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Is accurate quality stereophonic reproduction possible in the car environment?

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  • Is accurate quality stereophonic reproduction possible in the car environment?

    Is accurate, quality stereophonic reproduction possible in the automotive environment? I'm doing a research project and want to gauge the opinions. Thank you for your answers!
    30
    Yes
    64.52%
    20
    No
    25.81%
    8
    I've never heard a car stereo system with good tonality and stereo imaging
    9.68%
    3

  • #2
    I voted yes, but there's a whole lot of "if" involved and it will never match a decent room setup. The biggest IF is the difficulty in getting your head in a proportional triangle with the R and L speakers equidistant to your ears. Then there's the often massive distance gaps between typical speaker and tweeter placements (mid in door, tweeter in pillar or dash) and a myriad of obstacles between you and the speakers.

    Due to pretty fixed listening locations, you can EQ the tonality arguably more effectively in a car than you can in a room, but that doesn't help phase and time alignment and you'll suffer when it comes to imaging IMO. Another downside is road noise and vibration when moving, with about 60dBA give or take 10ish of ambient noise at cruise you don't have much room for signal to noise. Small air space is awesome for bottom octave response though.
    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
    Wogg Music
    Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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    • #3
      Pretty much what he said, some vehicles lend themselves to achieving this better than others. With the right approach it can be done.
      A mains
      The Ventures
      Open Invit8tions
      RSR
      Sound Troopers
      Acorns
      442
      DGBG's
      The Monuments

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wogg View Post
        Another downside is road noise and vibration when moving, with about 60dBA give or take 10ish of ambient noise at cruise you don't have much room for signal to noise.
        This. The first time I brought an SPL meter in the car with me was a real eye opener. Even in "luxury" cars with lots of built-in absorption, there's still that 70 dB noise floor. You might be able to get car audio to sounds exciting and fun--in fact, it seems like a pretty popular hobby. But shooting for accuracy is like trying to walk up a down escalator.
        Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

        Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
        Twitter: @undefinition1

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        • #5
          Keys to doing it well assuming good quality components: take into account interior resonances, and for front stage speakers work to get them as close to equidistant from the listening position as possible. But space constraints make car audio so much more difficult to do well than in the home.
          --
          Javad Shadzi
          Bay Area, CA

          2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

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          • #6
            Originally posted by captainobvious99
            Is accurate, quality stereophonic reproduction possible in the automotive environment? I'm doing a research project and want to gauge the opinions. Thank you for your answers!
            No. You can build a really nice sounding system. You just have to take it for what it is.
            craigk

            " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=Paul Carmody;n1274943]
              This. The first time I brought an SPL meter in the car with me was a real eye opener. Even in "luxury" cars with lots of built-in absorption, there's still that 70 dB noise floor. You might be able to get car audio to sounds exciting and fun--in fact, it seems like a pretty popular hobby. But shooting for accuracy is like trying to walk up a down escalator.[/QUOTE

              I've heard some pretty good car systems,,,,,, while they were stopped and the engine wasn't running. Start her up and start moving,,,, the sound goes to [email protected]%L in a hand basket pretty quickly for me.

              Besides, these days my commute to work is when I get all my news and you really don't need an expensive system for that. Money is better spent at home from where I sit.

              Mark

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  Agreed on the inevitable Road Noise issue; it is noticeably quieter in an Electric Vehicle, so the sound system didn't have to be played as loud, with less "masking".
                  Recording engineers work at the Apex of a Triangle, Equidistant and unobstructed in regard to the speaker channels, Vastly different from the compromised placement of listeners and speakers in a vehicle.
                  Last edited by Sydney; 03-29-2016, 09:13 PM.
                  "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                  “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                  "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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                  • #10
                    Not while it's in motion, anyway.

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                    • #11
                      Yes, it's absolutely possible. I wouldn't consider something like road noise to be an issue in much the same way I wouldn't consider noise from a neighbors apartment or a busy road outside to negate an excellent home system. You obviously mitigate those kinds of things but they shouldn't be descriptive of the system itself.

                      The biggest difference between home and mobile systems is in the tuning. The vehicle becomes part of the system, whereas a home system typically removes the room from the equation.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=SPLEclipse;n1274991]

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=UpperCut;1274992]
                          Originally posted by SPLEclipse View Post
                          Yes, it's absolutely possible. I wouldn't consider something like road noise to be an issue in much the same way I wouldn't consider noise from a neighbors apartment or a busy road outside to negate an excellent home system. You obviously mitigate those kinds of things but they shouldn't be descriptive of the system itself. I would agree with most that what you said simple because it has to be very similar in the set up to a home system yet also very different, and that would be that in a vehicle the Imaging of the sounds has to be concentrated opposite from that we have in a home environment - so the main sounds would have to come mainly from the very back of the vehicle both for the (normal terms front & rear speakers) which now become (Front now becomes the very rear and the Rear now would be the front yet are sitting in the center). Funny enough if that is not the case Imaging is not possible � Sorry do not ask why because I�m not sure about that yet this way it works absolutely perfect!!! Rgs UpperCut
                          Total bull$hit.
                          craigk

                          " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=UpperCut;1274992]
                            Originally posted by SPLEclipse View Post
                            Yes, it's absolutely possible. I wouldn't consider something like road noise to be an issue in much the same way I wouldn't consider noise from a neighbors apartment or a busy road outside to negate an excellent home system. You obviously mitigate those kinds of things but they shouldn't be descriptive of the system itself. I would agree with most that what you said simple because it has to be very similar in the set up to a home system yet also very different, and that would be that in a vehicle the Imaging of the sounds has to be concentrated opposite from that we have in a home environment - so the main sounds would have to come mainly from the very back of the vehicle both for the (normal terms front & rear speakers) which now become (Front now becomes the very rear and the Rear now would be the front yet are sitting in the center). Funny enough if that is not the case Imaging is not possible � Sorry do not ask why because I�m not sure about that yet this way it works absolutely perfect!!! Rgs UpperCut
                            Total bull$hit or should I say troll $hit.
                            craigk

                            " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                              This. The first time I brought an SPL meter in the car with me was a real eye opener. Even in "luxury" cars with lots of built-in absorption, there's still that 70 dB noise floor. You might be able to get car audio to sounds exciting and fun--in fact, it seems like a pretty popular hobby. But shooting for accuracy is like trying to walk up a down escalator.
                              One of my show off pastimes is to actually run up the down escalator in a dept. store or the mall!

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