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Understanding Ohms and Why They Matter in Your Car Audio System

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 28, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amp, amplifier, electrical, ohms, resistance, subwoofers, wires, wiring
We’ve all seen the word ohm, or the symbol Ω, when shopping for speakers and amplifiers. But what exactly does it mean, and why does it matter? Ohms represent impedance on the audio signal from your amplifier to your speakers. So the lower the impedance, the more signal can travel from the amp to the speaker. To give a visual explanation, think of the speaker as a pipe, the audio signal as water and the amplifier as the pump. The wider the pipe, the less impedance there is for the water to move through it. Balance of Power The reason this is important for your car audio system is because you want to make sure that speakers and amplifier can handle each other’s power, and the ohm load matches correctly. If your amplifier is more powerful than your speakers, you can burn out your speakers. Conversely, if your speakers have a lower impedance than the rating your amplifier, the amplifier will end up working too hard, and either burn out or shut down in protection mode, to avoid burning out. Many lower quality amplifiers do not have protection circuitry, and could potentially cause a fire in the event of too low of an ohm load, so always make sure you purchase a quality, name brand product. Either way, it hurts your audio system, and could potentially be dangerous. If you want to run two Alpine SWR-12D2 subwoofers in your car, then you will want to find an amplifier that meets its overall 2-ohm rating, since these woofers are dual 2 ohm voicecoils. The JL Audio RD1000/1d Mono Amplifier would be a perfect match, or if you want to run just one Alpine SWR12D4 woofer, the Alpine MRV-M500 Mono Amplifier would be a great choice, as it will put out a solid 500 watts of RMS at 2 ohm. Wiring While this is pretty straight forward, it does get complicated when dealing with a multiple speaker system and the variety of different wiring options. Wiring speakers in series, which means one speaker is wired from its negative to the other speaker’s positive, the impedance is doubled – so two 2-ohm speakers wired in series have a total impedance of 4 ohms. However, if the speakers are wired in parallel, meaning they are wired positive to positive and negative to negative, then the total impedance becomes the impedance of one speaker divided by the number of speakers. Two 2-ohm speakers wired in parallel end up with a total impedance of 1 ohm. Because of these variables, it is important to have an experienced professional install your new amplifier and speaker system. Our professional installation technicians will install your system to optimize sound quality and prolong the life of your equipment. Many times, ohm’s law gets confusing for people, and 1 ohm is very close to a potential dead short, which could always cause electrical issues, so it’s best to keep the overall ohm load at 2 ohms or above. Audio Express For more information, stop by one of our convenient Audio Express locations, and talk to one of our trained car audio professionals. If you want to know more without leaving the house, you can always Ask Liu. And remember: We offer the lowest install prices available.
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Audio Express 5 Things to Know About Speakers

5 Things You Should Know about Car Speaker Installation

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 4, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amplifier, Audio Express, coaxial, component, sound, speakers
Are you not getting the sound out of your car stereo that you had hoped? Bass not thumping the way you’d like? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your speakers. Here are some important things to consider before installing new speakers. Power If you’re keeping your factory stereo, you may want to consider an external amplifier in addition to new speakers. Most factory stereos don’t offer much power; without an external amplifier, upgrading speakers will give you a little better sound. But for more volume and clarity, more power is necessary and an amplifier will get the job done. If you’ve already upgraded your stereo, look at the user manual that came with it to discover its output. Depending on the receiver, it is likely to have enough power for your new speakers, but higher end speakers an component sets will always perform better with more power than what an aftermarket stereo provides. Sound Range Which sound range is most important to you? If you want more low-end bass, then it might be a good idea to add a subwoofer to your speaker system. The right subwoofer will provide a great amount of low range sound as you listen to your favorite songs. It’s not all about the “thump;” even high end home audio systems always have a subwoofer to give the complete range of sound. If you’re looking for more of the high level, consider a pair of imaging tweeters to increase the high range quality and sound stage. Then again, a great speaker system utilizes a perfect combination of high-, mid- and low-range capabilities, so adding or upgrading your tweeters and subwoofer at the same time as upgrading your mid-range speakers will help you achieve the best sound possible. Speaker System Most speakers fall into two types of systems: component and coaxial. Component is a combination of high-, mid- and/or low-range specific speakers as mentioned above. Coaxial speakers are designed to handle the full spectrum of sound ranges. They are cheaper and easier to install, but pale in comparison to the sound staging and imaging of a component speaker system. Speaker Size Every vehicle is designed with preset speaker sizes, as speakers typically are hidden in your door’s kick panel or other areas to provide the best sound in the safest location. Our Car Audio Professionals can help you determine which speakers will fit your car. Just because a speaker is 6 inches x 9 inches doesn’t mean it will fit your car’s 6” x 9” location. Other factors like speaker depth, basket size or tweeter height can change the fit. Best option is to consult a professional to make sure you get the best fit for your vehicle. Get the Job Done Right at Audio Express Installing new speakers, especially component speakers, can be a tricky job. There are many things to consider, from wiring, to tweeter placement and the best acoustic for your specific vehicle. At Audio Express, our experienced Car Audio Professionals offer installation at the lowest rates available, so stop by one of our locations to talk about upgrading your speakers.
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Audio Express Amplifier

