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I'll admit, I know very little about stereos and amps. I am looking for some basic help in piecing a system together in my cruiser. I am not one for loud thumping music that can be heard a mile away. A few years ago my brother in law got me a Rockford RFX 9210 head unit and speakers for my truck. I also got a Rockford sub (I purchased a jensen amp to power the sub). The system sounded great, then someone stole it out of my truck. Later on someone gave me a Boss receiver to put into my truck. I checked the stats on the radio and some things looked similar to my Rockford RFX i.e. 50x4 watts and so on. I put the unit in with the same speakers and it sounded like crap in comparison to the Rockford, even without the amp. I took it out and put it in my camper. Lesson learned here is that not all audio is made equal. In the meantime I have come up with a few questions regarding the audio equipment available. Even though the "stats" looked similar, they were way off in performance. How can I tell by looking at the information which one will really sound superior? I also notice the amps are rated by watts, yet some are dirt cheap with the same rating i.e. Pyle etc. compared to others available. How can you really know which one will sound better by looking at the information? Obviously you get what you pay for but where do you look? ohms? RMS? Frequency response? I know there's a difference, just like when people say aluminum, it can mean many different kinds and strengths..

If anyone has a down and dirty explanation for this and how to "screen" the products as I look around, please help.
 

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....at the Speed of Sound
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For head units it best to just stay with the mainstream brands like Pioneer, Alpine, Eclipse, Sony, and Kenwood.

Amplifiers are a little easier now. Just look for brands that have the CEA-2006 certification. Almost all major brands have it now.

“The CEA-2006 standard is a result of the car audio aftermarket industry, along with the CEA, recognizing the need for an amplifier comparison that consumers can easily understand and trust,”

Here is the full article....

http://carsound.com/articles/publish/printer_293.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For head units it best to just stay with the mainstream brands like Pioneer, Alpine, Eclipse, Sony, and Kenwood.

Amplifiers are a little easier now. Just look for brands that have the CEA-2006 certification. Almost all major brands have it now.

“The CEA-2006 standard is a result of the car audio aftermarket industry, along with the CEA, recognizing the need for an amplifier comparison that consumers can easily understand and trust,”

Here is the full article....

http://carsound.com/articles/publish/printer_293.shtml
CEA 2006 is just the stuff I wanted to see before i go shop. Thanks!


What is the main reason why the other receivers sound so crappy with the same ratings? or am I just missing something obvious? In other words, the Rockford compared to a Pyle receiver with 50x4 watts.
 

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waitin' on summer
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CEA 2006 is just the stuff I wanted to see before i go shop. Thanks!


What is the main reason why the other receivers sound so crappy with the same ratings? or am I just missing something obvious? In other words, the Rockford compared to a Pyle receiver with 50x4 watts.


better technology, better parts, means higher price.
IMO stay away from pyle a.k.a. "pyle o crap",
b.t.w. there is no such thing as 50wx4 in a head unit, typicaly 16-19wx4.
 

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That 50wx4 is a I.L.S. (if lightning strikes) rating:D
nice, i love it when a MFR states 50x4 and the stereo has a 10 amp fuse so using ohms law 12v X amperage = 200watts so amperage would be 16.66 amps and that at 100% efficiency not including running the actual stereo! keep in mind also when you're using an external amplifier for power the built in headunit power is irrelevant.
 

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....at the Speed of Sound
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nice, i love it when a MFR states 50x4 and the stereo has a 10 amp fuse so using ohms law 12v X amperage = 200watts so amperage would be 16.66 amps and that at 100% efficiency not including running the actual stereo!
Yeah...last week a guy brought me a Quantum Audio amp that he wanted installed. It was rated 2500 watts at 1 ohm mono and had 2 20amp atc fuses on it. He didnt understand what was so funny. :p
 

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Yeah...last week a guy brought me a Quantum Audio amp that he wanted installed. It was rated 2500 watts at 1 ohm mono and had 2 20amp atc fuses on it. He didnt understand what was so funny. :p

So did you install it with 1/0 power wire or 10 gauge? :D
 

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Do you guys shop these decks using the RMS watt rating instead of the advertised watt rating?
Kinda...most all "name brands" are going to be about the same. Its more of what features your looking for and how user friendly. Speakers are what can make or break a head unit. Good speakers "can" make a bad unit sound decent but, "bad" speakers can make a good unit sound like crap. Just my nickel for what its worth
 

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You want to compare the wattage and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) for each part, whether it's a amp or a deck.

Hypotheticaly, if one amp is 250 watts X 2 with 10% THD and you want to compare that amp to another amp that's rated at 250 watts X 2 with .08% THD, the amp with .08 THD will sound cleaner than the other one. It really doesn't matter if you compare RMS watts or max watts (peak) as long as you compare them all the same. A lot of amps are rated at very high THD levels so that the comsumer see's a big number listed for watt output.

The human ear can only hear distrotion greater than 5 -10%, depending on the ear listening. :D

To gain an additional 3db the output power must be doubled. So if you have a amp that's rated at 100W X 2 with 5% THD and you would like it to be 3 db louder then you would need to replace it with an amp that's rated at 200W X 2 with 5% THD. You really aren't going to hear a difference in sound volume if you go from a 200W X 2 amp to a 250W X 2 amp, assuming both amps are otherwise identical.

RMS ratings are typicaly less bloated/inflated than peak power ratings.

Stereo brands to stick with would be Pioneer, Alpine, Eclipse, and Kenwood.

IMO
 
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