LIS­TEN UP

I used to have a sim­ple and ef­fec­tive up­grade path for peo­ple want­ing to im­prove the per­for­mance of their fac­tory car au­dio sys­tems. With the com­plex­ity and in­te­gra­tion level of the ra­dios that come in new cars to­day, my plan has had to evolve dra­mat­i­call

Pasmag (Canada) - - Contents - Osm­labs.com Osm­labs STORY & PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY DAVID MACKIN­NON

with David MacKin­non: Three Easy Steps to Awe­some

1ONE

If you ask any mu­sic en­thu­si­ast what is lack­ing from most fac­tory-in­stalled au­dio sys­tems, their an­swer would be bass. Now, don’t start imag­in­ing a wall of woofers and banks of bat­ter­ies; that’s not what I’m talk­ing about. It takes a ded­i­cated speaker in an ap­pro­pri­ate en­clo­sure with an ad­e­quately pow­er­ful am­pli­fier to re­pro­duce the bot­tom oc­tave of the mu­sic we lis­ten to with any sem­blance of re­al­ism. Even the eight- and

210-inch “sub­woofers” many au­tomak­ers in­clude in their ve­hi­cles can’t hold a can­dle to what can be achieved in the af­ter­mar­ket. So, step one is to add a good qual­ity sub­woofer sys­tem to your ve­hi­cle. Hav­ing a sub­woofer in your sys­tem re­lieves the small fac­tory-in­stalled midrange speak­ers from the stren­u­ous duty of try­ing to make bass. This al­lows them to play midrange fre­quen­cies louder, and sound bet­ter!

TWO

Once you have a nice sub­woofer added to your sys­tem, you may find that the lit­tle am­pli­fier that is in your ra­dio can’t keep up ad­e­quately. Step two is to up­grade the am­pli­fi­ca­tion to the rest of the speak­ers in your ve­hi­cle. With more power, not only will they play louder, but the mu­sic will be more dy­namic. Think of it like hav­ing an ex­tra 100 lb-ft of torque at idle! Look for an amp rated at some­where be­tween 50 and 100 watts per chan­nel, and that is com­pli­ant to the CEA-2006A rat­ing sys­tem. If you want to com­bine this step with the first, there are some great five-chan­nel am­pli­fiers avail­able that will run your en­tire au­dio sys­tem.

THE CLAR­ION XC7520 IS A FIVE- CHAN­NEL AM­PLI­FIER WITH IN­TE­GRATED SIX- CHAN­NEL DSP. A GREAT SIN­GLE- AMP SO­LU­TION FOR AL­MOST ANY SYS­TEM.

THIS IS THE OUT­PUT OF AN AM­PLI­FIER IN A VE­HI­CLE WITH A FOUR- WAY SPEAKER SYS­TEM. YOU CAN SEE THE DIF­FER­ENT LEV­ELS USED TO COM­PEN­SATE FOR SPEAKER EF­FI­CIENCY AND LO­CA­TION.

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