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Discussion Starter #1
power, or too much bass ???
I mean that's what a volume control, or bass knob is for, right ?
Doesn't everyone agree that a 3000 wt system, played at 300 wts or heck, 1000 wts, will sound just beautiful, while a 50 at system, trying to be pushed to 60, will sound like pure garbage.

I've often tried to explain to non-sound system people, that its quite surprising how easily one can use 1000 wts, with a system with quite a few speakers and a good sized subwoofer or two, without it sounding crazy loud, or tough on your ears..... But then these same people will tell you that the little stock system in their Toyota Corolla already gets louder than they need it to be. Sometimes, I try to explain that they only think that stereo is loud, because distortion will trick you like that. But I think many will just never get that.
 

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I agree a non clipping system can sound quieter than a clipping and situating system...

But how does one know how many of the 1000W they are using in either a peak power or an RMS way?
 

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The argument is flawed. You can not compare the two systems and say one is better than the other.
If you have a system that has a lot of power it can sound sweet but it can also sound like crap as well if you run it into clipping and distortion because gains not set properly or other issues. The same with a system with less power.

comparing a ln aftermarket system with a lot of power and equipment is different than a stock system in a car. or saying a system with small amplifiers will sound like garbage. A properly tuned system with small amplifiers can sound sweet as well.

I get what your saying but a lot of stock systems do get loud and that’s plenty for majority of people.

point is, any system overdriven will sound like garbage. It’s not about the power or lack of.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The argument is flawed. You can not compare the two systems and say one is better than the other.
If you have a system that has a lot of power it can sound sweet but it can also sound like crap as well if you run it into clipping and distortion because gains not set properly or other issues. The same with a system with less power.

comparing a ln aftermarket system with a lot of power and equipment is different than a stock system in a car. or saying a system with small amplifiers will sound like garbage. A properly tuned system with small amplifiers can sound sweet as well.

I get what your saying but a lot of stock systems do get loud and that’s plenty for majority of people.

point is, any system overdriven will sound like garbage. It’s not about the power or lack of.
I hear what your saying. But still believe that one needs enough power, and a subwoofer, to play loud enough "without" major clipping. Sure, that little stock system can sound good at very low volumes, but that's not going to do you any good with actual listening over road noise.
Case in point, the stock sound system in my 2019 Prius, at VERY low volumes, when parked, actually sounded surprisingly good. It's just that that wasn't enough for actual listening when driving.
Sounds fantastic now though ? Not loud like my truck, but still probably plenty for most people.
 

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It amazes me how some people just don't get the point of clear powerful sound. Or maybe they like it, but don't want to go down the rabbit hole. I am not sure.

However, I will say that engineering is just the science of well-researched compromises. So yes you could definitely have too much power if your charging system can't keep up or it weighs so much that your car is sluggish, or costs so much that you can't eat food. I know, not the most profound thoughts, but I believe everything is a compromise - everything.

As far as too much bass, I've found too much bass can change certain songs because it distracts from the way the song was meant to be heard. In other words, if the bass is extremely loud or forceful, the midrange and vocals can lose impact by comparison. Everything is relative.

In San Diego, we have a historic racing event called the Race at the Base (because it is run at a Navy air base I think) and you can watch and hear insane vintage race cars with uncorked big-block V8s really racing around the track and they are the loudest most bassass things ever ... Until an F-18 on full afterburner flies over and then you can't even hear the line of Can Am, IMSA, or NASCARs mashing down the straight directly in front of you. Too much bass can be extremely awesome to witness, but not so much that is completely demands all your listening attention. I'm here for the music - all of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay. Well I've never had a 30 Kwt or more system, so I dunno. Maybe something like that would be too much to be used as a nice sounding daily driver.
It's just hard for me to imagine having too much headroom, even if I'm not using it.
 

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Meter the amp outputs ?
I know you know it...
And you've pointed out how others could know it.

Okay. Well I've never had a 30 Kwt or more system, so I dunno. Maybe something like that would be too much to be used as a nice sounding daily driver.
It's just hard for me to imagine having too much headroom, even if I'm not using it.
How would you know the difference between a little headroom and a lot? What would one hear?

