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Some information for those skeptics

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  • Some information for those skeptics

    I know of many people who are skeptical about this idea, but I'm proof that they are thinking too much.

    This is with use of a home theater reciever in a car, obviously getting the signal from the computer, and then sending out sound to the speakers.

    First things first, get an ohmeter and check the impedance of your speakers, most home theater amps are 4ohm front min and 6ohm for the rest. Unless you get a really high quality amp, one of which I havent come by.

    Why put a home theater amp in your car?
    Well for one, if you are using a computer, get a sound card or something with a optical output. And make sure your amp can take the input. That way you get a pure lossless sound. What makes optical better than regular rca or even digital coax line is that it doesnt need X for voltage, optical is just the signal, no need to "amplify" it in any way. (On car HU [head unit] you have a preout usually right? Well they range anywhere from typically 2.5V to 4.4V. The higher the voltage the crisper the quality. Optical uses the highest quality at all times)
    Secondly its cheap. Think about it, you can power 7 speakers in your car and a subwoofer(this one needs its own power) off of a $400, even $150 if you arent looking for high quality or 7.1.
    And most importantly because you can. Thats what the whole "putting stuff into your car that shouldnt be in there" scene. Why stop at a computer? If you are running an inverter, more power to you, just make sure its capable of the max wattage on the amp + your computer (if its run on the inverter) and your set.

    Now about the skeptical part, obviously car audio equipment is built a little differently than home audio stuff to make it more durable in the weather. But really, what can you change to make things more durable? Going from extremely cold to normal operating temp all the time isnt good for anything really, things will break down down the road and its something you have to deal with. But just make sure you get yourself a decent quality amp, around the 300-500 range with the functionality that you need (X channel stereo for playing 2 channel music through all your speakers, and dts decoding and what not incase you throw in a dvd)

    So the main issue is that home audio components arent meant to go through the cold. Its been -40C in saskatoon a couple days now and it fires up perfect. (I have problems with hard drive freezing when its this cold, but that totally unrelated) if you go into my car after it sat overnight in the cold, and turn on my amp and play the radio (because its right there as soon as you turn on the amp) it plays, and it plays with perfect quality, no slowdowns, cutouts or anything. And it runs all the time. Gets the optical signal from my platinum bay and it sounds incredible (when its not on the radio)

    An amp is an amp, it doesnt matter who makes it, or if its meant for home use or car, all it does is amplify a signal. So why spend 1000+ for an optical input 4.1 channel car audio amp, when you can get more for less?

    I used lightning audio 12awg wiring from the amp to my 4 speakers and a thick rca cable for the sub preout (which is 4V by the way, better than my 2.5V on my JVC mp3 deck) and it sounds awesome.

    Using this home theater amp still on my stock "premium" speakers was a HUGE increase in quality, no distortion, and with a home theater amp you can customize almost everything from speaker distance (delays) to individual gains on each speaker.

    Just so you know, dont be afraid to use a HT reciever in your car. I've been running a Yamaha RX-v450 for over a month through brutal weather and I havent had a single problem whatsoever with it. It may not be enough time to tell if something will go, but I am extremely happy with it

  • #2
    8 ohm's all around, a no go for me. Might be cool in a Van or large truck setup.


    • #3
      If you have an amp that supports 4ohms or even 6. 8 will work perfectly fine.


      • #4
        Another problem is the gigantic size of most receivers; danged hard to dash-mount in anything but a yacht or a Hummvee.
        Now, there's some inexpensive, compact receivers/amps, (think "home-theater-in-a-box")... the power amps are undoubtedly low-powered and low-quality, but I'd want to bring out line-level signals and feed them to external 12v amplifiers. And, maybe convert it to run from 12V without an inverter, and fit in a smaller box too.

        For example: Lenoxx/Durabrand HT-395 - coax and optical inputs.


        • #5
          I have mine mounted under the top part of my trunk. Not the actual lid, but moving closer to the front of the car, right between where the 6x9s are. Held with bungee cords right now lol!

