Professional Installation of Auto Sound Systems
So, you just dropped $800 for a good auto sound system. Now comes one of the hardest decisions you will have to make: do I get this system installed professionally or do it myself? While you may be very tempted to do it yourself and avoid spending another $300 or more having it professionally installed, you need to ask yourself several questions before you decide to do it yourself.
Can I Do This Myself?
The first question you need to ask yourself and answer honestly is “Can I really do this on my own?”. Installing an auto sound system is no easy task. It requires concentration, a certain proficiency at mechanical tasks, and a fair amount of specialized knowledge.
Something as simple as running too small a wire can cause physical damage to your expensive components, and some of the more common problems like ground loop noise or alternator whine can be difficult to fix if you do not know the electrical theory behind it all.
Mounting speakers and your head unit usually requires some sort of modifications to your cars body and dash, and if not done properly can damage your vehicle and look lousy. Even installing a subwoofer requires enough knowledge of acoustics and how sound propagates to be able to build an enclosure that sounds good and works with your subwoofer rather than against it.
If none of the preceding examples made much sense to you, then you are probably better off having your auto sound system professionally installed. It will save you a lot of time, headache, and quite possibly money of you damage expensive components or your vehicle.
But if you have some idea what all this means or are willing to spend a couple of weeks learning all the ins and outs involved, then doing it yourself may be a viable option.
Do I Want to Do This Myself?
Even if you either already are capable enough or feel confident you could learn how well enough to do it yourself, you may not want to. For one thing, doing an excellent job of installing even the most basic auto sound system takes a lot of time and effort spent cramped in your car interior.
Wires, screws, and other things you must get at invariably seem to be in the most awkward locations. In some cars, even getting the part of the dash off you will need to can be a nightmare. Having a professional do it can save you a lot of time and effort and will usually wind up with you listening to the system you just dropped big bucks on a lot sooner. Plus, any shop worth going to will offer a warranty on their work.
So, if some wiring, they install shorts out in the future, you may be covered for any damage resulting from it. This can be especially important in auto sound systems, since they are routinely subjected to vibration, shock, dust, and temperature extremes.
Sound Quality is Paramount
If you think that installing an auto sound system is as simple as hooking everything up and going off down the road, you do not need to be doing the installation yourself.
After hooking everything up comes the hardest part to get right for the amateur: tuning the new system. Things like crossover frequencies, overall sound balance, and the precise speaker locations can make an ENORMOUS difference in the way your system sounds at the end.
If you do not know exactly what to listen for, and do not have some audio tuning CDs, your sound will be very suboptimal. Even though it may sound all right to you, you will be amazed at how much better a finely tuned auto sound system can sound. A professional can more than likely do a much better job of this in less time than you can.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehab Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Speakers Play the Sound but Auto Sound Systems Make It”
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