Amp to connect 3 speakers 50 watts @ 8ohms


New member
Username: Renaud123123

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-12
I'm a real beginner to this so I need help to find an amplifier to power 3 cheap speakers I recently bought.
Here's the link: r-White-Affordable-/290685770020?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item43ae38d924&_uhb =1#ht_5534wt_952

I need a small amplifier that fits in a small cabinet (18wx11sx6h inches) that will be powerful enough to run my 3 speakers (50watts @ 8 ohms). Someone told me I need a 4 channel amp so the amp doesn't burn.

I don't know a thing about those ohms.
My budget is 100$ max.

Thanks for you help!

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17523
Registered: May-04

My computer doesn't want to do copied links of late.

I have no idea what you own. But, why three speakers?

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 2949
Registered: Oct-07
I suspect the OP means 3 PAIR. ???

New member
Username: Renaud123123

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-12
No, in fact its really 3 speakers. I want a pair (stereo) in the kitchen, and 1 speaker in the bathroom (mono) as I don't care about the sound quality (only for background music). So I want an amp powerful enough to drive these 3 speakers.
My speakers are: r-White-Affordable-/290685770020?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item43ae38d924&_uhb =1#ht_5534wt_952

And the amp I'm wondering if it's powerful enough is:

Thank you very much!

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17524
Registered: May-04

If your concern is not at all for sound quality, but rather just background music wallpaper, then, IMO, you're still going too cheap on speakers - and too small. Little speakers must work harder to create sound than do larger speakers. Cheap speakers don't do well when they are working harder. Larger rooms will require even more work than will small rooms. Unless your budget is really restricted, look into some slightly larger speakers from a higher quality company - "higher quality" is not Bose.

And even background music benefits from frequency response beneath 150Hz. Either a slightly larger and substantially better speaker or a small subwoofer placed anywhere in the vicinity of the speakers will add a welcome dimension to the sound quality. Otherwise, what you are planning will have a resonable amount of thin sound with a decided lack of warmth which, all total, will not be comfortable for anything more than (quickly) passing through the area. If you want some music in these areas that won't drive you from these areas, your selected speakers would not be my first choice. Look at manufacturers such as Boston Acoustics, Energy and NHT for some reasonably priced, higher quality small speakers.

Your amplifier choice is also on the far side of capable. Its wattage output is misleading to the casual observer. Ten watts into a four Ohm load means about half that into the more common eight ohm load. When that amount of power is achieved with a 10% THD (total harmonic distortion) spec, you have a very meager amount of useable wattage on hand. While background music doesn't require any more than a couple of watts, high quality is still the key to an acceptable sound.

I suppose this comes down to what you really expect from the system. If your goal is no more than one of those highly annoying thrift mart sound systems that puts your nerves on end, what you've selected will do. If talk radio is all that will ever be played on the system, then what you've selected is adequate. If you would like to, say, sit in the kitchen area and have a cup of coffee while reading the paper, even that should be accompanied by a sound system that isn't intent on getting you out of the area.

Contact Parts Express ( and inquire about their line of T amps. You might also ask about their small speakers, some of which are sold as screw together kits which will save you some cash and still be suited to your goals.

Now, about that mono speaker in the bath, how do you intend to make the connection of one speaker to a two channel (stereo, right?) amplifier? If you are only listening to mono sources - talk radio? , then you could use just one channel of the amplifier. What you cannot do is connect both channels of a stereo amplifier to only one speaker. That results in a dead short for the amp and no sound from the system. The ways around this are several; buy a three (or more) channel amp, buy more than one stereo amp or buy a stereo to mono transformer which will be inserted between the amp and speaker. But you must select one of these options if you intend to use the speaker for any two channel source.

Next, you'll need to decide whether you want all of these speakers playing at the same time and at the same volume level. That's not a common way to use speakers in various rooms. More likely, you would want to turn off one pair of speakers at some time and/or have both sets playing at the same time but at unequal volumes. That would require the addition of some sort of volume controls and a speaker selector switch.


