I have sold car radio amplifiers online for over a decade now. Over the years, the most common question is: How do I choose an amplifier for my new speakers or subwoofer?
Lets try to remove this selection process if we can. This information is presented to help the online shopper make reasonable decisions. It focuses on the published information that is generally available in most product descriptions on the web.
Many, who are new to car stereo, will first look for USA-made as a high-quality stamp. Although it may have been true when I started the first decades ago, its really not a serious guideline anymore. Honestly, some of the most famous named amplifiers, associated with good old American production, are actually developed and manufactured in the Far East today. You will be very hard to find any car audio products made in the US today.
Most shoppers will buy their speakers or subwoofers first and then shop for an amplifier. So you have the recommended details in your hand when you start your amplifier search. This is definitely the suggested order if you want to find a real match.
Usually, customers look directly at the amplifiers amplifier. When considering the effect, you should also consider the maximum impedance indicated by the amplifier. Most classic amplifiers, such as Nakamichi, Alpine, Linear Power, Orion, Precision Power, Eclipse and US Amps, will be able to use 2 ohm and even 1 ohm at Class D subwoofer amplifiers. But in the real world, you should compare the amplifiers output capacity of 4 ohms. In most installations, you build a 4 ohm setting. At one point, the names mentioned above and most other quality amplifiers would only publish their specific output at RMS or continuous power values and never the maximum effect. Unfortunately, due to the changing market, almost all amplifiers show the manufacturers maximum outputs on their amplifiers. Beware of this as it may be most misleading. Can be honest, who cares what an amplifier can produce over a period of 1 millisecond? Published maximum production is very misleading and near useless to the installer.
The second object of control is the amplifier signal to noise movement (SNR). Of course, the higher this ratio, the better. Although this is not particularly important if you are looking for a subwoofer amplifier, it should certainly be a crucial factor when you Buying a good amplifier to drive your mid player and tweeter.
The above two points allow a shopper to match an amplifier to their new speakers but there are several other more general points to consider as well. Such a point is: Has your car radio or source device a low output connection? This allows you to connect directly to the default levels of low level on your amplifier. If your main unit is not equipped, you will need a high-level input amplifier. This high level input allows you to connect the speaker threads from the main unit directly to the amplifier. There are adapters available if your selected amplifier does not have this feature, so do not let this point rule out an otherwise acceptable amplifier.
You should also consider your physical location for your installation before shopping. Be sure to secure your amp properly and that the space provides enough air circulation.
If your amplifier destroys two sets of speakers, such as a front and a coaxial or mid-voltage component, I recommend that you buy a four-channel amplifier instead of a stereo amplifier. This gives you full paternity control that will not be available if you share a stereo channel for two sets of speakers, front and back. Sometimes your local installers suggest that you go with several amplifiers instead. Could the reason be that they want to sell another amplifier and set of installation parts?
Another option to look for is built-in low pass and high pass transitions. Finally, make sure your amp has a gain control. This is necessary to properly match your audio levels to your speakers when installed in your specific vehicle. This also makes it possible to buy an amplifier that might be a little bigger or more powerful than your speakers to expand your system in the future. Along with this thought, if you buy a multi-channel amplifier, consider one that can drive with 2 ohms if you ever decide to add a subwoofer at a later time. Spending a few dollars more up front can save you in the long run. Hopefully these few points will allow you to select an amplifier to properly drive your new high