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Fi-brations
12-14-2011, 06:41 PM
Say that i swapped my set of components(see sig) that are 50-75 watt rms running on a 50 watt rms x 4 amp with a set of HAT imagine or clarus components that are around 100 watts rms. Would they perform to the best of their ability, but just not as loud as they could be? this is just something i was curious about, i wouldnt be doin anything like this for a long time, but curious if this would make sense. What do u guys think? Would i notice a large difference in sq and/or midbass? ive never heard any real systems, and nothing that sounds better than my speakers, so i dont even know what better sq would be like, mine sound pretty good to me, but car audio is my hobby so i want to keep moving forward

fish1234
12-14-2011, 07:02 PM
Say that i swapped my set of components(see sig) that are 50-75 watt rms running on a 50 watt rms x 4 amp with a set of HAT imagine or clarus components that are around 100 watts rms. Would they perform to the best of their ability, but just not as loud as they could be? this is just something i was curious about, i wouldnt be doin anything like this for a long time, but curious if this would make sense. What do u guys think? Would i notice a large difference in sq and/or midbass? ive never heard any real systems, and nothing that sounds better than my speakers, so i dont even know what better sq would be like, mine sound pretty good to me, but car audio is my hobby so i want to keep moving forward

More importantly, you need to make sure your doors are sealed up good to provide the enclosure for the midbass and or midrange. Then you can give you new comps some more power. Those new HAT's are pretty awesome, they would do good with the extra wattage.

06goat
12-14-2011, 07:19 PM
Yeah if you want to get the best sound possible, Deaden and seal everything

fish1234
12-14-2011, 07:25 PM
Are you using them passively or are you gonna run them active?

Fi-brations
12-14-2011, 07:36 PM
sorry to confuse u guys, i said that "if i was to do this" i ask this question just for my own general knowledge of why and how speakers have better sq

BnGRacing
12-15-2011, 02:58 AM
sorry to confuse u guys, i said that "if i was to do this" i ask this question just for my own general knowledge of why and how speakers have better sq

Don't be surprised when 'internet car audio experts' disregard what you're asking and make a sales pitch for high margin accessories. You see it in many speaker threads and you saw it in your "Big 3" thread.

The truth of the matter is RMS ratings on speakers are worthless. Why is that? Well, how do the manufacturers come up with that number? Is it per speaker or pair? Are they testing using pink noise or music? How long is the test? Is the RMS a thermal rating or mechanical rating? Truth is, no one really knows as the speaker manufacturers all use differing methods ranging from torture testing their products to drawing marketing friendly numbers out of a hat. Since everyone rates their stuff differently any comparisons between 1 manufacturer's RMS number & another will be useless.

To complicate matters even more, many people think a 100w speaker will sound better or be louder than a 50w speaker. That couldn't be further from the truth. To 'get loud' requires you to move more air. That means using speakers that have a higher excursion, a higher efficiency, or installing more speakers. Most component sets will reach their mechanical limitations with <100w. Adding more power at that point will only serve to damage the speaker as it cannot physically move more air.

Unfortunately, there is no specification out there that will tell you how good a speaker will sound to your ears regardless of what marketing departments and vendors on internet forums tell you. The best way to figure out how to start to sound better is to use your own ears. Visit a high-end home audio store and get a nice demo of a well set up home threatre system; that way you have some reference to what music is supposed to sound like. From there, it's a lot of trial & error as well as going to shops & competitions to hear new equipment.

kramer_212
12-15-2011, 03:01 AM
Don't be surprised when 'internet car audio experts' disregard what you're asking and make a sales pitch for high margin accessories. You see it in many speaker threads and you saw it in your "Big 3" thread.

The truth of the matter is RMS ratings on speakers are worthless. Why is that? Well, how do the manufacturers come up with that number? Is it per speaker or pair? Are they testing using pink noise or music? How long is the test? Is the RMS a thermal rating or mechanical rating? Truth is, no one really knows as the speaker manufacturers all use differing methods ranging from torture testing their products to drawing marketing friendly numbers out of a hat. Since everyone rates their stuff differently any comparisons between 1 manufacturer's RMS number & another will be useless.

