All of these things help with signal path distortion in terms of bass to treble separation.
Understanding Distortion and Impedance
Distortion isn’t always bad. It only means that the components in your woofer can’t supply enough amps to power the sound level you’re seeking. The signal gets ‘clipped’ and your speaker sounds like it’s crackling.
Impedance plays a part in distortion. Impedance is how much resistance the speakers have to the flow of electricity. Impedance is measured in Ohms. The lower the Ohm, the less resistance.
That means more power to the speakers and less distortion, right?
Ohms are the key to matching your woofer and tweeters.
How To Choose Your Woofer
Remember distortion and Ohms? They are important for finding a suitable woofer.
I recommend picking your woofer first and then matching your tweeters with it. The reason for this is that you want your higher trebles to match your heavier, more power-hungry basses.
Bigger and Better
You want a bigger woofer. You’ll benefit from something that is well-powered. Bigger woofers can draw amps and avoid distortion.
That said, try to make sure that it will fit in an enclosure that will fit in your car. A tiny Honda Civic doesn’t give much room for enclosures.
Enclosures are important with woofers. Their size determines how much sound gets trapped. A smaller woofer in a well-sealed enclosure can produce excellent sound, but you’ll get more distortion as you raise the volume.
You could simply mount your woofer on a bar and keep it open. You’ll get more volume, but if you don’t mount it right, you’ll end up with plenty of rattling.
Finally, you want to choose a woofer with a lower Ohm rating. Your woofer needs lots of energy to hit those low-range sounds.
Go with 40 Ohms maximum, and head down from there. 20 Ohms is excellent for bass-heavy music, while 40 is perfect for richer sounds like rock, EDM, and classical.
How To Choose Your Tweeters
Now that you’ve found your woofer, you need to match it with tweeters.
There are many more things to consider when choosing your tweeters, such as Oms, placement, and material.
Tweeters have a cone inside that vibrate, creating the sound you hear. Those cones are commonly made out of either paper or silk.
Paper cones are cheaper and are also more prone to tearing. If you live somewhere with winter or high humidity, your paper tweeters won’t last very long.
That’s why I always recommend silk tweeters.
The only problem with silk tweeters (aside from their price) is that the silk can loosen up over time and lose quality. Still, they’ll last a lot longer than paper tweeters!
Ensure the Ohm rating on your tweeters matches your woofer so that the high ranges match the low ranges.
If you have a 40 Ohm woofer, get 40 Ohm tweeters.
Tweeters don’t fill a space with sound the same way a woofer does. Your tweeters need to be pointed at the path the sound will travel.
The best position for your tweeters is at eye level in your car. Install them in your dash and high up in the doors if you have the space.
Ensure they’re pointing at the people in the car, not at their knees or the ceiling.
Here’s a quick recap of how to match your woofer and tweeters for your car stereo:
- Choose a woofer between 20 and 40 Ohms
- Match your tweeters to your woofer with the same Ohms
- Mount your tweeters up high
- Buy silk tweeters
Enjoy your new car stereo!