4 Things You Need to Know About Amps Before Buying

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 4, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amp, amplifier, Audio Express, power, speakers, subwoofer
Amplifiers can be a great addition to your car audio system. If you’re not getting the sound quality or volume you expected, or you want to add a subwoofer or two, the right amp will make a world of difference. As with anything else, there are always a few things to consider when shopping for an amp to add to your car audio system. Size and Location Where would you like the amplifier to be installed? You’ll need to be sure that it will fit. Most of the time, amps can easily be installed in the trunk of your car, where it’s hidden from prying eyes. If you drive a truck or SUV, hiding your amp can be a little trickier. However, these days, many manufacturers make smaller footprint amps to fit in today’s tight spaces Power Power is important for a solid clean sound. But, many cheap brands will show misleading power ratings to attempt to fool people into thinking an amplifier produces more than it does. Every amplifier will have a “peak power” rating, but there will also be a “RMS power” rating, typically somewhere on the box in small print. This is the actual power you can expect to continuously see from the amp. To be safe, you’ll usually want more power from your amp than your speakers are rated for. This way you don’t overheat or clip the amp, as speakers are designed to perform best with more power available. You’re likely to damage you speakers if you don’t have enough power, due to overworking them and burning the voice coil. For example, if you’re running your amp to a Kicker sub rated at 300 watts, then a Kicker Amp with 600 watts of power would be a good amp to use, as you can always turn the amp down, and the extra power is there if you want to add a second subwoofer. Wiring Getting the right wiring kit is another very important part of getting an amplifier. You want to make sure to get a kit that is made of oxygen-free copper (OFC), versus copper clad aluminum (CCA),as this will provide a better flow of power from your battery to your amp. Also, watch the wire gauge – 8 gauge is great for smaller, lower power amplifiers, but for more powerful amps, go with 4 gauge or bigger. Again, it’s about the best flow of power from battery to amp, if you’re not getting the current power properly flowing thru the wire, you aren’t getting you true available wattage. Also, the longer the wire, the more current lost, so the biggest gauge rating is always better. Channels Are you going to have this amplifier power subwoofers or your speaker system? If you’re looking to power a subwoofer, then a more powerful mono or two-channel amplifier like the Kenwood Excelon XR1000 would work beautifully. But if you want to power your car’s speakers, then a Jensen Power400X4 4-Channel Amplifier can easily handle the job. Another option is a five-channel amplifier that can power your speakers and a subwoofer, like the Alpine MRV-V500. Audio Express Whatever your custom car audio needs are, stop by any of our Audio Express locations and talk to one of our trained Car Audio Professionals about the best amplifier setup for your car. We’ll get you set up with the best package and install your new amplifier with the lowest rates available. 
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Audio Express Tips for Buying an Amplifier

