Originally Posted by ZMan2k2
Okay, a couple things here.
One, the Alpine power pack is NOT a waste of money. I don't know where others are getting their information, but an aftermarket deck does NOT put out 50W/channel. Most aftermarket decks put out around 12-15w, some go as high as 18. The 50W rating is simply one channel, for a short burst, which does not tell the story of how music is played in a stereo. The Alpine pack is a worthwhile investment, because it will put out 45w/channel in a compact package, no need to install a second amp somewhere for the mains.
Second, you get what you pay for in speakers. What I would do if I were you is take the money that you were planning to spend on the PowerPack, and put it towards speakers first. Run the speakers off the deck, while saving up for the PowerPack. This way you won't be disappointed. There are very few speakers around $100 that will satisfy people in the long run. You will no doubt decide soon after upgrading the amp to those speakers, that you need to re-purchase better speakers, as the mid-bass performance, as well as the highs just aren't there. This is more of a factor in the low quality cross-over networks than the design of the speakers. If you decide to go with a co-axial speaker, which you could do, than you will have fewer comprimises in the cross-over, at the expense of having better imaging, by being able to high mount the tweeters. IMO, your minimum budget for front speakers should be in the $200-$250 range, to better suit a long-term purchase of speakers that you'll be happy with for a while. And remember, if you're running aftermarket speakers on the stock deck, the quality still won't be there. The stock tuning of the stereo is done to ensure long term use of the stock speakers. Most often, the factory tunes them to ensure things like not blowing speakers at high volume. This entails lowering the bass output as the volume increases. Not a great sound.
Go slow, and really research what will work best for you. And try to purchase for the long term. I've been in your situation, and usually ended up spending more than I initially wanted, because I didn't think into the future far enough, and had to repurchase better quality down the road.
You are correct that the Alpine power pack four-channel amplifier boosts power to the speakers to 45Wx4 RMS (up from an average power of 18Wx4 RMS). It certainly would help sound quality quite well, but with the speakers that OP was looking into, this would have been a waste of money and would probably do more harm than good. Although Pioneer and RF components may be rated at a higher wattage peak and rms than the power pack puts out, that doesnt mean that they can handle it. Your recommendation is basically exactly what I said about using the power pack money to get better speakers. Higher quality speakers will sound better overall weather amplified or not.
However, OP, keep in mind that speakers and subwoofers can be "blown" by underpowering them. Regardless of what speakers you get, if they are components they should be amplified. Im sure their are a ton of people that are going to jump in now and say "I have components running off the head unit and they sound great, never had a problem".... This is true, but by underpowering your speakers you are putting a strain on them that could do serious damage to the voice coils. I have seen a sub "blow" from being underpowered.
With all that being said, I did recommend getting better speakers and forget the power pack for now, but as mentioned in the quote above, it is highly recommended that components be amplified. Im sure the power pack will give you a slight boost in sound and certainly help take the stress off the speakers, but a real amp should be installed eventually.
Its the same as if I said I was going to buy an 8" 300w bazooka self amplified sub... I have two 10's in my truck that only run on about 300w and they will make a bazooka sub look like a kids toy. People have 10,000w amplifiers strong enough to kill a person but their system still doesnt have the quality, imaging, clarity, and sound of a simple 300w system of higher quality. Why do you think Bose audio does not advertise the wattage rating of their systems... it is highly self classified internal information that Bose will never release to the public becuase it is so incredibly low wattage that if people knew how low powered it was, they would never buy it. But their home audio systems sound pretty damm good! My point is that wattage DOES NOT MATTER! The power pack is great for taking a little stress off your speakers and slightly boosting sound levels, but just because it takes it from 18 to 45 rms power does not mean its better.