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OT: Someone explain car subwoofers to me, please.


Klisk

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Maybe it's because I'm a cracker, and whitey is too stupid to get this phenomenon, but can someone explain it to me?

 

For example, my 5.1 computer speakers have a subwoofer, but all it does is drive more bass into the speakers themselves, and give the bottom end more presence. And this, I understand, and like. It's fine. It *does* enhance sound.

 

Car subwoofers, though...

 

The woofer doesn't drive the speakers, at least not in my experience with people who have them. Instead the bass is seperated from the speakers, and to be quite honest, it sounds like utter shit (in my opinion.) Nevermind that the woofer is ALWAYS louder then the rest of the music, and just BOOM BOOM BOOMs away, drowning out the rest of the mix...

 

... Granted, I thought maybe the specific person I have in mind had a bad system. But it *was* an Alpine setup. I went into someone's car with a different subwoofer setup, but the results were the same: It sounded like I was sitting in a tincan, and someone was banging on the trunk with a baseball bat.

 

Can someone explain to me why this is appealing? Because in my opinion it doesn't make music sound better. It's almost as if these people drop 500 dollars to RUIN their music and vibrate their car. :freak:

 

And finally, why don't they just sell subwoofers that drive car speakers, instead of seperating the bass entirely like the ones that I see do? It sounds awful to my ears. :freak:

 

Anyways, this is officially a stupid thread on my behalf, but I'm sincerely curious/ignorant about the whole subwoofer ordeal, so thanks for any replies. :love:

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Its definitely something that can be overdone. I have a single mtx 10" in my car with like 300 watts pushing it and personally I like it because it allows me to focus my door speakers and rear speakers on mids and highs. For the music I listen to (lots of electronica and rock) it just sounds better. I went through the whole "provide sound for the whole intersection at a red light" thing back when I was like 16 and now I think that was pretty silly. Fun at the time, but probably only to me and the one car that would look over and approve of whatever I was listening to.

 

But yeah, I think subs, if used carefully, really add alot to the overall sound by allowing other speakers to specialize on other things.

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Klisk, maybe I'm mistaken, but it looks like you don't completely understand how a subwoofer works in a multiple-speaker set-up.

 

To have a good set-up, one needs a cross-over/filter, which divides the frequency spectrum in 2 or 3 parts (sometimes 4).

When there's a sub-woofer involved, the crossover usually sends the audio-information between 25-30Hz and 100Hz-150Hz to the sub-woofer, so that the smaller mid-drivers and tweeters aren't being used for that low-frequency response anymore. This usually results in a tighter and more focussed sound.

 

BUT... if a sub-woofer gets TOO big, it can produce LOWER frequencies, but at the expensive of transient response; the speaker gets SLOWER, because it's a big mass/magnet to pull back and forth.

 

That's why you hardly see 12" speakers in a bassguitar-setup; 10" speakers are faster and therefore punchier and the REALLY low-info gets sent by a 15" (or sometimes even 18").

 

My opinion is that everything above 10" is overkill in a car and usually makes the stuff sound WORSE.

 

Most music doesn't have any FUNDAMENTAL info going between 20 and 35Hz, and a well designed system with a 10" involved, should be able to be flat until 35Hz anyway.

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It sounds like you were in cars with real {censored}ty systems.....

When I build a system, it's for sound quality, not SPL....

If all you hear is bass and crappy balance, it is setup wrong....

I don't care what quality the components are...If it's not done right, it will sound like ass...

Sit in my car, and you'll hear what a quality system sounds like...

Steve

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Originally posted by Speeddemon

Klisk, maybe I'm mistaken, but it looks like you don't completely understand how a subwoofer works in a multiple-speaker set-up.


To have a good set-up, one needs a cross-over/filter, which divides the frequency spectrum in 2 or 3 parts (sometimes 4).

When there's a sub-woofer involved, the crossover usually sends the audio-information between 25-30Hz and 100Hz-150Hz to the sub-woofer, so that the smaller mid-drivers and tweeters aren't being used for that low-frequency response anymore. This usually results in a tighter and more focussed sound.


BUT... if a sub-woofer gets TOO big, it can produce LOWER frequencies, but at the expensive of transient response; the speaker gets SLOWER, because it's a big mass/magnet to pull back and forth.


That's why you hardly see 12" speakers in a bassguitar-setup; 10" speakers are faster and therefore punchier and the REALLY low-info gets sent by a 15" (or sometimes even 18").


