DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to ask everyone's opinion on this. Got into a discussion with a buddy of mine who absolutely loves new things. In his mind, if it's new, it's better no matter what. Myself on the other hand, I feel it all depends on the product, company, etc. Just because its new, does not make it better.

What got us on the topic is I'm thinking of going old school with my new daily for the system. I have a few different configurations in mind, depending on the car I get. I'll look for BNIB or like new items from select companies to build the system the way I want it.

My buddy on the other hand keeps trying to convince me to buy everything new. IMO, a good majority of the new stuff is crap. There isn't any quality to it like the car audio of old. It's all about number, how much can we produce at the lowest cost and the highest volume using less than acceptable components. He thinks what I'm thinking of doing is a waste of time and money.

Am I the only one that thinks like this?
 

·
Slowpoke
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
I like plenty of old-school stuff, but when it comes to subs I prefer modern times. We had jack to work with in the 90s compared to now. These days there's a sub for every occasion. 7 or 8 even. Prices are better. Materials and designs are better. No going back for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
I'm closer to be like your friend but I agree with you that it depends on the product and to a lesser extent the company.

Amps, in my opinion are better today due to technology. Class D is cheaper, smaller, less heat, and has good power and sound quality. Its like comparing an incandescent light bulb to LED. But there are good class D amps and complete cost-cutting crap so as usual, buyer beware stands today just as it did years ago.

Speakers and subs haven't increased that much but technology has made things more consistent and less expensive to produce so theoretically speakers created today should be more consistent than yesteryear. And the soft parts have definitely benefited from new technology. Does reality prove out the supposed increase in technology, I think it goes back to how well a particular product is designed, ie cost vs quality. The one thing I will say for new speakers vs old is just the newness of the materials and the fact that a new speaker/sub will likely be closer to designed T/S parameters vs a speaker or sub that has been played over the years and potentially has had some of the soft parts degrade a little, however minor. Then you have to think of how demanding a car audio environment is in terms of temperature and humidity, which can have an incredible impact on a speaker/sub over time.

So I think new technology has made SOME products better and with the demanding car audio environment, speakers and subs are likely better just due to a lack of degradation over time. At least those are my thoughts and experience.

EDIT - And I forgot a big one that makes things better today than yesteryear; globalization. Globalization means competition for everyone throughout the world as well as access to quality components from around the world. So that means products should be better and/or cheaper today. It also means lesser companies with lesser products will usually not survive, thereby raising the quality of all products. Then again, we all know what Walmart has done with globalization and we know there are more than a few crap companies but even some of the supposed cheap companies can make some quality components, NVX and SB Acoustics seem to be mentioned positively quite often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
You are absolutely correct when it comes to Old school vs new school and I agree with you 100%. Today most things are built to a price point.

Back in the 90's to early 2000's there was a Sound Quality war and all brands were trying to one-up the next brand. There was a high demand for quality back in the day which pushed the manufactures to make quality stuff.

Most things made for the U.S. market are filled with features as opposed to mainly SQ which was the case back in the SQ war days.

I have an old school 10" Boston Acoustics mid bass on my drivers side and a Brax 10.4 Mid bass on the passenger side. One is pushed by an Old school class AB Boston Acoustics amp which was the type built in Italy Mosconi - Steg factory. The two sound extremely similar. The difference is slight.

The other one is pushed by a JL audio Slash amp class d.

In my opinion, in order to get Sound Quality oriented gear today, one must either go:

1.) Old School with specific brands. for subs everyone used Eclipse back in the day. I used Bostons.
or
2.) New school with SQ brands from Europe. Dynaudio, Scanspeak, Brax, Hertz, Mosconi, Sinfoni, etc.

3.) Some people swear by Audiofrog which is designed in California and made in China.

Everyone's taste is subjective, but I feel exactly the same as you. To answer your question " You are not alone! "

And yes, today some things are better made today, but like you stated earlier......it depends on the brand, model, and what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
hard to say on the sound quality side. You would really have to run a side by side comparison to see or hear that. One thing i have seen is box size and power handling on subs. I use some old school subs and to get the sound out of them, you are running larger box sizes. The new stuff can run in much smaller box sizes and can handle much more power compared to what I run. In some cases we had two Iso two speakers to get the box size most new subs run in out of the box.

Regarding amps, its hard to not notice the size and power the new class D stuff has. Again, I used to run some old school A/B amps, but now just dont want to deal with the size and complexity of install on those amps. At this point with amps, I doubt you will notice the sq change unless you are running some very good old school amps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
I like old school amps that have zero processing onboard. Just my preference, doesn't mean they're quieter or more dynamic, etc. However, if you use old school amps, you really need to have them gone thru by a competent tech who has plenty of experience. Don't go with the former radio shack employee who has a "shop" in his mom's basement.

Components are much better these days than back in the day. Better materials, construction processes and designs. Power handling is improved and variety is much better too. In the 80's and 90's all tweets were made by the same couple of companies. Build houses may be doing that today but, cost is such that proprietary designs aren't a problem anymore.

Subwoofers are generally better today as long as you do your homework and make brand/model comparisons. As with anything, you mostly get what you pay for. There's a reason the best Morel and JL Audio subs are so expensive. Some of it is branding but, there is some real R&D work going into the best designs.
Power handling is much improved too but, at a cost. Driver sensitivity is much lower in general nowadays.
I will say that the best subwoofer I've ever heard was the Oz Audio 250L "Superman) 10. Still my favorite of all time.

Headunits are vastly better today. CD transports (if you still use those) are much, much improved. We used to say that our Sony CD players would skip when we crossed the center yellow line back in the day. LOL!
Onboard crossovers have virtually eliminated the need for a separate unit. Time alignment in the new gear is constantly improving as well. No such features on the old Alpine 7903's!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
As far as old vs modern subs and drivers in general, there has been some memorable drivers from the past, but tech & implementation has evolved enough to not really look back other than nostalgic reasons. It went from low power high efficiency requiring large boxes, to higher power low efficiency drivers that work in small boxes and rely on cabin gain for a fairly flat response. We used to design boxes for maximum power handling with a slight bump in the response for pop music (which was very suitable back in the days), to a more subdued top end with maximum extension these days. Now you have higher Qts subs that are seemingly designed for large boxes, but are augmented to work in a smaller box while keeping extension as optimal as possible and slightly sacrificing transient response that most can live with. The biggest change over the years has been longer coils that allow some of these changes while keeping linearity intact. Choose your poison carefully..... Personally, I'd take current tech.

As far as amps.... obvious change, but one thing hasn't. Quality. You still pay quite a bit for it. How so? There always has been inexpensive amps that could perform and last with a careful hand. The higher quality amps offered okay power level ratings, but costed gobs more. Today, high quality amps offer more power, but still cost gobs more. Inexpensive amps offer decent power, but may skimp on quality of build so it's all relative. Again.... pick your poison.

If it isn't about some sonic signature or certain physical or electrical aspect, I doubt you will see a big difference in what's old vs new in regards to amplifiers. I've had both... existed in those times and still am in the hobby to this day. The fixation on amps that state much lower watts than actually capable of producing (cheater amps) vs current amps with higher overall ratings means little when you start to look at the real issue..... actual power use and handling of drivers. Couple of articles by Richard Clark & David Navone in their tech briefs that shine a light on that. A must read.....
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top