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groover1234 8th October 2007 03:17 PM

Upgrade stock head unit amplification IC
Is it possible to upgrade a stock head unit to have a larger output wattage to the speakers?

The unit in question is a Phillips CCR 600 from a 1998 Vauxhall/ Opel/ Holden Vectra.

I want to explore this possibility before opting for the easy path of installing yet another amplifier,

So in the spirit of DIY projects, I was wondering:
  • Is it possible to upgrade the amplification circuitry/ IC from the ~5-10W RMS to 50W+ RMS?
  • Will any additional cooling be required?
  • What components would need to be replaced?
  • Will I need any special gear? I have a basic soldering iron and solder removal device

Thanks in advance

Perry Babin 8th October 2007 03:32 PM

Even if it were possible, this is not a practical upgrade. If the head unit is rated for ~5w, it likely uses a single-ended output (only one speaker wire driven, the other grounded). Most modern head units use a bridged pair of amplifiers for each channel. This gives you approximately 20w/channel. That's the most you can produce into a 4 ohm load without using a switching power supply to boost the voltage. If you used a higher power IC, you would need a larger heatsink (assuming that the original was designed for a 5 watt amplifier).

groover1234 8th October 2007 04:03 PM

I don't know what the units actual RMS rating is. I actually heard about this through an electronics technical support line through Dick Smith Electronics in Australia.

So, it would be ludicrous to expect that this could be done without the use of an upgraded switching power supply?

Please also elaborate on the relevance to why having a single-ended output is a negative in terms of potential power output.

Perry Babin 8th October 2007 06:09 PM

The only way you can get more power from the charging system voltage is to use an amplifier that can handle a lower ohm load. This will cause more power dissipation in the amplifier and therefore more heat. Most head units that drive 4 ohm x 4 are at the limit for power dissipation. Driving a 2 ohm load would cause more heat.

For bridged vs single-ended output, read this page:

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