Since we get a lot of these, here´s a simple step by step method to finding out what kind of amp you need. For an example, I´m using Pioneer TS-A6961R 6x9s.
* Find the product description of your speakers. You´re online, use google.STEP 1: Find your speaker´s rated power and impedance. Rated power will be measures in RMS watts. Impedance will be measures in OHMS.
Typing Pioneer TS-A6961R into a google search engine, the first listed site is Crutchfield. Okay, I click it. Under the KEY FEATURES list, you see the recommended RMS power to be between 3 and 40 watts, RMS. Since we don´t see the impedance, we´ll default to 4 ohms. If your speaker doesn´t have it´s impedance listed, you can guarantee it´s 4 ohms.
* You now have your speaker´s rated power. You need an amp that will do somewhere around it´s rated power.STEP 2: Look for amps that do around your rated power. +- 20% is a good starting point.
My pioneers need 40 watts RMS at 4 ohms. So, I will go to the CURRENT COMPANY THREAD graciously provided by the forum members. The first working link is to www.onlinecarstereo.com. So I go there. I have two stereo speakers, so I need a two channel amp. I can list Kicker, Audiobahn, Lightning Audio, and Pioneer just by glancing at the first few pages of 2 channel amps.
* Well, some are a lot more expensive than others! What gives? STEP 3: Review brands, and ditch anything outside of your price range
The Audiobahn is so expensive! I can´t afford that, so I´m left with 3 options. The Kicker, the Lightning Audio, and the Pioneer. My local dealer sells all 3, so I don´t think bad of any of them.
* Now what? I´ve got some choices... STEP 4: SEARCH THE FORUMS
I start blatantly. I type ¨kicker amps¨ in the forums search button. I get nothing. I then type ¨lightning audio amps¨ in the search button. Again, nothing. So, I type ¨pioneer amps¨ in the search. AGAIN, I get nothing. Oh well.
* Did that bring up nothing? Did for me.STEP 5: ASK the forums
Well, there are usually 30+ people online at a time. So I´ll ask here. I go into the AMPLIFIERS forum, because that´s where my thread will belong, and post a new thread:
TITLE: Looking for good 40 watt amp
POST: Hi! I want to buy a 40 watt amp for my Pioneer 6x9s. I found a Kicker, and Lightning Audio, and a Pioneer amp in my price range, what would you recommend? Thank you!
* Final step LAST STEP: DECIDE AND BUY
Well, someone mentioned that the Kicker is rated at 2 ohms, I didn´t notice! Well, now I am down to 2 amps. Several members tell me that the Pioneer is better than the Lightning Audio. Then, a member recommends an amp I have never heard of! Grr! I feel frustrated. I will back to steps 3 and 4 and look for info on this new brand. Turns out they are getting rave reviews around the entire board, and google turns up the same good news! Wow! I´ll buy this recommended amp!
Bam. Done. You can accomplish this within 30 minutes to an hour, depending on connection speed. It´s better to spend more time finding a good amp than spending more money on a bad one.