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Old 05-25-2015, 01:36 PM   #1
NapoleonSaturn
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Default Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Hi, I am new to the forums and I have a question about audio systems for any of you to help me with. I have an '03 Ion and the speakers are pretty bad so I'm thinking about replacing them with a pair of Polk Audio BD651 for the back deck and a pair of cheaper Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime units for the side doors in the front. I also want to switch out the stock head unit for a Pioneer DEH-150MP single-DIN unit. I realize that I need a radio harness as well in order to install the unit. I've done the research and everything should fit perfectly in my Ion. So before I order it all and attempt to put it all in, here is my question:

Will I need an amp in order for the speakers to play loud and with a decent amount of bass?

The head unit I'm looking at puts out a peak of 50 watts x 4 channels and RMS of 14 watts x 4 channels.

I found the ACDelco stock speakers that come with the car online but there were no specs regarding power input or any other specs. All I know is 4 ohm impedance (that's whats printed on the speakers).

Polk Audio BD651 specs:
Peak : 360 watts per pair
RMS : 120 watts per pair

Rockford Fosgate specs:
Peak : 180 watts per pair
RMS : 2-45 watts (each?) so about 90 per pair I guess

So will I need an amp to power all 4 of the speakers? If so, what would be the best wattage + any recommended units? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

The door speakers won't hit much base pretty much regardless of how much power you have going to them. I have a set of infinity primus speakers in my running about 65 rms. (I have a 75 watt 2 ohm amp and speakers are 3 ohms) and without the sub in the car the bass is almost not even there. It hits miss and highs super good but those small speakers aren't designed to be hitting bass AND all the other notes at the same time. If you're really wanting to boom get an 8 or 10 inch sub in there and then don't really need to amplify the door speakers for bass. The head unit will be good enough unless you like super loud music.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

"If you're really wanting to boom get an 8 or 10 inch sub in there and then don't really need to amplify the door speakers for bass. The head unit will be good enough unless you like super loud music."

I was under the impression that any sub worth its price would also require an amp too, especially if I have a pair of speakers in the front for high/mids. Amps are a little out of my price range though, so that's why I was hoping that the built-in amplifier in my head unit would be enough. So you think the head unit could power 1 pair of speakers like the one in my OP + a sub? Thanks for the response, I don't know anything at all when it comes to this stuff
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Also, back to my original question: will the built-in amplifier in the head unit be able to power all 4 of the speakers in my OP at full volume/without any distortion/etc.? Simply adding up the RMS wattage (let alone the peak wattage) for both pairs of speakers far exceeds the RMS and peak wattage for the head unit.. so what happens then? Will the speakers function?
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

The headunit will not be able to power the speakers at full volume and not have any distortion. You will need to get an external amplifier if you're wanting to go above 60% usually.

Yes for a subwoofer you would need another amp. They sell subs with the amp in the box and you can find decent ones on eBay for around 200.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Thanks for the answer! Appreciate it. So what wattage (rms) amp would you recommend for just the speakers I listed? Oh and also, what happens to the built in amp in the head unit if I install an external amp? Does it still put out that power + the amp power or is it simply disabled when a new amp is installed?
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

if you want high volume audio without distortion, then you will need a 4ch amp to power the inside 4 speakers.
if you want bass, youll need either another amp to power a sub, or opt for a 5ch amp to power the 4 plus a sub...or leave the radio powering the inside 4, and have a small amp powering a sub

however, to have an effective setup without blowing speakers, the RMS power of the amp has to be equal or less than the RMS rating of the speakers. go above the rating, and youll be blowing out speakers.

completely disregard what the peak/max power is, which is very seldomly achieved.

with the selection of speakers you have, an amp to power the inside 4 speakers will have to have an RMS no greater than 45w due to the Fosgates.
if you had all 4 as the polks, you can have a max RMS of 120w

however, you can opt to having a single small monoblock, or bridgeable 2ch, to power only a sub

judging by the look of the radio (googled it to see what hook-ups it has on the back), you may be limited on what you can do with the single pair of RCA (red and white) plugs on the back and I cant tell if itll be front (inside speakers) or rear(subwoofer), unless you opt for the hard way of wiring an amp by using the wiring harness that feed the speakers if the amp supports it (most do), which disqualifies you from being able to have a sub.

If they are front, then you have a few possibilities. if rear, then only a sub can be used.
if front, you can get RCA splitters to convert the single pair to 2 pair to plug into the amp and power all 4 speakers.

What is also possible if its front output on the radio, and depending on the amp your shopping for (mine has this feature), is that some 5ch amps have a switch to put it into 4ch mode, and a sub can be powered from it without the need of a rear output on the radio, however, you cannot control the amount of bass with a remote, unless you adjust the equalizer in the radio's settings.

