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Discussion Starter #1
How do you guys feel about car audio batteries? I’m thinking about getting the stinger spp1700 or the spp2150 models for my 2011 328i. I plan on only having one battery.

Has anyone had any experiences with car audio batteries?


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Not all AGM batteries are the same. Some are designed with different plate tolerances to optimize power delivery. Batteries such as XSPower are designed for high amperage output and will perform better than say an AGM starter battery.

Your question is hard to answer because we don't know what type of system you're running and how much power you will need. Sometimes it won't make a difference if your system is not hungry enough to work a starter AGM battery. If you want to be safe and have the best possible performance out of your system, it's probably best to get a battery from Stinger or XSPower.
 

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I had bad experiences with Stinger (red housing) which barely lasted for two years, I read everywhere that Optimas are a bad decision...
ATM Im running Oddyssey PC 1750 and Im really happy with it, the same goes for older Northstar NSB 90
 

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I'm seconding don't use optima. They're shit. Had two go out on me only after 2-3 years of use.

My XSPower D3400 is going on 3.5 years and holding 12.8v.


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I have Kinetic batteries that have been in my Blazer for the last 7 or 8 years and still going strong. I have an AGM starter battery in my Maxima that made a noticable difference with starting and dimming. I also have an XS battery for my work truck which I haven't had a problem with. I think they are always worth it if you're getting anywhere around 1000 watts and have heavy listening habits. Probably not necessary. They are designed for extreme discharge and rapid recharge. Conventional car batteries are not. Even if your not noticing car power loss the battery is taking a slow beating and likely not lasting as long as it should have.
 

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I had a 6-7 years old oem style battery in my civic. It was still cranking the car fine even in winter but I could only tune the car for max 20 minutes. I changed it for a bigger Odyssey and to my surprise, the midbass performance was night and day. I can’t tell you if the improvement come from the fact that the replaced battery was too old or too small.
 

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Yellow top in my car for 4 years now... No issues at all.
Optimas used to be really good. So did Costco batteries from Johnson controls. Both have taken a nose dive along with all other mainsteam car brands in recent years.

You probably got a good version. Buy a new optima battery today and you'll be dissapointed.

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Northstar or odyssey ,I have just northstar in my SUV running 2 vxi amps 800/8i & 1000/5i without issues,I had audio @ 50% volume for 20 mins with engine off,its says 160 mins reserve but usually it's with stock system & lower volume, I expect it to be 30-50 mins reserve with this system but i havent tested it,so yeah I dont think you need audio battery ,just get a high power battery for car unless u are using some big subs
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not all AGM batteries are the same. Some are designed with different plate tolerances to optimize power delivery. Batteries such as XSPower are designed for high amperage output and will perform better than say an AGM starter battery.



Your question is hard to answer because we don't know what type of system you're running and how much power you will need. Sometimes it won't make a difference if your system is not hungry enough to work a starter AGM battery. If you want to be safe and have the best possible performance out of your system, it's probably best to get a battery from Stinger or XSPower.


Hmm I have all Audiofrog GB speakers, alpine processor, sx2 1200 6 channel and a sx mono 400

I am currently using a Duracell car battery.


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Northstar or odyssey ,I have just northstar in my SUV running 2 vxi amps 800/8i & 1000/5i without issues,I had audio @ 50% volume for 20 mins with engine off,its says 160 mins reserve but usually it's with stock system & lower volume, I expect it to be 30-50 mins reserve with this system but i havent tested it,so yeah I dont think you need audio battery ,just get a high power battery for car unless u are using some big subs
I'm considering the same amps for my next build. Based on your comment, I assume you're not dealing with any light dimming on stock electrical (plus the battery, obviously)?
 

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its funny, just had a long post on another forum about AGMs and optima. I will copy and paste what was discussed. A gentleman the designs electrical systems chimed in. In a nut shell he mentioned that unless you have a specific demand and follow battery protocol, you are wasting money on AGMs in modern charging systems. Paste listed below.



