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Car Audio Systems – All you need to know…

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A very good guide for who wants to buy a car audio system. An excellent book that will guide you step-by-step when buying a sound system for your car.

Part I: Starting with Sound Advice

Chapter 1: Exploring the World of Car Audio
Chapter 2: Considering Stock Systems
Chapter 3: Knowing What Sounds Good 

Part II: Shopping for a Great System

Chapter 4: Finding the Right Retail Experience
Chapter 5: Installing Your System: Going Pro or Going Solo 

Part III: Selecting the Best Components 

Chapter 6: Starting with the Head
Chapter 7: Carrying All Your Tunes 
Chapter 8: The Golden Age of Wireless 
Chapter 9: Moving Pictures
Chapter 10: Considering Head Unit Features
Chapter 11: Pumping Up the Volume
Chapter 12: Choosing the Right Amplifier
Chapter 13: Installing an Amplifier
Chapter 14: Sounding Off with Speakers 
Chapter 15: Installing Speakers 
Chapter 16: Going Low with Subwoofers 
Chapter 17: Equalizing, Processing, and Crossing Over


Part IV: Tying It All Together

Chapter 18: Wiring Your Car Audio System 
Chapter 19: Gearing Up with Accessories
Chapter 20: Tuning Your System


Part V: Protecting Your System and Yourself

Chapter 21: Securing and Insuring Your System
Chapter 22: Keeping Safe and Legal


Part VI: The Part of Tens

Chapter 23: Ten Steps to Great Sound
Chapter 24: Ten Questions to Ask Your Salesperson or Installer 
Chapter 25: Ten Steps to Maintaining Your System 

