Browsing Archive September, 2010

Car Audio Fuses vs. Circuit Breakers

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

Protecting an investment is an important part of our lives.  We have car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, and many other types of insurance to protect us and out assets.  Those that live in California like many of the Sonic Electronix employees and their customers, there is a good chance that they have earthquake insurance.  Losing something that we have spent our hard-earned money on is always a difficult thing.  For this reason we take precautions when installing a car audio systems. While there are many ways to ensure that a system is installed properly, one extremely important part of system protection is power protection.  Specifically in this blog we will discuss fuses, circuit breakers, and why you might choose one over the other.

Fuse Block and Fuses

e2 EANL150 by Scosche Fuse

Fuses are the most common when it comes to car audio electrical protection.  A fuse is a piece of metal that bridges two cables or wires together.  When excessive current is traveling through these cables, the fuse will “blow” and stop the current from continuing to travel through the cable.  The fuse will then need to be replaced in order for the connection to be made again.  Fuses are placed in a fuse holder for a proper and secure fit.  Fuse holders will secure the cable running to and from the fuse, as well as allow the fuse to be properly connected.  Fuses will ensure that your amplifier is not receiving too much power from the car’s electrical system.  While fuses are relatively inexpensive, a blown fuse must be replaced in order to enjoy your audio system again.

Circuit Breakers

Tsunami CBF180 Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are similar to fuses in that they provide in-line protection against excessive current.  The main difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker is that circuit breakers can be “reset”.  On the top of most circuit breakers is a lever that can be moved.  When too much power goes through the breaker, it will snap and interrupt the current flow.  The user then simply moves the lever and will reset the circuit breaker to enjoy the music again.  There is no need to buy extra fuses or parts since everything is enclosed inside the case of the circuit breaker.

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Shallow Mount Car Audio Subwoofers

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

Shallow mount subwoofers are a great compact substitution to full size subwoofers.  As an example, look at the MB Quart RLP 304.  Instead of having a deep mounting depth with a large magnet, these slim subwoofers are able to fit in locations that other subwoofers cannot.  Traditionally, these compact subwoofers result in a slight loss of sound quality. However, with current advancements in subwoofer technology, the sound quality between full size subs and shallow mount subs have become practically unnoticeable.

There are several reasons why someone would choose a shallow mount subwoofer.  In this blog, we will list some of these reasons and explain why a shallow mount subwoofer could be ideal for your car.

Not Enough Space for a Full Size Subwoofer

Some vehicles simply are not big enough for a full size car subwoofer.  Recently, Sonic installed a pair of MTX TT6510-04 subwoofers in a Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab truck.  Due to the lack of available space in the truck, the only option for installing a subwoofer was underneath the rear seats.  There are many trucks and smaller cars that do not have the space to install a subwoofer with a large enclosure.  These vehicles are perfect for shallow mount subwoofers.

Don’t Want to Sacrifice the Space

Some people that travel a lot or constantly use the space in their trunk do not want to install a large enclosure for a subwoofer.  While they still want to get the best sound quality in their car as possible, installing a full size subwoofer is out of the question.  A smaller, shallow subwoofer takes up less room in the trunk, which allows more room for luggage, golf bags, groceries, and other items that are constantly put in the trunk.

Replacing Factory Subwoofer Locations

There are many vehicles out there that come with a factory subwoofer.  A typical location of the subwoofer is in the trunk or on the rear deck of the car.  Replacing these subwoofers with a higher-powered shallow mount subwoofer will greatly increase the sound quality and bass response of the vehicle.  However, many of these factory subwoofers have small magnets and shallow baskets, making it difficult to install a full size subwoofer.  Shallow mount subwoofers are ideal for these locations.
Fit in Locations that Other subwoofers Will Not

For custom applications, shallow mount subwoofers play an important role in getting subwoofers in unique locations.  One popular example of a custom shallow mount subwoofer location is the rear doors. The Kicker CVT652 subs are common in this type of installation.  By removing the speakers in the rear doors and replacing them with a shallow subwoofer, the car’s sound quality will increase and there will not be any loss of space.  Doing an install like this typically involves sound dampening the doors and installing an amplifier, but the final result is worth the work.

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Shuriken SK-BT100 High Performance Car Battery

SHURiKEN SK-BT100 High Performance Power Cell Car Battery

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

Getting the most out of a car audio system requires a lot of power.  That means high-powered amplifiers, thick power cable, as well as speakers and subwoofers with high power ratings.  With so much demand for power, the car might not be able to generate the amount of power that is required for optimal performance.  This unveils one of the most overlooked aspects of aftermarket car audio systems, the vehicle’s charging system.  While one of the most overlooked, the vehicles charging and electrical system are extremely important in getting the amplifier the power that it requires, as well as protecting the factory OEM electrical system.  For those that are looking to upgrade and get the most from their aftermarket system, consider improving the vehicles battery, or even adding a secondary car battery.