New member
Username: Renaud123123

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-12
Thank you very much Jan for your detailed answer. It's really appreciated!
So I understand mostly everything you said. I think I'm going upgrade my speakers. Following this idea, I looked for the brand you mentioned. So what speakers would you rather choose to cover a 22x25ft area between those:
1- -Ship-/261105895524


And do you think it would be a good choice following what you said in your previous answer?

For the amplifier, I was wondering if that one would be powerful enough drive the speakers loud enough when throwing an happening:

or would I really need something like this:

About the T-amp, I don't think the one in my price range would be powerful enough:

am I right?

Thank you very much for you time!
And for the 3rd speaker, I will do like you said and by a stereo to mono transformer.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17525
Registered: May-04

For either background music or a party (neither situation being one where close attention is paid to the ultimate speaker quality) either speaker should be fine. The first amp would be more than adequate for driving all the speakers but you should still consider a way to control volume independently between sets.

Bronze Member
Username: Berniew

Perth, Western Aust... Australia

Post Number: 17
Registered: Oct-12
Hi Rennaud,
Among other things, I install various types of commercial sound systems for a living, and have to think about what combinations of speakers I can attach to amps, for the client's needs. I can't recommend brands and models, but I can explain the configurationand connections. Someone like Jan knows a heck of a lot more about who makes what than I do in home audio products. I do concert speakers and stuff mainly, but the principles are the same.
I was writing this long, complicated post explaining ways you could do it and why most were impractical, so you really understood the issues, but it was just getting confusing... for both of us. Then I realised I never even looked at your links, and that little amp actually should do just fine.
In commercial audio, the usual thing would be different amps for different "zones" (a room with its own speakers with their own controls could be a zone), fed from a central point, with some sort of distribution system for the different feeds. That's much more than you need, and it'd be expensive, complicated and inconvenient.
4-channel amps WOULD work, and in fact you could keep the system nice and simple and well-organised, but they're not common, and I've never seen one that had the features of an integrated home audio amp, like a choice of inputs from front panel switches, bass and treble controls, and so on. They're usually just straight power amps... they're got an on-off switch and 4 gain (volume) knobs, and that's about it. You'd need a separate preamp, or even a mixer, to go with it, and I promise you, you won't get either of those two to suit you for $100... EACH. Not even close.
Funnilly enough, my own amp at home is a 3-channel amp with almost everything you need, except with no way to separately control a 3rd channel (well, maybe, but let's not worry). It's designed to add surround to an existing stereo system. I got it used for $150, but it's STILL not right for you.
Anyway, here's what I'd do if it were me. I'd use TWO of that amp you linked to... they're cheap enough, and they'll work fine. The secret is that it has to have a spare line output (not amplified... a copy of the input), and that one does, the "record" out. You can see it on the rear-view photo. I was going to suggest getting 2 used hifi amps, and just make sure the 1st one, for the kitchen, had certain features, but then I finally looked at your link, and it's all there on that amp.
You didn't say if you want to select between different sources (eg CD, radio or TV), or just use one source permanently. That would raise its own issues, but it doesn't matter now; if you do it this way, you'll be able to have 3 different sources you can switch between if you want, or not, AND it solves the problem of having the right drive into the right combination of speakers. As a bonus, you even get to set the volume separately from the kitchen to the bathroom. (I wrote many paragraphs about different examples of how you could try 3 speakers on 1 stereo amp, just to illustrate why it's a bad idea. But don't worry about it... it's just a bad idea, trust me).
OK, so there's one of these little amps in the kitchen, and another in the bathroom. That bathroom amp doesn't even have to be as advanced as even this thing; you could surely find something at flea market for $10 to do the job. It just has to be working, and have at least one input and one output. But, your suggestion is cheap, adequate, and it's new.
The kitchen amp is the "master". All your sources (CD, radio, etc... hey, it's even got a microphone input. Bust out the jams!Have one in the bathroom and add a whole new dimension to "singing in the shower") connect to its (master amp) inputs. Your 2 kitchen speakers just connect as normal to the 2 amplifier channel outputs, left and right, nothing unusual about it. Then, use a long enough cable from those 2 "Record" outputs to run to your amp for the bathroom... no reason why both amps can't just sit together in 1 cabinet, and you run longer speaker leads to where the speakers go. The only difference is, the 2nd (bathroom) amp just has your single speaker attached to it. Just do it the simplest way: connect it as normal to a single red and black pair of terminals. By convention most people use Left when you have to choose only one, and you're simply not using Right. (Although, since it's there, it could always feed another speaker for another room at a later date).
