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  1. #1

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    Default Need advice on HU & Amplifier purchase!

    Hey guys, I'm new here to Club Polk, but thought ya'll might offer me some advice nonetheless! Now, to begin with, I am very new to the car audio stuff, so ya'll please tell me if I am making a mistake or bad choice in anything I am doing! Thanks in advance for your time and advice!

    Ok, so I have an old boat that I want to make some improvements on for wakeboarding, so I am starting with the stereo. I currently have an old AM/FM radio w/ 4 speakers, yet only 1 speaker works. So, here is what I am planning. Keep in mind I am just a student living entirely on student loans, so I want to make this as affordable as possible!

    Items I've already purchased:

    2 - Polk db650's to replace my old 6.5" speakers in the rear of the boat. Got these on closeout for $56 shipped, so I'm pleased about that!

    2 - Polk db690's to replace some old "box-like" speakers under the driver and passenger side dashes, where your feet go. I really don't want to be cutting into the boat much, so I thought about getting some 6 x 9 enclosures for them and mounting them up under there very near where the current speakers are mounted. That sound ok?

    Items I am still debating about:

    A head unit!

    An Amplifier

    Possibly a subwoofer -- in the future, if ever!

    Ok, here is where I'd like to have ya'lls advice!

    Question #1 - the head unit!
    I am trying to keep a tight budget, so I can't go all out. My first question is this...do I need to be concerned about the # of pre-amp outlets included on the head unit I purchase? Someone suggested to me to find one with at least 2 pre-amp outputs. Is that the case? I plan on running only a single 4-channel amp initially, but perhaps may add one later to run a sub, or maybe I'll buy a 5-channel amp now?? Anyways, how many pre-amp outlets should I look for?

    Question #2 - the amp!
    Ok, so the db650's will handle 60w RMS, and the db690's will handle 100w RMS. I figured I would get a 4-channel amp to run these. (or perhaps a 5-channel if I feel I'll purchase a sub one day) What power rating should I get for the amp?? Should I get one that runs 60w x 4 @ 4ohms, or maybe 75w x 4 @ 4ohms? Is it ok to go over the RMS rating of the speakers, or should I stick with 60w RMS or less. Basically, tell me what RMS power from the amp I should be looking for! What do ya'll think? (Oh, by the way, I opted for the db690's over 4-db650's because I just don't know if I'll ever get a subwoofer due to lack of space on the boat, so i thought the 6x9's would give me more bass) What is your recommendation on the amp! Here are links to some of the amps I was considering...what do ya'll think??

    A friend recommended this Phoenix Gold amp to me.
    http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...ld+R5.0-4.html

    Customer service at Crutchfield recommended this amp for the setup...mostly because they sold it! Found it here on ebay much cheaper.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...5704&rd=1&rd=1

    I've heard good things about HiFonics amps, and I found the two listed below, both 4-channel amps. What do ya'll think about them?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/06-HIFONICS-TXi4...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/HIFONICS-ZEUS-ZX...QQcmdZViewItem

    One last one, I was also recommended Orion, and I found this Orion Cobalt on eBay that looked interesting (my boat is a Cobalt, too!)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...4082&rd=1&rd=1

    Guys, thanks so much in advance for any help you might offer. I just don't know what to look for yet! I know I included lots of links, and if you take the time to go through them, I appreciate it. Also, if you know of an amp that would work better for me than any of those I linked, please say so! Thanks again, I appreciate ya'll.
    Last edited by whtlghtn49; 05-21-2007 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2

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    Well, I can only help you with one item in that list:

    Hifonics... not the best. I bet the good things you've heard about them is the price, and that's about it. I actually have a 4 channel HIfonics amp in my set up right now, and it is the one thing I want to replace most of all.

    It is not a "bad" amp, but there are a few things that annoy me. First, the connectors to the RCA"s aren't the best quality, and if the cables are not perfectly in, it creates a lot of little noises. Also, it gets hot rather easily (maybe because of its "high" amplifying (110w x 4 rms @ 4ohm) ), but once that happens, things start sounding not as great.

    I think for the price is not a bad amp, but there are better things out there. IF you can find a used Eclipse or Arc amp you may be happier than with a brand new hifonics.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by whtlghtn49 View Post
    Question #1 - the head unit!
    I am trying to keep a tight budget, so I can't go all out. My first question is this...do I need to be concerned about the # of pre-amp outlets included on the head unit I purchase? Someone suggested to me to find one with at least 2 pre-amp outputs. Is that the case? I plan on running only a single 4-channel amp initially, but perhaps may add one later to run a sub, or maybe I'll buy a 5-channel amp now?? Anyways, how many pre-amp outlets should I look for?
    You will want a head unit with 3 preouts. One for the front channels, one for the rear and one for the sub. You dont have to have one for the sub but its awful nice to have a sub fader control on your hu.

    Question #2 - the amp!
    Ok, so the db650's will handle 60w RMS, and the db690's will handle 100w RMS. I figured I would get a 4-channel amp to run these. (or perhaps a 5-channel if I feel I'll purchase a sub one day) What power rating should I get for the amp?? Should I get one that runs 60w x 4 @ 4ohms, or maybe 75w x 4 @ 4ohms? Is it ok to go over the RMS rating of the speakers, or should I stick with 60w RMS or less. Basically, tell me what RMS power from the amp I should be looking for! What do ya'll think? (Oh, by the way, I opted for the db690's over 4-db650's because I just don't know if I'll ever get a subwoofer due to lack of space on the boat, so i thought the 6x9's would give me more bass) What is your recommendation on the amp! Here are links to some of the amps I was considering...what do ya'll think??
    RMS basically means real world power. Its the amount of power your amp will make on a continuous basis without being pushed into overload. I would suggest a 75x4. A little extra power wont hurt so long as you dont overdrive the volume. Think of it as horsepower. You may not need 500 hp but its nice to have when you need it and so long as you dont keep your foot on the pedal all the time you wont wear out the tranny and drivetrain.

    As for which amps, first off dont buy from Ebay or some unauthorized retailer. There is a really big chance youll get crappy good thatll kill over on you within a month. Stick to the authorized retailers and Crutchfield is one of the best.

    As for which brand, Profile is a very solid entry level amp. Well made and youll get your rated power. MTX, Rockford Fosgate and Alpine are even better but also cost more. Kicker is pretty solid too but I like the other 3 because they exceed their ratings pretty handily.
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  4. #4

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    Demon & MacLeod

    Thank ya'll both very much. Now I think I have a better idea what to look for, and especially what NOT to look for!

    Demon, I was recommended that Hifonics amp by a friend who claimed it was the best amp because "that's what they use on MTV's Pimp My Ride"! I was kind of skeptical as well...thanks for the advice!

    I'll try to find a head unit with 3 pre-outs. I thought I liked the looks and price of both the Pioneer 3900MP and the Kenwood eXcelon X491. Think those would work out?

    Thanks a lot guys, if ya'll think of anything else, let me know!

  5. #5

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    dude, for that setup, 2 sets of rca pre-amp outs is plenty.

    and if you want to stay mega cheap, get a 2 channel amp and run it down at 2 ohms (put a 6.5 and a 6x9 on each channel).

    hell... snag a good Kenwood, or even a Panasonic head unit, slap one of these amps on it...

    http://ikesound.com/product-product_id/6170
    http://ikesound.com/product-product_id/6492
    http://ikesound.com/product-product_id/5832

    ... and go to town.
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
    - Anurag

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