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Old 02-14-2014, 08:56 AM   #1
snuck
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Default Differences between amps, expensive or cheap?

I have a dilemma.

I have an Audison LRX2.150 two channel amp and just got hold of an Alpine MRP F300 4 channel amp. I need to do 4 channels.

My question is whether there's that really that big a difference in sound between inexpensive alpine and supreme sq amps like Audison. So I can just use the 4 channel Alpine straight or find another LRX2.150... to match my other LRX. I have maximizing bang for budget in mind.

In before 'just hook em up and listen'

Ideas?
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:40 AM   #2
LIChuck
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No you don't, it doesn't matter.

The amp is only one part of the system, if you have poor sound quality inputs, it doesn't matter what amp you use. If you have lousy speakers, again it doesn't matter what amp you use.

You are another variable, if you are tone deaf or can't hear the difference, the amp doesn't matter. If you are cranking up the sound level to +90 dB it doesn't matter because all you are going to do is induce early hearing loss. Your ears cannot handle that sound level.

A car is not a concert hall, at a certain point the limitation of the car interior become more of a factor than the amp.

Specs lie. If one amp has 0.5% distortion and the second 0.05%, is the second 10 times better? On paper yes but I doubt you could hear the difference in a car driving down the road.

Audio amplifiers are pretty basic technology. Thirty (30) year ago, this was probably a good topic for discussion. Today any decently designed amp is going to sound good. If you want true sound reproduction, you'll never get it in a car.

Now for the flaming from those who buy into all the marketing hype and have never made objective measurements in a controlled environment.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:51 AM   #3
CalTech87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIChuck View Post
No you don't, it doesn't matter.

The amp is only one part of the system, if you have poor sound quality inputs, it doesn't matter what amp you use. If you have lousy speakers, again it doesn't matter what amp you use.

You are another variable, if you are tone deaf or can't hear the difference, the amp doesn't matter. If you are cranking up the sound level to +90 dB it doesn't matter because all you are going to do is induce early hearing loss. Your ears cannot handle that sound level.

A car is not a concert hall, at a certain point the limitation of the car interior become more of a factor than the amp.

Specs lie. If one amp has 0.5% distortion and the second 0.05%, is the second 10 times better? On paper yes but I doubt you could hear the difference in a car driving down the road.

Audio amplifiers are pretty basic technology. Thirty (30) year ago, this was probably a good topic for discussion. Today any decently designed amp is going to sound good. If you want true sound reproduction, you'll never get it in a car.

Now for the flaming from those who buy into all the marketing hype and have never made objective measurements in a controlled environment.
Could have been somewhat shorter, but still the point was made and made well.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #4
LIChuck
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^ Thank you
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
El Wray
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In your situation, I would probably go toward the Alpine. You already have it, will require less wiring and it will require less space. Agreed with Chuck regarding source being most important.

Without the amps, I would choose Audison over Alpine.
1. I've never liked "big box" manufacturers. Alpine/Kicker/Rockford now have stuff everywhere from Best Buy to Walmart. They're cheaply mass produced by whatever Chinese fab can meet their loose quality requirements at the lowest rock bottom price. The "better" lines that are found at audio dealers is imho "decent", but not nearly as high quality as brands like Audison. (Or MMats, McIntosh, Mosconi to name a few.)
2. While stats don't really matter all that much, when you start stepping up to the big boys you will always notice that important things like THD starts going down while damping factor, SnR and input sensitivity start going up beyond the competition.
3. I'm biased toward Elettromedia (maker of Audison) - I have had two different Hertz Audio amp setups in my ride.
4. Anything worth doing is worth over-doing.

Anyone who says they can't tell the difference is the type of person who thinks the stock iphone ear buds, Skullcandy and Beats by Dre are fantastic products. But I digress, I'm an audio snob.

Last edited by El Wray; 02-14-2014 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:16 PM   #6
Beau M
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Anybody remember Richard Clark's $10K amp challenge? I wonder if hes still doing that?
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:03 PM   #7
snuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Wray View Post
In your situation, I would probably go toward the Alpine. You already have it, will require less wiring and it will require less space. Agreed with Chuck regarding source being most important.

Without the amps, I would choose Audison over Alpine.
1. I've never liked "big box" manufacturers. Alpine/Kicker/Rockford now have stuff everywhere from Best Buy to Walmart. They're cheaply mass produced by whatever Chinese fab can meet their loose quality requirements at the lowest rock bottom price. The "better" lines that are found at audio dealers is imho "decent", but not nearly as high quality as brands like Audison. (Or MMats, McIntosh, Mosconi to name a few.)
2. While stats don't really matter all that much, when you start stepping up to the big boys you will always notice that important things like THD starts going down while damping factor, SnR and input sensitivity start going up beyond the competition.
3. I'm biased toward Elettromedia (maker of Audison) - I have had two different Hertz Audio amp setups in my ride.
4. Anything worth doing is worth over-doing.

Anyone who says they can't tell the difference is the type of person who thinks the stock iphone ear buds, Skullcandy and Beats by Dre are fantastic products. But I digress, I'm an audio snob.
Actually I have the alpine, but I also already have one audison lrx2.150 albeit old.

I'm sitting here, considering if I ought to just sell the alpine and pick up another lrx2, use the alpine and sell the lrx, or use the alpine AND lrx2 together, lol.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:43 AM   #8
El Wray
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Hmm. Six channels... 3 way active in the front?

(Or bridge the lrx for a sub)
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:20 PM   #9
thill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau M View Post
Anybody remember Richard Clark's $10K amp challenge? I wonder if hes still doing that?
I don't think so, but man was that an eye opener when I first read it. Saved me a lot of money over the years
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
Roper215
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Default my .02

To me the biggest difference once you are outside of the "bad/cheap" amps is the specs and the type of amp it is (A, A/B, D, etc).

What I have found is that specifications for the majority of amps are BS. A watt is a watt is a watt (assuming a constant THD for each amp)... unfortunately, the methodology for determing these specifications vary widely and result in confusion for the average consumer.

I have also found that is your speaker wants 100 watts rms and you are driving it off of a class D amp, you will want the amp to be rated around 150 watts rms or more, as they tend to be more noisey, dirty and perform better not near their peak output in comparrison to class A/B amps which can maintain lower THD% at higher percentage max output.

The point about source unit is huge, and the information around accurate reproduction is a car is also very fair.

In my opinion either amp has it's place depending on what you are wanting to do, and what you are driving it with and what speaker you will be driving. Providing this information would also be helpful, and the other piece to consider is installation/space availability.
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