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Amp into amp or just a new amp?

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  • Amp into amp or just a new amp?

    So here's the story. I installed my wife's car computer and I have a ton of noise. After some research I believe most of it is because the OEM car radio had a head unit connected to an amp with speaker level inputs. I am running a USB sound blaster with 3.5mm connectors kludged to the connector that plugs in where the head unit used to be. Now that I know that the amp wants to see speaker level inputs, it seems that I have two choices. I can get an amp with line level inputs and run the outputs of the sound blaster into that, then in-turn run the output to the stock amplifier using the stock connector(where the head unit was). Or I could just buy a new line level input amp and replace the stock amp. I know this seems like it would be the best choice, but here's the thing. By placing an amp between the car computer and the stock amp, I can utilize my connector to connect into the stock system and I'm done. But by replacing the stock amp, I will have to cut the stock connector off or run new lines or something, because I don't have that connector. Also, I believe the amp would be less expensive because I don't need that much power. Either way it sounds like I'm buying a new amp. I'm leaning toward placing an amp between the computer and the stock amp, due to the easier install.

    Any hints or suggestions? I hope this was clear. Feel free to ask questions.

    The car is a 1999 Toyota Solara. I don't know how much power the head unit put out or how much the stock amp puts out. All I know is it does NOT have shielded wires.

  • #2
    I would say replace the amp.

    What sort level of sound quality are u aiming for?
    An even eaiser third option may be to use a head unit that takes aux in.


    • #3
      Well, I'm not an aficionado. I was happy with the stock sound system and I would definitely prefer a head unit with an aux input, however, there just isn't room for it. I wanted the dash clean with a system that appeared more or less stock.


      • #4
        you could put in a small (5Wx2) amp just to boost the signal - would be able to run off the 12V and be small like a cigarette packet size.

        some hobby electronic shops (like Jaycar here in Oz) have these, pre-built or as a kit.
        MacMini in an Alfa? - Why not!


        • #5
          try searching for motorcycle amps on ebay-- most are under $50, and are very small.
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided


          • #6
            Well after some time researching online, I think I have found the answer to my question. It looks like it is not a good idea to use an amp to feed the stock amp. The reason is, to keep from overdriving the second amp, the gain has to be turned down. When the gain is turned down the signal goes down but the noise doesn't. So the signal to noise ratio that is fed into the second is poor and of course, this is then amplified by the second amp. Some amps have a pre-amp out and this may be ok, but I just decided to go with a single amp. Thought I would pass this along.