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Audiophile Quality Car Audio? - Page 6

post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;15542110 
Well, you are correct on a few points. A good head unit is always the best starting point, and MOST listening levels....are indeed at just a few watts per channel.

However, there are quite a few things wrong.

I had nothing factually incorrect to bring to the conversation. Whether or not you choose to believe that is up to you.
Quote:
Road noise...not an issue with proper dampening.

If you dampened your car down to replicate a studio, then it would be unsafe because you would unable to hear emergency vehicles, and more importantly, you would be unable to see anything since you would have to damped right over the glass.

I don't care if you drive a merc or a lincoln, there is background noise that will mask the quieter nuances in music, there is nothing you can do about this except park the car in a quiet place... At which point you may as well be in the house instead.
Quote:
Don't spend more than $25 per speaker? Are you insane? ninja.gif $25 per speaker will get you stock OEM replacements, NOTHING that actually sounds even halfway decent.

If you're spending $25 and all you can come up with is a paper cone 1-way OEM speaker replacement then you're getting duped.

Here's a pair of great 6.5" speakers for $48: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=269-184

Those would be just fine. In fact, probably better than a lot of the overpriced units at the car stereo store or Best Buy down the road.
Quote:
You're telling me, that you can't tell a difference between the stock OEM speakers and Infinity Reference, Alpine Type R, or Rockford T1's?

It's been a few years since i have demoed some of those "nice"car speakers. I remember the infinity reference coax very vividly however, as being, by my ear, about as far from reference as I could imagine. They were extraordinarily bright on the middle-high end. They had obviously coupled a tweeter with about 6-10db more efficiency than the woofer together. There's nothing "wrong" with that IMO, because in a car, there's nothing wrong with using some equalization to make things sound the way you want them to, it's not like you have a shot at studio reference quality anyways, so there's no reason to invite a no-eq snob like myself along. I recall the rockfords actually having a more laid back sound, again, perfectly fine. There is nothing special about the $50-100+/ea speakers to my ears as far as car audio is concerned. I've heard numerous budget Pyle and "Ultimate" brand speakers from back in the day sound as good, just different.

More importantly, as I said before, and will continue to stress, the quality of the sound has less to do with the speakers than the majority of the consumer market has been lead to believe. You believe that the speakers are the most important part of the system because that's what everyone else believes and it's what everyone keeps telling each-other. I can repeat the point over and over, or you could just trust that I am right on this, or you can refuse to believe it. I don't really care, I'm giving you a tough truth to swallow, especially if you spent big bucks on your car speakers. Refusing to believe what I am telling you would probably be better for your relationship with your speakers anyways smile.gif

Many "fancy" car speakers are not as special as the market would like you believe, and they aren't worth the prices they are asking. You can get stuff nearly as good for a fraction of the price if you look around. Any differences between the fancy more expensive alpine can be replicated through EQ.

Most OEM speakers are 1-way, therefore, the excited movement of the cone causes noticeable modulation distortion of the higher frequencies. This is something I can notice, as can most others. That said, OEM speakers in most cars, if crossed over to a sub, and powered cleanly, can be equalized to sound like any fancy brand speakers you want to replicate. The point is, that all speakers actually sound very different from each-other. No speakers are perfectly flat, in fact, most car speakers are very radically far from flat- even the expensive ones. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, most people listen to their music heavily EQed anyways, so they may as well buy speakers that are naturally bright in the areas they like. In other words, when you pay big bucks for a car speaker, what you are really doing is just buying a different sound, not necessarily a better sound.
Quote:
Even off a head unit, the sound difference would be amazing if installed and set properly.

Yes, getting the bass off of OEM speakers will make a pretty noticeable difference for most listeners. That can be accomplished by either crossing them over to an amplified (or un-amplified even) sub, or replacing the speakers with some 2 or 3 way jobs. In my experience, 2 way is more than adequate, just look for the lowest possible crossover points.
Quote:
This doesn't EVEN TOUCH the fact that the OP wants a subwoofer, which WILL require proper amplification of the subwoofer and front stage if he wants it to sound correct.

