View Full Version : Best bang for your buck amp

06-14-2010, 08:46 PM
what are some brands of good quality amps that don't come with te pricetag?

i have used everything from zapco and xtant to audiovox and jensen in the past. I need to get a new amp for my tower speakers and have been looking around.

What are some good brands out there today? I want an amp that will deliver its rated rms wattage, but don't want the price tag. Also want something reliable that won't break in 3 months.

Am I asking too much or are they still some good companies left in this category?

06-14-2010, 08:52 PM
I would look at the sites that Viking listed in your other post and just check out the reviews from other users.

Tons of knowledge available out there. Fosgate makes a quality amp that I have used in the past. I have seen some great deals on them in the past 6 months as I have had my eye on a 4 channel as well.

06-14-2010, 09:34 PM
most of the reviews are helpful, but then you get reviews from 16 year old kids with response like "my car pumps with dez subs" etc :D

its nice to hear feedback from individuals with a little more insight :)

you da man
06-14-2010, 09:48 PM
JL Audio amps are cheap on ebay...just gotta know that you don't get a warranty. I went with an authorized JL Audio dealer for my 3 amps

06-14-2010, 09:54 PM
JL Audio or Fosgate.

06-14-2010, 10:15 PM
Definitely consider Kicker.

06-15-2010, 06:41 AM
jl and kicker on ebay

ian ashton
06-15-2010, 03:47 PM
I vote Kicker for sure! Both of my amps are Kicker, and at the first sign of an issue (after 3 years of HEAVY use - IE: almost 250 hours!) I posted on here and Phil contacted me directly to arrange for a speedy repair. I'm super happy with the customer service from them!

I bought both of my amps on eBay from HiFiSound something or another, and I believe they were both remanufactured.

06-15-2010, 04:25 PM
I just replace my alpine pdx 100.4 with a Kicker zx450.2 and the alpine had better sound quality, but want the Kicker is stable at 2 ohms in stereo and the alpine wasnt. About the same price.

New Guy
06-15-2010, 06:06 PM
I'm currently running the kicker 750.5 for the cabins and a 10" L5 and a 650.4 for the 6500.2 towers. I absolutely love this setup.

06-15-2010, 07:01 PM

Start with the JL Audio J2 amplifiers. Lots of honest power, low cost and a two year warranty provided you buy from an authorized dealer.
Next, look at the JL Audio G series as they're an exceptional sounding Class AB amplifier with a bulletproof protection circuit and two year warranty (authorized dealers only). Since they're in a model transition expect a 20 to 25 percent discount from legit dealers.
Btw, before summer is over JL will have highly effecient Class D XD series in 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6 channel models. Surprisingly inexpensive for a premium Class D,
good 2-ohm stability and awesome sound quality.

Earmark Marine

06-15-2010, 07:18 PM
jl is nice stuff and earmark knows their business..

I shopped kicker and fosgate for my upgrades.
ended up buying 3 fosgate punch series off ebay. I know that there's no warranty, but I have not had any issues buying electronics this way, just be sure you research the sellers first and only buy new/unopened.

I have around 20 hrs on these and they far exceed my expectations.. 400.4 for the incabins, 500.1bd(supposed to be class d) for the sub and a 500.2 for the hlcd towers..

good luck and just browse around. lots of upgrade threads and all are using top quality equipment..

06-15-2010, 08:58 PM
thanks guys

this site is better than some of the dedicated ones I go to for audio advice :)

06-15-2010, 09:45 PM
Best bang for the buck on a budget is Kicker all the way. I've been running two amps, a ZX700.5 & ZX650.4 going on the second season now with no issues. 100 degree temps don't faze them either, can't say that for many others in that category for sure.

06-16-2010, 10:47 PM
what about PPI Sedona Series?

