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Old 9th May 2009, 14:58   #1
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Default A Debate: Myths about Car Audio

Hey guys, I have been doing a bit of reading on international ICE forums, and have come accross some really startling stuff. I shall lay out some of the point I have come across.

Here's a few! May might shock you and make you jump out of your chairs! Hold on to your seats
  • Max Power (PMPO)
  • Speakers/subwoofers-size: Bigger is Better
  • EXPENSIVE Power Wire: In fact HIGH end wires of any kind!
  • 5000 Rupee RCAs being "a strong link in the signal chain."
  • DVC is going to be louder than SVC.
  • 12" subs will hit lows better but be slower than a 10"
  • Buying expensive equipment creates a good sound system
  • More speakers are better
  • Rear speakers make the sound "fuller"
  • Sealed boxes increase damping and control/Sealed boxes produce better SQ than ported with the same drivers
  • Capacitors actually help (They do help, but within an amplifier...!!)
  • Distortion or Clipping kills speakers Example: Put a 20w amp on a 2000w sub and clip it all you want. The speakers not going anywhere.
    On the other hand give a 20w speaker 2000 watts of clean power and see what happens.
  • Low midbass/sub crossover point required for up front bass
  • If your amp is rated at 300 w and your speaker is rated at 200 peak you will blow your speaker
  • Another Shocker: You must run RCA's and power on oppsite sides of the vehicle. Eg: Long ago, when most car audio equipment included some connection from audio ground to chassis in the signal input circuit, this was not a myth. these days, most electronic equipment sold by reputable companies is no longer susceptable to radiated noise. Therefore, it's now a myth--mostly. The idea that grounds are super-important is also now nearly a myth. When RCA connections and single-ended outputs also go away, we'll never have to worry about that again.

    Ever hear a factory system with a bunch of noise? Ever seen a factory system with RCA cables? The signal is too high and the impedance is low enough for inductive noise to not be much of an issue. Unless maybe you zip tied them together for about 150 feet
  • Under powering a subwoofer will ruin it
  • An amp is always delivering it's rated RMS power to the speakers, regardless of the music or volume setting.
  • You need to break in your speakers or subwoofers for an arbitrary period of time at an arbitrary volume level ("I keep it below half volume for the first 10 hours then below 2/3 volume for another 48 hours")
  • A higher preamp voltage has better sound quality
  • Smaller subs inherently play higher or sound better than larger subs
  • Smaller subs are "faster" or "tighter" than larger subs
  • A y-splitter splits the voltage
  • a 12" subwoofer will sound 'lower' than a 10"
  • Midbass only comes from midbass drivers
  • Manufactures always post the real specs of their speakers and amps.
  • A good pair of headphones are what we should all strive for as the standard for good sound.
  • Because they are the standard, all good headphones sound the same.
AND HERE IS THE BIGGEST SHOCKER!---
(discussed here before: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/ask-gu...challenge.html)


As long as a modern amplifier is operated within its linear range (below overload), the differences between ALL amps are inaudible to the human ear.


(i personally do not patronize this one, but the amount of documentation about it is STARTLING!)

Read more about it here from the horse's mouth!
Amplifier Challenge Rules


ATTACHED HEREWITH IS ALSO AN INTRIGUING albeit Biased and scientifically unproven (in my opinion) article that makes a very interesting read, nonetheless!


Please chime in with your opinions (AND MORE MYTHS THAT YOU KNOW OF), and please, its a healthy debate.
No brand v/s brand and faction v/s faction wars here.
Let's keep it clean, and a good reference for noobs (i was one, not so long ago). Mods can make this a STICKY if it gets a good response!


PS: this article is a compilation of a lot of articles I have read. The inputs are all not from me, and some opinions have been modified according to my point of view.