"Optima battery quality hasn’t changed so much but the quality of the charging systems in vehicles has improved enormously in the past 15-20 years, significantly contributing to AGMs early demise.

For background, I design the electrical systems for hybrid drivetrains and advanced hydraulics in off-road/vocational applications. I’ve spent more time than I care to count investigating battery issues on these vehicles, running tests, evaluating alternative power sources over the last decade.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries like Optima and Odyssey are incredibly good batteries, far exceeding the life and withstanding far more abuse (both mechanically and electrically) than typical FLA batteries. But they suck in most applications that were not specifically designed for them.

AGM batteries require charging at 14.7V to reach 100% state of charge (SOC). Anything between 14.7V and 14.2V will charge the battery, but will never allow it to reach 100% SOC. Below 14.2V there is insufficient voltage to allow charging to occur at typical discharge levels. Battery life is substantially reduced if 100% SOC is not reached, easily dropping by up to 2/3s if the battery is only charged to 80% SOC. 14.2V will typically charge an FLA to 100% SOC, but an AGM will barely reach 80% SOC.

Over the last 20 years or so the amount of electronics in vehicles has exploded. One of the things done to improve the life of these electronics is to supply them with clean, stable, transient free power. On older vehicles it wasn’t uncommon to see alternators charging batteries at anywhere from 13.7 to 15V, with transients (particularly load dumps) over 50V. On a modern vehicle it is typically an error condition if the system (i.e. battery voltage) exceeds 14.3V, and transients are usually held under 30 volts.

A modern vehicle's charging system barely gets to the level needed to charge an AGM battery, let alone push it to 100% SOC. Short life of an AGM battery is virtually guaranteed. Your older car didn’t regulate the voltage as tightly and probably got to 14.7 volts, allowing the AGM to get to 100% SOC, and live a long life.

On most of the systems I work on we have gone back to FLA batteries because they last on the unmodified charging systems. On the one vehicle that I modified the charging circuit to run at 14.7V I have an Optima Redtop battery in it that has never been replaced. And this includes repeated discharges to near 0% SOC when the sales people at the tradeshows forget to turn the vehicle off after the show."
 

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You will not get the type of amperage output you need from FLA. They're too slow to release amps


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"I'm considering the same amps for my next build. Based on your comment, I assume you're not dealing with any light dimming on stock electrical (plus the battery, obviously)?"
No issues at all
 

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its funny, just had a long post on another forum about AGMs and optima. I will copy and paste what was discussed. A gentleman the designs electrical systems chimed in. In a nut shell he mentioned that unless you have a specific demand and follow battery protocol, you are wasting money on AGMs in modern charging systems. Paste listed below.







"Optima battery quality hasn’t changed so much but the quality of the charging systems in vehicles has improved enormously in the past 15-20 years, significantly contributing to AGMs early demise.



For background, I design the electrical systems for hybrid drivetrains and advanced hydraulics in off-road/vocational applications. I’ve spent more time than I care to count investigating battery issues on these vehicles, running tests, evaluating alternative power sources over the last decade.



Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries like Optima and Odyssey are incredibly good batteries, far exceeding the life and withstanding far more abuse (both mechanically and electrically) than typical FLA batteries. But they suck in most applications that were not specifically designed for them.



AGM batteries require charging at 14.7V to reach 100% state of charge (SOC). Anything between 14.7V and 14.2V will charge the battery, but will never allow it to reach 100% SOC. Below 14.2V there is insufficient voltage to allow charging to occur at typical discharge levels. Battery life is substantially reduced if 100% SOC is not reached, easily dropping by up to 2/3s if the battery is only charged to 80% SOC. 14.2V will typically charge an FLA to 100% SOC, but an AGM will barely reach 80% SOC.



