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Alpine PDX-F6 Review (4 channel Car Amplifier)

Jdunk54nl

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There are A LOT of integration products now available on the market for these reasons. Pac, Metra, Navtv, etc. Makes it plug and play with no cutting/splicing required in most cases. Most intercept the signals from the head unit and send super clean and flat signals to whatever aftermarket stuff you want.
Sad to witness this cottage industry (as with many others; like VHS rentals @Blockbusters) shriveling up and going away.
I must have owned about 14 new cars, 13 of them had their 'radio' systems de-gutted and upgraded to sound instead like 'audio' systems.
In the fourteenth one (2-Din head-unit on a '06 Goat), was so well integrated into the rest of the vehicle's electronics (including steering-wheel controls and funky amps hidden in weird places, etc.) that I decided to leave its 'radio' system as much OEM as possible (except; by adding an Aux input patch to the head-unit PCB).
The integration of the automotive audio-systems have become so complex and so well integrated w/i the vehicle electronics that even the simple task of swapping power-amps is near impossible for vehicles made in the 2020s!
RIP!
 

Jdunk54nl

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Also, here are the specs from alpine: https://www.alpine-electronics.co.za/p/Products/SingleView/pdx-f6
pdx-f6 specs.png
 

jannek

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It's just a little more challengeing.
At many modern cars it's possible to grab the audio signal in digital domain from the MOST bus. This is a proper solution at least for DAB radio, CD or playing files from a hard disk. A less optimal solution is grabbing the high level signal, feeding it into a DSP, correct factory equalizing and time correction (if existing) and after applying one's own eq and time correction passing it to aftermarket amps.
And - a third way: Use a raspberry Pi as a source running headless, passing audio via USB to the DSP and being controlled by your smartphone. HighEnd.
 

pseudoid

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There are A LOT of integration products now available on the market for these reasons. Pac, Metra, Navtv, etc. Makes it plug and play with no cutting/splicing required in most cases. Most intercept the signals from the head unit and send super clean and flat signals to whatever aftermarket stuff you want.
I just gave up! There has always been 'integration" products on the market for decades but I started feeling like I was merely putting band-aids on a patch of skin cancer....
Wasn't it Crutchfield that made this niche market easier too navigate?
Or was it this niche market that made Crutchfield a watering-hole for DIYers?
 
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jlesterp

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ST has a collaboration with Alpine for their class-d FDA lineup which uses PFFB.


1639075577199.png
 

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capslock

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Well, the FDA801 has a very incomplete "data brief" dated 2015 and a new flyer from this year, no proper data sheet, no distortion data. Seems to be newly introduced. Not what Alpine would have designed in 10 years ago.
 

JRS

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Glad to see one of the best recent car audio amplifiers tested, proving that there is car audio beyond power levels and boomy subwoofers.
If a PDX F6 cannot be found, an Eton Mini 150.4 is a proper alternative still available. I don't know how common Eton is in north America, but this would definitely be worth a test (as well as the Eton Core A2 as a high end class AB design).
My experience, some 15 to 20 years ago was that Alpine and Soundstream were very, very capable product lines--so good they were worthy of home use with a very good 12V supply, or even a car battery. For a long time, it was also about the only place to get reasonably priced DSP products aimed at bi- and tri-amping speakers. The home market was deaf to the need apart from DEQX and TacT which are kilobuck products and out of reach of most. Sinnce that time things have improved somewhat what with miniDSP etc. . Audiocontrol also makes good products for the car, and at least back in the day, higher end driver sets from Dynaudio, Morel, Focal and Infinity were commonly used. Folks who haven't heard a really high end car system might well be shocked at how well properly engineered car audio can reproduce music.
 

nick-v

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Pretty impressive performance! I had a pair of Alpine PDX amps (PDX 4.150/ PDX 1.1000) years ago driving some very decent Infinity Kappa 60.7cs mid/tweet components with an Alpine CDA-9887 head unit (which was a known SQ head unit with high quality DACs) in a little Land Rover Freelander SUV. Very decent system. I had done all 4 doors with dynamat.
 

