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Build the BEST Car Audio System - Full process explained

building and installing a custom car

audio system can be an awesome very

rewarding experience there's nothing

better than completing the install

sitting back and just enjoying being

completely submerged in your favorite

music but there's a problem how in the

world do I get started with my system

what do I need to do first look I

understand car audio can be difficult

and it can be complicated but in this

video I want to outline the main steps

that it takes to design build and

install your dream car audio system

we're going to go through the process

step by step from coming up with a goal

and planning all the way to installing

and final system tuning once you

understand the whole process your next

install will likely go a lot more

smoothly and you'll likely be much more

satisfied with the end result let's get

started roll that intro

hey everybody mark here with karate and

fabrication the show where together we

learn how to master car audio and how to

design build and install our dream car

audio system on this channel I do car

audio builds reviews tutorials and

lessons just like this one so if you're

new here consider subscribing so before

we get started I just want to say that I

think it's really important that anytime

you start any car audio project you

think through the steps that I'm about

to go through in this video I feel like

a lot of times the reasons that people

end up with a system that they're not

completely satisfied with is they really

didn't think through this process so

let's dive in and think through the

average system creation so the first

thing we want to do and this might be

the most important step is figure out

our goal now obviously with the car

audio system there's literally a million

different combinations and things that

we could do but I want to break it into

three basic tiers that you can kind of

pick from now these three tiers are kind

of structured based on how complicated

they are from simple to most complicated

but something I want to stress is you

can have a wide range of budgets as well

so just because you're doing a simple

install you could have a much higher

budget than something that is not as

simple and you use maybe lower quality

gear the point is the budget doesn't

necessarily define exactly which of

these tiers you're going to be within

now understand that selecting one of

these tiers is important to proceeding

through the rest of this list and how we

ultimately install everything so it's

very important to consider so gold tier

number one adding a subwoofer and an

amplifier I consider this the first tier

that you could select from because this

is the tier that gets you basically the

most bang for your buck the most change

to your audio system for your dollar

again depending on the subwoofer and

amplifier that you pick there could

obviously be a wide range of different

budgets that you end up in now to number

two is doing a subwoofer amplifiers and

speakers this is when you start to get

into truly higher performance sound

where you're not only adding bass you're

also improving the mid-range and high

within your system this is important

because you want the mids and highs to

match the performance of the subwoofer

notice up to this point I haven't

mentioned custom fabrication and that's

what comes into play in tier number

three to number three is subwoofer

speakers amplifiers and additional

equipment like digital signal processors

and also making sure that the install is

completely integrated into the vehicle

so that's when we start taking into

account mounting the speakers in the

best location to have the best audio and

also doing custom things like custom

door panels custom beauty panels to tie

all the install into the vehicle so now

you know the one of the best ways to get

started with building a system is

considering your goal now I know

everyone out there has the idea that man

I just want like the best system I could

ever possibly have but you have to be

realistic if this is the first system

that you've installed it might be best

to just go with an amplifier and

subwoofer so that you can kind of learn

and progress you don't necessarily want

to dive into a super complicated tier 3

install where you're doing all sorts of

custom fabrication and everything right

off the bat you should plan on working

up to that point and there's nothing to

say that you can't start at tier one

with your initial install go through the

whole process get everything installed

and then in the future upgrade to tier 2

or tier 3 now let's move on to the next

very important part of the process and

that's planning something that's very

important to understand is that the

install quality goes a long way in the

total performance of a system a great

install with average equipment can

easily outshine a poor install with

high-level equipment so always keep that

in mind now a big part of the planning

phase is figuring out exactly what will

fit and what is compatible with your

vehicle along the way you can analyze

how these different things fit within

your budget I always think it's a good

idea to start with your source unit you

basically need to make a decision on

whether you want to use the stock radio

or if you want to upgrade to an

aftermarket radio now in today's day and

age a lot of different vehicles are

starting to have climate controls

integrated into the radio along with

other systems that are part of the

vehicles that's not always an easy

choice to just say oh I just want to

aftermarket this is

something that you'll have to research

and plan for during the planning stage

now if you're planning on adding the

subwoofer this is the time to measure

the part of the vehicle that you plan on

putting it in and I actually have a

pretty detailed video about that that

you can check out up here on how to

actually determine what cubic foot air

space you actually have available

something else to consider is how much

additional power can you be pulling from

the cars electrical system you can't

always simply add a 10,000 watt

amplifier without upgrading the

electrical system of the vehicle so this

is something else that you'll need to

research and plan for during the

planning phase if you plan on adding

speakers you'll also need to research

what sizes are already installed in your

vehicle so that you can select those

sizes and if you're going with more of a

custom fabrication route you can

obviously pick whatever speakers you

want to but you're going to need to

consider where you're actually going to

mount them and do some planning on that

side in fact you'll need to take into

account what crossover points you

ultimately plan to use and what size

speakers that you should use so that you

can cross them over with each other

before they start beaming I have more

about beaming and crossovers also

available in a sound quality playlist

that you can check out up here so

planning is important but before we move

on there's something I want to stress it

is important but don't let it bug you

down I see a lot of guys that will just

let the planning phase overwhelm them

and they never end up getting started

because they're just so worried about