I can keep rambling about different setups and options if needed.
iv only done a couple install myself, but iv done enough research to know what is needed for a working setup.

amp setups in the trunk are simple in the ions as far as delivering power to the amp since the battery is in the trunk, so you only need a few feet of cable.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Before doing anything, check to see if your car has the AAS option w/factory amplifier.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
Before doing anything, check to see if your car has the AAS option w/factory amplifier.
03s have that option?
I always thought the 05+ had it
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

The spot in the rear in between the back speakers has the perfect spot for a amp. I put the one for my door speakers there. Completely hide so no one would ever know it's there. Just ran the wires under the carpet.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

I have mine mounted to the back of the back seats, screwed onto a set of drywall anchors since that backpanel is plastic.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

I been wanting to get a sub for my car ( my fav one i always wanted was the 1 12"alpine type X- if i remember right its 3000rms( i think it might be discontinued but was the badest this i ever heard an it was just one an i have seem some nice systems before)) with a hifonics amp!!!... but me personally rather have a sub an a amp for it, an dont really think getting a amp for the other speakers are really worth it.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Also, i wanted to ask (missed the edit time) how do you hook up 2 batteries so you have one for your sub( maily for high powered systems, so it doesnt make your headlights dim to the beat cuz of how much power it needs an doesnt drain ur main bat an screw up your alternator), i know you dont just hook up an extra battery to the sub/amp only cuz then wouldnt that battery die fast cuz theres no way for it to charge, so then how does it work/ up with two batteries in ur car an how does that work, i heard of ppl doing this back in the day so it doesnt mess anything up.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyhydro View Post
Also, i wanted to ask (missed the edit time) how do you hook up 2 batteries so you have one for your sub( maily for high powered systems, so it doesnt make your headlights dim to the beat cuz of how much power it needs an doesnt drain ur main bat an screw up your alternator), i know you dont just hook up an extra battery to the sub/amp only cuz then wouldnt that battery die fast cuz theres no way for it to charge, so then how does it work/ up with two batteries in ur car an how does that work, i heard of ppl doing this back in the day so it doesnt mess anything up.
You just hook the two batteries up in a parallel circuit so they all receive the same voltage. A second battery is not worth it unless you're running a few thousand watts (RMS); especially with the Ion since the battery is in the trunk. If your sound system demands enough power to warrant two batteries, you'll also need to seriously upgrade other parts of your electrical system (i.e. high output alternator, thicker power cables, etc).
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
You just hook the two batteries up in a parallel circuit so they all receive the same voltage. A second battery is not worth it unless you're running a few thousand watts (RMS); especially with the Ion since the battery is in the trunk. If your sound system demands enough power to warrant two batteries, you'll also need to seriously upgrade other parts of your electrical system (i.e. high output alternator, thicker power cables, etc).
Yea thats why ppl would use two so they didnt have to get a bigger alternator, i was just checking if there was snything special done to do it that way, an if i got 2 of those type X subs then i would deff need it maybe even for one but if i do it subs im deff grtting 1 type x to start off with ( you can still get them even tho there discontinued witch i think they still are) with this huge box, but font no when i would get it need other stuff first lol.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

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Yea thats why ppl would use two so they didnt have to get a bigger alternator, i was just checking if there was snything special done to do it that way, an if i got 2 of those type X subs then i would deff need it maybe even for one but if i do it subs im deff grtting 1 type x to start off with ( you can still get them even tho there discontinued witch i think they still are) with this huge box, but font no when i would get it need other stuff first lol.
The power demand (sound system) greatly exceeds the supply (alternator). Adding a second battery increases your power storage capacity, but doesn't solve the problem of having an insufficient power supply. Consider that your stock alternator is only rated for 105A of output and remember that the car's engine and accessories need about two-thirds of that to sustain itself; probably more than that on an Ion because of the electric power steering.

This article does a good job explaining things.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
The power demand (sound system) greatly exceeds the supply (alternator). Adding a second battery increases your power storage capacity, but doesn't solve the problem of having an insufficient power supply. Consider that your stock alternator is only rated for 105A of output and remember that the car's engine and accessories need about two-thirds of that to sustain itself; probably more than that on an Ion because of the electric power steering.

This article does a good job explaining things.
I forgot all about mtx lol, i remember like 6-8 years ago they came up with a huge sub ( i think they mentioned it in that link called jackhammer but could be something else) for what i remember its like 5 foot tall an is 22" wide an waighs alot an is a beast an think its the biggest sub in the world probly even to this day but thanks for your help just didnt know about that an how that worked...awian yea now that i think about it i did know someone that had 2 high output altenators on his car for his system an i think he had to batteries also but cant remember!

Btw check out my thread maybe you can help with wat i post last

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=208354
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

added a 2nd car audio battery next to the oem one, running about 1kW rms, and having the second one helps. would check alternator draw with amp clamp but i dont have access to it anymore

edit: your going to need to run heavier wire from a H.O. alt as well. the 6 gauge or maybe thin 4 gauge isnt going to cut it
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duece9s View Post
added a 2nd car audio battery next to the oem one, running about 1kW rms, and having the second one helps. would check alternator draw with amp clamp but i dont have access to it anymore

edit: your going to need to run heavier wire from a H.O. alt as well. the 6 gauge or maybe thin 4 gauge isnt going to cut it
Thanks for the info, at least i know it at least helps some... btw cant you get your alt rebuild but making it more powerful? I think i remember something like that, its chesper then grtting a new high output alt but i could be wrong

Edit: btw nice system, i see you got my fav brand of amps, i just think they look cool an alot of them are hard to over heat sn usually stay cool an also heard you can overpower them by alot an still not have any problems, but if you want quality then you gotta pay lol
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wanting to install Aftermarket speakers - Need amp?

great post
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