Car Audio Sound System

Table of Contents

Introduction
About This Book
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Starting with Sound Advice
Part II: Shopping for a Great System
Part III: Selecting the Best Components
Part IV: Tying It All Together
Part V: Protecting Your System and Yourself
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Part I: Starting with Sound Advice
Chapter 1: Exploring the World of Car Audio 
Taking the Car Audio Plunge
The best time ever for car audio fans
Your roadmap to awesome car tunes
You’ve come to the right place
Deciding What Kind of Mobile Music Listener You Are
Knowing Your Car, Your Needs, and Your Budget
Your car
Your needs
Your budget
Choosing between Mild and Wild
Upgrade your factory-installed system
Keep your factory radio
Understanding OEM upgrade options
Chapter 2: Considering Stock Systems 
What Bose Hath Wrought
Aftermarket and Stock: Playing Both Sides of the Fence
Staying with Stock
Stock Systems: Getting Better All the Time
Chapter 3: Knowing What Sounds Good 
Understanding What Constitutes Good Sound
Discovering Aspects of Sound Quality
Clarity
Dynamic range
Frequency response
Tonal balance
More Advanced Sound Quality Concepts
Timbre
Tonal accuracy
Staging and imaging
Finding a Reference
High quality sound systems
Test and sound quality CDs
Personal favorites
Part II: Shopping for a Great System
Chapter 4: Finding the Right Retail Experience 
Car Audio Specialty Stores
Where the experts are
What they can offer
What it will cost you
Big Box Options
Good prices, but  
Installation issues
Buying Online
Why you can’t get everything you want
Pimp my browser
Understanding Warranties and Returns
Shopping for Used Equipment
Chapter 5: Installing Your System: Going Pro or Going Solo   
Understanding Modern Car Systems
Warranty issues
“Lease” is the word
Exploring the Advantages of Going Pro
MECP certification
Questions to ask
Installing It Yourself
Know your car and your limitations
Manufacturers’ warranties
Where to Get Help
The ‘Net effect on DIY
Magazines
Part III: Selecting the Best Components
Chapter 6: Starting with the Head  
Choosing CD or DVD
How the iPod Changed Everything
Music files go mobile
Space versus sound
Doing Windows
The disc-less drive
Chapter 7: Carrying All Your Tunes 
Invasion of the iPod
FM modulators
Aftermarket head units
Aftermarket iPod adaptors
Auxiliary inputs
Car dealer kits
Sync and the future
USB in the Dash
Another way in for the iPod
Thumb drives
In the Cards: SD and MMC
Hard Disc Drives: Burn, Baby, Burn
Chapter 8: The Golden Age of Wireless 
Music of the Spheres: Satellite Radio
What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?: HD Radio
What HD Radio is
Where you can get it
How you can get it
Linking in with Bluetooth
Bluetooth head units
Bluetooth A2DP
Chapter 9: Moving Pictures
Drivin’ Movies
In-Dash DVD Players
Double-DIN head units
Fold-out screens
Players only
DVD-Audio
DVD Head Unit Features
Dual-zone capability
Video output
Auxiliary audio/video inputs
DVD Beyond the Dash
Headrest monitors/DVD players
Overhead video consoles
Raw monitors
Portable options
Videogaming on the Go
Chapter 10: Considering Head Unit Features  
Comparing Basic Head Unit Features
High power
Preamp outputs
High-voltage output
Auxiliary input
iPod integration
USB port
MP3/WMA capability
Satellite radio control
Remote control
Skip protection or memory buffer
Dual zone
Auxiliary audio/video input
Station presets
Seek and scan tuning
Local/distant tuning
Mute and Attenuation
Loudness control
Detachable faceplate
Subwoofer crossover and/or subwoofer-level control
Bass, treble, balance, and fader
Equalizer
CD-Text
Repeat and random or shuffle play
CD-changer controls
Multicolor and multifunction displays
Clock
Seeking Out Cutting-Edge Features
Bluetooth
HD Radio
SD Card slot
Inspecting the Specs
Installing Your Head Unit
Removing the stock radio
Wiring the new head unit
Kits and fits
Chapter 11: Pumping Up the Volume 
Powering Up with an Amplifier
Knowing How Much Power Is Enough
Sensitivity training
Vehicle noise
The diminishing returns of increased power
Power per channel
Making Sense of Specs
Bridging to mono
High-current amps
More amp specs
Class warfare
Chapter 12: Choosing the Right Amplifier 
Choosing the Right Type of Amplifier
Stereo amplifiers
Multichannel amplifiers
Subwoofer amplifiers
Considering the Different Features of an Amp
Crossovers
Bass boost or equalization
Remote subwoofer control
Gain control
High-level inputs
Preamp outputs
Gold-plated RCA input connectors
Balanced inputs
LED status indicator
Getting Input on Inputs and Outputs
Keeping Cool with Protection Circuitry
Thermal protection
Cooling fans
Short-circuit protection
Impedance protection
Connection shroud
Low-voltage protection
Keeping It Pretty: Cosmetic Considerations
Chapter 13: Installing an Amplifier
Gathering the Facts Before You Amp Up
Getting Comfortable with Your Car’s Charging System
Deciding Where to Plant Your Power
Getting wired
Allowing for inputs and outputs
Structuring Wire Runs
Making a Fuss over Fuses
Getting in-line
Respecting the fuse ratings
Staying Grounded
Chapter 14: Sounding Off with Speakers              
The Anatomy of a Speaker
Discovering How Speakers Speak
The highs and lows
Components and coaxials
Crossover artists
Speaker Specs
Frequency response
Power handling
Sensitivity
Listening Carefully
Chapter 15: Installing Speakers 
Common Speaker Locations and Sizes
Speaker locations
Speaker sizes
Fitting In or Adapting: Using Stock Openings
Putting a Speaker Exactly Where You Want It
Installing Speakers
A DIYer’s Guide to Door Speaker Installation
Getting to the factory speaker
Disconnecting the factory speaker
Wiring up the new speaker
Connecting the new speaker
Accentuating the positive, and the negative
Running wires
Securely crossing over
Chapter 16: Going Low with Subwoofers 
Choosing a Subwoofer
Prefab bass
Going with a raw sub
Discovering the Different Types of Enclosures
Infinite baffle
Sealed enclosures
Vented enclosures
Exotic vented enclosures
Checking Out Subwoofer Specs
Frequency response
Power handling
Sensitivity
Physical specs
Impedance
Wiring Your Subwoofers
Series wiring
Parallel wiring
Dual voice coil subwoofers
Why all this wiring?
Building Yourself a Sub Box
Gathering your tools and materials
Building the box
Mounting the subwoofer
Securing your sub
Chapter 17: Equalizing, Processing, and Crossing Over      
All Things Being Equal: Equalizers
Divide and equalize
Types of equalization
Types of equalizers
Signal processors
OEM integration processors
Crossovers: Signal Traffic Cops
Get active
Passive resistance
Points, slopes, and orders
Crossover types
Installing Equalizers
In-dash EQs
Remote-mount EQs
Installing Crossovers
Electronic crossovers
Passive crossovers
Part IV: Tying It All Together
Chapter 18: Wiring Your Car Audio System        
Deciding Between Plain Jane Wire and Audio Jewelry
Breaking Down the Different Types of Cables
Power Cords
Finding a good gauge
Other factors
Playing it safe
Staying grounded
Finding a good ground
Power accessories
On the Preamp Level: Signal Cable
Signal cable
Other signal transfer options
Carrying a Tune: Speaker Cable
Chapter 19: Gearing Up with Accessories     
More Power to You: Capacitors, Batteries, and Alternators
Capacitors
Auxiliary batteries
High-output alternators
Keeping It Quiet
Sound-deadening material
Installation Tips for Accessories
Capacitors
Auxiliary batteries
Sound-deadening material
DIY installation tools
Chapter 20: Tuning Your System       
Tuning In: Getting the Best Sound Out of Your System
Understanding what constitutes good sound
Points of reference
Setting Gains
Level matching starts with the head
From the head to the amp  
Setting gains and crossover points by ear  
Using a Real-Time Analyzer   
Keeping an Ear Out for Tuning Issues   
Bass in the back  
Out of phase speaker wiring   
Distortion   
Troubleshooting Your System   
Grounding problems   
Alternator whine  
Switch pop  
Part V: Protecting Your System and Yourself   
Chapter 21: Securing and Insuring Your System    
Securing Your Ride with an Alarm   
The parts of a security system   
Head unit security   
Using Common Sense   
Insuring Your System  
Be prepared  
Before and after a theft
Chapter 22: Keeping Safe and Legal     
Playing It Smart 
Knowing When the Music Is Too Loud
Being Aware of Driver Distraction 
Part VI: The Part of Tens 
Chapter 23: Ten Steps to Great Sound
  
Making Up Your Mind 
Doing Your Homework
Using Your Ears 
Using Your Head
Finding a Friend
Trusting Your Instincts
Keeping It Simple
Planning Ahead
Cranking It Up
Turning It Down
Chapter 24: Ten Questions to Ask Your Salesperson or Installer   
Can You Give Me References?
Can I See Systems You’ve Done? 
How Are Your Installers Trained? 
What’s Your Service Policy? 
What’s Your Installation Rate?
Are You an Authorized Dealer? 
Do You Guarantee Your Work? 
Do You Carry Insurance?
Do You Install Equipment You Don’t Sell?
Do You Help with DIY Installations? 
Chapter 25: Ten Steps to Maintaining Your System              
Keeping It Clean
Keeping It Cool 
Turning It Down
Turning It Off
Tightening It Up
Paying Attention
Securing Your Sub 
Checking Your Antenna 
Maintaining Power
Keeping Your Change

Car Audio for dummies – you can buy this book on dummies.com .

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