You must be a punk kid, in my experience only punk kids are into hifi car audio. My suggestion... get out of the car and get into the house.
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Please don't let the post by that @$$#$%! get you down. There are good high-end car audio sites out there. Look at Dynaudio, Milbert, Tube Driver, Xtant, Focal Mobile Audio, McIntosh..... The sound that can be achieved in car audio can be magnificent. It takes careful installation and the right components. I have achieved it. Don't let the Home Snobs discourage you.
I'm a 29 year old audiophile with a decent home rig. I put $3,000 into a hi-end stereo in my BMW 535 with great successand absolutely NO REGRETS. I used info I learned from reading Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, and Bound For Sound magazines, coupled with LOTS of listening to car audio components, talking to better dealers in my area, talking to car audio competitors who compete in the sound quality (not SPL) contests, and listening to hi end home systems to use as a reference for imaging, soundstaging depth, transparency and air, midrange neutrality, frequency extension etc. I approached car stereo with the same set of expectations as I would while assembling a home system. I firmly believe that you achieve excellent results in car audio by applying lessons learned from home audio such as controling vibrations and RFI, damping resonant frequencies in the car, bracing/constrained layer damping of speaker baffles and cabinets etc. I find I listen to music more often in my car while driving because there are less distractions than when I am at home. I can listen at the volume I want and to the type of music I want without bothering anyone. I find myself taking the long way to my destinations, just so I can listen to one more track! In my system I used Infinity Beta series speakers with Infinity designed passive crossovers (only available from select Infinity dealers), Precision Power 6 channel amp (50watts x 5 plus 150w x 1), Sony ES head unit and 10 disc CD changer, all Wireworld Orbit cables ($400 worth of wire, shielded and normally used in home systems), and a 1 farad capacitor to provide extra juice to the amp for peaks. Use an experienced installer that understands what you mean when you say "imaging", and try to get the distance between the speaker drivers and your ears to be as close to the same distance as possible for best imaging. This may mean mounting mids and tweeters in the kick panels by your feet, angled up toward your ears to even out the distance from your left speakers to your left ear and the right speakers to your right ear. Focus on getting the best possible speakers you can afford up front to create a stage in front of you, like a concert, before concerning yourself too much with speakers in the back of the car. Rear speakers I use to create a little more hall sound (ambience) by keeping them down in volume compared to the fronts. The hardest thing in hi end car audio is integrating the subwoofer. The best is to have woofers/subwoofers up front, so that it appears that bass is coming from the soundstage your front speakers are projecting. Unfortunately, it's not always practical in a car. So you can experiment with tricks like wiring your sub out of phase with your front speakers(works best in my setup), exotic enclosures like aperiodic designs, and crossing the sub over below 50 Hz to minimize the directional cues (a good idea in any case). I know this post is long, but I did a lot of research before leaping into hi end car audio and am very pleased with the results. One thing I think car components do BETTER than home audio is in the area of pace, drive, rhythm, and impact. If you can find speakers with audiophile refinement, and combine them with high quality class A/AB DC car amplifiers, place them well within the car in well braced/damped enclosures, I think you will be very pleasantly surprised with the current state-of-the art car audio systems! Good luck, and let us know how you make out - I'd like to see this string continue!
I have a Theta Pro Basic IIIA in my car along with Dynaudio speakers and Soundstream amps. I agree most car hi fi sounds poor. It wasn't until I started using separate DACs that my car system started to sound good. I was using Denon's best car audio stuff which can not hold a candle to my old SONY Walkman feeding a CAL Gamma DAC. I am currently using a SONY changer, Optichord Toslink to a Theta TLC. BNC-BNC DH Labs D-75 to a second Theta TLC and then to another DH Labs BNC-BNC cable to a Monarchy DIPMKII to the Theta Pro Basic IIIA. I am using a Radio Shack 140 Watt inverter with absolutely no hum. Cabling consists of Kimber PBJ, Cardas and Kimber 4TC to the Dynaudio three way system. Feel free to e-mail me if anyone has any questions about running separate DACs in the car.
Does anyone know of any Online information and the fesiblity of running homeaudio equipment in the car, using a power inverter. The only thing that I can think would be the harshness of the enviroment. Any ideas of isolation methods that can help my imaging or tone, things like black diamond racing cones, etc. thanks again for all the helpful advise,
The Eclipse products from Fujitsu Ten are probably the best car audio products in the world (both sonically and build quality)! Look under Fujitsu Ten on the web and you'll be able to link up with the Eclipse products. This is audiophile for the car, however it doesn't hold a candle to home audio for obvious reasons. But, if you want the very best for car applications short of installing home gear, Eclipse is it. I run a DDL/GFO system from Eclipse and it is still the best!
Some of you guys are nuts! I've got a $30,000.00 home system and still love my $5000.00 car system! If done right, the car system can offer dynamics that are almost impossible to recreate at home. There's nothing like getting in the car and blowing your head off! I'm not talking about huge boomy bass either. Check out Boston Pro Series seperates and subs. Very expensive, but well worth the price. Also, check out ADS power amps and Sony ES mobile audio. Again, expensive but well worth it. I would love to pit my car system against some of your home systems out there. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be much contest, as many of the snobby home guys with their 5 watt tube amps, would find out what live music really sounds like! Hey Inluiv307, been to a rock concert recently? Grow up!