The question is, does the Kitchen (master) amp's volume control affect the volume coming out of the bathroom amp? I'm guessing not... it's a recording out, and they tend to just pass on the inputs as they are. The volume knob just affects the *power amp section* of that amplifier, as a rule. It probably won't control the record output level, and therefore won't change the volume in the bathroom. I think that's better; you can control the kitchen volume to your heart's content, but the bathroom stays where you left it. You don't want your guests to suddenly notice it dropping away to nothing, or blowing them away because a favourite tune came on and the kitchen-crowd wants to rhumba.
This setup cancels any questions about putting multiple speakers on an amp channel. I'd written about what it might do to the kitchen stereo balance if you hung the bathroom speaker of one of the kitchen's, and why there's no good way to run it from *both* to keep them balanced. You have to have its own channel, at least, for a separate zone. This way (with 2 amps) will do that for you, and without the complication of special multi-channel amps and/or zone controllers.
One more thing: You could improve the bathroom sound quite a lot if you can combine the left & right input lines into a summed (mixed, in fact) mono feed, and then run that into one of the bathroom amp inputs. You need a little device to do it; for the life of me I can't think of the name of the thing you ask for. I'd call it a passive mono-sum combiner or mixer... or one of those stereo to mono boxes, please. It's just a box with two sockets in and one socket coming out, a couple of simple parts & wiring inside, and doesn't use any power or plug into a wall. Someone help me out here? As an alternative, it's not SUPPOSED to work, but it usually does... use a split lead (a "Y" lead, that makes one line feed two sockets), but connect it the wrong way, two into one instead of one into two. OK, yes, I know it's wrong, so come on everybody, blast me about impedance problems and how it's really just shorting stuff, and all the risks I'm taking, not to mention the theoretical loss of sound quality. But so help me, it'll probably work (and the man doesn't really care much how it sounds). Thing is, though, I've done it plenty of times when I've had to, and into the type of inputs on most of today's equipment, it tends to just work, whether it's meant to or not. So NYAHH!
By the way, what sources are you using? Is it always going to be the same thing, or are you going to switch between CD, media server, radio etc at different times? Because this cute little amp has more than one input. And if the bathroom amp is the same type, you are not, in fact, limited to playing whatever's on in the kitchen... you could have its own source altogether, or a choice between the same inputs as the kitchen uses (you might have to split... post again if there's complications).
(Actually, it opens some intriguing possibilities. The bathroom amp has its own set of inputs too, like the kitchen amp. Normally, you'd leave it always set to the input from the kitchen. But, you might have guests over that you'd have preferred not to invite, and you hope they won't come back. You could put a pressure switch under a mat (or the toilet seat), and trigger an MP3 player or something with the most sickening, disgusting collection of toilet-inspired noises you can buy, compile or record yourself. And it'd only play in the bathroom, not the kitchen. At meal times. Thank God. You might rig a remote control instead so it only works when your least favourite relative asks to be excused from the table. Someone could write a special iPhone app... A special media server just for the purpose, and on its own input too. You could Bluetooth new sounds to it as they, er, become available. Hey, if you knew some of my relatives you'd understand... For everybody else, you could play something specially chosen to mask those sounds, discretely and tastefully. Now that is true attention to hospitality as a considerate, attentive host).
Sorry, it really is late.
Alright, as to watts. You asked about the amp being powerful enough to drive those speakers. Look, if the speakers claim to be X number of watts, that doesn't mean the power an amp needs to have to drive them. What it means is, that's how much those speakers can handle, maximum. That's supposed to be the average power they are designed to cope with before they risk being damaged. As a rule, I find almost always, you don't actually need much at all. It intrigues me that you want nice stereo sound in the kitchen; is this an open-plan space with cooking, dining and living areas kind of blend in, and you call it the kitchen? Or do you like music as you cook? I'm asking because I'm trying to work out, do you sit down to appreciate nice quality stereo music in this place, or is it just there as you eat dinner and have a conversation? Because if it's low enough to talk over, trust me, you will never get anywhere near the 50 watts those speakers can do. I'm guessing since they're cheap outdoor models, and small with little bass output, you don't expect them to fill a big room with rich, sumptuous music that you drop everything to come and appreciate (in a kitchen). I'm not being facetious, but I do think it sounds like you don't expect to turn them up very high... I doubt they'd be real nice if you did.
