View Full Version : Anyone use car audio amplifiers for home audio? My setup


CorvetteXZR1
03-01-2011, 10:59 AM
I recently bought an NAD 1020 preamp and Carver M400a power amp. Great purchase. My friend convinced me to try a Precision Power PC2150 car audio amplifier to drive my a/d/s/ m15 towers, so I bought it. $175 Mint. As you know I needed to run a 12 volt power supply so I borrowed one from him. 12 volts, 3.5 amps. Doesn't crank right now but it gets loud enough. Currently paired with an Adcom GCD 575 and GFP 555II Recapped (Elna) Preamp. Soon to be replaced wednesday with an NAD 1300 Monitor Series preamp.

PPI PC2150 compared to: Adcom GFA 5200 80 watts per channel (home audio)
Carver M400a Magnetic Field power amp (needs triac fixed, common problem works good though)
NAD 218THX

In between the amplifiers mentioned, I would rather run the PPI. It sounds amazing in a car and even better in the home audio application. The NAD 218 THX I would have to compare A + B as it sounded amazing as well. The PPI has very wonderful highs, nice clean midrange, and very good bass and very powerful. The imaging and soundstaging was like I never heard it before. All I need is a 60 to 100 amp power supply.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc222/moviemakerkeith/DSCF1095.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc222/moviemakerkeith/DSCF1120.jpg

DIYMA (Do It Yourself Mobile Audio) R12 12" subwoofer powered by a Dayton SA240 240 rms sub amp.
http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc222/moviemakerkeith/DSCF1076.jpg

AnalogDigit
03-01-2011, 11:13 AM
Interesting setup. Is that a Radio Shack color organ? I haven't seen one in years.

Rome
03-01-2011, 11:22 AM
Very creative!

Rome

CorvetteXZR1
03-01-2011, 11:25 AM
Custom creation my dad made. Originally made with a Southwest Technical Products kit board he built but it has recently been switched out for a design my brother made as his senior project in college using my dads old box he built. Best visual to use with music! It follows the music very well.

This is a video of it just hooked up to christmas lights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO_4qwD2G1c

This is the same box with the Southwest Technical Products kit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-ZaKYgWkf0

This is my Dad's all new circuit design with his box he made when he was 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz7u5M4kvrc

voltcontrol
03-01-2011, 12:26 PM
"Anyone use car audio amplifiers for home audio?"

Nope, but I like seeing this kind of experimentation.

js1138
03-01-2011, 12:34 PM
Car amps don't cost enough to be used in home stereo.

Unless they're called class D and cost several thousand dollars.

Seriously, I would like to see a real discussion of this.

voltcontrol
03-01-2011, 12:40 PM
Wouldn't mind trying one of the car amps designed by Nelson Pass...

electronjohn
03-01-2011, 12:49 PM
Run it off a couple 12V gel-cell batteries connected in parallel & charge 'em up overnight or whenever you aren't using the system.

dusty42701
03-01-2011, 04:04 PM
"Anyone use car audio amplifiers for home audio?"
I used to for a subwoofer, and it sounded great. But coupling a 14v 25A PSU with a car battery powering that amp in the house wasn't the most efficient thing.

Great looking LF driver. Love the chrome.

michaelhigh
03-01-2011, 07:07 PM
I got an idea (while we're thinking!)... get a C.Crane crank-up radio, hook it up to Chinese Crowns and SR-series JBL's and see if you could light up the big Crowns!

CorvetteXZR1
03-01-2011, 08:30 PM
No need for a car battery, I can run a regular 12 volt 30 amp power supply which will be plenty for the amp. Eventually 2 30 amp power supplies in parallel. Right now it is running off a 13.8 volt 3.4 amp power supply. There's many more excellent car audio amps that can be acquired for much less money and sound very impressive. The a/d/s/ PQ20 still might have the PPI pc2150 beat though. Much warmer midrange and more "musical". The highs and midrange from the ppi are excellent, very clean sounding. Bass output is awesome too!

ke4mcl
03-01-2011, 08:56 PM
i sold one of my mcintosh mc4000m amps to another audio buddy that's on here. lets see if i can convince him to show how he put the amp to use in his room.

interestingly enough, car audio in my room is how i got into home audio. as a kid i rigged up a pioneer supertuner 2 shaft car radio and a coustic eq booster in my room as i had blown up the cheap stereo my parents bought me from sears. it snowballed from there to this massive hobby.

flecom
03-01-2011, 09:13 PM
you rang?

http://flecom.fragmachines.com/%5bh%5d/E5DD5256.jpg

joel27
03-01-2011, 09:18 PM
The Mcintosh and PPI amps are great sounding in all applications I think

flecom
03-01-2011, 09:28 PM
that mcintosh sounds freaking amazing, that car amp sounds better than most of the high end amplifiers I have heard

I was running it off a 12v 50A rackmount Astron power supply

dusty42701
03-01-2011, 09:34 PM
No need for a car battery

This was a planet audio amplifier cranked to max power for subwoofer duty. sucked up more than the 25A the PSU put out and forced it into protection.
Also tried it with a 1200w Sony Xplod sub amplifier. It was a joke to try to get THAT to run on 25A.

