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Brief Look at the Basics of How Car Amplifiers Work

At some time you may wonder, how does a car amplifier work?  Car amplifiers enhance the signal that runs through the sound system and plays them through the speakers. There are many confusions and mix-ups about how a car amplifier works.

Car Amplifier Circuit Board

Car Amplifier Circuit Board

First, an electrical signal moves into the amplifier, through a circuit board, and out the other side through the speakers.  The electrical signal may originate from wherever the sound source is, such as the radio or from the CD player. These devices direct a signal to the circuit board.  The circuit board boosts the signal as it moves through the sound system of your car.

NVX JAD1200.1 Car Amplifier

NVX JAD1200.1 Car Amplifier

A frequently misinterpreted functioning of car amplifiers is their output.  The output of each car amplifier differs and can be determined very easily.  The RMS (root mean square) rating of the amplifier does not tell you very much about the amplifier because most amplifiers will only reach this level for a segment of a second at a time.  Instead, you can calculate the actual output of your amplifier by multiplying the peak output by 0.7 and then subtracting the amp’s announced peak performance number from the number you just calculated.

Kicker ZX500.1 Car Amplifier

Kicker ZX500.1 Car Amplifier

Another characteristic of the car amplifier that is normally mistaken is the bridging.  An amplifier that is bridged or can be bridged is simply an amplifier that can create one power supply out of the left and right power supplies.  This can significantly boost the power supply to one subwoofer.

When looking at bridgeable amplifiers the term “bridgeable” basically means that the amplifier has the ability to combine the left and the right channel wattage into a single output for one subwoofer. Many amplifiers are not bridgeable either way make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendation before bridging the channels. To bridge an amplifier, simply place the negative cable of the speaker to the negative terminal of one channel, and the positive cable to the positive of the other. The united power will send the total of both channel’s power to one speaker.

Make sure to check out the vast amount of car amplifiers we have here at Sonic Electronix and find one compatible for your needs today.

Staff writers at Sonic Electronix are experts in their field. In addition to a complete in-house training program, these experts typically have many years of hands-on experience in their specialty. Some come from car audio installer backgrounds, while others come with extensive retail experience.
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