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Lotus 7 replica audio and carputer

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  • Lotus 7 replica audio and carputer


    I 've been lurking around for some time now and finally decided to register because I 'll probably need some help with my new project :-)

    I started building a lotus 7 replica (, and one of the things I 'd like to include is some kind of carputer.

    There are some important things that differ from a normal car:
    • There is almost no space (I don't even have a booth)
    • The car must be lightweight, (and so must the audio system)
    • It's a convertible and only has a thin sheet of leather as "roof"

    I thought of using an archos (or similar device) as "carputer". (I saw some OBD II projects with arduino and android on the net). I guess I can always switch to another sollution like a tablet PC or so. (This is not that important at the moment)

    The main problem is the Audio system. I'd like to put the output of the archos (or another mp3-player for that matter) 'directly' to the speakers. I have no need for radio, CD's or whatever, so I don't need a head unit. I thought of plugging the mp3 player directly into an amp, But I heard I ll need some kind of preamp.
    apart from that I was wondering if I'll need an hardware equalizer or if a software equalizer will do. (I'd like to still hear the music when going 50mph with the roof down)

    So what do you think will be a good sollution that's lightweight, small and affordable. Below 350€ ?

    Power and bass is not that important to me. I just like to hear rock, jazz, dub and stuff like that.

    Is something like this a good idea? (Audiovox Power 760 car amplifier)

    Thanks for the help,


  • #2
    thats a pretty big amp for such a small car...

    many on this forum are very happy using motorcycle amps(ebay is the best source-- usually around $20-50 US, so 10-25 euro)

    if sound quality is a more major issue to you, look into class-d amps like the alpine pdx series, or the jl audio hd series.. they are both very small, very powerful amps..

    for speakers, i have been most satisfied with the sound of 6.5"-8" speakers. the larger the speaker, the better the bass-- with a 8" coaxial, assuming you can fit them, you might not even need a sub..(personally, in a car like that, i would probably put a pair of 6.5's and a 8" sub, though i am plenty happy sacrificing weight for decent sound quality)

    the available speaker locations are really going to be the determining factor-- the amps could fit anywhere there is room. some typical options are under the dash, or in a corner along the side of the seats, or sometimes in between the seats.

    i tried searching for them, but couldn't find any pics of the interiors to get a better idea on possible locations..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      Hi and thanks for the info!

      It is indeed a small car, but its really loud. I searched for some pictures of the interior to give you a better idea.

      The main problem will be the depth of the speakers, because the sidepanels (=doors) are only about 1" deep. Another option might be under the dash, but then they ll be positioned downwards. There is also some space between the seats and maybe in the tunnel

      Took a look at the JL audio and Alpine amps. (I suppose you are talking about the JL XD series as they are the lightweight ones). They seem nice but are quit pricy and they weight almost the same as big ones. I don't really understand the price difference between all the products. For example I found this:
      74€ for A 600W amp. While the Alpine amps cost about 250€ for 100W output.

      As for Motorcycle amps, What are good manifacturers? I found a lot of kinter amps on ebay and I really like the concept, but then I saw the some reviews and it seems they only give about 9W and fail really fast. ( Could you point out what I sould be looking for when searching around?

      Also, should I be looking at 1,2 or 4 channels? I don't see the advantage of 4 channels as most mp3-players only output 2 channel audio. (Is there an advantage to a mono amp? Weight, price, positioning of the speakers?)