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Car Audio 101: The Fundamentals

Discussion in 'Car Audio' started by Tasmaniak, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Tasmaniak

    Tasmaniak Not a valid input....

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    Whenever you are planning to upgrade something on your vehicle, it's always wise to set up a budget before you spend a cent. A solid budget will immediatly determine the price range of the product you will eventually buy. Once you have a budget the next step is to look at the current state of your cars audio system. Lets assume that the system is stock. In 96' Commodore, where do you start? Generally the first thing that you should replace is the head unit, as it's directly responsible for the sound quality of your entire system, despite the fact that it's more expensive than replacing the dirty sound through lousy speakers. But remember, the sound will still sound dirty through quality speakers...Basic No1 ;)

    An aftermarket HU has a more powerful built in amplifier designed to drive four speakers and usuall will have a rated power of 50Watts Max per channel and about 15-20Wrms Most OE headunits have a TOTAL of 25wrms between all four channels :S

    The peak power of a HU is typically the most advertised but that is somewhat misleading, as the maximum power rating is not a constant rating and only occurs during dynamic points in the music. So does this mean that more power is better? No, not exactly. But aftermarket HUs produce more power with less distortion. Remember this - harmonic distortion is like detonation in an engine; it can cause damage if not controlled. Many people with stock speakers end up replacing them due to a buzz or rattle that soon develops. What they don't realise is that the distortion from their headunit and high volume levels have damaged the voice coil on the speaker or have caused overexertion in the cone of the speaker resulting in physical damage.

    Feel free to ask any questions....
     
    garfa and semi like this.
  2. scott.waldon

    scott.waldon New Member

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    12Voltking, you are such a champ :D , your always there helping people out and giving them a lending hand and i think its great :D, Youve got sum more rep points now:)
    Keep up the great help and hints etc. :thumbsup:
     
  3. VKnVLCalais

    VKnVLCalais Guest

    hey 12volt, can u do a thread on the so called "Myths" of car audio if u know any. for example um...things u find people always say to u or ask u that just isnt true.
     
  4. Tasmaniak

    Tasmaniak Not a valid input....

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    VKnVLCalais, I could, but what you would have to bear in mind is that I can't really dispel a lot of myths because some are such a big mystery that I don't know the answer, but I can certainly compile a thread for you all...
     
  5. VKnVLCalais

    VKnVLCalais Guest

    sounds good.
     
  6. mouce

    mouce Physics Geek

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    And here was me thinking that there was nothing you couldn't answer in the world of car electronics/audio. :my:
     
  7. Genesis

    Genesis New Member

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    There is nothing, he's just being modest.
     
  8. jolly_97

    jolly_97 THE VACATIONER!

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    lol, i got a question. u say an aftermarket HU is 10-15W RMS, that pretty much mean u HAVE to have an amp to get the best outta ure speakers. my 6x9's are 80W RMS and the front 16cm door speakers are 50W RMS off memory so even if i crank my HU up to full volume on the most crazy song in the world, its near impossible to **** my speakers? ill be buyin an amp eventually for the sub im gettin and ill probably do a setup like 2 channels bridged to the sub and 2 to the 6x9's, who needs door speakers to be good haha. how much clearer will it make it if i get an amp?
     
  9. semi

    semi GOD

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    You can still stuff your speakers by underpowering them and clipping the internal amplifier in the HU. Sending a clipped unit to speakers is as bad, if not worse than overpowering them
     
  10. jolly_97

    jolly_97 THE VACATIONER!

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    hrmm yeah true.. i spose they will survive for a while before i get an amp and a sub tho. 4ch amp, 2 channels for the 6x9's and 2 bridged channels for the sub. should be wicked, im just waitin for all my **** to come from ebay now, another 2 weeks and it'll be here...
     
  11. Sebastian

    Sebastian New Member

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    hi ive got a stock VT commo and was just wondering what would be involved in installing a pair of 6x9's and whether this would be effective given im running them off the eurovox headunit? would i have to get a new headunit?
     
  12. ascension24

    ascension24 New Member

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    12voltking, if you start a thread bout myth debunking count me in.

    I'll guarantee their wont be a single unanswered question, and ill provide all technical details to prove or disprove the myth.

    EG. Something that people dont understand about clipping is, when a signal goes into clipping, it starts deforming from a sin wave, to a square wave. Keeping the signal clean is important because one thing speakers are designed to do is to cool down by moving in and out (from going positive to negative in the sin wave)

    Now if the signal starts clipping and starts to becomes a square wave, the amp starts seeing something that looks like a DC signal at the extremes of the wave.
    What this does, is keeps the cone of the speaker pushed all the way out or all the way in, not a big problem in itself.

    The problem is, all this power is going through the coils but since the speaker isnt moving now, it cant dissipate the heat.

    No heat dissapation means your speakers internals start to over heat. Blown voice coil/melted cone etc etc...

    Now all this may be hard to understand, but with some pictures thrown in, it will be simple for all to understand
     
  13. fazz1977

    fazz1977 myspace.com/fazz_himself

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    Another myth is that rear 6x9"s are the be-all and end-all. I have them in mine and I hate them, haha. All the fun is in the sub and front stage. AMP your front stage and run the rears off the HU if you have to. Not the other way around. Rear fill is a nice addition but shouldn't overpower anything. You should be barely aware of your rears running at all.
     

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