Help getting a Amplifier


I need to purchase a amplifier for my speakers, but don’t know what to look for or how much I should spend. Let me explain what I am trying to accomplish, I have a set of speakers outside by my pool. They are made to look like rocks and fit in very well with there surroundings. I want to be able to play music from my PC on them, I know I need a amplifier to boost the signal from the computer. Now I know that the speakers are either 100W or 50W each. The distance the wires would need to travel would be between 100-175 feet. I went to six avenue electronics and the guy told me I would need a $800 amplifier, this sounds like a rip-off :rolleyes:. Can someone give me some guidance as to what type of amplifier I would need, and maybe a good location to buy it. Not going back to Sixth Avenue again :a . Thank you for the help.

It would be worth looking for a shop that deals with music equipment (e.g. amplified guitars, music recording eqipment, etc.) as some of those stores would have small PA amplifiers that would certainly not cost that much. Some electronics stores also carry PA amplifiers. This one (Irish shop priced at €86) gives an idea of what would work. The sound quality would not be as good as from a home theatre amplifier, but chances are that you’ll unlikely notice any minor distortion or background hiss outdoors.

If you don’t mind doing volume control, channel equalisation, etc. from your PC, a cheaper option would be to get a small in-car amplifier (e.g. 2-channel 100 watt), a 12 or 13.8 volt desktop power supply (preferrably with a 5+ amp rating) and a 3.5mm to 2x RCA audio cable. I was given 2 x 160 watt Hi-Fi speakers as a gift a while back and ran into the same issue, so I bought a 2nd hand in-car 440 watt amplifier for €50 and used a 13.8v 8amp CB transformer (typically sold for €40 at the time) and have been using this setup for the past 6 years. :slight_smile: The only thing I actually miss, which a regular amplifier would have is a volume knob.

If the amplifier is to stay in the house the transmission loss to the speakers would be too great.
Due to the distance the signal has to travel you will need some line transformers which boost the signal to 100 volt line, the corresponding transformer reverts to normal 4~15 ohm for loudspeakers at the other end. This system is used for PA systems everywhere so you should be able to buy them quite cheaply from a specialist store.

You have a couple more options to choose from other than running wires. Especially if you have a power outlet near the pool. Maybe going with a wireless setup is best and putting the amplifier closer to the speakers. Or you could put your music on an MP3 player and connect it to the amplifier located at the pool. Having the music source close to the pool would allow for easier access for programming etc. As for the amplifier, using the two options I listed, you could use a simple 100 wpc AM/FM receiver that can be found at most electronic stores for around $100. This receiver would also allow you to play radio stations in addition to recorded music. Heck, some wireless setups will allow you to send a video signal too so you could watch TV at the pool.