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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Never mind...

Did a more thorough search and determined that Alpine's sub setting only offers attenuation, so setting it at +15 or perhaps +10 to allow for some adjustment room (this is a convertible so there's variable cabin-gain to deal with) and balancing with the amp gains would be the right way to do it...

Finishing up the final piece of my setup over the next couple of days (getting off the head unit and adding an amp for the front stage) and wanted to make sure that I was looking at things properly.

First, the equipment list:
Alpine CDA-9833 head unit in active mode
Elf Audio E2125X bridged for 250w @ 4 ohms (sub amp)
Kicker CVT65.4 sub
Rockford-Fosgate PBR300X4 (front stage amp)
Alpine SPX-177R components driven in active mode

(A side note: this is a stealth install in a BMW Z3, hence the sub size)

Anyway, my real question...

Will be running without Media Expander and no tone control/equalization. The front-stage outputs for each bandpass in the crossover settings can be set for 0dB to -12dB, and I know that the best practice for the best S/N ratio is to leave those set at 0 for the highest output from the head unit and adjust the levels with the amp's gain control.

However, my sub output levels can be set from 0 to +15. I am assuming that this is just a question of semantics and that I should set the sub level control to +15 and adjust that amp with the gain control. My assumption is that the head unit doesn't amplify the signal to the sub, and that the 0 to +15 range on the adjustment should be considered as a -15 to 0 in actuality and I want to highest levels possible running from the head unit to the amp to maximize the S/N ratio.

Is this correct?
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