Power To The Speakers!

Power To The Speakers

Does your  in car audio system sound flat and lifeless? Too much bass when stationary, not enough when driving? Appalling dynamic range and a lack of clarity? These are all complaints we receive on a daily basis. The temptation is to blame the speakers. Almost universally, these are purchased by the motor manufacturer on an appallingly low budget. The quality is often very poor and in most cases it is no wonder that despite an onboard facility to change tone or add equalisation, little improvement is possible. However, as in all areas, evolution causes us to re assess conventional wisdom and look for other alternatives.

In all cases the sound in your car will improve with a simple speaker upgrade but, should this be the “go to” cure in all cases? We have spoken at length about manufacturers employing the services of “famous” audio brands to make the sound better in their cars. This has often been managed in the head unit or in a separate amplifier/processor module with varying effect. In the case of head unit sound curves, a change of speakers may not be the cause or the answer. Even if you upgrade what’s on the end of your system, you may find severe differences between low and high level listening, as the dynamic sound curves distort the integrity of the output of the head unit.

Recently we have discovered that a lack power to speakers can be as much of a problem as the speakers themselves and in certain cases, an amplifier upgrade could be a better first port of call! Furthermore, by upgrading to an amplifier with built-in DSP, we gain the ability to tune out the negative effect of sound curve tinkering, which further improves the situation. It is quite likely that in order to achieve excellent sound an entire system needs to be installed but, for those upgrading in stages, an amplifier may offer greater improvement than a speaker upgrade.

A FOUR MASTER will have first-hand experience of the best route for you to take in your particular car. He/she will know what speakers are fitted and whether there is potential to improve their performance with the addition of more power and employing a good quality Digital Signal Processor (DSP).

FOUR MASTERs have the perfect tools to do the job in the form of a whole host of good quality amplifiers and discrete DSP’s as well as amplifiers with built in DSP. It is important to consider just how much extra power you may need however, as applying too much to factory-fitted speakers could lead to early failure! Once again, your FOUR MASTER will know.

Another important consideration is just how much power is really provided by your existing head unit? It is an industry standard these days to quote 4 X 50 Watts – Suggesting that a standard head unit is capable of providing four channels of 50 Watts of amplification. In most case this is a completely arbitrary number with no reference to the quality achievable at the high end. In AB tests we often find that 45 Watts from an Audison Prima amplifier offers a much higher “listenable” output. Most head units will distort horribly from about half volume and although electronically, more power appears to be available, it rarely leads to more output, but simply more distortion!

Driving sounds featured a very good article on how power ratings are often misused and abused by  manufacturer’s of audio equipment. You can read the article for free here: https://www.drivingsounds.co.uk/articles/driving-sounds-issue-4/whats-watt/

A further advantage of employing a DSP is the possibility to defeat the effect of “dynamic” sound curves by setting the head unit output to a level and then using a remote control to change volume directly at the amplifier. Once again, your FOUR MASTER is best placed to explain this concept in full to you and recommend the best product for your specific application.

In conclusion, although there are plenty of online resources available to prove and disprove science, there is absolutely no substitute for experience. This is why FOUR MASTERS exist and we urge you to start your own investigations here:


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