Legendary how-to content
We published content before content was cool
Lots of companies publish how-to articles, but how many can say they've been doing it since 1975? Back then, using costly catalog pages for articles was a risky move. But readers loved the helpful info, and more than 40 year later, we’re still at it.
Meet Crutchfield's writers
Today's Crutchfield writing staff includes a few veterans of the company's early days. They're joined by some passionate newcomers who bring a fresh perspective.
I've been to Hollywood, I've been to Redwood, I've crossed the ocean for great music.
Meet Bob Bihlmayer
My years of listening to music, performing, and DJing have taught me a lot about what gives you great sound. I'm here to translate that knowledge into information that will help you choose equipment that helps give you the sound you need.
More from Bob Bihlmayer
A house without music is not a home. And a donut without a hole is a danish.
Meet David Brown
I'm a music nut who's constantly on the lookout for new artists to listen to, and new gear on which to listen. I love old-school receivers, amps, and speakers, but I'm also into newer tech like wireless. When I'm not writing articles for the Crutchfield website, I'm developing and editing content for the Crutchfield catalog, playing guitar, watching baseball, coaching soccer, or diving deep into the recesses of my music collection.
Dreaming up fun ways to share information about the latest gear.
Meet Tara W.
I started working for Crutchfield in 2004. I've written about wireless audio gear, whole-house audio, and photo/video, and I try to talk just about everyone I meet into buying a Sonos system. Currently, I spend my days working with the video and social media teams as they dream up fun ways to share info about the latest gear.
I love movies with stunning images & arresting sound... but making people happy is my favorite.
Meet Julie Govan
I'm the Brand Manager at Crutchfield, and I've been writing about consumer electronics since 1999. Some of my areas of expertise include home theater, surround sound, and digital cameras -- but what really motivates me is problem solving for people. In my spare time, I also write, paint, and jog around Central Virginia. I earned a B.A. in English from Davidson College, and went on to receive a master's degree in English literature from the University of Virginia ... which is how I ended up in Charlottesville, where Crutchfield got its start.
Eating up the highway with clarity and volume — a champion of car audio sound.
Meet Robert Ferency-Viars
I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and I've been with Crutchfield since 1999. My first few years were spent as one of our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. Eventually, I moved to the writing team and spent a decade researching new products and getting even more hands on with car audio gear. As the editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web articles, I couldn't ask for a cooler job. We listen to music and play with car audio gear every day! Outside of work, I love playing board games & RPGs, scouting, and installing new audio systems for my friends.
Comin' at you like a spider monkey with a thesaurus.
Meet Eric Angevine
I grew up on the flat plains of Kansas, and I've been walking uphill both ways ever since. I'm a vinyl lover and a former public radio jazz DJ. I like basketball so much, I wrote a book about it. But more than anything, I love music and the way the right song can change my whole day.
My mission in life: cool guitars, Asian food, and helping you build a great car audio system.
Meet Charlie Pastorfield
After a long, beautiful career touring the East Coast from Boston to Atlanta as a professional guitarist (Skip Castro Band, The Believers), I got my first full-time job at Crutchfield, where they actually pay me to write about one of my favorite subjects — car audio gear! It's now my mission in life to make people understand how much fun it is to have a first-rate sound system in your vehicle.
My name is Ken. I seek the Holy Grail of car audio excellence. My favorite color is blue.
Meet Ken Nail
I've written about car audio for Crutchfield since 2003, after four years as Crutchfield Sales Advisor, and 10 years as a music teacher. I'm an avid music listener, with a real love of classical and film music. I love having a great system in my car, and I'll still match the system in my 98 Ford Ranger (may it rest in peace) up against anything else I've heard for great SQ. Fun facts: I've completed an Ironman triathlon, run the Boston Marathon, and lost on Jeopardy!
I love spicy food and watching movies in surround sound — preferably at the same time.
Meet Kramer Crane
My love for all things audio started back in the '90s when I built my first speaker enclosure. After joining Crutchfield in 2007, I spent seven years as an Advisor, designing A/V systems for homes, cars, and the occasional party bus. These days I specialize in home speakers and amplifiers, focusing on translating technical jargon into easy-to-understand language. Outside of work, I'm a hobbyist photographer, and enjoy visiting our national parks.
More from Kramer Crane
Best in-wall and ceiling surround sound speaker systems
Our top five choices for an elite, clutter-free home theater
What's most important about audio tech? Only how close it brings you to your music.
Meet Ralph Graves
Even for Crutchfield, I have a somewhat unusual musical background. I've spent my life working and studying in primarily classical music. As a composer, record producer, and label product manager, I've always been most concerned about the quality of the sound. I know what instruments sound like — and how they should sound through speakers. The listening experience is what I try to communicate in my writing.
