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Old 26th July 2011, 03:54 AM   #1
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Default Build Quality of Car Amps?

Apart from repairing a speaker in my car, I confess I really never did much with car audio.

I'm going to get some new door speakers, and while I'm at it, I thought I'd get a subwoofer...and thus an amp.

But one thing has always worried me about buying these amps, and it applies to any piece of electronics...How much do they cheap out on you? They of course have profit in mind....but you can only cheap out to an extent without making me mad.

This is a very affordable amp: Kenwood KAC-5204 2-channel car amplifier — 60 watts RMS x 2 at Crutchfield.com

Being able to be bridged, it can provide upwards of 100W, which is plenty. I don't need too much bump.

Has anyone every taken this type of amp apart? At this pricepoint? What's the quality like?

I'd suspect bad brand electrolytic caps and some cheapo carbon film resistors, and not too many film caps....

But I could be wrong. These should be built to last, since it is in your car, which can have all sorts of conditions.

Thanks.
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Old 26th July 2011, 04:59 AM   #2
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Kenwood and most of the Japanese companies build amps with the cheapest parts possible that will do the job reliably. If they're not abused, they will generally last for about 10 years before they start having problems.

Some brands get a lot of things right and get a few things very wrong causing high failure rates. Some brands get virtually everything right and make very reliable amps but they're not cheap. If you want a cheap amp, the Kenwood is probably a decent choice.
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Old 26th July 2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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Ah. Alright. I think I'll buy a cheap amp like that, and open it up. If it looks attrocious, I might replace some of the electrolytics or something. If it looks semi-alright, I'll let it be.

Thanks.
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Old 26th July 2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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You can probably find a repair manual online with google, and see for yourself. I have two other brands in the same price range and similar power ratings that I could take pics of if you like. The brands are Sony and Kicker.
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Old 26th July 2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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I would love to see pictures...but only if you'd like! If it causes problems, please do not. I have a Sony head unit. I think it's about 3 years old now. I like it. People don't like sony speakers though...but the head unit sounds good to me, and works well. It was only like $90....So I quesiton it's internal build too, but I'm not too concerned.

Last edited by FenderBender11; 26th July 2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 26th July 2011, 08:08 PM   #6
Boscoe is offline Boscoe  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenderBender11 View Post
Ah. Alright. I think I'll buy a cheap amp like that, and open it up. If it looks attrocious, I might replace some of the electrolytics or something. If it looks semi-alright, I'll let it be.

Thanks.
Its more the semiconductors that you need to get replaced if they are fakes.
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I thought about it once, but then thought again.
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Old 26th July 2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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OK, I took some pics. pm me an email address
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Old 26th July 2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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Check out AmpGuts.com for pics of amp internals.
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Old 27th July 2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boscoe View Post
Its more the semiconductors that you need to get replaced if they are fakes.
A decent manufacturer like Pioneer or Kenwood would use faked silicon? Wow...
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