To complicate matters even more, many people think a 100w speaker will sound better or be louder than a 50w speaker. That couldn't be further from the truth. To 'get loud' requires you to move more air. That means using speakers that have a higher excursion, a higher efficiency, or installing more speakers. Most component sets will reach their mechanical limitations with <100w. Adding more power at that point will only serve to damage the speaker as it cannot physically move more air.

Unfortunately, there is no specification out there that will tell you how good a speaker will sound to your ears regardless of what marketing departments and vendors on internet forums tell you. The best way to figure out how to start to sound better is to use your own ears. Visit a high-end home audio store and get a nice demo of a well set up home threatre system; that way you have some reference to what music is supposed to sound like. From there, it's a lot of trial & error as well as going to shops & competitions to hear new equipment.

yeah this

93cr250
12-15-2011, 03:34 AM
but when your speakers are distorting at high volume on bass notes you do need more power correct? that is if everything else is set up correctly

disturbed471985
12-15-2011, 04:01 AM
^^ Nothing like some clipping to wake the speakers up in the morning LOL. All I will say is it is better to overpower your speakers with a clean signal then it is to clip them to death with dirty lower power.

keep_hope_alive
12-15-2011, 06:09 AM
#1: the speaker installation will have a huge effect on how they will perform. the airspace, mounting baffle, aiming direction, and vehicle resonances are what you can control/affect. midbass requires air tight seals - gotta close up them doors and seal those giant holes.

SQ is relative but for a general idea of what you want to listen for - down load the SQ rules and judging criteria for IASCA, USACi, and MECA. the downloads are free from the respective websites, and also read the install rules.

speaker materials, T/S parameters, and general construction methods will have an effect on performance. for example - underhung drivers will maintain better voice coil control at higher excursions since the entire coil is always within the magnetic gap. these drivers are more costly to manufacture - Hertz Mille ML165 is an example of a well done underhung driver.

can the HAT Imagine sound better than the Pioneer TS series? sure - if properly implemented.

VWBobby
12-15-2011, 08:24 AM
Great posts above! ^^
Not to nitpick, but the question was if the 100W speakers will sound as good compared to the 50W speakers on a 50W source (amp power). ;)

Without actually performing the test, there is no way to actually know for sure without installing them.
Generally speaking, NO it won't sound as good because the speaker will be running at half of its power when the amp is near its peak RMS. :)
Some speakers don't "come alive" until you reach a certain power point. A speaker or especially a subwoofer with a higher RMS rating has a stiffer suspension and/or heavier coil to handle the added power. This is going to take a few watts just to get it moving.

At lower volumes/power, a more sensitive speaker with a lower RMS rating will "generally" sound a Lot better than a higher rated speaker.
Just take a look at some of the "50 watt" home theater speakers selling for $500++ and compare them to the "200 watt RMS" speakers we have in car audio for < $200 a set. ;) Some speakers with higher RMS ratings will sound "attenuated" and muffled until you get them cranked up. This is why some audio snobs want speakers in the 50RMS range, for actual listening without needing to blow your head off to sound good.

One of the best points in this thread was going out to your local home theater/car audio retailer and listening to various speakers. It will give you a better idea of what a specific speaker will sound like and also point out the blatant exaggeration some brands have of their specs! :)

duanebro
12-15-2011, 08:57 AM
I will try to answer the op. If every thing else is the same. (It never is and that is why you got all the answers above.) It will not help until you start to clip the amp. And it depends on the install IF the 100 watt system can handle the added power. Normally speakers are rated for thermal power handling, not what they need to perform their best. This is true for all types/sizes of speakers.

keep_hope_alive
12-15-2011, 12:57 PM
BnGRacing answered the question about power, i didn't feel it needed further clarification.

but ya'll did... so here is my $.02 on the subject. the difference between 50W and 100W is, at most, 3dB of output. there aren't many speakers that could actually handle that much power anyway. Humans can barely determine a difference in loudness by 2dB and humans perceive something as "twice as loud" when it increases by 10dB.

