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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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Audio Express Subwoofer Myths

Myths Busted: 5 Common Misconceptions about Subwoofers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 8, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • audio, Audio Express, boat, car, electronics, entertainment, speaker, stereo, subwoofer, truck, video
The average consumer, when looking at car audio equipment, likely will come across some bad information. It will be dressed up in authoritative tones with lots of technical terms and acronyms that they don’t understand, and a great number of them will not be happy with their purchases. At Audio Express, we’d like to take this opportunity to help consumers by killing some common myths. Myth: “I don’t need a subwoofer” If you want to get the best possible sound quality from your music, you really do need a subwoofer, and it should be a good one. This myth usually has an additional excuse related to a musical genre the person “doesn’t listen to.” Good subwoofers aren’t just for metal and rap. They bring out the deep tones of a slap bass in jazz, the low-octave woodwinds and brass of classical and chamber music, and even the harmonies of pop music vocal groups. Subwoofers make every genre of music sound better. Hey, doesn’t every band have a drummer? Myth: I don’t have any room in my car” You’d be amazed at the inventive ways a subwoofer can be incorporated into a car audio installation without taking up a lot of space. For example, shallow-mounted subwoofers can be placed under seats or many manufacturers offer vehicle specific solutions designed to blend right into your vehicle’s interior and take up minimal space. Another option is to use a compact powered subwoofer, where you don’t need a separate amplifier. Small enough to be mounted under a seat but powerful enough to make your sound system considerably better, self-amplified subs are very popular. Don’t let the traditional image of big cones in bulky boxes be the only thing that comes to mind. Myth: “Subwoofers will go anywhere if they’ve got a box” While a subwoofer can be shallow-mounted or cleverly hidden under a seat, there’s a little more work to it than that. If the enclosure isn’t the right size, the best case scenario is that the subwoofer doesn’t work at top efficiency. The worst case is that the subwoofer ends up damaged or destroyed. Mounting and enclosing a subwoofer should be like fitting a high-end suit or dress: carefully measured and tastefully done. Myth: “I have an X-watt sound system already” The amount of wattage that a sound system is rated for may be an easily conveyed selling point, but there’s a lot more going on. When a factory installation has, for example, a 200-watt sound system, that doesn’t mean every speaker is being powered by 200 watts. That’s 200 watts for the entire sound system, for all speakers, including the stock subwoofer. If you’re upgrading your factory installation, you’re likely getting an amplifier, and that means you should be getting a good subwoofer to go with it. Myth: “I can’t upgrade my factory installation” Most people probably can’t perform the sort of work a custom installation demands. That’s why there are car audio specialists.  Modern “infotainment” systems are more complicated than swapping out tape decks, but reputable car audio shops will have access to information necessary to allow them to swap out the speakers and other hardware, but keep things like the touchscreen and other functionality. The best shops will make sure that the equipment purchased can go into the car with a minimal amount of effort. Audio Express It’s understandable to have questions, and Audio Express is happy to provide answers that kill the myths and bring car audio to life.
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