Q&A: Whats the difference in Car amplifiers?

Monday, April 28, 2014
By admin

Question by Xthajesta: Whats the difference in Car amplifiers?
What is the difference in a single and a 2 3 4 or 5 channel amplifier? I have 2 tweeters, 2 front door speakers, 2 back speakers, and I want to get 12″ subs n a sub housing for inside the trunk. Im buying all new speakers for in the car and a new cd player. I drive a Grand am GT 2002. But I’m confused I read a few things about the channels ae how many speakers you can put up but if I have 8 n it has 5 channels what about the other 3 I need a new amp? thanx for the help in advance!

Best answer:

Answer by Joshua W
If you were to run a five channel amp. The way you would do this is you would first need to purchase a passive crossover, so you can run your tweeters and front speakers together on channels one and two. You would then use channels three and four to power your rear speakers and use the fifth channel to power your subwoofer. Or you could get two separte amps. A four channel for your front componet set and your rear speakers and a single channel amp to power your subwoofer.

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2 Responses to “Q&A: Whats the difference in Car amplifiers?”

  1. 1
    caraudioguy Says:

    Hello. The channels of an amplifier denote how many output locations there are on the amplifier. Basically, a mono block or 1 channel amplifier, is usually utilized just for subwoofers. A 2 channel amplifier can be used for highs or subs and some actually will run stereo and mono at the same time. With a 2 channel stereo amp, you will only have right and left signal. A 2 channel amp ran stereo and bridged at the same time would be 3 channels, or a 4 channel amplifier ran stereo on 2 channels and mono on the other 2 channels would also be a 3 channel amp. A 4 channel amplifier will allow you to run it 2 channel by bridging (mono) the front 2 channels and doing the same on the rear 2 channels. The 4 channel amp will allow you to run interior speakers and subs off the same amp, or use it to run the front speakers on the front 2 channels and the rear speakers on the rear 2 channels. A five channel amp will allow you to do what I just mentioned, except it gives you the 5th channel to run a subwoofer. A five channel amp seems to be the best choice for your situation, however, there are some things to consider. By keeping everything in one amp you are saving on trunk space, less money on wiring, and you can run a smaller gauge wire to through the car. On the down side, if the amp were to go bad on one channel, you would not have anything to listen to when you take it to have it serviced. Also, most of your 5 channel amplifiers are limited in high power performance. Go to a local shop and take a look at some of the options there and choose what is best for your application. My personal recommendation would be a 4 channel amplifier for the interior speakers and a separate 2 channel amplifier for the sub. If you purchase amplifiers with built-in crossovers, that will save you some money on an external crossover. Just make sure that if the amp does have an internal crossover, that it is an adjustable frequency and not just a set switch point. Hope this helped!! Live Loud!

  2. 2
    sparky3489 Says:

    As long as the impedances don’t fall below the limit of each channel, you can wire as many speakers to the channel as you want. When doing this, each speaker will be a fraction of the watts RMS for that channel. Meaning if the channel is 100 watts RMS @ 2 ohms, each speaker would then be 50 watts RMS @ 4 ohm and wired in parallel http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j230/sparky3489/PARALLEL.jpg This would be ideal for the right and left side of the car, you just wouldn’t have front to rear fading.

    Be very careful with running a 2-channel with speakers on each channel and then bridging the two channels to a third speaker as someone suggested. Most amplifiers CANNOT be wired this way.

    You’d be better off with several amps, a 4-channel for the front speakers and tweets and a 3-channel for the rear with one channel being for the sub.

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