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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.

 

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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.

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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.