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Good car speakers?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

heya head-fi. Who here knows about car-audio? I have been researching this for a few months now and really all I can find is "DEY GOT DAT PHAT BA$$$$$!!!! XDDDDD" So I ask you; what are some good car speakers that are relatively cheap. I'm not asking for SUPER HI-FI! but i would like mid range or balanced with a warm or bassy tilt.

post #2 of 19

dominator is the way to go! too bad they are made in indonesia (need to import) and they are barely known so im not sure if it will show up on the web. but here in our country it has been used for competitons because of its gorgeous sound quality that is on par with focal separates specially the dominato's separates.

 

the seps (2 tweeter 2 midrange) and 1 12" sub costed me around 400usd only. but of course you need to buy amp, cables, source, etc so you might still end up with a 1000usd setup xD

post #3 of 19

The DIY Mobile Audio forum can be very helpful. Tell them your budget, the size speaker you need, that you want to do an SQ install (vs. SPL), the sound you are looking for, and they are usually quite good at telling you best deals that fit your needs. 

post #4 of 19

Swan also has affordable car audio speakers. For amps, I don't skimp on these, mostly because there's nothing like Swan for them that I'm aware of. (plus speakers can get wet in the doors, but amps are relatively safe, so are more likely to last longer, ergo a better long-term investment).

 

Also, DIYMA is important because installation is extremely important with car audio. In head-fi it's not so important; just listening alone in your room vs using open cans in a subway is basically it (aside from earpad/driver mount angle design). With home audio/theater, you have to dampen the room then position the speakers properly. In cars, you have to get over the noise floor, you have to make sure drivers putting low freqs are on very stable mounts and don't cause cancellation (rear seat back on the subs, sound bouncing off in tead of out from the interior door panel, etc). Plus you have to angle the drivers to overcome the fact that you are not sitting smack in the middle of all of them and there's a steering wheel and gear control between them, plus a full dash which might have a huge hood over the instrument cluster that ounces soundwaves at the driver's side differently. Aside from setting all of these up properly fine tuning should be done with a good processor, whether built into your receiver or separately, namely that you'll need time alignment for each driver (to compensate for different effective distance to your ears), but when you do that, you probably won't be using the typical crossover that comes with most speakers, so such processors usually come with active crossovers to split the freqs to the appropriate driver, and you'll need just as many amp channels - one for each transducer - so at minimum you'll need a 5ch amp (or 4ch+1ch), if you're gonna take it this far. Add a USB microphone so you can analyze the resulting sound properly to tune the EQ and crossover settings for a flatter response and you'll be neck-deep in car audio.

 

How important is installation and tuning? I've heard of a car with a high-end (at the time) //////Alpine receiver with a full-fledged processor and a high-current "V-Drive" built-in amplifier driving cheap $30 separates, the 6" midwoofer in doors dampened by hardware-store aluminum and bitumen insulation (ie, cheap-ass Dynamat alternative) and tweeters just screwed (but angled properly) into the A-pillars, dominate the "budget" category locally in its time. No sub, mind you, and his freq response was flatter than everyone else - and that was before there were USB mics.

 

--

 

So basically even if you "don't want super Hi-Fi," at the very least install the drivers properly. Doesn't mean a fully customized install all the time, but if you can DIY it so it won't cost a lot, make sure you spend more time on the speakers out front than the trunk as they do on Pimp My Ride. Here's my Vifas I scored off eBay for $25/pair, and a local shop fiberglassed it to the pillars for about $60. Drove around without my A-pillar panel for a week though.

 

 

Aside from that I have Focal Polyglass 6.75" drivers in the doors, which I got for about $100/pair, and the doors are dampened with that aluminum-bitumen heat insulator. Haven't gotten around to replacing it with Dynamat yet. Receiver is a (malfunctioning) Pioneer 860MP due for replacement next year.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 11/7/12 at 5:52pm
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

yeah I'm going to be retrofitting them into an old car.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

yeah I'm going to be retrofitting them into an old car.

 

Chances are you'll need Dynamat if your car isn't anything like a BMW or Audi. Mount it right and you can maximize the bass response of the driver in the door. You might need some sort of adapter since car mounts and the speakers come in different sizes; plus when installing make sure the magnet and basket of the speaker don't get in the way of the window glass (unless you'll never roll them down. Here's an example of a remedy that also minimizes sound waves from it getting trapped behind the door panel:

 

post #7 of 19

Has anyone bought the iPhone speaker from Walgreens? I was wondering how exactly it works haha like how do you plug it into your phone?


