New radio in ... sounds like crap!?


I think, therefore I am??
May 24, 2001
I am "audio illiterate" so I thought I'd ask here. No, this isn't in a TR, but I figured it could happen to anybody!

I had an Aiwa CD/stereo that I installed in one car (Horizon) and it sounded fine with the two factory speakers. Bought the adapters and everything to put it into the wife's Saturn, and it starts to "crackle" or "break up" when trying to turn it up very much! Sounds decent at lower volumes. The stock Saturn stereo it replaced sounded good, and could get way louder with no problems. the Saturn has 4 speakers, vs. the Horizon's 2.

Help! You know what it's like to listen to Saliva or Staind with the stereo NOT cranked?! It sucks! ;)

Check to see where your tone controls are set like bass and treble. If the bass is way above the "flat setting" ( 0 ) and you start to crank up the volume, then you will get "clipping" (overdriving the signal) which can cause cracking and popping which is a very unpleasant sound.

another thing to check is the impedence load of each driver (speaker) and shouldnt be below a 4 ohm rating, anything less can cause popping on most head units, and check the condition of the speakers itself like torn or ripped cones.

How is your headunit wired? do you have 4 outputs, one to each of the 4 speakers?

Also if you have the polarities backwards ( + and - reversed ) will cause driver to go backwards instead of forward which will also cause popping and cracking. Let me know what you find out so I can help you find the problem.