And while I spend a good deal of the day waxing poetical about multi-room audio systems and Bluetooth speakers, I'm still active musically after hours. I've hosted a weekly classical music program on WTJU since 1984, and I review recordings for their website. And, of course, I still compose.
I'll do my best to make videos that are helpful and interesting.
Meet Zak Billmeier
I've been a camera nut all my life, so it makes sense I'd end up being a video producer. Of course, it has been a roundabout journey for me, as I started at Crutchfield in 2007 writing about car audio gear. Over the years I've learned about all the electronic items we sell, and it is my job to make sure we are making videos that you will find useful, whether you're shopping for something specific or trying to install some new gear yourself. My job is a lot of fun because I get to play around with all the cool stuff you see on our website while I'm making videos. Getting hands-on with the gear helps me see what I should show you about a product, though the flip side is my personal wish list is a mile long...
I belong to a culture of fine sights and sounds, and I like spreading the word.
Meet Buck Pomerantz
In the 1950s, I'd take the family television's vacuum tubes down to Willow Grove Radio and TV Repair, check them with the giant tester machine, buy new replacement tubes, and reassemble the repaired television, so my mom and dad could enjoy their precious, respectively, Dean Martin and Red Skelton shows. In the 1960s, I studied radio and electronics at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. After college, in the early 70s, I joined a rock 'n roll band as the soundman, learning how to operate the electronics that make music sound good. Then, I worked in a music store in Austin manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems and components for recording studios, nightclubs, and touring bands. I moved back to Charlottesville permanently in 1984 and opened a little demo recording studio. I also attempted to put to practical use the creative writing degree I had picked up along the way. In 2006, I finally came to my senses and got this job at Crutchfield where they actually pay me to ramble on, rant, and explain the things I love about music, electronics, and getting good sound.
I'm a longtime audio/video geek. I love learning about and sharing info on the latest A/V tech.
Meet Steve Kindig
I've been writing about audio/video gear for Crutchfield since 1985. These days, I spend most of my time covering TVs. But I've been an audiophile since high school, and I still often listen to music late into the night. So, whenever I get the chance, I love writing about high-end amps, preamps, and speakers, too.
Over the years, I've found other ways to help people connect with music. I'm a volunteer DJ at community radio station WTJU, where I'm a regular host of the American folk show "Atlantic Weekly," as well as the world music program "Beyond Borders," where I get to share my love of African music.
I'm also a board member of the Prism Coffeehouse, in Charlottesville. We produce a series of concerts featuring traditional and acoustic music. I help out at shows with ticket sales, merch sales for the artists, or anything else that needs doing, and in exchange, I get to hear live music almost every week.
I grew up on a farm in the high desert of Southern California, but have lived in the Charlottesville area over half my life. I love the town and the beautiful surrounding countryside. When the weather's nice, you'll often find me out hiking with my four-legged buddy, Finn the corgi, or biking, or kayaking.
If I can find a way to mention my animals, I will. I always will.
Meet Emily S.
I spent over a decade at a software training company before going semi-pro at dog-wrangling. But as a lifelong music fan, amateur photographer, and avid DIYer, I feel like I've found my true home here at Crutchfield. And before I worked here, I shopped here for the same reason — I love the knowledge and enthusiasm that I've found in every corner of this company. Many corners here also contain dogs, which is nice.
International woman of mystery with an eye for composition and an ear for surround sound.
Meet Deia Z.
After earning my MA in Spanish literature from the University of Virginia, I did a little job-hopping before finally landing at Crutchfield in 2010. I spent five years as an Advisor in our Spanish/International department making gear recommendations to customers from all over the world. Back when I first started, I had a nagging obsession with my cellphone camera, which blew up into a full-fledged photography habit after Crutchfield's extensive sales training let me get hands-on with a DSLR for the first time. Aside from my dog and four cats, my favorite subjects to photograph include wildlife, nature, and the Milky Way - or anything that glows in the dark, really. I'm shy with human subjects but I love doing portraits too. I joined the Crutchfield writing team in 2015, and have been happily writing about cameras and awesome audio gear ever since.
I've installed car audio gear in a pumpkin. True or false?
Meet Alexander Hrabe
Alexander Hrabe has owned a '77 Chevy Nova, '86 Toyota Camry, '88 Jeep Cherokee, '92 Ford F-150, '94 Volvo 960, '86 Jaguar XJ6, and made rocking out a priority in every single one. He brings his enthusiasm for freeway fist-pumping and hands-on installation experience to Crutchfield's car speaker category.
Why do we write? So you can find gear that makes you jump and shout.
Meet Jim Richardson
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.
More from Jim Richardson
Multi-room home speaker system buying guide
How to design an easy-to-use music system that sounds and looks great
Intro to home stereo systems
Love music? If you're not playing it on a genuine stereo system, chances are you could love it a lot more
In danger of being trapped under the growing pile of headphones on my desk.