Amps are rated for a certain power output, of course, but it means something different. Usually, it's about distortion... push for more than its rated power, and the distortion gets so high it sounds unacceptable. They tend not to be damaged by the experience as much as speakers, when they're pushed too hard. Over-drive an amp, and it could blow its fuse but will probably just "clip": the peaks of those waves it puts out can't rise about a certain voltage, so if you graphed them, they'd start to look like square waves (over-simplifying here). And that's very bad for speakers and can damage them pretty quickly, particularly tweeters, which are fragile.
How do you know when your amps or speakers are reaching the limit? Well, the simple rule is, if it sounds bad, it is bad... you'll know distortion when you hear it. When it's enough to notice, that's probably time to turn down. Professional amps at concerts have LED meters so you can tell how hard they're working; they have red lights to warn you they're overloading. Few home units have that.
But I've also come to learn that it's very rare that we end up approaching the limits of our amps and speakers, unless they're just too darn puny for the use we want to put them to. Parties are a good time to damage speakers; almost all other times, the right, comfortable volume requires the amp to only provide a small fraction of its rated power. Which will be a small fraction of what the speakers can handle... no matter what the manufacturer says about watts, if you've only turned it up not very far, and it sounds clean and not like it's not coping, you're fine. I pay almost no attention ever to claimed number of watts, except maybe just to compare one product against another, and with the awareness that you usually can't trust those numbers anyway. Manufacturers like to find ways to justify claiming these crazy big numbers because it sounds impressive. It usually tells you nothing about how they really compare from one model to the next.
In short, don't worry about it.
Except this: if an amp is really too underpowered, and you're trying to make up for it by cranking it within an inch of its life, it will overload, and will clip its output. And that is bad for speakers, especially tweeters. It can damage them even though technically it might not be reaching its rated maximum. Clipping is bad. Don't clip your gear. THAT'S how many watts. And THAT'S how useful wattage numbers are.
As to ohms, I'll leave that for another long, late night post. In your case, you won't have to worry if you do it the way I suggest. You won't be placing more than one speaker on any channel of an amplifier... but I'll tell you some things. First, I see these are rated as 8 ohm speakers. THat's normal, average, commonplace, standard stuff. Amps quote their output as so many watts into so many ohms. You can buy speakers that are more or less than 8 ohms, but most home stuff is 8. BUT!!!... wire 2 together in parallel, and that halves the ohmage (impedance) on that amp channel. Assuming these are all the same speakers, it's basically double the speakers to halve the impedance (measured in ohms). Amps have a minimum impedance they are rated to happilly drive. It's because they tend to output more watts into a lower impedance load for the same gain setting (amplification, as controlled by the volume knob). They not only have a limit they're able to do, but it gets tricky to design them to work right under those conditions. They sometimes say, "this amp is only stable down to 4 ohms", but they may say, "our amp is so good, it's stable and safe driving loads all the way down to 2 ohms", by which they probably mean 4x 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel (if they're wired in series, it's different). I'm not exactly sure how to define "stable". But unstable sounds like a bad thing. I can't stand unstable people, so who wants an unstable amp? Some are even rated down to zero ohms... a short circuit across the speaker terminals, like a piece of wire. You could probably weld with it.
(Just don't put too many speakers on your amp, or it'll get unstable and have some sort of breakdown. Like people. Like me, when I'm roadie-ing... don't load me up with too many speakers. My stability may come into question, in many ways.)
I just put that in there for interest's sake, and guys, please don't jump all over me for that grossly simplistic, layman's terms explanation. It's just an introduction to a topic our OP said he knows nothing about, because I thought it might help him make a little sense of it. And in the end, here's what I've got to say about it all... "DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT." You'll have single 8 ohm speakers on each amp channel if you do as I suggest, and that's safe. I also think you're very unlikely to crank it so hard you'll blow anything up in this application.
Hope this helps. Jan is far better qualified to talk about brands and models, and theory too, but what I do all the time is practical applications of pretty basic versions of audio rules of thumb. My job is just to make it work. I should have looked at your links before; this amp will do the job with these speakers. Remember though, I'm just some guy, a complete stranger... I don't work for this site and I just like to talk about audio. It'll work, though.

