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Old 19th February 2009, 17:45   #1
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Default Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub

Initial Impressions: Rockford Fosgate Punch 325.2 Power Amplifier- 2 Channels + Illusion Audio Luccent IM-12 Subwoofer
A few words on the amplifier, first.

Details:
  • 2-channel car amplifier
  • 80 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms (160 watts RMS x 2 at 2 ohms)
  • 325 watts RMS x 1 in bridged mode (4-ohm stable in bridged mode)
  • variable high- and low-pass filters (40-400 Hz, 12 dB per octave)
  • wired Punch Bass EQ (0-18 dB at 45 Hz)
  • Focused Mass Heatsink design
  • removable connector cover
  • special-design TO-247 MOSFETs run cooler than standard transistors
  • preamp inputs and outputs
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended ó wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 11-3/4"W x 2-1/8"H x 11-1/16"D
My ICE makeover has been documented here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sound-...nk-hermit.html

Many people read the thread and appreciated it. Thanks for the compliments. I noticed that many members here on the forum are not too well acquainted with Rockford Fosgate Audio Components. We all have heard a lot of great stuff about them, but havenít got a taste of how they actually measure up, due to the lack of user reviews and impressions by the limited number of Rockford Fosgate Users on team-bhp. This is a small effort on my behalf to document my initial experience with the Rockford Fosgate Punch 325.2 Power Amplifier.
Initally, when I was on the lookout for a powerful amplifier to power a Subwoofer, I faced a really HUGE dilemma. In India at least, the choice of officially available, powerful 2 channel amplifiers is pathetic. The only notable examples I came across were:
1. JBL GT5-402 2 Channel Amplifier
2. Blaupunkt 2 Channel Amplifier
These 2 amplifiers are the only but poor choices for powering a subwoofer as their RMS rating is poor, and even my Sony XM-504Z put out a respectable 120W to the Non-fader output (subwoofer).
Hence, there was a wild goose chase for a good, muscly 2 channel amplifier to power the (then present) Ground Zero TWMK2 Sub woofer in a sealed enclosure in my boot. The sub woofer was rated at 350W RMS, and a good thing would be to have atleast 275-300W of RMS power flowing to the sub woofer. With the limited choices available in India, and the nonchalant behaviour of the manufacturers to comply, I had almost given up on the entire thought of having a dedicated amp for the subwoofer, and would have used my JBL 75.4 instead, that supplied a heady 284W of RMS power to the Sub.
Just as I was about to give up, my friend from USA asked me the 3 magical words. "YOU WANT SOMETHING(from here)??"
He was willing to carry an amp back for me from USA, and he was going to take less than a month. YAY!

My eyes lit up, and I did a lot of research. At first I thought I'll ask him to bring back a mono, but then I thought I should tone down my budget and get a 2 channel amp, hence sticking to the previous plan.
I found the one at 3 AM on a weekday, and decided it had to be the Rockford Fosgate Punch 325.2 Amplifier from Rockford Fosgate Punch P325.2 2-channel car amplifier 80 watts RMS x 2 at Crutchfield.com

325W of unfettered RMS power would be perfect for my 350W RMS GZMK2. I ordered it the next day, after reading only positive things about it. The wait for it was loooooong, and that is another story.

Back to the review, The RF amp arrived in the next month, just in time for my BIG ICE do (the previous one, the one that made me open this thread)
I got the amp in the afternoon, and opened it in glee. It was packed in typical Crutchfield style, and was heaped with loads of documentation and a lot of Crutchfield Instructions. They were of no use to me, but I still read them, because somehow reading manuals and documentation of the stuff I buy makes the wait even more worth the while for me!

Looks and Package:

The amp in itself is a real beauty to look at and hold. The usual american muscle kind of build quality and the hefty weight of the amp make it a pleasure to hold and look at. The looks of amps dont matter to the buyer after 10 minutes of unboxing, and that is well documented, hence I wont speak much about the looks.
There is a removable cover that houses all the controls underneath. The amp also comes with an RJ-45 jack that allows one to attach the enclosed Bass Knob. More on that later. Read on..


I managed to sleep a few hours that night before my major install, and made it to Hermit in the morning without any accidents, despite my manic driving in a hurry to get there.
The install was done in about 3 hours, and my entire setup was ready to be heard, time alignment et all.


The GZMK2 sub is a versatile sub, and works VERY well even when underpowered. I had never heard it when it was given the power it deserves. The RF was powering it now.

When Ajay played it, I was totally blown away. The sealed enclosure and the Alpine 9887 made the sub KICK, and I was really satisfied.
I have always maintained that I do not like too much bass, and even though addictive, it can be tiring to have too much of it over sustained periods of time. Hence the sub levels on the head unit were kept to a bare minimum, but the kick was still present. That is what is important. Fast, pacy bass (more attributed to the superior sub, but still) and oodles of power when the occassion called for it.

