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Author Topic: Do I need amp with radio?  (Read 3832 times)
FloridaCliff
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2009, 07:25:32 AM »

Brian,

I currently have a RV type wall mount system that takes an external audio input for using the Ipod etc.

It has A/B speaker switch or both.

After using it on for several years, I can tell you that I am still going to put in a separate dash unit.

My main issue is that I don't always care to listen to what others are, as I am basically the only driver.

And if they are watching TV, it uses the stereo speakers.

The separate dash unit will give me the ability with a headset to listen to what I want, even during quiet times for the crew, as well as put the controls at my finger tips.  I will put two speakers over the drivers seat with a head phone jack that breaks the speakers out when plugged in.

Cliff
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JohnEd
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 08:53:30 AM »

I think 7.1 is wasted in the confined space of a bus/RV.  5.1 or 3.1 is more appropriate, in my humble opinion and trust me....its humble.  More like a hunch, but, there is a sweet spot to appreciate stereo affects and that I know.  That spot becomes mere feet wide in distance from the speakers and placement in a small area or when you are close to the speakers.  Sinking a bunch of money in equipment of this sophistication is a waste in an RV environment.  They make head phones with multi speakers in each ear piece and they create surround sound for the listener and I think that finds application for those wanting to not disturb and also those that listen in a difficult acoustic environment.

All that being said:  The better home rigs will "synthesize" the 5.1 audio signals from the input radio and TV and IPOD signals.  Really pleasurable listening.  Not Audiophile quality by any stretch but nice.  And here is my bottom line: the "packaged systems that include the array of speakers and the amp and the sophisticated receiver are way cheaper and better performing than you can get if you mix and match  on your own.  Way, way cheaper and better performing.

Don't limit you system capabilities to your current needs if you can embrace a wider spectrum of performance for little added cost.  You are not the only user but you are the primary so your min must be met.

As for listening to "your" stuff while the rest of the coach indulges their tastes.....environment noise cancelling high performance head sets are my solution.  Wireless is an inferior performer but if you can't tell the difference then enjoy the mobility.

If you don't have AM and FM broadcast reception then just how in the heck can you get the nightly Rush Limbaugh "news" and have any chance of staying up on current events/informed?  Just answer me that. Wink Roll Eyes Grin Grin  PBS might be out there but who would listen to that propaganda?

Pioneer has some trendy and worthwhile systems that can only be made to work if the pieces are all made by Pioneer.  I bought it and like it very much.  It ain't Audiophile by any stretch.

John
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busshawg
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2009, 09:01:55 AM »

I installed a surround sound system that is hooked up to TV/DVD. I then also installed the car sterio up to it as well, only adding a couple of speakers to the drivers compartment. That way I can turn the suround sound down with a remote and only leaving the speakers going that are by the driver.

Grant
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Grant
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2009, 09:47:10 AM »

Unless your goal includes installation of a multi-channel home theatre, my personal recommendation would be to stay with an automotive style head unit.  You can achieve sound quality that pleases even the fussiest audiophile, and I think there are several advantages over typical 110VAC home use audio equipment.

1) Space - Automotive style units are inherently space efficient.

2) Power requirements - An automotive unit connected to the house batteries is about as simple as it gets. Parked or not parked, just turn the unit on. I don't need to turn on an inverter (or even have one).  ... and those people with an inverter, having an automotive system leaves more 110VAC watts for other uses. I also have to believe that the automotive units are more efficient, especially factoring in inverter losses.

3) Controls With an automotive style unit you can mount it in-dash, giving the driver easy access. Or, as in my case, Sony makes a great little control stalk thingy that puts all the controls at your fingertips, with head unit mounted elsewhere. It is always there, with no need to reach for an IR remote.

4) Inputs -  When I first started looking at car stereo equipment for the bus, I was concerned that I might not be able to connect all the equipment to it that I might want.  Not true. I discovered that Sony and others have ways to expand the inputs.   With my system I have AM, FM, cassette, 10 disc CD changer, iPOD connection, USB port connection to a laptop, and an audio feed from the TV.


I drive 4 Polk speakers, and the sound quality is very, very good.   Other folks may prefer a home stereo set up, but for my personal tastes, I couldn't be happier.
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belfert
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2009, 09:52:32 AM »

I'm heading over to a car stereo place as soon as I post this.  It is only a mile away so taking the bus over there is easy.  I'll ask them what they recommend.  I probably won't buy there as the place has gone to heck in the last year or two.  They seem to mostly have generic Chinese junk these days, but I still hope they have some advice.  I would be happy to buy there if they had something decent.

My bus has an extra place for a radio where the controls for the passenger A/V system used to be.  It is pretty much lined up with the center aisle so passengers could use the remote to manipulate the iPod if necessary.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2009, 11:45:32 AM »

Prices at the local stereo place were totally out of line with even an expensive online retailer like Crutchfield.  They also didn't have the Pioneer brand and I really like one particular Pioneer head unit.  They didn't really want to help me since I wasn't looking for a $1000+ system that could vibrate the bus apart.

