DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I am new here and am not sure where to start. I have done some searching on these boards and half of it is terms I don't understand, and most of the rest is people putting together systems out of my league lol. I am not looking for some ear shattering competition system. Just good sound with a good amp that wont mess up my speakers

I have been looking for an amp the past month, and doing a lot of reading about how many manufacturers lie about wattage ratings and all of that. My skills are in live sound and dealing with live audio, not car audio. After all my research lately, I have a good idea of what car audio brands are good, but would still like a 2nd opinion.

Here is the deal. I bought a pair of JBL GTO 638's for the front. (6.5" 60w RMS 180peak 2ohm) and currently have old Pioneer TS-A6975 (6"x9" 40w rms 220peak 4ohm) already in the rear. At some point I would like to put a pair of the JBL GTO 6x9s in the back but I am poor. :p

What would be a good amp to power speakers like these and also leave me with head room to put the JBL 6x9's in later?

Any help is appreciated... thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
All coax's?

If you are a live sound guy, let me pose a question - do you ever put speakers in the back at a concert???

Just get an amp that is somewhat future proof (in case you ever learn a little more and decide to make a change).

Like a decent 4 channel, maybe 75-100 watts per channel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes, all 3 way coax. No speakers in the back live... duh :p But then again in live sound, the speakers are shooting directly into your face, not toward your feet like door speakers. If I ever fade out my rears in a 4 way system, it sounds kinda bad because you don't feel as surrounded by the sound.

Anyway, theory aside. I was looking for something around that wattage, but my question was more in the lines of what particular amp or brand. I have read that different brands are not all true to wattage, so for example I have been looking at a kicker zx350.4. (rms [email protected]) refurbished for $125, but then a phoenix gold v754 (rms [email protected]) brand new for $110. This is where I am confused... decent brands (from what I've read) yet one is cheaper with more wattage.

Also, is buying refurbed a bad idea? It was done by kicker and comes with a 90day warranty... not sure if that means much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
An alpine PDX 4 channel is a good option ,small size ,easy to install.
And buying refurbed with limited warranty is not a bad choice if you are looking to save money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Just looked it up and yikes, it costs a lot of money. So what is the difference between this Alpine and the other amps I mentioned. The RMS rating listed is close to the other amps I mentioned (actually lower than the phoenix gold) yet costs 4 times more money, why?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
I recently got a refurb Kicker 5 channel amp and would not hesitate to get another one. That Kicker amp sounds a lot closer to my Xtant than it should. They are refurbed at the Kicker factory in Stillwater, I think they're the best deals going in amps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Yes, all 3 way coax.
As you probably already know, coaxial speakers aren't optimum.

No speakers in the back live... duh :p But then again in live sound, the speakers are shooting directly into your face, not toward your feet like door speakers.
The ideal car audio system is to replicate that of a live performance. By placing speakers behind you isn't possible to do this. I actually left my rear speakers installed but disconnected them from the amp. With the rear coaxial 4x6 connected the singer would be imaged in the center of the stage but very close, lets say the top of the dash. Were the rear coaxials were disconnected the image of the singer was push out beyond the windshield. Which more closely replicates the live performance.

Now if you are tryin' to achieve a theater performance, then a system with 5.1 or better and rear speakers install would be ideal then.

If I ever fade out my rears in a 4 way system, it sounds kinda bad because you don't feel as surrounded by the sound.
This is those car audio challenges. Some like to have rears for fill effects and to help increase ambience. But you have to balance this and it can be a fine line. OEM usually place larger speakers behind the driver/listener due to space limitations.

Anyway, theory aside. I was looking for something around that wattage, but my question was more in the lines of what particular amp or brand. I have read that different brands are not all true to wattage, so for example I have been looking at a kicker zx350.4. (rms [email protected]) refurbished for $125, but then a phoenix gold v754 (rms [email protected]) brand new for $110. This is where I am confused... decent brands (from what I've read) yet one is cheaper with more wattage.
These all sound like fine choices. Should allow to expand in the future with fewer limitations.

Also, is buying refurbed a bad idea? It was done by kicker and comes with a 90day warranty... not sure if that means much.
When I worked at a shop we had another shop down the street that competed against us that sold refurbbed equipment. We had a hard time match the prices and they offered the same OE warranty as new equipment 1 yr since the work was done at the factory.

