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Top Ten Favorite Car Audio Myths (in no particular order)

Old 08-19-2007, 11:21 PM
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Top Ten Favorite Car Audio Myths (in no particular order)

thought this would be worth posting as i saw it on another forum, answers alot of questions that CA NOOBS like myself ask.

maybe its worth a sticky on this forum?




1. Amplifiers should be grounded at the battery

Generally the battery is the worst place to ground an amplifier. The battery is where all of the electrical noise from the vehicle's various parts ends up. Like a noise garbage disposal. Connecting your audio components to this noise hub is a bad idea.

2. Adding a second battery to the vehicle will ease the load on the alternator

A second battery will increase the load on the alternator, not decrease it. With the vehicle running the second battery becomes another load for the alternator to charge. Second batteries are only good for engine off listening time.

3. Ground all of your audio components at the same place

Sometimes this works and sometimes it makes the problem worse. When you ground any current carrying component to the vehicle you create a circular field at that point. Poorly designed audio components could pick up this field and introduce it as noise into the system. When this is the case it's a good idea to separate your components by six inches or more. The higher the current (large amps), the more space I recommend.

4. Routing power cables on the opposite side of the signal cables will prevent noise

Maybe. It will prevent the signal cables from picking up noise inductively from the power cables. But it won't prevent them from picking up noise from the vehicle's chassis or from other electronic components along their path. It's a good practice but doesn't guarantee noise pickup.

5. A high output alternator will reduce the chance of noise

Actually it's the opposite. The larger the alternator the greater the noise output. The noise increases with the power output of the alternator.

6. Power capacitors should be fused

Bad idea. The purpose of a car audio capacitor is to deliver large amounts of current very quickly (faster than a battery is capable of). Adding a fuse, which is just a short length of very small wire, will slow down this current delivery. And because capacitors can discharge so quickly the fuse wouldn't blow before the capacitor discharged.

7. Adding more speakers will increase the sound quality

Volume, maybe. Sound quality, no. The more speakers you add to a system the greater the problems you will have due to speaker interaction. Each speaker is a little wave producer and when the waves from one speaker meet those of another speaker the results are peaks and dips in the response. Generally less is more when looking for sound quality. Look to the car audio competition finals winners and you'll see that they use a small number of high quality speakers.

8. Turning up all of the frequencies on an equalizer will increase the system volume

The system volume is based on many factors including system power and speaker sensitivity. The purpose of an equalizer is to compensate for vehicle specific problems and not as a general volume control. Boosting all of the frequencies won't make your system louder, only more distorted.

9. Tweeters should be placed as high up as possible

Tweeters should be placed as near to the midrange/woofer as possible. The tweeter and the midrange/woofer are a matched pair and shouldn't be separated. Imagine an electric guitar which has a wide acoustical range. If the guitar is playing a riff in the frequency range of the woofer and then switches to a riff in the frequency range of the tweeter you'll likely notice the position of the guitar jump. Now if the tweeter is placed near the woofer the guitar position will remain in place.

10. An amplifier's gain control should be set to maximum to get more volume

The purpose of the gain control is to match the output level of the component before it (head unit, equalizer, crossover, etc.) Since car audio manufacturers don't use a standard output level like home audio manufacturers do it is necessary to have an adjustable input. Adjusting the gain too high will only cause more distortion in the amplifier's output. Since our ears perceive distorted and painful sounds as louder this is a myth that has perpetuated.

Bottom line: Be careful who you listen to and what you believe (good advice for life too). There are plenty of folks inside and outside the car audio realm that will simply make something up if they don't know the answer (don't want to look stupid). Then there are those that have been told a lie, accepted it as truth, and passed it along. When in doubt, get a second opinion.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:33 PM
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:35 PM
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hmm.. didnt see that!


maybe they can just merge the threads than!

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Old 08-19-2007, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AeR0

9. Tweeters should be placed as high up as possible

Tweeters should be placed as near to the midrange/woofer as possible. The tweeter and the midrange/woofer are a matched pair and shouldn't be separated. Imagine an electric guitar which has a wide acoustical range. If the guitar is playing a riff in the frequency range of the woofer and then switches to a riff in the frequency range of the tweeter you'll likely notice the position of the guitar jump. Now if the tweeter is placed near the woofer the guitar position will remain in place.
Now this is a good one! A myth within an anti-myth thread!

Localization along the vertical axis given by HRTF begins above 1kHz; the closer your tweeter (or horn, as is often the case) is crossed over to this point, the less it matters how close the tweeter is to the mid. Additionally, calculating HRTF inversion and EQ'ing such adjustments into the bandwidth covered by the mid will "raise" (for lack of a better term) the sound coming from the midrange. There isn't that much value in placing the tweeter along the same plane in the vertical axis when you're in a vehicle.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:12 AM
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8. Turning up all of the frequencies on an equalizer will increase the system volume

The system volume is based on many factors including system power and speaker sensitivity. The purpose of an equalizer is to compensate for vehicle specific problems and not as a general volume control. Boosting all of the frequencies won't make your system louder, only more distorted.
this is actually not true. turning up all frequencies will make your system louder, it will be distorted but it will actually be louder. put an spl meter in your car and see for yourself.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AeR0
1. Amplifiers should be grounded at the battery

Generally the battery is the worst place to ground an amplifier. The battery is where all of the electrical noise from the vehicle's various parts ends up. Like a noise garbage disposal. Connecting your audio components to this noise hub is a bad idea.
this is absolute internet tripe, everything is grounded at the battery


Originally Posted by AeR0

8. Turning up all of the frequencies on an equalizer will increase the system volume

The system volume is based on many factors including system power and speaker sensitivity. The purpose of an equalizer is to compensate for vehicle specific problems and not as a general volume control. Boosting all of the frequencies won't make your system louder, only more distorted..
If the EQ has a gain stage it will be louder (always makes my stomach churn when I agree with Yuli)

Originally Posted by AeR0
Bottom line: Be careful who you listen to and what you believe (good advice for life too). There are plenty of folks inside and outside the car audio realm that will simply make something up if they don't know the answer (don't want to look stupid). Then there are those that have been told a lie, accepted it as truth, and passed it along. When in doubt, get a second opinion.
Agreed, and the internet is a dubious source of info and a superb source as well, 'let the buyer beware'
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AeR0

2. Adding a second battery to the vehicle will ease the load on the alternator

A second battery will increase the load on the alternator, not decrease it. With the vehicle running the second battery becomes another load for the alternator to charge. Second batteries are only good for engine off listening time.
Actually... A battery in parallele offers no greater load to the amplifier, it simply acts as one bigger battery.

Secondly their are benefits even when running, often times if you have dimming lights, its because your alternator cant give the power yes.... but also the battery cannot discharge fast enough to supply the amp, therefore you get dimming... more so then if you just turned off the car. Batts in parralle are faster at discharging and can discharge more amps.
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