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Author Topic: Do I need amp with radio?  (Read 3507 times)
belfert
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« on: September 01, 2009, 12:18:58 PM »

I am planning to install a new car type radio in my bus.  I will have two speakers up front for the driver and four speakers in back for the passengers.  Do I need an amplifier for the four rear speakers in this case?

Any recommendations on speakers that won't sound like total crap, but won't break the bank?  I don't plan a subwoofer at this time.  I am happy with the factory audio in 95% of the cars I have ever been in.  I am not looking for audiophile stuff and I am not trying to make the whole bus rattle with the bass.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
JohnEd
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 12:48:39 PM »

This new generation of Receiver is way beyond what was on the market 10 or 15 years ago.  Still, I think you should go with a bass speaker just for the quality of sound it generates...not the window rattling aspect.  That being said, you don't sound like you are too finicky when it comes to music.  Go to a radio/audio store and listen to the various models and see what thy sound like thru various speakers.  Ask the sales man which radio he recommends and what speakers he thinks you could get away with hooked up to it.  Many are crooks but many are in it to sell good stuff and demo their knowledge.  Experts!

You may have tin ears and then maybe not.  When you hear a really good sounding system you should experience some level of joy.  It takes not only the physical ability to sense the sounds but also a mental thing that allows you to understand it and like it.  You may not feel that a bass is needed but more than half of the listeners will find that it enriches the quality of the sound.

You will not be able to run 4 rear speakers and 2 fronts and get any sort of quality sound. 

If you like I will go audition car stereos and make a recommendation.  You can then buy on EBay and save a bunch.  Contact me by PM if you want me to do that.  I haven't looked at what is on the market for years and I enjoy doing that.  Oh, and I have a $4k Nakamichi multi disk "with tape" and power amp and bass.  Mikey likes it and I am inspired but it ain't for everybody and mine came with the car, anyway.  But, I was an Audiophile way back when.

John
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bevans6
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 12:51:08 PM »

Most modern inexpensive car radios come with outputs for 4 speakers, two front, two rear, with a fader control to balance them.  If you wanted to, you could hook up your fronts to the fronts, simple, and connect two pairs of rears to each of the rear outputs.  you wouldn't be able to control the level of the rear  speakers indepenantly from each other.  You'd have to check the minimum impeadance allowable for the outputs of the radio.    the typical output might be 4 ohms to 16 ohms, or similar, and you'd have to be careful in how you wired and selected the speakers to make sure you stayed in close to those limits.  That's doing it on the cheap and dirty, how I would do it, frankly.  If you get into the amps and all of that, woofers and tweeters and other barn-yard anmals, then seek advice from a teenager...

I spent a lot of my youth chasing ultimate car and home audio, and quit when CD's came out...  The $100 car radio I just bought for my bus is about a thousand percent better than the $1000 systems that used to get stolen out of my car, until the insurance company stopped paying for them...

Brian
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Jeremy
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 01:33:26 PM »

It's a length of string question - the answer depends upon lots of things. Technically whether you need an amplifier depends upon the stereo in question - some cheaper ones may lack a line-out or pre-out, and therefore will not even support an amplifier. Conversely, not many stereos are going to have speaker outputs for six speakers (although 2 + two pairs would be ok depending upon the ratings).

Then there is the power issue - in a bus you will probably need more power than in a car, so a higher end stereo, or stereo+amplifier(s) may be required, depending upon where the passengers will be sitting in relation to the speakers, and the general level of background noise etc. Power in a stereo is a bit like power in a car - it's better to have a lot of power and only use 20% of it, rather than having 'sufficient' power but needing 80% of it to achieve the same results.

Regarding choice of speakers:- I would stick with a known mid-market brand and avoid anything that looks like it has been made to appeal to the boy-racer crowd (dramatic brand-names and lots of red paint, unnecessary chrome and multi-coloured anodised aluminium). I've used JBL, Pioneer, Soundlab and Kenwood at different times, and all have been perfectly good at a reasonable price. I've also had my fair share of 'cheap' speakers - many of them seemed to be nicely designed and made but inevitably turned to be money badly spent

Jeremy
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 01:48:46 PM »

I would just put another radio in the back and let the passengers listen to what they want (Unless it's your kids and you want to limit the volume).
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 01:49:44 PM »

What about using a home type receiver instead?  I'm not sure it could have speakers for the driver with speakers for the passengers too.  The driver in a Dina sits at least 18" below the passengers.

The issue with a subwoofer is space for one.

Can anyone recommend a decent amplifier that could handle six speakers?  Prices seem to be all over the map.  I assume some of the lower end ones from China are probably crap.  A lot of amps are also designed for the sub only.

