How to install subwoofers inside your car?
Subwoofers are essential for a great music experience inside a car.Subwoofers directly connect the musical emotion to the body owing to the powerful beats produced by them. To get the best bass effect from a sub, it is essential to fine-tune a subwoofer and install it perfectly. Let us today tell you how to tune the subwoofers and amp to get the best sound quality from a newly purchased subwoofer system for car speakers.
While tuning the subwoofers for best sound quality, it is essential that you understand that distortion sound is the enemy for car sound system hardware. Distortion like crackling, flapping hissing or crunching pollutes the musical listening experience by interfering with musical sounds of an instrument. To ensure a pristine sound quality in case of a full-range car speaker setup with amplifier, it is essential to set the amp’s gain properly to prevent distortion in sound while installing subwoofers. Let us guide you using a step by step process to install subwoofers inside a car:
Step 1: Remove Sound Distortion
To effectively remove sound distortion, start by setting the gain of amplifier to low and play some music. Slowly turn up the receiver’s volume till a point when the music starts to blare and you hear distortion in sound. At this point, lower down the volume to a point when sound of the music comes clean again. Note down the volume level of the receiver. This is the maximum volume your receiver can support to play clean without distortion.
Once you identify the maximum volume, turn the amplifier’s gain to the point when distortion can be heard again. Then lower the amp’s gain to a point when the distortion vanishes. Once gain has been adjusted using this way then focus on lowering the receiver’s volume to a comfortable level. If you are using a system without an amplifier, you will still be needed to find the maximum volume your receiver supports. This can be easily done by turning the same up to a level when distortion is heard. Once you find the volume level, you can move on to the next step for adjusting bass.
Step 2: Open low-pass filter and flatten the signal
To flatten the signal, you will be needed to turn the sub amplifier’s gain to the lowest point by moving it counter-clockwise to the maximum. Switch on the low-pass filter and set the same as high by moving it clockwise. If the system has a bass boost feature, turn off the same for optimal bass quality. Turn of the remote level control, if any, to medium by moving it to the middle as it will facilitate in boosting or cutting the bass according to a particular song.
Now just focus on receiver’s bass tone by moving its control to the middle, zero or flat, as per your stereo setting (whatever the setting is called). If the receiver has a subwoofer level control, adjust the same to the middle position or to the no gain setting. Turn off all the other settings on the receiver like crossover, low-pass filter and bass boost on subwoofer output for the best music experience.
Quick tip: Never use low pass filters, bass boost or crossover settings both on receiver and amplifier together as it can generate phase distortion or muddle up sound quality.
Step 3: Adjust low-pass filter & subwoofer gain
First of all, play the music on the car’s receiver and turn up the volume to about a quarter. Then gradually turn up the gain of subwoofer amp to a point where the sound produced by subwoofer overpowers the sound produced by other car speakers without any distortion. Once you are done with this, turn up the gain to a point when the sound starts distorting. Now lower down the gain to a level where the produced sound is crystal clear to hear.
Now turn the volume of the receiver to one-quarter again and start turning up the gain to subwoofer amp again to a point when sound from subwoofer overshadows the sound coming out from other speakers. Now turn the gain once again till the point when the sound again starts distorting and turn back until clear sound is produced. When you are done with the process, carefully adjust the sub amp’s low-pass filter downwards to a point when high and mid frequency notes in the music fades and eventually disappear.
The low pass filter is used to get rid of the music notes that are not needed to be played by the subwoofer. Acting like a tone controller for capturing the edges of drum’s sound, the low pass filter captures the attack and release tone of the drum boom and filter out strings, vocals, cymbals and guitar sound.
Step 4: Adjusting bass boost and subsonic filter
If your system has support for bass boost, now turn up the same to hear the sound of bass drums. By optimizing the bass boost a little, the sound quality can be significantly improved, but be very careful as the same can introduce the problem of distortion in car audio system. If distortion is heard, you can fix it by lowering the gain of sub amp.
If you have ported subwoofers, make sure to use subsonic filter on amplifier to negate the effect of loud low notes. Subsonic filter will lower down the level at which the subwoofer enclosure resonates. Now focus on fine tuning the filters according to personal music preferences. The core idea is to keep adjusting various components to a point when the sound produced matches to your personal liking. Once you are done with the system bass and kick, you can turn down the gain of sub amp. Moving ahead with the process, it is now the time to focus on the music quality once all the settings are taken care of.
Step 5: Match the level of subwoofer to the volume of receiver
Start by turning the volume of the receiver to the maximum level without attracting any distortion. Now focus on turning the subwoofer amp’s gain to a point when the sound of bass gets balanced with the music being played. Many times, subwoofers do not sync in with the sound waves of the system due to acoustic space crunch inside the car. If the bass produced is too loud but is not producing enough punch, just reverse the leads of sub’s speaker to reverse the backward and forward movements of subwoofer cone that syncs the sound waves with the music for best music listening experience.
In case distortion is heard from the subs of the car system, you can just turn down the gain of sub amp. If the resultant bass effect is not enough and you can’t produce enough bass with subwoofer without distorting, you will be needed to replace current subwoofer and amplifier combination to a bigger set that has an ability to handle high power.
Never ever lower the full-range amplifier’s gain in order to match the lack of subwoofer volume as this can potentially damage the full range speakers.