It wasn't a big battery anyway. I think it was a 180A deep cycle. Little capacitor across the terminals and it would run the amp without the psu, but we would turn it on every now and then to keep it charged.

CorvetteXZR1
03-01-2011, 10:15 PM
How loud did it crank with a 50a power supply?

flecom
03-01-2011, 10:17 PM
Ear bleeding... and even then it didn't draw that much current... you only really need tons of current if your driving subwoofers, which I was not

I was using it as a 5 channel amp (FL/FR/C/RL/RR)

ahardb0dy
03-01-2011, 10:24 PM
Might need a bigger power supply for one of these:

http://www.kicker.com/warhorse

specs:

Model WX10000.1

RMS Power in Watts

@14.4V, 2 Ohm Mono, =1.5% THD+N 10000 x 1
@14.4V, 4 Ohm Mono, =1.5% THD+N 5000 x 1



Length 35” (888mm)
Height 3 3/4” (96mm)
Width 17 3/4” (450mm)
Weight 66.8 lb (30.3kg)
Frequency Response, + 0 / - 1 dB 20 Hz - 200 Hz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio >95 dB, a-weighted, re: rated power
Input Sensitivity 170 mV - 5 V low level
Low Pass Crossover Variable Low-Pass, 50 - 200Hz, 24dB per octave
High Pass Sub-Sonic Crossover Variable High Pass, 20 - 60Hz, 24dB per octave
Bass Boost Variable 0 to +18 dB boost @ 40 Hz

requirements:

http://i55.tinypic.com/33dd2mu.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/2jdqezp.jpg

CorvetteXZR1
03-01-2011, 10:28 PM
I would imagine a 12 volt 30 amp power supply should suffice for most car audio amplifiers then. My PPI is 150W x 2 @ 4 ohms or 600w RMS x1 @ 4 ohms. Can't wait to upgrade the power supply!

ke4mcl
03-01-2011, 10:29 PM
you guys remember that scene in the movie DC Cab where he cranks up the car radio and all the windows fly out of the car?

funny this thread popped up. i picked up an old school linear power today. just needed the gain control resoldered! great little american made amps.

Horn Head
03-01-2011, 11:45 PM
Didn't know until reading this thread that McIntosh made car amps....neat! I had a Carver car amp in my BMW more than 20 years ago and thought it was pretty cool that "hifi" manufacturers were doing the car thing.

Interesting thread.

flecom
03-02-2011, 08:29 AM
Mc made quite a few car things

http://www.roger-russell.com/caraud.htm

markdi
03-02-2011, 10:29 AM
12 volts at 50 amps = 600w

minus at least 10% for the inverter in the amp = 540w

class b amp - you might get 270w to the speakers - if you are lucky

12v 30a = 162 watts to the speakers

CorvetteXZR1
03-02-2011, 11:37 AM
"Car amps don't cost enough to be used in home stereo.

Unless they're called class D and cost several thousand dollars.

Seriously, I would like to see a real discussion of this."

Are you saying that the reason why people don't run car audio amps is simply because they dont cost enough money? Or that they should be judged right along with any high dollar home audio amp? A Mcintosh MX5000 or Clarion DRZ9255 or even a pioneer premier P888 would be an excellent head unit to run for my home audio setup. The a/d/s/ pq20 I listened to was the best sounding amp I have run in my home audio setup. Too bad it wasn't mine. Very musical and nice warm midrange

ke4mcl
03-02-2011, 12:07 PM
aside from added cost, i don't see why it should matter. it seems to me that its easier to step down or up an AC power source than to do the same with a DC power source. doing it right in a DC power source world means added cost.

once you get past the power supply differences i would hope a good car audio amp would sound as good as any rival home amp. the car amp would be built with parts that are to survive the extreme temps associated with automobiles. below freezing in the winter and above 150F on a hot summer in a parked car. home gear isn't designed to deal with that. a car amp in a home environment should be living the good life.

i've often wondered why this topic gets shunned at times. if you are limited for space like somebody living in one of those ultra tiny IKEA model apartments, a good a/v headunit could be the basis for a home entertainment system that rivals anything built from traditional home components yet only take up a minuscule amount of space if flush mounted into a wall and using wall mount speakers.

voltcontrol
03-02-2011, 12:21 PM
if you are limited for space like somebody living in one of those ultra tiny IKEA model apartments, a good a/v headunit could be the basis for a home entertainment system that rivals anything built from traditional home components yet only take up a minuscule amount of space if flush mounted into a wall and using wall mount speakers.

