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So, you just bought and installed a wicked new amplifier in your car’s stereo system, but when you fired it up, it doesn’t seem to do anything. Don’t rage just yet, and there’s nothing wrong with your brand-new amplifier, it’s just not properly tuned yet. You need to adjust a car amplifier to make the most use of the car’s speakers; you need to do a bit of tweaking until you get the right audio quality for your listening pleasure. Don’t worry, tuning a car amplifier isn’t as hard as it sounds.
You will be encountering quite some technical terms in this article, so you should familiarize yourself with them so you won’t get lost.
Gain – This is the setting that adjusts the sensitivity the amplifier, meaning it sets the power coming out of the amplifier to a certain level that can be easily handled by the speakers. Simply speaking, you adjust this setting to reduce the amount of distortion coming from the speakers.
Frequency – This is the pitch of the sound that the speakers emit. Finding out the frequency of your speakers is quite easy as they are usually clearly labeled on the speakers outer casing. If not, you can find the frequency numbers at the back of each individual speaker. You will need to get these numbers because you will need them to tune your amplifier correctly.
Low-pass/High-pass Filters – These are built-in frequency filters that, when turned on, will only let a maximum/minimum range of frequencies pass through the output jacks. For instance, if you will be using small speakers, like tweeters, to handle the high-frequencies, you will need to turn on the HPF on the corresponding output channels. Also, if you will be using all medium-sized speakers (no tweeter and subwoofers), you can set the filters to “full”, meaning the output channels will let out a full range of frequencies (lows, mids, and highs).
You should never exceed the 80% volume setting on your stereo, prolonged use at maximum setting will increase the wear and tear experienced by the speakers, and of course, you also risk tearing up your eardrums.
Also, different genres of music will need different amplifier tuning settings. For instance, you want a lot of basses if you like listening to hip-hop and rap, but not so much if you like country or folk music. If you like listening to two or more different music genres, then you need to adjust a car amplifier to find the happy medium between all of them.