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recomend me an AMP. stock speakers, no subs.

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  • recomend me an AMP. stock speakers, no subs.

    I'm planning on building a pretty simple CarPC. 5" Sony PSone LCD screen, a notebook mobo I got from, p4 2.0ghz, etc

    All I have are my 4 stock speakers in my 2004 cavalier. I'm gonna take the stock head unit out completely, and put the LCD in it's place.

    I'm going to use the line out jack from the onboard audio. I guess I would need an adapter to take the phono plug to 2 RCA's and that'd go to an AMP.

    I've never done car audio stuff, I'd just thought someone in here would have been through this before and would know what kind of amp I would need to drive my ****ty stock speakers

    Thanks for any info or recomendations!

  • #2
    Stock speakers are designed to be run off a headunit (unless the car has a stock amp) and will probably die a slow painful death if you hooked them up to one

    Get some decent speakers on there lad. They don't have to be expensive - 100 can sort you out with some great speakers

    A million people can't be wrong, right?

    Well... unless they're all from the red states...


    • #3
      yeah, correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought all stock headunits come with built in amps. I'm not trying to get LOUD SOUND, but I'm assuming what's going to come out of the onboard sound will not be powerful enough to output to the 4 speakers. I don't see how a small amp will kill the speakers.


      • #4
        you can save money by simply hiding away your stock radio and using its onboard amplifier


        • #5
          how would you go about doing this then WhiteRabbit? no offense, but this looks like more than a simple rewire job and rather "tear apart your headunit, play with the internal electronics and hope you dont kill it" job.

          unless you are talking about going a cd-tape adapter or fm modulator route. in that case id also say you are nuts.
          Your everyday carpc geek and tech guru at your service. *bow*


          • #6
            *shrug* read his post. heres what I see:

            laptop source
            PSOne 5" screen
            Stock stereo
            phono to RCA converter.

            so, from this, I see a gentleman in his late teens early maybe mid 20's, not alot of money, perhaps a starving college student. his computer isnt a dedicated one and the screen is a small one modified from another purpose. So this guy doesnt have alot of money, is looking for an inexpensive solution to his problem, albeit interested enough in the idea of an in car computer to try removing the radio from the situation entirely.

            but its all stock, so there are no fancy speakers to find high end power for, there is nothing that would benefit from droping loads of cash on anything.

            finally, from his post I see he is planning to use a computer in his car. thus, i assume his main source of media (key word "main") will be MP3 and divx. Thus, he wouldnt even hear the difference between an FM modulator or a $200 amplifier, anyways!

            certainly his stock speakers alone dont warrant such an expensive add-on!

            I think about it like a computer itself. I want my computer to play half life faster, do I get that new video card or do I get that new scsi hard drive controller and make the HD faster? well, probbaly the video card would make the game run better, right? its the thing that is MOST likely bottlenecking my computer, right?

            so why invest in optical sound cards, fancy software, a Tripp Lite power supply, kimber cable, oversized power wiring, when Im running infinity reference coaxial speakers? makes no sense! I should have just bought that FM modulator!

            anyways, why buy an amp if he already has one in his radio? get that tape adapter or FM modulator, and hide the unit away. everytime the car comes on, the radio will come on to its setting, and work just great! his volume control would be from the laptop, and he could use the stock radio volume as a gain control.

            makes perfect sense, and is the most economically sensible tihng to do!

            as soon as he starts buying fancy speakers and stop playing MP3's, you *might* have an argument that fm modulation isnt the way to go...

            nuts? ever drop $500 on a pair of scsi drives to run raid to make half life run faster?


            • #7
              that's an outstanding Idea whiterabbit ! You are correct in all of your assumptions. I'm 21 years old, a starving college student that has a keen knack for modifying electrionics. This is a new project I plan on working on.