But I do have to say, I think Jan's got a very good point... are these speakers really suited to what you want to do? They're outdoor speakers. They're more designed to keep the rain out and keep working over dramatic changes in weather conditions, than to sound nice. If it were me installing speakers in a house, I'd consider ceiling-mount speakers from commercial install applications, at least for the bathroom, and since you seem to want OK quality for your kitchen, I'd have looked at something usually found in bedrooms or loungerooms... even in the lower price ranges I'm sure there'd be something to do the job nicely. Buying off Ebay, you can judge them on every important facet, like colour, durability, price and performance figures, except for one thing: how they sound.
Anyway, I'm sure you knew what you wanted and why they suited your needs, and for the price your risk is low.
To sum up, 2 of those amps will do the job just fine. If you have any questions with the setup I'd be happy to try and talk you through it, although that's about the hardest way to do it. Best of luck.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17528
Registered: May-04

WOWSERS! That was some post, Bernie. What do you plan on doing if someone asks a really tough question?

I'd say the back and forth cabling of your system and keeping track of which amp is feeding what signal to the other amp might be more than the average user might be able to deal with. The op was not entirely clear on their intentions and that makes for a less than perfect answer. I'm hoping the op gets some good answers from a live person on the other end at, maybe, Parts Express.

Otherwise, I'll let your post stand on its own other than to mention one thing you have wrong about home audio.

"In commercial audio, the usual thing would be different amps for different 'zones' (a room with its own speakers with their own controls could be a zone), fed from a central point, with some sort of distribution system for the different feeds."

In home audio terms what you describe as "a room with its own speakers with their own controls could be a zone" is incorrect.

Controls alone do not siginify a "zone" within a home system even when the system extends out into the garage or the patio/swimming pool area. What you have described is, in home audio, called an "area". An area will have a same source input common to all other areas. So five rooms all simultaneously receiving the same source (TV, FM, Computer, CD, etc) exist as five separate areas, but not five discrete zones. It is only when the individual areas receive their own input source which is distinct from other areas that an area becomes a "zone".

In other words, three rooms all having FM connected to their speakers would be considered three areas. All three areas can be connected to one amplifier whether or not there are "controls" in each room or not. A master speaker selector located by the main equipment cabinet could control speaker on/off and speaker volume level. That one speaker selector switch would still be feeding multiple areas but not multiple zones.

