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Guest Message by DevFuse

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new tunes for '97 Outback

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 07:50 AM

Well my stereo system bit the dust for the most part a few days ago. I don't really crank it, but the rear door speakers got rather buzzy and lost volume, fronts not in great shape either. I'm looking for suggestions on factory fit speakers, I know this is subjective but what have you used that you were happy with? I have a very nice Alpine in dash 3 disk cd changer stereo that puts out 80W per channel that I'd like to put in, so the speakers need to handle the wattage. Also, has anyone gone the XM radio route? I'm highly thinking about adding it onto my Alpine. My musical tastes range from hard rock to country to jazz, to folk. Thanks for any suggestions!

#2 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 10:45 AM

Josh's infinity speakers impressed the snot out of me. I'm not thrilled w/ new pioneers or kenwoods. The area in the crossover freqs suffers, lacks lower highs and too much upper highs IMO. JBL makes a nice driver, but they are'nt efficient and eat alot of power. Polk has a very smooth, velvety sound IMO, but might not be for you if you are bass crazy-- I think they'll overextend pretty easily. rear door speaker lose lots of highs due to location, so you could actually live w/ pioneers or kenwoods there... but a matched foursome would give better uniformity and volume balance. Also, I've killed tweeters on 3 of seven pioneers I've known, some for stupid stuff like sloppy soldering at the factory. Separates, using oem mounting locations are nice up front. If you have the $, I'd mirror that in the rear too.

my humble opinion.


#3 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 10:59 AM

Big and first question is.....how much do you want to spend or are willing to spend.

As Mike mentioned, my infinity's sound very good, however they are power hungry and their sound quality is enhanced by my other componants.

#4 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for the responses !! I already have a nice stereo to put in so my only costs would be speakers and install. I could spend up to $200 for 4 speakers, maybe a touch more. What range do your Infinity's run in, and how power hungry are they? My head unit runs at 80 w per channel.
I had thought about putting a set in the rear doors that is more bass heavy because the highs get lost down there anyway, but meep brought up a good point. I wouldn't mind a good tight bass sound but I am not looking to go the big sub woofer route.

#5 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 04:03 PM

I think the original 63.i kappas I bought back in 96 were around $149 or something in that ball park.

There is one thing you need to remember. RMS vs. Peak power. Almost all head units are rated in peak power. So a deck that says 40x4 will only really put out around 15-20 watts RMS. The kappas will run on that kind of power, but will not sound as good as the potential they are capable of doing. I have about 50 watts rms going to them now, and I could put another 25-50 watts rms to them, and they'd be fine. Not enough power will kill a speaker sooner then too much. This is assuming you don't be stupid and jack up the gains. By giving a speaker more power you increase the dynamic "headroom" of the speakers.

Also....it depends a lot on your tastes. I would definitely consider myself an audiophile, and because of that, a setup I may not like, you may find more then acceptable.

Find out what the rms rating is per channel for that head unit, and we can try and match a speaker for that power range.

#6 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 07:32 AM

most car & home setups attempt to match spkr to amp wattage. Josh is approaching what we do in professional/live music-- amps get twice the output as the spkr rating to avoid clipping, which can chew things up pretty good. It is then up to the listener/board op to limit amp output based on gut/physical distorion to protect the drivers.

JBL components on sale @ crutchfield. probably closeouts. these are tight speakers tho with not much low end. You can certainly get 4 decent spkrs for 200. if you can't find inifinities on sale, I'll make my plug for polk again...


#7 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 08:29 AM

You da man Josh !!
I post at work for the most part and my Alpine is at home in the box with all the user manuals, ect. I think it's 40W RMS but don't want to swear to it. I think I was confusing the factory AM -FM cassette deck which claims 80 W. I can verify the specs on the Alpine tonight. I sure do appreciate the help.
Do you play music meep, or do studio/ live sound? I play Guitar and know that many Amp Mfg's will stick a 100 watt speaker in a 20-50 watt amp. Now used as an instrument, amp clipping is desired sometimes, depending on the sound you'd want ( as in distorted rock guitar!), so I imagine the extra beef in the speaker is protection against that. I will say I am a little confused on the RMS thing. I know that it is average power as opposed to peak power. But how does having a set of speakers rated at say 80W RMS matched to a 40W RMS head unit cause damage. Is it because the head unit will clip if it can't push the speaker? Thanks for the education on this guys! I like to know a little about how stuff works so I know why I'm doing it :)

#8 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 09:24 AM

What model Alpine deck do you have?