              I didn't know I would be able to still use my stock radio. If I could that would be outstanding. I didn't even think about using an FM modulator. I talked to the car guys at Circuit City and they told me to get a 500 watt 4 channel infinity amp fo $130+tax/shipping...

              Anyway, I guess I would need some kind of relocation kit to hide the stock unit in the trunk huh? That sounds like the most logical way of doing things. I asked the circuit city guys if I would be able to use the internal amp of my stock radio, and they looked at me like I was stupid

              Thanks again whiterabbit, you've been an outstanding help!!


              • #8
                Go spend a day at Circuit City just hangin' around, and whenever they come over to ask if they can help, look at THEM like they're stupid, because most of them are (as is evident in this situation).

                Don't ask people from Circuit City/Goodguys/Fry's for any help on this stuff. They're generally not too sharp.

                I love it when I see someone ask a rep what the features of a product are, and the guy leans over, squints his eyes, and starts reading off the sticker on the product.
                95 Chevy G20 Vroom Boom Room
                ...with a whole bunch of nifty ****... go check it out: VanDomain Page


                • #9
                  i myself though would be interested in a low power amp though. contrary to popular belief, not all stock speakers are complete pos. in fact, the speakers in our '96 windstar (atleast the front speakers anyhow) are pretty damned good. crank up the bass and volume on the stock headunit and you pretty much have a decent pair of subwoofers right there (not powerful enough to turn the van into a thump machine though). when i build my carpc i will be removing the stock HU (and possibly the HVAC system if a decent method of integrating HVAC controls into a computer/frontend comes about) because of space constrictions on the dash and will be needing a new amp. doesnt need to be eardrum-blaring loud, just enough to get decent volume out just like the stock HU provides.
                  Your everyday carpc geek and tech guru at your service. *bow*


                  • #10
                    dont need a relocation kit at all, if you can stuff the radio in your underdash.

                    however, if you insist on putting the radio into the trunk, here is what you might do. To make things easier on yourself, you could purchase a wire harness for your cavalier, and find a spare stock harness from a pick and pull. in lieu of this you can always cut your stock harness, but I never never ever do that if I can help it. leaving it stock preserves the value of the vehicle and makes it easy on yourself when you want to change it back. a 100 foot spool of 16 or 18 gauge wire will be enough to make an extension. Should be able to find some of that stuff for dirt. FM mod I would get from david navone. Whats key, is to avoid the FM modulators that transmit. if you find one that physically plugs into your stock radio, you are set. I've even had pretty good luck with a boss audio brand modulator combined with an ipod. since you are going the laptop route, id go with the navone engineering unit. total cost for all this stuff should be around 50-60 bucks at your door.

                    Figure how much length youll need to make it from the underdash to the trunk. 15 feet is pretty safe, 12 should be adequate, and 18 would ensure you could bolt the radio to your trunk lid if for some reason you wanted to. Anyways, lets figure 15 feet, average distance. cut six 15 foot lengths of your wire spool. label them! youll be thankful later, I promise. now, you can use a clamp if you have access, or wedge them under your desk, whatever. Run them all together and fix one side. pull the wires tight, and wrap some electrical tape around every 8 inches or so. now take one end and butt connector all the wires to your dash kit. youll only need 11 of those wires. power, ground, ACC, and four of your speaker wires. even if your harness comes with extras, you wont need them. Unless your car has factory amplifiers, in which case you will need the last wire for remote. But you wont need power antenna, dimmer, any of the extra stuff.

                    you can solder if you dont like butt connectors, I'll leave that for personal preference. there wont be a performance difference.

                    now you can install your extension and the radio will work like its in the dash!

