How Do You Tune Your Car Audio System?
Nothing beats upgrading your vehicle with new audio equipment, whether you’re fresh to the auto audio industry or a seasoned pro. However, the sound of your selected system may fall short of your expectations and disappoint you.
Don’t go back to square one just yet. You may need to increase the bass in your automobile or fine-tune your system. Here are some ideas for doing the latter and getting the most out of your vehicle sound.
Four Methods for Tuning Your Car Audio System
When your car’s new audio system isn’t blazing on all cylinders, try these tuning methods before throwing in the towel and looking for a replacement. Most likely, this is all your system need.
Examine the Speaker Phase
Speakers must fire in phase, which means their cones must protrude and sink at the same time. If this is not the case, the bass response will be poor, and your system will sound lifeless. Even if your system was professionally setup, inspect your speakers.
Play a bass-heavy tune with the system’s balance control set to one side to see whether your speakers are in phase. Return the balance control to the middle position and listen for greater bass. If you do, you’re OK; if not, your speakers are out of phase.
Retry the procedure after adjusting the negative and positive leads on one speaker. Keep the changes where they are until you notice more bass. You may do this independently for the rear and front speakers.
Turn on your subwoofer. Reverse the subwoofer connections and listen for a change in bass response. If there is a bass enhancement, leave it alone. Another important consideration is that several subwoofers are in phase with one another.
Correctly adjust the Equalizer and the Subwoofer
It’s tempting to turn up the bass on the receiver, particularly if you’ve just added a subwoofer to your system. However, system adjustment must come first. When you begin to use the equaliser, make sure to focus on the most critical areas.
To begin, set the equaliser to flat, with tone controls set to zero and the EQ curve set to no engagement. Play some familiar music at a moderate volume level while removing the subwoofer. Then, gradually increase subwoofer effect until you’ve found the sweet spot. This is the point at which the bass kicks in nicely without overpowering the rest of the song.
The bass should not seem to be coming from behind you. If it does, reduce the sub-amplifier crossover point to de-localize the bass. If the crossover point cannot be adjusted, try adjusting the subwoofer.
For example, if the subwoofer is facing the back, move it to fire sideways or forward. Once the sub is in its final position, verify the phase.
Make a Soundstage Across the Dashboard
You should aim to create a “soundstage” using your equipment. When you shut your eyes, you hear and feel the instruments as if they were being played in front of you, from right to left. In a rock & roll song, it would be the bass guitar and kick drum on each side, with the lead vocals in the middle. A properly configured soundstage should sound like a live band performing on your dashboard.
Obtain the Appropriate Amount of Bass
Great bass should apply not just to heavy metal, but also to reggae, rap, and other genres where the tone is more usually linked.
As a lover of jazz or classical music, you may be astonished by what the subwoofer has to offer. Even at low volumes, the instrument can provide an impact and richness you wouldn’t expect at such levels.
Play some bass-heavy recordings to test whether the bass tones stick out even at low volume levels. If they drop or boom excessively, evaluate the phase and experiment with various crossover points until you find the sweet spot. Once the sub is properly tuned, utilise the receiver’s equalisation settings to fine-tune the sound delivery.
Contrary to popular belief, turning up the bass is not the best approach to increase the system’s effect. You may push it up a little, but if you want a great-sounding system, be sure you drop the mids and highs. The wise thing to do is to reduce the equalisation. This manner, you receive precisely the appropriate quantity of effective bass.
Consider the future.
Once you’ve used the recommendations above, you’ll know for sure whether you’ve picked the proper method. Make sure that your purchases are made in advance of any future modifications. For example, you may wish to extend your system, and it would be much more convenient if it didn’t need to be rebuilt when the time came.