The "come alive" point VW mentions above is probably around 3-5W. most people, regardless of what equipment they have, rarely give their speakers more than 10W. around 10W of output power, you are around 100dBA of output (assuming typical sensitivities) - which is loud for anyone and not a suitable level to hold a conversation. I can push my system to around 110dBA but it is not comfortable (though not distorted).

regarding a 50W rated amplifier vs a 100W rated amplifier and if the increase in power will make the speaker sound better? depends on the operating level and the amplifier topologies. at 50W output, the 100W amplifier may have much lower distortion and plenty of head room. the 50W amplifier will begin to produce audible distortion and headroom will be reduced - clipping is approached. however, since you'll never actually give 50W to your speakers, it doesn't really matter. the general rule is to have more power than you'll need. most amplifiers on the market can do that - though some do it better than others. as mentioned, there are too many variables with manufacturer ratings of amplifiers and speakers to make any specific predictions or comparisons.

in the past 20 years i have experimented with many speakers and amplifiers, and i continue to experiment (my Accord is a rolling laboratory). To know what you will like, you need to try things for yourself.

zako
12-15-2011, 01:39 PM
I have modeled the Hybrid Audio Imagine woofer with WinISD. The goal was to see how match wattage it can take (with a 70Hz crossover) before the woofer excursion exceeds the speaker's one xmax of 6mm (by the way.. that's quite an impressive xmax for a small speaker). Normally speakers have excursion limit above xmax, but xmax is supposedly the range where SQ is very good, distortion is low, etc. The result is that 80watts of power is enough. However, since amplifiers are rated at voltage normally not seen in a car, I would say amplifier rated for 100 to 120watts RMS would be prefect for powering the HAT Imagine woofers. Someone posted that Imagine woofers can take even more wattage without doing anything funny. Note than this sort of wattage could be used only if you bi-amp or run them active, because tweeters probably will not handle so much power. Probably they do not need to either.

zako
12-15-2011, 01:42 PM
but when your speakers are distorting at high volume on bass notes you do need more power correct? that is if everything else is set up correctly

The distortion could also come from the speaker reaching its mechanical excursion limits at low frequencies. A lot of speaker will not reproduce low frequencies with high fidelity at higher volumes. I have heard "100 watt" speakers sound like poo when drums hit hard unless the high pass frequency is moved to at least 100Hz, with a 60watt amplifier..

zako
12-15-2011, 01:47 PM
Say that i swapped my set of components(see sig) that are 50-75 watt rms running on a 50 watt rms x 4 amp with a set of HAT imagine or clarus components that are around 100 watts rms. Would they perform to the best of their ability, but just not as loud as they could be? this is just something i was curious about, i wouldnt be doin anything like this for a long time, but curious if this would make sense. What do u guys think? Would i notice a large difference in sq and/or midbass? ive never heard any real systems, and nothing that sounds better than my speakers, so i dont even know what better sq would be like, mine sound pretty good to me, but car audio is my hobby so i want to keep moving forward

In my experience, the Imagine speakers sound good with 50-60watts of power when running in passive mode. If you run them active or in bi-amp mode, then the woofer could take advantage of a bit more power. For HAT Clarus, I would say they can take a bit more power because the woofers have higher excursion capability and the tweeters are attenuated with a passive crossover.

wickedwitt
12-15-2011, 02:18 PM
^^ Nothing like some clipping to wake the speakers up in the morning LOL. All I will say is it is better to overpower your speakers with a clean signal then it is to clip them to death with dirty lower power.

This. Mids/highs really seem to wake up when given more power; as long as said power is clean. Sending any speaker a dirty signal for the sole purpose of trying to give them more will do nothing but hurt SQ and shorten the life of the speakers and potentially amplifier(s).

>>SQL<<
12-15-2011, 02:32 PM
Personally I just changed my system around.
I have a 4 channel MB Quart amp that does 100 per channel
I was running 100 to each of my High end Old School Q Series MB Quart Components in the front in fully deadened doors.
I was running the other 2 channels to a 10 JL Sub
I added a sub amp (and a pair of 12's) and bridged the 4 channel down to 2 channels.
I was very surprised at how much better the front components sounded with more power
Hard to describe but so noticeably better that my GF (who does not know a lot obout good sound) told me how much better the front speakers sounded.

