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Better car audio, Tip #6: Your crossover can really improve the sound of your system

I edit the home A/V and pro audio articles on Crutchfield.com. It's a cool gig for a guy who's been seriously into audio since way before 1974. I started buying records, guitars, and gear with the money I made mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. Now the way I earn my money has changed for the better, but where it goes hasn't changed too much. Just give me the proverbial three chords and the truth. I'll do my best to help you feel it, too.

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Many in-dash receivers include frequency filters that can steer deep bass notes away from your car's "full-range" speakers, which really aren't capable of handling deep bass at high volume levels. By removing the bass, the filter lets you get more clean volume out of your car speakers

A different kind of filter will help you get better sound from a subwoofer. If you put your sub in the rear of your car, you may have noticed that the bass sounds like it's coming from behind you, and that sounds pretty unnatural when the mids and highs are in front of you. Lowering the crossover point on your sub amp's low-pass filter magically brings the bass up front with the rest of the music.

Many amplifiers feature subsonic filters that remove super-low bass that's below the range of human hearing. Go ahead and turn it on - your amp and sub will run cleaner without that subsonic sludge. Also, the compression you use to create your digital music files can cause a low-frequency sputtering sound in your subs. Your subsonic filter can remove or minimize this noise.

Common questions about crossovers.

This post is excerpted from a recent article in our Learning Center, Jeff's Tips for Getting Maximum Sound Quality in Your Car.

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