Can a car amplifier amplify a signsl other than the one coming out of a car stereo?


Unregistered guest
Hey guys,
I'm new to amps and before I buy my first one - I need an advice. I'm fairly good with computers, so all my cars have built-in computer systems that I made myself. I use computers for listening to music (mostly), GPS navigation and stuff like that. However, this new car I just bought has a broken stereo system, which I do not need anyway because there is no way to connect my computer to it (it's a factory piece, no RCA input/output and FM transmitters pretty much blow).
Well, because, like I said, I don't need a stereo I decided to buy just the amplifier and connect my laptop DIRECTLY to the amp using the RCA-to-headphone jack cable. In theory I should be able to control the volume using my laptop.
BUT, the biggest question is - can the amp deliver the audio signal coming out of my laptop? Will it be loud enough?

I am about to buy a 300W, 4-channel amp. I found some guides on the net and checked the specs - it's a good one. So now all I need is to know whether I will be able to use it ;)

Bronze Member
Username: Soccer

Post Number: 81
Registered: Apr-04
You must be carefull with the input sensitivity of the amp, if you overload it, you'll damage the amp, what's the output of the labtop? Make sure it never overcomes the amp's input...

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 2915
Registered: Dec-03
find out what the notebook's line-output coltage is, and use the amplifier's inpyut sensitivity to balance the amp to the notebook signal.
that's what the gains are there for.

Unregistered guest
Thanks for your replies :-)
I'm not sure how to figure out what the laptop's output is, but it is pretty weak comparing to the car's stereo. Of course, it can be pretty loud if I set the volume to max.
The amp I am about to buy is only $40 w/shipping so I pretty much got nothing to lose even if it gets fried. I really do not see how a laptop can fry an amp, especially considering how loud the stereo is comparing to it.

Unregistered guest
Man, I just got an amp and looked at the instructions - holy cow! If I will ever be able to hook it up to my laptop, it would at least take me a year. No way, I'd rather stick with the radio transmitter. They also say I have to drill holes in my car ?! No thanks :D
Anyways, I gave it back to the store. I'll just buy some 160W cd player from ebay with external connectors and use that instead :-)
Thanks for your help tho'!
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