You could imagine hacking a car amp into IKEA stuff since they use cardboard innards in for instance the Expedit. Just put the pre or processor besides the TV, hide rest. :)

Renzor213
03-02-2011, 12:26 PM
If you're planning to run an auto amplifier as a home unit, using a 12vdc power supply is entirely the wrong way. Pull the amp cover while running and check the amp supply rail voltages, as that's where you're wanting to go. Should be about 30v(+) and 30v(-) or so. Build a basic 117vac power supply to the dc rail voltages, and not only will it be much smaller, you'll bypass the inverter dc to dc converter circuit altogether. Built a suitcase system with power amp for boating and left it alone for 12v usage. When switching to indoor use, run's off a power supply directly to the amp's rails, and really put's it out.

markdi
03-02-2011, 12:36 PM
Why bypass the built in inverter ?


just use a power supply 30 - 50 amp or more and a high current/capacity 12 volt sla battery.

a optima car battery would work.

use a regulated supply and set the voltage at the correct float voltage for the sla battery.

car amps would be a cheap way to set up a tri amped ht setup :yes:

targeteye
03-02-2011, 12:54 PM
I cant imagine why you would want to do this as you can get some fairly inexpensive decent 150 WPC amps. For example a JBL 6260.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200574368243#vi-content

However, for the sake of argument if one wanted to do this I question the need for a well regulated supply. Automotive electrical systems are all over the place voltage wise and notoriously noisy and when running closer to 14 volts than 12. I would say a unregulated reasonably well filtered approx 13v source would fit the bill and very easy to build once a large transformer is located. Oh.. and since we are experimenting... WELL FUSED!

Steve

shelly_d
03-02-2011, 01:27 PM
I am using a Nakamichi car amp in home system. Built a 30 amp, 12 volt regulated supply to power it. I have since derated the fuse in it to 10 amps and have never blown that no matter how hard I've pushed it.

As to why? It started out that I had never gotten around to installing it in my car. Then the car had to be replaced and the new one didn't need it. Started the P/S so I could here what this puppy sounded like. Last straw was when my power amp went south on me.

The amp is 4 x 45 Watts per channel bridgeable to 2 x 90 watts per channel. I'm using it 2 channel. A bit too sensitive for my preamp but otherwise a very nice sounding, very detailed setup.

Shelly_D

targeteye
03-02-2011, 01:42 PM
interesting article on Cheap 12v power supplies.

http://www.antennex.com/preview/archive3/powers.htm

Renzor213
03-02-2011, 02:07 PM
Why bypass the built in inverter ?


just use a power supply 30 - 50 amp or more and a high current/capacity 12 volt sla battery.

a optima car battery would work.

use a regulated supply and set the voltage at the correct float voltage for the sla battery.

car amps would be a cheap way to set up a tri amped ht setup :yes:Why bypass the inverter. Doesn't the fact of starting with 117v down to 12v then going back up to 30v +/- sound even the least bit silly to you. Not to mention, an auto amp's rated output is usually from a running car's 13.6v, not 12v, so figure about 10% output reduction.

markdi
03-02-2011, 02:12 PM
I would use a supply and a sla battery

setup the supply at or a little below the max float voltage of the sla battery.

regulated/unregulated supply - who cares as long as the supply's voltage is
below the max float voltage of the sla battery.

240sx4u
03-02-2011, 02:18 PM
I had a butler tube driver powered by a 100amp 12vdc power supply for awhile. It worked and sounded fine.

markdi
03-02-2011, 02:20 PM
Yes going from 117v to 12v then back to the supply rail voltage seems wastefull - but - the inverter is allready built into the car amp.

The inverters in high quality car amps are very nicely regulated and

as a hobbyist I have many many high current 12v supplies - they are cheap.

The float voltage on most sla batteries is around 13.2 to 13.8 volts or so.

depends on the battery.

flecom
03-02-2011, 04:37 PM
12 volts at 50 amps = 600w

minus at least 10% for the inverter in the amp = 540w

class b amp - you might get 270w to the speakers - if you are lucky

12v 30a = 162 watts to the speakers

and how many db/W are your average set of speakers? 162W = deaf

I cant imagine why you would want to do this as you can get some fairly inexpensive decent 150 WPC amps. For example a JBL 6260.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200574368243#vi-content

However, for the sake of argument if one wanted to do this I question the need for a well regulated supply. Automotive electrical systems are all over the place voltage wise and notoriously noisy and when running closer to 14 volts than 12. I would say a unregulated reasonably well filtered approx 13v source would fit the bill and very easy to build once a large transformer is located. Oh.. and since we are experimenting... WELL FUSED!

