As most already know, I am notoriously old-school in my audio fun-time. I just won't break down and buy anything new, until it DOES what it SAYS at a price that rivals used gear - and nothing against class d, it's just not for me.
Long story short, I replaced an antique Alpine 7903 with a newer 4v ALpine, I didn't want to risk my nr mint 7904 or 7909 copper sleeve getting yanked... So after swapping to 4v, here's my take.
I started by leaving all amplifier gains the same (all 2v max input) and both Nakamichi ec-200 crossovers set at the same level as before. I popped the New "4V" Alpine in, and gave a quick listen, and guess what? Nothing changed. I spent two hours sitting, driving, eating, tweaking in the car, and songs I KNOW through and through had basically no difference - aside from actually not hitting as hard.
Now this comes as a surprise, thinking that my old Hifonics Thor/Zeus are 2v max input, and the Nakamichi pa-series amps on my hi's are 2v as well. Seriously, no distortion, no added DB's(which would have indicated I needed to tone down a tad) and to my surprise, the feeling in my head and chest are lessened to barely being felt.
With the 7903 or 7904 in, (Which I hooked back up just as a reference, the 7904) The chest-thumping and head shaking, window-shaking thump was there. I didn't check with the 7909, It always was eery bit as strong as the 7903/4...\
So what gives? Is head unit output voltage inflated like amplifier output power is these days? Do you literally have to ask if pre-outs are RMS or Peak, on a freakin low-volt out!!!
Really, I am NOT surprised - I have set up a few systems with 4v and higher and thought maybe there was some fudging. A few years back I set up Kenwood hi-volt h/u and never changed the gain on the amp, and chalked it up to the x-over being diff.
Oh, and one added pain - a touch of ignotion whine from around 2500rpm to around 4000. Low volume, not increased with volume - which disappeared with the older unit this aft. Even ran a new chassis to frame wire to no avail.
For the curious, here is the setup -
Hi's - MB Quart 6-1/2 QM series and separate tweets, biamped by a nakamichi pa-350 4ch.
Midbass - 6-1/2 mb quarts with a hifonics thor in stereo 4 ohm.
Subs - 2 Rockfor Fosgate Punch Pro 18's (SPP-188's) with a Hifonics Zeus Bridged mono at 4 ohms.
Crossovers- (2) Nakamichi ec-200 2-ways
Now shouldn't this be the ULTIMATE test of whether something puts out 4 volts in preamp signal!!! Not a single component is rated above 2 volts!!!