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I've been trying to find some speakers and components to upgrade my car's system a bit and I feel like they speak a different language. Speakers are rated in watts, amp wattage is 10x anything that I would use in my house, equalizers and dsp's are everywhere. Wire harnesses are used everywhere with special connectors. I get the sense that the whole field is dominated by people that like the boom-boom sound.
My prior car was a minivan and hard as it is to believe the system sounded pretty good after I added an aux in jack and used a Dragonfly Black DAC as input. Nothing in my new car is easily accessible as the car computer and amp are integrated with no analog inputs and I'm left with swapping drivers, but even that is hard because specs are hard to come by and then are meaningless. The supposed "premium" sound really isn't good at all by asylum standards and is tizzy and completely lacks bass. I just want some balance and extension to the treble and bass without emphasizing anything. The bass doesn't have to shake the street.
Just a rant.
About thirty years ago I tried to install a car stereo in a new car to get a more high end sound. I got everything to work, but the sonic results were disappointing. Since then it has been my practice to buy new cars with brand name "premium" stereos and let it go at that. My wife's old Lexus has the Mark Levinson stereo and my Pickup has a upscale JBL stereo. I understand that both systems are designed designed taking the vehicle's interior into account. Both sound pretty good.
I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having it's motives questioned.
In case you are craving to have tubes in your car, such amps apparently exist.
I guess they would need those ruggedized Russian tubes..... (Recognized the "Reflektor" logo on one of them.) A microphonic or compromised tube (from excessive vibrations) in such a system could ruin someone's day........
I guess such an amplifier would NOT be ideal for the "SPL Wars"..... But I could be wrong......
marc g. - audiophile by day, music lover by night
Was that sarcasm, cuz they make tubed motherboards ;-)
Oh I know it exists! It and the many posts about it had just come to mind for some reason.
marc g. - audiophile by day, music lover by night
This one is all tube.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"
Seem to remember they are, or were related to the David Berning products.
I kind of think of an audiophile tube amplifier made for car audio like a Ferrari made for all-terrain use...... You just cannot appreciate a Ferrari this way........
Me? Haven't owned a Ferrari, but I've had 2 Porsche 928 models and an 964/911. Sometimes I DID like to listen to the "stereo." Had quite a nice little amp, in one of my 928s (a 1987 928 S4.)
Yikes, that tube amp you linked is *only* $5k.... Hope the acoustics in the car with that amp is good, for when the wife throw you out of the house for buying a $5k amp for the car - haha.
My home pre-amp uses 6GM8 tubes at 24v. These tubes were originally designed for car amps. I've always wondered if the "GM" designation for the tubes was for General Motors or just another random assignment.
But no, not looking for tubes. A class D amp seems like it would be best as they use the power more efficiently than class A/B. And while not to everyone's taste, I find them to be fairly clean sounding.
The lingo does not translate. If you are sticking with the stock head unit because it is integrated, sensitivity becomes critical and the measurements among competitive products are not comparable. Look at JBL Stadium series. They make most of the standard size drivers and components, sound good with stock head unit power levels and are generally not too bright.
and new home preamps today don't even include a BALANCE control. How quaint. Like this money saving simplification makes their preamps better when all it does is save them ching on a 10k preamp.
That's only the beginning with the auto industry cabal, you have my total sympathies on this. And the audio world as well. Cheers
When I said balance I meant frequency balance. It does at least have left/right/front/rear balance. I can push the bass and treble up and down too but it only makes it worse and I keep going back to 0db boost.
ok got it. I had to dial in my wife's parameters on her car stereo 5 band EQ because stock it sucked. All digital controls, dial things in while there's road noise etc. We end up playing a few stations on her xerius or whatever you call it but it's usually at a very low volume until a good song comes along on 1 of 4 stations I listen to. I'm usually the pilot and she wants it that way.
She's always getting someone calling her up and I just go on driving. In NJ you have to pay attention to the shitty drivers which are plentiful.
My '72 car has old school JVC audio in it including antenna and cassette. No phone, just engine rumble and stereo. Cheers.
yea, it's 5 band but still not enough control. I tried using an analyzer on the phone but it didn't help. If there is distortion recorded in the music, say some overdriven guitar amps, it just puts distortion on the distortion. I've turned it off so many times already because it just made my head hurt. And I don't listen to it very loud, but you know the occasional song comes on that needs to just be loud. EVH needs to be loud, the Stones need to be loud, Radiohead needs to be loud.
Car audio is all about SPLs and bass......
I've seen some audiophiles accused of being into the "gear" instead of the "music"..... Meanwhile, in car audio, it seems like it's almost always about the "gear"...... (No pun intended.)
When I was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the mid 1990s, an audio store I visited there had a "car audio" division..... I came across a few people in their early 20s who have already had severe hearing loss..... (I remember having to yell at one of them just so he could hear me.) One of the salespeople at the store told me that several clients constantly played just two or three CDs repeatedly, over periods of at least several months.......
Not looking for ear splitting SPLs or bass that can lift the car off the ground!
In fact more than one dealer told me more money came in through auto systems once installation charge was factored in.
"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."
Yes the aftermarket car stereo market has a very different set of priorities than high end home audio. Can you imagine a home audio competition where highest SPL in a room takes home a gold medal?
You should be able to find quality car speakers and drivers. Focal, Dynaudio, MB Quart, Infinity, JL Audio are a few brands that come to mind that in the past have had audiophile quality car stereo offerings.
I think DSP is everywhere because you can't easily fit two or more analog crossovers into a car nor would you want to. I wonder what a shaking analog crossover sounds like. Connectors are a lot easier to work with than trying to solder wires in tight spaces in an automobile.
Crutchfield should be able to take good care of you if you call them, explain what you are looking to achieve, what budget you have to work with, and how much modification you are willing to make to trim and sheet metal to put in speakers.
I gave up trying to do this with my current car when I saw that Crutchfield had no drop in speakers and that I would have to disassemble the door panels to replace the existing speakers. It certainly not like it was in the old days when the car manufacturers made it easy to replace factory installed speakers.
Which reminds me that I need to freecycle some Boston Acoustics car speakers that I have on the shelf in my garage.
In looking, there is a pair of Focal drivers that will drop into the original 8" door speakers with a 3D printed bracket. And there are also Infinity drivers for the dash speakers, but they also need a 3D printed bracket. And all would need special connectors. These are all available made specifically for my car, but are really the only options. Supposedly the specs on the drivers are close enough to the original so as to not blow out the amp. This would all drop into the existing spots but all the panels of course would need to come off to get to them.
It was in looking to find other alternatives where I just ran into all the mumbo-jumbo with car stereo. I don't want 500 watts. And can an amp actually produce that many watts off the 12v system? I read an article years ago ridiculing the idea that it could. Whatever happened to continuous RMS ratings at x% distortion? I do understand though the need for the DSPs to balance the output given the limited cabin space.
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