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Can cold weather affect the performance of your subs or amps?

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Can cold weather affect the performance of your subs or amps?

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I've got two 12" Kenwood subs in a sealed box and my amp mounted on top of my box in the trunk of my Camry. We've had about 4 straight days of sub 32 degree weather here in Kentucky this week, and it seems my subs are hitting at not even half as hard as they were last week.

Has anybody had this happen before? Anybody have any suggestions or a solution to what the problem might be? My amp is warm, and neither of my speakers are blown or cracked from what I can tell. Past couple of days, I've kept my radio on and kept the volume around 8-10 and bass on normal to perhaps "thaw out" anything that might be "frozen". I've never known this to be a problem before with my stereo in the 2+ years I've had it hooked up.

THANKS IN ADVANCE

 



[edited by: doobeez at 12:51 PM (GMT -5) on Fri, Dec 10 2010]
Verified Answer
  • Cold weather certainly has an effect on your battery. The chemical reaction in the battery slows down as temperature drops and that has an effect on every electrical component in the car. A solid state amplifier won't be directly effected by cold weather, but the drop in battery output can cause less than optimal performance. Solid state components can be damaged by condensation caused by rapid changes in temperature.

    Speakers are another matter. Car speakers are designed to operate at greater temperature extremes than home speakers. Still, very cold conditions will have an effect on the performance of any speaker. Rubber surrounds are less flexible and lubricants in voice coils will thicken with extreme cold. 32 degrees isn't extremely cold, but I suppose it is cold enough to have some effect on performance, depending on the construction of the speakers.

    I certainly doesn't hurt to let things come up to a more "normal" temperature before pushing them too hard.

         RESIma

  • well im in canada.. not way up north.. and no we dont have igloos and such!.. but it does get very cold here.. about 20 degrees in your guys Fahrenheit.... currently here.. and all i got to say is.. well.. it is brutal for subs!! you loose a big amount of bass due to woofers getting cold from cars sitting in the open :( .. cold weather in my experience can highly effect subs.. it can also effect mids a good amount .. and also change up your highs.. plus more distortion.. its just really a mess.. give your stuff 10-20 min to warm up at mediumish volume and your set.. :)

    JVC KD-AVX44, 2 Massive Audio Hippo 8's , Hifonics Colossus going back in soon, MB Quart ONX216, Fli audio FL450S-F2, Energy ENC693x2 in rear deck, 6 gauge kit plus a huge 3 gauge kit. Custom built box for my 8's :)

All Replies
  • Cold weather certainly has an effect on your battery. The chemical reaction in the battery slows down as temperature drops and that has an effect on every electrical component in the car. A solid state amplifier won't be directly effected by cold weather, but the drop in battery output can cause less than optimal performance. Solid state components can be damaged by condensation caused by rapid changes in temperature.

    Speakers are another matter. Car speakers are designed to operate at greater temperature extremes than home speakers. Still, very cold conditions will have an effect on the performance of any speaker. Rubber surrounds are less flexible and lubricants in voice coils will thicken with extreme cold. 32 degrees isn't extremely cold, but I suppose it is cold enough to have some effect on performance, depending on the construction of the speakers.

    I certainly doesn't hurt to let things come up to a more "normal" temperature before pushing them too hard.

         RESIma

  • ^^Thank you for your reply. When I say cold I'm talking high temps in the 20's with lows in the single digits before wind chill is factored in. It will sometimes get cold like that here in KY, but not for long periods of time like we've encountered this week..and this early in the cold winter months. Januwary/Februaury, yes...December, not so much.

    So I should keep up what I've been doing as far as trying to thaw out my components? As far as the battery goes, I had a new one installed before summer, and when I start it up in the mornings, I always give it time to catch it's breath before moving, and I haven't noticed any pause or sputter when I turn and crank. BTW,  It is a 1993 Camry with 197,000 miles on her. But she runs like a champ!

  • hell, i have '00 Olds Intrigue creeping up toward 216,000 miles. in Illinois here it gets mighty cold the last few winters (or at least i notice it more than i used to) but so long as i can even see out of my front and rear windshield and most of the side windows, whether its due to frost/ice or snow, she's good to go. i don't think that weather will hurt your rig. but then again it is a foreign car.

  • I doubt it comes down to American/Japanese automobiles, but i see what you mean. I've had my system installed for 2 years now, and this is the first time my system has acted this way...i don't know. I'm gonna keep monitering the situation though. I'm very concerned. Maybe I'll take another look at my battery and alternator just to make sure.

  • well im in canada.. not way up north.. and no we dont have igloos and such!.. but it does get very cold here.. about 20 degrees in your guys Fahrenheit.... currently here.. and all i got to say is.. well.. it is brutal for subs!! you loose a big amount of bass due to woofers getting cold from cars sitting in the open :( .. cold weather in my experience can highly effect subs.. it can also effect mids a good amount .. and also change up your highs.. plus more distortion.. its just really a mess.. give your stuff 10-20 min to warm up at mediumish volume and your set.. :)

    JVC KD-AVX44, 2 Massive Audio Hippo 8's , Hifonics Colossus going back in soon, MB Quart ONX216, Fli audio FL450S-F2, Energy ENC693x2 in rear deck, 6 gauge kit plus a huge 3 gauge kit. Custom built box for my 8's :)

  • And there you have it from the moose's mouth!

         RESIma

  • Alex W
    And there you have it from the moose's mouth!

    Let's watch the flaming and keep Shak's physical appearance out of the discussion!!! Devil (just kidding).

    Previous thread - I think it also has more to do with air temperature inside the vehicle affecting sound propagation.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?

     

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Also, with the heater or defrost on high and the engine at a higher cold start RPM, nothing sounds the same.

     

    GLH Geeked

  • that american/foreign car statement was a failed attempt to show my patriotism. i would have to say i favor more foreign vehicles than american. i did read a really informative article a few weeks ago explaining quite a few technical aspects of this nature. what i got out of it is that there is in fact many measurable differences, none of which should be long lasting or damaging. if i come across it again i'll post it for future reference.

  • LMFAO!!.. nice moose comment.. lolz was gonna avoid that but ohh well.. its funny :) .. made me laugh.. but yea.. cold weather can really impact.. also i learnt today that cables also can! Im running wire thats fused at 60 amps with my hifonics at 1 ohm supposed to be fused at 140.. and well.. i just ran it and not much difference from my 400RMS on a decent day to my 800ish RMS attempt on a cold day :( .. hope the good weather and new wire come very soon! :(

    JVC KD-AVX44, 2 Massive Audio Hippo 8's , Hifonics Colossus going back in soon, MB Quart ONX216, Fli audio FL450S-F2, Energy ENC693x2 in rear deck, 6 gauge kit plus a huge 3 gauge kit. Custom built box for my 8's :)