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Old 07-14-2002, 05:32 PM   #1
Lee

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Post New battery or better amp?

Quote:
2.11 What about adding a new battery? Or upgrading the amplifier? [IDB]
Generally, adding a second battery is great if you want to listen to your stereo with the car turned off (and be able to start it again later!). As far as simply upgrading your current battery to a larger model, you may find that this will help solve the problem because batteries like the Optima 800 offer a larger number of cold cranking amps. However, the "response time" between when a battery kicks in a large amount of extra current and how long it takes a capacitor is vastly different.

Although a battery may be able to respond in tenths of a second, bass notes are often much shorter and need current immediately -- which capacitors can supply. The difference between the two is that while the capacitor can supply a large amount of current immediately, their voltage quickly drops making them ineffective -- but by this time, usually the bass note has passed, and the capacitor has done its job of "stiffening" the supply voltage.

Upgrading your alternator becomes a concern when you need a large amount of current from it frequently. If you are always listening to your stereo at a fairly high volume (assume your amp is drawing 20A), and then you use the A/C and a few other misc. accessories in your car, you can get to the point when the alternator can no longer provide enough current to effectively supply the car and charge the main battery. So, the main battery is always supplementing the alternator's current supply, and slowly (but surely) dies a relatively quick death.

CAF comment: We at CarAudioForum.com do not agree with the general idea that stiffening caps are all that beneficial for issues regarding current demand on large systems. We suggest auxiliary (2nd) batteries and/or upgraded alternators -- but this has more to do with large power systems.
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