Edited by MicleArons - 7/24/13 at 1:33am
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

 

Chances are you'll need Dynamat if your car isn't anything like a BMW or Audi. Mount it right and you can maximize the bass response of the driver in the door. You might need some sort of adapter since car mounts and the speakers come in different sizes; plus when installing make sure the magnet and basket of the speaker don't get in the way of the window glass (unless you'll never roll them down. Here's an example of a remedy that also minimizes sound waves from it getting trapped behind the door panel:

 

It's a vintage car so I wont be putting the speakers in the door. I do plan to put them in the trunk guard. and possible some tweeters on the dash and mid woofers under the dash facing out. Its a very open car design 1965 Plymouth v200. and I will be dynomatting it once i rip up the carpet and reupholster the interior.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

It's a vintage car so I wont be putting the speakers in the door. I do plan to put them in the trunk guard...

 

Wait what exactly do you plan to use it for? I thought you needed max SQ for the money since you said,

 

Quote:
I have been researching this for a few months now and really all I can find is "DEY GOT DAT PHAT BA$$$$$!!!! XDDDDD"

 

If you have speakers behind you you'll screw up the soundstage out front since music is typically recorded that way. Sure there are SACD, DVD-A and concert DVD/BR in 5.0 but I haven't encountered a pure audio set-up in surround; such discs are usually listened to through the HT system, or they use the same universal disc player as source for both audio and HT, but of course concerts need to be seen as well as heard.

 

If anything should go in the trunk it's the sub, but that's mostly because not everyone will be willing to gut the interior to fit one inside (like Polk Audio showcars where they mount it on the dashboard, which Bose does on some stock Nissans now).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

...and possible some tweeters on the dash and mid woofers under the dash facing out.

In any case, if it is max SQ for the money, then instead of, for example, $600 on three sets of $200 speakers, just get one really good set for the front. Or 2/3 on the front speakers then 1/3 on the subwoofer.

 

BTW you could actually mount both midwoofer and tweeter on the kickpanel - in the previous pic I posted it was just the tweeter. Here's an example of both, whch given it's a much larger car than what we have new nowadays, shouldn't be too difficult. Just aim them properly.

 

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

 

Wait what exactly do you plan to use it for? I thought you needed max SQ for the money since you said,

 

 

If you have speakers behind you you'll screw up the soundstage out front since music is typically recorded that way. Sure there are SACD, DVD-A and concert DVD/BR in 5.0 but I haven't encountered a pure audio set-up in surround; such discs are usually listened to through the HT system, or they use the same universal disc player as source for both audio and HT, but of course concerts need to be seen as well as heard.

 

If anything should go in the trunk it's the sub, but that's mostly because not everyone will be willing to gut the interior to fit one inside (like Polk Audio showcars where they mount it on the dashboard, which Bose does on some stock Nissans now).

 

In any case, if it is max SQ for the money, then instead of, for example, $600 on three sets of $200 speakers, just get one really good set for the front. Or 2/3 on the front speakers then 1/3 on the subwoofer.

 

BTW you could actually mount both midwoofer and tweeter on the kickpanel - in the previous pic I posted it was just the tweeter. Here's an example of both, whch given it's a much larger car than what we have new nowadays, shouldn't be too difficult. Just aim them properly.

 

I cant mount them in that fashion as that would entail metal work and really slicing apart the car which I don't want to do, there is room under the dash to mount speakers and in the trunk aiming into the back. I was really just asking what is a set of speakers that sounds good. The car was not built with door or front speakers in mind. It's built to have one universal speaker but I'm going to fit 3-4 in it.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

I cant mount them in that fashion as that would entail metal work and really slicing apart the car which I don't want to do...


Oh, those pics I posted never had any screwing around with the metal body or chassis of the car. That's all fiberglass on top of the panel/carpet

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

...there is room under the dash to mount speakers and in the trunk aiming into the back...

 

OK I think I have an idea what you're planning to do with it - sometimes you'll play music while parked with the trunk open.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

I was really just asking what is a set of speakers that sounds good. The car was not built with door or front speakers in mind. It's built to have one universal speaker but I'm going to fit 3-4 in it.

 

No need to use 3-4 if you can't put enough power in all of them. If you can amp them all, well and good, but listening from outside the car means you also lose a lot of bass, so at the very least an entry-level 8" sub in a simple enclosure will be a must.

