Amplifier, Woofer, Sub Woofer?

I am buying a new car audio system which has MP#, CD, and FM features. I know two things audio system and speaker. Can someone please familiarize me with the functionality of other parts such as Amplifier, Woofer and their usability i.e. what are these meant for?

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Any information would be highly useful. Thanks in advance

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Cheers!!

Answers:

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well buddy, a amp is simple. it takes a small amount of power and makes a lot of power. amps are great. you dont need one unless your running a subwoofer, but they will make aftermarket speakers sound much better, as compaired to running the speakers off the cd player. an amp lets you control the bass, and freq going to that speaker.

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a subwoofer takes the low freq's away from your speakers. all its suppose to do is play the bass notes, usually below 100 hrz. there nice to have cause most people like the thump they make, but thats not the only reason to have them. they take the bass away from your other speakers. which is good because thats where most people blow there stuff is by giving the speaker more bass then it can handle.

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as far as recomendations i'd recomend not buying any audio from Best Buy or Circut City. all they sell is junk, and junk sounds like junk. go to a private audio shop and check out what they have. demo everything you can before you buy, and make sure you get what sounds best to you, not the sales guy. also bring your own cd along so you are listening to songs that you would normally listen to. some demo cd's the sales places use are set up to bring out the speakers strenths and hide there weaknesses.

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as far as brands i can recomend a few. but remember these are brands i like. you may not like the same, but there all worth checking out.

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Boston Acoustics
MB Quart
Diamond Audio
Kenwood Excelon
Pioneer Premier

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good luck to you man, i hope this helps.

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ITs optional the sub for more bass the amp powers the sub and the woofer cant help with cuz theres not much diff in the sub woofer and the woofer do a simple amp and sub setup

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amplifier

When people refer to "amplifiers," they're usually talking about stereo components or musical equipment. But this is only a small representation of the spectrum of audio amplifiers. There are actually amplifiers all around us. You'll find them in televisions, computers, portable CD players and most other devices that use a speaker to produce sound.

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In this article, we'll see what amplifiers do and how they do it. Amplifiers can be very complex devices, with hundreds of tiny pieces, but the basic concept behind them is pretty simple. You can get a clear picture of how an amplifier works by examining the most basic components.

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Sound is a fascinating phenomenon. When something vibrates in the atmosphere, it moves the air particles around it. Those air particles in turn move the air particles around them, carrying the pulse of the vibration through the air. Our ears pick up these fluctuations in air pressure and translate them into electrical signals the brain can process.

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Electronic sound equipment works the same basic way. It represents sound as a varying electric current. Broadly speaking, there are three steps in this sort of sound reproduction:

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Sound waves move a microphone diaphragm back and forth, and the microphone translates this movement into an electrical signal. The electrical signal fluctuates to represent the compressions and rarefactions of the sound wave.

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A recorder encodes this electrical signal as a pattern in some sort of medium -- as magnetic impulses on tape, for example, or as grooves in a record.

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A player (such as a tape deck) re-interprets this pattern as an electrical signal and uses this electricity to move a speaker cone back and forth. This re-creates the air-pressure fluctuations originally recorded by the microphone.
As you can see, all the major components in this system are essentially translators: They take the signal in one form and put it into another. In the end, the sound signal is translated back into its original form, a physical sound wave.
In order to register all of the minute pressure fluctuations in a sound wave, the microphone diaphragm has to be extremely sensitive. This means it is very thin and moves only a short distance. Consequently, the microphone produces a fairly small electrical current.

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This is fine for most of the stages in the process -- it's strong enough for use in the recorder, for example, and it is easily transmitted through wires. But the final step in the process -- pushing the speaker cone back and forth -- is more difficult. To do this, you need to boost the audio signal so it has a larger current while preserving the same pattern of charge fluctuation.

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This is the job of the amplifier. It simply produces a more powerful version of the audio signal. In this next section, we'll look at the basic elements in this system.

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Woofer

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traditional speakers produce sound by pushing and pulling an electromagnet attached to a flexible cone. Although drivers are all based on the same concept, there is a wide range in driver size and power. The basic driver types are:

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Woofers
Tweeters
Midrange

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Woofers are the biggest drivers, and are designed to produce low frequency sounds.
Tweeters are much smaller units, designed to produce the highest frequencies.
Midrange speakers produce a range of frequencies in the middle of the sound spectrum.