Steve

I guarantee you the Mc car amps sound better than that JBL... a lot more expensive though :)

the Astron I had running my Mc4000M was adjusted to 13.8V and I also had a small 13.8V 100A switching power supply that I used which worked pretty well

nick12345
03-02-2011, 05:28 PM
I should try this sometime, since I have a variable DC power supply that will do 24 volts at 60 amps :naughty:

Clipping
03-25-2013, 03:29 PM
After using a Crown MicroTech 2400 for my 2 Power 15 bandpass subs for years it needed to go away, many neighbors were happy but I always missed it. I had a PPI 2600m laying around so I tried hooking it up to a spare car battery, monitored voltage and a 2/10 amp car charger kept it going with whatever duty cycle my ears could take.. Leaving it on listening level continuously needed a 1 amp charger. Then I'd flip the 10amp charger on, fed by a powerstrip, for max power. I could suck the battery dry if I'd been drinking. Once in years I spent ~$40 on an out of warranty date, new car battery from the auto store, it tested 650 amps..

Sometime later I heard a powersoft amp :yes:, it sounded better than the microtech 2400 to me. After some searching I picked up a used Alpine m2000 for $280. I have the battery stuck in a paint bucket against the wall for some reason. The digital amp needs 2 amps of charge just to idle but the draw stays steady till big power comes out. I hate fan noise and it's silent. My hifi buddy thinks it's fabulous and ghetto, he had to leave the room during a bass test and agrees it sounds like a powersoft..

It's a quality piece but preferring D amps for subs only is opinion. I have no plans on changing it nor do I want more power, which is odd. I suspect it may draw less power as a yearly average than a comparable B amp, so greener. I guess a "stale" low resistance battery out of a jaguar or something else on the $40 cheap rack would make 10-20% more power but that would co$t. I'm content with whatever it makes @ 12.3v min I can get it to draw the battery down to, at continuous max headroom, with a 10amp charger.

nissan guy
03-28-2013, 02:23 AM
I had a butler tube driver powered by a 100amp 12vdc power supply for awhile. It worked and sounded fine.

I have a tube driver amp laying around i may try this with. I also have a few ads amps, an orion, a soundstream and an mtx not in use. Could be fun to play around with.

stoutblock
03-28-2013, 04:32 AM
I knew a guy that came across bad times and had to give up his car to the bank. Of course, he took out his $$$ audio system first. It had a TOL alpine head unit, Audio control parametric equalizer and active cross over, several Zapco amps, Several MB Quart speakers, and a big sub box with (4) 12" Orion woofers. He set it up in his garage a couple of years later. He put the drivers in several separate simple boxes and stacked them against a wall with the sub in the middle. He had 4 deep cycle batteries connected to a couple of chargers. One battery drove everything but the amps and the other 3 drove the amps. With batteries fully charged, it would rock the entire neighborhood. He had problems with the 12V draw at high volumes so later he hooked up an electric motor to a high output alternator he also had. This setup seemed to keep up just fine. It was a great sounding system

I knew another guy that had a small cabin out in the woods that was off the grid. He had some solar cells and small windmills that he used to keep a couple of 12v batteries charged. He used the batteries to drive a car tuner deck and a couple of speakers. He mostly listened to the radio. He could play it a couple of hours a day depending on the amount of sun and wind he had. Later he had a small paddle wheel he installed on a local creek that seemed to generate plenty of 12v power to play this system as long as he wanted. Last time I went out there he had stopped using gas lanterns at night and instead used several LED lamps powered off these batteries.

LQ1Z34
03-28-2013, 11:38 AM
I don't use car amps in my home system but I do use this in one of my rooms:

A Pioneer p3700mp car cd deck as my 'receiver'. It's powered by 1.5 amp 12v switching power supply. I don't use the speaker outputs for anything (I would if I had a bigger power supply) but I feed the signal to my Soundcraftsmen pm860 driving a set of Pioneer h252b-k's. It sounds really clean and the 2v output voltage of the car deck matches the input sensitivity of the pm860 pretty closely.

For ugrading, I'm looking at getting a small t-amp to run the pioneers then using the FIE on the deck to run some subs off the pm860.

Xtian
05-11-2013, 01:34 PM
Hy guys, i'm new here, but i felt like sharing on this thread ;-)

my set up:

- mediacenter / Cambridge dacmagic
- Fisher studio standard turntable / Grado prestige silver / Gram amp 2 SE

- Fatman modified to serve as pre-amp :D
- Phoenix Gold EQ215 car equaliser
- Phoenix Gold MS2125 car amp

- Speakers:
- upper enclosure:
-Focal titanium inverted tweeter
-Phoenix Gold zeropoint car midwoofer
-crossover 3Khz 3rd order

-lower enclosure:
-Boston Proseries 8.4L.F.
-amplifier from a REL StrataIII subwoofer