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Old 12-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
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New Head Unit - Pre-amp?

I am doing some research on Crutchfield.com and I like the Pioneer Head Units (and their speakers, especially since the site is running a discount on the combo ... but I am confused.

One of the Pioneers has pre-amp outputs while the other does not. What is a pre-amp output? I am not car stereo savvy... just looking for a better head unit than my stock am/fm radio that shorts out all the time.

Thanks, guys -

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Old 12-19-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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Pre-amp out allows you to hook up an amp the standard method using RCA cables to deliver the signal...if the one without them is considerably cheaper and you never plan to hook up a subwoofer with your system, get it. If you plan on hooking up a subwoofer down the road...or any speakers involving the use of an external amplifier, get the one with the pre-amp outs. Technically you can hook up a sub with either...but you cant use the sub controls built into the head unit using one without pre-amp outputs...plus the one without probably doesn't have any sub controls.

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Old 12-19-2009, 09:57 PM   #3
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It's nice to have at least the subwoofer pre-amp output. Mine has 3, for front, rear and a sub.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:17 PM   #4
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Okay, giving me an easier way to hook up the amp... I get that part. Now, don't go nuts here, but... what is a sub-woofer and why would I want one?

I have replaced head units before, but I have never replaced anything else. This whole 'sound system upgrade' thing is kind of confusing. I just want a better system with cleaner, crisper sound and loud enough to hear with the top down.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:27 PM   #5
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Subwoofer is a speaker that delivers the low frequencies...ie bass. There's a more technical explanation, but I'm not a huge stereo nut so I can't give you the proper terminology. Regardless...when you hear somebody drive past in their car and it's "bumping" so loud with the music that your pictures are rattling off your walls, those are subwoofers (albeit those are way too large for the vehicle...mainly for kids who like listening to rap/hip-hop and annoying the neighbors). Subs give you extra bass though...and when tuned properly, they really bring the music out more as you can kinda feel the drum hits and the bass guitar...those cars mentioned above are usually running like 2 12's or 2 15's whereas a single 8" sub will make a huge difference to the way you hear your music. You basically hear more of the sound spectrum...whereas the smaller full-range speakers just can't deliver those lower frequencies as well.

If you never plan to install one and the headunit without the pre-amp outs is considerably cheaper...I'd go for that one. In all honesty, you don't sound like you do plan on installing one...so I'd just go for that one. lol
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:14 PM   #6
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Thanks, sentenced... I appreciate the explanation. Let's see what the wife gets me for Christmas and then I'll see what I am installing
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:04 PM   #7
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No problem...one word of warning...once you own subs, you'll never enjoy music without them. I'm just dyyyyying to install my system in my Jeep (it's currently sitting in my shed), but at the same time, I don't want to due to the likelyhood of it being stolen since I only have a soft top.

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