That is just my experience.

wickedwitt
12-15-2011, 02:36 PM
Personally I just changed my system around.
I have a 4 channel MB Quart amp that does 100 per channel
I was running 100 to each of my High end Old School Q Series MB Quart Components in the front in fully deadened doors.
I was running the other 2 channels to a 10 JL Sub
I added a sub amp (and a pair of 12's) and bridged the 4 channel down to 2 channels.
I was very surprised at how much better the front components sounded with more power
Hard to describe but so noticeably better that my GF (who does not know a lot obout good sound) told me how much better the front speakers sounded.

That is just my experience.

I see this happen all the time. Moar POWAR! Tim the Toolman had it right all this time...

Fi-brations
12-15-2011, 03:15 PM
Hahaha thanks guys for your info and personal experiences, in the future if I get a lot of money saved up, I might upgrade he fronts to he imagine components, I love this forum there's so much info floating around, another question for y'all why do ppl have more speakers, is it just for more volume? If I upgraded in the future, would I want to run my set of pioneers in the front with the imagines?

VWBobby
12-16-2011, 12:48 AM
Keep_Hope_alive,

I agree with much of what you said, but there are a few key points that I'd like to discuss.... all in good fun (learning experience for others) ;)

the difference between 50W and 100W is, at most, 3dB of output. there aren't many speakers that could actually handle that much power anyway...


Every double in power is 3db, however I definitely can tell the difference between half-volume and near full volume. This theoretical db limits to a human's perception is just that......everyone has different perception of volume levels. This also comes down to about 70-80% install. Poorly installed speakers, large cabins, or too much sound deadening can really kill a high powered set of speakers.

My front speakers in my bus are wired to 2 ohms stereo, about ~125WRMS. The speakers definitely will NOT push me out of my van at near full volume. My system in my BMW is 50W per channel, at most, and definitely will push me out of the car at near full volume.


The "come alive" point VW mentions above is probably around 3-5W. most people, regardless of what equipment they have, rarely give their speakers more than 10W. around 10W of output power, you are around 100dBA of output (assuming typical sensitivities) - which is loud for anyone and not a suitable level to hold a conversation.

Depending on installation and speaker sensitivity. A speaker with a poor 79db sensitivity (1W @ 1M) might be pushing 90db while the one up around 91DB might be pushing 105db or higher, at the same power.
I still say, there are a lot of speakers, and installations especially that require higher power on X car, than it will require on Y car. :)

disturbed471985
12-16-2011, 03:48 AM
Hahaha thanks guys for your info and personal experiences, in the future if I get a lot of money saved up, I might upgrade he fronts to he imagine components, I love this forum there's so much info floating around, another question for y'all why do ppl have more speakers, is it just for more volume? If I upgraded in the future, would I want to run my set of pioneers in the front with the imagines?

I run two sets of mids and tweets to help keep up with the substage. I like to actually hear my music at full tilt rather then having the subs just drown out everything. Yes, my doors are dead and mids in pods so thats not the issue. I would not mix speakers though if you want 2 sets of mids in ur front doors then they should be the same models as well as the tweets. Do as I did run 1 set for awhile and see if its what u like if not then glass them up and add a second set. Of course you would have already made the doors dead and all that good stuff.

Fi-brations
12-16-2011, 07:07 AM
Keep_Hope_alive,
This also comes down to about 70-80% install. Poorly installed speakers, large cabins, or too much sound deadening can really kill a high powered set of speakers.
My system in my BMW is 50W per channel, at most, and definitely will push me out of the car at near full volume.

