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-   -   Anyone using a car audio amp in a home stereo set-up? (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/car-audio/357973-using-car-audio-amp-home-stereo-set.html)

ginetto61 28th July 2020 07:03 AM

Anyone using a car audio amp in a home stereo set-up?
 
Hi ! sorry if i jump in but i really need some advice on car audio amps.
First of all i have absolutely no experience with car audio.
I do not listen when i drive for safety reasons (the music distracts me a lot).
Anyway ... i see many car audio amps around ... new and used.
So i thought about using one of them as a power amp in my stereo system.
I have already bought this to power it ...

LEDMO 12V 20A Alimentatore Interruttore AC 110/240V to DC Trasformatore di Alimentazione 240W: Amazon.it: Fai da te

One thing that i like very much is the gain control that can be found on i guess all car audio amp. I have a preamp with a high gain and that attenuator could be very useful for me.
So the question is ... what to buy ? i really need only 20-30 Watt/channel but with good current
Any advice and suggestion would be very welcomed and appreciated.
Kind regards, gino

Perry Babin 28th July 2020 07:05 AM

What do you mean by:
but with good current

ginetto61 28th July 2020 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Perry Babin (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/car-audio/357973-using-car-audio-amp-home-stereo-set-post6291082.html#post6291082)
What do you mean by: but with good current

Hi!
thanks a lot for the kind reply.
i do not know if it is the same as with home amps ... but some home amps double the power when the load pass from 8 to 4 ohms. I am not expecting that much but i would like an amp that has no problem with low impedance loads. I do not need big power on 8 ohm because i listen at low level.
But i like a decent bass ... some amps are just weak in the lower part of the audio range.
For instance, can the old Pioneer GM series be a good start ? which model in particular ? or really any other brand with solid built quality would be fine.
I have line preamps that have a very high voltage gain (like 6 times) and now the sound gets loud with small rotations of the volume.
I see on the car audio amps trimmers to attenuate the input ... this is very convenient for me (they should put them also on home power amps a very useful feature indeed).
I am everything but an expert but i am impressed by the quality of these car audio amps. At least from an aesthetic point of view. They are simply gorgeous outside and inside. Very nice

Perry Babin 28th July 2020 07:20 AM

There is no commercially available that will have trouble driving that load.

If a car amp doubles the power when the load is 1/2 it's because it has a regulated power supply. It means nothing about the quality of the amp.

Virtually every sales pitch about car amps is garbage. Some people will say that one amp sounds better than another but if it does, it's likely due to something in the preamp section or from having more headroom (more power). Car amps use global feedback which will correct for any distortion in the power amplifier section.

Many of the old pioneer amps have problems with reliability due to bad solder connections. The GM series covers a lot of amps.

ginetto61 28th July 2020 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Perry Babin (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/car-audio/357973-using-car-audio-amp-home-stereo-set-post6291093.html#post6291093)
There is no commercially available that will have trouble driving that load.

Thanks a lot. This is a good news. Common speakers are at least 4 ohm on average. Great !

Quote:

If a car amp doubles the power when the load is 1/2 it's because it has a regulated power supply. It means nothing about the quality of the amp.
Virtually every sales pitch about car amps is garbage. Some people will say that one amp sounds better than another but if it does, it's likely due to something in the preamp section or from having more headroom (more power). Car amps use global feedback which will correct for any distortion in the power amplifier section.
Very helpful and thanks again for that. Sound quality wise do you think that car audio amps are comparable to home power amps ? to listen to them i have to buy them first :o ... that is the real problem :(
and i could end with a unit with bad sound or as you say reliability issues :boggled:

Quote:

Many of the old pioneer amps have problems with reliability due to bad solder connections. The GM series covers a lot of amps.
So i will avoid those. I need 20-30W/channel ... not more for now. I am living in a rented small flat with sensitive neighbours. But if the approach will work in the future i could go up with power.
Thanks a lot again.

Perry Babin 28th July 2020 07:52 AM

The circuits in car amps may or may not be identical to those used in some home amps. Home amps can vary a bit more than car amps because some use circuits that actually influence the way it sounds (the output isn't an exact reproduction of the input). That's rare in car amps, as far as the power amplifier section is concerned.

All of this has been for solid state amps. Tube amps are a completely different animal.

ginetto61 28th July 2020 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Perry Babin (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/car-audio/357973-using-car-audio-amp-home-stereo-set-post6291110.html#post6291110)
The circuits in car amps may or may not be identical to those used in some home amps. Home amps can vary a bit more than car amps because some use circuits that actually influence the way it sounds (the output isn't an exact reproduction of the input). That's rare in car amps, as far as the power amplifier section is concerned.

Very interesting. Do you mean that overall car audio amps are usually very transparent to the source ? this is very important. I think i will try one soon ... just to get started.

Quote:

All of this has been for solid state amps. Tube amps are a completely different animal.
i would use tubes only in the preamp section at max. But i like solid state much more. Maybe i have to live without the famous tube midrange ... but on the bass solid state amps are unbeatable.
For line preamp i am thinking about it seriously. Tubes give dimension to the sound ... maybe it is just a trick ?

Perry Babin 28th July 2020 08:13 AM

If the amp is in good working order, the output will be a perfect copy of the input but amplified. Again, this is for the power amplifier stage. The preamp section can vary a lot.

The tube amps are more difficult. A good speaker/tube amp combination is wonderful but speakers will sound different on various tube amps. Some good, some not so good. This is typically due to the varying impedance of the speakers and the way the tube amp reacts to that variation. I'm no authority on tube equipment.

ginetto61 28th July 2020 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Perry Babin (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/car-audio/357973-using-car-audio-amp-home-stereo-set-post6291117.html#post6291117)
If the amp is in good working order, the output will be a perfect copy of the input but amplified. Again, this is for the power amplifier stage.

This is very important for me to know. Thanks again for your kind and valuable advice. Then the difference between amps with the same power can be related maybe to reliability ? or the fact that some can run for long period at high power ? because i see very different prices from brand to brand.

Quote:

The preamp section can vary a lot.
this is the field of my main DIY activity. Line preamps. I am not at all able to design anything ... i just cannibalize schematics around said to sound decent. But usually i end with prototypes with high voltage gain ... like 5-6 times And in the case of tubes voltage gains of 10 just for line duties are not unusual. So the gain control on car audio amps can be very convenient for me in my testing.
If the sound is a non issue than reliability can be ? :confused:
Are there brands famous for reliability ?

Quote:

The tube amps are more difficult. A good speaker/tube amp combination is wonderful but speakers will sound different on various tube amps. Some good, some not so good. This is typically due to the varying impedance of the speakers and the way the tube amp reacts to that variation. I'm no authority on tube equipment.
tubes are more difficult to place in the room than solid state amps especially when tubes are exposed. I love tube midrange but i cannot stand tube bass ... it is just not a bass For instance this is very evident listening to pipe organs tracks ... or double bass tracks With tube the sound is smeared, weak, not controlled ... not sufficient for me I like rock solid bass. ;)
Thanks again.

Perry Babin 28th July 2020 08:58 AM

Reliability isn't necessarily related to price. I had a friend that sold a cheap brand of amps and sold a lot of them and had almost 0 fail.

Soundstream has generally had a good reputation (although the new stuff isn't related to the old stuff, that was reliable) and some models (not all) have such an awful design flaw (mechanical/physical, not electronic) that they will fail, virtually 100%. The flaw is well known and has been known forever but some designers still use it.


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