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What does a digital bass processor do?

If you are going to look at any system that has a serious car stereo, you will probably notice that most have a digital sound processor. When I first saw one of these I thought it was just an overpriced bass boost, and that my current amp would do basically the same thing. I didn’t know that a bass processor is much more than a bass boost.

A bass processor is installed before any crossover or signal processor. So it would connect right after your drive on the dash. Always install before your crossover. At first you might think that a bass processor would only be for bass heads. This is not the case, a bass processor can also enhance the low-end sound of all music, from classical to rap. So what exactly does it do?

A good bass processor contains circuitry that accurately recreates and injects low-frequency information into the signal, giving the bass more punch. A bass processor will also allow you to customize this low-end power for your specific vehicle. It does this by allowing you to control the functions below. What this does is that it allows you to adjust the sweep and the width of the bass.

Sweeping will allow you to choose a certain frequency that you want to maximize the bass restoration circuit. By having a lower sweep, the bass will be focused on the lower frequencies. While having the highest sweep means it will be centered around a higher frequency. Whereas width allows you to control the width of the frequency range it will affect. If you have the width low, the bass will be centered around a smaller frequency range, and turning it higher will increase the frequency range.

So with all this bass processing, you might be worried about your pricey subwoofers. I know that’s something that concerned me when I first installed an “epicenter” of Audio Control, a popular bass processor. I was primarily concerned about subsonic frequencies that can damage your stereo equipment.

If you look at any good bass processor it will come with what is called a subsonic filter. Subsonic frequencies are those that are not audible to the human ear. Sound frequencies that are below 20 Hz are considered subsonic. A good bass processor will have a subsonic filter that will make sure you don’t waste the power of your car stereo on this subsonic information and will make sure that you are putting all the power in your system to good use.

A subsonic filter is a great feature to be able to adjust the bass response. On most systems, setting this filter to 33 Hz will be good. If you want to protect your speaker system even more, you can try a higher frequency. Often times a higher frequency will sound louder and cleaner.

So whether your interest is in Beethoven drums, Miles Davis trumpet, or rap music percussion, a digital bass processor will restore those long-lost bass notes.

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