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th May 2009 at 17:27. Reason: 2 smileys max please!
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Old 9th May 2009, 15:08   #2
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Quote:
  • Smaller subs inherently play higher or sound better than larger subs
  • Smaller subs are "faster" or "tighter" than larger subs
  • 12" subs will hit lows better but be slower than a 10"
isnt there some amount of truth to this statement ?
Quote:
Distortion or Clipping kills speakers
they will kill tweeters
Quote:
You need to break in your speakers or subwoofers for an arbitrary period of time at an arbitrary volume level
but some amount of break in is required right ?
Quote:
A higher preamp voltage has better sound quality
will give better SNR , which may result in better SQ if your car has a lot of EM noise.
Alternately, well shielded cables are an alternative

Quote:
As long as a modern amplifier is operated within its linear range (below overload), the differences between ALL amps are inaudible to the human ear.
As one of the objectivist camp, I'm not surprised

Last edited by greenhorn : 9th May 2009 at 15:10.
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Old 9th May 2009, 15:26   #3
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Someone please give frank infraction he broke the 2 smiley rule
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Old 9th May 2009, 15:29   #4
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Speaker Wire

wire myths busted
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Old 9th May 2009, 18:00   #5
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A good topic, Frank!

Am going to walk the same path soon and this will definitely help!

Glued to this one.
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Old 9th May 2009, 18:29   #6
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Here's the attachment. I am quite sure I attached it earlier, here it is!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf article_1.pdf (113.2 KB, 365 views)
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Old 9th May 2009, 19:43   #7
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Quote:
You need to break in your speakers or subwoofers for an arbitrary period of time at an arbitrary volume level
Don't you people run-in your cars ? And loads of you say after 2 - 3K km the car is more responsive, smoother etc etc. I think same rule applies here.

Though i would love to debate on some other points, but i still think things will get out of hand while debating.

Cheers!
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Old 9th May 2009, 20:18   #8
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I've heard of people running hifi speakers on low volume (or higher, perhaps, if they have no neighbours!) for days continuously, to break them in.

I do know that the the biggest item of bovine mythology concerning speakers for house or car, is the number of watts they have. That this nonsense is beloved of salesman is probably the reason for it being beloved of package designers too!

Oddly, I never, ever, heard, or overheard, a salesman telling a customer that this particular speaker would be louder because of its sensitivity.

Which jsut goes to show how ignorant many of the people that sell this stuff actually are!
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Old 9th May 2009, 21:12   #9
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Quote:
Don't you people run-in your cars ? And loads of you say after 2 - 3K km the car is more responsive, smoother etc etc. I think same rule applies here.
according to me, cars are much much more complex, and the entire funda about running in rests in the fact that there are a million moving parts in the car that need to get into their place and settle in their positions to play their part. lubrication is also one of the integral factors in running in.

speakers in cars are far less complex, and even if we do achieve a complexity in the construction of 'em speakers, the perception of a 'huge' difference could be nigh impossible, due to the other factors that are involved in the car, like poor acoustics, wind noise, kinetic motion and ambient noise. not to mention poor positioning.

i am, what you would call a village idiot in this field, hence please bash me if i am wrong.

Quote:
Though i would love to debate on some other points, but i still think things will get out of hand while debating.

abhibh. as i said, i do not endorse any of these views to such an extent that we ccan't discuss them! the best way to gain knowledge is by sharing it. so i would say that all these points that you speak of must be discussed.
in fact, its my total aim this time, to make sure that people with bipolar opinions make themselves heard, but its upto the end user or you and me, the readers to arrive at our own conclusions. let's hear what you have to say. would appreciate your views

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I've heard of people running hifi speakers on low volume (or higher, perhaps, if they have no neighbours!) for days continuously, to break them in.

I do know that the the biggest item of bovine mythology concerning speakers for house or car, is the number of watts they have. That this nonsense is beloved of salesman is probably the reason for it being beloved of package designers too!

Oddly, I never, ever, heard, or overheard, a salesman telling a customer that this particular speaker would be louder because of its sensitivity.

Which jsut goes to show how ignorant many of the people that sell this stuff actually are!
music heard at home in near perfect conditions, and music heard in a car (at near ideal conditions) is quite different. i wouldnt say, running in of speakers DOESNT yield results. but i would like to think, that the difference between run in/broken in speakers is much less perceptible in the car than at home.
Not arguing here though. i may be wrong!
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Old 9th May 2009, 21:36   #10
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I have noticed a big difference with speaker run in. Have noticed it in my ICE, and with a pair of creative EP 630's I ordered for my dad. When A/B'd to my well run in pair, they sounded quite bass light. I was afraid that i had gotten fakes the second time around. After a year or so of usage, both are indistinguishable
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Old 9th May 2009, 21:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
according to me, cars are much much more complex, and the entire funda about running in rests in the fact that there are a million moving parts in the car that need to get into their place and settle in their positions to play their part. lubrication is also one of the integral factors in running in.

