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Time for a Car Audio upgrade

8 June 2011 5 Comments

The “best” car audio system is not necessarily the loudest one, or the most expensive one. It’s the one that best meets your needs. We have put together a small article to help you figure out if its time to upgrade your standard car audio setup.

So you need to ask yourself a few questions.
How does the sound of your current system make you feel? Do you find yourself tapping your foot or drumming your fingers on the steering wheel? Does a banging track get you smiling? Does a female’s vocal session get your heart pumping?

If you answer is no, then do you find your setup dull and tinny? If you answer is yes then that setup needs an upgrade.

So what are your options?
Replacing the old with new:
New speakers improve the entire range of your car audio setup, from deeper bass to more well-defined highs. New speakers are pretty easy to install and usually more affordable than replacing the receiver. Your factory installed car speakers are made of lightweight paper to keep the production costs at a minimal. These cheap speakers also tend to distort and wear down a lot faster than your aftermarket type speakers available in shops these days, so even if your speakers sounded good when you bought the car, the quality will most definitely change over time.

Does your music need a little more energy?
You need to give your speakers more power. An amplifier increases the volume of your system without distorting it, so you’ll have no trouble hearing your tunes with the windows down and the sunroof open. Amplifiers also give your music life by bringing out musical details and clarity, resulting in better sound quality at all volume levels which at the end of the day gives your car life.


Do you want to feel the bass?
If you like your sound, but want some added depth, a subwoofer is a great addition to any system. by adding a subwoofer driven by an appropriate amplifier, for instance, will fill in the low notes that small full-range speakers aren’t designed to hit, giving you a much better overall sound. You can choose from component subs to customise your sound or preloaded enclosures for easy installation.

If you want a sub, but are concerned about how much space it might take up in your car, then you might want a vehicle-specific subwoofer enclosure. They mount in your cargo area or under a seat, so you don’t lose much storage space. You definitely cant go wrong with a subwoofer banging in you boot on a Friday afternoon on your way home from work.

What kind of tunes do you bang?
Think about what kind of music you play in your car, and especially how you listen to your music. If you like it loud and heavy, you’re going to want outboard amplifiers and a subwoofer or two for sure. Is soft classy jazz music your style? A new receiver should provide plenty of RMS wattage to full-range speakers — though you would certainly still benefit from the low-frequency output of a subwoofer.


  • Ty said:

    Nice Blair, perfect for the beginner sound enthu. Any chance of getting write up done on the more advanced stuff, like, door lining, wooden spacers, Gauge kits, caps, etc?
    I just started messing around in the SQ scene and now that the bug has bit me, I have been looking all over for info on both the best DIY methods as well as the best installers, you know, all the nitty gritty things you should know.
    So any sound installers out there, how about a write up to let us none-know-it-alls in on the tips and tricks?


    Blair Reply:

    Hey Ty, thanks for the kind words, will do some more audio blogs in the future.


    Joshua Reply:

    Wasup TY… I am in the SPL scene. There is loads and loads of information that people can give you. You should come to a sound off and speak to the guys there. Most of them are very helpful. Its a nice hobby but it can be very expensive too.

    Some guys have pure SPL setups.. These are setups which you cannot use everyday. Then you get guys like me that has a setup for SPL and everyday. Its a 2 in 1. Then you get guys in the S.Q league. I dont have much knowledge on how they judge S.Q

    My personal best was 147.2 dB’s with a Tazz. One sub and one amp. That was with my brothers car. Build the setup from scratch. (@ 52Hz)

    My personal best with my golf mk3 was 145.9dB spl and 142.03dB Bassbox (open door). 2 x 3500w star sound dvc subwoofers, 1x 9000w ice power amp. 1 battery.

    If you really want some more information on SPL feel free too email me. I am no guru, still learning but who knows maybe I can help you.


    gerhard Reply:

    hi i bought a “Jensen” touch screen setup from my friend in the ligyting and sound industry and paln to take it tommorrow to a sound place and have it installes for my wife in her Honda crv only i have no idea what speakers and woofers? and whatever to go with it the set from my friend cost R3000 he said his cost was R6500
    so im stil lprepared to spend in addition another R5000 for speaker woofers etc the car has two tweeters in front and th eusual speakers which will need replace

    what the hell do i buy help? gerhard


    Blair Reply:

    Hi Gerhard are you looking for a quality sound system of a powerful setup for lots of bass?
    If you are looking for quality we can hook you up with Reference audio components at cost to us. RA is a very well balanced brand and the prices are very competitive.


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