An amplifier boosts your signal power

  •   Head Unit

      The head unit is the tuner, cassette deck, or CD player that sends the signal to the rest of your car audio system. Some head units have amplifiers built in (in which case you must make sure your speakers are efficient enough to play loudly with the relatively small amount of power in most head units - See the Power Up! section.). On a budget? Buy speakers first. Better speakers can make your stock head unit sound really good. You can upgrade it later. And you will want to. One thing to keep in mind: make sure the head unit has pre-amp outputs when you buy it. You'll need them when you're ready to add amplifiers later.


      Ultimately, the head unit source sends its signal to the speakers. Your speakers determine how your whole system will sound. No equalizer, amplifier, or processor can compensate for poor (or poorly installed) speakers. Even if high precision fastener you're on a budget, you should plan on spending the bulk of your allotted expenses on your speakers. (And if you're really on a budget, plan on a head unit and a set of speakers now, and worry about amps and processors later.)


      Subwoofers are the speakers that deliver the lower frequencies of the audio spectrum. They need to be specially installed, usually in a box wind power fastener designed specifically for them. They demand more power to play at acceptable levels without distortion, which brings us to...


      An amplifier boosts your signal power, resulting in a cleaner sound and more volume. And because more power is a good thing, an amplifier might be the next thing on your list. Be careful, though, because if you are planning on adding several high power amplifiers you may need to upgrade your car's electrical system with upgraded capacitors, battery, and-lastly-alternator.

      More about amplifiers

      Amplifiers can really turn your system on. With more power you'll achieve a cleaner, more dynamic sound at higher volumes. But installing an amp yourself can be tricky. Be sure to plan your install carefully.

      Never mount amps or other components directly to the metal of your car. (That's just asking for noise problems.) Instead, use screws with rubber isolators when you have to mount to metal, or mount the component to a non-conductive board and then mount the board to your car's body. And before you drill holes to mount anything, hook the component up and give it a test run in your chosen location. How smug will you feel after finding that noise problem can be fixed simply by moving your amp to a new location before you've drilled?