THE Bass Knob:
I had always envisioned that thought of having a Monobloc Amplifier powering my sub/subs, but that was when I was slightly less mature, and bass was more important to me then the rest of the music back then. Fast forward to now, and i had good quality components, and a good head unit, and my tastes had changed, from a 'busty' pamela anderson to a more 'ample but adequate' Scarlett Johannsen. The music I listened to, had changed, and somehow i laid more emphasis on music as a whole, and not just a way to get the adrenaline juices flowing by a bump up in the bass.



All this mentioned in the previous paragraph just turned to CRAP!!!!
The bass knob reversed all of that in a matter of a few seconds! The moment I turned the knob around, the interiors of the car started gyrating as thought the old Pamela Anderson was back. and in the backseat!!! LOL. The bass was rattling everything possible in my 8 year old car, and somehow it excited me a lot for a few minutes. Then the customary headache came in, and so did the wisdom prevail. I was back with the bass knob on 0, and thought it would be a good tool for the occassional show off to relatives, nothing else. Will not help in any other way for me. Sorry, I ain't an SPL guy Scarlett Johanssen chaalse!

Overall, I'd rate the Rockford Fosgate Punch 325.2 a highly VFM amp, and its a steal at its price. Its perfect for those who have one SVC subwoofer, and dont want to go the whole hog in getting a mono and a DVC sub/ 2 SVC subs. Anything more than 2 subs is overkill anyways. (for me, maybe not for some)
Hence, the 325.2 suits my needs perfectly, and was a very very very able companion to the GZMK2 sub. I have mentioned this sub a lot in this review, because quite a few of you'll on t-bhp own this sub, and are always on the lookout for some good cheap power to give it it's due. (like i was)

Anyways, here are the + points:
1. Cheap, i mean really cheap power
2. Decent Looks
3. Versatile amp, use it for the components, or just use it for the sub. Also, for someone who doesnt have a sub, it can be used to spice up the rear fills and give them a crazy amount of bass
4. Bass knob (not my cup of tea, but great for some)
5. Compact dimensions.
6. Did i mention, its CHEAP power??


- Points:
1. Not available in India for the same price. RF audio equipment in India is highly overpriced.
2. Not too many tweaking possibilities, so one cannot use this to power higher grade components. I doubt it will sound very clean. Its more about Raw power and might be lacking in finesse while powering components. Its a wild assumption, but RF amps were known more for their raw power than their finesse!
3. Bass knob increases BOOST and does not increase the Gain, as mentioned. Bass can get muddy if boosted. Hence the knob is not for SQ seekers.
4. Minimal Controls and no Speaker level inputs.
5. The cover has to be removed to change the gains and tweak the crossover settings. It's held together by Allen key type of screws,so its annoying.


I shall speak of the Luccent Sub + RF Punch Combo in the next post.
Till then, one can feast on photos.
Attached Thumbnails
Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000286-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000291-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000289-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000292-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000307-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000308-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000288-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000294-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000334-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000341-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000316-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000342-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000350-desktop-resolution.jpg  

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Old 19th February 2009, 18:01   #2
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You certainly weren't kidding when you were saying you have a lot of time on your hands.
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Old 19th February 2009, 18:27   #3
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Just noticed.. your amp has been tested by Jesus :P
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Old 19th February 2009, 19:00   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
Just noticed.. your amp has been tested by Jesus :P
Ha ha ha, good noticing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post


You certainly weren't kidding when you were saying you have a lot of time on your hands.
I'm waiting for when frankmehta starts his masters! Then putting up one post is gonna be difficult!

Anyways, nicely written frank.

P.S., inside news: New forum section to be introducted by the mods and titled, "Frankmehta needs..."
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Old 19th February 2009, 19:02   #5
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THE Luccent Subwoofer:

I know everyone here is really really eager to know how the Luccent Line of Speakers is performing. I am lucky to have the entire Luccent line in my car, lol. That's the Luccent IM-6 Component Speakers, and the Luccent IM-12 Sub-Woofer.
The Components will be spoken off in another thread, some other time, but a little refresh of memories will act as a tease before the actual review.