                    now, you have another alternative, though its a little wierd. it will save you some cash on wiring, however. youve got wiring that travels to the back of your car stock for the rear speakers. you can use that for signal if you want. for the wire harness, you would simply splice together the front and rear speaker wires together, wire for wire. this will connect your rear and front speaker wire lines together. all you owuld do is run a single speaker wire to the trunk, youd only need 15 feet of speaker wire plus output wires. power and ACC would run through your single length of spekaer wire. ground you would ground to the chassis. for output wires, your rear speaker wires would be run directly to the rear speakers. lets say you bolt the radio using back strapping to the underside of your cavaliers rear deck, like a 1980's 6 disc changer. right in the middle, youd be 18 inches away from each rear speaker. Cut four lengths 18 inches long, and tape two pairs together. the rear outputs on the radio go to the rear speakers directly. the front outputs go to the rear speaker wires, which youve disconnected from the rear speakers but are spliced to really power the front speakers.

                    its a little more complicated, and damages factory plugs more than method one, but its a TON easier to run a single 16 gauge wire from front to back rather than a cluster of six 18 gauge wires.

                    again, Id put the radio in the underdash if I could manage it, but if you insist on trunk, you could do it that way.


                    • #11
                      holy cow, you have a plethora of information! Thanks for the walkthrough on how to relocate a radio, that's very useful information. i'll definitally stuff my stock radio up under the dash somewhere. that'd be the smarter way to do it.

                      I never knew a hard-wired FM Modulator existed. I wasn't too happy when an FM modulator was suggested, because they don't give good quality. I bet the hardwired one will do MUCH better. browsing the website you showed me, I see the N-724. is this what you are referring to?

                      Thanks so much again WhiteRabbit. I might have to paypal you some money for all this information


                      • #12
                        I hate paypal, even more now that navone engineering actually refunded $12 bucks from shipping last time I bought something. its just sitting in my account doing nothing for me!

                        how bout I send you the money and you buy me lunch ;p

                        absolutely the 724 is what I was referring to. you see the N-200? totally something I would avoid! heres the last bit of information to doublecheck. the 724 only runs on two frequencies, so make sur eyou dont have radio reception for at least one of those two stations!

                        admittedly, you shouldnt have any issues anyways, since your car antenna will be disconnected. But still, its nice to know potential interferrance is completley minimized.

                        you may discover theres no space in your underdash. definitely worth checking out, but ill forewarn, there isnt much spare space in a cavalier! behind the radio, behind the glovebox, and under the steering cloumn at the three locations I would look first. In my own car, there is half a radio's space behind the stock radio panel. No good! The ECU sits behind the glovebox, no space there, and under the steering column is where I would put my alarm. so I personally would be forced to relocate my radio under the drivers seat or to the trunk or something.

                        you might find you have tons of space behind your glovebox or behind your hvac conrols or something. I know you'll figure it out.


                        • #13
                          yeah I didn't think about the lack of space, i'll have to dig around and find out. about that modulator only being able to do 2 frequencies, I read the description, and it says it totally cuts off the signal from the antenna, and that's how it gives "superior quality" (or something similar)

                          ok one last question for you whiterabbit (for now)

                          do you recomend a FM tuner? (usb preferably)
                          Is there any that could re-use my car's antenna?

                          Thanks again!


                          • #14
                            wish i could help you there, I know nothing about FM tuner cards! someone in the hardware forum should know.

                            another place to go would be the forum for your front end. might be able to find peoples experience with different cards and how they mesh with the front end


                            • #15
                              ok I got another question for you.
                              I plan on using a 3.5mm to 2 female RCA jacks ...
                              I already have really nice RCA cables I could run through my car. I got the set from a Rockford Fosgate amp kit I got a couple years back from best buy. i never got around to buying an amp, so this stuff has never been used LOL...

                              Anyway, here's my question: Will the adapter I get (3.5mm to 2 female RCA jacks) affect my sound quality? I mean I could go to my local walmart/ccity/bbuy or whatever and buy a cheap $3 adapter, or I could go and buy a $24 adapter (the one i'm eyeing: )

                              I know "you get what you pay for" but since I'm not running amps or subs or nice high quality spearks, I don't know if this would affect me. I really feel I should get the more expensive ones, but I don't know if it''d really be worth it...