Meet Jeff Miller
I've been helping Crutchfield customers for over a decade. These days, I spend so much time trying out new headphones, that I've earned the name "headphone guy" here at Crutchfield. (And also at other local spots when I go out to grab coffee and forget I'm still wearing them!) You'll find my firsthand take on many headphone product pages.
More from Jeff Miller
Guide to TVs, speakers, and receivers with Chromecast built in
Google lets you use your phone or voice as your remote control
I'm energized by music and reliable directions, so car GPS and audio are my bailiwicks.
Meet Dominic DeVito
I've written about car audio and navigation at Crutchfield since 2006. During that time, I've driven to a lot of concerts in many different cities, so portable navigators have come in quite handy. I've also worked at several record stores and volunteered as a DJ at a community radio station, so I've applied the lessons of listening to music from several sources and in various environments to my own evaluations and writing.
More from Dominic DeVito
An early look at the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 multimedia receiver
Go big in your dash with a 9" floating screen
Just your typical millennial who spends way too much time on social media. Follow @Crutchfield.
Meet Alexis G
I started out with Crutchfield as an intern after graduating from Radford University. I'm now the social media producer, and spend my days creating content that shares Crutchfield's passion and expertise. I love interacting with customers online every day, and learning about all of the awesome gear we sell through training and hands-on projects! Outside of work I love to travel, so solid road trip playlists and great sound are a must! I might be a recent addition to the team, but as it turns out, my dad bought the stereo I grew up jamming to from Crutchfield before I was born, so you could say I've been connected to the company my whole life.
From car racing to car stereos, I've written a lot of words about cars. Different words, even.
Meet Jon Paulette
Jon Paulette is a veteran automotive writer who has spent a fair portion of his life hanging out at racetracks and talking to amazing people who make extremely loud cars reach ridiculous speeds. Despite all that, he still has enough hearing left to enjoy a stupidly large music collection. A native Virginian, Jon lives in the Charlottesville area, roots for the Nationals and would like a good BBQ sandwich right about now.
More from Jon Paulette
The best electronics gear for an off-road Jeep adventure
A man, a dog, and a Jeep take on the Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route
I work each day to help make it easier for you to shop for consumer electronics.
Meet Michael Sokolowski
I'm Crutchfield's senior creative director for mobile electronics. As a lifelong performing musician and composer, I've released seven albums for Breezeway Records and appeared on many others. My band, Sokoband (formerly "Soko"), was an active part of the Charlottesville's creative music scene in the 1990s, and have continued to record and occasionally perform. Sokoband releases have included contributions from musicians like Leroi Moore, Tim Reynolds, Steve Kimock, David Darling, Nir Z, and Dave Matthews. An avid consumer of non-fiction and a choosier consumer of fiction, I love reading, writing, philosophy, science, technology, and language.
Wordsmith for mobile electronics, Demo Days dude, and a generally swell guy.
Meet Dave Delamere
I began my Crutchfield career in 1997 as a Sales Advisor, helping customers find the gear that best fit their needs. Ever since Dad purchased a stereo system from Crutchfield in the '80s, I've been interested in electronics. My passion for movies and music also fueled my desire to get the most out of the gear I hook up. Good gear adds to the impact and emotion.
In 2013, I moved to the Creative department as a copywriter for the mobile electronics division, possibly because of the suggestions I constantly sent them. This great move also let me learn more about the gear we sell. And as part of our Demo Days crew, I get to share this knowledge with Advisors so they can better help you.
More from Dave Delamere
A review of the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 multimedia receiver
A new advisor dives into the installation and features of a unique big screen car stereo
Indulging my passion for great car audio, whether by turning a wrench or turning a phrase.
Meet Matt Freeman
I've been a huge fan of car audio ever since I tried (semi-successfully) to build my own custom truck speaker enclosures as a 16-year-old. I joined the Crutchfield car writing team way back in February of the year 2000, and proceeded over the years to write about nearly every product category we carry. In 2007, I assumed my current role of Car A/V Editor for our catalog, a position that helps me channel my passions for both music and driving.
More from Matt Freeman
Working on the Crutchfield website every day to bring you the gear that rocks your world.
Meet James Ralston
I'm a drummer and die-hard music nerd with a lifelong interest in audio gear. A bandmate turned me on to Crutchfield in 1994, and I spent the next five years as an advisor, talking to customers directly and helping them put together great-sounding audio systems. I've been on our writing team since 1999, and over the years I've gotten tons of hands-on experience hearing, seeing, using, and researching our wide-ranging home audio/video products. One thing I've learned: helping other people experience the joy of an amazing A/V system is just as rewarding as experiencing it yourself.