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Old 16th December 2008, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default do I really need an amp?

Hello

I am going to be installing a JL 13tw5 with mono 500 Watt AMP in a mini cooper to get some base. My head unit is Pioneer with 25 Watts RMS and Polk speakers. It seems to sound pretty good ( to my stone ears) already. Do you think the sub will overwhelm the other speakers? I was thinking that the 25 watt head unit will be adequate.


Appreciate any thoughts...
Howe
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Old 16th December 2008, 10:13 PM   #2
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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In my opinion it would, but it depends on your use. If you listen to music mellow and only turn the sub up to make noise it will work. Way back in the days of efficient subs I ran the same size amps, ran 2x75 at 12v rated amps but the sub amp was at 2 ohms on four subs. It was pretty even, those might be like a 125x2rms today at 14v ratings. Now I have 400rms on four 12s and four door speakers/comps and the sub will over power without them moving hardly enough to see. What you will get is the lack of power to make midbass above the subs at say 80-150Hz, if you try to play it loud, above that you will just hear the sub mostly.
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Old 16th December 2008, 10:30 PM   #3
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I like clean mids and highs to die for, and I believe it just isn't possible without a suitable amp and speakers for the front stage that will allow the headroom to give that front stage the capability of being properly balanced with the sub. But there is a matter of personal tatste to take into consideration. One of the great things about car audio is we can all tailor our systems the way we want.
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Old 16th December 2008, 10:34 PM   #4
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Your head units "says" 25 watts but.....you wont listen to it making 25 watts.


Its common to think that small speakers dont need power....after all they ARE smaller.
I have seen plenty of good speakers burnt up due to square waves. Plus they will sound better with power.

I say amp them....even if it is something small.
I purchased an old school d100 the other day for 35$.

This is the sorta thing I recommend for what you are running.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 02:11 PM   #5
Dan2 is offline Dan2  South Africa
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even with cheap speakers the amp makes a difference

........ and most amps have a high pass filter built in.
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Old 24th February 2009, 07:46 AM   #6
lejaybo is offline lejaybo  United Kingdom
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i agree

i've had more sucess with using amp to drive a pair of front speakers and a sub.

i always find the sound stage can be cleaner and the cross-over point between the sub more accurate

and as staged headunit tend to have hyped up power ratings to sell a product

just think of the size of a headunit and compare it to and amplifer

there is a reason for the size difference

i'd get a nice 4 channel amp and run your polk's of the front 2 channels and bridge the rear to run the sub..... but hey thatt only my opinion
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Old 27th February 2009, 06:33 PM   #7
Flyin11 is offline Flyin11  United States
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I would say yes. You will be A LOT better off with a amp of some kind for your highs. Whether you run everything off a 4 channel amp or have 1 amp for your highs and 1 for your lows, the audio output is much louder and cleaner than through your radio's power output. Trust me, everyone around here kept trying to convince me of this when I was putting my system together as I was saying that the 25w from my HU was enough for my highs but when I decided to finally do it....I would never look back I had to get a bigger amp for my lows but now that everything is pretty equal, it sounds 150% better than before! Defiantly get a amp...Even a small wattage one will make a great difference!!
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Old 3rd March 2009, 12:49 PM   #8
acid_k2 is offline acid_k2  Italy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan2
even with cheap speakers the amp makes a difference

........ and most amps have a high pass filter built in.
more:
the internal amp (in the head units) have tipically more distortion and less current capability than an external amp. An amp for front speakers is always better.

Your polk speakers probably don't put out sub frequencies (above 100 Hz). A good subwoofer will do that, and will not cover "normal" bass, mids and highs. If you want to hear sub frequencies, you have to add a subwoofer. A system without a sub is like a cake without the chocolate (IMMO).
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Old 3rd March 2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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After going from HU power to powering the speakers with 70 watts each...I will NEVER go back to HU power.

Output, clarity, dynamics, basically everything gets better with an amp...also sound dampening will greatly improve the sound.
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