Category Archives: Custom Car Audio

Check out some custom car sound systems from Riverside!

Here are some Sound Systems from the Riverside area. If you have one you’d like to show off please contact us!

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.

Newbie’s Guide to Car Audio Systems

If you are a entire new to the area of custom car audio systems, then there is only one thing which you need to be conscious of.

It is not some formula that is used to figure speaker placements or power amounts. It is not actually a hot tip on where to have the lowest prices on sound equipment.

The most essential point to keep in mind is that your automobile stereo likely does not sound as great as you may think it will. And that is not a judgmental statement. The simple fact is that the audio system is among those areas that OEMs virtually universally fail in the name of greater profits, and the majority of individuals do not even recognize what they are missing.

In case a car stereo seems fine to enough people, then that is all of the OEMs are usually searching for. Even factory-installed “premium audio systems” are not up to snuff.

Just how do you tell if your run of the mill sound requires just a little love?

Go sit in your vehicle, shut the doors, crank the windows up and listen to the songs.  You are listening for a few different items, and you do not need to be a professional audiophile to pick them up.

If the music sounds distorted when the volume is up really high, then that can be fixed.  If you end up turning up the treble because of a lack of clarity, then that is something which an update can fix.   On the flip side, if you end up turning the bass up to have the bass seem hollow or empty, then that is also something that an update can fix.

So where can you begin? There are many different ways to get get started upgrading a factory sound system, so here are a couple of questions that can help put you on the ideal path:

How significant is the budget? Have you got a lot of cash to spend on updates? Do you wish to increase your audio whilst maintaining your factory outlets?  Can you rather ditch the factory outlets and begin fresh? How significant is bass? Would you enjoy listening to loud music?

You could be amazed by how the simple act of considering these five questions will put you on the path to building a fantastic vehicle audio system.

Car Stereo Upgrades with a Budget

The excellent thing about auto audio is that there is no wrong or right way to start it, and also the very best thing about factory audio systems is that virtually any part you substitute will probably represent at least a marked improvement.  You may even replace parts one at a time, as your budget allows, and you will have a totally custom auto sound system.

If you’re going the piecemeal, budget-conscious path, then it is a fantastic idea to plan a road map for whatever you would like your completed system to look like. Should you do so, then you are going to wind up with parts that work very well together.

A good start for budget-conscious novices to begin is your speakers. Factory speakers are generally pretty anemic, so you could notice a fairly major improvement in your audio simply by replacing your speakers.

Component speakers provide better audio, but that is a more complex update that is better paired with a brand-new automobile stereo.

Should you choose to drop in brand new speakers, then it is a fantastic idea to be certain they will work together with your current headset. And if you’re planning on updating the head unit at the long run, you will want to take into account too.

Factory Stereo Updates

Everybody has different views on car sound. In any scenario, there are a range of approaches to enhance a factory sound system without even touching the head unit.

The very first step would be to ditch the factory speakers and then replace them with units that are premium. That alone will generally lead to a massive improvement over the mill noise.

If you are prepared to carry it to a different level, you may wish to look at installing an amplifier which uses speaker level input signal.

That may sound like a great deal of crap, but it essentially means that the amplifier will have the ability to sit down on your factory head unit along with your speakers and permit you to turn up your music with no distortion.

When you include a couple of amplifiers, you have the choice of including a subwoofer. This will give you richer bass, however, you may also add an electronic audio chip to enhance the audio from all your speakers.

Constructing a Stereo System

If you do not enjoy your factory stereo then you likely need to start off with a fresh slate.  However, the sheer variety of alternatives out there may be paralyzing. If you are building a machine from the bottom up, then you can begin with the speakers or your headset.

In any event, you’re going to want to wind up with a head unit that’s capable of completely powering speakers.  You might even go with a head unit which has preamp outputs along with a amplifier that is capable of completely powering speakers.

There are a whole lot of choices if you build a car stereo system from the bottom up, thus a great deal of novices shy away from this type of extreme change.

If you truly need to dive into, you may want to begin with considering the kinds of attributes you need from your automobile stereo, which may help you discover the ideal headset. You will also need to decide on if you are likely to use whole selection or speakers.

More Bass

If the one thing you are actually missing is bass, then you’re going to want to bring a subwoofer in your factory system.  Powered subwoofers are more straightforward, but including an amplifier and a subwoofer provides you additional flexibility.

These components combine an amp plus a subwoofer into a single unit, therefore there isn’t any guesswork, and they may be hooked up to some factory or aftermarket headset.

Cranking it Up

If you are worried about volume, an amplifier is what you want add to your system. You are probably going to want an amplifier with speaker level inputs in case you are leaving the factory stereo set up, but a few superior factory head units include line level outputs.

When you put in a strong amplifier to some factory audio system, it’s simple to overpower speakers.

Keep in Mind Resale Value of your Car

If you are concerned about the resale value of your vehicle, or even when you’re leasing the automobile, there are a couple of actions that you can take to ensure nothing has messed up.

The main consideration to search for is a wiring harness that is specifically made for your automobile. This harness will plug into the factory wiring, which means you won’t need to cut into some of the cables in your vehicle stereo system.

A few of those wiring harnesses are designed to plug directly to a head unit, so there is no wiring involved in any way.