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Message Forums Car Stereo Message Forums > Amplifiers > Newb needs help choosing amp + resolving heat issues
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bluebledthesea
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 Newb needs help choosing amp + resolving heat issues

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and car audio so please bear with me. In my car I've installed an Alpine CDA-9851, two 4" Rockford Fosgate 80 watt (40 watts RMS) up front and two Pioneer 6x9 300w (40 watts RMS) in the rear.

It sounds pretty good the way it is for my purposes but the HU gets way too hot and often cuts out when I don't crank the AC. The problem really comes from my car being left out in the heat all day, then getting in and having to wait 15 minutes for the thing to cool down enough to be usable. That coupled with the built in amp producing heat in an enclosed space just doesn't work.

So, my solution is to install an amp, both to improve the heat issues and the sound of my system. I'm also going to be sure to check over the wires again and probably install heavier gauge.

Any recommendations for the best amp for the system I have? I'm looking at the Alpine MRP-F450 which I can find for under $200 online. It's 70wx4 RMS. Is this overkill? Should I be looking at the Alpine MRP-F250? 40wx4 RMS or is that cutting it close? I don't want anything ridiculous, just something that uses my hardware to its potential for some good, loud (enough) sound. Maybe you all can suggest another model but I'm a fan of Alpine. Thanks guys!

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New Post 06-14-2006 11:41 AM
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jaboran
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alpine makes solid amplifiers... i would use one if i had one.. gooid stuff.. the f250 will be more than enough for the speakers u have... i dont think yer going to need more than 50rmsx4... especially for the speakers u have.. here are a few other good options:

phoenix gold r5.0:4 $120... good solid amp with good power

soundstream pca4.400 $130... soundstream makes quality stuff.. always have... always will imo

diamond audio d3400.4 $190 good amp.. very goo amp.. its diamond audio.. what else can i say?

alpine makes good stuff.. soundstream makes good stuff.. phoenix gold makes good stuff.. diamond audio makes good stuff... any 4 of these amps will power yer full ranges very nicely..

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New Post 06-14-2006 08:26 PM
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bluebledthesea
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Thanks for the reply man. I know I don't have high end speakers and I'm not trying to enter a competition with them. I just want an amp that will use what I have well and let me turn it up to '11' when I feel the need when I'm cruisin'. Don't really need anyone to hear it outside of the Saab.

Mostly I listen to metal so I don't need killer bass, just a solid punch in the midrange. The 10 inch subs in the trunk and a dedicated amp will come later. Maybe I can come back to you when I decide to kick up my double bass.

I'm willing to spend up to $200 so all of your recommendations look pretty sweet. Each of my speakers are rated 40 watts RMS so is there any benefit in exceeding that in the amp? If not I'll just go with the Alpine F-250 and probably be feelin' good about my purchase.

Truthfully, I've never actually heard a system put through an amp so my questions may be kind of stupid. At least I'm honest, right? (Newb!)

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New Post 06-14-2006 11:40 PM
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jaboran
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 06-14-2006 by bluebledthesea
Thanks for the reply man. I know I don't have high end speakers and I'm not trying to enter a competition with them. I just want an amp that will use what I have well and let me turn it up to '11' when I feel the need when I'm cruisin'. Don't really need anyone to hear it outside of the Saab.

Mostly I listen to metal so I don't need killer bass, just a solid punch in the midrange. The 10 inch subs in the trunk and a dedicated amp will come later. Maybe I can come back to you when I decide to kick up my double bass.

I'm willing to spend up to $200 so all of your recommendations look pretty sweet. Each of my speakers are rated 40 watts RMS so is there any benefit in exceeding that in the amp? If not I'll just go with the Alpine F-250 and probably be feelin' good about my purchase.

Truthfully, I've never actually heard a system put through an amp so my questions may be kind of stupid. At least I'm honest, right? (Newb!)



there are no real benefits at ampifying yer speakers more than their rated rms... u probably wouldnt even notice too much a difference between the amplifiers i suggested.. there would be subtle differences(like higher highs, or lower lows).. but nothing world changing or anything

like i said earlier.. all of the amps from above will power yer speakers very nicely... and if yer an alpine fan.. then u'll be happy with the alpine amp(i think alpine amps look good and put out some good power)

when u hook the speakers up to an amp, you will notice a world of difference... the sounds will be much more lively and crisper than that of running off of the headunit.. so all in all.. any amp will be good for the speakers u have

i like the amps in this order:
1.diamond audio
2.alpine/soundstream(equally)
4.phoenix gold

but its up to you...again u'll be happy with the alpine amp if u decide to go there

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New Post 06-15-2006 10:29 PM
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bluebledthesea
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Cool, I think I'll be picking up the Alpine this week, probably for $200 from Tweeter instead of online so I can get a good warranty and have someone to yell at if I need to.

Since this will be my first time running wiring from the front to the rear, any tips on actually getting in there? I know I'll most likely have to run up the sides, and those just unscrew with a starbit. How about getting from the HU through the dash to the front speakers and sides? Do you fish around with a coat hanger or do a lot of people actually take it apart?

I'll probably just have to dick around with it and figure it out on my own but any support with this stuff helps. Thanks again.

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New Post 06-19-2006 11:59 AM
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jaboran
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 06-19-2006 by bluebledthesea
Cool, I think I'll be picking up the Alpine this week, probably for $200 from Tweeter instead of online so I can get a good warranty and have someone to yell at if I need to.

