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Are 8-inch Woofers Really Louder Than 12-inch Woofers?

Can an 8-inch woofer really be louder than a 12-inch woofer?  Surprisingly yes! It’s easy to think that a larger woofer automatically means that its more powerful, but this is not always the case especially when it comes down to installing sound systems in trucks or small cars that don’t have a ton of free space to use for a large subwoofer box.

The reason why its possible for such small woofers to out power larger woofers mainly boils down to two factors: magnet size and air space requirements. Generally speaking, larger more powerful magnets on a woofer means that they are designed to handle more power. When it comes to adding bass to trucks or small cars it is very difficult to install larger woofers with full size magnets simply because the boxes required to fit those woofers are too big. This is why a lot of truck sound systems rely on the use of “shallow” woofers that are designed to have smaller magnets so they can fit in slimmer boxes. Of course, a smaller magnet normally means less power handling. When it comes to 8-inch woofers though, their small diameter lets us get a little more creative with our box designs which lets us fit woofers with full size magnets in places that larger woofers wouldn’t normally be able to fit.

In this case, one of our customers had some 12” L7T shallow mount woofers installed by us a couple of years back in his 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. Unfortunately, one of his woofers decided to burn out which caused his amplifier to go into protection mode which cut off all of his bass. After checking to make sure his amplifier was still good, we figured it may be time for him to get a bit of an upgrade to what he had before.

The woofers we ended up using are the DB Drive G5 which are rated for 900 watts RMS a piece. That’s right. Between the two 8-inch woofers we are talking about a total of 1800 watts RMS which is impressive no matter what.  These new woofers were placed in our custom-made ported box that sits perfectly underneath the truck’s rear seats. So after a quick retune of his amplifier we were able to get almost double the output from this new set up using dual 8-inch woofers when compared to his old set up that relied on the less powerful shallow 12-inch woofers.

As you can see the world of car audio can be a little tricky at times, but we are more than happy to help you make sense of it all. If you are in the Houston area and would like to learn more about installing a sound system in your vehicle or have a question about car audio in general, feel free to give us a call or stop by one of our locations. Remember, it’s your ride made better.

 

CategoriesBlogs Info

What is an Amplifier?

After lots of thinking and many miles driven listening to your factory speakers you have come to a realization- “I really need to upgrade my sound system”. After a bit of googling for “best sound system” you decide to go to your local car audio shop for quotes and immediately got bombarded with a bunch of words that just don’t really make sense. You want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck so knowing the basics of car audio systems will help you- and the salesperson helping you- pick out the product that best fits your car audio needs.

That’s where we come into play! Knowing what different car audio system components does is a huge help when you’re in the market to get a sound system installed in your vehicle. Whether its through us, or another local car audio shop in Houston that does the install we want to make sure you have the knowledge you need to make the right decision when installing a sound system.

Aside from what speakers you choose the amplifiers you pick for your car audio system are one of the most important parts of a sound system. So, the question is- what is an amplifier?

In short, an amplifier does exactly what its name implies- they take the audio signal from your car’s factory or aftermarket stereo and distributes that amplified signal to your door speakers or subwoofers. Picking the right amplifier for your sound system is super important. If you pick an amplifier that isn’t powerful enough to drive your speakers then you run the risk of introducing distortion into your sound system or even end up in a situation where your amplifier gets overwhelmed and will cut off. If you pick an amplifier that is too powerful for the speakers installed, then you will end up burning out your speakers.

While in theory all amplifiers do the same thing at their core that does not mean that all amplifiers are created equal. In fact, different amplifiers are designed specifically to work with different types of speakers. For our purposes we are going to focus on the two most common types of amplifiers you will run into: 4-channel amplifiers and Monoblock amplifiers.

Most common type of amplifier that you will use in a car audio system install is a Monoblock amplifier. These amps are probably what most people think of when they hear the word “amp”. They are used to power subwoofers in sound systems. These types of amps tend to advertise themselves as producing a high wattage of power (think 1000 watts) and are specifically designed to boost the low-end audio frequencies of music that produces that deep and clear bass “thump”. In a complete sound system you will need at least one of these types of amps if you want to install subwoofers in your vehicle.

Woofers like these 8 inch Kicker L7s need a monoblock amplifer to play at their full potential.

