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How to Tune a Car Amplifier

Learn how to tune a car amplifier in this Howcast car stereo video with expert Movin' On.


Hi my name is Movin On, and I've been working in the field of car audio and mobile electronics for 8 over years. I've installed everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms, and beyond. To learn more, visit our web site at

Car amplifiers have a lot of switches and dials on the side. And a lot of the time when we see do-it-yourself installations, we see all these dials and knobs turned all the way up. This is not the proper way to tune a car amplifier. The proper way, is to first turn the gain down, turn all of the filters to off. Then, turn up the car stereo 'til it starts distorting, then back it down a little bit. Then, turn on your high pass filter, adjust it, and then go back and repeat the process. This seems to work for me, gives clear sound, makes sure the gain's at the proper level. If you turn the gain to the wrong level, you can introduce all sorts of noise to your car stereo system. We have people who come in and they step on the gas pedal and there's a whirring sound out of their engine from the speaker. That usually happens when either the amplifier is not grounded properly or when the gain is just turned up way too high. Now the way you adjust the amplifier is gonna vary depending on what type of amplifier you're using, what type of speakers you're using and what type of stereo you're connecting it to. But generally, if you use that same method, you're gonna achieve good sound in the end. Depending on your combination of amplifiers and head units, tuning the amplifier is gonna be slightly different. Some stereos you're gonna have to turn the gain up a lot. Some stereos you're not gonna have to turn the gain up more. Remember that more gain doesn't necessarily mean more volume.

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