My First Subwoofer:
Everyone passes through that phase, when they graduate from the 6*9s and want something bigger, more powerful and hence more thump. In my junior college days, I (like most of us) wished that I had a sub woofer in my boot, and an amplifier to power it (yes, i actually wished for it).
Dad was quite adamant on not getting it for me, till we got a new car, The Zen. That was when I got some free hand and managed to get a minimal setup comprising of Pioneer and Sony equipment.
Of note was the Pioneer 305F subwoofer, that was a free-air sub woofer, in a ported box!!!!! Powered by the puny but reliable Sony XM-504Z pushing 120W of power to the sub that was rated at 300W of nominal power. At that time (im talking early 2001), it all sounded good.
But when i transferred all this equipment to the Esteem, some installation was done wrong somewhere, and i JUST didnt feel like a sub was in the boot.

Fast Forward to 2008:
I was actively reading the ICE section because I thought i needed more punch. The bass fever was still there, but i had grown, and there was a change of preference. But that urge for more bass was still there. I was going to get more powerful 6*9s and also change the enclosure for my sub, when B&T suggested components. That is how the entire cycle of upgrades began, and I managed to upgrade my sub twice in as many months.
THe Pio 305F had to go, and was replaced by the brilliant GZTWMK2.
I was very happy with the Mk2. But then suddenly I overheard from somewhere, that a Luccent Sub still remains with B&T.
Contacted him, and LO AND BEHOLD, i got the ONE!

Ok, before you guys start yawning, here's a dekko at the sub.

Some Specs first:

[IMG]file:///C:/Users/DRE575%7E1.FRA/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/DRE575%7E1.FRA/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/IMG]Power Handling: 300W
Sensitivity: 94 db
Impedance: 4 ohm
Frequency Response: 32~400 hz


Now, going by the specs, one would deem me a fool getting this sub over the MK2. But I'd say specs on paper speak a different story than it actually is!

Looks:
The reverse magnet design is a show stopper for me, and I am a fan of the minimal dimensions and Spider type basket of the sub. The blue cone is somewhat 90's in style, but hell, who judges a sub by its colour ! The sub woofer is really really lightweight, and I feel it's one of the slimmest subs in the world.
Considering its a 2003 design, I cant believe manufacturers havent pioneered, or even emulated such a concept!

Build:
Illusion Audio Speakers are always known for their build quality, so I need not mention that the luccent subwoofer is built very well and will hold up well, if taken care of.

Initial Impressions:
The custom enclosure for the Luccent Sub that i have, is shallow and long. The volume is aboput 1.6-1.65 cu ft which is ~ the prescribed volume for the sub.
Initial Impressions, because i have just heard music for about 2-3 hours, but the sub has already been broken in (by the previous user)
The RF mono has been dedicated to power the Luccent Sub, and the levels on the amp are set around the half mark. Sub level in the HU is about 5 out 15.
B&T made sure the Time correction and the crossover settings are absolutely spot on. Any hanky-PANKY (sorry panky1234567890, :-P) here and the bass would either overpower the fronts, or vice versa. So the x-over settings would ensure that, and TA would ensure that the perception of the Sub playing in front of you exists, rather than you feeling its playing at the back and is detached from the fronts. Ok the jargon part is over with!
Now for the litmus test!!!

Having owned a GZMK2 sub before this, I am used to having musical, fast paced bass served on a platter to me. At the cost of sounding repetitive, I'd say its a great sub woofer, and it plays/played very well in tandem with the Illusion Electras.

New day, New speakers, Same amplifier, Same head unit and Same CD!
The best way to compare equipment is to listen to the same music on the same setup in the same car. That is exactly what I am doing!
If the GZ MK2 was good, the Illusion Luccent is par excellence! Absolutely creamy, musical bass being belted out, track after track. the Luccent-Luccent combination of the sub and components might be helping here, but I dunno how much that theory holds true here.
The Luccent Sub is like maska and the smoothness is evident from the word go.
The Sub keeps up with the luccent components in the trickiest of songs, with fast paced bass, and plays LOW (really low)
The sub cannot be termed as Loud, and the GZ MK2 is definitely louder than the Luccent. but the luccent is way more musical. Its got razor sharp reflexes, and somehow you get that feeling of forgetting that there is something playing in the boot, and all the bass is upfront. Such is its amalgamation with the components upfront (also helped by time alignment, of course!)
I'd say that the GZMK2 is very good, but the Luccent sub is even better. It's a boon to music lovers and makes for a very sweet experience. Tight bass, accurate response and nicely blended with the fronts.. AAH, thats heaven!
Plays everything with elan. From Rahman to Rammstein, and Fleetwood Mac to FLoyd. Everything soounds EXACTLY how it should sound. Mind you, the sub never feels like its getting the better off the components, but thats good tuning, and the greatness of the Luccent components for you!

That's the initial impressions of the Luccent Sub, and from what i have heard in the last 2 days, its for KEEPS till it goes krrrrrr krrrrrrrrrr.. Im going to keep my Lucy sub (and components, but more on those later) till they give up on me!

