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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know it sounds vauge but i'm wondering in your opinion how many rms watts output per channel would make a decent sound system?

I have a 2001 Rav4 & want to upgrade the speakers, deck and get an amp for the speakers (no sub just a better system). Just curious how many rms watts per channel would be good?

I know this is just the start seeing I have to actually hear different speakers, look at amps & research more etc etc but I won't be going out shopping for another couple months.

If anything post what you have (with rms output per channel) and how you feel about how good it is...
 

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Dodge Caravan SE
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310 Posts
It all comes down to the right speakers with the right amount of power.

I'm running at about 120WRMS x 4 @ 4ohms and I find it to be pretty decent. I get a lot of looks from those around me and that's with all my windows closed. :)

My current setup is as follows:

2001 Dodge Caravan SE
1/0 awg Wiring
Kicker KX650.4
Kicker KX400.1
2x Eclipse SP6900 in Component setup in the front
2x Eclipse SP6900 in Coax setup in the rear
2x 12" Audiobahn AW1205 4ohm DVC

My subs are terribly underpowered right now but they hit pretty hard.

At the volume I listen to the music, you have to yell to the passenger. ;)
 

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Vivir el momento
Corolla
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18,784 Posts
power ratings of the system are all relative.

a good sound system would be what sounds good to your ears.

obviously the acoustics of a RAV4 interior and for example, a Lexus would be different.

one thing is for sure, is that if you plan on getting subwoofers, sound deadening material is a must.
 

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Team MHC
2007 Impreza 2.5i
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38 Posts
Everything begins with what you like....

What kind of music???? what speakers you audition that sound best to your ears, how loud do you like to run your volume?

Example(s)

Have a 2007 Impreza I run Horn loaded compression drivers, 6.5 inch Midbass drivers and two 10 inch subs.
I mostly listen to rock and metal, but also spend alot of time listening to Jazz, blues and some R & B. even a little old school hip hop. but I also Compete in SQ competitions. I have different EQ settings for some but for the most part I have one main set up that sounds great for everything.

Power wise I run 1 5 channel amp the gives my horns about 30 Watts, my midbass 170 watts and my subs 1100 watts (all RMS ratings) and the top end of the volume control is much louder than I can handle for long periods of time.

Another vehicle I have built for a customer has huge amounts of power and quite a few more speakers. his system is considerably louder than mine, but he likes old hair metal and listens to it like he is at the concerts still. ( i think he live with permanent tenitus)

So most of what you are inquiring about is Relative to what you want out of your system.

But as mentioned above sound deadening (or Damping material) is a must as the best sounding cars are the ones you cannot hear from the outside. this material serves multiple purposes the main ones being it reduces vibrations in your metal panels which 1) give you up to twice the volume and 2) improves performance of the speakers.
 

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1998 Avalon XLS
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119 Posts
I only run 50x4 and I can get pretty loud and clear. My Alpine f300 four channel amp was $150 and I have never once thought of upgrading. I say start with at least 50 rms per channel and if you feel you want more, sell your amp and get a new one, the wiring is all there.
 

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Depends significantly on the sensitivity of the speakers you get as well. I have 40 watts per channel and it gets uncomfortably loud, but certainly not as loud as many systems.
 

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There is some really good advice in this thread, The best I think is that it really depends on what you want your system to sound like. If you are going for SPL you will want to stiffen the flat panels maybe even going as far as welding flat stock to them, but for SQ or even just a good street beater sealing the doors will give you good results.

My friends think I am crazy for spending so much on amps, batteries, wire, subs, and speakers, but what they don't know is that the majority of my work has been in sound deadening, and tuning the cabin gain in my car, that is where the real fun is, and it is what makes the biggest differance.

There is a saying on the car audio forums that is incredibly true in all cases, and that is that a system as a whole is 10% equipment and 90% instalation. Take for example Alan dante, he managed 180DB+ with a single subwoofer, and he did it by tuning the car as a whole, not just stacking power to his equipment, he did that too, but with 1 watt he can get 141DB, that is the power of tuning the car, not the equipment.

(he did 182DB with 74,000W and curently holds the world record, that is most likely loud enough to kill you)


EDIT: I think that you should investigate how you like you front sound stage to sound, the biggest desision is to deside if you prefer a sound stage with the highs and lows at the same height, or if you prefer to raise the sound stage by raising the height of the tweeters, that will be the biggest decision to make, next would be if you prefer a stronger mid range, or high end. If you prefer a strong mid range like I do you would be best off running a three way setup with separate mid-bass, mid-range, and tweeters. If you prefer a stronger high range, you would be good with a two way setup with a mid-bass (6.5") and a set of silk tweeters in the sail panels, either way you will want to seal the doors as best you can, maybe even going as far as making sealed pods in the doors.

This would be a great amp to experiment with as it has a large amount of setting to play with, and can even run a active two way setup in stereo LINK (also Jacob has the best customer support of any car audio company, if you go to any car audio forum with a question he will be there to answer it personally within a day, really he is an awesome person to deal with and has top notch products to boot.

Another thing to decide is if you like "flavored" sound. by that I me listen to a boss system, if you like the smooth sound you would be good with alpine components in your car, if you prefer the sound of pioneer components then pioneer or CDT would be a good choice. I personally run a set of pioneer 720PRS components up front because I enjoy their crisp sound.


Sorry for the long post.
 
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