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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone installed a small amplifier in their Insight? Where did you put it? I had a Kenwood stereo head unit for the past 18 months that I installed myself (it recently stopped working), but it had its own internal amplifier and as such I didn't concern myself with adding anything else. However, now I find myself with a new head unit that has nothing but line-level outputs and I am at a loss as to what to do about it. Amplifiers I've seen so far seem both larger than I expected and somewhat expensive for what I want (which is practically nothing). I don't care to drive a subwoofer with it, or even to get a particularly high volume out of the system, but the line-level outputs aren't good for anything on their own.

So ... do small amps exist that might fit somewhere near the radio (under/beside the glove compartment, or in the front panel itself) so that I woudln't have to run wires everywhere throughout the Insight?

(Alternatively, is wiring the car for a "normal" amplifier a lot of trouble? I am just assuming it is.)
 

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Well in the scheme of things I have a relatively "small" 180 watt amplifier under my passenger seat powering my sub woofer. It's a really cheap jbl amp. It might actually do what your looking to do quite well. I believe it's 50watts X 2 channels. I'm going to eventually try to make some sort of plate for it to sit in but for now it's velcro'd to the carpet and has stayed there quite well.

As far as wiring it wasn't too bad at all. Of course you'd need to get the dash apart to get to the back of the head unit. I ran a wire from the battery over to the passenger side where the wiring harness goes in to the car where there is a rubber surround which can be pulled back so you can shove another wire through fairly easily. I ran the wires under the trim piece by the bottom of the door, it pops right out. For grounding one of the bolts for the seat works quite well. Took me maybe an hour to install.

Good luck, I haven't ran wires back up in to the doors yet.
 

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I recommend the BlaukPunkt amplifiers. They look cheesy in their plastic housings, but their core is a very small metal amplifier. It's not impressive looking, but it's extremely tiny and efficient. I've read reviews on this all over the place and it's supposedly a very impressive tiny amp. It's the smallest amp you'll find for it's wattage output and it fits under the seats in the insight perfectly.

It's also a new "Class T" design which is supposedly more power efficient, this means less strain on the small 12v battery that comes in the insight. The insight doesn't have an alternator but instead a dc-dc converter, so putting any stress on the 12v battery stresses the very expensive dc-dc converter and if that breaks, it's quite expensive. So the key to amps in this car is to keep as much stress off the battery as possible and this new class T design looks quite good for our cars. Supposed to sound just as nice as a power hungry Class AB amp but be just as power efficient as a Class D amp. Class D amps use little power but put out poorer sound quality, usually only used for subwoofers.


http://www.blaukpunkt.com

Check out the 2 x 75 or the 2 x 100 amps they have. Their abou $120 on EBay. Great amp for this car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the advice! I will definitely look into these small Blaupunkt amplifiers.
 

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I bought one of the Blaupunkt amps and it fits under the passanger seat perfectly. Frys had them on sale for $79.00. The amp have a great bass volume control knob which you can mount on the dash. I mounted 2- 12 inch bass speakers on a board, not a speaker box, and placed them in the boot about half way down. This set up is removable in case I need the space. The boot is just about the right cubic air space these speakers need. I did not cut hole in anything and the bass seems to come out of the side panel vents and radiates in the quarter panels.The bass is very smooth and fills that missing lower end. The speakers produce more bass that you can use, sort of over kill and I like a lot of bass.
I did not use a coverter and there is no strain on the battery. I do recommend having the amp professionally installed because this was a bit tricky in the wiring set up. I am very pleased with this system.
 
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