They have this one for a good price and it seems to have good RMS figures for its price


06-17-2010, 08:50 AM
precision power, like so many high end car audio companies from the late 80's-early 90's used to make some real nice high end stuff, but anymore, it's outsourced overseas products. it's really too bad that this is the way of the world. I used to drool over owning an Orion HCCA4100 or a PPI PRO-MOS425, the mac-daddys of the 4ch car amp world, but I digress....

ppi makes some good stuff. I'm sure that you will be more than happy with that amp and it will power your system, however you asked on here and it seems that the large populus is using either kicker or jl. I went out on a limb and used fosgate, but that seems to be somewhat popular on wakeworld. personally, go with what's been tried and true. you might pay a little more for a comparable kicker or jl amp, but there are many on here that will tell you they work and work well..

my .02

06-17-2010, 11:33 AM
Its interesting that Precision Power came up. PPI amps are now just another DEI import and the same platform as other DEI amp brands. You may know DEI as Viper car alarms.
Jeff Scoon, now VP of JL Audio Electronics, and Bruce MacMillan, now head electronics engineer at JL, where part of the original cast responsible for the
original and great PPI amps. Then they moved to Xtant to design another highly regarded line of amps.
You could say that the JL amps are the evolution of the early PPI.

Earmark Marine

06-17-2010, 12:03 PM
DEI is Directed Electronics Incorporated right?
They were the bomb there for awhile and really had a corner on the remote/alarm market. Anymore you don't hear much of them probably due to your comments SandM.

06-17-2010, 12:52 PM
great info david.
xtant was another great company that made some killer products in the past, but sure don't hear much about them. seems like everyone wants tons of clean power for no money(myself included), and that has driven all the american made "overbuilt" amp lines either out or just the spl circuit.

I'm sure that david, phil from kicker and brian from exile could entertain some of us "younger" peeps that grew up with the late 80's companies that pushed mobile audio into what it is today and how many are now either defunct or importing offshore mass-produced stuff...

phoenix gold
linear power

and the list goes on....

06-17-2010, 03:43 PM
what about Hi-Fonics?

06-17-2010, 04:38 PM
another golden oldie that isn't what it used to be..

had a hifonice pluto and mercury, both series VII in my first truck as a soundsystem. the pluto was pushing a set of kicker truck boxes, 6" compression horn driver, 8" sub and 10" passive radiator. system rocked... eventually swapped the truck boxes for a custom box with 3 kicker 8" competition series subs(late 80's versions) that absolutely pounded...

the one amp I was always intrigued with and never ended up owning any was ADS. they had some killer small-wattage high current 6ch amps..
also always wanted a set of waveguides. never owned them tho. not too many hlcd drivers in the car audio arena, but they cleaned house on the iasca circuit for a couple of years..

06-17-2010, 06:24 PM
wow Ive been out of the loop for awhile, need to catch up, thanks for the feedback fellas

06-17-2010, 06:30 PM
Who here has heard of or used Celestion. I have an old AD12 sub and recently got the ported enclosure specs for it and the box needs to be HUGE. I think the company is headquartered in England. They used to make a ton of stuff for Big Outdoor concerts if I remember right?

Sorry for the off topic issue Loudsubz. Maybe we could take this off on another thread?

06-17-2010, 07:56 PM
Yes, I know Celestion. If you want to start another thread about ancient home Hi Fi it would be a riot. I can give you some items to search that you will really find interesting. In fact its getting hard to find really good but affordable home speakers among the home theater offerings today. Most people today have missed out on the incredible sound of two channel audio and haven't experienced what true Hi Fi sounded like.

I recently searched for a power supply for my old Thorens turntable and discovered that the comparable model today would cost well over 2K.

Earmark Marine

06-17-2010, 09:10 PM
I restored a pair of my dads original Acoustic Research Ar-3a from 1969 :) Also has his Yamaha CA-1010 amplifier from the mid 70's powering them.

Vintage rocks.

06-17-2010, 09:28 PM
Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' bout.

Earmark Marine

06-18-2010, 08:58 AM
dad has an old technics analog stereo receiver, a bic turntable, a high end cassette player that I don't remember the name of and some 70's era polk audio monitor 10b's. amazing how well that stuff holds up, and he's still using it in the family room..
I don't profess to know much about home audio, although I do remember celestion. car audio was more my bag..

do have to say the biggest WOW factor from back in the day was the nakamichi dragon cassette deck.. I remember the first glimpse of that monster.. WOW WOW WOW.