DESIGN

Want to upgrade your car stereo and don't know where to start? 

     - Check out the suggestions below for how to improve sound quality and volume.  

01

GET AN AFTERMARKET STEREO

For better sound quality the first step is to upgrade your head unit.  This is the source of your music.  If it doesn't perform up to par, none of your other equipment can make up for it.   

02

INSTALL A SUBWOOFER

 

Most cars don't have subwoofers and our listening enjoyment suffers for it.  Only large speakers like subwoofers can reproduce good bass.  So even a small subwoofer with modest power can greatly improve the listening experience.  Subs extend the soundstage to include the low bass frequencies left out by standard speakers.  

03

UPGRADE STOCK SPEAKERS
 

Only after upgrading the head unit and the subwoofer do I recommend replacing stock speakers.  The aftermarket head unit has more power and can drive aftermarket speakers better.  Also choose speakers with a high sensitivity rating.  These speakers can get louder with less power.  Look for the sensitivity in dBs (decibels).  90 dB or higher is good.   

04

AMPLIFY YOUR SYSTEM
 

If you still want louder and clearer sound after the above upgrades, then getting an amplifier or stronger amplifier for your speakers and subs is the next step.  Amps take the signal from your head unit and multiply it to drive your speakers with a more powerful signal.  Not all amps are the same!  Some are not well built.  Some allow too much distortion at high power levels.  Others simply don't give the power ratings they claim.  Getting a quality brand can make a big difference and protect your equipment too!  I especially like Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio amplifiers.   

05

BUY A SIGNAL PROCESSOR

If after all the previous upgrades, you are looking for more quality and control over your music then consider a signal processor or equalizer.  Digital signal processors, equalizers, crossovers, and bass restorers all have their role in better auto sound reproduction. 

 

For example I used an Audio Control LC2i line converter on a car that kept the stock head unit to prevent theft.  The powered unit converts a speaker level signal to a clean low voltage signal to send to an amplifier.  By using the LC2i for both the front sound and a subwoofer channel I was able to get a respectable sound quality that was quite enjoyable even from a basic stock radio.  (Yes, for you sharp readers I almost contradicted myself from number 1!  A quality sound processor can almost make up for a lower quality head unit.) 

06

CUSTOM UPGRADES

From component speakers with tweeters and woofers to multiple subwoofer and amplifier setups the sky's the limit for how many other possibilities there are for your stereo!  Your preference drives what comes next.  Contact me for help with your custom design solutions.