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Car Audio Myths

Old 10-29-2006, 05:55 PM
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Car Audio Myths

Let's address some common misconceptions in the basic car audio world. Things many newcomers's might get hung up when putting a system together. Also some things some guys who have been in this field for a few years still try to pass on as accurate knowledge when in reality they were told lies to begin with.

Amplifiers

1. Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
Even if you only listen your car stereo with the car parked, in a very quiet area, with everything in your car rattle and sound proofed to the max, your speakers are going to produce more distortion than any decent amplifier will ever produce. Take away the road, wind, resonance, and all the other noise and even with a 5% change in the signal you will never hear the difference. I don't care how good you think your ears are. It ain't gonna happen. Expect much more in the bass frequencies where it will be even harder to hear.
So if you feel switching out your current amps which are rated at 0.8% THD for some rated at 0.008% THD is a good idea, well, the numbers on the paper might sound better but your ears will never hear it.

2. Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N)
CEA ratings might begin to help this out but before this testing the inconsistency was so large the number wasn't worth looking at. The fact is, ask any audiophile who's been in the game for a few years and they'll tell you they've heard fantastic sounding amps that were rated for 90dB and fantastic one's rated at 115dB. What I'm trying to say is don't mortgage Granny just to buy the 115dB rated amp as it may not sound any better than one rated lower. Inconsistancy is massive here.

3. Damping Factor (DF)
Oh I can hear the flaming start already "My amp has a higher damping factor than yours so it's better". Hold on there Skippy. I'll bet you can hear a difference between ratings of 5 vs one at 50 but if you plunk down two amps rated at 100 and one at 2000 respectively I quite highly doubt you'll hear a difference. Most people aren't going to be able to hear the difference in amps rated much lower than 50. Swapping out your amps only to replace them with one's with a much higher damping factor could be a huge waste of money. Most amps produced these days by a reputable manufacturer have more than enough DF for great sound/control of the driver it is being used on. Opting for a higher dollar piece won't garuantee you any better sound.

Subwoofers

1. Smaller subs vs Bigger subs
Smaller subs are not "quicker" than big subs. Smaller subs are not "punchier" than big subs. The performance of the driver will be determined by how the driver was modelled to perform with the parts used and the enclosure into which it was placed. It's that simple.

2. Sealed vs Ported enclosure's
Sealed enclosure's don't always offer better SQ and ported enclosure's don't always equal loud boomy bass. Like what was stated in relation to sub sizing the driver is going to sound as well as the enclosure was designed. A ported design can sound just as good as a sealed design. Why use a sealed design: Smaller space required. Why use ported: Better efficiency/output.

3. Sensitivity
As with amplifiers there's way to much difference in testing procedures to use this number as a basis to choose a speaker. With one exception: choosing speakers within the same company. Looking at the sensitivity number between speakers of the same manufacturer might be to your benefit.


I'll leave this list at that for now but I'm sure I'll be back to add to it.
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:08 PM
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My brain loved it. Post more.
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:20 PM
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Please sticky....
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:26 PM
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yes yes yes! sticky and more :P did not know that .. .. for example i ALWAYS here people say if you want faster punchier bass go for 10's instead of 12's ....ive always said screw u i like my 12's but i never really knew that haha

thanks!
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:28 PM
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It would also be good if someone added some myths about the electrical and charging system. (ie. Caps, batteries, fusing and wire)
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:34 PM
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Such as having a better battery will reduce dimming, and a capacitor will recharge your battery?
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:46 PM
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yes that stuff would be really helpful considering im going to have to do some upgrades to my stock electrical when i get this new amp put in... lol
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:48 PM
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[QUOTE=FusionMadsen]Such as having a better battery will reduce dimmingQUOTE]

Ya, I wish I had known that like 5 months ago before I spent $250 on a stinger battery cuz my local car audio store talked me into it. Hahaha.
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:54 PM
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Wow I can see this thread is going to be full incorrect info or matter of personal opinions. When compairing 10" to 12" drivers sometimes they will produce a less boomy effect and may be quicker and tighter. When you compair both sizes in the same manufacture and line with equivilent build quality a majority of the time a 10" is less boomy and quicker. But where this becomes a myth is when compairing brand to brand like a RF 10" and a JBL 12". If different drivers all produced and same sound they would have one size. Would they not? This statment is a matter of personal preference. And capacitors do not charge batteries.
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Smartass
Wow I can see this thread is going to be full incorrect info or matter of personal opinions. When compairing 10" to 12" drivers sometimes they will produce a less boomy effect and may be quicker and tighter. When you compair both sizes in the same manufacture and line with equivilent build quality a majority of the time a 10" is less boomy and quicker. But where this becomes a myth is when compairing brand to brand like a RF 10" and a JBL 12". If different drivers all produced and same sound they would have one size. Would they not? This statment is a matter of personal preference. And capacitors do not charge batteries.
That is some car audio wisdom right there.
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