Car Audio: How to Build a Stereo System - By: Mark Etinger
Forget buying a ready made stereo system. Building your own car stereo system can be one of the most satisfying things you can do, especially if you are a car lover. Picking out each part yourself and bringing together the best car audio experience for you is what it's all about. It may be a challenging project, but one you'll be proud of.
Your car stereo speakers are going to be the most important of your entire sound system. You need pay attention to size, shape, and mounting system. Make sure the speakers you are looking at are going to fit into your car because not every model will. For a complete system, you'll want to consider more than just front speakers but center and rear as well.
You'll have to match the power handling capacity of the speakers to the power output of your amplifiers. Why is this important? If your speakers can't handle the power output, the music won't come through clearly. The worst case scenario is that they can blow out and then you'll be that car driving down the street with the audibly vibrating noise coming out of its speakers.
Car audio subwoofers require an enclosure to be installed in the car. They are far more powerful than other regular speakers. You can either make a custom enclosure yourself, or buy one that fits inside your car. Enclosure types are going to be based on the size of the subwoofers and the make of the car.
Car audio amplifiers should also be taken in consideration. Most speakers have built in amplifiers but if you have external amps you can better adjust various frequencies and the bass of your music so it's sure to come through perfect. You may need crossovers to make sure the external amps are connected to the right speakers.
Last you need consider head units and receivers. What are those? Basically the controls and options in your dashboard. This where you can also install a cassette player, CD player or DVD player, as well as input jack so you can plug in an iPod.
Installation itself can be hard since you'll be working in such a tight space. If you feel like it may be a little too daunting, you can hire a professional to install all the car audio pieces you've just picked out. Before doing any work, find out if and how it is going to affect your car's warranty so you know if you want to definitely go through with it!
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