Tag: Car Audio Installation

Optimizing an Aftermarket System For the Best Sound

If you’re one of the many people wondering how they can get better sound out of their vehicle’s sound system, well then you’re in luck. In this blog article, we’re going to go over the different ways, our car audio experts believe, are the best and most effective to get better sound out of your car audio system. So, here are the best ways to improve the sound in your vehicle! And as always, if you have any further questions for our experts, feel free to comment below this article!

1Make Sure You Have the Appropriate Wiring

4 Gauge Cable at Sonic Electronix

First off, it is very important that your car audio system (or any audio system for that matter) has the appropriate wiring and that the wiring is in good condition. It is crucial to your audio system that your wiring and connections have good quality wire, good grounds, good tuning, as well as good RCAs. It is also important that you have matching wire and ground sizes, and that your wiring sizes are True to Size. Our experts suggest that if you want a solid connection, you should use Oxygen Free Copper wire instead of Copper Clad Aluminum. Following these tips will ensure that your amplifier, speakers, and subwoofers have a solid connection and are getting the adequate amount of power to run without failing or clipping.

2Install Car Speakers So That They’re Flush With the Door Panel

Second, it is important for your car audio sound system, that your car speakers are installed so that they meet with the door panels. The way our experts accomplish this is either by making a baffle or Speaker Spacers at Sonic Electronixspacer ring out of MDF and seal it with a foam gasket where the back of the speaker meets that plate or the door panel itself. On the front of the speaker where you have the rubber surround, you will want to isolate the exterior with foam. This will make your car speakers have more directional sound toward the outside of the door panel. This, in turn, will make your car speakers’ sound a lot better. Unfortunately, if your aftermarket car speakers aren’t sealed off with foam, there is a chance that your sound is going to feed into the door panel instead of coming out of the speaker’s grill, which will not provide good sound.

3Add Sound Dampening to Your Vehicle

The next tip our car audio experts have for getting the best sound out of your system is to add sound dampening to the vehicle. It is important to your sound’s quality that you add sound dampening to the door panels. This will make your car speaker’s sound much more solid than it would sound without sound dampening. Since the door acts as an enclosure for your midrange frequencies, so the more sealed off the door is, the better midbass you will get in your system.

4Make Sure Your Subs Have the Right Enclosure

It is crucial for your car audio’s sound, specifically for those lower frequencies within your system, that your subwoofers have the correct type and size of enclosure. Pay attention to the box specifications that your subwoofers need and make sure that your prefab or custom built subwoofer enclosure comes as close as possible to those specifications. In addition, make sure that whatever box you do get, that it is going to fit your vehicle and that it will sound good in your vehicle. If you are building a custom subwoofer enclosure, it is always a good idea to tune the sub enclosure for your specific vehicle.

5Have Adequate Power for Your Audio System

High Output Alternators

It is incredibly important that you have enough power running your system. First, you should make sure you have the correct type and amount of car batteries (also called power cells) running your audio system. In addition, your system may require that you invest in an upgraded alternator or a secondary battery.

We hope these car audio sound tips helped some of you guys out there! Until next time, we’ll cya later!

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Sonic Installation Bay Updates & Photos

Check out the latest photos from the Sonic Electronix Install Bay! This weeks updates include NVX Sound Dampening installation in the door panels of a Dodge Charger, and a custom fiberglass subwoofer enclosure under the seat of a boat. We chose the Kicker CVR subwoofers for great bass output & durability.

Join installers Allyn R. & Anthony B. as they walk you through the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT 8 install, complete with Clarion NX602 GPS Navigation Receiver, Kicker ZX Amps, Alpine Type-R Speakers, Kicker CVR Subs, Viper 5904 Car Alarm, and a Blendmount with Escort radar detector.


Why Consider A 5-Channel Amplifier?

When getting into car audio, you’re bound to have to purchase an amplifier sooner or later to get clearer sounding, or louder audio. It’s always best to plan ahead of time before making this crucial purchase, and properly researching your options should always be something to keep in mind.

Hifonics Zeus ZXi60.4 + 1K

The 5th channel of this Hifonics Zeus ZXi60.4 + 1K is powerful enough to drive many competition grade subwoofers.

In order to fully power four door speakers and a subwoofer, you’re more than likely going to need more than one amplifier – a 4-Channel Amplifier to power the door speakers, and a Monoblock Amplifier to power the subwoofer. Not interested in two separate amplifiers you say? Not a problem. That’s where 5-Channel Amplifiers come in. These amps have their benefits and can really save a lot of time and hassle in an installation, not to mention valuable space.

The multiple amplifier configuration previously mentioned with two separate amps can present a couple of potential issues. First, in order to install two amplifiers, you’ll need to carefully plan how you’re going to wire the amps. Without the proper hardware and planning, you’re not going to be able to adequately supply power to your amplifiers, which can lead to low performance in your brand new audio system. A huge benefit to 5-channel amplifiers is just the ease of installation. Instead of dealing with multiple amps, now you’re just running one wire from the battery to the amplifier. This can be huge depending on your installation experience, and can save you money when you’re browsing for an Amplifier Wiring Kit.

