In this our third and final article in our series about upgrading car audio systems in vehicles with upmixers and a center channel, we’re going to look at the importance of a digital signal processor. Quite simply, we couldn’t create the results we do without having access to a quality DSP with crossover and equalization capabilities. Let’s look at how we complete the upgrade of a factory-installed premium audio system.
Reference Our Signal Routing Map
In our second article, we talked about testing the audio system to understand what type of upmixer it uses and how the original equipment amplifier distributes the audio signal. We call this the process of creating a signal routing map. We’ll also determine how navigation prompts, Bluetooth hands-free audio and warning chimes are routed through the system. Armed with this information and the results of our client consultation, we’ll create a system design that embraces the upmixer benefits and works with the crossovers (if any) built into the system.
Using an appropriate interface solution, we’ll feed signals from the amp into a signal processor, then to a new amplifier and, ultimately, new speakers. We then work through our tuning process to ensure that the new system produces a stable, focused and natural-sounding listening experience. Much of this process involves calibrating the output of the new speakers for the compact listening environment and its unwanted reflections. Without this process, you’ll hear unintended emphasis in certain frequency ranges while others may be lacking.
What Does an Upgraded Car Audio System Sound Like?
If we’ve installed a new audio system with speakers, signal processing, amplifiers and subwoofers, the first things you’ll notice first are impressive volume capabilities and excellent bass performance. The added output potential is thanks to the new speakers and the extra power available from the new amplifiers. The bass extension should be no surprise. Our high-quality subwoofer systems have amazing extension and, even though they are compact, can typically shake the entire vehicle.
After a few minutes of listening, the next thing you’ll notice is the accurate and natural frequency response of the system. Instruments and vocals will have a realistic balance and are amazingly clear. Midbass frequencies won’t be bloated and sloppy, and high-frequency information will be detailed and sound very natural.
Now for the benefits of working with the upmixer and center channel. Since it’s impossible to integrate the center-channel signal back into the stereo recording, we’ll typically replace the midrange and tweeter in the center of the dash to maintain the full functionality of the signal processing algorithm. Once it’s tuned, both the driver and passenger can enjoy a soundstage that extends pillar-to-pillar with excellent instrument and vocalist placement and focus across the dash and windshield. The processing will continue to add a real sense of room ambiance to the recording from the rear and, if present, the side speakers.
Visit the OE Car Stereo Upgrade Experts at Adrenaline Autosound
If you’ve attempted to improve the performance of your stereo and the results aren’t satisfactory, don’t fret. We see this weekly. Likewise, if you want your sound system upgraded the right way, drop by Adrenaline Autosound in Clayton and talk to one of our Product Specialists. If you can’t visit us during regular business hours, send us an e-mail and we’ll coordinate an appropriate time for a consultation.