I'm not exactly sure what you are talking about Gallusm. "been to a rock concert recently? Grow up!" For starters any rock concert that I've been to sounds like utter crap and if you call what you hear at a rock concert dynamics I think that you are confused. And if you can honestly say that your $30,000 system does not sound as dymanic as your $5,000 car audio system then something is extremely worng with your home system. I do think that all the Boston stuff that I've heard sounds good for being in the car and I'll look in to the Sony Es and ADS power amps and thank you every one for your response they have helped me. I'm currently running two Soundstream amps and a Pheonix Gold amp. As for the Fujitsu Ten stuff I think that I've heard better but who's to say until you get it in your car and listen, because everyones ears are different and everyone's cars are different. Thanks again.
Maybe dynamics was the wrong description. I didn't say my car system sounded better than my home system. My listening room is 20" x 20" and my car cabin is much smaller. I can generate much higher spl's in my car than I can at home and at a much lower cost. The home system is more detailed without question and also plays very loud, which I sometimes like. When I get in the car I like to crank it up and enjoy. I know it won't offer what my home system will, but it sounds very good with a reasonable amount of detail which is good enough in the car. It will however play very very loud with huge low end and without any hint of strain. Sometimes this can be very enjoyable. Being a musician for almost 20 years I know that rock concerts don't always sound the greatest. So why do we go? Well, it offers a sense of excitement and high spl's which are hard to recreate in the home. No, I'm not just about loud, but sometimes it's fun and that's where the car comes in. I like to have vocals in my face and bass that goes through my chest at times. Recently I was asked to attend a Metallica concert.(no I didn't build a $30,000 home system to play Metallica, although it will in spades). No, I'm not even a big fan of their music, but my friend convinced me to go. At about twenty rows from the stage, let me tell you it was not only emotional but the most powerful concerts I have seen in the sense of sheer power, which can definitely move you in more ways than one. I wouldn't say the sound was crap either, but it was loud! Anyway, my point is don't bash different musical interests(car audio), as you would't want people to criticize what your into. Maybe I got carried away the first time around in my response.
Gallusm, I bet why you can't tell that much diffrence between your car and your home system is you have been listening to loud in the car and have been to, to many loud rock shows and have lost much of your hearing. Every time you listen loud for an extended period of time over 90db you do irreprable damage to your hearing.
It seems to me that some of the peolpe that posted above have a pretty closed mind when it comes to car-audio. I think it is safe to say that they haven't sat in a car that has been done right. In my car I have an Eclipse 5303 cd tuner, a Pioneer DEQ 9200 eq/digital delay/crossover, ADS AL-6 mids(6 1/2")/tweeters (1"),and a JL audio 12W6 sub-woofer. All speakers are driven by Rockford Fosgate(same company as Hafler for you closed minded people) amplifiers. There is 50 wpc to each mid and tweeter and a dedicated 450w to the sub. All the crossover work is done actively by the Pioneer DEQ 9200. The thing that makes the most difference in my system is the abilty to adjust the amount of delay time between all of the individual drivers as needed. I am positive that this car has better imaging than 95% of the high-end home systems I have heard in the past 15 years. The delay and the low kickpanel placement of the mids and tweeters makes the distances from ear to left door, and ear to right door as close as possible to perfect. Put in some good music(Sheffield Labs, Mo-fi, DCC, or whatever) and it flat kicks ass. It sounds like there is music coming from 3-4 feet outside the drivers window. The Missing Link, Thelma Houston, James Newton Howard, Usual Suspects cd's by Sheffield are even more fun to listen to in the car than in the house. I have never heard these discs sound better anywhere, period! Car audio can sound every bit as good as home audio IF you do it right! For the $5000 I have put in my car, I would have to spend at least twice that amount to even come close in a home system.I have yet to hear a home system with bass as tight, quick, and musical as a properly built car system. Impact and low end extension is not even a contest. Put in any organ track with a 16hz pedal and you will then understand. Tocotta and Fugue in d by Michael Murray on Telarc is a perfect example to listen to. All I am trying to say is that if you put a lot of time in building a car sytem correctly and spent a lot of time tweaking it, you can have excellent sound in a car. I suggest you get off your high horse and try building a car system correctly before you say that it can't be done. I think you will change your mind in a hurry.
who *cares* if ewe can get good audiophile-quality sound in a car? if your car is fun-to-drive, the *on* knob of the stereo won't even get turned-on. if yure really doing audiophile listening in yer car, i sure as hell hope yure not driving while doing it. if so, yure a safety-menace, like those who yak on their cell-fones/read/drink alcohol/apply make-up/etc., while they make a feeble attempt at driving.