 

The next most common type of amplifier is known as 4-channel amps. These amplifiers are mainly designed to drive the mids and highs of your car audio system. So think of a 4 channel amplifier as the powerhouse that drives all your door speakers and your tweeters. 4-channel amps differ from monoblock amplifiers in that they are specifically designed to amplify the signals in music that make up most of the vocals and the high-end frequencies of music. Most complete car audio systems will use one of these amplifiers to power upgraded door speakers in vehicle. Generally speaking, you don’t really need to install one of these amplifiers if you are going to keep using your stock door speakers because they simply are not designed to handle the power.

Pro audio door speakers like these ProNeo speakers from DS18 will sound best when paired up with a 4-channel amp. Factory and aftermarket stereos simply do not have the power to drive these speakers on their own.

 

There you have it! Now,  while this isn’t definitely all the information you need to be a car audio expert at least you now have the very basics of amplifiers down! Finding the right audio system for your vehicle may seem overwhelming at first, but we are here to help in any way that we can. If you have more questions or are looking to get a quote for a sound system at one of our Houston locations just give us a call! Remember, it’s your ride made better.

Aftermarket Morimoto LED headlight installed on a nissan 370ZCategoriesBlogs

Product Highlight: Morimoto XB LED Headlights

Old and faded headlights not only make your vehicle look 10 years older than it actually is but can also keep you from driving comfortably at night or during bad weather. If your vehicle’s headlights are starting to fade or you’re thinking about upgrading your factory lighting over to LED bulbs, then Morimoto’s brand of LED headlights are something you may want to consider.

In today’s highlight we are focusing on Morimoto’s factory LED headlight replacements for a 2010 Nissan 370Z. While there are tons of options available for headlight replacements online, keep in mind that investing in good quality headlights will assure that they will not only last, but also perform well when you really need them to. One look at these headlights is enough to give you the idea- they look awesome and are clearly built to last.

LED headlights, Morimoto Headlights, LEDs

Morimoto’s XB LED headlights are a direct factory replacement to your original headlights all while giving you some extra features. The most noticeable aesthetic difference between the OEM headlights and Morimoto’s is the addition of daytime running lights and sequential turn signals. While the original headlights have neither of these features the Morimoto XB LED headlights flawlessly integrates these modern features into your vehicle with no extra wiring or modules.

LED headlights, Morimoto Headlights, LEDs

These headlights aren’t just about looks though. After all, what is the point of having fancy headlights if they don’t, you know, light up the road? Well with these XB LED headlights you don’t have to worry about performance at all. These headlights come with a total of 3 high power LED projector lenses that will dramatically improve visibility compared to the factory option. So not only do these after market headlights look way better, but they also work way better.

Its clear Morimoto brand headlights are the best of the best when it comes down to aftermarket headlights. Their products are backed by a limited lifetime warranty which shows their commitment to developing and producing some of the best headlights and other lighting equipment on the market so you can rest assured that your investing in top quality stuff.

As always if you have any questions about LED lights, headlights, or other lighting options for your vehicle feel free to give us a call!

Remember, its your ride made better.

Can-Am Maverick X3 UTV that has a lift kit installed with aftermarket wheels and tires.CategoriesBlogs

Build Highlight: Can-Am Maverick X3 Custom Box and Full Sound System

This build highlight is going to focus on our full sound system build for yet another one of our Can-Am Maverick x3. This side by side got a full sound system treatment with a total of 6 high powered DB Drive midrange drivers, and two high powered Twister audio 8inch subwoofers.

Let’s start off this highlight by looking at the custom amp rack we made for this thing. Our amp rack sits flush in the roof and houses all our amplifiers high enough to protect them from the elements. The amp rack is made from the same materials we use to make our UTV bass boxes which are designed to withstand high moisture without swelling and breaking like traditional bass boxes made from MDF.

The elements that make this side-by-side stand out from our other builds is the addition of our custom-made door panel speaker pods. Each of our speaker pods houses a pair of high-powered drivers from DB Drive which comes out to about 500 watts rms combined per each door. But that’s not all- we even added another pair of 8-inch midrange speakers by the port of the custom box bringing the total amount of midrange speakers up to 6!

 

With that much power in our midrange speakers we had to make sure that we had enough bass to balance out the system. That’s why we went with two of Twister Audio’s 8-inch subwoofers that are rated at about 800 watts rms a piece. The woofers are housed in one of our custom-made bandpass woofer boxes which is specifically designed to produce a bass response you can feel even in an open space.

 

If you have any questions about this build or if you want to get a quote on a sound system for your UTV or side-by-side just give us a call!

Remember it’s your ride, made better.