My opinion is that everything above 10" is overkill in a car and usually makes the stuff sound WORSE.


Most music doesn't have any FUNDAMENTAL info going between 20 and 35Hz, and a well designed system with a 10" involved, should be able to be flat until 35Hz anyway.

 

Well I'm no audio engineer, honestly. :D That's WHY I'm asking, of course. ;) I just trust my ears. And hell, I don't even HAVE a car, but when I'm in someone else's car and their subwoofer is drowning out the vocals of their music, it just boggles me. When I think of a good sound setup, I think of bass clarity -- Not power. I like bass set at a level where I can mildly feel it, but it's not strong/overwhelming.

 

The woofers I heard WERE probably bigger than 10", so maybe that's why I hated the sound so much. :thu:

 

This is ironic, I should note, because I started as a bassist and not a guitarist. I still have my bass rig, even, because I'd play the instrument in a band if I got the offer. But I transferred over to guitar for my own sake.

 

Anyways, thanks for the in-depth explaination. :eek: But dare I ask, then, what is the point of subwoofers (Like the ones on many PC speakers) that is a woofer without any speaker at all? Because those tend to produce the sounds I like. Even though, well, they're likely considered cheap. (And probably why you don't eve see them in cars?) :confused:

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Originally posted by Klisk



Well I'm no audio engineer, honestly.
:D
That's WHY I'm asking, of course.
;)
I just trust my ears. And hell, I don't even HAVE a car, but when I'm in someone else's car and their subwoofer is drowning out the vocals of their music, it just boggles me. When I think of a good sound setup, I think of bass clarity -- Not power. I like bass set at a level where I can mildly feel it, but it's not strong/overwhelming.


The woofers I heard WERE probably bigger than 10", so maybe that's why I hated the sound so much.
:thu:

This is ironic, I should note, because I started as a bassist and not a guitarist. I still have my bass rig, even, because I'd play the instrument in a band if I got the offer. But I transferred over to guitar for my own sake.


Anyways, thanks for the in-depth explaination.
:eek:
But dare I ask, then, what is the point of subwoofers (Like the ones on many PC speakers) that is a woofer without any speaker at all? Because those tend to produce the sounds I like. Even though, well, they're likely considered cheap. (And probably why you don't eve see them in cars?)
:confused:

 

 

There is no such thing as a subwoofer without a speaker....

You may be thinking of something called a passive radiator...

It is a cabinet with a dummy speaker in it along side of a regular woofer to create a larger sound. It looks like a speaker with no guts, and simply flexes to create a larger cabinet sound.

Steve

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Originally posted by SteveVHT




There is no such thing as a subwoofer without a speaker....

You may be thinking of something called a passive radiator...

It is a cabinet with a dummy speaker in it along side of a regular woofer to create a larger sound. It looks like a speaker with no guts, and simply flexes to create a larger cabinet sound.

Steve

 

Sounds like that's what I mean, yep. :D

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Originally posted by SteveVHT




There is no such thing as a subwoofer without a speaker....

You may be thinking of something called a passive radiator...

It is a cabinet with a dummy speaker in it along side of a regular woofer to create a larger sound. It looks like a speaker with no guts, and simply flexes to create a larger cabinet sound.

Steve

 

 

Hey Steve, what kind VHT [or plural] do you have?

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Originally posted by Mesabooger



Hey Steve, what kind VHT [or plural] do you have?

 

I have a few....

VHT GP3 preamps x 3

VHT 2/90/2 power amps x 3

VHT Ultralead w/EQ x 2

VHT CLX w/ EQ

VHT CLX 2x12 combo w/ EQ

VHT Classic w/ EQ 2x12 combo

VHT Super 30

VHT Deliverance D120H

VHT 4x12 straight cabs x 5

VHT 2x12's x 3

 

I have a Deliverance 60 coming hopefully this week, and I'm still looking for a Classic head w/ EQ...:D

VHT+stuff.jpg

WallODeath.jpg

Right+side.jpg

Deliverancestack.jpg

Rackstuff.jpg

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Klisk, maybe I'm mistaken, but it looks like you don't completely understand how a subwoofer works in a multiple-speaker set-up.

 

 

Ignore this.

 

White suburban kid + Crappy rap music + one pair of ugly sunglasses + parents money = DOPE SYSTEM YO

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When I was younger the thing for us kids was to customize our cars. It wasn't just the sound package. We always tried to do it right with the least amount of money. Yes their were those that just threw their stuff in there, but for the most part we tried to do it right.

