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Thread: Piece of junk Sony amplifiers? Wal-Mart SONY XPLOD XM-504Z

  1. #1
    Member HondaSUV Senior in training
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    Default Piece of junk Sony amplifiers? Wal-Mart SONY XPLOD XM-504Z

    Im looking at an INFINITY Reference 7420A 2-channel amp (97 Watts RMS x 2) and a SONY XM-504Z amp (500W max - actually less as we shall see, but 4/3/2 channel. I want to feed my stereo speakers in front and rear doors. I know that SONY amps get put-down a lot. Even talking about them is like wearing a sign that says "KICK ME." Here is my take on the issue:
    1) At higher power levels, the SONY AMP THD (distortion) is high. That is true. If you need to utilize maximum power, stop here and move to another thread My theory is that at high levels, the low efficiency leads to high heat output, and thermal problems - thats why you hear about SONY amps overheating. Users are driving their subs really hard. Amps shut down or fail due to heat.
    2) The SONY power ratings are indeed inflated; more precisely, the power ratings are carefully specified to market the amps. Example: A 500 W "maximum power" -- sure, it can crank out 500W, but it wont sounds good at max power. The Sony amp has a spec sheet inside that clearly says that you have to back off the power to ~50W per channel to keep distortion <1% in fact ~0.08%. Not too shabby. Therefore, given the usual criteria for power measurement, it is a 200W amp to me. If that amount of power is enough for you (it is for me), it appears that we have an affordable 4 x 50W multi-channel amp that costs US$99 at Wal-Mart, no shipping, easy returns. They even sell Scosche wiring kits up to 8 gauge.

    Im looking at an Infinity amp for my CR-V, but it makes me wonder, if, at lower power levels with the same head unit and the same speakers, could you could really tell the difference between a SONY and an INFINITY? If you have done a side by side test in a real car, Id love to hear about it.

    I do like nice controls. When I opened SONY and SCOSHE boxes, I found that the SONY and SCOSCHE have flimsy switches i.m.o. Im hoping the build on the Infinity is better, simply in terms not feeling so cheesy. Also the Infinity amp offers variable crossover freq and bass boost using a trim pot (like a small light dimmer that you turn/twist to control) constrasted with the bass boost in fixed increments on the SONY and SCOSCHE with sliding switches that you position at two pr three possible settings.

    Do you use the continously variable cross-overs in an amp when your speakers already have cross-overs? Seems redundant except for a sub in the rear, then it makes great sense. But the INFINITY seems to have finer controls - are they really useful for 4 door speakers? I like the idea of sculpting the sound, but isnt this already being handled at the speaker level? If you have an Infinity amp, let me know how great the controls are & how you use them for stereo speakers (not subs). Is bass boost used only for subs?

    I love walking down the street and hearing the earth rumble as some great woofers drive by. Amazing! I love it. But thats not my gig -- Im not trying to blow out my back window -- Im trying to hear every note that Dave Matthews and David Sanborn play. I want to hear Sade's voice like she's sitting on the seat beside me (I wish .

    Im choosing between a 4-channel SONY ($99) and a 2-channel INFINITY REF amp (~$100 refurb, dont ask). What to do? Buy one INFINITY 2-channel now, and add another? Or get a Wal-Mart special that is 4-channel "ready to go?" and probably works very good at my moderate listening levels.

    Paul

  2. #2
    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor
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    Default

    sony did good advertising with the xplode car audio, beccause thats excatuley what it does..EXPLODEEEEEEE :wink: the infinity amp will sound clearer (its a sound quality company) sony is an everything company they make anything. Infinity is also knowen for its realiablity and durability, sure its a bit more expencive but your paying for it. The sony amp wont last neer as long as the infinity amp, youll end up paying the difference in repairs. Rember spending more $ is usualy better because you are paying for features,,,,,,,,,,,, in this case alot better amp

    ide deffently go with the infinity amp a lil bit more expencive but ALOT better quality

  3. #3
    Member HondaSUV Senior in training
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    Default Whats in a brand - Explode?

    EXPLODEEEEEEE Laughing Wink
    Good one.

    Is that documented or is it a myth? If they do XPLODE, what pushes them to that point. I didnt see any detonate in Wal-mart

    let me guess - the other lasts for infinity? Sorry, couldnt...

    Paul

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    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor
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    i work at a very well knowen car audio shop in my city. Ive seen countless amounts of people come in with problems in there systems and when we do look a them alot of it is sony, they are poorly built, we change the component with something elts and they are amazed. IMO in all of this, the amp will work, that is for sure but how long and how good is the question. jsut trying to give my opinion of course

  5. #5
    Member HondaSUV Senior in training
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    Default Interesting

    Im still laauhging as in ROFLMAO about Explodeeee.

