hmm...Why Kick Panels?

sumone
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Ok, so putting speakers there are supposed to give the best imaging right? ONe question that's been on my mind is how...

cause I see it like this: you and your passenger's legs will block the line of sight between the tweeters and your ears; defeating the whole purpose...

Those of you that have listening experience of speakers in the kick panel area, am I right or wrong?

Even though I still do plan to put my new hd-62efs there, just wondering...cause my other alternative is to do the tweeters far up on the dash by the windshield aimed at me (or maybe aimed to be reflected off of the windshield) and then the mids in the door or some other place...

 

SilverJLEclipse
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ok, imaging is at its best when the "image" of the music is in the center of the vehicle. By using kick panels you are creating pathlengths that are closer in length so that when you hear the music it is centered, not on one side. Also, check the recomendation of the speaker manufacturer as to tweeter placement. Putting them higher can raise soundstage (below) but negatively affect imaging.

soundstage is the other part that you are talking about. if not done correctly they will sound like they are coming from the floor when what you want is a wide sound stage that sounds like it is coming from far out on the hood (ideally of course).

 
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sumone
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About a center placement: putting 'em in the kick area doesn't seem like they'll be significantly closer in length as opposed to having them in the door (even if in the door they are cross-fired). Wouldn't the ideal length from left ear->left speaker and right ear->right speaker be equidistant to achieve the best imaging (with regards to a stereo signal)?

I mean, wouldn't just having speakers right on top of the dash aimed towards you be better (even if it is impractical)?

 
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sumone
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Disregard what I said about putting them on the dash...just thought about something;

I can see how putting htem further away from your ears improves the stage and aiming them at you, the imaging, but my main concern is when your legs block that line of sight. There is a declination in quality right?

 

zephyr
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ok, imaging is at its best when the "image" of the music is in the center of the vehicle. By using kick panels you are creating pathlengths that are closer in length so that when you hear the music it is centered, not on one side. Also, check the recomendation of the speaker manufacturer as to tweeter placement. Putting them higher can raise soundstage (below) but negatively affect imaging.
soundstage is the other part that you are talking about. if not done correctly they will sound like they are coming from the floor when what you want is a wide sound stage that sounds like it is coming from far out on the hood (ideally of course).
music in the center of the vehicle is not necessarilly the best imaging. good imaging relates to the correct placement of each instrument in the real music performance. for example, if a guitar is played in the left side of the stage, you have to hear the same thing.

ideally, the distance between L and R speakers are equal to the ears. But it is almost impossible to achieve in car environment. By placing the speaker further away from the ears, you minimize the path length difference, thus better imaging.

putting the tweets higher MAY ruin the imaging, but with proper placement and angle it would help raising the soundstage without affecting imaging. many competitor has success with this method.

 

helotaxi
5,000+ posts

Kilroy was Here
music in the center of the vehicle is not necessarilly the best imaging. good imaging relates to the correct placement of each instrument in the real music performance. for example, if a guitar is played in the left side of the stage, you have to hear the same thing. ideally, the distance between L and R speakers are equal to the ears. But it is almost impossible to achieve in car environment. By placing the speaker further away from the ears, you minimize the path length difference, thus better imaging.

putting the tweets higher MAY ruin the imaging, but with proper placement and angle it would help raising the soundstage without affecting imaging. many competitor has success with this method.
The main problem with separating the mid and the tweet is you end up with a non-coherent source and a horrible transition between the sound coming from the mid and the tweet. A good crossover and careful aiming of the speakers can help out with this, but best results are usually achieved with the mid and tweet as close as possible together. It is pretty typical for a kickpanel speaker placement to give an image up on the dash. As far as legs blocking the sound, that is just as much a problem with the speakers in the doors as in the kicks. A large center console creates more of a problem than passenger's legs for a kickpanel install sometimes. Here's a guy that took the whole imaging in the car head on. Not an easy solution or a cheap one, but this car is still talked about for a reason.

 

helotaxi
5,000+ posts

Kilroy was Here
There are several schools of thought on this. One says aim them both at the dome light. The other says to crossfire them by aiming each one at the opposite headrest. Which one is best depends on the speakers, the car and the crossover freqs. How do you know which is best for you? Configure a way where you can temporarily listen to your speakers and test different angles and figure out which sounds better, then build your kicks to that angle.

 
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