ShiZo

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Hope the new model is just as good. This one was not available.
 

KxDx

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Sad to witness this cottage industry (as with many others; like VHS rentals @Blockbusters) shriveling up and going away.
I must have owned about 14 new cars, 13 of them had their 'radio' systems de-gutted and upgraded to sound instead like 'audio' systems.
In the fourteenth one (2-Din head-unit on a '06 Goat), was so well integrated into the rest of the vehicle's electronics (including steering-wheel controls and funky amps hidden in weird places, etc.) that I decided to leave its 'radio' system as much OEM as possible (except; by adding an Aux input patch to the head-unit PCB).
The integration of the automotive audio-systems have become so complex and so well integrated w/i the vehicle electronics that even the simple task of swapping power-amps is near impossible for vehicles made in the 2020s!
RIP!
I've seen cars in which the HVAC and other critical systems would be dud if the "radio" went kaput. Probably cost more to replace the head unit than the engine. :facepalm:
 

gags11

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Wow... This brings some good memories and resentment since I sold the car. I had this Amp and Focal performance speakers installed in my late 2013 4Runner. What a car.... The audio upgrade was not too shabby either. I found an old Fuzzmeasure measurement I had done during install.

4runner audio measure.png

F6A7AEE1-5CB6-4B6A-8E35-4FB62B1010B4.jpeg
 

pseudoid

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Wow... This brings some good memories and resentment since I sold the car. I had this Amp and Focal performance speakers installed in my late 2013 4Runner. What a car.... The audio upgrade was not too shabby either. I found an old Fuzzmeasure measurement I had done during install.
It sounds like you are speaking of that 4Runner in the past-tense. 4Rnr is a classic if not on the way to becoming a cult car.
Should have been a 'keepuh"!
 

Xyrium

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I always loved Alpine stuff. Man, this car audio stuff keeps bringing me back.

Yep, pigtail RCA connectors...just awesome stuff...

IMG_1495.JPG
 

Head_Unit

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This is clearly class D and there seems to be quite a bit of post filter feedback. Any idea what technology was used?
Yes there is, a friend worked on this once upon a time. I'm not sure what you mean by "what technology was used" - ???
 

capslock

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Yes there is, a friend worked on this once upon a time. I'm not sure what you mean by "what technology was used" - ???
As in self-oscillating of the Hypex or IRF flavors, sawtooth, digital to 1 bit (aka Purepath), ...

Or what control chip is used.
 

Head_Unit

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As in self-oscillating of the Hypex or IRF flavors, sawtooth, digital to 1 bit (aka Purepath), ...Or what control chip is used.
Oh that's been too long, that I don't remember. And by this generation quite possibly not the same. But he was the first on that I heard of extending the feedback loop out past the output filter. (Someone else may have done it first and I'm just unaware)
 

capslock

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What happened with the power vs. distortion graph for various freuquencies that shows -75 dB THD+N at 5 W and maybe -77 at 15 W? It should sit at roughly -88 dB in line with the SINAD. This is true for other amps. e.g. Boxem ARTHUR with -90 dB at 5 W (again not the full 96 dB SINAD at 5 W, but it nearly gets there for > 20 W.
 

DJ_Ohms

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Hello,
Is it possible to review some of class A/B amplifiers?
These are a bit somewhere (in the middle..) like a good (top) quality reproduction of sound(!) but not so much trusted by "audiophiles" for what these amplifiers are actually shows on paper.

...I have two of these: one of unknown manufacturer.. , the other one is a Helix B4 Precision, made by Brax, 800$ when new. Of course I do not expect to have this one on your list..

For home, I am very curious what REAL test results will be for something like Technics SU-700MK3. Another class A/B amplifier.

Thank you.
 
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