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Discussion Starter #1
I don't play loud music or big bass. Can I go with a car amp =< $100 and =< 100 watts? I checked the classified section. Even used ones go a few hundred dollars. No plan to add subwoofer. Typical 6.5+tweeter+rear.

Would someone recommend an inexpensive car amp?

Thanks.

PS: Has anyone heard Sure Electronics/Tripath DIY board? 100W x4 (actually 13W RMS x4 12V) sells for $52.
 

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1. IMO, your speakers will sound only as good as the signal you provide to them. There are a lot of people who make their first step buying a really cheap speaker or amplifier, and then realize it's not quite what they were looking for, and end up spending more. If you want a good amplifier, get something with at least 50-60watts RMS per channel. Most of the decent speakers need at least this much to start shining in full, and even cheap average speakers will sound better on this power. Avoid really cheap products from cheap brands like Boss, Crunch, etc. Some of them can work great.. but it's kind of hit and miss.

2. If you're planning on having 4-channel amplifier, it's much better to bridge the rear channels to power a subwoofer instead of wasting them on your rear speakers. Your rears do not need to be louder than fronts, so it's ok to power them with your stereo's built in amplifier. Using even a cheap $65 Infinity Reference subwoofer in an appropriately sized prefab box will sound much better than running rear speakers off the same rear channels.

3. Having said the above comments, occasionally interesting amplifiers are floated online for extremely low prices. I just bought this product for myself for $100, based on a glowing 3rd party review with measurements. I believe it's a discontinued product, maybe that's why it's so cheap:

MB Quart REF4.80 640W RMS Reference Series 4-Channel Amplifier

RMS Power Rating:

4 ohms: 80 watts x 4 chan.
2 ohms: 160 watts x 4 chan.
Bridged, 4 ohms: 320 watts x 2 chan.

Price: $99 + shipping

I am suspicious of MB Quart amps, but this one got a glowing review, so I bought one. Unfortunately, it may be some time before I power it to see how it sounds. However, note that I bought it only to power my front stage. I suspect that on the right day if driven too hard it will run too hot if you bridge the rears for a subwoofer. If you were planning to buy a 4-channel to power the fronts and a subwoofer, the PPI Phantom above is a heck of a deal. It's a class D amplifier, as opposed to Class A/B, so you can safely power a subwoofer with it without fear of overheating even if driven hard on a hotter day. Sonicelectronix sells them right now for $210. This maybe a half of what one would pay for a compact amplifier with so much power output a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the info. I am settled for the MB amp. PPI is above my budget. Thanks again.
 
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