Building The Amp Rack
I wanted a good way to display the two Power 1500bd amps while also utilizing the end caps and link to hide all the necessary wires. You really donít see the end caps and links being incorporated into amps now a days but I really like how clean you can make your install look and I miss it. Most amps now just have the inputs hanging out the sides or bottom of the amp and itís hard to hide wires and rca cables. The incorporation of end caps and links into amplifier design has unfortunately been lost due to car audio companies wanting to make the cheapest amplifiers possible. The way an amplifier looks seems to have little to no importance to them. Today most amps look the same and to a person like me who remembers the old school amps, this is sad.
Here we have my absolute favorite mono block amplifier of all time. I could go on and on about why I love this amp but Iíll just stick to a brief summary. The made in the USA Rockford Fosgate Power 1500bd was and is an absolute power house. It is rated at 1500 watts rms at 2 ohms but every birth sheet I have seen has been well over 1750 watts rms. As well as being a beautiful and powerful piece of equipment, these amps were built like tanks. Both of these are well over 10 years old and work just like they did when they were brand new. With the amps being built in China and Korea today, youíre lucky if you get 6 months to a year out of them. They definitely donít make them like this anymore.
Here is a picture of the link that Iíll be using with these amps. It will go in between the two making them look like one big amp. Very cool in my opinion.
Here is the volt meter that replaces the RF logo piece in the middle of the link. This is wired directly into the power input of your amp so you get the voltage reading right where you need it. Very useful and also very cool.
I decided that the best place for me to mount the amps would be on the back of the box. I know that this is not the ideal place to put them but this was the only place I had that would allow me to show them off like I wanted to. I took extra precautions against excessive vibrations from the enclosure as youíll see later in the build.
The amp rack started as an old piece of ĺĒ mdf that I had used in a previous build that was cut to fit the back of the box. It was painted but that really didnít matter as I was planning on carpeting it anyhow.
The next thing I wanted to do was cut out holes for the wires for the amplifiers to pass through. Then I used a router and cut channels for all the wiring for the amps and the speaker terminals to lay in.
After carpeting the panel I decided to apply some extra Second Skin Luxury Liner Pro I had lying around between the enclosure and the amp rack. The LLP has a thick foam layer with a really thick rubber backing and should help keep vibrations from the enclosure from affecting the amps too bad. I again used the 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive and roller to make sure it was attached to the amp rack.
At this point Iím going to have to stop again and talk about how cool the old school gear was. This next picture is of the Rockford Fosgate Triple X RCA Cables. These are by far the coolest RCA cables I have ever seen. Again, sadly, you donít see stuff like this anymore. The main cable body on these is as thick as the RF 2 gauge wire I used on the amps. These cables also feature Gamma Geometry which uses three wires (oneís a dummy) and unlike twisted pair designs, the conductors repeatedly cross each other closer to the optimum 90 degrees for better noise cancelling.
Hereís a closer look at the RF logo that then leads into the split of the two individual cables.
Here is the coolest part about these cables. The ends on these have a diamond cut RF logo in them. In the logos is a red and white metallic flake looking paint. Iím not sure how well it shows up in the pictures but itís absolutely terrific looking. When these cables first came out the .5 meter ones retailed for $59.99 and the 6 meter ones were $119.99. Certainly a lot of money for a set of cables but Iíve yet to find another set that out perform these on any level.
End rant, back to the amp rack. The next step was to run all the wires through the channels I had made before. These wires included four runs of 2 gauge, two sets of rca cables, remote wires and speaker wires. I ended up using some metal staples to hold them in place and the screwed the panel onto the back of the enclosure.
At this point I decided it would be a good idea to hook up the volt meter and make sure it worked considering it is over 10 years old.
After making sure it was working I went ahead and removed the RF logo from the link and installed the volt meter.
Since I still had some Luxury Liner Pro left over I decided to go ahead and use another layer to pad the amps themselves. I figured it couldnít hurt and the more vibrations I could cut out the better.
The next step was to mount and wire the amplifiers themselves. I forgot to take a picture but I always like to use heat shrink tubing on the power and ground connections on any amplifier I hook up. It makes it look cleaner and helps keep stray wires from coming out of the inputs. I also used rubber grommets on both the top and bottom of each mounting foot to again, help cut down on vibrations.
Here we have the finished product. Both amps were screwed down and the end caps and link screwed in. Of course I will have to remove them later for tuning but I just love the way it looks when itís all together.
I forgot to take pictures of it out of the car but I also to this time to install the BLD Line Driver and fuse holders onto the recessed side of the enclosure. Here are a couple pics of those.