Car speakers - how many is too many?

rickhamilton620

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I think anything that adds past the stock number of speakers is too much. Especially when they start making these awful enclosures. Car/audio companies think out all the details on their systems so what ever number is fine. Like Audi and their insane system with the speakers that slide up out of the dash.

I hate stuff like the photo above too. I mean, not only is that pointless, but it makes the doors and such look like there's growths coming out of them. Do. Not. Want.

My Saturn's 4 blown out, crackly speakers (thanks college girl prior owner!) sound ok. Sure there's no bass at all... as soon as I set it to the default position, the speakers start crackling and such, but all I use it for is listening the radio most of the time. :)

The Infinity "Acoustic 10" 10 speaker system in my parents' 96 Grand Voyager though, was pretty good sounding. One of my Dad's favorite parts about the van. :)
 

Vette Boss

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A decent system has four low-midrange drivers and an equal number of tweeters for high-range. Perhaps a subwoofer for the low-range. The interior of a car is a bad listening environment by nature. You can't throw a bunch of speakers at it to change that problem :p
 

Labcoatguy

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I'm happy with my stock pair of components in the doors, and the fact that you have to set the factory stereo to fade all speakers forward to make it sound right. Not that you can really hear it with cloth overhead and the intake manifold right behind the seat.
 

thevictor390

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Both my current car and my previous had 4 speakers, but I went from a base model '96 to a 2006 Bose system and it made a huge difference. I thought my casette adapter was crap until I used it in the new car...

Personally I'll take high quality over numbers any day. If I want to even out the sound I can use fade/balance.
 

AudiV6

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I think 16 speakers is the borderline for a standard car, anymore would infact interior space


Honestly, 8 Speakers + Subwoofer are enough.
 

klankymen

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Do manufacturers ever try to give each seat an even stereo split? In a normal car, the driver will hear one half of stereo music as louder, while the passenger will hear the other half louder. If you are a luxury-ish car and want to make the back seats as inviting as the front, that's left and right for 4 seats...that's 8 "speakers" right there. Give each one a seperate tweeter, and that's 16.
Stereo split is not so much a big deal in car audio.... or rather, it would be great, but you can't really achieve it, regardless how many speakers you use.

You see, due to the nature of car audio, speaker directivity is not so much influenced by the speaker position itself, but rather by boundary reflections and cabin gain (starts where the audio wavelengths are longer than cabin dimensions). The traditional "Stereo Triangle" only really works in relatively open space. Car audio is all about compromise, and trial and error. It's much less tested what will give truely good sound, and I think it's a bit hit or miss, regardless of the amount of drivers.

Which is not to say it doesn't matter what you do, there are certainly many things that will get you better sound - ie, buying better drivers (speakers) regardless how many there are, using proper amps, stable power. Getting the correct soundfield however depends on the shape and size of the car, and is individual for each model (not to mention taste).
 

MXM

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Setting up a proper audio in a car is almost an art, it's just so specific to a particular interior. Yes, you can never achieve anything close to the same perfection as in your listening room. But you can always improve things. I would even say, that you can achieve a decent stereo picture for the driver with a basic 2-way speaker set, but try to accomplish it at the same time for the passengers as well, and it becomes extremely complex. The high range is critical, and you have to utilize reflections to equalize the path lengths combined with angular response of the driver to try and find the compromise. And then try to integrate it all into the existing interior and make it stealthy.

Sports cars and audio are not very compatible though. For one, sound deadening is heavy and essential. And it isolates you from the engine noise! Which is why my interests lie elsewhere these days, and consume most resources ;)

But with my previous cars I've used spent crazy amount of money and effort on audio. And there were times when I just shut the engine off and listed to the cd for tens of minutes before getting out and going home. Living in an apartment building, there are certain restrictions, but in the car I can play what I want as loud as I want, and it is still hugely enjoyable, without being perfect.

What is sad in my view, is that car audio is strongly associated with a tuner (or even ricer) culture. There's a high chance that a selection of good audio components will be next to the shelf with spoilers, blue LEDs and fart cans. And the magazines on the subject... oh god.
 

NooDle

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4 is plenty for me, I don't particularly like woofers either
it's best to get 4 decent ones instead of adding more and more, it will sound SO much better
 

thevictor390

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Your 2006 Mazda stereo has a casette player still???
Yes, and I'm glad it does, since it doesn't have an MP3 CD player or any kind of audio input...

Some things about this car are strangely backwards. It has proximity-sensing keyless entry/ignition... but not automatic headlights.
 

MacGuffin

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That depends on the acoustical properties of the specific car interior. Some vehicles can get away with 4-8 drivers, some really do need a lot more to get good soundstage imaging for all the occupants (if that's what you're after).
You realize that you're ten years late for this discussion? ;)

Anyway, welcome to the forum.
 

DanRoM

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First post done in a ten year old thread and containing a link to some obscure site? That looks spammy.

If I'm mistaken, then welcome. ;)
 
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