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Audio Express Tips for Buying a Subwoofer

Six Essential Factors to Consider Before Buying a Subwoofer

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 15, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, box, enclosure, installation, noise reduction, power handling, sound system, stereo, sub, subwoofer, wiring
Some consumers, when shopping for car audio components, will agonize over the best car subwoofer brands, comparing obscure points of construction and output for a speaker that many consider to be the key component of any good sound system. We’d like to help make that process a little less painful. Size Matters There are many different size options in picking a subwoofer. The most common used are 8”, 10”, or 12”. The size that you choose will directly correspond to what type of sound you are trying to produce. A smaller subwoofer will produce a tighter, richer sounding bass, while a larger one will be deeper and louder. This is also directly related to the type of vehicle it is being placed in. For instance, if it is in a trunk, you will need to use a larger woofer to create more bass to fill the entire car. However, if it is a hatchback vehicle or pickup truck, it will be easier to fill the vehicle with sound and may not be necessary to go as large. This also can be decided by the type of music the consumer prefers. Hip hop and dance music sound better on a larger woofer, whereas heavy metal music may sound cleaner on a little smaller one. The Price Tag Price can be a tricky subject when discussing subwoofers. There is a lot that goes into building a bass system. Looking for pre-packaged deals is almost always a winner here. Finding the right package for you at your budget is easily accomplished at Audio Express. Power Handling Power handling is very key in getting the most out of a subwoofer system. Every speaker has an optimal amount of power that it can receive. If this is matched up correctly with the amplifier being used, then the subwoofer will be able to perform at its peak. This means the system will not only have a more crisp sound, but it will also improve the life of the subwoofer. Enclosure In the majority of systems, the subwoofer will be placed into an enclosure. These are generally made of wood, and come in two different builds. The first is a sealed enclosure. This type of system is built for tighter sounding bass for things like rock music. The more popular system is a vented enclosure. This type of system is built to get the maximum output of a subwoofer. This is generally used in music with more bass, or in vehicles with a trunk to help produce deeper bass. Wiring When installing a subwoofer system, the wiring is crucial. A power kit for the amplifier running the speaker, and the speaker wire going from the amplifier to the speaker are both necessary. It is always recommended to use the best wiring to improve the life of the system and get optimal performance. It is recommended to use 100% pure oxygen free copper wire. The size of wire needed will be determined by how much power is needed to properly run the system. Noise Reduction It is also a great benefit to use a sound dampening material for the installation. This can be placed inside of a trunk, a hatch, a door, or even along the roof and the floor of a vehicle. With this type of material, two main goals can be achieved. The first is securing the sound inside of the vehicle. Most cars have a skin made from thin sheet metal. It is very easy for the sound waves to escape, therefore reducing the amount of bass in the vehicle. With sound dampening installed, it will reflect the sound waves back into the vehicle, therefore increasing the amount you will hear. The next is to reduce rattle. Those same sound waves running through the vehicle can cause that metal to vibrate. If lined with dampening material, it will increase the durability of the panel, and reduce the chances of a rattling vehicle. Audio Express Audio Express can help consumers make the best possible choices for their car audio installation without making it feel like a high-pressure sales pitch. Give us a call or come by today to check out what we’ve got.
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Avoid Blowing Your Speakers

