How to set your fader to make a car stereo sound better

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Proper setting of your front-to-rear fader and left/right balance controls is important for optimum staging and imaging in your system.

Too much sound in the rear of the car (sometimes called "rear fill") will often eliminate staging altogether, forcing sound away from the front of the car, while too little rear fill will sound dull. Too much sound on one side of the car or the other will add an unrealistic element to the imaging.

To adjust fade and balance, play a CD you are familiar with and turn the rear speakers on full with the fade control. Listen to the rear speakers, and then slowly turn the fade up in the front speakers just until you can't tell the rear speakers are playing anymore, then ease off a tad. You're probably close to optimum setting when the front staging is such that the rear speakers provide little more than ambiance and space to the sound.

Test it by going full on the front speakers (without losing the position you just attained). You'll hear an immediate loss of spaciousness in the sound with the rear speakers faded all the way down. Return to your optimum setting.
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