Kicker IX1000.5

The Kicker IX1000.5 is only about the size of a textbook, but is capable of powering a full audio system.

Practically all 5-channel amplifiers are designed to emulate a 4-channel and Monoblock configuration. On 5-Channel amplifiers, it’s common to find the front four channels producing power similar to a four-channel amplifier. The all-important 5-channel is like an added bonus, as it is capable of pushing enough power to run one or two subwoofers. An amplifier like the Kicker IX1000.5 is a perfect example of a high powered, space efficient 5-channel amplifier.

So the next time you find yourself in the market for amplifiers, don’t forget how beneficial a 5-channel amplifier can be. These marvels of manufacturing can help you save time, space, and make tuning a system much easier!


7 Common Car Audio Installation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Installing a car audio system for the first time can be a lot of fun. It can also be a great learning experience if something goes wrong and the installer has to figure out what happened. This blog contains 7 common mistakes first time installers make and how to avoid them.

1. Lack of Planning

Before you buy anything or pull off any vehicle panels, make sure to plan out exactly what you want. The better the initial plan is, the better (and easier) the installation will be. Ask yourself these questions to help you plan:

  • What do I want in my car?
  • What is possible to install in my car?
  • How much am I willing to spend?

These simple questions will help you have a vision of your upgraded car, provide a realistic outcome, and establish a budget for the project.

2. Not Disconnecting the Battery

Whenever you do anything with the electrical system of a car, always remember to disconnect the negative battery terminal. This will prevent an electrical short within the system and allow you to safely work on the car.

3. Mismatched Subwoofer and Amplifier

Installing incompatible equipment can cause all sorts of problems in a car. Aside from the possibilities of damaging the vehicle’s electrical system or ruining the new equipment, mismatched audio components don’t sound as good as they should. Double check the subwoofer to ensure that it is the correct impedance and configuration for the amplifier. Make sure amp does not under power or overpower the subwoofer.

Learn More! Read the Article “How to Match a Subwoofer and an Amplifier“.

4. Improper Ground

An improper ground can cause a wide variety of problems with an aftermarket car audio system. Typically, this is the first question that is asked when the Sonic Electronix techs troubleshoot a system over the phone.

Learn More! Read the article “How to Create a Proper Ground“.

5. Running Power & RCA Signal Cable Next to Each Other

To the first time installer, running the power cable and the RCA signal cables next to each other seems like a convenient and time-saving solution. In reality, this is a bad practice because it will create noise. The end result is degraded sound quality.

Learn More! Read the article “Wiring RCAs opposite side of Power/Ground“.

6. Not Upgrading the Car’s Electrical

The stock electrical system is not designed for the power demands of high-end aftermarket audio systems. When installing multiple or high-powered amplifiers, but sure to see if a new car battery is needed. Larger batteries can be installed to provide more power to the system. Another solution is to do The Big Three upgrade. That involves upgrading the wire under the hood to allow more efficient current flow to the electrical system, specifically the upgraded car audio system.

7. Not Using the Proper Tools

Tools can make or break the installation. Having the proper tools for the installation can save dash panels from snapping and prevent door panels from breaking. Spending a few extra dollars for a tool can prevent spending hundreds of dollars if the installer has to order a new part from the dealer.

Installing a new car audio system can be a lot of fun. However, that fun can be ruined when problems come up. Learn from the mistakes of others and follow the advice above. Following these 7 points will save you time, money, and a major headache.


Volkswagen car audio installation – Kicker subs and Amp + JVC stereo

Written By Seth Wilde – Product Specialist

Installing a car audio system in smaller cars can sometimes be a challenge.  For those that have a Volkswagen Bug, you know that there is not a ton of room to add large subwoofer boxes or a double DIN car stereo.  Even with the space limitations, there is still the ability to upgrade your audio system.  Recently the head Sonic Electronix Installer put a system in a Volkswagen Bug.  Lucky for us, we had a cameraman there to film the installation.  In this video, watch as Brendan installs a pair of Kicker COMP subwoofers, a Kicker 10ZX300.1 amplifier, and a JVC KDR-610 car stereo in the VW bug.  Once installed, the audio system sounded much better than the original system that came in the vehicle.

The installation consisted of removing the factory monsoon radio and replacing it with the JVC head unit.  The video shows how Brendan went about doing this.  After the wires are run and the new stereo is installed, he moves to the rear of the car to work on the amplifier.  He attaches a Kicker 10zx3001 car amplifier to the back of the rear seats.  With the amp mounted, it is time to work on the subwoofers.  He takes the two Kickers dual 4-ohm Comp subs and wires them to an impedance of 2 ohms.  The lower impedance allows the subwoofers to get more power from the amplifier.  With the radio, amplifier, and subwoofers all installed, this Volkswagen installation is complete!