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Notepad Ready, School Me

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'll try anyways. I'll be driving soon, and I own a pair of ATH-M50s which sound amazing. Head-fi has taught me so much about headphones that I could, and planned on doing, a research paper on them. But I'd to learn more about car audio (amps, watts, stereos, etc). Can someone explain to me or link me to a page that could teach me about this? My dad knows a lot about really anything relating to electronics, he taught me once, but there was so much in that "lesson" that I couldn't absorb really anything.

 

Thanks in advanced.

post #2 of 8

Okay, kid. Lesson number 1, do not drive with your headphones on. wink_face.gif

 

I think to get relevant answer, you need to ask precise question. I think your interest is in the car stereo. One advise I can give you is don't go overboard. You can spend thousands. But IMO, the road noise will kill most of the fidelity improvement. And I think your father will agree, save your money for college.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Air tight cars, air tight coffin^

Nah but, in all seriousness, I'm really looking for someone (or a site) that can teach me about blowing a speaker, sub, etc..

I don't plan on going overboard when it comes to car audio. When I'm in the car, like you said, the outside noise, I really only care about the subwoofers. That said, I really don't want to blow them due to using a wrong stereo, amp, radio (?), or too "hard-to-drive" sub.

Thanks.

post #4 of 8
This would be the overboard sub solution. An oldie but goodie.
Search YouTube for Pimp my Ride Xtreme Subwoofer.
post #5 of 8

Just use Google or DIYMobileAudio to get the details, but basically:

 

1. Use a powerful amp. (you might stress your battery or alternator, but hey, it's a small price to pay for being heard from three blocks away). Take note many cheap-***** amps are lying through their teeth about power ratings, like those rip-off Alpine V12 amps sold for cheap with a huge "1200watts" sticker on them.

 

2. Design a good box. Ported box can get louder, but do it wrong and you can damage the sub. Do any box wrong, and the box can explode. No kidding, JLAudio warns against using a large box with no internal brace somewhere on the website (can't find it now though); what you can do is build a large box (to specs of course) but leave panels to brace the box every 12" or so, but drill a hole in it the size of the sub (only so it'll be easy since you only use one circle template). Make sure to take into account the effect on the volume - get the volume of the brace prior to the hole then subtract the volume of the solid circle you cut out to get how much what wood is left takes from the internal volume.

 

3. Use a receiver with a proper preamp output to the amplifier and level-match properly.

 

4. Use Dynamat or a similar product where it will matter - like behind the rear license plate and at least all over the trunk lid. You do not want clunky resonance from the pounding on the car body making sure your car sounds/looks cooler from outside than from inside.

 

5. Use the right music - Li'l John works great for pissing off neighbors and other motorists. And according to my friend who stuffed his trunk with two JLAudio 12w6 V1's, powered by a 1,000w JL mono amp, music from a Pioneer touchscreen and still using the crap paper cone speakers in the doors who was amazed I upgraded everything inside the cabin and zero subs : "When people start cussing at you or cops pull you over, that's when you know you did a good job."

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for taking your time to post that, sir.^

post #7 of 8

For me, one of the most important aspects of car stereos is the fit and finish. I don't want stereo equipment in my car that looks like it was bolted on. I want it to fit with the dashboard. The other thing that is very important is that it's installed properly. I did it myself once and ended up with shorting power cables that drained my battery and a speaker in the car door that came loose and flopped around when I opened and closed the door.

 

Cars are not the best place to listen to music. There's a massive noise floor from the engine and tires and the acoustics of bouncing a lot of sound around a tiny little upholstered box doesn't lend itself to really balanced presentation. As long as you can get it loud enough to listen to with the window open, you're doing good. I'd suggest talking to a car stereo installer.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

For me, one of the most important aspects of car stereos is the fit and finish. I don't want stereo equipment in my car that looks like it was bolted on. I want it to fit with the dashboard. The other thing that is very important is that it's installed properly. 

 

Older cars used to be easier since the receivers just slotted in, except Pioneer and even Alpine made some fugly silver units that stuck out like sore thumbs on mostly black dashboards from that era. For newer cars, when I get one, I'm planning to install a Pioneer 80PRS into the accessories slot below the actual receiver so it stays fairly invisible, and keep the stock sound system for the GPS. Other people want to keep the iPod integration too so they hook up an ADC-processor-DAC unit to take a high-level input signal, hash it into digital, split into the appropriate amps for the individual drivers (tweets, midrange, midbass, subwoofer) with the appropriate time delay, then rehash it back to analogue. Expensive and what you're essentially doing is rehashing the stock receiver's analog signal to use a "better" DAC with it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Cars are not the best place to listen to music. There's a massive noise floor from the engine and tires and the acoustics of bouncing a lot of sound around a tiny little upholstered box doesn't lend itself to really balanced presentation. As long as you can get it loud enough to listen to with the window open, you're doing good. I'd suggest talking to a car stereo installer.

 

 

 

Tragically my experience was that my car at some point was miles ahead of my home system. since my car's receiver - Pioneer Premier DEH-860MP - had a good processor that included active crossovers and time alignment, the interior asymmetry wasn't a big factor as I got the sound at eye level with a deep enough stage. My home stereo system - not surround, so no HT receiver with its own processor normally called "room correction" - without any gizmos couldn't overcome my room acoustics. That's what landed me here and I'm not planning to go back to home speakers unless I build the room just for that purpose.

 

And to think I buy only sport-touring tyres so I can get good wet handling and decent tire noise levels, too, and a dumb house just had to be constructed with wood on the interior walls instead of concrete like the exterior.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The other thing that is very important is that it's installed properly. I did it myself once and ended up with shorting power cables that drained my battery and a speaker in the car door that came loose and flopped around when I opened and closed the door.

 

As long as you can get it loud enough to listen to with the window open, you're doing good. I'd suggest talking to a car stereo installer.

 

 

Then again, the OP's main requirement is basically to be heard from a block away or so, all he'll really need to be cautious about is to make sure he doesn't screw up the installation enough to damage anything.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 9/4/12 at 7:17pm
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