Like I mentioned when head units have their output info displayed in the store or on the faceplace, it's usually peak power.

So far we're wading in the water, the info about RMS power and some of the other tid-bits I learned can get deep quick.

First thing i want to say is all power is not the same. 40 watts rms from a head unit will sound differently then 40 watts rms from a separate and good quality amplifier. Probably the easiest way I can describe it is with an analogy of water through a pipe.

Let's say you have a 1" pipe you flow water through it to some device that uses it, at some pressure "P". Also, let's say you have a 2" pipe that flows water to another device, and the pressure is also "P".

So at this snapshot moment in time, if you looked at pressure only, you would say they are pretty much the same. You can make the same analogy with watts in a stereo amplifier.

Now lets say we increase the size of the device we have connected to the pipe. Meaning it can do more work with more flow. The 1" pipe will be limited in what it can do, because it can only flow so much. The 2" pipe will be able to flow more and there fore keep up with the demands of the new larger device.

If we were to increase the pressure on the 1" pipe to increase the flow rates, that would work to a certain point, but at certain point it will become quite inefficient. You'll be putting way more juice into the pump trying to pump the water, compared to the output you're getting from the device.

If we look at a stereo setup now. You can think of the musical notes as this device. Since music is dynamic and constently changing, the size of your device is constantly changing.

With the larger 2" pipe analogy, this would equate to a larger amplifier, more power. The ability of the 2" pipe to maintain the same pressure but deliver more flow is analogious to "headroom" on an amplifier. An amplifier may be capable of putting out way more power, but it only puts out what the speaker can use, law of conservation of energy.

I'm going to stop there because i think I'm either getting off the original question.....if you have specific questions, it'd be better for me to just to try and answer them, then me rambling.

However to your question about how does a 80w speaker get damaged when matched to a 40w head unit. The answer is, if the user does not take the amplifier above it's efficency point, ie clipping/distortion, the speaker will be fine.

It really all stems from the amplifier. The signal from it is what can cause the problems with the speaker. The amp doesn't know it's putting out crappy signal. It just amplifies the input signal it gets. If the input signal is boosted too much, clipping occurs. It also depends on the type of OP amp used, the componants used, etc as to how well/efficient an amplifier is.

Typically you can run a larger amplifer for a set of speakers and turn down the gain. The amp will run cooler and it will give you more headroom for musical peaks before distortion/clipping occurs.

I have an older fausgate punch 200 that is rated at 400 watts rms into 1 channel at 4ohms. it's actually putting out around 450 or so......but the gains are turned down quite a bit. The JL sub I have is only rated at 200 watts rms. But it does fine.

#9 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 10:39 AM

Very good explaination, Josh !! Thank you.
My Alpine is a 3DE-7887. I couldn't find anything on the web with detailed specs so I'll have to wait until I get home to check out the owners manual. If I remember the THD spec was not bad but not totally high end either. If I remember correctly anything under 1.0 % was good but it's been a while since I read my specs on the unit. You have me thinking about a reasonable power but decent sounding power amp now ! I have RCA jacks on the back of the Alpine. I had a buddy who had a 10W per channel Blaupunkt amp and it was the loudest and cleanest 10 watts I've ever heard. It was way loud, louder than I would ever need! Things always get more expensive than I planned on :lol:

#10 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 11:19 AM

From what I can tell that head unit puts out 40 watts x 4. That would be peak power, so rms is going to be some where around 15 w probably.

Yeah the THD is good, it's usually not an issue on head units. it's more of an issue on crappy amplifiers, or if you're bridging or running a low ohm load. here's a nice page that talks about THD www.eatel.net/~amptech/elecdisc/thd.htm

Yes, things do get quite a bit more spendy then you originally plan. I started out with just upgrading the head unit. Then amp, speakers, sub, etc. Basically.....everything has been replaced since doing the first round of stuff. Head unit was the only thing original from my initial install, now it's been upgraded. I've got a different set of kappas, the rears I never changed. Amps have been changed, etc. It takes a bit of time to get just the right combo. I'd say I've got probably got close to $3000 in system componants, and that doesn't include any of the time/labor I did to install them. So it can get spendy, very quickly.

