When it comes to getting great sound out of your car audio system, selecting the right components is very important. Having it wired properly and neatly is also a top priority. Did you know that there is a final step that may very well be the most important of all? That step is setup and tuning. You can have the best installs and the best products, but if the system is not setup and tuned properly, it’s like flushing money right down the toilet. Mobile Edge has all of the tools and the know-how to make sure that you get the best sound possible from your aftermarket system.
Below is a list of some of the tools that we use regularly to make sure that our customers are getting the most out of their investment:
- Digital Multimeter – Most shops have one. At least they better! Problem is that most shops use it for only finding ground and 12v when installing an alarm or checking the battery voltage in a remote starter’s remote. There are many additional uses for a DMM when tuning a system. A DMM is a must for setting gains and finding clipping voltage. It is also used when interfacing an aftermarket system to a factory head unit.
- Speaker Polarity Testers – These devices check the output of each speaker and sub in the vehicle to make sure that they are all working in unison. One out of phase speaker can make an otherwise great install sound not so great!
- Oscilloscope – We use this for many things, but primarily to check for the clipping points of head units and amplifiers. It is critical to know the point at which any device in the system will clip (distort). Without an oscilloscope, this would be a very difficult if not impossible task.
- Real Time Analyzer – An RTA looks at the output of a system in individual frequencies. It displays these outputs on a graph. The idea is to get a smooth curve that sounds good. There is no magic behind this, but you need to have and know how to use an RTA to make this happen. The results of a properly tuned system can be nothing short of amazing.
- Various Test CD’s and Software – In order to use much of the equipment above, we have several test CD’s that produce the calibrated outputs. Everything from speaker pops and individual speaker identification to pink noise, frequency sweeps and sine waves are found on these discs. They are critical to properly setting up a system.
There are other tools that we use in tuning a system, but the key is that at Mobile Edge, WE USE THEM. Every audio system (anything that included amplifiers) that we sell is tuned using most, if not all of the equipment listed above and then some. It’s all part of the installation. It’s not optional. If you want your system to sound great, it’s mandatory!
This post is not meant to discount the need for great products and great installations. Having both of these in place and then finalizing the process with a professional setup using the proper tools will leave your vehicle sounding like a high end home audio system.
I submit that there is a very important consideration that you should make when purchasing ANY car audio system: Does the shop that is doing the install have the tools and expertise to properly setup your new system? Mobile Edge does!