Buyer’s Guide: Amplifiers

Car Audio Amplifier Basics: 

Amplifiers do exactly what their name implys, it ampilfies the signal from the signal source such as a head unit or receiver. A car audio amplifier provides a clean signal to feed your speakers or subwoofers. This can be crucial at higher volumes to ensire proper sound quality.  Most head units include an internal amplifier, however being limited on space, internal amplifiers can not produce the power necessary to drive a quality speaker.   Upgrading and properly powering your mid and high range speakers can result in a dramatic increase in not just overall sound level capabilities but also increase your sound clarity and quality.

 

Amplifiers can be used on Highs and midrange speakers as well as subwoofers.  Amplifiers for mids and highs are usually multi-channel (example 2 or 4 channel) so you have multiple channels that can have independent settings and/or impedence. Research the peak outputs of your amplifier at different ohm loads to help indentify the right speaker amplifier combination.

 

For subwoofers,  use a MONO block or class D amp so their signal is on a single channel thus is in unison.  Some builds use mutiple amps to increase power and/or change impedence. The amps can be independent or strapped together.  Most car audio amplifiers include a birth sheet upon purchase with the results of the amplifier being tested on a dyno.  Remember over powering subwoofers can lead to equipment malfunction and failure.

 

Car Audio Amplifier installation ugrade requirements:

Another key element to upgrading your amplifier is proper amperage for your amplifier to draw from.  Install a volt meter to moniter your voltage with the system off, on and playing. You will notice certain elements such as high kick notes will cause a strong draw as well as loss of amperage over time.  Be sure to upgrade your electrical properly including proper amperage from your battery and high output alternator and proper amount of power and grounds wire runs.

Get good RCA Cables to ensure clean signal quality and consider installing a line driver. For more on line drivers & Crossovers Click here

 


Find the right balance between quality and budget.  Buying products that are cheap and not quality could result in replacement and expenses in the future.  Best Practice is to start right and not have to do anything twice.


***PLEASE NOTE*** All information on this site is for educational and informational processes.  Any guidelines, tips or recommendations are considered general knowledge and we strongly encourage you to consult with a professional before installing, adjusting, or altering a car audio system. 

 

For more on amplifiers check out this video from Sonic Electronix