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Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum
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Old 04-13-2004, 04:49 AM   #1
rdsesq
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Comparing speakers...ARRGGHHH!!!!

So how in hades are you supposed to compare speakers, beyond hearing them.

With cars we have: 0-60 time, HP, TRQ, Braking distance, skidpad.

It seems with car audio speakers all you get is sensitivity and freq. response.
(This sounds more like a therapy session then objective information)

Example using 5/14 component speakers from
MFG Model Sensitivity Freq resp Price
Audiobahn ABC5002Q 90 dB 35-25,000 Hz $319.95
Phoenix Gold Octane-R 5.0 89 dB 85-24,000 Hz $99.95
MB Quart Premium PSD 213 85.5 dB 52-32,000 Hz $239.00
JL Audio XR525-CSi 89.5 dB 53-25,000 Hz $239.00
Diamond Audio S500a 91 dB 58-24,000 Hz $299.00

So which speakers are the best value?
Are the Diamond Audio worth 3 times the price of the Phoenix Gold? Is there anything in this data that would lead to that conclusion?
Since they are the same price, which is the better speaker the MB Quart or the JL Audio? Does it matter, or, in practical terms are you going to be able to hear the difference. What area would that difference be in?

Thoughts, views, opinions, anybody else go through this same hell when trying to develop your own ICE system?

I'd tear my hair out, if I wasn't bald already.

rob
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Old 04-13-2004, 06:08 AM   #2
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Hello. Many people would say it's your personal preference, but general fact.
Sensitivity= higher db is better.
Freq= wider range is better, but too low or high freq. YOU don't need it.
Also I have Diamonds hex all around, and Very happy with it.
You might wanna get the kick pods which improve your sound quality as night and day.
Good luck with your choice.





If you are looking for Good sound quality, Diamonds are the Best.(Maybe not, but I love it and worth every single penny.)



Well If you care about sound quality enough to spend the money.

Is there anything in this data that would lead to that conclusion?
Since they are the same price, which is the better speaker the MB Quart or the JL Audio? Does it matter, or, in practical terms are you going to be able to hear the difference. What area would that difference be in?

Thoughts, views, opinions, anybody else go through this same hell when trying to develop your own ICE system?

I'd tear my hair out, if I wasn't bald already.

rob[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:27 AM   #3
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The best comparison can be done by hearing the speakers and hear what you like better. For example, MB Quarts are great speakers, many people swear by them and they are always raking up sound quality awards in competition. I personally dislike them, as I am a bit more sensitive in the upper range than the "average" person, thus I perceive them as "too bright". Best thing to do is to walk into a high-end home audio store and audition their $$$$$ home audio gear in their "special" room, then use that as a reference and go listen to the car stereo stuff.

The other obvious factor is cost. A more expensive speaker will GENERALLY be built to higher specs and with more exotic materials for better performance. Is there a difference between a $100 and $1000 speaker? You bet!

Ratings such as power handling, freq. response, sensitivity can be skewed easily. All things equal, sensitivity means the perceived "loudness" of a speaker. A more sensitive speaker will be louder with the same amount of power. Frequency response can be misleading, since humans have a limited range. People with extremely accurate hearing can not hear over 20,000Hz in the upper range, so anything beyond that is for dogs to enjoy. Lower frequency range IS important though, as it will give you an idea of midbass performance, which is critical in the transition between your front speakers and your subwoofers.

Another important thing is installation. If not installed properly, a $7,500 set of Rainbow speakers will probably not sound very good. Some speakers are designed for free air applications (i.e.door panel cavities) while others for sealed or small ported enclosures. A competent installer should be able to make the best out of the speakers.

EDIT: As someone else mentioned, if you can afford it and don't mind the reduced foot room, custom kick panels is definitely the way to go.
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Old 04-13-2004, 12:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdsesq
So how in hades are you supposed to compare speakers, beyond hearing them.

With cars we have: 0-60 time, HP, TRQ, Braking distance, skidpad.
Can you REALLY determine which car you like better from numbers out of a magazine? Or do you have to go test drive it?

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Okay, seriously though, you hit the nail on the head. Listening to them is the ONLY way to compare. Sound isn't like a car. Sound is personal. Just because one car feels faster then the other to everyone doesn't mean one speaker will sound better then the other to everyone. Get what I'm saying?

Trust me on this. I shelled out a lot of cash once for a set of speakers that had good reviews. I was upset when my friend bought speakers that had crappy reviews because when I heard them, I liked them better and they were half the price of mine.
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Old 04-13-2004, 12:51 PM   #5
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I like diamond audio. I had there hex series all over my car, and was extremely happy with them. If you really want good sound, you can basically get any of the ones you mentioned on top, all you need is a audio control EQ and tune the heck out of the speakers. I know alot of people that have good speakers in there car without EQ's. After i told them to get an EQ in there car, and was tunned properly, they said it sounded 10x better. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:29 PM   #6
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Sound is deffiently a personal prefference. I bought speakers for my home system and spent about 20 hours listening to different speakers before I bought them. I ended up with B&W's. They rock, anyway...I think MB Quarts are right up there as far as sound quality goes. But its like anything really, as long as you have a pretty decent speaker, if you tune it right it will sound pretty good.

What are some good equalizers?
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Old 04-13-2004, 02:04 PM   #7
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My .02 on equalizers:

First, I assume we are talking about "real" equalizers, not the flashy colorful equalizers that people use to put in their cars (do they make those any more?), or even the "built-in" equalizers that come in almost all the new (non-high-end) headunits. If a system sounds so bad that an equalizer is absolutely necessary, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

If a system is designed, installed and tuned properly, in most cases an equilizer is not necessary. In a high-end system, a parametric equalizer can always slightly help "tame" frequency response problems due to car interior resonances/reflections, etc, but unless you have a high-end system, the benefits do not warrant the extra cost an component. I guess I am a bit of a purist... the music should come out exactly the same way it was recorded. The least amount of components, the less chance of sound coloration.
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