April 6, 2019

How to Adjust Car Amp for Best Sound

Adjusting the amplifier of your car is not easy. This electronic device is used to better the quality of sound and play louder music. The tuned amplifier can help you to produce the top audio output. The amplifiers for a car are available with so many diverse knobs and buttons. On proper adjustment of the amplifier, the performance of subwoofers and speakers fitted in your car will be good. There will be buzzing noises, distortion, crackling, and hissing sounds on not tuning the amp perfectly. So by following the tips given below you will know how to adjust car amp for best sound.

Step 1: Setting Gain Control and Volume

Turn off your sound system and unplug the RCA cables that your amplifiers are connected with. Next, start your sound system again and turn the knob for volume to maximum with no music playing. Unplugging the RCAs ensures no sound is playing via the amplifiers since there would be a risk of blowing your speakers, amplifier, eardrums, and subwoofers if any sound is played on the radio. Suppose your speakers are connected to your radio and you are trying to set subwoofer amplifier, unplug every speaker for safety, and then connect back together after you locate the 75% volume level. The speakers can be left connected only if you are sure that no music is played via your system.

There is a numerical connection in most radios. For instance, the maximum volume may be indicated as “60” on the dial. The maximum volume varies for each radio/system. Now multiply the max volume by 0.75, this gets you 75% of your maximum volume. For instance, if our maximum volume is 60, then 75% of it is 0.75 x 60 = 45. Now you know how to adjust car amp for best sound, turn the volume to zero and connect your speakers or RCA cables suppose you are playing from the head unit. Now, switch the volume below to the 75% level (45) and rotate the gain knob on the amp to zero. All crossover filters and bass boost must be set to off and ensure the built-in EQ in your head units will uniform frequency.

It is recommended to use a sine wave tone of 1 kHz from a test disk for the subsequent step. If it is not possible for you to get a test disk, purchase a CD from a store with your preferred music and use it instead. While your sound system is off, connect your speakers and RCA cables suppose you disconnected them and then switch on your system. Now play the tone, gradually increase the gain on the amplifier up to when distortion is heard, also called clipping. Turn the gain backward around 1/8th a turn or up to when it again becomes clear. Keep in mind to mark the volume level and gain level must you require resetting them later. This maximum volume will be played by your system before it might cut off the signal. Suppose you have many amplifiers, use this technique for every amplifier. So, at a time connect only one amplifier, detach it and get going to the next one.

Step 2: Tuning Frequencies

You have to now adjust the integrated crossovers the amplifiers have in your system. Majority of subwoofer amplifiers contain a low-pass filter that prevents elevated frequencies from coming to your subwoofers. Subwoofers are devised to reproduce bass tones of low frequency; hence a filter for low-pass is vital. A great beginning point is about 80 to 100 Hz on the crossover for low-pass. Detach all remaining amplifiers and at 75% volume play your preferred type of music from a CD. During the time you listen to what is played by the subwoofer, gradually adjust the filter for low-pass from high to low up to when the high-frequencies and mid-frequencies disappear. You require filtering out vocals, cymbals, strings, guitars, and any remaining instruments that aren’t low or bass drum type. Suppose in your music you experience any muddy or popping sound from the subwoofer, the filter has to be turned down lower.

For the amplifier of your speaker, there will be a high-pass and a low-pass filter placed on a switch hence you can select which to use. The filter for high-pass allows all frequencies higher than the setting to get through to your speakers whereas preventing the notes of lower bass from passing through. Detach all remaining amplifiers and play your preferred music from a CD bought from a store. Your subwoofer will deal with the lower notes; hence an ideal place to begin on the filter for high-pass is required. This is wherever you place your filter for low-pass on the amplifier of your subwoofer suppose you are using one. Else, a good place to start is from 60 to 80 Hz. Pay attention to your speakers while you adjust the filter for high-pass. Eliminate any low drum kicks or bass for your speakers not to have distortion.

Step 3: Bass Boost

Setting the bass boost is a small alteration that several people do not succeed. you can increase the loudness the bass has by using the adjustment given. The gain must be turned down as the bass boost is turned up. All subwoofers are not the same. Hence, it is vital to find the ideal combination of gain and bass boost. Distortion is the only aspect you must worry about. Ensure that no distortion is there while the bass boost is adjusted to make the intensity of bass better.

Step 4: Tuning the gain

This is the final step! All amplifiers must be connected in the system; the radio must be turned below to zero and you must begin playing that CD. Gradually increase the volume of the radio up to when distortion is heard or that limit of 75% is reached. Never exceed that limit. If all was done properly, all subwoofers and speakers must be free of distortion until that level. Suppose at the volume level of 75% the bass is suppressing the speakers, lessen the gain on the amplifier of your subwoofer until it has good blending with your speakers. Do not regulate the speaker amplifier of full-range for matching the subwoofer (s). If there is not sufficient basis for your requirements, upgrade to a more powerful amplifier and a bigger subwoofer.

If you cannot seem to get the right sound in your system, it is recommended you take it to an expert. There is a possibility that your components may be damaged, linked improperly, or just not capable or of adequate quality to create the sound you require. Easy things like replacing grounding cable, power cable, and speaker wire using a cable of higher quality may help better the sound your system has. Also, it is possible that on your speakers the polarity may be interchanged, this results in awkward reproduction of sound. A polarity checker will be able to resolve that issue. Suppose you listen to an extensive music range, try to readjust your gain controls using diverse CDs with diverse music types for getting the most uniform sound. Tuning is everything about hearing the variation. After this final step, you know how to adjust car amp for best sound and tune it.


There are quite a few technical terms in this article; hence you must be familiar with them in order you will not get lost.

Gain - This setting regulates the sensitivity the amplifier has, implying that it adjusts the power coming from the amplifier to a particular level that the speakers can easily handle. Basically speaking, you regulate this setting to lessen the extent of distortion that comes from the speakers.

Frequency - This is the modulation of the sound emitted by the speakers. You can easily find the frequency your speakers have since they are generally clearly labeled on the outer casing of the speakers. Otherwise, you can locate the numbers of frequencies at the rear of every individual speaker. You will require getting these numbers since you will require them to tune your amplifier.

Filters for Low-pass/High-pass - These frequency filters are built-in that, when switched on, will let only a maximum/minimum frequency range pass via the output jacks. For example, suppose you will use small speakers, such as tweeters, to deal with the high frequencies, the related output channels must have their HPF switched on. If you will use all medium-sized speakers (no subwoofers and tweeter), the filters can be set to “full”. This implies that the channels for output will give out a complete array of frequencies (mids, lows, and highs).

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