wasn't enough.
I could still use another 5 24's and another 2 FP20k's to fill in the <20hz.
Never-enough <20hz.
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