Over the last 20 years or so the amount of electronics in vehicles has exploded. One of the things done to improve the life of these electronics is to supply them with clean, stable, transient free power. On older vehicles it wasn’t uncommon to see alternators charging batteries at anywhere from 13.7 to 15V, with transients (particularly load dumps) over 50V. On a modern vehicle it is typically an error condition if the system (i.e. battery voltage) exceeds 14.3V, and transients are usually held under 30 volts.



A modern vehicle's charging system barely gets to the level needed to charge an AGM battery, let alone push it to 100% SOC. Short life of an AGM battery is virtually guaranteed. Your older car didn’t regulate the voltage as tightly and probably got to 14.7 volts, allowing the AGM to get to 100% SOC, and live a long life.



On most of the systems I work on we have gone back to FLA batteries because they last on the unmodified charging systems. On the one vehicle that I modified the charging circuit to run at 14.7V I have an Optima Redtop battery in it that has never been replaced. And this includes repeated discharges to near 0% SOC when the sales people at the tradeshows forget to turn the vehicle off after the show."
That seems to explain my experience with Optima batteries, they're fine for a year or two, then they need a recovery cycle from a smart charger. Just need the correct charging voltage.
As for the OP's question, get an XS Power battery, they're great.
 

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Optimas used to be really good. So did Costco batteries from Johnson controls. Both have taken a nose dive along with all other mainsteam car brands in recent years.

You probably got a good version. Buy a new optima battery today and you'll be dissapointed.

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I heard this quite a few years ago (long before I bought mine) And the blame was because they moved one of their plants to Mexico, and QC suffered.
I have also heard of their resurgence into the good days of old since.
I'm a "try it for myself kinda guy" with some things. I certainly don't believe everything I read on the web. Everyone has good and bad reviews, and alot of the negative reviews are total BS (as are the positive).
Realizing that Johnson controls most likely sells 100x (just spitballing here) the batteries of the competition, it makes perfect sense that they would have more negative reviews.
I'm not likely to shy away from something just because uncle bills best friend john had a sister who bought a bad battery 20 years ago.
To each his/her own. I took a chance on one, and its working out for me. Nothing negative to say about Optimas.
 

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I was going to explain the charging system being insufficient too but the quote Jroo posted explained it way better than I could have. After learning about an agm needing a specific charging profile I now know I'll probably never run another one in a vehicle unless it came with one from the factory. My truck came with a wet battery and periodic voltage checks while driving have showed it never gets over 14v. In previous trucks I've seen nearly 16v from the alty when under heavy demand on a volt meter in the cab. I have an agm as the cranking/acc battery in my boat but I also have an onboard charger designed for it that makes sure it's fully charged before the next trip. A wet battery will be going in my truck when the time comes.
 

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AGM batteries require charging at 14.7V to reach 100% state of charge (SOC). Anything between 14.7V and 14.2V will charge the battery, but will never allow it to reach 100% SOC. Below 14.2V there is insufficient voltage to allow charging to occur at typical discharge levels. Battery life is substantially reduced if 100% SOC is not reached, easily dropping by up to 2/3s if the battery is only charged to 80% SOC. 14.2V will typically charge an FLA to 100% SOC, but an AGM will barely reach 80% SOC.
What's the problem with the battery being at 80% SOC?

From Optima's website:
"For regular charging, we recommend a maximum of 10 amps, 13.8 to 15.0 volts. For float charging, we recommend one amp maximum, 13.2 to 13.8 volts."
 

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Supposedly Optima battery production moved south of the border approx. 6-7 years ago and quality control hasn't been the same since. I have a really old red top Optima in my '70 Chevelle SS and it is finally (after 11 years) ready to be replaced. A nearly 50 year old vehicle doesn't have the charging ability of a modern car. Tested the alternator (out of the car) today and it showed a max of 14.53 volts.
I won't be getting another Optima. My research points toward the purchase of a Duracell for cranking/starting purposes.
 
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