4 or 5 channel amp?

4 or 5 channel amp?

Postby andy_b [OP] » March 4th 2017, 5:59pm

OK...my sound system (if you can even call it a system) is pretty weak. The PO changed out the head unit with one that is OK, but other than that it's running stock speakers all around and I think the passengers front may be blown. I did the factory amp bypass to get the rear door speakers working, and that's what I've got.

I'd like to upgrade. Not that I want to be thumping down the road, but that van has a lot of interior space to fill. The HU has only one set of pre-outs and it is rated at 22w per channel for output. Pretty standard. My first thought is to add a subwoofer to add to depth (bass), and then I probably need to upgrade the speakers, and probably get an amp to power them.

Problem #1 is the 1 set of pre-outs from the HU. I was thinking that maybe I should get a powered sub, and then when I'm ready to upgrade the speakers, just get a 4 channel amp.

Is this a waste of time? Should I just replace the headunit and get one with 3 pre-outs and Bluetooth so I can easily connect it to a 4 channel amp and a sub? Or should I get a 5 channel amp and a non-powered sub? I'm trying to not break the bank on this, that's why I was thinking I'd start with a powered sub and then upgrade in bits and pieces over time.

Oh...and I've never done a sound system before...but "how hard can it be?" right?

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks!
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Re: 4 or 5 channel amp?

Postby LexTempus » March 21st 2017, 1:36am

I think it will depend upon your budget and what you really want. There are two reasons why you would want higher power. 1: You like excellent quality music at lower volume. 2: You want to go deaf, broke and annoy everyone at the same time. You said you didn't need the the thumping going down the road so I would get a higher power radio (4 channel) and really good speakers. A really good system will cost at least $800 dollars. Also, there is a lot of wiring involved with all the amps. If you get an amp it would be better to replace the cheap wire that goes to each speaker. Good speakers will have a fair amount of bass. I think the cheapest route is to use the current radio, replace the speakers (this step is the most important) and see if its good enough. A powered sub is a great edition if you need more bass. I'm now officially rambling but if you are a audio freak then by all means you need the 5 channel amp and good radio with the right preamp outputs with low THD. I'm assuming you have a place to mount an amp and you have to buy a good box with your subwoofer and figure out where to put that too.
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Re: 4 or 5 channel amp?

Postby Mmusicman » March 21st 2017, 2:25am

LexTempus wrote:I think it will depend upon your budget and what you really want.

This is true... there are a lot of directions you could go, depending on what you want.
I suspect you are probably just looking for some good "bang for the buck"

I did sound professionally for a living back in the day.
Powered sub will probably be your best choice if you want thump.
It also really depends on what type music you listen to, and how loud you need it.

Amplify the rest according with a nice 4 ch amp.
Efficient speakers will help too... don't go crazy.
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Re: 4 or 5 channel amp?

Postby andy_b [OP] » March 21st 2017, 5:01am

Thanks for the thoughts/ideas. I found a good deal on a 10" sub and an amp, so I installed that this weekend, and I've ordered new speakers all around. Just adding the sub already makes a difference. I'm sure with the new speakers, I'll be satisfied. For now. I'm not and audiophile, I just want to be able to enjoy my music over the wind/road/engine noise and the various squeaks and rattles. I mean we're talking about a 14 year-old lifted van. :)
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