I don't see any reason for amplification of the front stage. Are you thinking that at this budget someone is seriously thinking about trying to create an accurate sound stage in a car? Of course the only way to hope to achieve this would be to sit in the middle.. Not likely unless you are in the rear seat of a few exotics smile.gif Or maybe in the middle of a front bench seat of a.. yea, I doubt that smile.gif

As far as the sub goes, that's no problem, my $48 a pair speaker suggestion, combined with my recommendation to just get a half reasonable head unit (~$150-200 would be a good price to shoot for IMO), leaves him a good $200+ to take care of the sub/amp (which is more than enough if you're smart about it). If he follows your recommendations, there probably won't be enough left for lunch let along a sub!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;15542490 
It all fully depends on the usage. For general music and street bumping, a single GOOD 10" or 12" should be sufficient (and take up less space than a pair of cheaper 10's).

In my experience, when most car audio enthusiasts talk about a "good" sub, what they actually mean, is a horrendously overweight, highly inefficient sub that requires a thousand watts of amplification, and zero gage wiring to power.
Edited by mdocod - 11/2/11 at 5:10pm
     
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post #52 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

This is silly...
First off.... All head units are overrated as far as their per/channel/watt stuff goes. But what's interesting, is that, it doesn't matter.
Assuming for a moment you did buy a nice dedicated 4 channel amp to drive your mains, and it was a good true 50+W per channel. Assuming you actually were listening at 50w/ch, that's somewhere in the ballpark of 125DB in a sedan, which is rock concert levels, and would be unsafe for you, and indirectly, drivers around you. How would you hear an emergency vehicle approaching?
In the real world, most listening takes place at a few watts per channel or LESS. Often less than 1W per channel is plenty for ordinary listening levels. You don't need a dedicated amp unless you are after absolutely discriminating sound quality. (a few clean watts are much more enjoyable that a lot of dirty watts). Since this is a car, with road noise and such, there really is no significant benefit to having extraordinarily clean amplification, since there is already a bunch of "noise" there to screw it up anyways.
My suggestion is, pick out a head unit with the features and interface and capabilities you need to play your media and use it comfortably. Something ~$150 is probably going to meet most people needs.
There is no reason to spend more than $25 per speaker in a car. There are enthusiasts who build systems up as a hobby who will pay big dollars for slight improvements (I would personally just call them "differences"), if this is not your hobby, then you really don't need to concern yourself with the expensive speakers. As it turns out, sound quality originates with source material, pre-amplification, and amplification more so than it does with speakers. You can buy the most expensive speakers in the world but they will not make a lousy amp sound wonderful, so it doesn't matter. Just snag some speakers that look like they are built out of materials that might last awhile in the sun. Mount them good and solid to avoid vibration noises, and enjoy.
Eric

So you only need 1 watt to overcome 70dB of road noise and a $25 speaker should cover it? RIGHT!!!
post #53 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