 

It sounds to me that the car audio systems you heard was done wrong and eq'ed improperly. Yes the larger the speaker the slower and longer the bass wave is, but you don't see the baseball bat thing in concert audio. What is happening here is these people are either just throughing the subs and cabs into the trunk and not mounting them properly or not taking the time to lay down the proper materials such as insulation and bating. I myself had a 6 speaker system with 12s that pushed 120db with low budget audio equipment, seperat eqing for my 6s and tweeters, and no seperate eqing for my subs. Just a seperate amp. I took the time to make sure things were balanced and didn't get the baseball bat sound from my trunk. Sub woofers are to enhance the audio experience and get you closer to that concert sound when done properly.

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Originally posted by SteveVHT



I have a few....

VHT GP3 preamps x 3

VHT 2/90/2 power amps x 3

VHT Ultralead w/EQ x 2

VHT CLX w/ EQ

VHT CLX 2x12 combo w/ EQ

VHT Classic w/ EQ 2x12 combo

VHT Super 30

VHT Deliverance D120H

VHT 4x12 straight cabs x 5

VHT 2x12's x 3


I have a Deliverance 60 coming hopefully this week, and I'm still looking for a Classic head w/ EQ...
:D

 

Very cool stuff. As my handle denotes, I haad been a Mesa guy for the last 10 years. I recently sold my last Mesa (A MK I) and got my first VHT. It's a baby VHT cmpared to what you have, Pitbull45 2x10. But it is a very exciting amp. It shows how versatile the company is. Many mistake it for a super high gain only company. While it can do that well, there is so much more.

 

Please let us know how the Deliverance is. Though I have no need for a stack setup, it looks pretty cool.

 

Sorry for the thread high-jack and here's my pup

IMG_0303.jpg

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Originally posted by Mesabooger



Very cool stuff. As my handle denotes, I haad been a Mesa guy for the last 10 years. I recently sold my last Mesa (A MK I) and got my first VHT. It's a baby VHT cmpared to what you have, Pitbull45 2x10. But it is a very exciting amp. It shows how versatile the company is. Many mistake it for a super high gain only company. While it can do that well, there is so much more.


Please let us know how the Deliverance is. Though I have no need for a stack setup, it looks pretty cool.


Sorry for the thread high-jack and here's my pup

IMG_0303.jpg

 

 

The Deliverance is just about the most versatile single channel amp ever made...

From Fender-like cleans to over the top high gain....

This is a clip I did with a Suhr guitar right into the amp...

Every guitar tone you hear in it is one setting...All I did was change pickups and roll off the volume...

There are a ton of great clips of this amp all over...

Don't mind the shitty playing...

Steve

http://www.mp3lizard.com/download.cfm?id=18089

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Originally posted by Jamison



Ignore this.


White suburban kid + Crappy rap music + one pair of ugly sunglasses + parents money = DOPE SYSTEM YO

Ignore this, my ass!

 

I explained exactly WHY those type of guys have crappy sounding systems, instead of resorting to bland generalizations. :rolleyes:

 

But if you have any more 'thorough' insights that *shouldn't* be ignored, please let us know, aight? :p;)

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to my knowledge, in a home cinema/pc speakers style setup, the subwoofer is used for the bass frequencys, while the rest of the speakers handle the higher end

5.1 being five speakers and the subwoofer

only one sub becuase it is handling the extreme low end which is less directional, so you feel it through your seat, the other speakers handling the more directional frequencys to give the surround sound, letting each speaker stick more to what it is good at rather than trying to put out the low frequencys through a tweeter

 

in cars the subs are handling the extreme lows, i think for most of the guys who have huge systems in their cars and stupidly large subs and so on its not more about a decent sound quality, more about the feel of the bass - for more dancey beat orientated songs i can almost see the point, for guitar music it is completely useless

 

the system in my dads car stock is actually awesome, i have never tried cranking it, but just for clarity and sound quality at normal volumes it is excellent (a bose system in a mazda 6 sport estate car) i guess just because it is positions and designed exactly for the car to suit it it works perfectly, unlike a homemade 'throw everything into the boot' system which sounds poo

 

i do also remember testing a freinds cars hifi - a volkswagen astra or the like - standard alright for listening to the radio nothing more system, at full volume it was just amusing, just a low farting sound from the lowrequencys and the rest of it wasnt much nicer... this was more out of amusement and to see what happens, normally we stick to a nice level of music, its for us to hear, not everyone else on the road

 

David

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Originally posted by SteveVHT




The Deliverance is just about the most versatile single channel amp ever made...