Zones require discrete amplifiers (to accommodate the discrete source inputs) for each zone. This is required since each zone is capable of having its own discrete source input and one amp cannot simultaneously output two sources*. This would mean those three areas above could exist on one amplifier alone until one of those rooms wanted its own source. So a total of three rooms with two having FM as a source and one room listening to CD would be two areas and two zones. Each zone would require its own amplifier and "controls" along with its own source input. That source input could come from a single "control amp" or pre amp but could do so only when the control amp is designed to simultaneously output two sources to two amplifiers.

Since mixers are very uncommon in home audio, this would normally be accomplished by way of either a HT receiver meant for dual zone operation or from a more sophisticated processor typically intended for whole house distribution. There are work arounds to this but they are normally considered not to be a good option for a client who simply wants to come in and make the system work flawlessly and without much thought. Multiple users tend to make the viability of less than simple wiring schemes - sending multiple signals to multiple zones depending on how switches are positioned - even less desireable.

It is not the controls which designate zones on home aduio, but, rather, the assignment of discrete sources to specific amplifier channels/speakers which makes for a zone. All zones could still have the same source being played in each room but they would still be "zoned" as separate, discrete zones. Once any one area can receive its own discrete source input, the area(s) become zone(s).

* If a multi-channel power amp is being used to distribute sound to multiple locations, it might be possible for that power amp to have its own discrete inputs to any individual channels or to assign a source to a group of channels. With this set up, a, say, twelve channel power amp could be used as the single power amp for a multi-zone system if a discrete channel can be assigned its own or a shared group of inputs. With a mixer in a commercial system you would think of this as sending multiple bus bars to individual inputs on a power amp.

Also, using a "Y" splitter backwards to combine input channels is highly frowned upon in home audio. The rule remains; you can split any output but you cannot combine multiple inputs. While your approach "might" work for you when using a cheap "Y" splitter installed contrary to its intended implementation, there are far more technically correct ways to achieve the desired result. IMO, when answering a question on the forum, it's fine to say this CD player/amp/speaker might work or that CD player/amp/speaker might work when it is clear there is no one technically accurate answer to the querry. It's a bit less informative - and potentially dangerous - to the op to say something "might work" when you immediately must make excuses for why the rest of the forum shouldn't jump on you for making a technically questionable suggestion.

Keep in mind, most home audio gear is common ground and that ground bus is most often tied to chassis ground. There are also a handful of dual mono systems which woud be exceedingly unhappy - if only momentarily so - with the combined source channels derived by the technique you suggest. Using two separate amplifiers in the system you suggest would, I would guess, result in a good deal of ground loop hum in the system even if the amplifier survived the "Y" splitter.


Bronze Member
Username: Berniew

Perth, Western Aust... Australia

Post Number: 18
Registered: Oct-12
Thanks Jan, especially for clarification on zones and areas. I'm a practical, hands-on operator, but there are items like this where I'm not always up on exact terminology, so it's good to get that correct. The OP doesn't need to go asking for the wrong thing based on my misleading him so that's valuable.

Yes, I have a problem with over-doing my posts. That one happened late after a gig, and I suppose it's a form of after-work relaxation for me. I'd otherwise watch a movie or play games for a couple of hours. So I suppose what I did was choose a post to respond to and spend a couple of hours on that. The trouble with that is it gets to be too much to take in.

You're also quite right about using a Y-lead backwards. I meant to just include it to say, it's possible you could get away with it but don't risk it. But I didn't make it sound that way, did I. Rennaud, don't do it that way, it's too risky. Jan's right. My bad.

I didn't read Jan's earlier reply to the OP very thoroughly before posting and I'd had a few drinks too, so it was all a touch irresponsible of me. A proper stereo to mono transformer is correct, that's the way to do it, and should be cheap too. But although I've never made one, are there not very simple kits that don't use a transformer? We're talking about the same thing though: a proper means to combine 2 signals into 1. I was thinking of the principles of the most basic passive mixer circuits, without any gain controls.

