CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Fixing My Sound System

Hey All,

Long story short, I had to buy an amp and put it in my car which only had 2 front speakers.

Well now, it seems that one of the front speakers has blown.

I was wondering how I would match up my amp to compatible speakers (I plan on replacing the front 2 and adding the back 2 in)?

Thank you

Your amp should have come with detailed instructions and a wiring diagram as to how to install it…Sometimes these installations are best left to a pro…

I was an ICE installer for over 15yrs as a professional… Just use a high quality speaker… Im partial to Pioneer 6 1/2 in 2 ways for the doors… Any high quality speaker will be fine as pretty much all of them can handle MUCH more than any factory radio can provide (Power that is)

Blackbird

The amp is already installed, I just need to know which speakers to buy so the amp/speakers don’t burn.

Like HB said, pretty much any quality speaker will work. Your amp should have in its specs the minimum impedence it can handle, typically 4 ohm. Any speaker rated at that amout or higher will work fine. If you’re looking for speakers, I use crutchfield.com to find ones that fit. I’ve always been satisfied buying from them.

Ok thank you, would the same go for subwoofers?

You should have a wattage rating on the back of all speakers. Most car speakers are 4 ohm and most car amps are as well. Make sure that matches. Don’t keep cranking the amp up till distortion in the amp ruins the speaker, and you should have few problems. Buying from Crutchfield and doing your own work will get you some good advice from their techs on installation.

Make sure you use both a high quality speaker and amp that does not distort at the high volumes you seem to prefer.

Small subwoofers of 8 inches or less give you all the bass you need for inside the car. Anything more than that, and your goal changes to “entertaining” every one else outside. If you can afford it, a professional auto sound installation shop usually gives the best advice and does the best job specific to your car…they are all different environments and each has it’s own solutions. What might work for you, may not for other cars or ears. I have been spoiled by the shops in our area and even if I had the equipment and time, I would have one of them do the choosing of equipment and installation.

+1 with @Dagosa.
The problem often is that the supply to the amp isn’t large enough and it starts clipping on prolonged base notes. That clipping or saturation is really hard on speakers.
It often pays to put the fattest wires you can afford to the amp so the amp doesn’t sag or starve.
On professional amps they actually make sure this doesn’t happen by putting a large coil in the power supply to be able to give extra 'oooomphhh" to base notes.

+1/2 : The impedence of the speakers (say, 4 ohms) needs to be equal to or greater than the amp’s rating. It’s fine to use 8 ohm speakers with an amp rated for 4 ohm speakers, but not vice versa.

And it’s usually a too-small amp that blows out speakers because it was driven into clipping, as explained above, rather than a too-powerful amp.

Go to crutchfield.com. They have a large selection of speakers and they list the specs for the speakers, like power handling, freq response, efficiency etc. They provide you with enough information to make an intelligent decision. You only need to know the power out of your amp. They have a great tech support too.

I am partial to the Polk Audio speakers, but you need to make your decision based on the information provided there.

See if your auto-sound shop offers a free hearing test, now and a year from now…