Browsing Archive April, 2012

Add Sound to Any Vehicle with the Kicker PXi50.2

PXi50.2
At Sonic Electronix we are commonly approached with the task of installing audio systems into vehicles that are very small, and not very accommodating of a full system. It’s one thing adding a system to a Chevrolet Tahoe, but when it comes to a vehicle such as a motorcycle, a lawn mower, a personal watercraft, or snowmobile it can be much more difficult to find a way to get your tunes playing. The introduction of the Kicker PXi50.2 from the Kicker Powersports Line is one surefire solution to add audio to literally anything with a charging system.

PXi50.2 Control Panel

The volume and some other controls are featured on a separate Control Panel that can be remotely mounted

The PXi50.2 is an extremely compact 2-channel amplifier with a built in controller for an iPod or iPhone. Using this inclusive system means that you won’t need to bother with a radio. This system can also work with any MP3 player or smart phone using the auxiliary input, but the benefit to using an iPod or iPhone is you also will charge up on the go. The volume and other controls that a radio would usually have are all located on a separate control panel.

The way the system is installed and works is very simple and ingenious. First you connect your source to the auxiliary or dock connector. This will lead to the brain of the unit which is also the amplifier. You can connect this brain to either 2 speakers, 4 speakers, or even a subwoofer. Kicker manufactures the Powersports PS5250 5-1/4″ speakers to go along with this system. Since the unit is so compact, it’s very easy to fit this system practically anywhere. The DIY possibilities using this product are practically endless! Kicker has developed an awesome product, answering the wishes of DIYers who love sound everywhere. Let us know your coolest idea for a portable sound system using the PXi50.2!

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How To Choose A Car Battery

Choosing a car battery can be a daunting task.  Last week I wrote a blog on understanding car batteries.  It would appear that you folks want an instructional on how to choose a battery as well.  Look no further.  We are here to feed your blog cravings and put a rest to all the confusion! If you have an audio system that is roughly 800 watts or more, than you will most likely need a battery.  Sit back, relax and get ready to receive some priceless knowledge to your cranium!

Watts

Kinetik HC1400

1500 Amp 12V Power Cell

The RMS wattage of your system is capable of will determine how big of a battery you will require.  All you need to do is take the CA (Cranking Amps) and match it to at least the amount of total watts your system is pushing.  For example, if you have a 1400 watt system, you will need at least 1400 cranking amps.  It doesn’t hurt to go a little above to say 1800 cranking amps.  Simple right? The Kinetic HC1400 would be the perfect choice for said system.

 

Dimensions

You might at first be hesitant to choose a battery because you are not sure if it will fit in the stock location under the hood.  There are two steps to ensure the dimensions are compatible with your vehicle.  First, measure the overall height including the posts of your current battery.  You want to make sure that your replacement battery does not protrude or surpass the battery posts of the stock battery.  In some cases, the aftermarket battery posts can be taller than the stock battery and still fit in the location.  Also, keep into consideration the post configuration to ensure you do not incorrectly connect the positive and negative terminals.   You must really use your own discretion because every vehicle is going to be different.  Second, check the length and width of the aftermarket battery to make sure it fits in the stock battery housing.  Once these two steps are completed, then you can compare your dimensions to the dimensions listed on our website.

 

Starter Versus Secondary Battery

Stinger SGP32

200 Amp Battery Isolator

A lot of people are under the misconception that just adding a secondary battery instead of replacing the starter battery is the best way to go.  If you add a secondary battery but keep the stock starter battery, than you will still have an inefficient lead-acid battery eating up all your alternator power.  There are a lot of advantages to replacing the starter battery first.  Your vehicles entire electrical system will be more efficient, your headlights be brighter, and you won’t have to deal with corrosion.  The typical reasons for which you should add a secondary battery are if your system is extremely high wattage, or if you are a pretty serious SPL competitor. If you must add a second battery, then a battery isolator will only be necessary if you want to run your system with your vehicle off for extended periods of time.  The isolator will ensure that the secondary battery is the dedicated battery for your audio system and will make sure that the starter battery is not drained.  It would be wise to choose a deep cycle battery for your secondary battery, if you’re using an isloator, as it will possibly be drained multiple times.  It never hurts to do the big 3 upgrade, too!  Attached is a knowledge base article to show you how:  “Big 3 Upgrade

There you have it.  Hopefully this clears up a lot of questions and has set you on the right path to choosing a battery that is right for you. Upgrading your battery will cause your sound system to be great success, very nice!

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Portable and Desktop Headphone Amplifier Solutions

At the most subjective level, headphone amplifiers might make a pair of headphones sound louder at lower volume levels. More specifically, a headphone amplifier does much more to the physics of a headphone’s drivers than simply produce more sound. Most importantly, a headphone amplifier gives the drivers the power necessary to control its motions in a precise manner and thus increase the quality of a headphone’s sound reproduction.

Portable Headphone Amplifier Solutions

The AKG K240 MKII

For music lovers seeking to ditch the white buds, it is important that the headphones are adequately matched to an appropriately potent power source. Assuming the highest quality sound files, pairing a set of new AKG K240 MKII to a standard iPod would be much like filling a Formula One race car with standard unleaded fuel. While the AKG K240 MKII might perform better than standard Apple earbuds, the full potential of the AKG K240 MKII will not be fully reached without a portable amp such as the FiiO E11 to compensate for the lack of power from the iPod. The increase in sound fidelity and volume when a higher impedance headphone is properly powered is attributed to the fact the the headphones have enough current being fed to them to respond to the demands of the high and low frequencies in a timely and responsive way, reducing overall distortion.

Home and Studio Solutions

Headphone amplifiers in home and studio settings often serve a similar purpose as their portable counterparts, but in a slightly different way. For instance, most computers and home stereo systems feature sufficiently powerful sound cards to drive higher impedance headphones of up to approximately 250 Ohms. In the case of home and studio sound systems, power is not the issue; the issue is quality. Most often, the quality issue is characterized by an annoying hiss. A desktop amplifiercan function as an external sound card, bypassing the internal sound card of lower quality and delivering an equally powerful signal with added clarity.

Whether at Home or On the Road

A headphone amplifier can be a great step in the direction of high quality sound. While an amplifier alone cannot itself make listening better, with a proper set of headphones and quality sound files, you will be on your way to a listening experience that will make you fall in love with your music all over again.

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