From Fender-like cleans to over the top high gain....

This is a clip I did with a Suhr guitar right into the amp...

Every guitar tone you hear in it is one setting...All I did was change pickups and roll off the volume...

There are a ton of great clips of this amp all over...

Don't mind the {censored}ty playing...

Steve

 

 

That sounds like it would be a blast to record with. Good clip too!

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It's about annoying other people and getting attention by being a child. It's not any more complicated than that. The line needs to be drawn. Should it be legal for me to mount a 150db fog horn on my car to blow you out of your seat at a red light? Of course not. It's time to stop the nonesense. Subwoofers in cars are mostly about people hearing your {censored} OUTSIDE of your car. Noise pollution. This is coming from a guitar player who likes to play loud. But I don't thing I have a right to FORCE people to listen to my music. It's immature macho bull{censored}. And even the assholes doing it KNOW that, but they don't care...what the {censored} you gown do 'bout it? There's the mentality. Time for law enforcement to start handing out tickets.

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Originally posted by BIGD

It's about annoying other people and getting attention by being a child. It's not any more complicated than that. The line needs to be drawn. Should it be legal for me to mount a 150db fog horn on my car to blow you out of your seat at a red light? Of course not. It's time to stop the nonesense. Subwoofers in cars are mostly about people hearing your {censored} OUTSIDE of your car. Noise pollution. This is coming from a guitar player who likes to play loud. But I don't thing I have a right to FORCE people to listen to my music. It's immature macho bull{censored}. And even the assholes doing it KNOW that, but they don't care...what the {censored} you gown do 'bout it? There's the mentality. Time for law enforcement to start handing out tickets.

 

+1.

 

And not only that, it's always the same crappy dance, techno, trance, R&B bull{censored}, that those guys are blasting!

 

NEVER a cool dude in a '69 Stingray pulls up with AC/DC blasting from his system!

I'm gonna change that.

WHenever some loser is blasting stupid Ja-Rule or {censored}, I'm gonna crank L

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Originally posted by Klisk

Maybe it's because I'm a cracker, and whitey is too stupid to get this phenomenon, but can someone explain it to me?


For example, my 5.1 computer speakers have a subwoofer, but all it does is drive more bass into the speakers themselves, and give the bottom end more presence. The woofer doesn't have a speaker. And this, I understand, and like. It's fine. It *does* enhance sound.


Car subwoofers, though...


The woofer doesn't drive the speakers, at least not in my experience with people who have them. Instead the bass is seperated from the speakers, and to be quite honest, it sounds like utter shit (in my opinion.) Nevermind that the woofer is ALWAYS louder then the rest of the music, and just BOOM BOOM BOOMs away, drowning out the rest of the mix...


... Granted, I thought maybe the specific person I have in mind had a bad system. But it *was* an Alpine setup. I went into someone's car with a different subwoofer setup, but the results were the same: It sounded like I was sitting in a tincan, and someone was banging on the trunk with a baseball bat.


Can someone explain to me why this is appealing? Because in my opinion it doesn't make music sound better. It's almost as if these people drop 500 dollars to RUIN their music and vibrate their car.
:freak:

And finally, why don't they just sell subwoofers that drive car speakers, instead of seperating the bass entirely like the ones that I see do? It sounds awful to my ears.
:freak:

Anyways, this is officially a stupid thread on my behalf, but I'm sincerely curious/ignorant about the whole subwoofer ordeal, so thanks for any replies.
:love:

You seem to have no clue what an actual subwoofer is. Your comment "the woofer doesn't have a speaker" is hilarious! a woofer IS a speaker. Basically,a subwoofer is a speaker that handles the lowest frequencies being reproduced,meaning,those below the standard fullrange speaker. As for your car stereo scenerio,don't blame the equipment when user idiocy is the culprit. Car subs can sound great when adjusted properly,and are definitely worthwhile additions. Their original intended usage was NOT to make the license plate rattle.

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Originally posted by tlbonehead

You seem to have no clue what an actual subwoofer is. Your comment "the woofer doesn't have a speaker" is hilarious! a woofer IS a speaker. B

 

I was referring to a passive radiator, which isn't a traditional speaker so I'm not embarrassed that I didn't know. I'm here admitting I don't know anything about car audio, and really, that's fine to me. I don't own, and don't plan to ever own a car, it's just that I'm tired of hearing the (apparantly) horribly EQ'd systems in other peoples cars. It's an awful sound they get, not enjoyable at all.