Are you buying online???

As you can see car audio is all about compromises... which ones can you live with and which ones can't you live with???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies.

eRush, I am no where near the enthusiast you guys probably are. I have way to many other hobbies (freaking expensive ones too like sport bike road racing) which really hinder the amount of money I can spend.

I really wouldn't plan on buying better speakers than the JBL's I have, so I assume I wouldn't need room to expand. I am definitely not going for any super optimal live type sound. My alpine deck is just weak and clips my speakers if I attempt to get them loud. I am just looking for a decent amp to help push my components better and don't want to get ripped off. Nothing more.. :)

Could you go in depth about the coaxials not being optimum? I don't plan on switching, but I do like learning.

You said the amps I mentioned were ok brands to go for, but would you mind going into detail on why a 90wx4 amp costs more money refurbished than a 120wx4 if both brands are good? Is it just brand name? Is the phoenix gold just as reliable and would that make a better choice seeing as it is 30% more power? or are these wattage ratings not fully accurate? Oh, and yes I am buying online
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Thanks for the replies.
NP:)

eRush, I am no where near the enthusiast you guys probably are. I have way to many other hobbies (freaking expensive ones too like sport bike road racing) which really hinder the amount of money I can spend.
Sounds like all of us, especially me.

I really wouldn't plan on buying better speakers than the JBL's I have, so I assume I wouldn't need room to expand. I am definitely not going for any super optimal live type sound.
You know it always starts out that way. Think about that bike of yours. How did if feel stock??? How long was it before you swapped out that exhaust??? Why did you swap it??? Sound or performance??? What was the next mod, power commander??? (have to elim the top speed limiter) You will reach a point where you are no longer satisfied and looking for more. Since you have a background in sound your limits might be shorter that someone who doesnt even own a CD.

My alpine deck is just weak and clips my speakers if I attempt to get them loud. I am just looking for a decent amp to help push my components better and don't want to get ripped off. Nothing more.. :)
That start has already begun! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Could you go in depth about the coaxials not being optimum? I don't plan on switching, but I do like learning.
I am going to have to ask for help because I seem to have forgotten exactly why. It does have something to do with the quality of engineering and materials. One downside is that the tweet actually block part of the mid driver. Because the tweet is higher therefore closer the sound path is shorter which creates small phase issues. Did I miss anything???

Coax are again a compromise, if you are space limited they are terrific. Another plus is the POS (point of source) it the same, you cant get that from components.

You said the amps I mentioned were ok brands to go for, but would you mind going into detail on why a 90wx4 amp costs more money refurbished than a 120wx4 if both brands are good?
What are the price points of each model new, ie MSRP not sold online?

Is it just brand name?
Sometime it can be that simple.

Is the phoenix gold just as reliable and would that make a better choice seeing as it is 30% more power?
I am a hugh fan of MTX products based on what I saw were I worked at my shop and I was competiting at sound events. With that said I became a huge believer in PG products when we had the mad genius behind PG named Larry Fredrickk come and do a seminar for us. At the event he drove a PG 300.2 Ti amp straight to a larger gauge nail gounded, basically 0 ohm load for over a half hour without an issue including over heating.

or are these wattage ratings not fully accurate?
Usually these companies are accurate with there ratings, however with the increased competition for other companies that dont, they have started to stretch the truth some.

Oh, and yes I am buying online
This is most likely the reason why the warranty is only 90 days vice 1 yr.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I am actually one of the few who is still riding a stock bike. :) I don't race competitively yet, just track days. I am at the point though where focusing on my skill will yield better lap times than dropping 2,000 dollars into my bike will. haha

I just got done reading this link, but it wasn't very informative. Coaxial versus Component Speakers

MSRP cost is never the same no matter where I look. I have seen the kicker MSRP start at 270 and go up to 550. The PG I have seen go from 270-350. lol... Does that help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I am actually one of the few who is still riding a stock bike. :) I don't race competitively yet, just track days. I am at the point though where focusing on my skill will yield better lap times than dropping 2,000 dollars into my bike will. haha
Thats good to hear, but it would be long... Dont lie!
Eventually, your skill will out grow the bike. You will then mod the bike or more you to the next class, ie 600 to 750.