One manufacturer of high performance car batteries and power cells is SHURiKEN. They offer a wide selection of power cells that are the ideal solution for replacing an OEM car battery or adding a secondary battery.  The SHURiKEN SK-BT100 offers 2250 crank amps and 100 amp hours.  Ratings like this continue to prove that this is a serious power cell generating much more power than the standard car battery.  The battery itself is made using AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology that enables the battery to mount in any position.  That means it can easily install in place of the standard battery, or it can mount as a secondary battery with a custom installation in a trunk.  The installation options are limitless with the AGM design.  While there are car batteries that are compatible with a variety of car audio system power ratings, the SHURiKEN SK-BT100 is perfect for systems up to 2000 watts.  Adding a couple of amplifiers and subwoofers will no longer strain a car’s electrical system with one of these high performance car batteries!

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Rockford Fosgate Power T1500-1bd Car Amplifier

Rockford Fosgate Power T1500-1bd (T15001bd)

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

There is an elite group of car audio enthusiasts that pride themselves on power and hard-hitting bass. Legendary Car Audio manufacturer Rockford Fosgate refers to this club as the “1K & Over” Club.  That means the members of that exclusive “club” proudly boast a car audio system with over 1,000 watts of power.  For those that are experienced with this 12-volt industry will recognize 1,000 watts as a lot of power! With that amount of wattage, you can build a system that is powerful, loud, and produces deep bass.  Members of this high output society look to higher end components to meet their needs of high-end audio.  Because of this demand, Rockford Fosgate has become recognized as a trustworthy and reliable company that is known for high output.

Consider the Rockford Fosgate Power T1500-1bd car amplifier.  This amp will instantly gain you access to the “1K & Over” club.  At 2 ohm, this amp will produce 1000 watts to a single channel and at 1 ohm the amp will produce 1500 watts.  Keep in mind that those ratings are CEA-2006 certified RMS ratings and not inflated max ratings.  Like many of Rockford’s other amps, the T1500-1bd is packed full of advanced audio technology. The Class-bd design increases the amp efficiency to 75-80%, which is much better than the 20-60% ratings of traditional class A/B amplifiers.  Differential inputs will assist in better sound quality by eliminating noise picked up by signal cables.  Even more advanced are the Discrete Surface Mount (DCM) components that decrease the amps operating temperature, while decreasing cross talk from other components.  Combine this with the MEHSA3 and TO-247 MOSFETS and the amplifier achieves lower distortion, increased durability, improved heat dissipation, and greater power output.  Putting all the technical language aside, the Rockford T1500-1bd is a powerful and reliable amplifier that is designed to power high-end subwoofers.  And to add a bit of character, Rockford’s engineers add their own customer avatar to each amp as a personal signature to their commitment to being designed and engineered in the United States of America!

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Pioneer Car Audio & Video Receivers

Pioneer Car Audio / Video Receivers

By Seth Wilde. – Product Specialist

You can’t talk about Pioneer electronics without recognizing their incredible line of car audio products.  While they still make high-end home, DJ, and portable electronics, the mobile line of products stands out among the rest.  By creating a wide variety of car audio components, Pioneer is able to fully capture the sound inside of a car.  Car stereos, speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers are some of the specific categories that have lead Pioneer to the top of the industry.  This year, Pioneer has found a way to simplify their advanced car stereo receivers to make them easy to understand.  That focus is the Connectivity, Quality, and Convenience of each unit. Lets take a moment and discuss these three different parts of the Pioneer Car Audio /Video Multimedia receivers.

Connectivity

Whether you’re keeping in touch with friends and family on your mobile phone, or browsing through thousands of songs on your iPod, Pioneer products bring it all together in the car.  Eliminate the clutter of having several devices in the car, and bring the intuitive control and convenience of Pioneer at your fingertips.

Quality

Pioneer’s universal reputation for quality is the perfect foundation to build upon due to its stylish design and detailed craftsmanship.  The Pioneer promise includes continuing to overcome the many challenges in the mobile industry.  For over 30 years, Pioneer has been a leading authority in audio technology and their new products keep them at the top.

Convenience

Ease of use plus flexible mounting and function are essential aspects of Pioneer system convenience.  Control of a connected iPod via headunit rotary commander is intuitive.  For optimal installability, Pioneer makes tweeters and subwoofers surprisingly compact and the digital amplifiers small enough to fit underneath seats.

Each Pioneer Audio/Video head unit lives up to the Pioneer promise and proves to be a easily connected, high-quality, and convenient unit.

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