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So, when I'm looking at headunits, it always has an RMS value x4.  For example, it says RMS 40watts x4 channels.  My question is, does this mean each output is 40 watts RMS, or is the total 40watts RMS (10watts/channel).  Also, is there an impedance rating on these things?  I understand how amps and woofers work with ohms and such, and how to wire in series and parallel.  But I never seen anything on impedance for these headunits, but the component sets always show an impedence.  Just dont want to overload my head unit by wiring a mid driver and tweet to the same output channel.

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They usually mean 40watts per channel, thats usually peak power but they lie about power ratings just like amp companies so take that for what its worth, rms is usually half or less of that peak rating

Most headunits are rated for 4ohm to 8ohm there are a few out there capable of handling 2ohm loads though.


That being said a lot of people's definition of "music" is a clipped 30 hz sine wave with some 80 IQ knuckle head grunting about committing crimes and his genitals.

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I think Steve measured the new sony HU on his hand held rms unit  for output  ratings and it did 50+ watts per channel. But most HU run 12-20 watts rms. 

Component sets like being amplified to sound there best. Playing them off a HU will work but not give you the WOW factor your looking for. Sometimes your stock speakers can sound better because there are efficiently designed to run on low power and sound good doing it.

Make sure you think about speaker prep too, sealing and deadening speaker location for best sound. 


SINGER 200 amp HO ALT

Big 5 0 AWG-RF Wiring

Optima Blue top-under hood

Kenetic HC 600 under hood

2 Kenetic HC1800 in trunk

Stinger VM

DEH-80PRS HU

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RF T265 comps x2 in custom door panels

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2 SQ HDS310snin a JOE X designed box

RF T400-4 ( x 2 )

RF T400-2

RF Power T1500bdcp.

All RF & SHCA OFC  0,4,8,12 wiring.

Fuse's from SMD & RF.

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the tweeter and mid were designed to work together if the spec says 4ohm then its 4ohm.... think of them like a 4 way 6x9.... years ago I used to run multiple sets of speakers on a headunit channel 2 ohm and never had a failure but that was before I started putting amps on everything

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with the size of amps and the cost you can get an amp for a inexpensive cost

not amplifying seems like you might pass a good quality head unit because it didnt have a high power rating

you can get a good head unit and not worry about rms

audio  pipe gets alot of grief for not doing rated but I got a 5 channel for $119  

sounds way better than head unit alone

and a cheap pre boxed sub   

took a weekend of watching a you tube videos on how to take apart what I needed

next weekend took a few hours

wife is happy and I dont mind taking her car once in a while

Edited by XSVTOYZ

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Aftermarket comp set,.... ran off just the HU ? ... ugh,....  Try get a amp man,... any amp.

Best upgrade you can do IMHO. Id probably rather keep the stock drivers (speakers), and get a amplifier for them, than some aftermarket drivers,  just ran off any HU. Just my .02. Monster difference from my experience 

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Most name brand headunits do around 15-20 watts rms (the difference between 15 and 20 should be inaudible).  I don't know what radio Steve tested, but Sony does have a radio that's been out for a couple years with a class d 40x4 amp built into it.  It's 40 rms per channel.  Mex100 and mex120.  They definitely have a different sound to them, but an external amp (even a kicker 40x4) still seems to have more ass to it, probably because you can overdrive it a bit and still achieve good results. 

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I have a HiFonics 4 channel that I will most likely use to power the components.  I am not sure if it is a Brutus, or a Zues.  And it is old...like 10+ years old.  I purchased it years ago, and never used it.  Now it sits in a storage unit, along with a shit ton of other audio equipment I NEVER used from back in the day.  I have a set of the old Fi BTL's with the saucer magnets in there, and even a couple of AQ 2400 amps.  Back from before AudioQue made the change over to SoundCubed, or whatever the fuck they are now.  So, I will be powering the mids and highs on the amp.  I was just curious how the distribution was on the headunits when they give that power rating.

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makes more sense now 

there have been a few high power double dins but they never really caught on

I guess  for the fact you  got the $$ for a pricey  head unit  you got the $$ for an amp

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