speakers in cars are far less complex, and even if we do achieve a complexity in the construction of 'em speakers, the perception of a 'huge' difference could be nigh impossible, due to the other factors that are involved in the car, like poor acoustics, wind noise, kinetic motion and ambient noise. not to mention poor positioning.

i am, what you would call a village idiot in this field, hence please bash me if i am wrong.
Frank anything mechanical does need a running in, thats what i believe in. Speakers are complex thing, the moving coil is a mechanical device and it does require some running in as the drivers to loosen up a bit. The movable parts are not as much as in cars but they do require some running in.

Though it depends upon from speaker to speaker, some benefit more from running in.

Now lets discuss second point.

5000 Rupee RCAs being "a strong link in the signal chain."

I hope you know about resistance ?

I did a RCA resistance test between various cables. JBL, BOSS and MX

The resistance value of BOSS cable which costs mere 150-200 bucks was 8 OHM

JBL RCA had a resistance of 2.5 OHM.

Now the surprising part was MX cable. The resistance was less than 1 OHM. it came out to be 0.9 or 0.6 i don't remember correctly but i think anything below 1 is pretty good.

So maybe Rs 5000 cable is the strong link in the signal chain. Most of these cables are costly because they have to cover the over head expenses and brand name. Why do we buy Rs 3000 Nike shoes even though we know that BATA also manufactures the same quality shoes ?

- Brand Name ?
- We believe that costlier is better ?
- Nike has better design shoes ?
- We are victim of marketing ?
- Or is it the fact that those shoes last long and doesn't give up on you ?

Last edited by abhibh : 9th May 2009 at 21:38.
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Old 10th May 2009, 00:29   #12
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I'll keep watching this thread to learn from what the Gurus discuss. I feel wiring matters. I have EL Cheapo wiring in my car which has completely ruined the experience from the ICE.
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Old 10th May 2009, 02:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
Frank anything mechanical does need a running in, thats what i believe in. Speakers are complex thing, the moving coil is a mechanical device and it does require some running in as the drivers to loosen up a bit. The movable parts are not as much as in cars but they do require some running in.

Though it depends upon from speaker to speaker, some benefit more from running in.

Now lets discuss second point.

5000 Rupee RCAs being "a strong link in the signal chain."

I hope you know about resistance ?

I did a RCA resistance test between various cables. JBL, BOSS and MX

The resistance value of BOSS cable which costs mere 150-200 bucks was 8 OHM

JBL RCA had a resistance of 2.5 OHM.

Now the surprising part was MX cable. The resistance was less than 1 OHM. it came out to be 0.9 or 0.6 i don't remember correctly but i think anything below 1 is pretty good.

So maybe Rs 5000 cable is the strong link in the signal chain. Most of these cables are costly because they have to cover the over head expenses and brand name. Why do we buy Rs 3000 Nike shoes even though we know that BATA also manufactures the same quality shoes ?

- Brand Name ?
- We believe that costlier is better ?
- Nike has better design shoes ?
- We are victim of marketing ?
- Or is it the fact that those shoes last long and doesn't give up on you ?

there. you answered my question. you tested MX rcas that cost around 450 rupees, with RCA's (JBL. ***Boss i am not mentioning also, coming to that later) that cost maybe double or 1.5 times the cost, and found mx to be better. WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR THE COMPANY's brand name and their high marketing expenses, if i have a wire that does the job and saves my money????
(not splaying any dirt on any brand here, please not, I have no personal interest, nor any bias for and against any brand)

NOW, you compare the sound from, say Audison Connection BEST cables and that of Monster XLN Pros, and i shall award you with a large obscene amount of money if you can do a blindfold differentiation between the two! When we talk about EXPENSIVE cable, we do not mean that 200 rupee RCA's (***idhar Boss ki baat chal rahi hai) are as good. Yes, but after a price point, the difference in quality reduces exponentially, after which you have more or less equal sounding systems.
RCA's just transmit the signal. Not many companies produce HIGH resistance RCAs anymore, and an entry level RCA like MX proves it.

