I recently became interested in car audio, and have been trying to learn as much as I can so I can begin to upgrade my car's "system". I've decided that the biggest boost I can give to my system right now is a new head unit and front speakers, and I'm a bit confused with how all this wattage business works.

Ok, so let's say i buy this:

Correct whatever is wrong here:
It says 51w x 4, which means 51 watts per channel, and there's 4 of them. This means that I can have up to 4 speakers with 51 watts RMS each before I have to get an amplifier (but I can get speakers rated at a higher RMS than my HU can put out, I just won't get as much power). Am I right here? One question though, let's say I DO get an amp and hook my front speakers up to them, does this replace the wattage that the HU puts out, or does it add to it? (for example, the amp is 100x4 and the HU is 51x4, does that mean I now have 151x4 or 100x4)?

Thanks for the help guys
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Your head unit will put out maybe 10 watts x 4. Power handling is just that. It is not a power requirement. I would get an amp for your front speakers. If you REEEAAALLLY desire rear speakers power them off the head unit.

If you hook up an amp, the signal is independant of the built-in amp of the head unit. Just like a home stereo, the signal is sent from preamp outputs on the back of the head unit, to the amp through the RCAs, and the signal is amplified by the amplifier.

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Blaze Placid
an amp is the best wat to go if you got the money,your mids will thank you and treat your ears to gold =)
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Originally posted by ryeguy:
I recently became interested in car audio and have been trying to learn as much as I can so I can begin to upgrade my car's "system".
I highly recommend checking out these sites to further your knowledge:

http://www.bcae1.com & http://www.the12volt.com
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