I'm planning on pulling everything out in the next few months. I need to rewire and re-tune everything. The new headunit is not adjusted for my line driver, plus I have some wires that are cutting out and probably causing bad sound. I'd like to dynamat the doors as well.

#11 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 03:13 PM

Josh, nice analogy with the pipes.

Canedog, this gets a bit heady, but let me see if I can get this all out. First, there is a difference between clipping and distortion. Your guitar amplifier uses distortion by overdriving one of the amplifier stages. It is a controlled feature, and is limited from sending harmful spikes into the speaker. I am almost certain that this distortion is developed in the preamp and not the power amp. instrument speakers are also extremely durable, and less susceptible to physical damage because they don't have to provide full frequency coverage. The typical guitar speaker probably picks up around 90hz and drops off somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 khz.

When a power amp clips, is either triggered by saturating the final stage, or in most cases, by triggering a form of protection inherent in the design. The electronics will actually be designed to drop power to the final stages momentarily if too much power is pulled. For instance, one amplifier I have, if shorted or overdriven, cuts in and out about three times per second. You can imagine what those spikes could do to a set of tweeters. Krispy.

Different amps will do this differently, of course. I have a small rack mount 250 that is not nearly as brutal and essentially limits the gain with internal compression, you get that flat sound like FM radio, which is compressed. Peavy heads sometimes give you a "compression" lamp that lets you know the signal is being restricted before it goes to the amplifier because it is too much.

Different sound designers do it differently, and a lot depends on how well they know their amps. Probably, the most common method is, if it sounds fine, do it. On the other hand, when tweeters start costing $300 apiece, providing extra head room for the amplifiers can really pay off -- they've come down quite a bit in price while speakers haven't.

anyway, let us suppose that the music is really loud. Maybe the amp goes into clipping, but by design it is not as noticeable because the amp has been designed to try to minimize disturbance. The listener might not notice because the distortion is minor and it is already very loud. Bass does not sound bad, because the woofers don't produce those signals. Tweeters, on the other hand overheat from the spikes. Now, suppose you have a larger amplifier. Provided that it is not clipping, you will drive the speakers to physical distortion first, which is much more noticeable -- you can't miss it. you know to turn it down.

the other, and arguably more important to factor to take into consideration is slew rate. this is the amplifier's electrical ability to absorb the electricity backfed from the speakers due to inertia in the cone. the electricity might have stopped, but the speaker is still moving. If the amplifier cannot immediately absorb that charge, the coil may overexert beyond the effectiveness of the magnetic field, which can result in physical damage. Furthermore, when the cone returns to the area of the magnetic field, the amplifier is already providing another signal through the coil. This is like dropping the clutch to both the speaker and the amplifier.

this may be a complete departure, from car audio -- the economics are different for one, typical power ratings, speaker size, material and cone materials. PA drivers are typically much more efficient, never use plastic cones or rubber surrounds,etc.. And, I don't know if the big-time car installers consider these issues are not. I have had a much more difficult time believing the ratings on car audio equipment anyway, which makes it much harder to look at the same way as one would PA.

hey I'm really sorry for the long post guys -- I know it's not completely in the forum. And no, little (not zero) recording experience, but a good (amateur, but paid) amount of live experience, both onstage and riding levels.


#12 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:44 AM

Very good info! I know that guitar amps do distort in the preamp stages, either with small tubes (12ax7) or electronic components. Some will saturate larger power tubes ( EL43, ect) for distortion, but by the time the signal gets to the output power source it's done.
My owners guide says the Alpine is 40W max so you are close , Josh. The darn thing didn't tell me what RMS value it was, and the unit itself is in the back of a closet. I guess I'll see if it is stamped somewhere on the unit itself, but I guess I'mm looking at the figures Josh estimated. I could go with an amp as long as it's not too expensive, but as I remember the Alpine was plenty loud for me on it's own. Maybe upgarde to a small amp if the sound quality would benefit enough, and I can slip it by the wife ;)

#13 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:35 PM

if you can swing the amp past the wife I'd definitely recommend it. Even if it's a small amp, it will sound better then hooking the speakers directly up to the amp. Head units just don't have the necessary space to have a good amp in them.

