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AUTHORIZED DEALER BASICS
All of our equipment is purchased through the manufacturer direct, through its network of selected authorized dealers and to better protect the best interest of its customers, we do not condone the purchase of any of our products obtained through any unauthorized means. In order for their high standards to be met, they only authorize a select few retailers to sell their products.
Be aware that we often deal with upset customers who purchased through an unauthorized source and have subsequently discovered that they bought counterfeit, defaced or broken product. Therefore the manufacturers assume no responsibility and will not provide after sale service, support or warranty coverage for any of their products that have been purchased through unauthorized retailers, or that have serial numbers removed, erased or have otherwise been tampered with.
We are authorized dealers and offer a full factory warranty on all products. Products obtained with removed, erased or tampered with serial numbers do not have any factory warranty. Every component of every product has a serial number. The serial number is really the I.D. of the product, its certificate of origin. If we don't have that I.D. we simply cannot verify the product's authenticity. Repairs and warranties are handled exclusively through authorized dealers. If you buy from a non-authorized dealer, all repairs, warranties and support will have to be handled by the non-authorized dealer.
The audio system of a car like any other home entertainment system comprises primarily of the source, signal processors, amplification stage and the transducers. Sources include CD receivers and cassette players. Signal processing and amplification are self-explanatory and transducers consist of speakers, woofers etc. All components of the sound system must work properly together to sound good. Its like a weak link in a chain, as long as one of the components goes out of line, the whole system degrades. Therefore it is important to select the correct parts that will function correctly.
Any component that produces usable signal is considered a source. All head units come under this category. Compared to the entire system, head units seldom sound bad, at least a majority of us cannot differentiate the differences in most top leading brands. Any perceivable differences can usually to a certain degree be compensated by the later stages. When choosing a head unit, go for one that has a CD player or one that controls a CD changer. Cassette receivers that control changers are a good deal. The sound quality produced by the CD is excellent compared to radio or cassette.
Most newer models come with at least 50W x 4 which is the maximum power the 4-channel inboard amplifier can produce. This is sufficient for those who do not seek high quality sound. On the other hand, they also output the signal through stereo RCA plugs which you can hook up to a amplifier for better quality sound. A lot of models come with different gadgets and conveniences, so shop carefully.
As the name implies, they process the audio signal to suit the imperfections of the car interior conditions. The passenger cabin of a car is not an ideal place to listen to music. Speaker placement which is restricted by panels and doors create distorted sound imaging. Simple active crossovers are used instead to distribute frequencies evenly to certain parts of the car. High notes should be coming from the dash and directed to the listeners. Mids to bass can be powered to the front door speakers while sub-bass from the rear. This is because sound gets more directional as it's frequency increases. For those of us on a budget, signal processors are quite a luxury. Crossover functions can be handled passively after the amplification stage. They are cheaper but the cutoff performance is not as good as active ones. Note: they shouldn't be used to compensate a bad system. Instead improve on the component that is pulling down the rest of the sound system (usually lousy speakers).
If you use signal processors then you will definitely need amplifiers. A single 2 or 4 channel amp should get the job done. Amplifiers boost the weak signals from the source to power the speakers. A rule of thumb is to ensure that the amplifier chosen can produce more power than the speakers can handle. It might sound illogical but its better than underpowering your speakers. If the amplifier is underpowered, when you turn the volume control up, the amp clips and distorts and sends DC signals to your speakers. This spells death to them if the DC remains long enough to burn the voice coil. When the signal strength goes up, the speaker distorts but does not burn because there is no DC voltage present. Most amplifier adverts indicate maximum power as compared to RMS power or in layman terms average power. The average power is a more accurate measurement as we listen to music using RMS power. Maximum power only surfaces when the amp has to produce a sudden note like a bass drum beat. It is a short term period where the amp produces such power but only for an instance else distortion occurs.
A 4-channel amp is ideal but a 2-channel one can do by powering usually the rear speakers. This is a misconception as normally we as drivers want the best quality up front. Unfortunately, the factory speaker holes cannot accommodate larger speakers so we usually end up channelling the power to the rear for our rear passengers listening pleasure. This can be resolved by installing speaker panels over the existing factory holes. An amp can also be connected in bridged mode where 2 channels combined into one more powerful channel. It usually powers a subwoofer chucked at the rear boot. A general rule is make sure the power output of the subwoofer channel at least more than the total combined power of the 4 speakers.
They include tweeters, mid-ranges, bass woofers and subwoofers. The design of a speaker cannot produce the whole audible spectrum of frequencies effectively. That's why they are broken down into different types. Tweeters - high frequencies > 5kHz, mid-ranges between 300Hz and 5kHz, bass woofers between 100Hz and 300Hz and subwoofers < 100Hz. Each type must receive the specified range of frequencies or else damage occurs. That's where crossovers come in. They filter out the unwanted frequencies and channel them appropriately to the different types of speakers. A tweeter is usually placed in direct line-of-sight on dashboards or behind sideview mirrors. Mids at kickpanels and door panels while woofers at rear.
A subwoofer can only work in a specially designed enclosure unless manufacturer specifies otherwise. The box prevents rear sound waves from interfering and cancelling the front waves. Some specially design boxes can actually increase sound output by channelling the rear waves to combine with the front ones to create larger sound waves. Full-ranged speakers combine different types of speakers into one integrated package to save space and cost as opposed to component speakers. They come in 2, 3 or 4-way systems. With this setup, a full range spectrum can be produced instead of individual component speakers. Of course it comes with a drawback in that it loses the flexibility to speaker placement and positioning.