Choosing the Best Car Audio System

    Townsend Gauthier
    By Townsend Gauthier

    The fundamental components of a high quality automobile stereo system are an AM/FM recorder, a CD player, an amplifier (optional but recommended) and good speakers.

    Rule: No automobile sound can equal the performance of fine home equipment. The car compartment is little, surrounded with traffic and engine sounds, and surrounded by rival electrical signals. And all of this at a moving atmosphere. A welter of specialized and personal choices dictate the last package.

    Car audio components are often discounted. Check mail-order homes and the Internet for the very best buys.

    Crucial: Deal with reputable businesses and purchase name brands. Make sure you can swap or return components in the event they establish incompatible or do not fit into the vehicle. Bear in mind each unit has to be installed and may require custom mounting fittings. Keep personal tastes in mind. Rock and country music lovers typically prefer stronger bass ranges. Classical music requires great mid and treble.

    The way to spend your spending40% to 50 percent for tuner/tape player, 25% to 30 percent for amplifier, 25% to 30% for speakers (unlike home equipment, for which half the recommended cost may go for speakers alone).

    15 inch subwoofer : Components are a better deal than manufacturer-installed original sound gear. Great manufacturer-installed gear can cost $1,000, a price that will usually bring you much better noise if spent on components. Try to locate a dealer that's set up a sound room to hear and compare different systems.

    Under-dash components are easily installed.

    Overriding disadvantage: A thief can slide out the under-dash gear as easily as a ashtray. Choose in-dash tuner/CD players if you don't would like to store the components in the back each time you leave the vehicle. (If you still prefer an under-dash system, Sony parts are top-notch ones.)

    Amplifiers: Most auto-sound packages benefit from amplifiers that reinforce bass and high-treble tones.

    Unless your tuner includes a bypass circuit permitting one to plug in the preamplifier, your costly amplifier is only going to boost the twisted output of this amplifier.

    Goal: About five watts per channel at 1% distortion or less. To get this, the amplifier might require 50 watts per channel cause few function at better than 10% efficiency in a car.

    Bi-amplifiers: They offer different power boosts for bass and treble ranges. Bi-amplification may be called for if separate bass and treble speakers have been installed.

    Speakers: Speakers must be compatible with amplifiers. Their power capability should be slightly higher than amplifier. Example: Get 60w speakers for a 50w /ch amplifier. One way to be certain of speaker/amplifier compatibility would be to purchase them as a bundle.

    Many enthusiasts choose four. Non-directional bass speakers will be best put in the factory cutouts in the back window shelf. Next best placement: In rear doors. Treble speakers may be mounted in front door panels or under dash.