Budget 5 channel amp

Jimi77

Junior Member
Sep 17, 2017
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Asked this on DIYMA too, but looking for some opinions. Basically, I'm wanting spend as little as possible and end up with a decent system. I'm not looking for "good" system, more like a "good enough" system - especially where the amp and subs are concerned.

I need a 5 channel - something like 75wrms x 4 at 4ohms and ~500wrms on the subwoofer channel. I'm fine with a fully class D amp as long as sounds good.

Looks like I have some good(ish) options in the ~$250 range, which is where I'd like to stay. Any reason to avoid any of the following? Reliability issues?

https://soundstream.com/product/t5-2500dl/
https://soundstream.com/product/rn5-2000d/
https://www.precisionpower.com/product/ice2200-5/

Leaning toward the SS T5 because 1 ohm stability on the sub channel opens up some options for me.

Front stage will be 7" Dayton Reference Paper midbass and SB Acoustics SB26STCN for the tweeters; I'll build a passive crossover for them. Rears will be some cheap Tymphany midbass drivers I found on Parts Express and a Dayton tweeter with an off the shelf crossover. Subs will be a pair of 8" subs, but I'm still deciding on which ones.
 

Coolhand20th

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Mar 27, 2019
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Cab-M165 is an option as well with the subwoofer channel being 1,000 watts at 1 ohm. Yeah its a little more expensive at 300 and only a 90 day warranty but if your CC is anything like mine it adds a 2 year warranty for free or buy theirs for 70 bucks or buy a square trade one online. Wattage


Only one out of those I would use is the 2nd sound stream as that model is also in the 4 channel looks like that and is from Korea from what people have said. Or the NVX as that is Sonicelectronix brand they had made up. Most of them get a good rep.

 

1aespinoza

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May 22, 2013
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Cab-M165 is an option as well with the subwoofer channel being 1,000 watts at 1 ohm. Yeah its a little more expensive at 300 and only a 90 day warranty but if your CC is anything like mine it adds a 2 year warranty for free or buy theirs for 70 bucks or buy a square trade one online. Wattage
That M165 is nice. I had no idea this existed. Thanks for the link.
 

Jimi77

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Sep 17, 2017
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Cab-M165 is an option as well with the subwoofer channel being 1,000 watts at 1 ohm. Yeah its a little more expensive at 300 and only a 90 day warranty but if your CC is anything like mine it adds a 2 year warranty for free or buy theirs for 70 bucks or buy a square trade one online. Wattage


Only one out of those I would use is the 2nd sound stream as that model is also in the 4 channel looks like that and is from Korea from what people have said. Or the NVX as that is Sonicelectronix brand they had made up. Most of them get a good rep.

I suspect they're all China boards at this price point. I remember years ago the PPI Black Ice amps were popular for budget builds, but I have no idea if they're still a decent amp or did Epsilon change the build house or did all those Black Ice amps go into perma-protect mode after I stopped following the industry??? China isn't bad per se, but yeah, I'd prefer Korea or Taiwanese amps. Of course they don't make it easy to find the country of manufacture.

NVX seems to be solid - it's hard to find a bad review on them. I'm just not looking to spend "Alpine" money on this hobby anymore, especially now that I'm putting ~$100/week into my gas tank and my grocery bill seems to go up 10% a week with no end in sight to that. :mad:

Did find this Pioneer which seems to be the best deal on this type of amp for anybody looking to stick with more "mainstream" brands.

 

Coolhand20th

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Mar 27, 2019
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PPI was bought out and no longer what they used to be, I wouldn't touch one of the PPI amplifiers anymore especially the black ice series. The Cab model uses the same build house as Sundown and is a a/b design. The Cab is made in China but they are really solid and I have a Cab-22 which is half-bridge and they are awesome amplifiers. You can't go wrong with the Cab models. There is a couple of really good Chinese build houses these days and Cab is in right next door to Sundown and works with them daily. They went with their build house for a reason.

Those Pioneer GM have a really good rep as well I have the 4 channel version in my vehicle right now and it does more then rated.

I would still do the Cab over the Pioneer though but that is me.
 

