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this may be a stupid question but what is the purpose of an amp, and how do i decide if i need one or if it would benefit me to have one???
 

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Bullet23 said:
this may be a stupid question but what is the purpose of an amp, and how do i decide if i need one or if it would benefit me to have one???
Sends power to speakers. If you need one or not depends on how many rms watts the speakers you have are and your personal preferences. You can run the speakers off the power of the head unit but most of them only do about 22 rms per channel (4). I might be wrong but using the power from the head unit to power your speakers reduces the sound quality. If you are talking about powering subwoofes you will have to get an amp.
 

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ga16freak said:
If you are talking about powering subwoofes you will have to get an amp.
Definately True
once upon a time a friends and i got bord and decided to hook up 1 175watt rms 10" sub to a head unit. we tried playing it and nothing happened.. but after a while it made a wierd noise and then messed up and wouldnt work when we used the amp thank god for the bestbuy 4 year service plan.

Back to the point....taken from britannica...

Device that responds to a small input signal (voltage, current, or power) and delivers a larger output signal with the same waveform features.

Amplifiers are used in radio and television receivers, high-fidelity audio equipment, and computers. Amplification can be provided by electromechanical devices (e.g., transformers and generators) and vacuum tubes, but most electronic systems now employ solid-state microcircuits. One amplifier is usually insufficient, so its output is fed into a second, whose output is fed to a third, and so on, until the output level is satisfactory.


or from some other website....
device that accepts a varying input signal and produces an output signal that varies in the same way as the input but has a larger amplitude. The input signal may be a current, a voltage, a mechanical motion, or any other signal; the output signal is usually of the same nature. The most common types of amplifiers are electronic and have transistors or electron tubes as their principal components. Electronic amplifiers are used in radio and television transmitters and receivers, audio and stereo systems, intercoms, and other consumer electronics devices. Amplifiers in their simplest form are built around a single transistor. In one type of single-transistor amplifier, known as a common-emitter circuit, a varying input voltage is fed to the base of the transistor, and the output appears at the transistor's collector; the ratio of the output voltage to the input voltage is called the voltage gain. For many purposes a single transistor does not provide sufficient gain, or amplification. In a cascade, or multistage, amplifier, the output of the first amplifying device (transistor) is fed as input to the second amplifying device, whose output is fed as input to the third, and so on until an adequate signal amplification has been achieved. In a device such as a radio receiver, several amplifiers boost a weak input signal until it is powerful enough to drive a speaker. Usually, multistage amplifiers are not made of discrete components, but are built as integrated circuits . Another less common group of electronic amplifiers use magnetic devices as their principal components. There are also many kinds of mechanical amplifiers, e.g., the power steering system of an automobile.
 

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Bullet, if you get an afternoon with nothing to do go to Barnes and Noble. Buy a cup of coffee, head over to the automotive section and pick up a book on car audio. Find a comfy chair and educate yourself for a few hours. It is the easiest way to get comprehensive knowledge on all aspects of car audio and is usually written with the noob in mind. B+N taught me how to build computers, hook up cars, work with all flavors of audio gear, rewire my house, quantum physics, etc... A great source of knowledge! :thumbup:
 
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