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Old 01-01-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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Audiophile Question

Hey guys, I have an after market head that puts out about 20 watts per channel RMS. I have four 5 1/4 Kicker KS speakers and an 8" powered sub. If I were to add an Alpine amp (50 x 4 watts rms) how much better would my radio sound?

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Old 01-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
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What is the Sensitivity rating of those Kicker speakers? Whether or not a higher powered amp would make a difference depends on if the speakers are being adequately driven now... which depends primarily on their Sensitivity rating as expressed in dB. Like 84 dB? 91 dB?

And where did you find a head unit rated 20 watts RMS per channel with all channels driven? That is higher than I have ever seen. What brand & model is it?

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Old 01-01-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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What is the Sensitivity rating of those Kicker speakers? Whether or not a higher powered amp would make a difference depends on if the speakers are being adequately driven now... which depends primarily on their Sensitivity rating as expressed in dB. Like 84 dB? 91 dB?

And where did you find a head unit rated 20 watts RMS per channel with all channels driven? That is higher than I have ever seen. What brand & model is it?
A number of brands are starting to put out 20+ RMS per channel single din radios, my new Kenwood claims 22x4 watts RMS. Is that what it actually puts out? Highly doubtful.

OP, Jeeps aren't very acoustical, but an amp can certainly help make your music louder, which can be needed with no top/loud tires. I have a 4-channel amp that puts out 60wx4 RMS at 2 ohms to Infinity Kappas. It's loud.

If I were to do it again I would get components for the front and use the Nalin tweeter brackets. The dash grills in the front HORRIBLY muffle the tweeters.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:20 PM   #4
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It's a JVC....almost everything now is in the 20 watt rms range. BUT, lets be frank, if you compare the size of the head unit to a 50watt rms per channel amp, there is no comparison. The amps are MUCH larger. I have to believe the power and sound quality is much better.

I currently have the Kicker DS speakers in the dash and the KS speakers in the sound bar. I will probably upgrade the dash speakers to KS if I add an amp which sort of sucks.

The KS speakers are 90 db. So are the DS ones. The KS speakers are rated for 35 rms and the KS at 45. In general the KS speakers just sound nicer.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:22 PM   #5
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My goal is to improve the clarity of sound at lower volumes and also to be able to play louder.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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90 dB is a good high Sensitivity rating, I wouldn't expect a significant boost in sound quality with the higher power amp. Louder and louder at lower volume knob levels of course but your speakers are being fairly well driven now.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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My amp is a Sony XM4S, it's very small, fits under the drivers side dash. Alpine and Rockford Fosgate also make some small amps. I've got my eye on the Alpine MRP-F300, you can pick it up for 127$ on Amazon, very tempting. Problem is it can't be mounted upside down like my Sony can. I know Sony gets bashed a lot, but it's been great the last couple years.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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I just ordered a Kenwood with a claimed 22W per RMS
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #9
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I think Sony gear is fine too. The Sony bashing is typically from the snobs who just like to bash Sony. Those are the same types who claim they can hear subtle nuances in such things... like the jackass pimply-faced kid salesman at a car audio store who told me that he immediately heard a dramatic improvment in the sound quality after converting to $5/ft. Monster "time correct multi-gauge" speaker cables from his previous 10 gauge (which is still more than big enough) speaker wiring.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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I think Sony gear is fine too. The Sony bashing is typically from the snobs who just like to bash Sony. Those are the same types who claim they can hear subtle nuances in such things... like the jackass pimply-faced kid salesman at a car audio store who told me that he immediately heard a dramatic improvment in the sound quality after converting to $5/ft. Monster speaker wiring from his previous 10 gauge (which is still more than big enough) speaker wiring.
I ordered Sony 5 1/4 front speakers, too. Always been a fan of Sony home audio. I just installed Polks in the sound bar and would have liked to put a pair in the dash, but the Sony's were cheap (92db sensitivity though)
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:45 PM   #11
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I wouldn't worry about running Sony stuff. Can't say the same for Kenwood, installed my new HU yesterday and I get a very faint pop when I turn it off and change tracks when my iPhone is connected. Hoping it's a ground connection and not a faulty HU.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #12
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Thanks Jerry! I will probably move on an amp anyway.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #13
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Freakier, that's the amp I am gonna buy. crutchfield has it at 149 with free shipping.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:16 PM   #14
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Freakier, that's the amp I am gonna buy. crutchfield has it at 149 with free shipping.
Little 5 and 6 inch component speakers typically don't enjoy producing low frequencies. If you get an amp, get one with some crossovers built in so that you can send anything below about 100hz to the sub. Just let the 5 inch speakers do mid and high range. That will make everything sound "better", not just louder. Then, when you want louder, the 5" speaker will be better in that aspect as well because it doesn't have to deal with attempting to produce low frequencies it isn't good at.

When setting up the new system, set the eq's on the head unit to "flat". The system, when set up right should sound really good without any influence, positive or neg, from the eq's, base or treble.

Crutchfield is in my backyard. Awesome service there.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #15
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Check Sonic Electronix, they are usually cheaper than Crutchfield.

Also, the Sony amp has a high pass filter and a low pass filter if you bridge the rear channel for a sub.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:02 PM   #16
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My 04 Sport came with an amp in the console, but the previous owner had pulled the fuse because the subwoofer was blown. It had Pioneer speakers in the sound bar, and I ordered a replacement sub from Quadratech. The system is definitely not a "thumping" setup, nor should any vehicle I own ever be such! However, even with the top and doors off on the interstate I can crank it up and it sounds pretty good! I'm expecting a new Sony receiver and iVault from Quadratech this Thursday, so I will finally be able to plug my iPhone into it, and hopefully I will be good to go stereo-wise for a while ...
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #17
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Guys, I already have a powered sub and the head unit has filters so the lows are already going to the sub.

The amp will just be driving the four 5 1/4 speakers.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #18
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Properly setup & adjusted, almost every time adding an amp will result in better sound than running off deck power. Key words, properly adjusted & setup
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #19
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That makes sense to me. Once I get everything in, I will need to see if someone can guide me through the right settings.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:35 AM   #20
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Sonicelectronix is your best place for audio gear. Cheapest place on the net, great CS, and 1the year warranty through them. You can get a very nice 4 channel thats 50x4 rms ar 4 ohms mids and highs amp for around $100.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:24 AM   #21
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Even a cheap budget amp will be better than any built in receiver amp.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #22
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Ordered amp, kit and wire today.

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