I had nothing factually incorrect to bring to the conversation. Whether or not you choose to believe that is up to you.
I will decide to not believe you.
Quote:
If you dampened your car down to replicate a studio, then it would be unsafe because you would unable to hear emergency vehicles, and more importantly, you would be unable to see anything since you would have to damped right over the glass.
I don't care if you drive a merc or a lincoln, there is background noise that will mask the quieter nuances in music, there is nothing you can do about this except park the car in a quiet place... At which point you may as well be in the house instead.
So the extra thick glass that is treated in the Big Body Mercedes does nothing to help road noise just adds weight?
Quote:
If you're spending $25 and all you can come up with is a paper cone 1-way OEM speaker replacement then you're getting duped.
Here's a pair of great 6.5" speakers for $48: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=269-184
Those would be just fine. In fact, probably better than a lot of the overpriced units at the car stereo store or Best Buy down the road.
That is categorically wrong, $50 speakers are going to achieve exactly that $50 sound? If you are going to tell me that a Dynaudio or a Focal or Rainbow Audio charge too much for minimal gain you would very incorrect. Those companies spend time and money on engineers that make their products better than their competition, not just to charge you an extreme price and give you no gain over a very cheap coaxial.
Quote:
It's been a few years since i have demoed some of those "nice"car speakers. I remember the infinity reference coax very vividly however, as being, by my ear, about as far from reference as I could imagine. They were extraordinarily bright on the middle-high end. They had obviously coupled a tweeter with about 6-10db more efficiency than the woofer together. There's nothing "wrong" with that IMO, because in a car, there's nothing wrong with using some equalization to make things sound the way you want them to, it's not like you have a shot at studio reference quality anyways, so there's no reason to invite a no-eq snob like myself along. I recall the rockfords actually having a more laid back sound, again, perfectly fine. There is nothing special about the $50-100+/ea speakers to my ears as far as car audio is concerned. I've heard numerous budget Pyle and "Ultimate" brand speakers from back in the day sound as good, just different.
Well that seems to be your opinion, and somewhat harsh at best, but I would ask where did you work? If if was at best buy then you need to think of the price range that they had at that time and re-evaluate your opinions because BEST BUY doesn't carry the best products, they carry the BEST DEALS.
Quote:
More importantly, as I said before, and will continue to stress, the quality of the sound has less to do with the speakers than the majority of the consumer market has been lead to believe. You believe that the speakers are the most important part of the system because that's what everyone else believes and it's what everyone keeps telling each-other. I can repeat the point over and over, or you could just trust that I am right on this, or you can refuse to believe it. I don't really care, I'm giving you a tough truth to swallow, especially if you spent big bucks on your car speakers. Refusing to believe what I am telling you would probably be better for your relationship with your speakers anyways smile.gif
That is a flat out lie/mis-truth the materials that are used in a speakers cone, spider, pole(voice coil former), surround, basket, and voice coil make a vast difference in the sound that they can reproduce and the control the is needed to accurately reproduce them. As a speaker plays it continually wants to free itself from the basket/surround the only reason it doesn't do that is because the magnet and spider help to keep that in check. Neodymium magnets are far better at controlling a speaker that a ferrite magnet, and they cost a whole lot more to make. When better building materials are used that increases the cost and that is why a cheap speaker will never be able to do what a "fancy" does.
Quote:
Many "fancy" car speakers are not as special as the market would like you believe, and they aren't worth the prices they are asking. You can get stuff nearly as good for a fraction of the price if you look around. Any differences between the fancy more expensive alpine can be replicated through EQ.
Wrong again, a 6.5" speaker is gong to throw a fit trying to accurately reproduce a 12kHz note. Speakers are different sizes for a reason!!!
Quote:
Most OEM speakers are 1-way, therefore, the excited movement of the cone causes noticeable modulation distortion of the higher frequencies. This is something I can notice, as can most others. That said, OEM speakers in most cars, if crossed over to a sub, and powered cleanly, can be equalized to sound like any fancy brand speakers you want to replicate. The point is, that all speakers actually sound very different from each-other. No speakers are perfectly flat, in fact, most car speakers are very radically far from flat- even the expensive ones. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, most people listen to their music heavily EQed anyways, so they may as well buy speakers that are naturally bright in the areas they like. In other words, when you pay big bucks for a car speaker, what you are really doing is just buying a different sound, not necessarily a better sound.
Yes, getting the bass off of OEM speakers will make a pretty noticeable difference for most listeners. That can be accomplished by either crossing them over to an amplified (or un-amplified even) sub, or replacing the speakers with some 2 or 3 way jobs. In my experience, 2 way is more than adequate, just look for the lowest possible crossover points.
I don't see any reason for amplification of the front stage. Are you thinking that at this budget someone is seriously thinking about trying to create an accurate sound stage in a car? Of course the only way to hope to achieve this would be to sit in the middle.. Not likely unless you are in the rear seat of a few exotics smile.gif Or maybe in the middle of a front bench seat of a.. yea, I doubt that smile.gif
As far as the sub goes, that's no problem, my $48 a pair speaker suggestion, combined with my recommendation to just get a half reasonable head unit (~$150-200 would be a good price to shoot for IMO), leaves him a good $200+ to take care of the sub/amp (which is more than enough if you're smart about it). If he follows your recommendations, there probably won't be enough left for lunch let along a sub!
With that kind of advice I would wonder if you even listen to music at all!! There are a THOUSAND reasons to amplify the front stage. Firstly if you don't grab extra power for the front then you are going completely over power them when you add a sub. Now you'll say then just gain it down, then I say, you are now starving a speaker of power and causing more damage than you are doing good. When you go to a concert do you ask the band to turn down the vocals and treble all together so you can hear the bass? The Front stage is the most important thing you can invest in, I had an install that I did with a set of Diamond Audio 6.5" components in a Dodge Neon and an Alpine CDA-9855, I hooked up the head unit through a 30A fuse and 10AWG directly to the battery, so it could get the most power it could, and then crossed over the 6.5" at 100Hz w/18dB/octave crossover for the high pass and a 6kHz low pass, that was the rear channel, then the front was hooked to the tweeter with a crossover at 8kHz w/24dB/octave. That guy was asked several times what kind of subs were in the car and everyone didn't believe him when he said none. Point of all that? Installation matter as much as the produce that is installed.
Quote:

In my experience, when most car audio enthusiasts talk about a "good" sub, what they actually mean, is a horrendously overweight, highly inefficient sub that requires a thousand watts of amplification, and zero gage wiring to power.
There is a reason for all that weight and power, it is called ACOUSTICS! A car is too small to accurately make bass notes so we have to overcome that by creating PRESSURE instead of an actual wave you feel the pressure of the wave instead that is how bass is made in a car. And a GOOD sub only needs what you feel it needs. If you want to rock the block than you have to get as much power and displacement as you can, if you just want to have the bass have some impact and make your fronts stop flapping in the breeze then 200 Watts and a 10 in a bigger than needed(just not too big) box will do just fine
post #54 of 73
@fistandantilist:
Thank you. smile.gif
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post #55 of 73
Hello fistandantilist,
Quote:
Originally Posted by fistandantilist View Post

So you only need 1 watt to overcome 70dB of road noise and a $25 speaker should cover it? RIGHT!!!

1W per channel in a car with 4 channels and 4 speakers of ~90db@1W efficiency will result in a listening level of ~100-105 decibels. 10W per channel and you can listen at rock concert levels. How many watts did you have in mind as being enough? And please clarify, why would a well made well designed speaker that is on buyout clearance for ~$24 each not be able to perform this task?

----
Quote:
So the extra thick glass that is treated in the Big Body Mercedes does nothing to help road noise just adds weight?

Nice cars are quieter than cheap cars, but they are not studio quiet. We both know this and agree on this yet you seem to want to somehow argue a point for the sake of being argumentative on this topic. What exactly is the point you are trying to make here?

---
Quote:
That is categorically wrong, $50 speakers are going to achieve exactly that $50 sound? If you are going to tell me that a Dynaudio or a Focal or Rainbow Audio charge too much for minimal gain you would very incorrect. Those companies spend time and money on engineers that make their products better than their competition, not just to charge you an extreme price and give you no gain over a very cheap coaxial.

Those Aura speakers would handily compete with the boutique brands you are naming off at a fraction of the price due to the fact that they are on buyout right now. At any given time in the market, you can almost always find well made speakers at a fraction of the price they would normally be sold for. That said, I'd love to put you in a double blind and see if you could pick out a pyle from a driver costing 8X as much in a studio setting on clean amplification. Odds are most people would not be able to determine which is the more expensive speaker, because while they will sound different, neither will stand out in either direction enough for an easy determination to be made.

---
Quote:
Well that seems to be your opinion, and somewhat harsh at best, but I would ask where did you work? If if was at best buy then you need to think of the price range that they had at that time and re-evaluate your opinions because BEST BUY doesn't carry the best products, they carry the BEST DEALS.

I do not understand how my place of employment could possibly have anything to do with what speakers I have demoed over the years. Please explain the point you are trying to make with this question.

---
Quote:
That is a flat out lie/mis-truth the materials that are used in a speakers cone, spider, pole(voice coil former), surround, basket, and voice coil make a vast difference in the sound that they can reproduce and the control the is needed to accurately reproduce them.

