Browsing Archive August, 2011

Save 20% on Select JBL and Infinity Car Audio Products

Save 20% on Select JBL and Infinity Car Audio Products

With today’s economy, it is important to get the best bang for your buck. When money is hard to come by, it is necessary to spend it wisely. There is no time or money to waste buying low quality electronics that cost more in the long run. On the flip side, there is no reason to buy items that are too expensive. It is all about being a smart shopper and this 20% off JBL & Infinity is the perfect way to show your car you are a smart shopper.

20% Off Infinity Car Audio

Being the more exclusive and advanced car audio line from Harman, Infinity is widely popular among car audiophiles. Included in this sale are the Reference subwoofers and amplifiers, as well as the Kappa subwoofers and amplifiers. One of the more popular subwoofers from Infinity is the Infinity Kappa 120.9W. This woofer is the perfect combination of sexy and acoustic. The gold woven cone looks beautiful in any car and the bass is deep enough to please the strictest of bass heads. Kappa and Reference monoblock amps are also getting a 20% price cut for this sale.

20% Off JBL Car Audio

For many of us, JBL is the standard for quality sound. Looking at their impressive audio past proves this. For a limited time, you can get 20% off of JBL GT and GTO series amplifiers. Whether you need a multi-channel for your speakers or a monoblock for your subwoofer, a JBL amplifier will make sure you are giving proper wattage to the speaker. If your speakers are in need of some clean amplification, the JBL GT5-A604 is the perfect way to send 60W RMS to four 4-ohm speakers.

With 20% off, this deal is hard to pass up. If you are looking for a JBL/Infinity item that is not included in this sale, leave a comment below and tell us what you are looking for.

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Stereo Removal Tools: How Do They Work?

Almost all vehicles on the market today come with a factory radio. When it comes time to upgrade your radio to something bigger and better, you will need to know how to remove your factory stereo. To eliminate the possibility of damaging your stereo, it is important to remove it with the proper tools, and that’s when Stereo Removal Tools come into play.

With all the vehicle manufacturers out there, you will need to find the correct tool for your application. When looking through our list of removal tools, simply find the one that is specific toward your vehicle’s make. For example if you are trying to remove the stereo from a Ford F150, browse through our list of removal tools until you find one that is compatible with Ford vehicles. If there is more than one that is listed as compatible with your vehicle, they will likely be the same exact tool but made by different manufacturers.

Once you have your tool, disconnect the negative battery terminal and prepare to remove your radio. Insert your removal tools into the removal holes or slots (depending on your vehicle) on the left and right side of the stereo. Gently push them until you hear a distinct “click” on each side. The click is the noise of each tab that secures the stereo being pushed inward to release the unit from its housing. Carefully pull and slide the car stereo out while being cautious not to damage any surrounding dash trim.

Professionals use stereo removal tools every day in shops for replacing a factory radio. Once you own the removal tools you will never need to purchase them again, so you may store them until your next installation job on a similar vehicle. If you are a crafty person, you can attempt to make your own removal tools using a paper clip, a wire clothes hanger, or a flat piece of metal. Look at a picture of the removal tool you are trying to make and use metal snips to cut your material to the same shape. By making your own removal tools, you can save money and you won’t have to wait for them to ship to you. Always be careful when using your own hand-crafted tools, because you can potentially damage the unit you are working on.

Proper installation tools make every installation much easier and timely. With the right stereo removal tools, you can avoid making a trip to your local installer and save some money too.

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XS Power Batteries Now At Sonic Electronix

XS Power was established in 2005 by a group of automotive enthusiasts, their main focus and goal was to bring the highest performance car batteries & accessories to the mobile audio and street performance markets. XS Power has a strong commitment to product testing, which in turn leads to a technological edge over most similar competitors in today’s market. Their Car Batteries are constructed with the highest energy density chemistry found in AGM batteries, this is just one of the reasons that makes XS Power the battery of choice for competition car audio.

Here at Sonic Electronix, we have just started carrying some of the XS Power product line like battery terminals, battery terminal posts, and their high quality car batteries. We have their 12-Volt, 14-Volt, and 16-Volt models available in various different power configurations. Each one these XS Power power cells can be used as a replacement for your vehicles standard battery or as a secondary battery to power your high-performance sound system. They are manufactured with a leak-proof non-hazardous design with no external vents; this allows these batteries to be mounted anywhere and in any position with no leaks.

XS Power D3100

D3100 12-Volt AGM Battery

XS Power’s top of the line 12-Volt is battery is the D3100. This deep cycle AGM power cell is perfect for 4000W – 5000W high powered car audio systems and is 100% sealed in a reinforced ABS plastic case for extreme durability. This battery features 1360 cranking amps (enough power to crank the highest performance engines), a maximum output of 5000 amps, and 110 amp hours. It also includes M6 terminal hardware and will fit in almost any factory battery location.

XS Power D1400

D1400 14-Volt AGM Battery

The 14-Volt model we carry here at Sonic is the D1400. This power cell also features enough power to crank high performance engines. It puts out 675 cranking amps, 2400 amps max with 50 amp hours. Weighing in it a light and compact 43 lbs, the D1400 is very easy to install into your vehicle. This 14-Volt power cell should be used for car audio systems ranging from 1500-3000 watts of power and will resist extreme vibrations for ultimate performance.

XS Power XP1000

XP1000 16-Volt AGM Racing Battery

The XS Power XP1000 is the 16-Volt power cell we have available. This AGM racing battery features XS Power’s cutting-edge lead acid battery technology, this technology will produce high amounts of energy in small spaces. The XP1000 is great for racing, car audio, motorcycles, ATVs, and marine applications featuring 675 cranking amps, a max output of 2400 amps with 50 amp hours. It is 100% sealed and maintenance free and includes M10 terminal hardware for installation.

