July August 2016 Page 17 July 2016

Phase III of any good upgrade project: bass. Specifically, bass reinforce ment from a subwoofer. You don't have to be a massive basshead or listen to beat-heavy music to appreciate the dimensionality a subwoofer can provide. I went with a 12" Infinity Reference sub in an efficient ported box - I get forceful bass that doesn't put excessive demands on my electrical system. I also engaged the bass boost on the amp just a little bit, so I get low end that hits hard and plays plenty deep. SUBWOOFER See all of our car subs at crutchReld.com/carsubs Powerful and nimble I like to think of the Reference sub as a defensive lineman who happens to be a world-class ballet dancer: tough, powerful, and graceful. It handles sharp drum hits, deep hip-hop beats, and delicate low cello notes with equal ease. It reinforces without overwhelming, and demonstrates satisfying musical accuracy. Its shallow mounting depth is good for a variety of box sizes. Infinity Reference 12" subwoofer #108REF120S $129.99 Sound Ordnance ported box #777BB12150 $69.99 ENHANCING THE SOUND Once you've tackled the first three steps, you can consider doing some extra fine-tuning. For example, it's often the case that factory stereos apply funky signal processing that's fine with factory speakers, but sounds way off when you add an amp. Luckily, we carry signal proces sors that can help. Some, like the JL Audio FiX 82 you see here ($300), strip away factory processing, sending a clean signal to your amp. Others apply special EQ settings. Sometimes, all it takes is a little enhance- ment. Take the Clari-Fi sound restoration technology built into my Kappa amp - it tries to fill in what's lost in compressed media like MP3s and satellite radio. When I used it, I mostly noticed a differ ence in dynamics: the separation between low, middle and high frequencies became more distinct. It works better with some sources, like MP3s, than with others. Satellite radio, for example, gets a little too tinny at the top. So it's good to be able to turn it off and on easily with the included remote. See our selection of processors at crutchReld.com/sp elming, and atisfying y. Its ng r a The sub looks huge, but leaves lots of cargo room in the trunk. I'd like to extend thanks to InRnity for providing the gear for this article. Free tech support for life Need help with your gear? You can call us for guidance - whether it's the day you receive your order or 10 years later. See crutchReld.com/tech

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