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Anybody know anything about car audio? - Skippy - 07-03-2015

Around 2008, my dad decided to upgrade the stereo system in his Accord so he could hook up an iPod in the car. He replaced the head unit and the speakers, then decided to add an amplifier shortly thereafter. Ever since the amplifier was installed, he could never really find a happy medium for the volume setting on the head unit; for example, volume setting 2 would be too quiet, but volume setting 3 would be too loud. He explained the issue to the installers, but was met with little more than Shrug. As mentioned, this only seemed to be after adding the amp; before, I seem to recall being able to set the volume at 6 and still be able to hear conversation in the car.

Now, I know next to nothing about car audio. I know my Focus has the upgraded Sony stereo with 10 speakers and a sub in the trunk, and I'm pretty sure I happened upon an amplifier while cleaning out the trunk, but that's about it. Are there settings on the amp or the head unit that I'd need to change? If anyone has any experience with car audio that could lend some assistance, I know my mother would be extremely grateful.

The head unit and amp are both Alpine; I know the head unit is model CDE-9872, but I don't have the amp's model number right now, as the trunk is presently very dark and there are raccoons about.

RE: Anybody know anything about car audio? - FuturDreamz - 07-03-2015

Look for a weird plastic screw on the amp. It might to be possible to change how much it amplifies.

RE: Anybody know anything about car audio? - roo - 07-03-2015

Yeah, there's likely a volume trim pot on the amp that will allow you to adjust its output. There may be more than one if it has any eq filter or a switch to enable a low-pass mode.

RE: Anybody know anything about car audio? - Skippy - 07-04-2015

You folks are awesome. Now that there is sufficient light, I shall check that out.

RE: Anybody know anything about car audio? - Skippy - 07-04-2015

Bingo! Alpine calls it 'gain' but turning down the gain achieved the expected results: eight is the new three. Also had the side benefit of eliminating an annoying hiss during quiet sections of music.

Trickiest part was actually getting at the sucker. It's mounted so far back in the trunk, I couldn't manipulate anything from inside the cabin or outside of the trunk. Good news is, if I ever need to move a body, I know one will fit quite easily in the trunk.

Again, much appreciated!

RE: Anybody know anything about car audio? - roo - 07-05-2015

You may need to futz with it to get it just right. As a general rule, an amplifier gets more distorted as it gets louder. The same applies to your head unit.

You might find success by turning the amp very low, then turning up the head unit as loud as it can go without hearing noticeable distortion. Then, turn up the amp as loud as it will go without distortion (or quieter if that's too loud). Once you've done that, you'll have set up your system to have maximum volume without distortion, and if you only ever put the head unit on 3, that's OK.

RE: Anybody know anything about car audio? - Skippy - 07-05-2015

Thanks for the suggestion. I may have to mess around with it a bit more; it sounds like the front channels are drowned out completely by the rears, as if the fader is set to a rear bias on the head unit. It's probably better since the only one who seems to be in the back seat these days is Molly, and she doesn't say much that has to be heard over the music. Still, some fine tuning may be warranted.