I'm pretty sure we dont have the same bmw, but i would bet their door designs and the materials used in the doors are very similar. If you dont mind, I would really like to talk to you about how you sound deadened your door, and what you did to your speakers(i.e. clay, mdf baffle, etc.) I read the sound deadening thread, but without pictures of "holes in doors" i was confused, and i know my doors will be different than someone else's doors, so it would be nice to see what another bmw owner did. Plus u said too much deadening is bad? I didnt know u could deaden it too much. So i would really appreciate some advice there, and i can send u some pics of my door panels later, gotta go take a couple exams! :(

VWBobby
12-16-2011, 11:08 AM
Fi-brations, (cool name BTW :))

My BMW is all stock. Its an '02 330xi with every option from the factory. It has the 12 speaker Harman-Kardon option that is basically a 3-way active stage, rear speakers LPF'd at about 3000hz, and back speakers LPF'd at about 100hz from what I can tell (sounds like subwoofers). If you hit a button in the dash that looks like a speaker, it turns the rear speakers into full-range mode so the people in the back seat can hear better. It also makes it sound like 5.1 channel surround but definitely kills the front stage presence. :-/
If I was to rate it, I would say an 7 - 8 out of 10, for all the systems I've heard. Definitely the best stock stereo I've ever heard.
I did take the driver's door panel off to replace the lock mechanism and found a moderate amount of deadening behind the panel and in the door. There are a few holes that could be sealed up, but nowhere near as many holes as most cars I've seen.

To seal the holes, you can simply cover them with sound deadener up to about 4". Large holes will need a blocking plate made out of plastic or plywood. MDF will soak up water and turn to mold unless you fiberglass it in. Seal the plate to the car with some screws and autobody sealant. Otherwise you can use automotive adhesive, but it will be a pain trying to get the plate back off.
By "too much deadener" I mean the people that have 2 layers of regular deadener, a layer of closed cell foam and finally a door panel. When you stack up all that deadener, it turns your door panel from being a speaker baffle/box into a dead chamber. Its like playing a speaker in a padded/muffled box compared to having some hard surfaces in the cabin. Similar to how drummers stuff a pillow in their kickdrum to deaden and muffle/deepen the sound. ;)

The key to a properly deadened vehicle is stopping panel vibrations and adding mass to resonant panels. If you have door panels rattling, that not only contributes to noise but creates a loss of energy since the speaker is vibrating in its baffle. The panel needs to be stiff. Some people say you want to "decouple" the panel from the door by isolating it from the door with deadener. I don't agree. In my testing, having a door panel made of wood and fiberglass rigidily mounted to the door sounds a hell of a lot better than the typical plastic and vinyl/cloth covered door panels found in OEM. To me, its the equivalent of a very large solid enclosure and gives the speakers the best environment to perform.
Deadening the floor, walls and roof is good for decreasing your cabin noise which gives the perception that your stereo is playing louder, since you don't have to crank it up to overcome the noise.

If you simply seal up your doors and run 1 layer of deadener on all panels, maybe 2 layers on the floor and wheel wells since these make the most noise.....you will have one fine environment for whatever speakers you choose. :) BMW designs and builds their cars to be quiet from the factory, so they don't need a lot of help. They are notorious for "sucking power" in subwoofer installations because the trunk and cabin is already heavily sound deadened. You find a lot of owners having to run more power just to overcome the deadening. ;)

maylar
12-16-2011, 05:14 PM
Every double in power is 3db, however I definitely can tell the difference between half-volume and near full volume.

Yes, but double the volume control setting isn't double the power. Human hearing sensitivity is logarithmic, and a properly implemented volume control should have a log function.

maylar
12-16-2011, 05:22 PM
<snip> Some speakers don't "come alive" until you reach a certain power point. A speaker or especially a subwoofer with a higher RMS rating has a stiffer suspension and/or heavier coil to handle the added power. This is going to take a few watts just to get it moving.

At lower volumes/power, a more sensitive speaker with a lower RMS rating will "generally" sound a Lot better than a higher rated speaker.<snip>

I'm dealing with that now. My car is really quiet and I often play my system at low volume levels. It's a real challenge to find a speaker that can play cleanly with good midbass at low levels yet get loud when I want it.

keep_hope_alive
12-17-2011, 10:53 PM
Yes, but double the volume control setting isn't double the power. Human hearing sensitivity is logarithmic, and a properly implemented volume control should have a log function.

i didn't know we were talking about doubling volume control settings - that is arbitrary and not a good metric for anything. i focused on what i felt was useful. :)

good linearity is difficult - in part because of the sensitivity of the human ear with low and high volume levels.
http://www.offbeatband.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/equal-loudness-contour.jpg

thanks for your input guys, the more we share, the better.