Miscellaneous / How To Buy A Car Stereo
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Autor: anton 08 November 2010
Words: 687 | Pages: 3
Nearly everyone who has sat in traffic has noticed the mind numbing amounts of bass produced by some car stereos. What most drivers aren't aware of is how to buy a system of sub-woofers for their own car. The most noticeable feature of these systems is their price which is limited only by human imagination. The most basic understanding of how much these systems cost, although varied by complexity and brand name, lies within the power of the components that comprise them.
The power of a system is measured in watts. The more powerful the system, the more watts of electricity it is capable of receiving and transforming into auditory noise. Speakers designed for bass, or [sub-]woofers, range in power levels from 50 watts which can hit 65 to 70 decibels, approximately as loud as traffic on a busy street. These smaller woofers, generally the 10 inch or 12 inch variety, usually cost between $30 to $100 each. The largest woofers can handle several thousand watts reaching over 150 decibels loud, as loud as a rocket engine. Powerhouse woofers which usually come in sizes of 12 inches, 13 inches, 15 inches, or larger, can cost from $80 to $1200 each. Some audio enthusiasts will choose to only install one woofer, although many choose to install more. Woofers are a great place to start planning a mobile entertainment system, however the most important part for audio enthusiasts will be what powers them.
The greatest cost in the stereo system will come from the amplifier or amplifiers depending on the size of the stereo. The tonal quality, or the accuracy of the signal-to-noise ratio for each particular speaker is primarily affected by these high tech electronics which in turn, affects the price. A a low wattage amplifier that lacks tonal quality can be purchased for as low as $150 each. High power amplifiers with the purest tonal quality would start at $450 and go up from there. How many amplifiers will be needed to properly power the woofers depends entirely upon how many woofers are chosen to be installed into the mobile entertainment system.
The final ingredient in completing a car stereo is to pick which type of enclosure to install the woofers in. These boxes are made of wood and are carpeted, generally costing around $150 to $250 for the basic setup. There are no major differences in cost, yet there are three major types of enclosures to choose from. The first is a sealed box designed to allow the speakers to mathematically produce the least distorted sounds. A ported box contains small openings in relation to the size and quantity of woofers which allow air to move in and out of the box. This style enclosure produces more powerful yet slightly distorted noises. The most powerful style of woofer enclosure is labeled bandpass. Bandpass boxes are a combination of sealed and ported, using both types of enclosure on both polar sides of the woofer. These enclosures help produce the most powerful bass frequencies at the sacrifice of tonal quality.
The final step in purchasing a car stereo is assembly and installation. Installing a stereo is not a difficult process, but hiring an audio shop to perform the installation is cost effective for the amount of work involved. A generally accepted rule is to charge a small fee for every separate item including the audio and electrical wiring. A basic one to three woofer system with an equal amount of amplifiers would range from a mere $25 to $50 paling in comparison with the price of the system parts.
Picking a car stereo depends solely on how much money is invested in the electronics. Complete systems will cost from $200 to as high as the imagination can conceive. The average person would easily enjoy a cheap stereo that doesn't take up much trunk room, while the audio and car enthusiasts follow the saying "the bigger the better". When viewing audio systems or parts, on the Internet or at a business specializing in car audio, it is important to remember that personal preference and budget are key to making the final decision.
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