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Upgrade the Audio in your 2010 Honda Civic

Upgrade the Audio 2010 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic ranks in at number 3 of the most popular cars for generation Y. With excellent brakes, roomy seating, and a popular 2.0 liter engine, it is easy to see why this car is among the best selling vehicles for Generation Y. One of the best things about the Honda Civic is the amount of features that you get for the price. In this blog, we discuss some of the more popular audio upgrades that can be installed in the 2010 Honda Civic.

Upgrade the Stereo

The 2010 Honda Civic comes standard with a factory Double DIN Radio. To replace your factory stereo with an aftermarket one, use one of the following dash kits and wiring harnesses.

Manufacturer Dash Kit Standard Wiring Harness
Metra Electronics Metra 99-7871 Metra 70-1722
Scosche Scosche HA1561 Scosche HA10B

Both of the dash kit listed above will allow for the installation of a single or double DIN stereo. With freedom to choose a single or double DIN, Civic owners are free to choose just about any Car Stereo they like.

Upgrade your Speakers

While those stock speakers might sound good, installing some aftermarket speakers will make your Honda Civic sound great! The following speaker information from the Metra Online Vehicle Fitment Guide can be used to find the right pair of speakers for your Honda Civic.

Location Size Depth
Front Speakers 6-1/2″ 4″
Front Tweeters 1-1/4″ 2″
Rear Speakers 6-1/2″ 3″
Subwoofer 8″ 5″

Speakers and subwoofers that fit the Honda Civic:

Retain your Steering Wheel Controls

Upgrading the audio system does not mean losing any features. That means that the steering wheel controls will need to be retained and connected to the new stereo. Axxess has made it easy with an automatically programming interface. Use the Axxess ASWC to keep the convenience of these steering wheel controls and enable them to work with your new stereo.

Note: The Metra VFG was used to determine the vehicle speaker sizes in this blog. Due to different trims on cars, i recommend calling a Sonic Electronix rep to confirm that the speakers sizes and DIN sizes are compatible with your trim.

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Proper Gain Staging in a Digital World


American Audio DB Display

Lets Cram Some More 1’s in Those 0’s

Gain is the measure of the ability for a circuit to increase the amplitude of an audio signal.  Gain staging is the process of optimizing the level of your sound signal to be recorded, broadcasted, or amplified into a PA system.   This is important to get the full dynamic range of your audio signal while avoiding the noise floor.

Warm and Fuzzy: Analog Distortion

In the world of analog recording audio is stored onto magnetic tape by arranging magnetically charged ferris particles onto a strip of mylar.   Analog recordings were a bit more forgiving of over modulated levels as the end result was a harmonically saturated distortion that is interpreted psychoacousticly as warmth.  VU Meter For this reason recording to two inch analog tape remains a coveted boutique media option in commercial recording facilities.   Analog equipment supports an extended headroom meaning that you have the ability to drive a channel “Hotter” before clipping  than the digital equivalent.

Cold and Sad: Digital Distortion

When you record audio digitally the analog signal is first converted from an electrical signal to a series of numbers that represent the amplitude of the analog wave form in a moment of time.  Clipped Audio This is done by using a binary system of code consisting of two digits “1” and “0”  Digital, get it?   In conventional digital audio these numbers are arranged in “words” consisting of 16 or 24 digits which look like this: “1101011000111010” These strings of digits represent a sample of amplitude for an instance of time.  All digital audio is comprised of these samples and the sample rate of digital audio refers to how many times per second the audio signal is sampled during the conversion process.  The most common sample rates are 44.1kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz.   CD’s are encoded with a bitdepth of 16  i.e. “1101011000111010” at a sample rate of 44.1kHz.   This means that a 16 digit sample is taken 44,100 times per second.

Clipped Waveform The absolute max level that can be achieved with digital audio is 0dB.  Any signal that surpasses 0dB is a clip as there will be no digital number to represent the level.  All other levels are displayed as –XdB So what does all that astronaut speak mean for you?  DON’T HIT ZERO!  No matter what your bit-depth or sample rate the highest achievable level is 0dB as your DAW and all digital audio playback devices are not able reproduce anything louder, therefore instead of the comparable warm distortion in an analog device, clipping digital audio results in nothing other than playback failure awful sound.

To avoid this problem is it important to keep an eye on your level meters.  Most level meters have a clip indicator where the top red LED of the meter remains lit until it is reset.   When this happens it often means you may have to have another go at your take, pass, or mixdown.

Floor to Ceiling

Another concern with gain staging is a level that is too low.   After making the necessary boosts or compression to a channel of audio that is recorded too low, the noise generated from the microphone preamp, summing amp, and other circuitry in your signal chain is amplified as well, resulting in a much noisier version of your intended recording.   So it is very important that you have levels that are hot enough to remain clean while avoiding clipping.

Clipped Audio levelsIt is good to shoot for a max level that is well under your ceiling of 0db while remaining hot.  A good benchmark for the sharp transients of a snare for instance is to peak at -6dB while the majority of your tracks should hover around -12dB peaking occasionally at -6dB.    The use of a good “brick wall” limiter is a good way to wrangle in those stray transient signals that can otherwise clip your track.

During the mixdown phase it is important to maintain an adequate amount of headroom so that your final mix can be mastered.    About -4dB is a nice target to shoot for a pre-mastered mix.   This will result in ample headroom to really squeeze everything out of your mix.

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