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Old 30th October 2007, 01:57 AM   #1
skooter is offline skooter  United States
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Default Amp recomendations

As far as the newer amps like say 2000 and up modles, what amp is true power? I am not looking for a 2000 watt amp. what I am looking for is (2) 2 channel amps that put out say 100 watts a channel at 4 ohms. or a 4 channel that puts out a true 100 watts a channel. going to run componets front and rear. I know the famed rockford amps are everywhere but I think now they are just a name more less. the new Alpines look pretty nice, What about the infinitys amp? Kenwoods use to be good, help?
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:05 PM   #2
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Ah, a car audio dude after my own heart.

Although I'm no youngster, I could be said to be "new' to elaborate car audio systems. Here's MY experience. Maybe it will help you make a better decision.

Yes, I agree that many high-priced amps go an awfully lot on the name. I have heard considerably less costly systems (such as mine) that sound excellent.

I decided to get back into car audio, but not remove my stock stereo/spkrs. Instead, I decided on a somewhat unique solution of surface-mounted, and dash-mounted speakers.

First of all, I am devoted to partsexpress.com (PE) as my main supplier for parts and eqpt for car (and other portable audio). Their web site is very well organized, informative, and it's obvious that they know a lot and deal with some big-bucks customers...

So looking in their "car audio" section, I looked for 1) power, 2) features, 3) price, and came upon Pyramid amplifiers. My main amp is a 446x, which is 2x70 watts into 8 ohms. My setup runs about 3 ohms, so the power might be as high as 300 watts...
I got a "Buttkicker" 600 watt subwoof amp from PE for $88.00 that powers my MA Audio 2x10" subwoof box, which was on sale for about $129.00. Finally, my little amp is a Pyramid 440, which is 2x35 watts into 8 ohms, max power about 150 watts.

As I said, I built PE kit BR-1 bookshelf reference speakers and mounted them over the rear seat on a diy over-the-seat bracket that is invisable. I use Pyramid dash-mounted tweeters, also Pyramid 2-ways, dash-mounted in neat diy wedge-shaped boxes.
Finally, I bought Dayton 2-way speaker boxes, the kind that mount on a bracket, like you'd put outside on patio, etc. They swivel, so I can aim them into the car, or open the rear hatch and swivel them outward for tailgating.

I had to buy some L-Pads, which if you're not aware, are volume controls for speakers. I did this in order to balance the sound from all speakers to my preferences.

I am an old rocker, so I do frequently like my music really loud. Those Pyramid amps really DO crank, yet do not distort (turn up ANY system loud enough and it will distort)...

I am reminded by guys who know - that the really high power amps are so that when there are certain highs and dynamic spikes, the system can respond without distortion. This is true, but listening is believing; I wouldn't exxagerate -- my lower cost system really sounds very nice.

Always nice trading experiences in audio. I hope to post some pictures soon... Blessings, Bdog
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:11 PM   #3
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Rockford isn't 'just a name'. They're one of the few amplifiers that haven't resorted to using cloned designs. I've seen many Rockford amps that were 10+ years old and had never needed repair. Rockford has had well designed amps (both mechanically and electronically) for most of their run (HD and series 1 amps excluded).
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:26 PM   #4
shagone is offline shagone  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Perry Babin
Rockford isn't 'just a name'. They're one of the few amplifiers that haven't resorted to using cloned designs. I've seen many Rockford amps that were 10+ years old and had never needed repair. Rockford has had well designed amps (both mechanically and electronically) for most of their run (HD and series 1 amps excluded).

Perry or anyone else with experience,

what are the main problems to look out for with the Rockford HD and series 1 amps?

also, i agree that Rockford is not just a name and their engineering is top notch but it looks to me that some of their parts have gotten cheaper recently. as in not as robust and durable as in the past. any comments on that?
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:48 PM   #5
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The ceramic 'hybrid' boards were the biggest problem with the HD amps. The electrolytic capacitors would leak and destroy the input module boards. Some could be repaired/saved if caught early but sometimes they were a lost cause and had to be replaced. I've seen a lot of other HD amps with intermittent problems caused by the hybrid boards. Sometimes resoldering the terminals on the edge of the board solved the problem.

Both the series 1 and the HD amps had vertically mounted transistors. The legs would break on the transistors.

I've seen a fair number of the terminal blocks in the amps like the P5002 strip out but they were likely stripped by someone using a cordless drill to tighten the screws.

Rockford amps are not perfect but if I had to pick an amplifier that would work for 10 years with no maintenance/repair, it would be Rockford.
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Old 30th October 2007, 11:08 PM   #6
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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/\ don't forget the gay spade remote terminals that seemed to randomly crack loose from the board on the dsm's
I have customers come in every now and then with broken punch amps wanting us to "bench" test them, or asking me if I know anyone who works on them, (ranging from the dsm versions (hd's rarely pop up) to the newest out (some already refurbished and resold )) but I'm sure many problems have to do with bad installation like:
-running the amp at too low of a load, because they think any punch will run at .5 ohm mono!!
-grounding amp output terminals
-connecting input power leads backwards

People just love them. Fosgate has always seemed to be the most popular brand, maybe because of the catchy "punch" series, kind of like the way Kicker remains so popular. Companies like precision power, adcom, linear power, etc.. probably should have came up with catchier names, haha.
I do agree that rockford has always pushed the edge of technology and development, but although their amps always had plenty of power, I've always preferred Precision power. They aren't made in the US anymore since DEI bought them, but I still prefer their older amps, up to the late 90's.
Really you shouldn't let the year of the amp be a determining factor if you want great sound. An amp made in 1987 that puts out 150 watts at .02% distortion with a damping factor of 300 will still sound as good as a brand new amp with the same specs.
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Old 31st October 2007, 01:58 AM   #7
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I'm reminded of something I've been telling people for years, and it was reinforced here recently when Perry and Cecil(justonemoreamp) responded with basically the same advice. Paraphrasing here; Buy an amp of reasonable quality that is CAPABLE of much more power than you really need for the job at hand. This way you can drive your speakers to their optimum performance level without driving the amp to clipping. This may be the most important single thing to do in the search for sound quality, as opposed to buying one name brand over another. It's been proven time and time again in blind listening tests that when "comparing apples with apples" so to speak, people cannot differentiate between "brands".
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Old 31st October 2007, 02:00 AM   #8
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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/\ read the quote at the bottom of my posts
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Old 31st October 2007, 11:43 PM   #9
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okay, but what about quality?

I've been looking myself into some amps (i'd like to replace my ageing signats) - and i want to run a three-way up front + sub.
Monster numbers? not interesting. DLS RA30? now you're talking. the Ultimate A5 is also not that much more expensive in Sweden, so...

What about Phoenix Gold? Some on the Forester forum swear by them and the Alpine Digi boxes are apparently pretty good. Any thoughts, therefore on "money-is-still-an-object-but the quality should be worth it" amps? (apologies if i'm threadjacking, but i figure this was the question in the first place?! if not, ignore me

Bret
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Old 2nd November 2007, 10:41 PM   #10
skooter is offline skooter  United States
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Default Like to know about Phonix gold amps to

seen liots of them
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