Finally my dream of the PERFECT sub (and the perfect amp for it) are complete. Its been a long journey and quite a bit of hard work. Some impulsive decisions, and some nifty buying and selling. I am now happy with what I have. No more upgrades in this department for a while!

Hope you'll liked these mini reviews of the sub and the amp, and i shall be happy to field more questions if you'll want. Also, everyone is welcome to audition them whenever they want!!!!

Thanks for the patience, and wish to read about what you'll think about it!

Cheers!

PS: i havent mentioned what happens when the bass knob is turned to its fullest, with the luccent sub, because i do not deem it a necessary thing to do. As i said, the bass knob increases pressure levels, and its like giving the female equivalent of Viagra to someone as classy as Marilyn Monroe :-P


Customary Pictures follow:
Attached Thumbnails
Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000993-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000995-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000996-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1000997-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-frank-esteem-16.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-frank-esteem-18.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010021-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010026-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010028-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010042-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010027-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010033-desktop-resolution.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-frank-esteem-24.jpg  

Frankmehta reviews his ICE: Part 1: Rockford Fosgate 325.2 MONO+Illusion Luccent Sub-p1010032-desktop-resolution.jpg  

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Old 19th February 2009, 19:08   #6
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Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post


You certainly weren't kidding when you were saying you have a lot of time on your hands.

im making the most of my time. as tejas said, i will not have a single moment on my hands once the Masters Course begins! I'm living the best few days of my life


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
Just noticed.. your amp has been tested by Jesus :P
Of course, an amp tested by the Gods, to power the Sub FOR the Gods :-P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Ha ha ha, good noticing!



I'm waiting for when frankmehta starts his masters! Then putting up one post is gonna be difficult!

Anyways, nicely written frank.

P.S., inside news: New forum section to be introducted by the mods and titled, "Frankmehta needs..."
thank you TK, i have sent an email out to the moderators of team bhp that says, frankmehta needs a new section, but this is what they replied:
"
Dear frankmehta,

RE: frankmehta needs a new section.


frankmehta needs an infraction.
frankmehta needs a ban.

frankmehta needs to be kicked out of team-bhp.

Thank you, but no thank you.
Your's truly,
Moderators

PS: Do not hesitate to email us if you 'NEED' anything.
"


Last edited by frankmehta : 19th February 2009 at 19:10.
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Old 19th February 2009, 19:25   #7
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Quote:
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thank you TK, i have sent an email out to the moderators of team bhp that says, frankmehta needs a new section, but this is what they replied:
"
Dear frankmehta,

RE: frankmehta needs a new section.


frankmehta needs an infraction.
frankmehta needs a ban.

frankmehta needs to be kicked out of team-bhp.

Thank you, but no thank you.
Your's truly,
Moderators

PS: Do not hesitate to email us if you 'NEED' anything.
"

ha ha ha. Frank i think the mods mis-typed. it should be:

PS: DO hesitate to email us if you 'NEED' anything.
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Old 19th February 2009, 21:07   #8
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lol. more reviews coming up soon.. i think this is enough for a few days.
fingers hurt :-)
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Old 19th February 2009, 21:17   #9
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Doc.
Amazing.
Simply can't express how well the review is.

For some guys who can't audition the subs and rest of the setup, its like the perfect audition. Cheers Doc. Hatz Off.
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Old 19th February 2009, 22:46   #10
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thank you so much abhinav. enjoyed writing it..
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Old 19th February 2009, 23:05   #11
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You will soon enjoy my review (a detailed) and my ... (Secret)
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Old 20th February 2009, 08:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
Just noticed.. your amp has been tested by Jesus :P
Jesus, pronounced Hesus is a common name in Mexico.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
Dear frankmehta...
PS: Do not hesitate to email us if you 'NEED' anything.
"
which mod said this? I am confused. and BTW why did you paint your tail lights black now no one will be able to see your brake lights or indicators!

Last edited by navin : 20th February 2009 at 08:58.
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Old 20th February 2009, 09:58   #13
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which mod said this? I am confused. and BTW why did you paint your tail lights black now no one will be able to see your brake lights or indicators!

its a joke sir, lol.. the nature of the request itself is a funny one.
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Old 20th February 2009, 13:52   #14
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awesome write-up doc saab! i still remember your Kenwood 8401 SQ days :-))
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Old 20th February 2009, 15:20   #15
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Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
But that urge for more bass was still there. I was going to get more powerful 6*9s and also change the enclosure for my sub, when B&T suggested components.
You came and told me to put 4" coaxes in the stock location of the esteem and run more power to more powerful 6x9s in the back despite my protests. I had almost given up thinking that there's no point trying to make sense to this Himessbhai-fan gandabhai.
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