This also shows attention to detail. You are starting to sound more and more like a closet addict.

This will benefit you later if you should start expanding the system.

I just got done reading this link, but it wasn't very informative. Coaxial versus Component Speakers
I havent read this yet will have to take a look at it shortly.

MSRP cost is never the same no matter where I look. I have seen the kicker MSRP start at 270 and go up to 550. The PG I have seen go from 270-350. lol... Does that help?
Looks like they were meant to be fairly close in price point then. Usually the PG will command a couple more dollars due to brand image.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Anyway, theory aside. I was looking for something around that wattage, but my question was more in the lines of what particular amp or brand. I have read that different brands are not all true to wattage, so for example I have been looking at a kicker zx350.4. (rms [email protected]) refurbished for $125, but then a phoenix gold v754 (rms [email protected]) brand new for $110. This is where I am confused... decent brands (from what I've read) yet one is cheaper with more wattage.
Have you given either amp a test listen???

If not, find a local shop in your area that carries both brand and give a test listen. If you cant find a shop that has both the comparison will be a lil harder but not impossible.

You will have to go to the two different shops, but bring your own test disc. This way the music is the same.

Also beware, shops can cheat. They can gain one amp up while the other amp maybe gained down, etc.

PS
If the shops dont carry the exact amp that you are looking at, ask to listen to one that is the closes to it. If its because of model year updates, ask them whats changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,376 Posts
If you don't run 2 ohm speakers you will not get that power. I bought a kicker zx700.5 refurb from kicker about 2+yr ago and it works well also. I want a little more power on the highs but this is not bad ([email protected]). The sub is quite powerful at 2 ohms, 420rms and class D. At the price point it is hard to beat, I paid well under 200 at ubid back then. I would say you need [email protected]/ch if you can get it, 70 will work there is little difference. I have a 4x50 in there now an alpine mrv and it does put out less but clips nicer. If you ran the kicker 5ch and had fairly efficient door speakers it should please most and go pretty loud.

There is not a lot of sound difference between amps, most is durability and warranty with a little features thrown in and of course power. Cheaper amps will list peak power not CEA RMS at X ohms, it is mostly a worthless figure, Pyramid for example. Still if you get the largest Pyramid they don't work bad, but the 1200w amp might be [email protected] just like an insiginia or something and they tend to break more/sooner...and are cheaper. Kicker is a step up from this, I'd call it a budget amp because it is cheaper but still of a quality that is not bad. The alpine PDX is an ICE power amp like the PRS Pioneer and some others, it is a newer full range class D technology. They take less power, run cooler, are smaller. New JL and some others also are amps of this type and not the old class AB. Look up icepower on wiki. Still power is not really an issue at lower levels. I clipped my kicker and got a peak of 74 amps on a 5ga wire. I am certain music would never pull that unless I clipped it on a bass track. I tend to not run over a 2x200rms class AB, under that it is not really an issue for me. On the other hand smaller, more efficient, and cooler is nice. I tend to run old amps on highs I am familiar with.

I've had very nice sounding coax systems, the drivers will always determine the sound of your system more than anything...some sound better than others. Powerful EQs can help in that area, but if you don't have one changing drivers will change things the most. Install of those drivers also counts, deaden your doors with something at the least.

For a new amp I'd say determine your needs and budget, then shop up the best deal with a warranty, or without if you want to chance it. I think this Kicker refurb had 90day or something, on the other hand I can fix it. The advantage is it takes up less room, is easier to wire/mount a single 5ch amp. You can also bridge it to a 3ch. It came sealed with all new extras.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The JBLs are 2ohm, the pioneers are 4ohm, but I plan on replacing the pioneers asap.

This also shows attention to detail. You are starting to sound more and more like a closet addict.
lol:blush:

Well thanks for the advice guys, I will check out the local shop to see if I can listen to the difference of the two amps.

I do have another question. I read about some stronger amps killing batteries and alternators. Do I need to worry about that with a 100x4 amp?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,376 Posts
I would guess you can run 1Kw RMS before you need to worry much about power issues in a typical car, though class AB on subs will take more.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top