Appropriate dampening characteristics to provide reasonably accurate reproduction are not a secret that only the high end brands are aware of. Most speakers have adequate dampening to accurately produce most of the listening range without introducing any significant distortion of their own. The vast majority of accuracy in reproduction has it's roots in the amplifier. I suspect that you spent a lot on car speakers so you are not going to believe me on this. You have an obligation to use any misinformation available to defend your purchase decision. I do hope that others here realize what is going on here.

When it comes to critical studio listening, I'm all for specialized drivers utilizing the latest and greatest in light weight stiff cones IF the fancy materials actually improve the speaker. Many of the best speakers in the world still use very basic paper cones, foam surrounds, and simple suspension and coil designs. Again, most of the speakers utilizing fancier materials sound DIFFERENT, but not necessarily BETTER.

---
Quote:
As a speaker plays it continually wants to free itself from the basket/surround the only reason it doesn't do that is because the magnet and spider help to keep that in check.

Exactly what point are you correcting with this statement?

---
Quote:
Neodymium magnets are far better at controlling a speaker that a ferrite magnet,

Even though this is a very inaccurate statement, you should be pleased with the $24/ea speakers I selected and linked to because they happen to use neo magnets. (so in your eyes, they must be really good eh?)

Neodymium is certainly stronger than ferrite, but in speakers that utilize neodymium, they utilize a fraction of the amount of magnet material as they do in ferrite magnet designed speakers. There are plenty of ferrite magnet designs that have stronger magnetic flux in the gap than neodymium designs. The primary advantage to designs that utilize neo magnets is that the finished speaker can be smaller and lighter, which is ideal for portable sound reinforcement applications... Or, in the case of a car, keeping weight down and maximizing the available space in a small enclosure are also important to some more critical installers.
Quote:
and they cost a whole lot more to make. When better building materials are used that increases the cost and that is why a cheap speaker will never be able to do what a "fancy" does.

Fancy materials do not guarantee an improvement in sound quality from a speaker at all. Fancy materials and colors are first and foremost selling points. In most cases, material selection is a trade-off for different characteristics. Again, different, not necessarily better. And again- you won't believe me, your loss smile.gif

---
Quote:
Wrong again, a 6.5" speaker is gong to throw a fit trying to accurately reproduce a 12kHz note. Speakers are different sizes for a reason!!!

Exactly what point are you correcting me on with this statement? I made the argument FOR multi-way speakers, and you even quoted and responded to me making said case. Seems to me like you are looking to be argumentative for the sake of doing so. Why do I feel like I am repeating myself?

---
Quote:
With that kind of advice I would wonder if you even listen to music at all!! There are a THOUSAND reasons to amplify the front stage.

Thousands? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that this is an exaggeration made in order to show your level of passion about the subject.
I will also assume that your statement regarding whether or not I listen to music was made in jest.

I'm a huge fan of quality amplification, and I agree that improving amplification quality should always be the number one priority to improve the quality of sound reproduction. That said, we are talking about a car stereo here with a specified budget, where the improved quality of a dedicated amp over what the head unit can do at ~1W per channel is not going to make a large enough difference for most people to justify, especially in the context of this thread, where we are talking about a fairly restrained budget. When the total system budget has room for a dedicated amp, by all means, go for it and enjoy. $500 budget for a complete system, nope, not worth it. I'll happily join you in suggesting quality amplification in threads where the budget is higher. If you've read many of my others posts in the audio section of the forum, you will see that I am always trying to get people to opt for nicer amplification.

---
Quote:
Firstly if you don't grab extra power for the front then you are going completely over power them when you add a sub. Now you'll say then just gain it down, then I say, you are now starving a speaker of power and causing more damage than you are doing good.

I assume you mean that an underpowered amplifier will operate with higher distortion when driven to the same listening levels as the properly sized or oversized amplifier. I agree that distortion is hard on speakers, especially high frequency drivers that take the brunt of the distortion. That said, the distortion levels from a head unit when operating at ~1W per channel, while not as low as a proper dedicated amp, are not going to be very noticeable (if at all) in a vehicle with road noise anyways. I'm not sure what your listening goals are, but if you are listening at more than 1W per channel in a car then you are putting other lives at risk on the road anyways. A deck has more than enough amplification to produce listening levels far higher than most people would care to listen at anyways.

