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Audio Express Amplifier Buyers Guide

Understanding Amplifiers: A Mini Buyer’s Guide for Amplifiers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On September 11, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amplifier, Audio Express, car audio, power, speakers, subwoofer
If you’re not getting the sound you want out of your speakers, or you’re thinking about adding subwoofers to add some better sound to your system, you should consider adding an amplifier to your system. What an amplifier does An amplifier increases the power of the audio signal that travels from your receiver to your speakers or subwoofers by increasing the wattage output. Car stereo receivers are limited as to the strength of signal they can send to your speakers, typically insufficient power resulting in poor sound. An amplifier takes that signal in, increases its power and then sends the amplified signal to your speakers, resulting in a crisper, cleaner, more powerful sound. Types of amplifiers Amplifiers come in a variety of types. Mono amps have a single channel, meaning they can only increase power to a single type of speaker, usally subwoofers. Mono amplifiers are standard in amp and sub combos, like the Kicker 11HSB Compact Amp and Sub enclosure. For your regular car speakers, a four-channel amplifier will provide power to all of your car’s speakers. A five-channel amplifier will power your car’s four speakers as well as a subwoofer. Power and heat Amplifiers should be installed by a professional for best results. They require a direct connection to your car’s battery for power, and a professional can install the power cable so it is perfectly hidden inside your vehicle. Also, some amplifiers produce an amount of heat and need to be installed in a well ventilated location in your vehicle for best performance and to keep them from shutting off in thermal protection mode. What the ideal amplifier includes The ideal amplifier should have a high enough power output (wattage) to power the speakers or subwoofers you have in your vehicle, without under or overpowering them. A gain control allows you to match the RCA signal voltage coming in from your stereo, and balance it to the output from the amplifier to your speakers. A Gain IS NOT a volume control, and not using it or setting it correctly typically results in blown woofers or severely shortened speaker life. And finally, the ideal amplifier will be small enough to easily fit in your vehicle, while still providing the output you need. Why you should add an amplifier to your car If you are thinking about adding a subwoofer, like this Alpine subwoofer, then you will need an amp because your car stereo does not have the ability to power the subwoofer on its own. Another reason to add a subwoofer is to improve the sound quality out of your current speakers, by allowing the woofer to handle the lower frequencies, letting your full range speakers play without the strain or distortion of trying to reproduce frequencies they are not meant to play. Where Can I Find Quality Audio Components? So stop by one of our convenient Audio Express and Quality Auto Sound locations and talk to one of our trained car audio professionals about which car amplifier is best for you. If you have more questions about amplifiers, feel free to contact us online. And remember, we offer the lowest rates available for professional installation. 
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Audio Express Amplifier

4 Things You Need to Know About Amps Before Buying

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 4, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amp, amplifier, Audio Express, power, speakers, subwoofer
Amplifiers can be a great addition to your car audio system. If you’re not getting the sound quality or volume you expected, or you want to add a subwoofer or two, the right amp will make a world of difference. As with anything else, there are always a few things to consider when shopping for an amp to add to your car audio system. Size and Location Where would you like the amplifier to be installed? You’ll need to be sure that it will fit. Most of the time, amps can easily be installed in the trunk of your car, where it’s hidden from prying eyes. If you drive a truck or SUV, hiding your amp can be a little trickier. However, these days, many manufacturers make smaller footprint amps to fit in today’s tight spaces Power Power is important for a solid clean sound. But, many cheap brands will show misleading power ratings to attempt to fool people into thinking an amplifier produces more than it does. Every amplifier will have a “peak power” rating, but there will also be a “RMS power” rating, typically somewhere on the box in small print. This is the actual power you can expect to continuously see from the amp. To be safe, you’ll usually want more power from your amp than your speakers are rated for. This way you don’t overheat or clip the amp, as speakers are designed to perform best with more power available. You’re likely to damage you speakers if you don’t have enough power, due to overworking them and burning the voice coil. For example, if you’re running your amp to a Kicker sub rated at 300 watts, then a Kicker Amp with 600 watts of power would be a good amp to use, as you can always turn the amp down, and the extra power is there if you want to add a second subwoofer. Wiring Getting the right wiring kit is another very important part of getting an amplifier. You want to make sure to get a kit that is made of oxygen-free copper (OFC), versus copper clad aluminum (CCA),as this will provide a better flow of power from your battery to your amp. Also, watch the wire gauge – 8 gauge is great for smaller, lower power amplifiers, but for more powerful amps, go with 4 gauge or bigger. Again, it’s about the best flow of power from battery to amp, if you’re not getting the current power properly flowing thru the wire, you aren’t getting you true available wattage. Also, the longer the wire, the more current lost, so the biggest gauge rating is always better. Channels Are you going to have this amplifier power subwoofers or your speaker system? If you’re looking to power a subwoofer, then a more powerful mono or two-channel amplifier like the Kenwood Excelon XR1000 would work beautifully. But if you want to power your car’s speakers, then a Jensen Power400X4 4-Channel Amplifier can easily handle the job. Another option is a five-channel amplifier that can power your speakers and a subwoofer, like the Alpine MRV-V500. Audio Express Whatever your custom car audio needs are, stop by any of our Audio Express locations and talk to one of our trained Car Audio Professionals about the best amplifier setup for your car. We’ll get you set up with the best package and install your new amplifier with the lowest rates available. 
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