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And if you think about it, this makes perfect sense. To create higher frequency waves -- waves in which the points of high pressure and low pressure are closer together -- the driver diaphragm must vibrate more quickly. This is harder to do with a large cone because of the mass of the cone. Conversely, it's harder to get a small driver to vibrate slowly enough to produce very low frequency sounds. It's more suited to rapid movement

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Sub Woofer

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A subwoofer is a type of driver dedicated to the reproduction of bass frequencies, typically from about 20 Hz to perhaps 200 Hz in cone speakers, and in the case of a rotary woofer, all the way down to below 1 Hz. It is difficult for small loudspeakers in typical enclosures to reproduce frequencies below about 40-50 Hz, especially at high output levels (say, above 100 dB), as their cones must move farther than any practical driver construction can manage, and so it is often advantageous to use a loudspeaker specifically designed for handling low frequencies at high power levels.

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ok pretty much a subwoofer is wut gives u bass, and the amp is wut makes the subwoofer run. thats it, the amp runs the sub. u dont need a sub or an amp. however if u want bass u do need a sub and amp. speakers are wut u usually put in ur car doors, (small speakers) while subs come in 8 in,10,12,15,18 in sizes.so no u dont need those, u dont even need a radio at all, but if u want nice sound, u want nice speakers, a sub or 2 or more, and an amp to run them

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Amplifiers:

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CEA-2006 is a certification, that insures the specs are true and accurate. without it manufactures can essentially lie, there are no laws protecting you. I would only buy a amp that is certified. Many specs are really nothing worth looking at, but there are a few that really have real meaning.
Signal to noise ratio.. the higher the better, ever heard a hiss between songs when its turned up... that is a LOW signal to noise ratio, with something around 100 or higher it will startle you when music kicks on becasue you don;t realize the volume based on hiss...
RMS wattage...in general higher means louder, but be aware that amps vary from a "rated" power. if there is the word competion in the series name it will likely be a bit higher, they under rate them for a sound performance edge in the audio competition world. If it is not certified this number really means nothing. a fair way to compare is to also look at teh fuse rating if one amp is 100 wats with a single 20 amp fuse and another is 100 watts with a pair of 20 amp fuses, guess what the second will be much louder. also to truely hear a significate difference in sound ouput the wattage has to nearly double. so the volume from a 100 watt compared to a equal amp of 120 watt will hardly be noticable.
Load stability.... all amplifiers will run a 4 ohm load... most will run at 2 ohm.. and a few at 1 ohm.. what does this mean, well typically amps nearly double their output when the load is dropped down. so a amp at 100watts into 4 ohms will likes put out 200 to 2 and 400 to 1 (provided it is capable) runnning lower loads really helps if space is an issue, because a realatively small amp that can run a low load can produce real power.

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There are different classes of amps as well.
essentially class a/b is a full range amp and plays all frequencies. a class d amp is a amp that plays only those frequencies for subs, but runs cooler and puts out more power per dollar.

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Many amps have HP filters and LP filters
What this allows you to do is dirrect only certain frequencies to your speakers. This is particularly needed in the main speakers to have a high pass. see 80% of the power goes to frequencies below 120hz. If you have a sub dedicated to these then you can eliminate it from the main speakers, this limits the wattage they see without lower the volume. the lower fequencies can kill typical full range speakers. Likewise subs are not made to play higher frequencies and therefor a LP filter eliminates the higher frequencies.

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Subs..
a very interesting topic to talk about because opinions vary by so much. and becasue of that there are numourous choices to be found. First off there are different loads, and number of voice coils. loads are typically 1,2,4,8 and in reality only 2, and 4. typically a "final" load of 2 ohms is desired (provided the amp suports that" . there are several ways to achieve that. First i must explain hooking up in serial and parrallel. in series you simply add tehm up. 2 - 4 ohm speakers are 8 ohm total, 2 - 2 ohm are 4 ohm total. for parrallel here is a simple rule, at two loads, then divide by 4. so 2 4 ohm speakers = 2 ohm. 2-2 ohm speakers would be 1 ohm. for multiple speakers you can do parrelle and series to gether for example 3 - 4 ohms speakers could be 3 ohms.

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Besides the loads there is the box style.
Sealed, ported or bandpass.

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Sealed is the smallest in size and has a tight precise base, but requires more power than the others for the same volume
Bandpass is the largest in size, has very high output for the power, but is less accurate and has a boomy tendency.
Ported is somewhere between the other two.

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If you purchase a sub and the sub box seperate it is critical to verify the cabenit size, measured in cuft. It must match what the sub recommends. if a cabinet is to small it will have to high a cabinet presure and may rubsure the sub cone dust cap or surrond, to large and there is too much movement and the sub could rip itself apart, not to mention the sound quality is cripled. if a sub has a range like .66 cuft - 1.5 cuft, try to get in the middle as much as possible and check o see the manufactures recommended cabinet size. just becauase the "holes" in the cabinet match does not mean that it will work with a particular sub.

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The above i am sure seams long winded, however, it only covers the basics, but it is plenty to make a good descision. ultimately your ears are the best judge. get out listen to whats out there and come up with what you like, then persue it using the basic info above.
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