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Thread: Small amplifier board reviews for in-dash double DIN PC

  1. #1
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    Small amplifier board reviews for in-dash double DIN PC

    Hello everyone,

    I'm pulling together a shopping list for an in-dash double DIN car PC and one part that I'm stuck on is the amplifier. I will be replacing the stock HU on my 2010 Subaru Impreza and do not want another HU floating around the glove box just to have an amplifier. This leaves me with a few choices that I've found so far, and I hope you can provide any input or experience that you've had with any of these (or if you can suggest others)

    - TDA7850-based 4 channel 50W, which appears to be available on ebay for around $20. Any experience with either?
    - DTA45-based 2 channel 35W, to which I would have to connect my speakers in parallel to each channel (bad idea?) or get two
    - Sparkfun STA540 kit, providing two channels. Again, I would have to get two or connect speakers in parallel. Includes separate L/R volume potentiometers that would not be accessible in my installation.

    Any suggestions or experience with these? I'm wondering especially about the price difference between the ebay TDA7850 kits and the completed version on mp3car - has anyone experience one or the other?

    Will one of those motorcycle amps be a better choice (and will it fit in a double DIN enclosure)?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by aindfan; 05-05-2011 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Corrected comment about ebay amp

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    the first two are based off the same type of tripath class t amp chipset, so should sound very similar-- i have not heard any personally, but the reports i have read say that they are plenty fine for all but the most critical listeners.

    the last one, is based on a class a/b amp chipset, so it will produce a lot more heat then the first 2, so because you will be literally cramming everything in very tight quarters in your dash, i don't recommend this one(i don't remember anything about the sound quality of it.).

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    This shop has a range of small amps:
    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Techex-Onli...=p4634.c0.m322
    I am planning on the same thing but still looking.

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    Thanks for the replies. Now back to the ebay question - there are a few boards (sold out of Hong Kong) on ebay with a design that looks very similar or exactly the same (based on the TDA7850 with what appears to be the same board layout as the amp sold by mp3car). Has anyone had experience with these?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aindfan View Post

    - TDA7850-based 4 channel 50W, which appears to be available on ebay in kit form (not soldered together) for around $20. Any experience with either?
    So they aren't soldered together? I guess that could be both good and bad - I was going to unsolder the RCA plugs, attach a small PCB onto that one, put inline ground loop isolators and relocate the RCAs to be vertical. I'm just not looking forward to soldering the chip onto the PCB - there's about 30 contacts there.

    Also, take a look at 41hz.com amplifiers - they aren't cheap but are supposed to be pretty good. I bought AMP9-BASIC Assembled (it's currently out of stock) - it was great until I fried it. Still not sure how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nivanov View Post
    So they aren't soldered together? I guess that could be both good and bad
    Now that I take another look at the ebay listings, I think I was mistaken. I'll update the OP, but of course check before ordering. As for reorganizing things, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to heat up the joints and use a solder vacuum or some wick.

    Quote Originally Posted by nivanov View Post
    Also, take a look at 41hz.com amplifiers - they aren't cheap but are supposed to be pretty good. I bought AMP9-BASIC Assembled (it's currently out of stock) - it was great until I fried it. Still not sure how.
    Thanks - At 55EUR, they're about the same price as the TDA7850 from mp3car (or a bit more). Let me know if you figure out what went wrong - could it have been a power supply problem (blown chip)?

    Any thoughts on connecting FL/RL and FR/RR speakers in parallel on a two channel amp? I am using the stock speakers on my car, and though I don't know the specs, I'm guessing it shouldn't be hard to drive them.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate cmcd2820's Avatar
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    I bought one. In passing it around to the techs here at work, we all agree that it looks good, was well assembled (came complete, not as a kit) and looks just like the pictures of every other one I've seen. I have tested it on the bench and it sounds fine. Won't have a full review until I get it in the car though.

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    i'm looking at the amp9 kit. how do you hook the audio from the pc to it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moto_noob View Post
    i'm looking at the amp9 kit. how do you hook the audio from the pc to it?
    It has a 4x2 header, similar to USB headers on the motherboard. You have to buy a header connector and some header pins and then crimp 8 wires (4 channels and 4 grounds, though grounds should be the same). I bought the header connectors and pins from Futurlec website.

    If you have a sound card that has front and rear speaker outputs, then you use 4 channels and Front Left, Front Right, Rear Left and Rear Right. If you only have a stereo output, you duplicate Front channels so Front Left and Rear Left are the same - you can do that easily with a headphone Y splitter or just splice the wires in two.

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    The more I think about it, the more I lean towards the amp9-basic. The solder-yourself kit comes out to $72 shipped to the US (be sure to select USD before adding to cart) and is in stock.

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