CategoriesBlogs

Build Highlight: 2020 Jeep Wrangler JL Door Speaker Upgrade

For today’s build highlight we wanted to take a look at some factory door speaker upgrades for newer Jeep Wrangler JLs. Some newer JL models depend on 2 sets of 4inch speakers and two sets of 2inch tweeters for their factory sound system. While this might be fine for some, these small speakers just don’t cut it if you want a loud sound system. First of all, these tiny speakers aren’t really cut out for any sort of aftermarket amplifier, so if you were thinking about getting more oomph out of them by adding a 4-channel amplifier that’s going to be a no-go.

 

Luckily enough for us our friends over at Metra have developed speaker pods that allow us to go from the factory 4” component speakers over to a 6.5-inch speaker of your choice. Making the switch from a 4” door speaker to a 6.5” door speaker dramatically opens your options when it comes to picking out a replacement speaker for your power needs.These pods are available for both the two component speakers up on the sound bar and the set of 4” speakers that sit up under the driver foot wells so that way you can fully upgrade your Jeep’s factory sound system.

6.5 inch Kenwood speaker in its front dash adapter for Jeeps.

For this specific sound system, we decided to go with one of our favorite factory replacement full range door speakers: Kenwood Exelon Reference. As we’ve mentioned before- these door speakers are perfect for most sound systems. They work great with factory radios but can also handle up to 100 watts rms so they’re perfect for the addition of a 4-channel amplifier.

As always if you have any questions about our builds or want to price out a sound system of your own feel free to give us a call!

Remember its your ride, made better.

Custom sound system and subwoofer box installed on can-am maverick x3CategoriesBlogs

Build Highlight: Can-Am Maverick X3 Sound System and Custom Box

For this build highlight we are going to look at a custom woofer box we made for this 2023 Can-Am Maverick X3! This sound system is designed to handle the outdoor elements and provide a loud and clear sound experience even while outdoors.

 

Here is an overall breakdown of what this sound system is made of:

  • 4 DS18 Wake-Tower speakers mounted on our custom wake-tower bar.
  • A fully loaded Rockford Fosgate rooftop enclosure.
  • 2 10” Twister subwoofers.
  • Our custom-made bandpass box

The crown jewel of this build is our custom-made woofer box. We specifically designed this box to deliver a punch even while you’re out in the middle of a trail or hanging out beachside. One thing that makes our custom UTV boxes stand out is that we don’t use normal MDF wood to make them; instead, we use materials that won’t swell up or break down when exposed to water and humidity.

The woofers used in this sound system come from our friends over at Twister Audio. These tornado series subwoofers are rated at about 1000 watts rms which means they have more than enough power to make sure everyone will hear you jamming.

With the amount of bass this sound system has we had to make sure that our mids and highs delivered a punch too. The addition of 4 DS18 tower speakers adds a perfect balance between voice and bass to our UTV’s sound system to deliver a well-rounded sound.

If you want to learn more about our custom-made side-by-side or UTV boxes, please give us a call for a quote!

Remember, its your ride made better.

CategoriesBlogs Info

Can I add a Sound System to My Factory Radio?

So, you just got yourself a brand-new-top-of-the-line-best-2027 car or truck and you’ve made one huge realization- the factory sound system sucks. Well, the sound system sucks but you actually really like the factory radio that comes with it (Apple CarPlay and back-up cameras are awesome).

Setting up an LC6i from AudioControl in one of our systems.

Tons of people call into the shop to ask us this question about their vehicles- can I add a sound system to my car/truck without changing the factory radio? The answer is absolutely! We can install sound systems into most car or trucks without having to change or modify the factory radio because of adapters called Line Output Converters.

A line output converter is a device that allows us to get an audio signal from your factory radio and send that signal to a monoblock amplifier if you just want to add bass, or a 4-channel amplifier if you want to do a full sound system!

Now keep in mind that not all line output converters are made equal. There’s a ton of options out there when it comes to line output converters that will fit all sorts of budgets, but keep in mind that line output converters are the foundation of your sound system- having a good quality audio signal from your factory radio can make or break your sound system.

For sound systems that use two amplifiers- one for voice and one for bass- we highly recommend using AudioControl’s LC6i to grab a clean signal from your factory radio. However, if you are just wanting to add bass to your factory sound system or are on a tight budget, we’ve found that line output converters from companies like PAC Audio, Raptor Audio and AudioControl’s entry level line output converters will work just fine.

If you have any questions about sound systems, feel free to give us a call anytime!

Remember, it’s your ride made better.