          But that will be the final place to put it once I get it properly mounted. I may be upgrading my amp to a rxv650 with 7.1


          • #6
            The optical thing is nice, but there are automotive amps out there that take an optical signal. You're also risking damage to your home theather amp. They're meant to sit in one place and collect dust, they're not meant to bounce around town all the time, something will break. Also, it gets much hotter and colder in a car than it does in a house. Don't expect a home theater amp to last long. If price is a concern, automotive amps are much cheaper (unless you get a frankenstein refrigerator amp). My first amplifier outpowered my head unit and was only $30. It worked great.
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            • #7
              I am skeptical because the most important improvements to be made in a car should be the bottleneck. just like a computer upgrade, dont we upgrade the slowest component to improve overall performance?

              with so many compoents in a car audio/video system, speakers, staging, imaging, tonality, noise issues, power issues, video quality, video clarity, and the almightly aesthetics, I can't imagine swapping even a stock radio for a HT reciever could be a worthwhile endeavor, when taking that $400 for the reciever and sinking into speaker upgrades, for example, or a new brighter monitor would yield a much much higher benefit.

              its the bottleneck we should go for! we do the hobby for the love of the performance, not for the (insert adjective here) factor!


              • #8
                Waste of time

                Man by the time u set up that hometheater amp, find some where to mount it nicely and then buy a power invertor to power it u would have wasted a lot of money and time. When u buy a cheap Home theater amp you usually end up with a huge Ugly box. Now i think that will look pretty weak in a car. Especially if you just put a computer in you car and you got that looking clean. For those $400 bucks just buy your self a good car audio head unit that has the Aux input feature. And as for sound quality you can easly find a head unit that has 3.5v to 4.5v rca outputs. I mean having a hometheater amp in your car wont even look good. It will end up being one of those custom installs that end up looking DUMB. Tell u what go to and post up your idea, see what happens and get some advice from a site that dedicated strictly to audio. This site is really good, the best when it comes to carputer, but man it sucks when it comes to car audio. Half the time people who respond to the car audio questions dont even give correct advice, they just want to give some whack bootleg advice. Trust me check out that site and learn.


                • #9
                  $400 on ebay gets you an 8 volt radio. add a little more money, you can get a 16 volt'er


                  • #10

                    You could mount the PC in the AMP casing... kill 2 birds with one stone..
                    Progress [I will seriously never be done!]
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                    • #11
                      I'll let you know when it does break. But for the qualityrice you cant beat it. Even a good HU can hardly compare. Plus find me a 7.1 car audio amp that takes an optical signal.

                      I know something will break eventually but I guess only time will tell. So far, not 1 problem

                      EDIT: And the way its mounted I like it, its hanging from the top part of the trunk and its not in the way of anything. It sits up nice and high and doesnt block anything. Plus its easily accessable if I need to change settings and stuff with the remote from up front.


                      • #12
                        I don't think you'd be able to hear the difference in a car. With road noise and the general acoustics of the car.

                        It would also cost a *****load of money to go 8ohm in a car; and it would draw _much_ more power from the vehicle power system.
                        DashPC - The Linux Car (since 1999).

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                        As seen in the book Geek My Ride


                        • #13
                          Daug, any noise issues between your power inverter and amp?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cbergeron
                            It would also cost a *****load of money to go 8ohm in a car; and it would draw _much_ more power from the vehicle power system.
                            Um, no... it would draw less. That's why we use lower resistance speakers in cars nowdays - they play louder with less current. If you have an amp that puts out 100 watts into 4 ohms it would put out 200 into 2 ohms, assuming the amp could flow that much current. If you went to 8 ohm speakers it would put out 50 watts.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gmcgann
                              Um, no... it would draw less. That's why we use lower resistance speakers in cars nowdays - they play louder with less current. If you have an amp that puts out 100 watts into 4 ohms it would put out 200 into 2 ohms, assuming the amp could flow that much current. If you went to 8 ohm speakers it would put out 50 watts.
                              i was lead to believe lower resistance speakers are used in cars because it is easier to supply more current than increase the voltage, if you compare a car audio amp putting out 4*50w and a home theatre amp at 4*50w i think you will find the home theatre amp uses more electricity, first off theres a lot more **** in a home theatre amp than a car amp, secondly car amps are designed to be efficient because of the limited power in a car.
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