A car amplifier will give you a loud and clear sound on a consistent basis. It will boost the power flowing from the receiver to the speakers. In doing so, it will reduce the stress put on all the other components of your car stereo system, including the receiver.
Choosing the right car amplifier is important. Your decision should be based on five important features. Make sure you address them all !
The first item on the agenda is the number of channels. This will depend on the number of speakers in your system. Two-channel amplifiers will feed well two speakers or a single subwoofer. You will want to consider a four-channel amplifier if you have any of the following combinations :
¤ Four speakers
¤ Two subwoofers
¤ Two speakers and one subwoofer
Then you want to look at power. An amplifier with an output two times the one of the reciever will give you enough added volume with less distortion. Make sure the wattage of the amplifiers is within the speaker's range. Also, make sure your electrical system can support the additional wattage.
An important feature to consider for your car amplifier is the connection structure. Many factory-installed receivers only come with speaker-level inputs that will require special adaptors. This will normally work very well. However, you may experience some distortion through the speakers. In that event, you may want to consider a new CD/MP3/AM/FM receiver, depending on your budget and sound requirements.
An amplifier normally includes a device to filter different frequencies and minimize distortion. This is called a crossover. Your amplifier should have one crossover for high-frequency notes and another for low-frequencies.
We should discuss one last feature. Most car amplifiers can combine the power of two channels into a single one. This is called bridging and is used to boost the power of the amplifier. The downside to this technique is to create some distortion and limiting the number of available channels. Since the cost of a an amplifier is more and more reasonable it might be wiser to buy a more powerful one !
Here you go ! You are hopefully better “connected" to the important features to consider for your car amplifier . . . . . and more knowledge means . . . . . more power . . . . to make the right buying decision.
Marc Deschamps is the editor of CarAccessoriesMagazine, a free online publication dedicated to automotive accessories, car care and related topics. Other articles on car audio can be found at http://www.car-accessories-magazine.com/car-audio-review.html .
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