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Benefits of a 4 channel amp VS. 2 Channel

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
96Taco [OP] 96Taco is offline
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Benefits of a 4 channel amp VS. 2 Channel

Hi guys,

Been tossing up some ideas in my head on designing a sound system for my car. I was wondering what the benefits are for getting a 4 channel amp vs a 2 channel amp for powering just your 4 speakers. I understand on a 4 channel you can use fader and balance where as on a 2 channel you would probably just have fronts and back fader.

Why would you want or even need the balance function? I cannot think when you would have the left side turned up higher than the right side?

Wouldn't just font and back fader be sufficient? What advantage is there to be able to balance as well. I think the only time ive ever used the balance is to check if a speaker is blown without having to put my ear against it.

Probably an obvious question, but Im pretty new to car audio.

Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96Taco View Post
Hi guys,

Been tossing up some ideas in my head on designing a sound system for my car. I was wondering what the benefits are for getting a 4 channel amp vs a 2 channel amp for powering just your 4 speakers. I understand on a 4 channel you can use fader and balance where as on a 2 channel you would probably just have fronts and back fader.

Why would you want or even need the balance function? I cannot think when you would have the left side turned up higher than the right side?

Wouldn't just font and back fader be sufficient? What advantage is there to be able to balance as well. I think the only time ive ever used the balance is to check if a speaker is blown without having to put my ear against it.

Probably an obvious question, but Im pretty new to car audio.

Thanks.
Well, if you WERE to use a 2 channel amp to power 4 "channels" per say(Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right, Rear Left), you would want the balance option as opposed to the fader. Reason being is that basically in stereo recordings you will have sounds that play between the left and right channel and also independently from one another. Not having a left and right channel would really screw up your imaging (plays a big part in sound quality) and your music would not sound remotely how it's supposed to. Another reason you wouldn't want to do this is because, even if you hooked it up for left and right instead of front and back channels, your front stage and rear fill would put out the same volume. Ideally, you want your front speakers to be the loudest and your rear speakers to provide a hardly noticeable ambient fill. If you already have a 2 channel amp that you want to use, just power your rear speakers off of your radio and pump the extra juice from your amplifier to your front speakers. Make sure to tune your setup carefully to avoid overdriving your speakers and to avoid clipping from the internal amp on your head unit for your rear speakers.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneckc View Post
Well, if you WERE to use a 2 channel amp to power 4 "channels" per say(Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right, Rear Left), you would want the balance option as opposed to the fader. Reason being is that basically in stereo recordings you will have sounds that play between the left and right channel and also independently from one another. Not having a left and right channel would really screw up your imaging (plays a big part in sound quality) and your music would not sound remotely how it's supposed to. Another reason you wouldn't want to do this is because, even if you hooked it up for left and right instead of front and back channels, your front stage and rear fill would put out the same volume. Ideally, you want your front speakers to be the loudest and your rear speakers to provide a hardly noticeable ambient fill. If you already have a 2 channel amp that you want to use, just power your rear speakers off of your radio and pump the extra juice from your amplifier to your front speakers. Make sure to tune your setup carefully to avoid overdriving your speakers and to avoid clipping from the internal amp on your head unit for your rear speakers.
Pretty much dead on. Its just wiser to use a 4 channel amp. You start bridging or adding extra impedance to an amp, you increase the chance it will overheat and likely induce clipping. I've done a couple setups like this in my earlier days of the hobby and it just isn't worth it IMO. Buy a 4 channel and go active
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:35 AM   #4
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Go 4 and and a sub too. Two channels in stereo for the Mids and Highs and two channel bridged for the sub.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sirsaechao View Post
Go 4 and and a sub too. Two channels in stereo for the Mids and Highs and two channel bridged for the sub.
This is what I rock and it works great, Polk dB6501 in the front, stockers in the rear running off a P4300DVD (will upgrade eventually and need a 6 channel or another amp), and a Polk 10" bridged.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:06 PM   #6
96Taco [OP] 96Taco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneckc View Post
Well, if you WERE to use a 2 channel amp to power 4 "channels" per say(Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right, Rear Left), you would want the balance option as opposed to the fader. Reason being is that basically in stereo recordings you will have sounds that play between the left and right channel and also independently from one another. Not having a left and right channel would really screw up your imaging (plays a big part in sound quality) and your music would not sound remotely how it's supposed to. Another reason you wouldn't want to do this is because, even if you hooked it up for left and right instead of front and back channels, your front stage and rear fill would put out the same volume. Ideally, you want your front speakers to be the loudest and your rear speakers to provide a hardly noticeable ambient fill. If you already have a 2 channel amp that you want to use, just power your rear speakers off of your radio and pump the extra juice from your amplifier to your front speakers. Make sure to tune your setup carefully to avoid overdriving your speakers and to avoid clipping from the internal amp on your head unit for your rear speakers.
Perfect thanks! That puts that idea to bed. I knew there would be an obvious answer that I couldn't see =)

Guess I will buy a 4 channel amp then.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:13 PM   #7
96Taco [OP] 96Taco is offline
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Thanks for the advice guys. Looks like i will get 4 channel plus a mono. Or even a 5 channel if i can get one small enough to fit under the passenger seat. Not sure yet. These look pretty neat too..keeps the factory head unit and converts high outputs to rca for amps. Apparently they really improve the factory hu sound quality.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...-Gray-LC6.html
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:23 AM   #8
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5 channel is defiantly worth looking into if you are adding a sub.

i could be talked into selling you my alpine pdx 5. i keep thinking of upgrading to the next generation.
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