 

However if it's between 3 to 4 speakers and not amping, or 1 pair up front (for when you're driving) and one pair in the trunk (for when parked), and both are adequately amped, I'd bet on the latter sounding better if not much louder too. A cheap way to do all this without much fiddling with everything I was talking about above would be to get a receiver with an EQ (just to get the warm-ish sound balance), plus something like a straight JBL sound system:

 

Front speakers : GTO 609C

Trunk speakers : GTO CS-6

Subwoofer : GTO804 (install in box aimed down, as on many HT subs, to bounce bass off the trunk floor)

Amplifier : GTO5355 five-channel amp (front, rear/trunk speakers, + sub)

 

If you don't want any hassles with designing and fitting the sub, get just the same speakers and a four-channel amp. Also explore similar product lines from Rockford Fosgate, Alpine and Pioneer.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Sorry I'm missexplaneing me self. I mean like the little spacer between the back seat and the trunk. I'm going to cut a hole in that and set them in a box so it is in the main cabin of the car but the body of it is in the trunk. also thanks for clearing up that cover for the speakers thing for me I thought that was a full on IN THE DOOR mount. I really know nothing about car audio heh sorry if I'm comeing across as dickish.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

Sorry I'm missexplaneing me self... I really know nothing about car audio heh sorry if I'm comeing across as dickish.

 

Oh no worries, didn't get that impression  wink.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

I mean like the little spacer between the back seat and the trunk. I'm going to cut a hole in that and set them in a box so it is in the main cabin of the car but the body of it is in the trunk. also thanks for clearing up that cover for the speakers thing for me I thought that was a full on IN THE DOOR mount.

 

Oh that panel! Got it. Well, if you're not planning to have the best tailgating system, I'll go back to my original suggestion: get really good component speakers - midwoofer+tweeter+bundled crossover - for the front, and just mount a small sub in the trunk. Amp them all using a strong enough 4ch amp (with enough damping factor and a lot of clean-enough power). What's that panel made of anyway? I can run a few installation ideas, although for simplicity's sake just leave it as a hole for bass to come through.

 

One thing about sub installs though, they aren't as straightforward as you might think. Mount the sub close to that panel and aim it towards that hole, and any sound waves that get trapped on the space between the sub enclosure and the panel can cause time alignment issues (you hear the bass from the sub out of sync with the rest of the freqs of the same notes coming from the front speakers), and might sound too muddy with little "hard" impact like on bass drums playing classic rock (however it might be great for blasting Lil John).

 

On option will be to mount it on the hole if its metal, but I'd best refer you to DIYMA on how to go about that - the scale of a car doesn't mean that you can easily just make it a large Grado PS1000. For one, if that's a body panel, the PS1000 cup flange and chamber are probably a thicker gauge aluminum. For simpler installs where you won't get time alignment issues though I suggest you just mount it far from that opening off to the back of the trunk - trust me actual distance that screws up sub bass isn't jsut a straight-line physical distance. Plus you can use the whole trunk to reinforce the bass before it gets into the cabin.

 

You can build a compact one out of fiberglass for one side of the trunk, then paint the whole trunk and that to your taste, or wrap the enclosure in carpet/lining similar to what's in your trunk, like these:

 

post #14 of 19

Partsexpress has some inexpensive full range driver for cars.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai_man View Post

Partsexpress has some inexpensive full range driver for cars.

 

Ah yes I forgot about these; I was thinking mostly about separate drivers, the problem for which is the crossover network, since car audio passive crossovers tend to have some tuning features, like attenuation for the tweeter (since they're usually mounted higher than and away from the midwoofers, thus can easily get relatively too loud for the listener), and most pre-built passives don't hae this or not as much flexibility. An active crossover/processor would be too complex.

 

That said, though, this isn't as simple as it seems. Full range drivers tend to be very dependent on enclosure design and car doors are essentially open air, with an air "leak" between the window glass and the rubber seal, while kick panels will most likely be too small. However, a 2" on the pillars or 3" fullrange on the kickpanel can at least be cut low enough for most amplifiers' built-in crossovers to be useful, but for most amps this has to work in concert with the receiver's crossover to use the amp's on around 250hz high pass on the smaller FR's, corresponding 250hz or so low pass for the larger FR/midwoofer with the receiver providing an 80hz or so high pass there plus the low pass for the sub. At least, giving the larger FR/midwoofer a narrower range to play means enclosure design can be overcome with the gain structure (set its amp gain higher) as there won't be other freqs affecting its overall response too much within that narrow range.

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