    Since I have you on-line, with your experience -- question: what do consider to be the best value in a head unit to feed an amp? I dont need XM or iPod in, just CD and solid FM reception in the countryside. I hate flashy graphics. Just best bang for the buck for audio quality, ease of use, and reliability -- and happy feeding of my Infinity amp?

    Can you tell me why you like your favorite brand and model?

    Paul

    PS: My factory 2002 LX head unit CD plays MP3's and always has - do I really need anything more?

  6. #6
    FFNC Site AdminHondaSUV Elder Racoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelpie
    PS: My factory 2002 LX head unit CD plays MP3's and always has - do I really need anything more?
    Can you explain that statement?

    Are you saying you have a CD-R you burned audio files too in MP3 format that plays in the Honda head unit? How many audio tracks to you have on the CD?

    The Racoon

    White Diamond Pearl 2014 CR-V EX AWD (Gen 4)

    Accessories: splash guards, body side molding, moonroof visor, Weathertech Window Deflectors, Weathertech floor mats, Weathertech cargo tray

    Milano Pink 1999 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 1.5) - SOLD at 127,997 miles
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  7. #7
    Member HondaSUV Senior in training
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    Default FFNC

    FFN Being

    Yes, my factory stock 2002 CD-V headunit (bought in Texas USA from an evil local dealership "FK" - whole nother story) will play a CD-R burned with MP-3's - my wife discovered this when she burned some American Idol /K.Clarkson MP3s to a CD and popped it in to the CD player (stock - holds one CD) and what do you know - it played. I guess it only had a few songs on it - around 5-6. She approached it as "well, its a CD and it fits, so it should play" I was cracking up. IT PLAYED GREAT!!! I almost keeled over.

    As I look at CD/MP3 players I read some where that the burn standard (ISO, Joliet, and Romeo, etc -- this is for real) makes a difference). Ill check what hers are. Ive read that Joliet (and Romeo) and preferred by some players. In Roxio, etc. you can select the standard for the burn. She burned the CD on a HP Computer (from Wal-Mart) using the CD wizard - it is so user friendly that I cant even find any controls - you just follow the steps and it burns. If yours doesnt work, perhaps try a different standard: if ISO is default, try Joliet, etc?

    Moments later: I double checked the filetype: they really are MP3's from the American Idol website. Note: this is her choice of music, not mine

    Paul

  8. #8
    FFNC Site AdminHondaSUV Elder Racoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: FFNC

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelpie
    I double checked the filetype: they really are MP3's from the American Idol website.
    Interesting, since the only file types I see on the http://www.americanidolmusic.com are Real Player and Windows Media. No MP3 formats.

    While the format of the CD (ISO, Joliet, etc) is important, that's not what I was asking.

    I was asking what the actual, individual music file formats were. I suspect that the recording software she used wrote an Audio CD (which writes standard CD audio tracks), not a data CD with MP3 format audio files.

    Size of the audio file is another indicator. On a standard Audio CD you only fit 12-13 audio files because of the size of each file. With MP3 files, you can fit 100+ files on a standard CD.

    The Racoon

    White Diamond Pearl 2014 CR-V EX AWD (Gen 4)

    Accessories: splash guards, body side molding, moonroof visor, Weathertech Window Deflectors, Weathertech floor mats, Weathertech cargo tray

    Milano Pink 1999 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 1.5) - SOLD at 127,997 miles
    Silver Moss Metallic 2006 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 2.5) - SOLD at 86,647 miles

  9. #9
    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior phungi's Avatar
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    Default

    i believe we are talking about the same beast... MP3 files "burned to a CD" are essentially AIFF files. This does not appear to be the case of a stock deck playing a disc of MP3 files that are in MP3 format.

  10. #10
    FFNC Site AdminHondaSUV Elder Racoon's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phungi
    i believe we are talking about the same beast... MP3 files "burned to a CD" are essentially AIFF files. This does not appear to be the case of a stock deck playing a disc of MP3 files that are in MP3 format.
    My point exactly, although you put it better.

    The Racoon

    White Diamond Pearl 2014 CR-V EX AWD (Gen 4)

    Accessories: splash guards, body side molding, moonroof visor, Weathertech Window Deflectors, Weathertech floor mats, Weathertech cargo tray

    Milano Pink 1999 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 1.5) - SOLD at 127,997 miles
    Silver Moss Metallic 2006 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 2.5) - SOLD at 86,647 miles

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