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Fman

High powered head unit recommendations? (automotive)

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Fman

Starting to search for a high powered head unit for automotive use. I am running 4 6.5" speakers in the vehicle, no sub, very basic system. I do not want to run an amp because there really are no good places to mount one and I don;t need anything crazy. It seems like the most powerful head unit I can find is 60w per channel, anyone know of a brand that puts out more than this? I am sure this will work but trying to get the most power I can. Thx...

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cowwboy

All decks will be IC type amplifiers so you won't really get high power.

I would honestly be skeptical of 60w x 4 rating on a in dash deck. That is quite a bit of heat to dissipate inside a dash.

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Murphy8166

I have really enjoyed the Kenwood Excelon head units. I really don't think there is any audible difference b/t the 45 watts that is standard and the 60 watts you desire.

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David

The HU power specs, all brands included, don't mean anything real....and not anything like you would have with a good outboard amplifier.

A typical HU does not have a switching power supply in order to increase the voltage like an external amplifier, so the HU is limited to a 12 volt supply which means about 15 watts per channel max across a decent bandwidth. That's more in line with reality. Don't buy the inflated 50 or 60 watt spec. There's barely an audible difference with a 1/3rd power increase. 45 to 60 watts may not yield any difference.

Maybe you can find a HU with an internal Class D amplifier and small external switching power supply?

Or maybe your vehicle is small & quiet, plus speakers are a good size and in good locations, and you can get by with HU-only power?

Edited by David

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shawndoggy

Starting to search for a high powered head unit for automotive use. I am running 4 6.5" speakers in the vehicle, no sub, very basic system. I do not want to run an amp because there really are no good places to mount one and I don;t need anything crazy. It seems like the most powerful head unit I can find is 60w per channel, anyone know of a brand that puts out more than this? I am sure this will work but trying to get the most power I can. Thx...

HU power (which as everyone is pointing out is really more like 20w per channel not 60) will actually do fine on efficient coax speakers.

That said are you sure you can't fit an amp? Even under the seats? The JL XD series is really small. The JL XD 200/2 is really tiny and would fit the bill.

If this is for the landcruiser, consider doing just a single set of well powered component speakers (one pair not two) with modest power on them 50-75w. That will create more than enough sound for personal listening.

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philwsailz

For any head unit look at the fuse. Its rating will be the max CURRENT any electronic device will use. Using Ohms Law we can see that POWER is thee product of VOLTAGE x CURRENT. So lets assume the radio has a 10A fuse. Using the number 12 for volts, (since it is close and the math is easy) we can see that the total POWER CONSUMPTION of the radio is 120 Watts.

From there we can consider a few points:

* The IC output device is most certainly class A/B so the most you will get is about 50% efficiency.

* Lights, tuner, and mechanicals or motors (CD transport) use power

Lets for sake of simplicity toss out all lights, tuner and mechanical power for a minute... If you have a 10A fuse and a class a/B output device the most you will get on the speaker wires is 50% or 60 watts. Divide that by 4 and you will see the MAX power per channel can only be about 15 Watts. When you add back in lights, tuner etc, we can probably say that your real output is only about 10 Watts per channel.

So now, lets consider a radio with a 20A fuse, (I have not seen one). The same math applies:

* 20A x 12 V =240 watts

Efficiency =50% due to A/B output device: 120 watts

4 channels: 120/4 =30

subtract other power draw and you are likely at 20 watts max per channel

The interesting take-away from this is pretty cool: For any 12-volt 4-channel Class A/B device, Power in Watts on any given channel is basically not going to exceed the current rating of the fuse.

This is straight science. Figured it would help you de-lie the BS on head units with regards to power output.

Phil

Kicker

Edited by philwsailz

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David

It's not quite that simple since you have to factor in the speaker impedance as resistance and some DC supply to AC output conversion. And then you have to figure that the fuse is not necessarily an indication of normal current draw but more related to protection in the event of catastrophic failure.

But as Phil stated, with all those considerations, the end result would be about 15 watts X 4 max with a HU using a 10 amp fuse.

Of course there are those other rating standards such as WLS or JBF.

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Fman

HU power (which as everyone is pointing out is really more like 20w per channel not 60) will actually do fine on efficient coax speakers.

That said are you sure you can't fit an amp? Even under the seats? The JL XD series is really small. The JL XD 200/2 is really tiny and would fit the bill.

If this is for the landcruiser, consider doing just a single set of well powered component speakers (one pair not two) with modest power on them 50-75w. That will create more than enough sound for personal listening.

Shawn, this cruiser has aftermarket fuel tank that goes under the seats, 28 gallons, the stock tank is a 16 gallon under passengers seat. There is spot behind the tank but it would put the amp in harms way of someone stepping on it. I have two 5.25" door speakers and was going to purchase the following, just need something super basic with some decent sound. What are your thoughts on this?

Roll cage mounted speakers: (one pair of speakers - seem t get good reviews)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UHXXOJE?psc=1

This head unit (says its rated at 72W RMS)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/alpine-car-cd-mp3-player-72-w-rms-ipod-iphone-compatible-single-din-black/5573077.p?id=1219139428218&skuId=5573077&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=5573077&extensionType=pla:g&s_kwcid=PTC!pla!!!150874942599!g!!81402201639&kpid=5573077&k_clickid=c2ecc879-4416-418f-9db2-c03799b2ef6a&lsft=ref:212,loc:1&ksid=c2ecc879-4416-418f-9db2-c03799b2ef6a&ksprof_id=18&ksaffcode=pg30017&ksdevice=c

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shawndoggy

I can't see a 4" speaker blasting at ear height on deck power sounding anything but terrible, but I've not heard those particular speakers, so who knows?

I'd much much rather have an single pair of these, even only on deck power: http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-DB6501-6-5-Inch-Component/dp/B000P0R6LQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1447718313&sr=1-1&keywords=polk+db6501

I think any decent modern deck will do just fine for you. I'm partial to pioneer and sony, but I'm sure that Alpine is just fine too.

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Fman

Those Polk look nice but I need something that mounts on a roll cage, and nothing too large. Trying to tuck them out of the way.

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Anodyne

Hey just for anyone researching this topic that is pondering this question or what's available here and now in 2019 and beyond: Sony makes a HU with a Class-D amplifier that offers 45W/channel (4-channels) with 100W peak power per channel. Super impressive unit. Sony The Sony MEX-XB120BT is a single-DIN HU with plenty of bells and whistles just not touch screen. Very good option for anyone looking to do a nice entry-level aftermarket system but doesn't want to spend $200 on a high powered amp. 180W RMS to 4 channels in a car is very strong and will satisfy most people with the output. I believe it's rated at 4 ohms so match accordingly.

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mikez

And Dual makes a marine HU (AM505BT) with a Class-D amp rated at 55W RMS (160W peak) per channel (4-channels).

From the manual:  CEA-2006 Power Standard Specifications (reference: 14.4VDC +/- 0.2V, 20Hz-20kHz) Power Output: 55 Watts RMS x 4 channels at 4 ohms and < 1% THD+N

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gary_tenison

I would definately go external class D amp. Place under a seat or in rear side wall or trunk.

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Fman
On 12/22/2019 at 6:50 PM, gary_tenison said:

I would definately go external class D amp. Place under a seat or in rear side wall or trunk.

This vehicle (1976 FJ40) was sold a couple years ago, now resides in Idaho.  FWIW the Alpine mini amp I used worked good for powering 4 co-ax 6.5" speakers and easily mounted in the glove box.

20160115_154403-1.jpg

20151128_162108.jpg

Edited by Fman

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gary_tenison

very cool truck

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