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Car Audio 101


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#1 Jdubs99

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:44 PM

Here's the basic, i'm trying to come at this from the point of view of a Milly owner that just got the car.

The OEM system on 01-02 Millenia are composed of a few variables. There were two levels of audio available, Bose and non-Bose. The non-Bose is composed two paper cone 6x9s in the back, two paper cone 6.5" in the front doors, and maybe a tweeter in the sail panels. The bose system was composed of the same with speakers operating at a different resistance, a Bose amp powering the 4 interior speakers, and a 8" sub in the middle of the rear deck lid with an attached amp. Someone else might need to chime in on the 95-00, as I don't have all the audio options available on those.

There is a night and day difference in quality (both sound and build) between the non-Bose equipment and aftermarket audio equipment. Almost anything is an improvement.

As far as the Bose system, some people elect to keep it. My only complaint with my Bose system was the lack of low end bass. The 8 inch sub lacked power and extension. In other words, on certain tracks, the sub would appear to "stop working". If you know how a particular piece of music is supposed to sound, this can be damn annoying. The Bose system was also a little light in midbass, as many amplified OEM systems typically are. For those keeping the Bose system, usually a small monoblock amp and a 10"/12" sub can round out the system. An amp and sub can be added either using an inexpensive line level converter, or a higher quality signal processor. Both will integrate into the Bose headunit, but the line level converter will require an amplifier with a remote level control. Otherwise both the 4 interior speakers and the sub will be adjusted from the headunit, which is usually not a good thing for adjustability.

An entry level setup for any given system would an aftermarket headunit, replacement size aftermarket speakers for the front and the rear, and a combination amp and sub.

Next article, Car Audio 201. SPL, SQ, or both?
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#2 excluesiveonez

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:05 PM

if i was going to integrate into the millenia's bose stock headunit to do an overhaul, i'd have to call upon the trusty audiocontrol LC6 or 7. The LC7 adds off the 6 to allow for an outside source such as an ipod.

the is placed after the stock amp, sums the signals, and throws out a clear, clean full ranged of signal. It splits it into 6 channels, front rear and sub. from the on there are a plethora of things u can do with your new found RCA signals. crossover, eq and the like, to the amp. amp to speaker.

personally i would run an Active front stage but that is because i HATE passive x-overs, but thats a different story, as well as an expensive one when u want to do a 3 way front set up with 3 DIFFERENT frequencies going the 3 DIFFERENT speakers in the same door.
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#3 Jdubs99

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:40 PM

Thanks clue, i was hoping you'd want to chime in on these also.
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#4 Saint

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:45 PM

ipod sound sucks! At least my nano sucks. Not good enough for a hi quality car stereo IMHO. It is just good for that shitty headphones, nothing more..

QUOTE(excluesiveonez @ Oct 3 2007, 12:05 AM) View Post

an outside source such as an ipod.

and throws out a clear, clean full ranged of signal.


2001 Mazda Millenia S, Brilliant Black, 140k miles
QUOTE(Xedosman @ Apr 4 2009, 01:38 PM) View Post
I wouldn't want to discuss car design with females and people with rear spoilers unless the spoiler is stock.

QUOTE(///BHRpowered @ Jul 20 2011, 04:07 PM) View Post
I like my idea.


#5 Jdubs99

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE(Saint @ Oct 3 2007, 12:45 AM) View Post

ipod sound sucks! At least my nano sucks. Not good enough for a hi quality car stereo IMHO. It is just good for that shitty headphones, nothing more..

QUOTE(excluesiveonez @ Oct 3 2007, 12:05 AM) View Post

an outside source such as an ipod.

and throws out a clear, clean full ranged of signal.



Most of the time it's the compression on the music. Almost every song for iTunes I believe is 128k. When music is compressed, it loses dynamic range on the extremes of the frequency spectrum. Some head units have technology to try to restore these frequencies. In theory, and to some people this may sound fine. Anytime you are washing a signal through any type of filter you are more likely to pick up some coloration in the music, either distortion, noise, or an undesired change in level on frequencies that didn't require attenuation.

I bypass this entire process on my Zune by downloading/ripping tracks in 192k. I don't have to use any kind of filters. True, it does take up a lot more space, but it's a better compromise in my opinion, seeing as how most people have trouble filling up a 30g ipod with music they truly enjoy.

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#6 Saint

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 09:29 AM

There is a trade off between the power you burn and the quality (linearity, distortion, noise). Portable shits like ipod try to minimize power while providing acceptable quality for earphones. Thats why noone should use portable players on good quality stereo systems. Their earphones are not good enough as well. I have good quality sony ones on my ear now. I use them for the last 8 years and they give much better sound than ipod ones.
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QUOTE(Xedosman @ Apr 4 2009, 01:38 PM) View Post
I wouldn't want to discuss car design with females and people with rear spoilers unless the spoiler is stock.

QUOTE(///BHRpowered @ Jul 20 2011, 04:07 PM) View Post
I like my idea.


#7 Bad Kitty

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:06 AM

Only Sony headphones for me.

I still have the Sony headphones from the fist Walkman I ever had. They still work really well and are over 30 years old.
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#8 Saint

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:52 AM

QUOTE(MazdaCaddi @ Oct 13 2007, 03:06 AM) View Post
Only Sony headphones for me.

I still have the Sony headphones from the fist Walkman I ever had. They still work really well and are over 30 years old.


Wow they are older than you biggrin.gif

2001 Mazda Millenia S, Brilliant Black, 140k miles
QUOTE(Xedosman @ Apr 4 2009, 01:38 PM) View Post
I wouldn't want to discuss car design with females and people with rear spoilers unless the spoiler is stock.

QUOTE(///BHRpowered @ Jul 20 2011, 04:07 PM) View Post
I like my idea.