Don’t Skimp on your Amplifiers

Every automotive sound system has an amplifier of some type, but the majority of them are not external. The vast majority of these amps are built into head units, and they generally are not much to write home about. If you’ve ever cranked up the volume on the stereo and noticed a great deal of distortion, among the main culprits is the under-powered, built-in amp. The power handling features of your speakers also are involved, but a good amp can do wonders in a stock situation.

If you’re trying to update an existing amp or install a brand new one, there are a few different factors to pay close attention to. Three of the main items to look at are:

  • Channels
  • Power
  • System compatibility

What is the Ideal Number of Channels?

Amplifiers are available in a number of different configurations, and the right number of channels will depend on just how many speakers you have on your sound system. In general, you’ll need one channel for each speaker which you want to amplify. If you’re incorporating a subwoofer into an existing system, then one channel amplifier will get the job done just fine. There are even mono amplifiers using a “class D” rating which are specifically designed to use less electricity and put less heat when amplifying subwoofers.

A 2-channel amp can be used to power two woofers, two coaxial speakers, or you can connect it to conduct a single sub.

Use it to power two sets of coaxial speakers. If you only want to add a subwoofer and provide more energy to your rear complete range speakers, then a 4-channel amp will probably do the job. In that case, you can run each complete range speaker off its own channel and then bridge the other two to power the sub.

On the other hand, you may power all of four coaxial speakers off precisely the same amp and then install another mono amp for the subwoofer.

Component systems can be complicated, and you may wind up needing more than one amplifier, external crossovers, along with other components.

Need more POWER

If you would like to get the best sound out of your car stereo, it is vital that you don’t underpower your speakers. That’s why a great deal of individuals pick out speakers and then find an amp that’s enough juice to power them. If you’re only working together with your factory speakers, then you’ll still want to find the RMS value choose an amp that’s capable of setting out at least 75 to 150 percent of the number.

Power is also an issue if you are looking to run a sub off precisely the exact same amp that you’re using to drive your speakers. Bridging two channels of a multi-channel amp may provide enough power to operate a sub, but it isn’t perfect in each situation. If the amp can’t fit your particular subwoofer’s power demands, then you’re better off looking for a separate mono amplifier that’s capable of doing the job correctly.

Head Unit and Amplifier Compatibility

If you are building a car audio system in the ground up, then there is no question about it : buy a headset unit that has preamp outputs and a amplifier which has line level input signal.

By supplying an unamplified signal to your amplifier, you’ll wind up with the clearest sound possible.

Most factory head units, and a great deal of aftermarket units don’t have preamp outputs. If you are working with an existing head unit which falls into that category, then you will need to look for an amp that has speaker level input signal. This will still result in better audio than you would get without the external amp, and it’ll save you from having to mess around with extra adapters or wiring.

Installing and wiring that an amplifier isn’t rocket science, but you might want to give a thought to the place and the way you can route the wires even though you’re still buying unit.

Because most cars don’t come with amps in the mill, you’re going to need to find someplace to match the newest hardware. Bearing that in mind, it can simplify things if you take some measurements before you buy an amp.

Some popular installation locations include:

  • Under among those seats
  • From the trunk
  • Against the passenger-side firewall

You should check the dimensions of these spaces ahead of time, to save yourself a lot of grief down the line. The same holds for installing part speakers and subwoofers, which generally won’t have been accounted for in the plan of your car or truck.

Also remember you will want to give power to your amp, which means you are going to have to run extra wires.

Let’s talk Subwoofers

When most people today consider car subwoofers, they think about bone-shaking bass.  There is a lot more to a subwoofer than just shaking the windows at almost any car that pulls up alongside you at a stoplight. Low-frequency sounds really are a huge portion of every type of music, so the precision of any sound system actually hinges on its ability to reach the low notes as far as the high ones.

Some kinds of music will profit from a fantastic subwoofer more than others, but adding in some quality bass can enhance any automobile stereo.

Whether you’re thinking about adding a subwoofer into an existing automobile speaker setup or looking at building something from the ground up, then there are a number of crucial factors that you’ll have to think about. A number of the most important items to consider include:

  • Magnitude
  • Enclosure
  • Electricity
  • Sensitivity
  • Impedance

Subwoofer Size Does Matter

The size of the subwoofer is just one of the main factors that determine how loud and low it can go. As a general guideline, bigger subs produce better bass, so keep this in mind while searching for the perfect unit. Space is also a concern in automotive sound systems, however, so it’s vital to take dimensions before you start shopping. If you’re looking for the boldest bass you can purchase, then you’ll want to go for the biggest sub that’ll fit in the available space.

Trapping the Audio in A Sub Enclosure

While the size of this sub is vital, the sort of enclosure you pick may have a much bigger effect. The enclosure, which is usually known as a box, is exactly that: a box which includes the subwoofer. The 3 main types of enclosures are:

  • sealed
  • ported
  • bandpass

If you’d like bass that’s incredibly deep and doesn’t sound like your own sub is farting, then you should go to get a sealed enclosure. Sometimes, a bigger sub in a great, sealed enclosure can produce deeper bass than a larger sub in an open enclosure. This type of enclosure is excellent for tight, accurate bass that won’t necessarily shake your fillings loose.

Ported and bandpass enclosures typically offer bass which isn’t as heavy. If you hear music which demands really loud bass, and you also don’t care that much about precision, then you are going to want to look at one of these enclosures.

The other solution is to pick a subwoofer that is specifically designed to work without an enclosure. These subs are generally mounted to a board that is installed inside a trunk. The back itself has to be somewhat sterile because it functions as the enclosure.

The Issues of Power, Sensitivity, Frequency and Impedance

While the size of the subwoofer and type of enclosure are significant, the stats that you really need to pay attention to are the RMS value, SPL, frequency range, and ohms. The power level refers to the power handling characteristics of the sub, therefore a higher RMS value means bass.

A top RMS value is futile without anything to power it, however, so it is essential to have a head unit or amplifier that matches (or rather surpasses) that the RMS of the sub.

Sensitivity, which can be expressed as a sound pressure level (SPL) number, describes how much electricity the sub needs to create a specified volume. Subs who have high SPL ratings do not need as much capacity to create high volumes as subs which have reduced SPL ratings. This means you are going to want a sub with a high sensitivity if your amp or head unit is underpowered.

Frequency refers to the range of sounds that the sub can create, so you will want to search for a unit on the low end of this scale.

However, the actual sound you escape your sub will depend a lot on the kind of enclosure you decide on. Considering that the enclosure can modulate the noises which actually reach your ears, the frequency numbers of the sub might not accurately reflect its real-world performance.

In order to get the most from your amp and sub, it’s also very important to match impedance. This figure is expressed in ohms, and it pertains to the electrical resistance of this sub. Impedance is pretty straightforward, but it can get complicated depending on the way the sub is wired, or when it’s multiple voice coils.