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PLANNING FOR YOUR CAR STEREO INSTALLATION: WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE INSTALLING A SYSTEM

There are a number of car audio parts and gadgets on the market, and when you’re in the market to upgrade your vehicle’s sound system, you might be wondering which one to choose.  Here are some basic tips to help you choose a system that’s best for you and your vehicle:

1 – Decide On What You Want

What is it that you want from your vehicle’s audio system? Do you want good sounding car audio system for the daily driver or do you want a system that gives you the bass? If you want the latter, be prepared to shell out some cash.

2 – Planning

You also need to plan when it comes to creating a car audio system. Do you know where you’ll put the audio parts at? What about the amplifiers, subwoofers and power distribution? With some planning, you can avoid the headaches down the road.

3 – Choosing A Basic System

With a basic system, you’ll need the following parts:

A - Head unit (such as a CD player) – You’ll want a nice CD player and, if you decide you’d like to upgrade down the road, you want one that can grow with you. Some features you should bear in mind are:

- CD changer controls
- Dual RCA outputs… this carries the signal to the amplifiers
- XM/Sirius controls… if you choose to add Satellite to your vehicle later on
- Pause button
- High voltage line driver… this helps to reduce the noise and improve sound quality in the amplifiers
- Security devices such as detachable face

B – Subwoofers and Amplifiers - Once you know what head unit you want, you need to make decisions on the type of amplifiers and subwoofers you want. You can get a $30 subwoofer or a $300 subwoofer. However, the capacities of them will vary immensely. Be sure you carefully review the power handling of the subwoofers and choose from that. Keep in mind that your amplifiers need to work with the subwoofers and vice versa.

4 – Vehicle’s Available Space

How much space do you have in your vehicle? Do you want some cargo room left or not? Choose on the size of your subwoofers, which can range from eight inches to 18 inches. While some subwoofers are square, the majority are round.

Remember the resistance and, again, make sure the amplifiers and subwoofers are compatible. The decision of your subwoofer will also affect the enclosure you purchase or build. Bear in mind that whatever you choose to do, get the precise measurements of your cargo space.

5 – Other Necessary Components

The other parts you need will depend on the system you’re going after. If you plan on having a competition vehicle, you’ll need the following things:

- Additional battery for the system
- Alternator upgrade
- High-quality RCA cables
- Ground cables
- Power cables
- Speaker cable

Of course, you might need the other things too such as:

- Capacitor
- Equalizer replacement factory speakers
- Electronic crossover
- Amplifier for tweeters and mid-range
- Extra speakers for staging

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