---
Quote:
When you go to a concert do you ask the band to turn down the vocals and treble all together so you can hear the bass? The Front stage is the most important thing you can invest in, I had an install that I did with a set of Diamond Audio 6.5" components in a Dodge Neon and an Alpine CDA-9855, I hooked up the head unit through a 30A fuse and 10AWG directly to the battery, so it could get the most power it could, and then crossed over the 6.5" at 100Hz w/18dB/octave crossover for the high pass and a 6kHz low pass, that was the rear channel, then the front was hooked to the tweeter with a crossover at 8kHz w/24dB/octave. That guy was asked several times what kind of subs were in the car and everyone didn't believe him when he said none. Point of all that? Installation matter as much as the produce that is installed.

Sounds like a neat setup... Also sounds like one of those situations where the stereo is worth more than the car doh.gif
Edited by mdocod - 11/27/11 at 11:43pm
     
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post #56 of 73
So you're saying that my $20 Wal Mart branded head unit that is capable of 7.5w RMS per channel is enough for rock concert levels with cheapo factory speakers? doh.gif

Seriously....who do you think you're talking to here? 13 year olds? I can't even hear my music over the sound of my engine (which is stock) with 7.5w worth of power to 2 speakers. Which, by what you're saying would be near rock concert levels.
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post #57 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud View Post

So you're saying that my $20 Wal Mart branded head unit that is capable of 7.5w RMS per channel is enough for rock concert levels with cheapo factory speakers? doh.gif
Seriously....who do you think you're talking to here? 13 year olds? I can't even hear my music over the sound of my engine (which is stock) with 7.5w worth of power to 2 speakers. Which, by what you're saying would be near rock concert levels.

You're under the false impression that you are actually listening to 7.5W per channel. Sorry, you're probably not. I may not be talking to 13 year olds, however, the vast majority of people who claim to know their stuff about audio gear may as well be 13 year old know-it-alls because the audio market is very deceptive and has most people believing things that simply are not true.

Lets do the math...

A average cheap car speaker is ~87db@1W@1M efficient (conservatively estimated, depends on size, larger ones are higher, smaller ones are lower typically speaking, some achieve higher average efficiency ratings through the use of very bright tweeters).

Keep in mind that inside of a car, while you may be further than 1 meter away from your speakers, the car creates an environment where the sound energy is "loaded" (call it horn or room loading, whatever works for you). The result is that you get MORE sound at 1 meter distance than what you would get in an open air environment for the same power input. For the sake of staying on the conservative side, I will assume that the 1M listening distance in free air is roughly equal to the characteristics inside a car, even though in most cases, the car would actually improve upon this efficiency characteristic.

Increasing the power to 2W into that 1 speaker would make it 90db, at 4W, it would be 93db, and at 8W (rounding up here for simplicity sake) it would be 96db. Double the number of speakers and the total wattage (16W divided amongst 2 speakers), and you gain 6db, that's 102 decibels.

In your case, since there are only 2 speakers, your power requirements are higher to achieve the same listening levels compared with having 4 speakers.If your speakers were 90db efficient, then 16W would deliver 105db listening levels. If you had 4 speakers, you could achieve those listening levels with half the input power.

More than likely, the $20 head unit you speak of, is not capable of delivering 7.5W per channel cleanly, that, or your speakers are much less efficient, or, the speaker placement causes a major efficiency loss.

You can't make an argument against the known physics of audio reproduction. Well... I take that back... If you are 13 you can, but you'll just be wrong.
     
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post #58 of 73
I've personally measured the power output. You are correct, it doesn't put out 7.5w. It puts out 6w RMS at 60Hz.

Still even when I had 4 speakers....that still wasn't enough to even hear them over the sound of the car. That's why I amplified, plus amplification makes things cleaner.

