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View Full Version : headunit preamp voltage? Please help



sumofatguy
09-28-2008, 06:20 PM
Hi everybody, I was looking to buy a decent head unit for my vehicle. Right now I'm running an old school sony explode cdx-l600x (23w rms) with new polk audio db6501 (rms 100w), and on the way I have a jbl GTO75.4 (for future upgrade of rear speakers - 104w rms x4). First I was wondering if anyone knew the preamp voltage of my current HU since I can't really find it anywhere... also I was looking for suggestions for a new head unit, all i really want is aux in on the front (for ipod), and a simple non-flashy display. the reason I'm asking is because I don't know if I should be looking for a higher end 4v-5v preamp output headunit or if a 'cheaper' 2v-2.5v preamp output headunit will work. Please inform me on what effect the preamp voltage will have on my setup. Thanks

Harry Wild
09-29-2008, 02:15 AM
I been looking at new headunits too. Most under $100 are around the 2.5v and the ones over $200 are doubt that voltage 5.0v. The higher the voltage the clearer the sound!

95BlackGA
09-29-2008, 02:31 AM
Hi everybody, I was looking to buy a decent head unit for my vehicle. Right now I'm running an old school sony explode cdx-l600x (23w rms) with new polk audio db6501 (rms 100w), and on the way I have a jbl GTO75.4 (for future upgrade of rear speakers - 104w rms x4). First I was wondering if anyone knew the preamp voltage of my current HU since I can't really find it anywhere... also I was looking for suggestions for a new head unit, all i really want is aux in on the front (for ipod), and a simple non-flashy display. the reason I'm asking is because I don't know if I should be looking for a higher end 4v-5v preamp output headunit or if a 'cheaper' 2v-2.5v preamp output headunit will work. Please inform me on what effect the preamp voltage will have on my setup. Thanks

A simple lower end head unit with 2-2.5V pre outs, will suffice, unless you're wanting pure SQ, and will notice the slightest distortion. Since your head unit only has a single pre amp pair, I would suggest a new head unit, unless you want to buy a line driver, because you do have a 4 channel amp coming, and only a 2 channel preamp. If you got Y-Adapters, you would only get around 1V to each channel, or .5v (Don't know if the voltage is split between the channels, or if they get the same amount of voltage stated). For a cheaper headunit that will work for you. I would suggest the Pioneer DEH-P3000IB, price tag is around $130. Or if you want to buy both a head unit, and line drive to jump the voltage up, plus have more than one preamp, go with the Pioneer DEH-2000MP, and a line driver that will suit your needs.


I been looking at new headunits too. Most under $100 are around the 2.5v and the ones over $200 are doubt that voltage 5.0v. The higher the voltage the clearer the sound!

You're almost right. The higher the voltage, the easier you can go on the gain of an amplifier, therefore not distorting (clipping) the signal.

adam71
09-29-2008, 03:58 AM
Since you're just going to use an ipod I don't think it will make ANY difference what headunit you use. The one you have should work fine. But if you want a little cleaner sound move up to a higher voltage unit.

sumofatguy
09-29-2008, 10:05 AM
Hey thanks for the replies! That really cleared quite a few things up for me. I will look into the pioneer blackga suggested. Also, how would a kenwood KDC-X592 work? I see they can be had for ~150, and they have 3 preouts @ 4V. How is the quality of kenwoods?

http://www.kenwood.ca/Car_Entertainment/In-Dash_CD_n_DVD_Receivers/1-DIN_CD_Receiver/KDC-X592

FoxPro5
09-29-2008, 11:48 AM
Look for an Eclipse head unit that fits your needs and your budget. The preamp voltage is pretty much a marketing gimmick akin to max ratings on amps. It WILL NOT give you a clearer sound or better SQ or anything anyone has said so far. It has nothing to do with it.

What Eclipse offers are HU's with a lower output impedance COMBINED with higher preout voltage. In this case, a hotter preamp signal will result in a "cleaner" sound as the combo is less susceptible to noise.

My feeling is that you won't be able to tell which is cleaner no matter which HU you choose due to the rest of the system not being able to resolve that level of detail. So, pick a HU that will last a long time, has the features you want, matches your interior lightening, etc. Ignore the preout voltage.

sumofatguy
09-29-2008, 02:30 PM
Look for an Eclipse head unit that fits your needs and your budget. The preamp voltage is pretty much a marketing gimmick akin to max ratings on amps. It WILL NOT give you a clearer sound or better SQ or anything anyone has said so far. It has nothing to do with it.

What Eclipse offers are HU's with a lower output impedance COMBINED with higher preout voltage. In this case, a hotter preamp signal will result in a "cleaner" sound as the combo is less susceptible to noise.

My feeling is that you won't be able to tell which is cleaner no matter which HU you choose due to the rest of the system not being able to resolve that level of detail. So, pick a HU that will last a long time, has the features you want, matches your interior lightening, etc. Ignore the preout voltage.

ok thanks for the advice! now that being said, should I be able to get my existing head unit to work with the amp for a little bit? I ask this because I had ordered a kicker amp before, and after hooking it up with my existing deck, I got no output. I did, however, get a quiet, distorted sound when I connected the amp input with my ipod. The amp ended up being borked and sent back, but I ask this because shouldn't my deck have given the same thing as my ipod? I had no output from my deck. I AM planning on upgrading the deck, but this might not be for a few weeks and I just wanted to make sure this issue was NOT from too low of voltage from my deck; I wanted to avoid this issue when I choose a new one. I will look into eclipse decks and post any more questions i may have. Thanks for the help!

sumofatguy
09-29-2008, 05:59 PM
Ok well I just bought an eclipse cd1200. hopefully that will do me well :)

stereo jock
09-29-2008, 07:19 PM
If that doesn't work I just bought this deck for a friend and it looks really good. I didn't expect it to work as well as It does and the screen looks really good also. Does anyone else have a deck like this?

http://www.expressionsofstyle.com/boss-audio-bv7300-head-unit.html

dcshoeco024
11-27-2008, 08:54 PM
I am pretty picky about the way my stereo sounds and I am going to by a navigation system tomorrow. I can get one with 2V preamp outputs for $499 or I can get one with 4V preamp outputs for $650. (The $499 is from a store with a three year warranty tho and the $650 one is off ebay. They are both Pioneer) I have an Acura RSX and don't plan to put in any aftermarket speakers, just my MTX sub. Would I be happy with the sound quality from the 2V? If not would a line driver make that much of a difference? Thanks