I ended up ordering a Pioneer head unit, amp, and speakers from Newegg.  Newegg was only a few dollars more than Ebay sellers and they are a reputable outfit.  I still need to find some speaker wire and an antenna.

Will one of those glass mount antennas work on the driver's side window or should I use a flexible rubber/vinyl antenna on the roof?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Jeremy
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 12:15:45 PM »

When you say 'glass mount' do you mean a self-adhesive plastic film containing a metal element, or a conventional 'stick up in the air' type antenna that attaches to the window in order to transmit the signal through the glass via a metal contact on both sides? If the latter they work fine for cell phone antennas but I don't think I've seen a radio antenna like this - but they are probably available.

The element principle is fine in theory, but on a bus (where the high roof means security and car washes aren't really an issue) I would probably choose a conventional 'stick up' antenna if I could. The OEM antenna on most modern cars use the element principle, but there needs to be a signal amplifer to boost the signal, and almost always a minimum of two antennas in order to get coverage from all angles - often the rear screen's heating element is used as one, with a small dedicated element in another window. This principle is called a 'Diversity Antenna', and you can buy aftermarket versions with up to four antennas working together, although this is usually used when you have TV in the car, rather than just radio.

A big conventional antenna sticking up above the high roof of the bus will probably give you the best reception you can get

Jeremy
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JackConrad
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 04:41:43 PM »

I can only tell you what we used.  We wanted an antenna we could install in the roof for the best reception.  We purchased a "Rubber Ducky" type through the roof mount antenna at Radio Shack that is approx 16"-18". almost 10 years later (and a few small branches hitting it), it is still working great.  Jack
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2009, 05:13:07 PM »

The type of antenna I was think of using works similiar to a glass mount cellular antenna.

I will probably use a rubber ducky type antenna since I figured out how to get to the back of mine to replace the broken one.  I have a fiberglass ceiling panel that prevents access to stuff mounted on the cap.  I realized this afternoon I should be able to remove a passenger clock mounted up there and reach in from there.

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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2009, 07:20:13 PM »


Which unit did you get and how are you working out the 6 speakers?


does it have 4 preamp outputs?
can you use the internal amp for the front speakers and another amp for the rear 2?

the sony in my jetta has remote(like needed in jetta Cheesy)  plays wma/mp3 on cds, has ipod connector, usb connector for stick or mp3 player, and can play about anything with a head phone jack.  and sounds pretty good too

boogie down!! Smiley
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:44:22 PM by NewbeeMC9 » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2009, 08:10:21 PM »

I purchased the Pioneer DEH-P5100UB radio.

I will use the built-in for the 2 front speakers and a Pioneer 4 channel amp for the 4 rear speakers.  The amp has four speaker connections.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
BG6
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« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2009, 08:10:54 AM »

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.

Solve all of your problems at one time -- get a set of decent COMPUTER speakers for the back.  These are amplified, have a separate volume control (so the people in the back can turn the volume down when you want it up in the front), are already in enclosures, and they are easy to hook up.

Look for a set which use a 12V wall wart for power, and mount the subwoofer toward the middle of the coach.

. . .or maybe you could put in a couple of thousand watts worth of sound system, then rig the airbags to make the world's first Boing-Boing Bus . . !
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belfert
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« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2009, 09:10:29 AM »

Solve all of your problems at one time -- get a set of decent COMPUTER speakers for the back.  These are amplified, have a separate volume control (so the people in the back can turn the volume down when you want it up in the front), are already in enclosures, and they are easy to hook up.

I already purchased regular car speakers.  Car radios have a fader that can be used to balance the volume between the front and rear speakers, or shut off one set of speakers all together.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
BG6
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« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2009, 10:58:59 AM »

Solve all of your problems at one time -- get a set of decent COMPUTER speakers for the back.  These are amplified, have a separate volume control (so the people in the back can turn the volume down when you want it up in the front), are already in enclosures, and they are easy to hook up.

I already purchased regular car speakers.  Car radios have a fader that can be used to balance the volume between the front and rear speakers, or shut off one set of speakers all together.

Yes, but that's at the radio -- in the front, not back where the people are who want the volume adjusted.  And you can't just put in a pot or cutoff switch back there, because the radio power amp transistor can burn up if there is no load on the output.
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belfert
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« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2009, 11:05:39 AM »

Yes, but that's at the radio -- in the front, not back where the people are who want the volume adjusted.  And you can't just put in a pot or cutoff switch back there, because the radio power amp transistor can burn up if there is no load on the output.

The passengers can just ask the driver to change the volume.  I don't think it will be an issue as the volume on the boom box we used in the past didn't get changed all that much.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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