every fine little detail in this phase

you shouldn't be worried about trying to

measure out exactly how long each wire

is so that you can order that exact

length on line by more than what you

need it's worth it to spend a few extra

bucks to not be stressed out and to

actually be able to start your project

so let's move on you come up with a goal

you planned out everything now it's time

to start purchasing now in the

purchasing phase you're obviously going

to want to do some research on the

different products that you're comparing

and planning on potentially selecting

for instance if you're planning on

upgrading the head unit of your vehicle

you could check out some different

YouTube videos online to see some of the

different features and the menu

navigation and actually if you're buying

a head unit that's definitely something

I suggest that you check out one of your

local car audio retailers you can always

see them right there in person and

giving them your support you'll likely

get a good warranty and you'll have tech

support if you need it also a lot of

times if you do have a newer vehicle it

might be easier to just let a shop do

the hard work of actually installing a

head unit or installing the DSP and

actually integrate it into the vehicle

and then that way you can focus on what

I consider is the more fun stuff the

fabrication side of things custom

mounting things just the consideration

you might want to make finally during

the purchasing phase if you're doing an

all-out install where you're doing lots

of custom fabrication you're going to

want to plan for your material costs as

well so we're talking about wood

plastics specialty tools finishing

materials adhesives everything make sure

that you have it on hand so that you're

not waiting for stuff during the middle

of an install so we got everything

purchased let's start the install phase

and this is where we start to put all of

everything that's went into planning so

far into action so you're going to want

to start the install with removing all

of the different panels from the vehicle

that you'll need in order to get access

to speakers to get access to different

wiring that you might need to tap into

to get access to the radio and to have

access to wiring paths that go back to

where you're going to add your subwoofer

all of those different panels

additionally if you're planning on doing

some sort of sound treatment process

you'll want to take out whatever panels

you need to do for that and if you're

doing a full sound treatment process you

might even be pulling the full interior

which is so fun okay it's kind of cool

it's worth the results if you want to

check out where I've done some full

interior pulls and completely sound and

everything check out up here once all

the different panels are pulled and out

of the way the next thing I like to do

is mount all the different electrical

components basically anything that has a

wired connection so in this case I'm

going to be mounting the amplifiers I'm

going to be mounting the digital signal

processor I'm going to be mounting the

fuses and power distribution and you

might be mounting it straight to the

vehicle or you might be mounted into

something that you fabricated like an

amplifier rack the reason I like to do

this now is because then I know exactly

where all my different wires will need

to run and once I actually start running

all of the wiring which is the next step

I can cut it exactly that length now I

do want to point out obviously if you're

installing new speakers you don't want

to mount

and then have to somehow wire behind

them you would do it in the order right

you run the wires to those and then

mount the speaker's and keep in mind

when you're mounting the speaker's you

can really improve the performance of

the speaker's particularly in the

midbass region if you follow some of the

different tips that I outlined in this

video up here man I'm pointing up there

a lot in this video but I just want to

give you guys as much help as you can

through this whole process so you can

check out some of the older videos that

I've already made

once all the wiring is done then I

usually like to move on to final

fabrication where we're fabricating the

subwoofer box and we're doing

fabrication on the different beauty

panels that are going to go in front of

it that might hide the amplifiers

maybe we're fabricating a dash kit

that's gonna have an iPad in it or we're

adding like a controller for our DSP

things like that we're going to do all

that lash because then we know exactly

where our wiring already is we have all

the sound insulation in place so we're

not going to be able to not fit

something back in because we built it

before we actually put in the sound

insulation I made that mistake before

and while we're talking about fitment of

different pieces I also want to mention

when you are custom fabricating things

it's very important that you consider

when you're making something they on

would when you go to fit it together

it's not going to be just wood when

you're done you're probably going to be

wrapping it in vinyl or carpet so it's

important to consider the thickness of

those materials and once again I have a

video all about that so to finish an

installation phase we're going to button

everything up by reinstalling all of our

panels hopefully we didn't break any of

the panel clips when we pulled things

off and if we did now is the time

obviously to replace them because you

don't want your panels rattling so we

got everything installed what's next

tuning we're going to start the tuning

phase with setting our gain on all of

our amplifiers and the levels on all of

our different audio equipments the goal

here is to prevent distortion and

clipping of the audio signal next up if

our equipment has the capability we want

to move on to setting our crossovers

along with our time alignment if those

are for in terms to you I also have some

videos about the tuning process

you'll also want to use in RTA which is

a real-time analyzer which you can

basically look at the whole audio

spectrum and can see the level and all

the different frequencies and you can

level everything out so that it sounds

natural or you can match a target

response curve a lot of people like

myself love their bass so you might have

more bass but it's all going to be level

bass and then it's going to roll down

and it's gonna have a nice mid Ridge and

I don't like my music super bright and

piercing my ears so I usually roll that

off as well

that's considered matching a target

response and it's also very critical to

the performance of your system so what's

left to do just sit back relax and

listen to some tracks sweet rime bro as

always guys thank you so much for

watching if you're new here and you did

enjoy this content I'd appreciate it if

you consider subscribing I make content

like this weekly and if you'd like to

stay in touch between the videos you can

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car audio fab and on facebook car audio

fabrication a special thanks goes out to

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learn more about that check it out down

below alright guys thanks again for

watching as always remember to design

build and install