But are you saying my solution is too complicated? I might have gone on for so long I just confused the issue, then. It should seem simple enough; the idea is just a single interconnect out of the kitchen amp and into the bathroom amp. Whatever plays in the kitchen will be repeated into the bathroom; it's just that then there's some leftover inputs on the 2nd amp if the OP is interested to use them for playing something different with them. If we assume he doesn't, it's about the simplest way to use 2 amps at once.

I'll re-phrase vast tracts of my last post like this then: if he wants to do something else, and play different sources on the bathroom amp, he should decide what that would be and post again, then we can work something out if needed.

Anyway, that little amp seems about right for the job. It's basic, cheap but adequate, and has all the right features. And OK, 3 or 4 channel amps would be a really good solution too, probably better, but then the OP says he wants to do this for under $100, and I've never heard of an amp like that for under that price. Those little amps were marked down to about $45 a piece. Buy two of those and there's all the channels you'd need, and that record out is an easy way to link them together; it just has the limitation of having to slave one to the other, but for his application it should work fine.

The way he's described it is simple enough so long as that's all he wants to do: play music in stereo in the kitchen, and it to a single speaker in the 2nd room. He says he doesn't care much about quality in there (but this way, with the stereo to mono adapter, will sound fine). If there are any other requirements, he hasn't told us.
Rennaud, if you're still reading, is that all you ever need to do with this equipment? If so, the way I suggest ought to work just fine, but I'd also recommend you use that stereo to mono transformer. If you don't, then you just have to only use the left OR right input to the 2nd amp, but not both.
Any questions, by all means get back to us.

New member
Username: Renaud123123

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-12
Hi guys!
First I want to thank you for your generosity and your time. Your detailed answers were really helpful to me. In fact, I'm going to use your proposed setup for my place.
So I'm going to buy the first amp I posted for the 2 speakers in my kitchen (stereo):

Then, I'm going to buy this little amp for the speaker in the bathroom: -Display-DC12V-20W-20W-/160919180005?pt=Car_Amplifiers&hash=item257787d2e5&_uhb= 1#ht_2237wt_1186
as I want to be able to choose a different input then the kitchen amp output.

Finally, I need your advice on 2 things:
1- What kind of speakers would you choose between those (basing your opinion simply on the quality of the sound they create and I know there are far better speakers than those on the market , I'm just looking to find the best speakers under 100$ knowing there won't be any subwoofer hooked to the systme) for my kitchen (22x22 ft)
A. -Ship-/261125195141?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123



D. or-each-/item/M10#reviewFocusTarget1

2- Will the first amplifier mentioned will be powerful enough to drive them loud enough on a party night.

Thank you very much again for your time, it's really appreciated!

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17536
Registered: May-04

Speakers being used for background music have no specific requirements other than to not be annoying. Any of those speakers pass that test. I've installed components in a system using the Sony's - which some people might reject due to nothing more than the manufacturer's name - and they are a far better system when paired with a small sub. But, then, any of these speakers will give more enjoyment when paired with a small sub, even for background music. The Sony's are well balanced and unoffensive when used at background music levels IMO. Any small speaker will have the same characteristics when the volumes rise. So you are essentially choosing between more or less equals, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, all from respectable mass market to better than average manufacturers. For your needs, any of the speakers will be more than adequate. Placement of the speaker will make far more difference in the musical values you perceive than will the very slight differences between the speakers themself.

I have a question about your second amp, how are you going to power this amp? Since it's intended application is in a car system, it needs 12VDC. What power source are you going to use to provide that voltage?


Bronze Member
Username: Berniew

Perth, Western Aust... Australia

Post Number: 23
Registered: Oct-12
Yes Jan is right, this is a car audio amp that runs off 12V DC power. You would need a power supply to run it, and that would have to be something with adequate output. I'd be looking for something able to deliver a minimum of 100W... more would be better. And I think it would cost more than the amp, a lot more; so much more that I doubt you can get it and the amp for your $100 limit.
If you can organise that and don't mind the price, then this solution would work well enough and it has some nice features, like reading those cards and handling MP3. But this 12V thing is important. An amp like that will have no way built into it to handle normal household AC power.
I still think that first amp you linked to would be just right. It's cheap enough, it's adequately powerful, has the features required and it's designed to run off AC, so you don't need a power supply.

