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#15556 - 09/11/03 07:14 PM Re: Car audio question
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
So, WHY are the car speakers SO OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive??? Is the entire car-audio market raping the consumers? In the home audio standard, a $100 raw driver is considered a VERY expensive, luxury unit. I believe that the individual Axiom drivers cost up to a few tens of dollars, and they already sound great! Am I crazy planning to pay 10-times more for these okay-sounding drivers???

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#15557 - 09/11/03 07:47 PM Re: Car audio question
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I think the car audio upgrade market is built around teens with money to spend. Unfortunately, teens often think higher price means higher quality ("Dude! Check out my tight new BOSE system!").

Really, I think the whole world went to sh*t (I'm only half-serious here) once teenagers started to have a lot of discretionary funds.... Their influence knows no bounds. They've affected the music industry, fashion industry, entertainment industry... I could go on.
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#15558 - 09/11/03 11:33 PM Re: Car audio question
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
you old fart.
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#15559 - 09/12/03 11:36 PM Re: Car audio question
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1123
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Sushi, congrats on the new ride. I am a huge Honda fan. Every Honda my wife and I have owned (5 new in the past 10 years) has had a horrific stereo. The longest I've been able to tolerate a Honda factory system is a month - then it gets ripped out with a vengence.

I picked up our Odyssey about 5 months ago and it's stereo lasted a day. I installed an Alpine CD head unit with a 6 CD changer under the drivers seat. The changer is heaven sent. On trips, it allows me to jump instantly to a barney song (or whatever) to calm the kids.

The 4 factory full range speakers were replaced by Alpine co-axial's. Definite improvement, but still lacking. The biggest improvement came with the amplifier - the system seemed to "wake up" once it was added. IMO amplification is an absolute neccessity.

Don't be fooled by head units that claim 45watts x 4 (or whatever). There is no way that the power supply in a deck can provide the current required to give you 180 watts. It will distort and clip WAY before you ever reach that level. And there-in lies the key. At highway speeds, the tire, wind and engine noise (even in the Odyssey) is huge. You will need enough power to overcome these things without distorting. I have never heard a deck that can do this satisfactorily on it's own.

Shawn
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Epic 80/600 + M3's + Custom Finish Algonquin V3's

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#15560 - 09/13/03 12:17 PM Re: Car audio question
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Barney songs, eh? I refuse to stoop to that level once out little guy pops out. Raffi, I might need to bend on though.
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#15561 - 09/13/03 01:32 PM Re: Car audio question
rcvecc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
pmbuko,i hate to say this but-barney can be your best friend when you need a break-you will see....congrats-and good luck...ron

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#15562 - 09/13/03 03:26 PM Re: Car audio question
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
In reply to:

The biggest improvement came with the amplifier - the system seemed to "wake up" once it was added. IMO amplification is an absolute neccessity.



I agree, and have decided to piggyback a 4-channel power amp to the factory receiver. What level of the rated RMS and/or Peak wattage did you choose? What brand?

Right now I am at loss between the well-respected amp brands that you guys suggested earlier (some of them as expensive as my Elite receiver!!! LOL), and those "lesser" brands, such as Pyramid, that are several-fold cheaper for a given spec. Are expensive ones really THAT good??? I assume that most of these amps, regardless of brands, are made OEM somewhere in the Far East anyway. Also, my auditions of car speakers have clearly indicated that the sound quality does NOT always correlate with the price, once you get to >$200/pair range.

As for the speakers, I decided to first replace the front two channels with the Infinity Kappa Perfect 6.5" (Infinity's high-end model), and see how they behave. Could get them at ~$220/pair online, and will have a local shop to professionally install them. To my ears (again, with classical music), the Infinity Kappas sounded better than or as good as most other brands, including those with much higher price tags.

You know, perhaps Axiom should make car-audio speakers! It must be a highly lucrative business. To me, it seems that all you need are drivers that tolerate the "power abuse" in the noisy mobile environment (with a nice-looking logo on the cone and grill! LOL)... I, for one, really wish that there were Axiom speakers in the car-audio market.


Edited by sushi (09/13/03 03:54 PM)

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#15563 - 09/13/03 08:50 PM Re: Car audio question
md55 Offline
local

Registered: 05/20/03
Posts: 284
Loc: Nevada City, CA
I would speculate that Automotive speakers need to be built physically stronger to withstand the jarring environment, heat and cold of a car. I've seen complaint about Nakamichi auto speakers failing due tho the stresses encountered. I did an earlier post about a 5.25" driver in a pair of Michaura M55's I bought used. The magnet structure appeared to be jarred out of alighment causing binding in its positioning spring. I think this happened during shipping.
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#15564 - 09/14/03 04:23 AM Re: Car audio question
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I know it's against the rules to say that amps sound different from each other, but Ken and I were at a Circuit City or Good Guys a couple years back looking at car stereos when I wandered into the comparison room where you can switch back and forth between components.

I remember hearing large, extremely noticeable differences between car amps when swapping them in and out of the circuit. Granted, car amps probably aren't built to the same ideals as home amps, but I thought that was a little crazy.

Just make sure you compare as many amps in your power/price range before you commit, sushi. When it comes to car audio, an audiophile is not in Kansas anymore....
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#15565 - 09/14/03 04:37 AM Re: Car audio question
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1123
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Sushi, as far as the amp goes, it is a 30x4 Alpine - circa 1989. It fit perfectly under the passenger seat. Nothing too wild, but it is the family bus. When I was younger, I had all maner of "cheap" amps, and ALL of them failed in a glory of smoke and stench. (Although, that was 18 years ago - I was a teen, and had no concept of clipping and distortion. As long as it was loud......) I'm sure that a cheaper amp should be fine as long as YOU can't tell the difference in sound. As far as longevity, it shouldn't suffer the abuse my old ones did, so you should be fine.

Once I turned 20, I was able to afford my first Alpine amp. It played cleaner, louder, and was absolutely bullet proof. In fact, I have 5 Alpine amps in total (not in the van), and all of them are over 12 years old.

The cheaper brands are also notorious with their stratospheric power claims. Check the fuse rating and do the math. I've seen amps claim 1000 watts and have a 20 amp fuse! Sorry, not sure what they were smoking when they rated it. My Alpine with its claimed 120 watts has TWO 20 amp fuses and a 3 amp. I don't think it's bragging.
_________________________
Shawn

Epic 80/600 + M3's + Custom Finish Algonquin V3's

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