Adding a Subwoofer- More than just “boom” here
You’ve just picked up that new album, loaded it into your CD player and hit the on-ramp to enjoy some killer tunes. As you roll the volume up to- oh about 20 or so, you notice that this great CD seems to be a bit light so you then proceed to turn the bass level up to plus 5- hoping that your ears will get what you paid for. (Yikes!)… Chuck
Instead of a nice well-rounded sound, you hear the abrupt popping and slapping of your door speakers as they fail miserably to reproduce the bass response you crave.
All is not lost, so let’s take a moment and look at an option you can take advantage of that will solve this common problem and give you the well-rounded sound you’re looking for.
Introducing the subwoofer:
The best way you can really improve your vehicle’s sound whether replacing the existing speakers or not is actually quite simple.
-Adding a subwoofer.
By introducing a subwoofer into your car’s audio system- or by upgrading the existing factory one- you gain added depth and range in your music.
But wait! You always thought a subwoofer was the cause of that annoying boom in traffic a few cars back- or the culprit making that ’87 Caprice rattle like crazy as it passed you on the street, right?
Hey, that’s only partially true, as a subwoofer can also serve a ‘tasteful’ purpose when selected and installed to match your specific needs.
A wide range of options:
In today’s market, car audio manufacturers offer a wide range of subwoofers that can fit almost anywhere in most vehicles- even models that can replace the existing (inadequate) factory woofer you may have.
Woofers can be purchased as ‘raw drivers’ and then installed into a custom built enclosure that generally resides in your vehicles’ trunk or behind the rear seat in some trucks.
*Example of a custom rear center console subwoofer in a Mercedes CLK
Over the past few years, companies such as JL Audio have developed their patented ‘Stealth box’ series of custom-molded enclosures which actually fit into and become ‘part’ of your vehicle- resulting in a stealth installation.
Selecting the right model is as easy as visiting www.jlaudio.com and clicking on the ‘Stealth box’ link to find an enclosure that may be available for your specific vehicle.
*Examples of a Stealth box in a Ford Explorer and BMW 5-Series
New Technology- Space no longer a factor:
Probably the coolest player to hit the market in recent months has been the thin woofer design. The advantages of this type of woofer now allow you to get a great amount of bass response in a space less than half of what it once took with a conventional driver.
Thin subwoofer models offer box volumes in the .80 cubic foot range while allowing for high power handling and superb accuracy, thanks to unique voice coil designs and heavy duty motor structures.
When selecting a thin woofer, be aware that some models out there are simply a ‘pan caked version’ of an existing woofer, where corners have been cut such as voice coil size, basket design and woofer durability.
One such woofer that tops the list is the 13TW5 by JL Audio. The company went back to the drawing board when designing this bad boy and brought a solid player to the table.
The final puzzle pieces:
Once you’ve decided on a woofer that suits your taste, you’ll want to make sure you select a power amplifier able to run it properly. If you already have an aftermarket radio in your car, you can take advantage of its ‘subwoofer’ control that will enable you to adjust the frequency and output level of your new woofer system. If you are adding a subwoofer system to a factory set-up, most amplifier manufacturers offer a subwoofer level control knob which installs up front and gives you separate level control so you can tailor your bass needs easily.
Ask Chuck in Mobile Audio/Video