Popwarhomie

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I remember years ago the PPI Black Ice amps were popular for budget builds, but I have no idea if they're still a decent amp or did Epsilon change the build house or did all those Black Ice amps go into perma-protect mode after I stopped following the industry???
Yeah the old PPI Black Ice and Phantoms were fantastic. Loved both of mine.
 

Jimi77

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Sep 17, 2017
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I know Epislon bought SS and PPI, but the Black Ice series were "recommendable" ~10 years ago. Did something happen since then? These amps seem to dyno at or close enough to rated power. Are they dying, going into perma-protect or something. If they're reliable, making ~rated power and relatively distortion free (which most amps are until clipping), then I don't see a big reason to avoid them.
 

Coolhand20th

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IIRC they were sold again. Hence why so many people stay away from SS and PPI these days. The quality really went downhill. Now the SS 4 channel that thxone has in the marine version and standard version of it that is out there, both are made in Korea and did nicely on the dyno channel. That would be the only SS I would consider these days if I didn't have my Pioneer GM-D8604 which is an unreal 4 channel amplifier.

But the old black ice series is gone. Yeah they were really nice amplifiers then again mostly what SS and PPI did back then was. I still have an old PPI i520.4 I got for basically nothing at DIYMA cost me 15 bucks in shipping and still had the plastic on it and is made in Korea. But that is one of their older models. I would love to get my hands on some older '90s early '00s Sounstream stuff for when I do a older build but they are worth a ton of money these days for a reason.

Since then personally I would stay away from those two companies until they can prove they are doing quality stuff again. Except for that 4 channel SS has these days. I don't think many people are doing dyno tests of their stuff so that is kinda one way to look at it. So many dyno testers out there and they test just about everything out there for the most part especially mono-blocks with so many people looking for cheap but high power anymore.

I still think the Cab is your best option and has more power then what they rated. @djdilliodon! iirc knows the build house that they use as Sundown uses them as well. I know ANS recommended it as well and ANS knows his stuff over at DIYMA. Or go the Pioneer route they do more then rated as well. Those really are your best choices. NVX is owned by Sonic Electronix and has had a good rep as well for the price point so if those other ones I listed don't impress you then I would go NVX as Sonic Electronix is a big company and stands behind what they sell. I like them over Crutchfield any day of the week. Basically they do the same stuff but Crutchfield has some higher end stuff like Focal/Hertz but the main stays they sell both companies have.
 
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Jimi77

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Sep 17, 2017
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Thanks @Coolhand20th. Thinking back, I regret letting go of some 90s PPI and SS amps, but hindsight...

Like I said before, I'm just not into dumping a lot of money into car audio anymore. Especially considering you can rock solid SQ with a simple pair of $1-200 head/earphones and none of the pain of installing a system. I'd be tempted by the CAB, but I just don't need the power/decibels anymore.
 

audiobaun

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Ive got a 6 ch sitting if interested? Ive got several 2 ch amps and even some PPI Phantoms series that may be beneficial for your needs? I believe I have a clean Autotek SX777 also.
Those NVX amps are very nicely built for the $
 

audiobaun

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Thanks @Coolhand20th. Thinking back, I regret letting go of some 90s PPI and SS amps, but hindsight...

Like I said before, I'm just not into dumping a lot of money into car audio anymore. Especially considering you can rock solid SQ with a simple pair of $1-200 head/earphones and none of the pain of installing a system. I'd be tempted by the CAB, but I just don't need the power/decibels anymore.
Ive got 3 PPI PC amps sitting, (2) PC250s and (1) PC275 and (1) Special Editions A275 and (1) Special Editions A275, a SS 305
 

audiobaun

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PM me. I have some old school amps that may meet your needs and not looking for top $ as I am moving and can not take all with me. Im getting down to the wire to move amps and audio gear I do not need and not taking with me. I may have some things worth your time. Let me know
 

audiobaun

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Who Knows?? Maybe spend a little more and get a real tested reviewed amplifier for the $>>??
 

Jimi77

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Sep 17, 2017
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@audiobahn, really looking for a newer small footprint 5 channel class D. I'm already sitting on some old school Clarions if I wanted to go that route...
 

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