RGB accent lights installed on a GMC Sierra truckCategoriesBlogs

Build Highlight: 2016 GMC Sierra Full Sound System and RGB Lighting

Its time to highlight one of the sound systems we worked on at our shop! This sound system was installed on a 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 and covers all the basses needed for a full-blown sound system.

 

Here’s the overall breakdown for what we installed:

  • 1 AudioControl LC6i to get a clean signal from the truck’s factory radio.
  • 0 Gauge oxygen free power and ground cable.
  • 2 Hifonics Gemini Amplifiers- one to power our subwoofers and one to power the door speakers.
  • 2 Sets of DS18 ProNeo speakers for the doors.
  • 1 Set of DS18 low profile tweeters for the dash.
  • AudioControl’s Epicenter Bass Restoration processor.
  • 1 pair of DB drive 8” woofers
  • Our custom-made ported woofer box.

Now the most important part of any sound system is going to be the stuff you don’t even hear- the wiring and line output converters. We decided to go with 0-gauge Stinger brand oxygen free copper (OFC) power cable to serve as the foundation for the entire system. Using oxygen free cable in your sound system is going to make sure all your amplifiers are receiving the optimal amount of power from your battery. While OFC cable tends to be a little more expensive than other types of amp power kits, we fully believe it is the best bet to go with to make sure any system works no matter the size.

 

The next bit of the system’s foundation is the line output converter. For those of you who may not know- line output converters are little devices that let us connect your aftermarket sound system to your factory radio without having to modify it! There are tons of options out there for line output converters to use, but for a build of this size our preference is Audio Control’s LC6i system. Using the right line output converter can make or break any sound system in your car because its going to act as the source of the audio signal that your amplifiers are going to work with. The LC6i is going to give us the cleanest signal from our factory radio without introducing any extra noise. Using cheaper or less powerful alternatives won’t give us a quality signal to which will make your system not sound the best- even if you shelled out the money for top-of-the-line amplifiers and speakers.

Now for the fun stuff! This build utilizes a set of DS18 ProNeo pro audio speakers and tweeters powered by a Hifonics brand 4- channel amplifier to deliver the mids and highs for this system. The DS18 ProNeo series of door speaker provides a whopping 250 watt rms punch to this sound system delivering loud and clear mids and highs.

For the bass we went with two DB Drive 8” sub woofers loaded in one of our custom ported boxes. These woofers are being powered by a monoblock Hifonics amplifier at 1 ohm so that we can get the full power of the amplifier. This customer mentioned to us that he listens to a wide range of genres of music, so we also decided to add and Epicenter from our friends at Audio Control. The Epicenter is a bass restoration DSP that allows us to adjust the amplitude of lower frequencies- aka it increases the bass in songs that don’t really have a lot of bass in them like corridos, banda, country, etc.

And finally, we went ahead and added some interior and exterior lighting around the truck to give it that extra personal touch. While these LED lights and underglow don’t add anything to the sound system it helps the truck stand out from the rest.

RGB lighting.

If you’re interested in getting a sound system or have any questions about car audio, security, or suspension feel free to give us a call! Remember, it’s your ride made better.

Deaf Bonce Apocalypse truck door speaker installed in a truck door.CategoriesBlogs

What Are the Best Door Speakers?

 

Most people will hold on to their cars for at least 10 years which is great- until you realize that the average lifespan of factory door speakers are about 3 to 4 years. Getting ahead of the curve and replacing your old factory truck speakers before they go out can save you a bunch of headaches down the line. There are a wide range of truck speakers available out on the market today, so picking the right door speakers might be a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry we got you!

Picking the best door speakers for your car is going to mainly boil down to one question: How loud do you want to go?

Kenwood Excelon truck door speaker installed.
Kenwood Excelon door speaker installed.

 

If your main goal is to improve your existing the sound quality and clarity of your factory system, then we highly suggest looking for speakers that advertise themselves as being “factory replacements”. These types of door speakers will work great with your factory or aftermarket radio and won’t need a four-channel amplifier. One of our absolute favorite speakers in this category is the Kenwood Excelon Reference series of speakers. These door speakers are built using a glass fiber cone which means that they’re built to last and come with a built in high power tweeter. This series of door speaker can handle up to 100 watts rms so while they’ll work great with whichever radio you have, they can also handle the addition of a 4 channel amplifier if you want your sound system to go even louder.

Kenwood Excelon truck door speaker installed.
Kenwood Excelon truck door speaker installed.

 

If you think it’s time for a door speaker upgrade in your car or truck- just give us a call! Its your ride, made better.