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Small amplifier board reviews for in-dash double DIN PC

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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, 08:47 AM. Reason: Corrected comment about ebay amp

  • #2
    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.).
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided

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    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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!

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        • #5
          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.
          ------------------------------------------------------------
          My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

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          • #6
            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.

            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!

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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                i'm looking at the amp9 kit. how do you hook the audio from the pc to it?

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                • #9
                  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.
                  ------------------------------------------------------------
                  My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by stretch4x4 View Post
                      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.
                      I have a similar amp to the red 500W Car Motorcycle Boat model in this shop.
                      I have 2 of them side-by-side in the dash, one for FR+FL and one for RR+RL and you can check them out in my worklog here (third post).
                      They don't seem to get warm at all as the whole case is metal and acts as a large heatsink.
                      I opened one up and it looks like the same monolithic chip as in the DTA45 35W 2-ch example in the OP.
                      Sound is comparable to my high-end OEM headunit and there is no clipping of the heavy bass that I can tell.
                      VIA Pico ITX, M2-ATX clone, 7" Seform 800x480 LCD Touchscreen, Dual 2x75WRMS Mini Amps, IDE-CF & SATA-CF adapters, 8GB (Sys) & 32GB (MP3s) CF, ELMscan5USB, Slot-load DVD, Craig Brass DAB+/FM USB module, Odyssey Navigator
                      Build 90% Apps 50% Install 10%

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                      • #12
                        I maybe have stolen that link/idea from your posts

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                        • #13
                          I have picked up one of the "motorcycle" 4 channel amplifiers for my CarPC install. Specifically the Phonics Digital PD-IC4CH.




                          While I have not had time to sufficiently bench test this product here are some specs:


                          4 CH Full Crossover (LPF-HPF-FLAT)
                          Sensitivity Input Control
                          Remote Soft Delayed Power On
                          Gold Plated Terminals
                          Power On LED

                          * 300W Peak
                          * Selectable Crossover: LPF,FULL,HPF
                          * 4x30W RMS @ 4 OHM Mono


                          I am not sure it meets your size requirements but it is not very large at It's appox 5.5" X 6.5". Can't be much larger than setup pictured by RevheadKev if at all.

                          Just bringing to light a motorcycle 4 channel option vs dual two channels.

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