Not Too Loud! How to Avoid Blowing Out Your Car Speakers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 14, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • audio, Audio Express, car, speaker, tips, tricks, truck
It’s a constant concern for those who invest in high-quality car speakers that, at some point, the speakers might blow out. Sometimes, especially if the speakers are old and dry-rotted, the passage of time can do that. Other times, it’s far more avoidable. In Your Grill While there are some speakers that have a cone-like cover sitting over the actual speaker cone, the most common covering for speakers is a grill cover. If this cover comes loose or falls off, particularly on door-mounted speakers, there’s a chance an errant foot could come in at the wrong angle and damage the speaker. It may technically be “kicked in” rather than “blown out,” but it’s non-functional either way. Gains And Losses It should firmly be fixed in the mind of anybody with an aftermarket car speaker installation that there is a difference between the gain on an amplifier and the volume control on the head unit. The latter turns up the sound coming through the speakers; the former turns up power going into the speakers. Too much power to the speakers causes audio clipping and distortion, which causes the speaker cones to stop suddenly then start back up. Much like sudden stops and starts will ruin a car’s brakes, audio clipping will quickly ruin speakers, resulting in a melted voice coil. Soft Music Keeping the gain down doesn’t mean the volume can be cranked all the way up and kept there without harmful effects. Volume should always be kept at a moderate level that lets you hear the music, but doesn’t necessarily cause the windows to rattle. We’re not saying that cranking it up for a favorite song once in a while is going to wreck the speakers, but moderation is key to getting maximum use and longevity out of them. Hey, you don’t drive at red line RPM’s all the time right? Sound Off What does a person do when they start up their morning drive mix and find their car speakers not working? It’s important to first figure out how they’re not working. If there’s no sound at all, turn up the volume for a few moments and listen to see if there’s truly nothing (indicating no power), or if there’s at least a little hum (indicating no signal). If there’s sound coming through, does it sound muted or distorted? Have any settings been changed on the amp or head unit? Does the head unit say anything like “check wiring” or “protect”? Audio Express Audio Express can certainly help out with these and other potential scenarios for speaker blowout, as well as educating consumers on how to avoid it in the future. Give us a call today and help preserve your speakers for tomorrow.
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Subwoofer Break-In Tips

Fact or Fiction: Do Car Subwoofers Have a Break-in Period?

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 9, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, break in, low frequency, speaker, subwoofer
It may seem counter-intuitive, but there really is something to the idea of “breaking in” a car subwoofer package right after it’s been installed. If you’re wondering exactly how best to go about that process, we’re here to give some tips. Limbering Up It helps to think of the breaking-in (or “running in,” as it’s sometimes known) process much like an athlete stretching before an event. By putting the speakers under a moderate load for extended periods for a few days, the initial stiffness of certain components, including the spider sitting under the diaphragm, can stretch out and be loosened up.  This allows the speakers to be able to deliver a clearer and more accurate sound reproduction, and helps them last longer. Just like a car engine, it’s best to break in a speaker slowly, playing at lower initial volumes, before working it up to its full potential after some time. High to Low There are CDs that have been designed by and for professionals to help break in subwoofers and other speakers. Obtaining these CDs might not be overly difficult, but properly utilizing them is another matter. It’s better to use some music that is already on hand and that covers a broad range of frequencies from the low end to the high end. Plus listening to a solid test tone for hours is no fun. Ask around, or consult your car audio specialist, for the best pieces that have that degree of range. Clean Break To go into the mechanics a little more, the spider is the one component that benefits most from subwoofer break-in efforts. It’s a disc of what looks like concentric rings, formed from cloth that has been dipped in epoxy and formed to shape, then subjected to high heat to set the shape in place. By subjecting the spider to a breaking-in process, microscopic cracks are introduced into the spider, allowing it to more easily resonate and flex with your music. Doing It Yourself A completely legitimate question that comes to mind is, “If the shop has car subwoofers for sale, why don’t they break them in as part of the installation process? Or even before installation?” Properly breaking in a woofer requires hours of play time, as well as exposing it to the different types of music you will be listening to. Everyone has a unique ear, so breaking in the woofer yourself typically gives the best results. Plus, who wants to pay a shop to listen to your stereo for hours, when you can do it for free? Audio Express The best car subwoofers may be built to exacting standards and tolerances, but once they’re put into a vehicle, they need to be worked up to their full potential. Talk to the specialists at Audio Express to find out the best way to ease your new subwoofers into the job.
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What is a two way speaker system

What is a two way speaker system?

