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Hey folks,
If a stereo/cd etc is advertised as 50 watts X 4, does that mean 50 watts per speaker (for 4 speakers) or does that mean 50 watts to be divided by each speaker? TIA

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Honey, its not a $200 hat. The distributor was $200, the hat came with it. kevin d
Classic Cars and Trucks of Beaufort #03
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Per speaker, but you need to figure out how the power is being measured. Some will be rated as peak power (to give high numbers), while the correct way is to rate it as R.M.S., continous, over a specific frequency range, with total harmonic distortion below a specific percentage value; i.e. 50 watts R.M.S. per channel into 4 ohms, 20-20,000 hz, with less than 0.05% THD.

Just advertising "50W x 4" leave alot to interpitation, but what ever it really is, it is per speaker.
 

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It means 50w per speaker, that is max though, the RMS is the more important number, and honestly, it doesn't make all that much difference, if you're concerned about how it's going to sound you need an amp with a crossover.

Watt ratings on stereo equipment are not really very important, companies use them just to try and make their stuff more appealing, but it has very little affect on how it will sound. Build quality is much more important.

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Chris Dagenais
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks folks, I guess I'll do a little more research.

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Honey, its not a $200 hat. The distributor was $200, the hat came with it. kevin d
Classic Cars and Trucks of Beaufort #03
TC #1108
ACES #4586
 

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Unfortunatly the "Car Fi" industry doesn't subscribe to the same ratings standards as the professional (arena, church, touring) market. Remember the 200W per channel underdash boosters? No bigger than a cigarette pack but 200W. Yup, they'll do 200W, but at about 99.9% distortion.
Look at the numbers, and follow Gene's advise about ratings. Usually it's on a per channel (L and R) basis, and the front and rear split this output power between themselves via the fader. I've been out of this biz about 15 years, but I'd find it unusual to have a unit with 4) 50W amplifiers built in.
 

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It's supposed to be a rating per channel or speaker. Hence the X4 part.

Head units typically don't provide that much punch to really drive speakers. You need to be careful in selecting your speakers to make them work. You'll want sensitive speakers (higher dB/watt/meter) and then you'll have to mount them properly. Properly could include boxes or cabinets of the right size.

I find most head units can't provide the sound quality because they do distort at normal levels. Maybe not so much that it's really noticable but it is there.

To get any decent power out of a car system the amplifier has to have a switched power supply so it runs on a higher voltage. 12V just doesn't provide for much power. Typically, an average amp would be +35VDC and -35VDC, which gives a 70VDC range for the output circuit to work on. Bigger amps typically have higher voltages.

There are some DIN or double DIN sized units that do have a full switched power supply and can really provide some output. These are double or triple the size compared to most units.

If you are looking for an amp that's decent, look for one that doubles it's power going from 4 ohms to 2 ohms. If not double, then at least as close to double as possible. This is usually a good indicator of the quality in the amp. If you see a 100W amp at 4 ohms and it "jumps" to 110W at 2 ohms then it's probably a poor circuit.

Peter
 

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Hey Kev, great question and lots of good info in reply! I gotta ask though, what are you looking for: A booming stereo at the stoplight or an improvement to the stock 2-speaker system?

If it's the former (on the light side), I'd recommend going to a local Circuit City or Best Buy and get them to hook you up with a new head unit (4x 50 great) and 4x new speakers (2x front & 2x back).

If it's the former (on the mean side), head to a custom stereo shop with a checkbook and get a couple amps, subwoofer with box, cossover, and component speaker systems.

If however, you're looking to improve upon the factory sound, a 4x 50W head will happily power a set of 6.5" coax on the front and set of 6x9" on the rear. Also, if you'd rather not chop the doors, there's a company that specializes in A-Body kick panels which might help you out - Custom Autosound 68-72 A-Body kick panels. I'm looking at a set of these for my 72 Elky once it gets back on the road!

I'd be glad to help further if you'd like. Hit me an e-mail at [email protected]


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Proud father of twins - 68 Chevelle SS & 72 daily Elky
 
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