Your math is absolutely correct. That much is right. You fail to understand though, that we're talking about a CAR AUDIO system. Cars have noise. You have to get over that noise with your sound output. Plus you LOSE output from the speakers from the car's metal paneling.

If we were discussing a PERFECTLY isolated room, with nowhere for the sound to absorb or get lost outside....then yes, you are correct.

However, being this is a car, proper amplification, proper speakers, and a good install are all required. You NEED a good front stage (with amplification) to get a good quality sound output from your speakers. Especially if you plan on adding a subwoofer (which most good ones will take 500w RMS or more). You have to keep things balanced.

You can't do that with 1w or 10w. It takes hundreds of watts, if not thousands (depending on SQ or SQL) to build a GOOD SQ vehicle.
Edited by pioneerisloud - 11/28/11 at 1:23am
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post #59 of 73
Hi pioneerisloud,

Measuring actual power to a speaker, especially down in a range where the load gets very inductive, can be very inaccurate/misleading. Very expensive DMs are generally required. I'd be surprised if the readings were accurate. Also, taking a power reading at a single frequency, especially a "bass" frequency is not very revealing as to the amplifiers ability to cleanly reproduce the wide spectrum.


I'll edit in my response to the edit smile.gif

Road noise, while it does need to be overcome, is not something that subtracts from the total sound levels in the car. On average, road noise and sound from the speaker system are cumulative. You may need to listen louder in a car to overcome the road noise, but this can still be achieved well within a few watts per channel, and most of you ARE listening at a few watts per channel or less whether you believe it or not.

While the car may very well absorb some sound, any absorption is overcome by the loading characteristics of the small space that the sound is being played in.

There is a very good reason that the subwoofers in cars often DO require hundreds of watts to keep up. It has to do with lousy efficiency. When you stuff a long throw small diameter driver (already has terrible efficiency by it self) in a small sealed box, you get massive efficiency loss in the low range, (often 20-30db or worse losses). Making up for that efficiency loss requires enormous amplification power (and EQing the bass a LOT!). The small boxes act as major dampeners on efficiency, and the long throw characteristics mean that there is a LOT of voice coil length, but only a fraction of the voice coil length can be utilized fully at any given point in it's travel. At any given point in time, only a fraction of a long-throw sub-woofers voice coil is actually doing much work, the rest is just burned off as heat. For most peoples listening expectations, a properly ported/tuned box with a "normal" woofer on a 50W amplifier is more than enough to satisfy the bass end.

Eric
Edited by mdocod - 11/28/11 at 3:14am
     
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post #60 of 73
I feel the need to stick up for mdocod a little bit here. Although I will never amplify front speakers off any headunit just as a matter of principle. There is just too much heat generated in amplifcation (no matter how small) for me to trust a metal box wedged in my dash. If mdocod wants to do that in his car, then power to him. Watts are the cheapest thing you can buy in car audio so if I'm running a powered sub, why not buy a a 4 channel d-class amp to power the whole kit and kaboodle and be done with it?

But he does have a good point on speaker construction standards being good even on "cheap" models. I couldnt agree with him more. I can't tell you how much money I've wasted on car audio branded speakers that couldn't hold a candle to the Dayton reference series speakers / subs / tweeters I now have in my truck. Its not even a comparison. Its like putting Barry Bonds in a T-ball league: unfair bordering on criminal abuse (to paraphrase Tucker Max).

However, because Car Audio is considered a sexier industry, they can get away with this BS below:

Exhibit A: Arc Audio 6.0 $489 / pair. link

Exhibit B: SB Acoustics 6.5" Woofer $130 / pair. link

These are the SAME driver. IDENTICAL but one set costs nearly $360 more because it says Arc Audio on it. Here are the Klippel tests to back it up. link and link.

Don't get me wrong. I think Arc Audio walks on water. I will use nothing but their amplifiers on my cars until I die. But this speaker example above is a perfect example of what mdocod is trying to point out to you. i.e, that boutique car audio products are ridiculously overpriced for what you get when compared to typical home audio drivers at madisound and parts-express. I still stand by my $500 package I quoted earlier and challenge you peeps to pick a better COMPLETE system than what I did.
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