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On December 21, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a two way speaker system? In automotive parlance a two way speaker system usually refers to a component package consisting of a woofer, a separate tweeter, and a set of crossovers. These components are designed to provide greater flexibility in locating each of the elements and more accurate sound reproduction. By separating the tweeters from the woofers serious audiophiles can create what is known as imaging, which causes different elements of the music to seem to come from different locations. Typically vehicle owners want to the vocalist “front and center” with the instruments lower and in the background. Although the more common coaxial speakers have a woofer and a tweeter, their one-piece design means it is difficult or impossible to create the “soundstage” effect that is the attraction of two way systems. The buyer of two way components is looking for the extra level of quality sound in their car speakers. There are three components at work to produce the sound: Woofers handle low to mid-range frequencies. These come in a variety of sizes but 6-1/2 inch is common. They are often mounted in factory locations in the doors, in the opening left when the factory coaxial speakers were removed. The much smaller tweeters produce the high range frequencies, such as female vocalists. Buyers often want tweeters in specific locations, which may require custom installation. The third essential part of a two way system is crossovers. The job of the crossovers is to send higher-pitched sound to the tweeters and lower tones to the woofers. This assures that neither speaker is wasting energy or creating distortion by trying to reproduce sounds for which it is not built. Many component two way systems are built to handle much more power than factory systems. This invites the use of an amplifier to boost the signal from the source unit and take full advantage of the available volume. Using the crossovers, it is also possible to limit the low range sound going to the component woofer and add a subwoofer for fuller bass. Come in to Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound and join our professionals to explore all the possibilities of a two way speaker system in your vehicle.
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What is a full range speaker

What is a full range speaker?

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On December 21, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a full range speaker? In general, the term full range speaker refers to a single unit that is designed to produce a range of sounds from very high to quite low. In car speakers this is most often accomplished by using two separate speakers, a large woofer for low tones and a small tweeter for high tones, mounted in the same frame. The most common design is what is known as coaxial speakers. That means the small tweeter is mounted in front of the larger woofer, with magnets centered on the same axis, which gives the name coaxial. Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound is a great place to see various sizes designed to fit your vehicle. We stock top name brand products in a wide variety of price ranges. Full range speakers are widely used by automobile manufacturers because they are relatively inexpensive to produce and provide the most music using the least space. It is very likely the speakers that came from the factory in your vehicle are coaxial unless you paid for a high-end factory sound system. Designs using two speakers are the most common, but there are models that feature three or four separate speakers in a single housing. These provide more accurate sound since each speaker is selecting only the range it reproduces best. Since available sizes and shapes range from 5.25 inch round units to 6×9 inch or larger models to match certain factory openings, it is a simple matter to find high-quality replacements for failing factory car speakers. Each speaker in the pair will include a tweeter that is less than an inch in diameter. The sound quality and durability of the speakers is determined by the materials manufacturers use in the cones and magnets. The professional staff at Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound will be happy to demonstrate the improvement that is possible by installing full range speakers.  
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What is a coaxial speaker

What is a coaxial speaker?

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On December 16, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a coaxial speaker? A Coaxial speaker is actually two separate speakers combined within a single basket. The larger of the two speakers, called the woofer, is designed to handle the low sounds of the music. A smaller tweeter produces the high sounds. The tweeter is usually mounted in the center of the woofer, which is the source of the term, coaxial. With a wide range of sizes and price ranges provided by the top names in the industry, Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound is a great place to learn all the details. These speakers have become common in the automobile industry because they produce the most music using the least space. They also have the advantage of being less expensive to produce compared to other designs. Unless you paid for a high-end factory sound system, it is very likely the car speakers that came from the factory in your vehicle are coaxial. Although systems with two speakers are the most common, there are speaker designs that comprise three or even four separate speakers in one housing. These provide more detailed sound since each speaker is selecting only the range it reproduces best. Sizes and shapes of coaxial speakers range from 5.25 inch round units to much larger designs such as 6×9 speakers. Tweeters may be less than an inch in diameter. The quality of the sound and durability of the speakers is determined to a large extent by the materials used in the cones by different manufacturers. Experts on car audio are in general agreement that replacing factory car speakers with higher-grade aftermarket speakers is the quickest and cheapest way to improve the sound in any vehicle. The professional staff at Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound will be happy to introduce you to the possibilities provided by coaxial speakers.
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