Assuming that there is some upper limit on hear and hearing loss, then too much power is possible... and too much headroom is an excuse to turn the gain up for too much power.

That 30w Class-A for sale is an example of something that is not the most power but likely pretty optimal for SQ.

Plus tubes and Class-A have different distortion and clipping characteristics and THD values.
 

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I imagine alot of rock genre music is recorded in the studio with plenty of bass included in the track and then the stock 'super dooper 12 speaker supreme' premium car audio system can't reproduce all of the music as recorded or is purposely EQ'd to sound good on those cheap lightweight speaker cones at low volumes and bandpassed bass output then we install good equipment and it reproduces all the sound included in the recordings beautifully.
 

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A lot of music is engineered well, but I am not sure it is recorded beautifully.

In that case, assuming I am at correct, then there may "too much"... maybe mixing...and not enough of something else.
 

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Engineeres music ? Isn't that the recording ?
Well imagine you have each musician in a sound deadened booth recording in a quiet environment. And then you engineer it onto some sound stage.

Now imaging a band or orchestra playing on an actual stage, and you record that with two or three microphones.

Will they sound the same, and can they sound the same?
And how hard is it to make the booth sound like the stage?
 

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But they can both be beautiful wonderful music can't they ?
Some of the music I like best are really crap recordings... but I like the lyrics.
Most engineered stuff these days is really pretty good... but it is not like the famous "Jazz at the Pawn Shop"

 

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I hear what your saying. But still believe that one needs enough power, and a subwoofer, to play loud enough "without" major clipping. Sure, that little stock system can sound good at very low volumes, but that's not going to do you any good with actual listening over road noise.
Case in point, the stock sound system in my 2019 Prius, at VERY low volumes, when parked, actually sounded surprisingly good. It's just that that wasn't enough for actual listening when driving.
Sounds fantastic now though ? Not loud like my truck, but still probably plenty for most people.
I guess the real question and this speaks to personal preference is what is considered loud enough? I have had and heard truly impressive systems that might have been 500 watts rms total. I have heard mega watt systems with literal chest moving bass that sounded, well OK. I am firm believer that if you do the install correctly, have clean unclipped power, have an appropriate enclosure for the sub stage, wattage become far less important. But again, what is loud for me might not be loud at all to the next guy. Also what I wanted and how i set up a system 10 years ago is not what I want or would set up now, but again even that would be personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess the real question and this speaks to personal preference is what is considered loud enough? I have had and heard truly impressive systems that might have been 500 watts rms total. I have heard mega watt systems with literal chest moving bass that sounded, well OK. I am firm believer that if you do the install correctly, have clean unclipped power, have an appropriate enclosure for the sub stage, wattage become far less important. But again, what is loud for me might not be loud at all to the next guy. Also what I wanted and how i set up a system 10 years ago is not what I want or would set up now, but again even that would be personal preference.
Totally agreed. I like clean balanced music, but I also like it fairly loud, and with solid, deep bass. Just for my own personal tastes, I think if money were no object, probably about 3 to 5K wts with the appropriate speakers would do it for my daily driver.

Actually, here shortly, I'm going to be running about 3K wts RMS in my truck. Although I don't claim that it will be the most efficient, perfectly setup system sound engineering can offer. Hope it does pretty well though ?
 

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Totally agreed. I like clean balanced music, but I also like it fairly loud, and with solid, deep bass. Just for my own personal tastes, I think if money were no object, probably about 3 to 5K wts with the appropriate speakers would do it for my daily driver.

Actually, here shortly, I'm going to be running about 3K wts RMS in my truck. Although I don't claim that it will be the most efficient, perfectly setup system sound engineering can offer. Hope it does pretty well though ?
Why do you think you need 3 to 5k watts if you like "clean balanced music"? If you use anywhere near that kind of power on yours subs, the music will not be balanced. I'm not saying you shouldn't go for it, but I am saying it won't be balanced if you are using that kind of power on your subs. To maintain a balanced system with that kind of power on the subs your front stage would have to be deafeningly loud.
 
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