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Who Really Makes a Good Amp Today?

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Forum Name: Car Audio
Forum Discription: Car Stereos, Amplifiers, Crossovers, Processors, Speakers, Subwoofers, etc.
Printed Date: October 17, 2021 at 5:56 AM

Topic: Who Really Makes a Good Amp Today?

Posted By: haemphyst
Subject: Who Really Makes a Good Amp Today?
Date Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:51 PM

Long time car audio guy. Been through (and these are all the "Old School" products, last of them I bought were the PDX Gen 1 amps, in roughly 2002) Alpine PDX, Class A Soundstream stuff, Orion Reds, Eclipse (the FujitsuTen, quality products), Precision Power, Linear Power, Nakamichi (I've used 160W PA-301 monoblocks to power my doors, in two-way, with custom passive crossovers... Morel and Infinity ribbons, back then.) Nakamichi Dragon head units... You name it, if it was considered high-end, I used it...

I've been out of it for quite some time, now, and all I can see anymore, is all of the sadness that the "good stuff" has become. I mean really... How good can a $200, 1kW amplifier be? Not very good, with a 30A fuse protecting it, I'm guessing.

So, my question is this: Knowing what I like and what I have used for YEARS, don't suggest RF, please... I was looking at Arc Audio and Audison, but I don't see anything with the power levels I'm looking to get. I want 120-150 X4 (mids and tweeters), 300 X2 (6" Mpyres as bass), and a legitimate 1kW or better X1 (a pair of Alpine/Tymphany LAT-700s as subs - 4, 8 ohm voice coils, and I like to run 8 ohms, actually), and I'd really NOT like to budge too terribly much on those - I *love* headroom. If I can get DSP built-in, with a pass-through for the sub, that's great. Barring all of those desired additional features, I was going to use a Dayton Audio DSP-408 for my time delay, crossover and EQ functions.

So, any and all suggestions will be explored, but I'm hoping I can get some input from the old-school guys; who still hangs out here?

It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."


Posted By: chris206c
Date Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:50 PM
Look into Hybrid Audio Technologies. Definitely my favorite company for the time being. Everything I've used from them has been fantastic for the price.

Posted By: feklio
Date Posted: April 16, 2020 at 4:02 PM
From a juvenile studio that sold recycled music hardware back in the late 60s, Orange gets the top spot right now their profoundly evaluated guitar intensifiers.


Posted By: series vii
Date Posted: April 26, 2020 at 4:27 PM
Guess I'm an old schooler. Bought my first amp, Punch 150 in 1988! Moved to Hifonics until the Gen X stuff then it all turned to hell. The one brand I can say that has withstood the test of time and quality is Zapco. The other brand that wasn't on my radar was MMATS. Until a few years ago they were big in SPL. Enter the HIFI series and all that changed. Also the M3000.1 is amazing. Fosgate is now mass produced Chinese garbage. 2 cents.

Posted By: 94_dc4
Date Posted: June 06, 2020 at 2:52 PM
Check out Audio Control amps. The LC series or if you want a built in DSP look at their D series amps.

Posted By: kenwood_nut
Date Posted: June 27, 2020 at 9:19 AM
I'm 62 years old and I also remember when car audio was awesome, and some bigger names in quality amps were Nakamichi, Orion, Concord, PPI and more! Back in the day, even Clarion made some quality amps! But it seems like most of what used to be high-end, high-quality have been sold out to cheap companies who make such cheap quality stuff that they make gazillions of dollars in profits and therefore eventually can afford to purchase big-name companies, lower the quality of their products, then remarket them. Of course, so many car audio brands have gone downhill over the years, and even went from being made in the USA to being made in foreign countries. Heck, one of my best-sounding 6x9 speakers back in the day was a pair of Phase-Linear bi-ampable 3-way 6x9's that you could clip a bride on the speaker connections and run a separate amp to the sub and another amp to the mid and tweeter! These things were virtually indestructable and with little or no distortion!

Gone are the good times! NOW days, it seems you have to spend thousands of dollars each if you want true high-end gear!

Well, being a huge fan of Nakamichi home audio back in the 70's and 80's, I remember how high their quality was. So when it came to upgrading my new stereo for this year in my newest car, I started doing research. ANY time I go to purchase ANY car audio piece, I do tons of spec research, and read ratings. I looked at amps from many manufacturers, but it seemed the high-quality ones were out of my price range. So I looked at Nakamichi, after seeing a few of their amps on eBay. To my surprise, they have a few VERY high-end tube amps available today! It seems like Nakamichi is one of the few companies who didn't go way downhill in quality over the years! So I did a lot of research on their amps! I finally decided on their NGXA-80.4 2000-watt 4-channel amp. It has excellent frequency response, which is one of my personal favorite features to compare besides just watts per channel. Sure, it only pumps out 75 wpc RMS and 500 wpc max, but I don't need hundreds and hundreds of watts! I need an amp with a pass-through output so I can run my powered sub off of it, and one with low low's and high highs! This Nakamichi seems like it will do the job! But it's not in yet, so I can't vouch for the true quality of this amp. But it's getting close!

I work to much to find time to install all my new car audio (thanks to the stimulus check!) at the same time. I do have it all ready, but it's a slow process. I did install my Alpine mechless head unit already, but only temporarily. It's got to come back out and get rewired once I go to install my equalizer below it. I also installed all my door and rear speakers, but they too will be rewired off the Nakamichi amp once the amp is in.

I'll let you know how this amp performs SOON!


Posted By: namyenruoj
Date Posted: June 27, 2020 at 9:47 AM
I agree and thank you for the comments.

knowledge is everything

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