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Thread: soundcard + amp + factory speakers?

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    soundcard + amp + factory speakers?

    I have an 03 dodge ram 1500 with factory speakers (non infinity) that are "ok" for now. basically, i'd love to upgrade them but after spending a grand on a building a carpc and touchscreen, i just can't afford it ATM.

    However, I now have a carPC that I can't play because I have no way of hooking it up to my speakers without an amp. Beyond that I have a feeling that the soundcard on my epia mobo is so wimpy that it would barely power the speakers on its own. I have listened to it using headphones and the results are shamefully low.

    So, I called crutchfield to ask them what kind of amp I should get as I'm a bit of a car audio noob, and I was told that it's impossible for me to add an aftermarket amp to my existing speakers, because factory speakers only take about 7watts and will blow with any amp I try to add.

    The only reason this confused me was because I THOUGHT that the headunit I currently have outputs more than 7w (the box says 50w x4). Are they right? Am I going to have to spend another 400 bux on new speakers and an amp?

    Thanks! as always, you guys rule.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    look at it this way, most aftermarket hu's work great on factory speakers and they are all like 50x4, if you can get an amp that size turn down the amp and dont intentially try to put 50 watts to each speaker an it'll work fine- i have personally powered stock impala speakers with a viper 4 channel amp and with the gainj set at a reasonable level all was good

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate fooshizn1x's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    714 - Socal baby!
    Running an aftermarket HU to stock speakers wont hurt them even if they ARE only rated to 7W.. but running them directly off your soundcard will be VERY low sounding.. I'd invest in a nice 4ch amp for front/rear and a nice 1 amp for sub, or you could be more economical and get a 5 ch amp and do it all at once.. or a 6 ch amp if you want 5.1 surround.. there are many choices. Sorry if thats not what you wanted to hear... you could find a nice 40x4 amp and run that for a while with the stock speakers.. just run the gain down a bit lower so it doesnt distort.. then save up and get some better speakers later on..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    no thats exactly what he wants to hear. it was crutchfield that told him it wouldnt work but yea find a really small 4 channel and have a go at it

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    thats what i thought! i even asked him if there was a way i could keep it lower (gain) and he said no. hrmph. thanks for clearin that up guys.

    do all amps have gain control on them, or do i need to make sure that the one i order does?

    you guys rock.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Not all amps have gain control. Most of the better ones do.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    chicago, Illinois
    In my experiance, most factory speakers are about 15 watts rms, where the stock deck probably puts out the 7 watts that they were talking about. When you are talking about an after market deck, the 50 watts x 4 is refered to the max power, where the true power lies in the rms power, which is usually 16-17 watts rms. That is why the stock speakers can still function well, in most cases, with an aftermarket deck at moderate volume levels.
    And the likely hood that you'd find an amp to power the wimpy stock speakers.

    BUT, JL's Clean Sweep might just be able to work out for your application. What the Clean Sweep can do is accept both high or low level inputs and corrects the signal while keeping in tact the factory setup. I've not actually worked with it, only heard about it cuz it's pretty new. It says that its self calibrating, it also has trim controls for the aux input, dual front and rear RCA-level outputs and a remote gain adjustment knob.

    From the sounds of it that would be the best solution for your setup. Unfortunatly it goes for $350. But its is probably the cheapest and probably the best way to go instead of having to get: 4ch amp, wires, front and rear speakers. And you'd still get the best results with your factory speakers.
    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
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  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate DaveB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    In my Dodge Ram, I relocated a Pioneer HU underneath the passenger's seat. I ran the line out from the sound card to the AUX IN on the HU. I have no amp but I did replace all of the stock speakers.

    It sounds great. I've been happy with it.
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  9. #9
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    ok haven't read anything above so i'm sorry if this is repeating..

    First of all, when they say 50x4, thats PEAK, which honestly means ****. The RMS(the actual power rating) of the headunit ranges between 17-22RMS usually.

    So, you can just buy a low wattage 4channel amplifier (1 channel for each speaker, so 4 speakers equals 4 channels, obviously) and turn the gain down and you should be good.

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