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Audio Express Amplifier Buyers Guide

Understanding Amplifiers: A Mini Buyer’s Guide for Amplifiers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On September 11, 2017
  • amplifier, Audio Express, car audio, power, speakers, subwoofer
If you’re not getting the sound you want out of your speakers, or you’re thinking about adding subwoofers to add some better sound to your system, you should consider adding an amplifier to your system. What an amplifier does An amplifier increases the power of the audio signal that travels from your receiver to your speakers or subwoofers by increasing the wattage output. Car stereo receivers are limited as to the strength of signal they can send to your speakers, typically insufficient power resulting in poor sound. An amplifier takes that signal in, increases its power and then sends the amplified signal to your speakers, resulting in a crisper, cleaner, more powerful sound. Types of amplifiers Amplifiers come in a variety of types. Mono amps have a single channel, meaning they can only increase power to a single type of speaker, usally subwoofers. Mono amplifiers are standard in amp and sub combos, like the Kicker 11HSB Compact Amp and Sub enclosure. For your regular car speakers, a four-channel amplifier will provide power to all of your car’s speakers. A five-channel amplifier will power your car’s four speakers as well as a subwoofer. Power and heat Amplifiers should be installed by a professional for best results. They require a direct connection to your car’s battery for power, and a professional can install the power cable so it is perfectly hidden inside your vehicle. Also, some amplifiers produce an amount of heat and need to be installed in a well ventilated location in your vehicle for best performance and to keep them from shutting off in thermal protection mode. What the ideal amplifier includes The ideal amplifier should have a high enough power output (wattage) to power the speakers or subwoofers you have in your vehicle, without under or overpowering them. A gain control allows you to match the RCA signal voltage coming in from your stereo, and balance it to the output from the amplifier to your speakers. A Gain IS NOT a volume control, and not using it or setting it correctly typically results in blown woofers or severely shortened speaker life. And finally, the ideal amplifier will be small enough to easily fit in your vehicle, while still providing the output you need. Why you should add an amplifier to your car If you are thinking about adding a subwoofer, like this Alpine subwoofer, then you will need an amp because your car stereo does not have the ability to power the subwoofer on its own. Another reason to add a subwoofer is to improve the sound quality out of your current speakers, by allowing the woofer to handle the lower frequencies, letting your full range speakers play without the strain or distortion of trying to reproduce frequencies they are not meant to play. Where Can I Find Quality Audio Components? So stop by one of our convenient Audio Express and Quality Auto Sound locations and talk to one of our trained car audio professionals about which car amplifier is best for you. If you have more questions about amplifiers, feel free to contact us online. And remember, we offer the lowest rates available for professional installation. 
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Audio Express Guide to Speaker Issues

What’s That Sound? Mini Guide To Speaker Issues

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On September 5, 2017
  • Audio Express, car audio, clipping, popping, Quality Auto Sound, sound system, speakers, troubleshoot
Are your car stereo speakers not working the way you want them to? Maybe there is popping and crackling from one or more speaker, or maybe there is no sound coming from one, or you’re just not getting the volume or clarity you should be. Let’s discuss how to troubleshoot speakers so you can get back to rocking out on your daily commute. There are several speaker issues that can lead to poor quality or no sound. Fixing your speakers can be a simple fix – or may require replacement or upgrade. Connection A common problem, especially with speakers that weren’t professionally installed, are the wiring connections. A faulty connection can be anything from mismatched wiring to loose wiring and can cause intermittent loss of sound or low volume output. Checking the connection is the best first step when troubleshooting car speakers. Typically factory installed speakers have a plug that clips in, so if you have the stock speakers and no sound, always check the connection first, but most times it’s a sign your vehicle is ready for an upgrade. Grounding The next thing to check is the stereo’s grounding. If the ground wire is not properly connected to an unpainted solid metal point on the vehicle, the stereo will not be able to push sound to the speakers with any level of consistent power or quality. This can also cause the stereo to flicker, or turn on and off intermittently. Amplifiers If you aren’t getting the volume you desire out of your speakers, or the sound quality drops at higher volumes, your stereo may not be pushing enough power to your speakers to give you the clarity and sound you want. This is a standard issue with factory stereos, and can easily be fixed by upgrading your receiver or adding an amplifier in between the receiver and speakers. If you determine that this is the resolution you need, our trained Car Audio Professionals can help you find the perfect upgrade for your needs. Blown Speakers The final thing to check for is a blown-out speaker, the most common cause of speakers failing. If a speaker has recently had a drop in volume output or produces a crackle, static or distortion when trying to produce sound, or no sound at all, it may be blown. This means the voice coil that creates the sound is damaged, due to excessive volume and heat, or time. When you turn on the car or stereo initially, there will usually be a small “pop” from the speaker causing the problem. This can also cause the stereo to go into “protect” mode and output no sound at all. This protects the radio from a blown or shorted speaker. Sometimes you can tell by looking at the speaker. If there is damage in the cone, the foam surround has rotted away, or the speaker feels frozen when you gently push on the cone, it is blown and needs to be replaced. Most factory speakers are made from low quality materials, like thin paper cones and weak foam surrounds that dry-rot away after just a couple years in today’s harsh environments. Luckily, it’s straightforward to buy car speakers online thanks to our easy-to-navigate website, or check out one of our locations to hear the sound quality before you buy. We’re Here to Help So stop by any one of our convenient Audio Express or Quality Auto Sound locations and talk to one of our car audio professionals about troubleshooting speaker problems in your car today. If you can’t make it into a store, then contact us through our website to help with any of your questions. Order from our selection of the best speakers online, and let us professionally install your new speakers to avoid any of the common issues with car speakers. Remember, we offer installation at the lowest rates available.
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