Tips & Advice
What is a capacitor and what does it do?
A capacitor is a two-terminal electrical component that is able to store energy, thus they are often found in power supplies. They can be especially important in a stereo system because they can exhibit frequency dependent behavior. What this means is they can be tailored to be used as noise filters to reduce the appearance of a frequency, or they can be used to enhance it. This is particularly effective in differentiating and isolating the ranges in a subwoofer and a tweeter, and in filtering out the potential noise or feedback from the power source.
Are aftermarket speakers compatible with a factory stereo system?
Most aftermarket speakers are compatible with your factory stereo system. There can be exceptions, for instance, if you have speakers that need extra amplification to drive them to maximum performance, such as large subwoofers, your factory deck may not have the power to drive them adequately. They will play, but not to their potential. Basic speakers should be able to plug right into most standard decks. Factory stereo systems have evolved dramatically over the years and can even meet or exceed aftermarket products.
What tools are required for installing a car stereo?
To install a basic car stereo you will need a minimum of tools. First you may need a puller to remove the existing deck (if there is one). Usually it’s just a thin bar that hooks onto the unit to pull it out. Once the unit space is established, you will need crimpers and wire cutters to strip, connect, and crimp the wiring units (to the speakers and to your power source). It’s a good idea to use connectors for the wiring contacts. It is a simple and basic process. In some cases, you might need some additional basic tools like screwdrivers if you are mounting anything or customizing the dash.
Is it difficult to self-install a car stereo?
With a basic knowledge and minimum of tools, it is not theoretically difficult to install a car stereo. It is even easier is you are replacing the old deck because the wiring for the speakers and the power source are already in place. Most existing units can be pulled easily from the dash and replaced quickly. This of course depends on the sophistication of the system and the skill of the installer. If no modifications are necessary, it is not an overly difficult or complicated process. There are many sources of information and instructional videos available on the internet to guide you.
A subwoofer is a speaker that is designed to produce sounds on the low end of the audio scale. Subwoofers are usually paired with tweeters, speakers that produce sounds on the higher end of the audio scale, to create a balanced sound.
A tweeter is a speaker that is designed to produce sounds on the high end of the audio scale. They are often paired up with subwoofers, speakers designed to produce sounds on the lower end of the audio scale, to create a balanced sound.
What are full-range speakers?
Full-range speakers reproduce the maximum amount of audio frequency range, within the limits of the speakers design. The opposite of full range would be subwoofers and tweeters, which represent the lower and higher ends of the audio spectrum.
How much do car stereo systems cost?
Due to the ability to make components ever cheaper, aftermarker stereo systems have become very affordable. Basic decks now come with a full complement of AM/FM/CD/streaming/Bluetooth capabilities and more, and can be found for $100 and even lower. Higher quality and name brands can drive up the price. Top of the line systems can run into the thousands, particularly when implementing customized speaker packages and amplification. Those on a budget can easily have a new deck installed for around $200, or less if they do their research.
How long does it take to install a new car stereo system?
The time it takes to install a new stereo system depends on the complexity of the installation. If you’re only having a deck installed, you can be in and out in one to two hours, less if your installer is competent and there are no issues. If you are having multiple components installed, this will add time. A stereo unit installs quickly, unless customizing the dash is needed. Adding amplifiers requires additional wiring, power sourcing and mounting. Replacing and/or adding speakers can require additional wiring, installation, and removal of door panels. Complex systems can take up to a day or more depending on variables like parts and unforeseen problems. For a basic install, you should be in and out in under a day.
What does a car stereo system consist of?
A standard car stereo system consists of three basic units: the deck (the stereo), any amplification devices, and the speakers.