 

At the end of the day it really IS about having the most loudest/obnoxious system on the block. Which sucks to me. I'm only interested in audio enhancements, all of which I've never met from these car systems.

 

But anyways, I made a pretty amusing thread, so I'm proud. :thu: As I said, I'm not really embarrassed admitting that I don't know anything about car audio.. I mean, I made the thread to learn, right? :confused: I mostly just care about my PC speakers sounding good, because that's where *I* listen to music. And I'm happy with my setup.

 

All in all it makes me wish there was a market for smaller subwoofers, because to me, 10" is still too big for casual listening. Even when I listen to an aggressive, "loud" type of rock album, I have the tendancy to keep the volume pretty quiet. To me it's still about bass clarity, and not power. So a 6.5" subwoofer would be cool, at least to my standards. But as I noted before, a moot point, because I don't plan to ever own a car. I'm just irritable about suffering in other people's cars. :wave:

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Originally posted by Klisk



I was referring to a passive radiator, which isn't a traditional speaker so I'm not embarrassed that I didn't know. I'm here admitting I don't know anything about car audio, and really, that's fine to me. I don't own, and don't plan to ever own a car, it's just that I'm tired of hearing the (apparantly) horribly EQ'd systems in other peoples cars. It's an awful sound they get, not enjoyable at all.


At the end of the day it really IS about having the most loudest/obnoxious system on the block. Which sucks to me. I'm only interested in audio enhancements, all of which I've never met from these car systems.


But anyways, I made a pretty amusing thread, so I'm proud.
:thu:
As I said, I'm not really embarrassed admitting that I don't know anything about car audio.. I mean, I made the thread to learn, right?
:confused:
I mostly just care about my PC speakers sounding good, because that's where *I* listen to music. And I'm happy with my setup.


All in all it makes me wish there was a market for smaller subwoofers, because to me, 10" is still too big for casual listening. Even when I listen to an aggressive, "loud" type of rock album, I have the tendancy to keep the volume pretty quiet. To me it's still about bass clarity, and not power. So a 6.5" subwoofer would be cool, at least to my standards. But as I noted before, a moot point, because I don't plan to ever own a car. I'm just irritable about suffering in other people's cars.
:wave:

I have a pair of 15" powered subs installed in the floor of my house. And yes,I agree 100% that there are far too many high priced obnoxiously loud crappy sounding car stereos in the world these days. But most of them are owned by kiddies,and many could actually sound decent if they were adjusted halfway decently. As for passive radiators,they certainly aren't subs. They are basically a "cone port/vent." You wouldn't call a vent a subwoofer,would you? And yes,I have a small separate sub for my computer. It is only a 5" driver,I believe but it adds so much.

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Originally posted by tlbonehead

I have a pair of 15" powered subs installed in the floor of my house. And yes,I agree 100% that there are far too many high priced obnoxiously loud crappy sounding car stereos in the world these days. But most of them are owned by kiddies,and many could actually sound decent if they were adjusted halfway decently. As for passive radiators,they certainly aren't subs. They are basically a "cone port/vent." You wouldn't call a vent a subwoofer,would you? And yes,I have a small separate sub for my computer. It is only a 5" driver,I believe but it adds so much.

 

 

Apparantly they do get referred to as subwoofers, at least for marketing reasons. My speakers certainly boast having a subwoofer, but it IS just a cone/vent delio for sure. But I love the sound nonetheless. If I had a car I'd want something similarly 'small' just to add some quality to the sound. But what can I say, I'm not exactly an audio buff anyways, I definitely go for and prefer a lot of lofi sounds as a guitarist/musician, that's for sure. As a music listener, I just want a nice sound, I'm not obsessed about greatness. Just slightly above average audio does it for me.

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Originally posted by Klisk



Apparantly they do get referred to as subwoofers, at least for marketing reasons. My speakers certainly boast having a subwoofer, but it IS just a cone/vent delio for sure. But I love the sound nonetheless. If I had a car I'd want something similarly 'small' just to add some quality to the sound. But what can I say, I'm not exactly an audio buff anyways, I definitely go for and prefer a lot of lofi sounds as a guitarist/musician, that's for sure. As a music listener, I just want a nice sound, I'm not obsessed about greatness. Just slightly above average audio does it for me.

But it would be pretty near to impossible to use passive radiators in a standard car speaker situation.

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