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What to look for in a good amplifier

If you’re searching for a brand new amp for your vehicle, or you’re looking for ways to revamp your current one, there are some factors you should considering to help make the process as easy as possible.
1.       Determine the right number of channels for your vehicle.
a.       This depends upon how many speakers you have installed in your sound system. One channel is needed for every speaker you intend to amplify. Sound systems with multiple channels are more versatile. Component systems can be tricky, therefore causing you to need more than just a single amp.
2.       Don’t short your system on power.
a.       If you’re shopping for a brand new system, choose your speakers first then select the appropriate amps to power them. In regard to using factory sound systems, you will need to search for amps that can power at least 75%-150% of its RMS value. It is suggested to buy amps that are more powerful than you need, should you consider to add on to this system at a later time (this also reduces the risk of blowing out your speakers).
3.       When it comes to buying an amp, get your money’s worth.
a.       Research amp systems, compare brands and customer reviews. Don’t shell out hundreds of dollars just for the brand name when it is possible for the system to not match well with your existing system or just simply not be that great of a quality system. Don’t pay for the name, pay for what it can do. Be sure to get a warranty as well!
4.       If you’re building your own system, purchase a head unit with preamp outputs and amplifier with line level inputs.
a.       An unamplified signal to the amp produces the clearest sound you can achieve in this situation.
b.      Carefully consider the location of installation. Ideal spots are under the seat, in the trunk, and/or against the passenger’s side. Leave enough room for additional wires needed to power the actual amp.
5.       Be aware of the wiring.
a.       Great quality amps have oxygen free copper wiring, however, they can be costly. Try to stay away from copper clad aluminum kits, as copper is more effective at conducting electricity than aluminum.
b.      Wire coverings are just as important, so consider the size. Just because the cord looks thick, doesn’t mean it’s completely wire. There are plenty of systems out there with small, thin wiring masked by thick coatings.

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