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Advice for novice...do I need an amp?

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Dan Mc, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Dan Mc

    Dan Mc Well-Known Member

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    Ok, here's the deal, I recently bought a used truck (99 Dodge Dakota X-cab). It looks to my untrained eye that the previous owner had a fairly decent sound system setup. However, upon selling the truck some essential parts were removed. There is a pioneer cd player/head unit, and 4 pioneer speakers (2 in the doors and 2 in the rear). It appears that all of this was routed to an amp either under the driver seat, or under the rear seat. There is a pair of green rca cables under the rear seat (I assume this is coming from the cd player/reciever), a bundle of 8 wires under the driver seat (I assume these go to the speakers), and two wires running from under the middle of the dash to under the driver seat (I assume these are for power). There are also two ground wires attached to the driver and passanger seats, and I found a loose rca patch cable with 4 ends on each side, along with bits of loose wire under the driver seat. I'm guessing there were two amps and a sub which were removed, does this sound about right?

    Now this may make some of you cringe, but my requirements for car audio have previously not made me take the jump up from the factory system. I did replace my tape deck with a cd player in my previous car, but that is the extent of experience I have. The head unit is a Pioneer DEH-2300 which has 50w X 4 of power, this would seem to be plenty of power for my needs, how feasible would it be to re-run the speaker wires back to the receiver and be done? Is this something fairly straightforward to do?

    My other option would be to get a decent, inexpensive amp off of ebay...I'm leaning towards this since all the wires are already run, and all I have to do is plug the thing in. If I go this route, what are some decent sounding, inexpensive brands/models of amps? If I go this route, will I really need to replace the sub also? I appreciate good sound, but I don't have alot of money to sink into this project...if I can get the system back working and sounding better than the factory system I'll be pleased. Any advice?
     
  2. WilliamPC

    WilliamPC Active Member

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    Since the wiring is already there go with an amp. Yes the Pioneer HU has power but I garantee you it is not 50X4. That is MAX numbers wich are useless. That Pioneer will do approx. 4x25 RMS and that, IMO, is not enough to drive speaker to an acceptible level. Most listeners often over-drive their head units amp and drive into clipping wich will sound bad and damage your speakers.

    Look for a decent 4 channel amp. Many can be had for ~$150 that will easility and honestly do true 50x4 or more.

    Brands to look at for a budget amp are Hifonics, Clarion, US Acoustics, Rockford Fosgate and Pheonix Gold.

    Oh, and unlike in the rest of the electronics world, in car audio, Sony is considered junk and unreliable. Stay away.
     
  3. Dan Mc

    Dan Mc Well-Known Member

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    Well, I got tired of driving around in silence, so over the weekend I cracked open the dash. The speaker wires were just run back to behind the head unit and spliced into the factory wire harness (I guess this is the standard practice). So I clipped wires and hooked it up to the head unit.

    The sound is much better than any factory system I've heard, nice definition, and ample bass (not sure what the rear speakers are, but they have decent punch)...so I've decided just to leave it at that for now. It does start to distort at about volume level 25, but that's getting into the uncomfortable area for me (guess I'm getting too old). The normal level for me seems to be about 12, so I don't think that will be a problem. Sure I don't get a butt massage as I'm going down the highway, but it sounds good enough for now, and I've got all the wires and know how to hook up an amp+sub if I want to in the future.
     
  4. David.G

    David.G Well-Known Member

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    no pioneer doesn't even do 25x4....it does about 17-20RMS depending on which series it is. Its the 2300 so i'd say 17-18RMS per channel.
     

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