Car amp for powering Speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanielKim, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. DanielKim

    DanielKim Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering if anyone has tried to power apeakers with a car amplifier. What are the differences between stereo amps as opposed to car amps? I know the powering scheme is different, but would it work? I ask this cause I can get car amps a whole lot cheaper than stereo amps. Also, I do not have pre-outs on my Yammaha HTR-5490 and a car amp would allow to hookup without RCA. Thanks in advance.

    Dan
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Daniel,

    The major road block (no pun intended) to using car amps in the home is powering them. If you don’t want to bring a car battery in doors, you will have to get a DC power supply. The problem is, car amplifiers require a lot of current to reach maximum output – typically 30 amps for every 100 watts – and high-amperage power supplies are expensive.

    It is also a challenge to find a clean power supply – one that delivers pure DC power. Most of them are “dirty,” with a lot of extraneous AC artifacts that can cause hum and/or noise in an audio system.

    If you can overcome these obstacles, Daniel, car amps will work fine.

    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Trevor_J

    Trevor_J Second Unit

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    Many many moons ago, I had a Kenwood car amp that I used to power an old PSB Alpha Subsonic sub that I had. It actually performed pretty well. I can't say what I paid for my DC power supply because a friend of mine gave it to me after I did some computer work for him. If you can get your hands on a good DC power supply and you have some car amps ready, I say give it a try.
     
  4. DanielKim

    DanielKim Stunt Coordinator

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    I can get my hands on Rockford stuff for about 50% off. The thing I am worried about is the DC power supply. Also, my NHT SuperOne's are 8 ohms as opposed to the 4 ohms that most of the rockfords offer. Is there anything that I can do to work around this problem?

    Dan
     
  5. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Daniel, if you can afford it, just buy a conventional amp or receiver. A friend of mine actually used a car amp to power a sub, and the results were surprisingly not too bad, however I did not hear the amp powering mains of any kind.

    I would say use a car amp just for a sub, due to the added noise that can enter the system, plus this allows you to tuck the amp away somewhere. Car amps in a home setting does not appeal to me at all.

    J
     
  6. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

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    Daniel> I'm trying to figure one thing out.. You mention not using RCA's since your yammie has no pre-outs.. this would leav me to the conclusion that you would be running speaker level in... Most decent amps do nothave this feature- and use line in only (rca).. especialy Rockford... so i guess I'm not totaly understanding how your going to get around this?
     
  7. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Thomas, he could always buy a line out converter, which would convert the speaker level signal to RCA signals before the amplifier. These are used quite often when you want to retain the factory headunit but add an external amp for a sub or whatever.

    I used one of these in my truck because I was not about to get rid of a 6 disc in dash CD changer. If you buy a quality unit, it will usually give you a good noise free conversion with high voltage output (~8 V). This high voltage of course will be too much for almost, if not all, separate home amplifiers.

    The rats nest of wires would be unbelieveable though between line out converters on 5 channels, and wiring for the amp/amps.

    J
     
  8. DanielKim

    DanielKim Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm. Doesn't look like the route I am willing to take. So am I pretty much hosed in using my receiver to feed more power to my speakers? I'm pretty much looking at a receiver with pre outs or going complete separates. Am I right?

    Dan
     
  9. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

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    yes... justin... he could use a line converter..but most ..even the better ones introduce some kind of noise..and thus not realy feasable. Just my observations.
     

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