Were you aware of this issue when you chose this car stereo amp? Or do you just want to use it anyway because it has the features you want? I agree it's an excellent set of features for the price, but this power thing might be a problem.

Remember, it will provide up to 20W per channel (you're only using 1, though), but nothing is 100% efficient. It will always draw more power from the wall than it feeds to the speaker, and you don't want it making the power supply work up to its limit. Maybe you can come down from 100W, but I'd be hesitant to get anything below about 50, so you've still got some headroom in the power. That means, if the power supplies you look at are rated in Amps of current, not watts, it should be capable of (50 Watts / 12 Volts = approx.) 4 Amps at 12V DC. Really, try for 5 amps or higher.

Maybe it's cheaper than I thought, but I'm sure it will be more than the previous amp you suggested.

As to speakers, I simply don't know the market. Jan's advice sounds about right though, that any of these should do the job you've got in mind. It's not a very demanding installation.

So what are your thoughts on this amp, and why does it appeal to you?


Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17537
Registered: May-04

You could treat this amp as you would a "T" amp which also tends to run from a 12VDC supply. Doing so your choices come down to the three most common forms of "power supply"; linear, switching and battery. A "Linear" power supply is heavy, bulky, can get hot and will be the most expensive of the three. It is, however, the type of ps we have become familiar with as it is what you would consider to be an "old fashion" power supply. Its heat comes from the fact it is relatively inefficient and much of the 120VAC coming in from the wall outlet is simply lost to the function of inversion to DC power and is lost as heat. Cost is probably (I've mot checked with any suppliers) about $50-150 for your application.

A switching power supply is what we now have on many small appliances. It is the familiar "wall wart" type of ps which has its lump of electronics housed in a small box at the wall. You can buy a switching ps at Radio Shack or online.

A battery supply is easy to set up, about the same size physically as the linear type but will require a "wall wart" type floating charger. Battery supplies work well for audio since there is no inversion process from AC to DC. In your application though you'll never realize the benefits of batteries to sound quality. Any battery will require a charger and here you'll want a "floating type" outputting the same voltage (12VDC) and slightly higher amperage than the amp. There's no spec provided for the amplifier's current draw and, given the third world assembly and retailer, there might not be any specs provided with the amp itself. That is a problem common to all of your choices. There are no real specs for what is required as a power supply beyond 12VDC.

Looking closer at the amp, I'm not sure this is a "car amp". I've not seen any car amps with a whip type FM antenna. This is probably an amp put in the same case as a car amp. You would probably be safe using Bernie's numbers as a guide for how much power supply to purchase. The "best" option for your use is a wall wart, switching type. Look for a ps rated at 12VDC, no more and no less. Then find a ps which can output approximately 4-5 "amps".

So you're looking for a spec that reads "12VDC @ 5AMP". Putting "12VDC power supply" into a search engine will get you started. Be aware the higher the amperage output, the higher the cost and the larger the wall wart. Buying less amperage than required will result in inferior performance. You cannot over buy on amperage output but you can under buy. Should you use the incorrect Voltage, when you power up the amp, you'll probably hear a small "pop" and smell the acrid smoke of a now dead amplifier. Whatever you buy will have to include the correct (M type?) plug to fit in the rear of the amp.

Or you can buy an amp that comes with the correct power supply included. Try Parts Express again. If you are looking for the USB input for your computer, they should still have something to suit that requirement.

My last piece of advice here would be to buy from a retailer you can contact should you need after the sale service. You can save a buck or two using eBay and Amazon but you are dealing with suppliers who have no interest in anything other than selling. If there is a problem - like a missing power supply, who do you contact if you've purchased a defective amp? Even when you're on a tight budget, and most especially when you are not familiar with and perfectly clear on the item you're buying, it does really pay to buy from a real world retailer.


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