Let's make it simpler. Use you MX rcas. Listen to your system. Unplug the Mx RCAs, and WITHOUT MAKING ANY CHANGES IN THE PRESENT CONFIGURATION, insert say, Audition/Stinger/Monster RCAs. TELL ME how much better your system sounds. I know the answer already

I'll toss one more question here. You have used all gauges of wiring from 8 gauge till 0 gauge. Pray tell me, how much of a difference, changing the gauge of wire will make, even if the current gauge of wiring is ENOUGH to support the present equipment. *i speak of power wire here. I know of lots of people who have spent 10s of thousands of rupees on power wiring!


I also know of people who have been COAXED into changing their xxx wiring(very respectable brand: Known to make square shaped subwoofers) to yyy wiring (blue wires), and then told to hear the difference. This is what I mean by EARWASH!

I am still repeating: 100 rupee RCA wires will sound FAR worse than 1000 rupee wires (if your luck is good, you might not get the whine with 100 rupees maal).
But 1000 rupee wires will NOT sound different from 10000 rupee wires!


your example of NIKE is good, albeit flawed. You tell me, people who can afford Nike will buy Nike, but people who cannot afford or (let me reframe this) people who do not want to spend 2k on a pair of walking shoes, will forgo something as cheaply built and quite OBVIOUSLY utilitarian looking as the Bata canvas shoes , but will buy something sturdy enough like Lotto for Rs. 800 and STILL be happy with them. The shoes WILL surely serve their purpose. They will still be able to walk in them and run at the same speeds!
And people will have as much of a chance of tripping with the Lotto shoes, as they will have with the Nike shoes.
In the above citation, Nike is the 10000 rupee RCA, Lotto is the Rs. 1000 rupee one and the Bata Canvas shoes are the Rs. 100 RCA!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sabret00the View Post
I'll keep watching this thread to learn from what the Gurus discuss. I feel wiring matters. I have EL Cheapo wiring in my car which has completely ruined the experience from the ICE.
highlights my point. Cheap, unbranded, unreliable wiring WILL degrade quality. But decent branded wiring built to stringent levels of quality (for their price) will do the job as competently as highly exhorbitant wiring

Last edited by frankmehta : 10th May 2009 at 02:24.
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Old 10th May 2009, 02:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I have noticed a big difference with speaker run in. Have noticed it in my ICE, and with a pair of creative EP 630's I ordered for my dad. When A/B'd to my well run in pair, they sounded quite bass light. I was afraid that i had gotten fakes the second time around. After a year or so of usage, both are indistinguishable
you are the best judge. if you feel that way, you are entitled to your opinion. how many moving parts are there in small in-canal earphones, that running in becomes necessary? that's my question, not the argument.
I would love to be answered in an apt way, as to why breaking in of earphones is done. (here, i say earphones, and not headphones. Headphones have slightly larger drivers hence, taking into account, that they might need some time to 'settle in', we shall excuse headphones. but WHY earphones with a driver, having a diameter of 8 mm?)
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Old 10th May 2009, 02:51   #15
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from what I've read, the parts of the speaker suspension are initially a bit stiff, and will need a bit of exercise to get up to scratch

Note that I'm not recommending a 1 year burning in period for the headphones. Was just saying they sound identical after a year. I think a few hours of continuous usage should be enough.

I think this applies to all dynamic speakers, so it doesnt make a difference if its the one in an earbud or a loudspeaker.

having said that, the time required is quite low. A lot of audiophile stuff is already broken in before they are sold

by the way, resistance in a cable does not matter much. given the fact that a typical amp input resistance is ~47K , and the difference between a 10 ohm cable and a 1 ohm cable is that one will pass 99.9998% of the signal, and the other , 99.99998%. and what you are losing is just .0001% gain, which is nothing, and certainly will not be audible. What one should test in a cable is the capacitance and inductance of the coil, and how good it shields the signal. However, getting a cable to have values which will not impact the overall sound is not too hard, and except for the very low end versions, a well made cable should sound good enough.

there might be differences with the type of cable ( coax vs twisted vs regular double strand cable)

Last edited by greenhorn : 10th May 2009 at 02:57.
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