Since this will be my first time running wiring from the front to the rear, any tips on actually getting in there? I know I'll most likely have to run up the sides, and those just unscrew with a starbit. How about getting from the HU through the dash to the front speakers and sides? Do you fish around with a coat hanger or do a lot of people actually take it apart?

I'll probably just have to dick around with it and figure it out on my own but any support with this stuff helps. Thanks again.



to the dash?.... hmm... i would start at the speaker hole with an uncut spool of wire and drop one end of the wire into the empty hole and try to find the end of it as it drops thru behind the dash(make sure it doesnt entangle with any other wiring or anything mechanical)... u really dont need a hangar or anything.. just start at the hole(pick one) and after pulling it thru, run it under the side molding to the back of the vehicle

so instead of starting at the amp.. start at the speaker hole

as for wiring from the headunit... do the same thing.. start at the speaker hole and work yer way to the headunit.. pull the wire thru the headunit hole and give yerself some slack(not too much)

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New Post 06-19-2006 12:17 PM
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bluebledthesea
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Well, I bought the Alpine 250 and all the cables. I'll be working on it towards the end of this week and the weekend so I'll let you all know how it goes. May be back for some help. Thanks.

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New Post 06-20-2006 03:59 PM
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bluebledthesea
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Got my car all dismantled and I'm finding it impossible to find a place to run the power from the battery through the firewall to get into my car. Every hole is manufactured exactly for the wire already going through it. Can I drill my own?

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New Post 06-21-2006 06:13 PM
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bluebledthesea
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Ah... hold on. I saw another post about running through the hole where the clutch would be. I have an automatic 1997 saab 9000. Back outside to look for it...

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New Post 06-21-2006 06:19 PM
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jaboran
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 06-21-2006 by bluebledthesea
Got my car all dismantled and I'm finding it impossible to find a place to run the power from the battery through the firewall to get into my car. Every hole is manufactured exactly for the wire already going through it. Can I drill my own?

u can drill yer own if:
1) there are no lines (electrical or mechanical) between one side of the firewall and the other
2)u have a rubber grommit to fit the size hole yer gonna drill...

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New Post 06-21-2006 06:39 PM
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bluebledthesea
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It worked out! I found this huge rubber plug that was basically doing nothing, so I popped it out and I saw the floor of my car. Best thing I've seen all day. I should have clarified that I could get through the firewall, but not into my car, almost like there were two of them.

I notched out a corner of the plug, just smaller than my power wire, and ran it through. If it has to be perfectly sealed I figure I'll throw some silicone caulk around it later.

Silly question which I think I know the answer to. Run the remote wire along with the power while I've got those floor panels open?

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New Post 06-21-2006 06:55 PM
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bluebledthesea
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Ok, question. The harness that my alpine HU has contains everything except for the RCAs and antenna. If I hook up the HU power, remote and ground etc through the harness, and I'm sending the RCAs to my amp, what do I do with all the + - speaker wires? Just cap them off?

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New Post 06-21-2006 07:23 PM
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bluebledthesea
Member

 

Got the power and remote wires run before it got dark. Have to wait until tomorrow to run the rcas and mount the amp.

Kind of figured out a problem I've been having for awhile. Randomly I'll get a terrible noise on the left front speaker and the whole system will shut down. I used to think it was associated with heat but now I'm thinking it's grounding out with the stock wiring. I faded everything fully to the rear tonight and I can turn it up all I want without any problems. Send it full to the front and it cuts out. Maybe it's a problem with just having little 4" speakers in the front. Hopefully this will be resolved when I install all new wiring and send it to my amp. The speaker and HU sound fine when I balance it all out and keep the volume low so I don't think anything's blown. Looking at the stock wiring, it's all pretty thin and I had to do some splicing on the harness and when I took out the stock amp. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

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New Post 06-21-2006 09:16 PM
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jaboran
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it sound slike yer plugging along just fine... u find problems.. try to address and figure them out, its kinda satisfying resolving problems by yerself :)

but as for the speaker wires..just hook up the wires u want to hook up to the harness of the HU... ie: if u want to hook the front speakers up to the headunit, find the wires corresponding to FR, and FL(---frontright and front left---)... in the instruction manual it will tell u what wires go to what

running wires to the amp in the back is pretty simple... run them to the back.. but remember to start at the speaker and work yer way back(it is much easier IMO)... and u can run yer remote wire along the power cable going to the back of the vehicle... the rcas can be run anywhere u feel they wont get crushed or pinched

but like i said before.. it sounds like yer pluggin away at the install and having some success with it.. good job.. keep it up.. good job at finding a predrilled hole in the firewall.. and yeah, it would be a good idea to caulk the hole up when u get the chance

keep chuggin along.. good luck

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New Post 06-21-2006 11:36 PM
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yoda06
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I have an Alpine unit as well, and know where you're coming from. CD's coming out hot enough to hurt. The amp helped trmendously, just make sure you go through and see if you can turn the internal amp off, helps improve SQ a bit as well.
Also, make sure no wires are in the way/touching the heatsink on the back, or covering the fan. Kind of hard, but try at it. Just somethigns I thought of, hope they help

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New Post 06-22-2006 12:54 AM
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