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Why do I need a car amplifier for my speakers?

Posted on 2014-12-30
Last Modified: 2014-12-30
I have a jeep wrangler TJ 2001 and I want to replace the speakers. Somebody says I have a stock amplifier somewhere.

Where is my amplifier?

Why would I need to upgrade an amplifier? I don't know what it does in simple terms
Question by:artismobile
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

ID: 40523707
Often the amplifier is part of /built-in to the radio.
People often want a new amplifier/stereo system to output more power than the existing stereo system does.
i.e. the output of the stock radio system is 10-25Watt when buys their own, they can get one that pumps 100Watt per speaker.

Expert Comment

ID: 40523712
You can spend a fortune on speakers, but the amp is what makes them thump.
The signal coming off the head is not leveled to support the high-end speakers, and you'll loose signal quality and volume.
The amp levels off the EQ from the head unit and adds volume and definition to the signal.

Stock amps are usually under the dash somewhere, by the head unit.
Aftermarkets are usually in the back by the sub.

Risky move putting high end audio equipment into a car you can break into with a box cutter.
LVL 77

Expert Comment

ID: 40523719
If your speakers are damaged (rattling, blown) you can just replace them as you intend.  Make sure you get the correct dimensions and I believe you should be fine.
The issue could be that the noise/reason you want them replaced is not an issue with the speakers, but with the stereo.
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Author Comment

ID: 40523733
Ok, that explains that. It has an aftermarket radio. Wonder if he even used the stock amp. When/ if I find it.

Yes the jeep is open range for thieves. I want to replace the speakers  where they currently exist and not be showy to entice

Author Comment

ID: 40523744
Yes, my sub woofer is out. The others work. Somebody put in a newer radio. I'll replace the speakers with what I hope is close to the same of what I have.

I guess I won't bother with an amp if it plays through my radio?

Author Comment

ID: 40523779
Here's my radio

Assisted Solution

Cashpanda earned 250 total points
ID: 40523793

Looks like a 50 Watt;  10-20000hz, which is a pretty good frequency band if the speakers are there to support it.

If you are content with the audio from the head unit as is, just replace the speakers.
Get a set of speakers within the specs of the head unit for maximum signal quality, if that's what you're going for.

Author Comment

ID: 40523808
LVL 77

Expert Comment

ID: 40523846
The amp is built-into your kenwood. you likely have a 4x6. I believe only custom stereo systems actually would have a separate Amplifier often depending on size under the seat/dash if room is available  or close to where the huge Subwoofer is in the rear since one has to run new wires from the amplifier to the speakers it drives.

Are you looking to just replace the sub woofer/speaker affected?
Did the sub woofer suddenly stopped working, double check on the kenwood the rear output selections were not switched. (switch PRE does it show rear or SUB-W)?

Author Comment

ID: 40524269
I wanted to replace all the speakers so I would know they all were new. They all play except the sub woofer in the center where the hand brake is and if scratchy and quite.
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

arnold earned 250 total points
ID: 40524383
Double check the outputs, the head unit includes some settings/controlls that deal with the type of speakers connected to it.  Did you already purchase the speakers or when you mentioned the speakers the amplifier came up?

There are too many possibilities, i.e. checking the speaker wires leading from the head unit to the sub woofer, to make sure they are not ....
Based on where your sub woofer is placed, was anything spilled on it?

you should be fine with getting equaled size speakers and a sub woofer.

Author Comment

ID: 40524394
Have not bought the speakers but purchasing now. It's an old jeep with several previous owners so starting over with a few new items should be good.
Thanks for all the help.
I'll post again for help with the install I'm sure!

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