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Thread: Amp or headunit - need opinions

  1. #1
    Newbie diggs's Avatar
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    Amp or headunit - need opinions

    Let me preface this by stating that I am not an audiophile. I'm not looking for mind-blowing audio, just something comparable to what I have today with my factory HU and speakers.

    My Rodeo has 8 speakers - two 1" front tweeters, four 6.5" door speakers, and two 4" speakers in the cargo area ceiling.

    I have a 2 ch Pioneer amp that I'm sending back for a recall replacement, and getting in return a 2 ch 300W amp, or for $50 I can get a 4 ch 400W amp from them.

    I'm trying to figure out which direction to go on my install - get an amp and wire the output to the factory HU harness, or buy a single DIN HU (my current HU is double DIN and doesn't have an aux in) and go the below route. For now at least I'll be using the onboard sound card on my laptop.



    Opinions on which direction to take it are welcome. If you choose amp, let me know what size I should go with. I wasn't sure if I could go with the 2 ch, in terms of would that be enough to power all 8 speakers effectively.

  2. #2
    Newbie diggs's Avatar
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    I've decided to go with the 4ch amp so I can retain fade functionality between the fronts and rears.

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate brucedog's Avatar
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    I have always been an amp man myself. While I love great sounds and have been doing installs for self for many years, I couldn't give you hard facts as to why to go amps over hu, but try this:

    >HU's have many functions in that little box: am/fm, cd, maybe cassette, tone control, amplification...what have you. Kind of sounds like a whole lot of important functions being compromised by a desire to have them all in one easy package.

    >amplifiers have basically one job: to boost the low level audio signal to ear-splitting volume, along with maybe a bass and treble control. The amplifier company put a lot of parts in that bigger box, parts that can vastly improve the proper reproduction of the audio waveform and distribute the greater power of the amp.

    >I think that HU's break sooner and more often, probably 'cause there's a lot of heat in that little box, and too many functions crammed together too close. When you lose your HU, you lose everything. When your amp has trouble, your radio and cd functions are still ok, they're onboard the carpc.

    I left my stock HU and speakers intact and devised my own custom-mounting for whole new car audio system, powered by carpc and three amps (fr, rr, sub). I did not want to employ the door speakers, as I have always considered them too low (no ears in my legs...), and sometimes door panels can buzz. I just figured if I ever sell the car, I just remove carpc, wiring, speakers, and car is as it was...

    Best of luck and blessings, whatever you do.
    Happy CarPC'ing!

  4. #4
    Newbie diggs's Avatar
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    Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate them. I have gone ahead and ordered the 4 channel amp, just hoping it arrives soon so I can get this project completed!

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