Hey Sedond, I think you maybe on the wrong website- This is a Hi Fi Audio website, not Gearhead.com! Let's stay on topic, shall we? Grumpybb, your car system looks like it would sound terrific! I'm about $2,000 behind you, but have considered a larger sperate amp for my sub (Infinity Beta 12 in a sealed enclosure), and a Rockford Fosgate DSP unit that does EQ/delay/crossover in one box. The salesman was really pushing the DSP unit, but I was afraid it would screw up the great sound I have been getting without it. It sounds like you have had great success with your Pioneer DEQ 9200, and would recommend it. Did you happen to compare it to the Rockford DSP unit? Could you elaborate on the Pioneer DEQ 9200 and offer any insight on comparable units you auditioned? Also, does the DEQ 9200 help in any way to integrate your sub into the soundstage? That is my biggest problem with my system - the bass still sounds like it is coming from behind at times, which can become detrimental to the soundstage I am creating up front. I agree that with a good sub, well recorded organ discs can be exciting ear-openers in a good car system! I recommend Pomp & Pipes/Dallas Winds on Reference Recordings - check out "The Vikings" - it's sure to get your blood pumping! Lastly, what type of car is your system in? Thanks!
Hifi4me, sure I'll fill you in on the DEQ9200. I have not compared it to the Rockford unit, or any other for that matter. The reason I bought the 9200 is because I owned an older version of it(about 3 year old model),which was stolen. I think the model number was 7200, and it under the Premeire side of Pioneer. The 9200 is an incredibly adjustable piece of machinery. It has built in crossovers for sub, mids, and tweeters, and all 4 cut-off points are ajustable for frequency AND slope. The sub can be crossed at 12,18, or 24 db per octave and the others at 6,12, or 18 per octave.It allows you turn on and off tweets, mids , and subs seperately to allow for easier crossover tuning. It also allows you to invert the phase of any of the drivers by pressing a couple of keys instead of having to swap wires. This really helps make set-up much easier. The delay lets every driver be set seperately from the others, since obviously no 2 driver are in the same location. This is adjustable in 1/2 inch increments. Just measure the distance from your head to the driver and punch in the distance. The best way I have found to match the sub was to cross the low pass of the mids as low as possible with 18 db/octave slope(80 hz works best for me) and same with the sub high pass but at 100 hz and 24 db/octave. I know there is a little bit of overlap, but with the sharp crossover rates it is not noticable at all. This keeps as much low frequency as possible up front. I tried lower crossover points, but the mids bottomed out to easily at higher volumes. By the way, the vehicle is a Lumina Z-34. The sub is in a 1.5 cu/ft sealed box that's mounted against the rear seat but fires towards the back of the car to get proper loading. I also have a pair of Beta- 12's that I have not tried out yet because of lack of free time, but I am looking forward to giving these subs a shot. Picked them up at Ultimate Electronis a while back for $125 ea, unopened. Couldn't pass up a deal like that. If you have any other questions, post back or e-mail me.
I'm also interested in the 9200. Can you change the phase of the sub just a little bit. I had a local car audio guy tell me that one of the problems with my system is that as the bass comes to the front of the car the bass form my mid bass 8's and the little bit that is eveident in my 4's are clashing just a little bit out of phase causing my bass to seem disconnected and out of the sound stage. I drive a Mercedes 190e and cannot put my sub in the cabin (Boston Accoustic Competitor C110, it's a 10 with a passive radiator) I do however have the 8's (Boston Accoustic rs-8) On the floor behind the driver and passenger firing at the celling. do think that this unit will help solve some of these problems, or do you know of other units that have sub woofer delay or advance reseptively through delaying everything else. thank you
Thy will be done.... Nakamichi makes a reference standard type of head unit called the TP-1200 there is a (special shop) model which has no tone controls and upgraded parts. The board is suspened and isolated from vibration and the head unit is merely a control unit. The actual pre-amp is mounted in the rear near the amps the head unit controls a servo activated real volume potentiometer. McIntosh clearly makes the best car amps and a great sounding parametric equalizer as well as a transparent 5 way electronic crossover network with memory presets. Use a Wadia D/A converter As for speakers I intend to use parts from teh new Red Rose R3 speakers. Or perhaps the Proac speakers. Screw the "car speakers" they suck. Use Dynaudio and Focal drivers and Vifa Midbass drivers. Also I hear the new Eminent Technolgy planar diaphram car drivers 20kz-400hz are nice. Stuff it all into a Mercedes E class sedan with the subs working in an free air infinite baffle arrangement over teh rear deck. The front stage drivers must be mounted in kick panels. Don't try to use a wide car like the older s-class because the listeners will be too off center. consider a sheet of VB3 lead septum damping sheet over the transmission tunnel and Dynamat under the roof liner and on the doors. spray Rockford fosgate noise killer in the door ares you can not dynamat. Cars are quiet now (good ones at least) They are small enough to pressurize easily to have convincing bass, luxury cars have enough sound deadening and less over all decay times. Finally the electronics are good enough save for teh d/a converters for cars. Do it in a Mercedes, at least the car will last. Putting a high performance system in a car like a Kia is like putting your home stereo in a room made out of cardboard. (I'm sure this will piss off some people... but it is true- flex is bad in a door panel.