The 8 Best Insider Tips for Buying Car Amplifiers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 13, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amplifier, car, quality, sound system, speakers, stereo, subwoofer, truck
The process of shopping for car audio amplifiers can be one of confusion and frustration. The uninformed will hear lots of big numbers and strange terms; even the informed can find themselves occasionally bewildered by the range of options available.   To help both types of consumers, we humbly offer some helpful hints. Go Big It’s not necessarily wrong to look for big numbers with regards to output for a car audio amplifier. However, many brands try to hide the real power of the amplifier behind big claims, so you’ll always want to look for the RMS power rating. This is the continuous power rating, showing what you can really expect wattage wise from the amp. Know Your Power You can take the specs for an amplifier and check to make sure it really does put out what it claims it does with a simple formula: P=vce, where P is the total power output, v is the voltage of your car battery, c is the current draw for the amp, and e is the efficiency constant. If you plug in those numbers and the result is 5 percent less than what’s advertised or greater, pass on it. Count Your Channels Each speaker is a channel, and that includes the subwoofer.  If you’ve got four speakers and a sub, don’t get a monoblock (one-channel) amp. Amplifiers for cars should, ideally, have the same number of channels as there are speakers. You can run multiple subwoofers off a mono block amp, since they run on the same frequency setting, but if looking for one amplifier to drive multiple size speakers, either a four or five channel amp is needed, or multiple amplifiers. Make Sure You’ve Got Spare Power Amps create a power budget for the speakers. Make sure that each speaker has a surplus. Underpowered speakers are far more susceptible to damage than overpowered speakers, due to the heat created by working a speaker at less wattage than needed. Mount It Right When having a car amplifier installation professionally done, think about where you want the amplifier placed. Ideally, you want to keep it as close to the battery as possible, to shorten the amount of wiring needed to power it. Installing an amp under a seat is normally ok, but can cause an amp to run hotter than normal, so sometimes the trunk is the only option. Just remember, the farther the amp from the battery, the bigger gauge wire you should use for best current conduction. Many of today’s newer vehicles place the battery in the back, making the connection a shorter distance and allowing better power flow. Add Extra Power Sources Car stereo amplifiers, along with other components, can be a major drain on a car’s battery. If you’re driving down the road with thumping bass going and the headlights are flickering in time with the beats, there’s too much power going out. Consider a secondary battery or capacitor, and also upgrading your existing wiring with the “Big three” upgrade. The Right Wires The best car amplifier should have the best wiring possible to ensure the highest possible performance. Look for Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) wires as opposed to Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA). OFC types conduct electricity far better, giving you the wattage you bought, and also doesn’t heat up the wire as much. Also, upgrading the Big-3 (The wire from the alternator to the battery, from the battery to the body ground, and the engine grounding wire to the battery.) will give your charging system much better performance. Guaranteed Products It should go without saying, but always check the manufacturer’s warranty and make sure that the shop doing the installation is an authorized dealer for the amplifier and any other components you might be using. There are many “grey market” products out there, resulting in voided warranties thru the manufacturer when bought from a non-authorized dealer. Audio Express These are just the basics to keep in mind for when you go to buy a car audio amplifier. Get in touch with the staff at Audio Express and become a more educated consumer today.
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Bridging an Amplifier

Bridging an Amplifier

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On November 9, 2016
  • 0 Comments
Bridging an Amplifier Bridging an amplifier involves taking the power of two channels and turning it into a single channel. Sometimes you can more than double the available power. Bridging is a popular way to drive subwoofers. What you are really doing is combining the power of two separate amplifiers enclosed in one case. Often it is less expensive to use a two channel amplifier than it is to by a mono amp producing the same power. Just be very certain you know what you are buying and understand what is happening. Check for certain that your amp is bridgeable. Your sales representative or installer will know, or the owner’s manual will have directions. Amps from different manufactures are different, but usually it involves connecting the speaker leads to the positive terminal of one channel and the negative terminal of the other channel. Be sure you have enough load to keep the amp from overheating. Our professional team has a lot of experience in installing and bridging an amplifier and knowing based on the equipment and design of your system when it is advisable and when it is not.
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What is a 4 channel amp

What is a 4 Channel Amp

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On June 20, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a 4 Channel Amp What is a 4 channel amp? Simply put, a 4 channel amp puts out equal power in four separate channels. At its most basic, a 4 channel amp can be used to power two pairs of full-range speakers. A 4 channel amp starts to show their versatility when they are bridged. This involves combining the power from two of the channels into a single channel. Many 4 channel amplifier are bridgeable to three or even two channels. In a 3-channel configuration, you have power for a subwoofer from the bridged channels and two channels remaining to power a pair of speakers. Bridged down to two channels, the amp will provide power to two subwoofers, or a single dual-voice-coil subwoofer. Why do you want one? The difference even a small amplifier makes compared to what is often referred to as “deck power” from a factory radio can be amazing, especially when you upgrade from your OEM speakers. An un-bridged 4 channel amplifier gives you a great deal of control over the balance and fade of your speakers. It also provides more punch for the mid-bass sound. Bridging often produces more power than the simple sum of the two channels for a woofer. Here’s a word about bridging: it can be tricky. Not all amplifiers are built to be bridged, and not all bridgeable amps go about it exactly the same way. When you bridge an amp you change the impedance. There is a danger of damaging the amp, speakers or both. Check the owner’s manual before you start, and if it still looks puzzling, get expert help. Our staff at Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound will be glad to show you which amp you need, and our professional installers are experts and amplifier installation and will install it at the guaranteed lowest installed price in town.
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