The Pioneer lines of head units has been recommended.  I am looking at something like a DEH-P510UB.  I don't see any reason to go more expensive, but maybe I am missing something.
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2009, 01:51:18 PM »

Since you have AC  Why not check into home audio.  May end up spending less money and get more sound.  

A small powered sub will fit behind the couch or the driver and the other speakers could be smaller.

check 7.1 surround sound and you'll have you're 6 speakers and sub.



Nice computer speakers are inexpensive with powered sub and you can just hook it to your lap top or ipod
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2009, 01:54:20 PM »

I would just put another radio in the back and let the passengers listen to what they want (Unless it's your kids and you want to limit the volume).

I kinda suspect having two different radios not playing the same thing would be an issue.  The radio currently in the bus is a piece of junk so it needs to go anyhow.

I will have 8 or 9 people total for a trip this year.  One of the guys makes a play list on his iPod of songs and everyone seems to like them.  It would be nice to reduce the volume when most of the passengers are sleeping.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2009, 02:21:23 PM »

OK, Never mind  Smiley  I was think more like a couple of kids in the back bedroom and the driver up front.

One slightly related point.  My MH has a nice CD/Radio in the bedroom but the lights on it are too bright for sleeping.  I just pulled the fuse as we never used it anyway.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2009, 02:28:03 PM »

That Pioneer model looks fine, although if it were me I would look around to see if there are any alternatives with a much larger display. One thing it doesn't have is digital radio - I've acquired a car recently that has a JVC headunit with digital radio, and it's brilliant - thousands of weird and wonderful stations to discover on long journeys.

Oddly enough, having gone through the whole gamut of CD changers I could now live quite happily without a CD player at all - one $5 flash drive is more than sufficient to replace every CD I've ever owned (many times over, probably).

I'm not sure about the use of a domestic stereo system - fine when camping, but I'm not sure how well it would work on the move. I'd be interested in finding out

Jeremy
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2009, 04:38:58 PM »

Kenwood model KDC-BT742U   $219  Tuner with blue tooth and usb input and cd and Etc Etc.  Remote control  BASS output for separate bass speaker


Kenwood model KFC-C68821E  $69.99 a pair speakers  best I have ever heard for less that $150

I like the house system idea.  I will have 5.1 for the flat screen and a receiver/control that will take cd, Blue Tooth, Sat TV, Sat Radio, broadcast, pod or other mem devices.  Has a bass.  You can select "speaker system 'B'" and have your rear 4 on there.  I think you need this system, especially for the vid games that kids can't live without.  You and I are way to mature for that crap.  Right?

Good luck,

John
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2009, 05:18:23 PM »


A little google for ideas,  has speakers and all, and plays ipod and mp3(usb maybe?)

http://www.nextag.com/Philips-HTS3566D-37-Home-610763227/specs-html
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cody
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2009, 06:26:55 PM »

We use a 500 watt sony home theater system powering a 500 watt creative labs computer speaker system, that is both ends of the system, in between we use a driverack supplemented by a sonic maximizer to further clean up the sound and give us the absolutely pure DVD Audio, we quit using cd's several years ago when dvd audio came out, as DJ's, our livelyhood depends on the quality of our sound.  The driverack is an electronic eq system that reads the room for hard or soft qualities and automatically adjusts the sound to the room, it's critical for DJ useage, a bar will change acustically thruout the night as people come and go or just relocate within the lounge and the driverack continually monitors this and adjsuts for the best sound.  We carry a few disks with us on the road, for personal listening, somewhere between 2 and 4 thousand dvd's, we have a personal library of around 7500 we use for gigs, we do enjoy good sound, BK's seen some of our system, the bus sustem is very much like the home but smaller sizewise lol. For bar use we push 10,000 watts of pure DVD audio.  The pic is our primary system and libby, good sound is important to us.  The bar system is a mackie amp, 10K total wattage thru 8 channels, for the bus we use the sony, no need to remove windows or paint lol.
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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2009, 07:14:27 PM »

If I did a home audio system, would 7.1 have any advantage if I am strictly playing songs from an iPod?  No TV now and don't know if I will ever have one.

Jeremy, I almost never use the radio.  We use an iPod for music.  Digital radio must be a lot better over in the UK because here it doesn't add all that much.  Some stations have an extra digital station or two, but most rebroadcast their analog signal.  The Pioneer does have an HD Radio option.
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2009, 01:22:57 AM »

I'm a huge radio fan, and there does seem to be an awful lot of esoteric digital stations here. The BBC alone have a dozen or so specialist digital stations. I spend most of my working day listening to BBC 7, which repeats classic plays, dramas, comedies etc (Sherlock Holmes, The Goon Show, Hitchhiker's Guide, stuff like that). I think it's brilliant and I've recommended it to loads of people (available through the BBC website too!).

The last car journey I did I spent some time listening to British Forces radio (ie., the Army's radio station), which was interesting too.

Jeremy
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