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Car Audio


Amplifiers are devices that take an audio signal from a pre-amp, some power from your battery, and pass it on as a large audio signal to drive speakers. The main reason of using an amplifier is to get a cleaner and defined sound. Adding an amplifier to your car stereo will improve the sound significantly. Amplifiers are rated in output wattage, dependent on the ohm rating of the speaker. Since sound and frequencies depend on air movement, lower frequencies require larger speakers and more power to produce proper sound.
Amplifiers are rated in output wattage, dependent on the ohm rating of the speaker. Higher frequencies are best produced with smaller speakers and require less power. Amplifiers are designed to handle most common speaker impedance ratings, usually from 4 to 16 ohms, but power is reduced as ohms increase. When two are more speakers are wired together, the overall ohm rating is increased or decreased, depending on whether the speakers are wired in series or parallel. The use of a single amplifier to drive several speakers, covering all frequencies, is an inefficient use of power, and overall sound dynamics may suffer.




Common Features


This feature allows a pair of amplifier power channels to be combined into one channel of greater power. This is usually used for driving a subwoofer although it will work with any other type of speaker as well.


Multi channel amplifiers provide more flexibility for your car audio experience. Able to provide power to a complete system are one of the advantages of multi channel amplifiers.


A built in crossover can be useful, especially if it is many frequencies of adjustment. A filter is a crossover that only affects one channel, not actually splitting frequencies but simply reducing a range of them.


Make sure to buy a car amp with low T.H.D (total harmonic distortion). The recommended T.H.D rate is less than 0.1. T.H.D is the measure of how much an amp will change a signal from the input signal it is given.


High quality amp will be two ohm stable.


Amplifier Classifications

An amplifier is classified according to its circuit design and the way its output stages are powered. Although some may assume that for every portion of the input signal there is corresponding 100% output from the amplifier, power dissipation (in the form of heat) and distortion of the audio signal are two key factors in determining the efficiency and fidelity of an amplifier. Each class has its own performance characteristics and advantages.




There are 3 main classes for amplifier. The design of an amplifier's circuitry tells what class an amp belongs to. Since each class has its own characteristics, let's take a look at each one of them

Class A Amplifiers

Generally speaking, these amps provide quality sound especially when compare with class A/B amps. However, class A amps are considered to be the least efficient because they get over heat quickly due to the constant power consumption. Because of that, you rarely see a pure class A amp. Most class A circuitry are really class A/AB mixture.

Class A/B Amplifiers

These are the most common amps used in the car audio industry. These amps run cooler than class A amp and provides good sound quality.

Class D Amplifiers

This type of amp uses less current and generates less heat than the other classes. However, Class D amps produce higher distortions than class A/B.












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