If I use the pipe example again, think of it as if you have two pumps, same flow, except one is sucking sewage water, and the other is sucking clean spring water to push down the pipes. Which would you rather have?

#14 Guest_Setright_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:40 PM

I have JBL Power Series in my Legacy. I think they make a good effort from a low power head unit, namely my old JVC. The titantium tweeters are clear without being sharp, and although I could use more bass on motorways, I wouldn't complain considering that they drop right into the standard speaker mounts. Well, apart from the front tweeters that I relocated to the area in front of the door handle.

Still, my head unit does have a line out for a bass bin, maybe some day......;)

#15 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:35 PM

here's a Q: I'd like to put out there...

Which head unit internal amps tend to be the best out-of-the-box for quality, not neccessarily power?

My $150 sony was clean, but maybe anemic?
My free (trash find) kenwood am/fm/cd was almost tube warm and felt understrained, a sweet sweet sound, BUT had a horrid treble distortion that was only noticable thru really hot tweets, but downright crippling nonetheless. aweful unless one used weak or no tweeters.
My $300 blaupunkt head was like a loud sony, but with that same high freq noise.
A friend's late model clarion sounded very well-rounded-- clean, crisp transients with a "fluid" bass response.

I've been really disappointed with my blaupunkt-- with an external amp it's fine--- but like the kenwood I had, if I used good (component) tweets they had to be masked with paper to cut the noise-- it wasn't distortion from the head-- you could hear digital distortion originating from poorly-mastered CDs, or things like the electronics used to adjust the vocalist to the right pitch via midi (sad), the digital processing used at some radio stations even. Like the amp could easily go past 20khz, but nobody thought of filtering out the crud-- I could adj the treble way down but this noise would still get through.

I also noticed it in some newer kenwood models, tho it's hard to really spot unless you've got really accurate tweeters.



#16 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:53 PM

I like alpines because they have a very true/clean sound. Better for synthesizers/electronic music IMO.

Not sure how their new head units are, but that's my opinion about their older stuff. However I haven't really run deck amp power in who knows how long.

#17 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 07:53 AM

The mfg date on mine was November of '98. I thought it sounded great through 4 Kenwood 2 way ( forgot the model) speakers that were a factory fit for the Ford Ranger I had before I saw the light and found Subie ( bowing), They had tweeters that you could point to focus the highs. Here's another rookie question, the head has a pair of RCA outs, but they are listed as rear right and left outputs. If the installer uses the harness ( wiring) the options are right and left front and back. The only advantage to using the head unit power is that I can control the balance between front and back. It would seem that using the RCA jacks into an amp and then out to 4 speakers would not allow me to control front to back balance. Is this correct?
Setright, is the Power Series a two way or 3 way speaker.
Thanks !!

#18 Guest_Setright_*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:28 PM

The Power Series I have are two-way. There are three-ways available in some sizes, not sure which.

Even so, two way goes a long way! My home stereo is Harman/Kardon CD and Amp, with JBL LX 60 speakers. Two way, similar to the car installation except the tweeters are domes, and of course the cabinets are a little bigger :P

Top quality sound, I think, and I have heard a lot of stuff. My older brother used to deal with high end hi-fi.

#19 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 08:41 PM

2 ways many times sound better anyway. even if it's just a little, all crossovers lose some information, and it gets worse if they aren't well made, or aren't matched well to the speakers, or you get phasing where the freq's overlap... I've heard some great 3-ways, don't get me wrong, but I've heard some sour ones too. The fewer drivers, the better the point-source imaging.

my .02


#20 Guest_canedog18_*

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:39 PM

Thanks to all for the input and education! It's time for this cassette deck to go bye-bye. I'm gonna start pricing some equipment based on advice offered here. Right after I crank down on those darn heat shields again!

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