Upgrading the audio system in our vehicles has for a long time been a standard modification for all enthusiasts. The factory stereo systems that came equipped with the vehicle were typically lackluster in quality, volume and features. While OEM audio equipment in modern vehicles have improved since yesterday’s offerings, much is still left to be desired, for a true audiophile and automobile enthusiast.
The easiest way to improve your vehicles stereo system is to replace the original components with newer or higher quality items of the same size. So in other words, if you vehicle has a pair of 6×9 car speakers installed in the rear deck, replace them with better 6x9s, which should be a direct fit. In the interests of keeping an upgrade simple, also consider using the vehicle’s original speaker wiring, etc. and avoid adding extra amplifiers and crossovers.
Replacing the head unit deck is a must for anyone looking for extra features and a more powerful built in amplifier. There are so many to choose from that it won’t be too hard to find one with the exact style and specifications to suit your needs.
The built in amplifier on a good quality aftermarket head unit will typically have a MOSFET power supply and be capable of driving 25w RMS into four stereo channels. This is plenty of power for any simple system, as this amp could easily power woofers as large as 6×9 car speakers to ear popping volumes.
I prefer simpler systems the best, as they typically cost less, mind you, you still do get what you pay for, so purchase the best quality components you can afford. Simple systems also keep the install clean, tidy, and easily doable for the novice enthusiast. Installing a complicated audio system with multiple amplifiers and extra speakers, etc. can actually make the system sound worse, if not designed by an experienced professional. This is especially the case if cheaper quality equipment gets used.
Many audiophiles are determined to have subwoofers installed. In this case, an amplifier must be added. However, 6×9 car speakers powered only by the head unit can be a surprising substitute. Many vehicles don’t have 6×9 speakers in them already, so modification may be required for the install.
So in conclusion, when talking car audio, simple is generally better than complicated and you get what you pay for. If you plan your system well and do it right the first time, you may even have a little money left over for other goodies, like some nice rims and performance tires, but that’s another topic entirely.
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