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Thread: How to determine if the car have an amplifier?[UPDATED]

  1. #1
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    Question How to determine if the car have an amplifier?[UPDATED]

    Hello everyone,

    I have a 2001 camry, I am recently planning to build a carputer on it. According to the posts I read from this forum, it seems easier to hook the sound output from the carputer to the car speakers if a amplifier or a aux-in in the head unit present. Since this is a second-hand car I don't have specification of it, how to determine if there's an amplifier/aux-in in the car?

    If those two are not present, is that means I need to buy a amplifier and hook it to the car speakers? I read some post that a 5.1 speaker system need two separate amplifiers. How do I determine what kind of speaker system the car have? From what I know from home theater system a 5.1 sound system consists of 6 speakers. In the car there only 4 speakers visible (2 on the door, 2 on the back truck) what kind/how many amplifier do I need with them?

    I also read a post here which indicates that if the watt output of amplifier is not compatible with speaker output the speaker is likely to broken. How do I determine the output of the speaker and what is considered compatible?

    I am completely new to car audio things, please bear with me if I asked some stupid questions.

    Best regards.

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    '01 Camry sounds similar to my '03 Tacoma.
    The 4 speakers in the doors are actually function as two speakers, one in each door. The tweeter and midbass are separate, but function as a single speaker.

    One 4-channel amplifier is sufficient for that setup.

    Usually, a stock system only includes an amplifier for the 'premium' sound system. You can find out if that is the case by having a dealer decode your VIN.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
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    If there are 2 separate harnesses next to each other that connect to the back of the stock radio then you do not have an amplifier. They could be colored either white or blue. If there is only one harness then you would have the amplifier.
    Another way to check is sometimes on the speaker's magnet it displays the impedance of the speakers. If it says its "2 Ω" (or ohms) then it most likely has an amplifier. If the speakers say "4 Ω", then it probably does not. I don't recall if they've ever used 8 Ω speakers in toyotas, but I just worked on a similar year camry today and it used 2 ohm speakers on the amplified system.

    Although, just because it is equip with the factory amplified system, that does not mean it will be suitable to power your PC signal through it. But if it can you can use the harness by Metra 70-8113

    If you have to add a new amplifier to the setup, depending on the power output of the amp will determine if you need to change out your speakers. And most factory speakers are only rated to handle about 15 watts. But if you want to have your music loud and clear, new speakers with appropriately sized amps is the way to go. Although, being a 9 year old car, it wouldn't hurt to change them anyway, since they are probably dried out paper cones and surround and deteriorating.

    If you wanted to achieve 5.1 you would need to add a center channel speaker, a subwoofer, and the appropriate amps to do so. In most setups 4.1 is sufficient, minus the center channel. But I did like how the additional sound filled the space when I had the center channel in my last car, even with normal stereo music.

    There is a lot more information probably needed, but I gave you enough to get started. Search the forum or look at the FAQ section for other information since most questions you might have has probably been answered before. But if you have a specific question, then I'm sure someone will be able to help answer it. And Welcome to MP3car
    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the information.

    Today I managed to take the radio out and have a look at the connections behind it. (had a hard time find a socket set to open dash ). The connection on the radio is two harness and one plug-in: 4-pin harness for power and 10-pin harness for speakers, and a black wire seemed like a thin cigarette lighter type plugin I guess is antenna for radio. I also checked two speakers in the back trunk, they have marking on them says: 15W, 8Ω.

    I prefer not rework the whole audio system and hoping to make use of existing speakers.

    I take few hours made some research on google and forum and I list my conclusions here, please help me avoid wrong purchase by kindly point out if I am doing something wrong or missing something. Thank you.

    1. The factory head unit have an small intergrated amplifier inside to power the speakers.

    2. I need to get rid of headunit(to have space for carpc), I definitely need an amplifier because the car speakers are unpowered.

    3. There 4 speakers (4 pairs of lines) in total, so I need a 4-channel amplifier.

    4. According to some hi-fi site, for 15w speaker, I need to get a amplifier that output 30w in each channel to avoid amplifier from "clipping" in which case the speakers will likely to get damaged, the same rule apply to car speakers, since they are all "passive speakers".

    5. But if amplifier is too big (output is too high) the speakers will get damaged too.

    6. According to wikipedia, amplifiers output are fix in voltage, if output is 40W in 4ohms load, output will be 20W when loaded with 8ohms.

    7. Considering the rating of speakers and conclusion 4, it seems Kenwood KAC-8405 is suitable to use with stock speakers, since it outputs 60W per channel under 4ohms load, thus 30W per channel under 8ohms load.

    8. in order to connect speakers to amplifiers without cutting stock harness, I need to get Metra 70-1761 harness.

    9. However the harness for power line is useless, since KAC-8405 have a working current of 34A while the power line have a 10A fuse, a dedicate line is needed to run from battery.

    10. To connect amplifiers with sound card, I need 4 X RCA to 3.5mm Jack connector.

    Here I also have a question, the Kenwood KAC-8405 features 44% smaller size than it's previous model, while still have size of 280 x 59 x 238 mm and need 34A power when running. How can the toyota headunit integrate a same powered amplifier(If they put smaller one, speakers will get damaged....but 9 years passed they are fine), a radio, a CD player into a unit at almost same size while need less than 10A power?

  5. #5
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    Sorry I just read your PM now.
    Technically you would need an amp that outputs 30 watts rms @ 4 ohms, that way when the 8 ohm load is connected it gets the appropriate 15 watts rms. Since you are going through the trouble of hooking up amps and installing a carpc, if you are using that amp I would suggest putting in some new speakers, if only for the fact that the original speakers will not last long with that much power, also they are made of paper.
    You might be able to find a small amp to suit your needs, I just wouldn't know where to point you toward.
    You are better off running a power line from the battery not only for the amp, but you could use it for your carpc's power supply.
    Before you go further, take a picture of the back of the stereo, and post it. From your description of the plugs on the back of the radio, I have a feeling you do not even have a factory amp.
    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
    "Do it right or don't do it at all"

    PROGRESS:
    [-------90%-] (New Car=New Build)

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