small-list-digest Sunday, January 3 1999 Volume 02 : Number 366



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Ford Truck Enthusiasts - Ranger, Explorer, Bronco 2 and Aerostar
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In this issue:

RE: Why? Was Re: FTE Small - fitting speakers in diff places
FTE Small - Belated reply to Tim Turner: Radio Shack car stereo.
FTE Small - Fitting speakers in diff places: Clarification
Re: Why? Was Re: FTE Small - fitting speakers in diff places

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Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 12:33:49 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: Why? Was Re: FTE Small - fitting speakers in diff places

> Tim wrote:
>
> No louder than the vehicle *NEXT* to you at the stoplight I hope!

I do a lot of interstate driving, so my listening environment is somewhat
different from what you describe. I absolutely agree that when driving in
residential areas or in close proximity to other traffic that consideration
for your 'neighbors' is important. In fact in some areas, the police carry
SPL meters to enable ticketing of drivers who violate noise ordinances.

> I'm very "loud over-amped/distorted bass" intolerant. If it's annoying
ME
> then you're probably damaging your hearing.

What you're hearing is probably "under-damped" and not "over-amped."
Without writing a book on the subject, note that a lot of distortion is
caused by not properly controlling the motion of the speaker driver or by
not properly separating its front output from its rear output. Both of
these jobs are handled by the enclosure. So, as I think someone else
mentioned, it's important to match your speakers to their enclosure.

As a side note - many people find that, when listening to music on a really
good system, increasing the volume seems to make the music more clear and
not simply louder.

> Quite true.. peak is BS.. RMS is the ONLY way to compare; if they wont
> give you a RMS figure look elsewhere! My 40W/Ch is enough for 90% of my
> listening needs and a modest amp would take care of the 10% where I want
> to destroy my eardrums further.
>
> As I recall the reason for more power is to *CLEANLY* reproduce bass,
> but yet I always hear the bass distorted when I have the misfortune to
> be beside an 'audio-aggressor' at a stop light.

For many people, clean accurate reproduction is key. Add to this realistic
or 'concert level' level volume and things change a little. Achieving this
at home, where you can control the listening environment, is relatively
easy and often requires only modest power. Probably the biggest factor
affecting needed power is room size. However, in a car you have to compete
with wind and road noise as well as other background noise from surrounding
traffic. If you spend most of your time at residential speeds, this is
less of a problem. But if you spend a lot of time commuting or travelling
the interstates, you'll need more power. I have a system rated at 340W RMS
total, and there are times when it doesn't seem like enough. I will admit
that what I'm after might be more related to speaker placement than output
power, but for many people 40-50W/Ch just won't cut it.

> For the confused; I like my music clear & undistorted but NOT
> earsplitting.

Finally, it's interesting to note that the music that is most difficult to
reproduce at 'concert level' is often classical music. Live Rock and R&B
usually maintain a consistently loud level, but the peaks in live classical
music produce some of the highest measured SPLs.

This is just my opinion, but in a Ranger cab, a good basic system would
consist of a Radio/Cassette/CD system of choice hooked to a good 35-50Wx4
amp (preferably with built-in crossover) that feeds a set of 2-way speakers
(coax or separates) and a pair of 8 inch subs in a proper box. This system
could be done for a fair price and would meet the needs of many people. For
those wanting more, it would be relatively easy to later add say a 100Wx2
amp dedicated to the subs and then use the spare channels from the 1st amp
to drive a pair of two ways mounted in their own boxes behind the seat. Or,
maybe even better, the spare channels could be used to separately drive the
tweeters and mid-ranges in the existing 2-ways. There's also tons of
equalizers and other processors that can be added.

Have fun!!
== FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html

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Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 13:46:58 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Belated reply to Tim Turner: Radio Shack car stereo.

I apologize for taking over a month to reply to your question. This took
some thought. I looked at their wares my last trip to Radio Shack, and
asked my old bench technician. I want to give you an adequate reply, yet
stay within the topic of the list.

Tim Turner wrote:

>how do you feel about RS's 'Optimus' brand? I've got the same
>CD player in my truck and Kim's car.)

I have not been a fan of Radio Shack. I feel that most of their
merchandise is rather expensive, and often will perform poorly overall
due to a minor, underdesigned part. However, there are some products
that they sell which are quite decent, and some that fill real needs
overlooked by everyone else.

We almost never repaired any Radio Shack products. The reason is that
the company only provides repair data to their own shops. (Tim, imagine
if this were you and the products were cars you were trying to fix.) We
could never get any info from them, and my technician says this is still
the case. On the other hand, I never heard complaints about _their_
repair work. But, if it breaks you must take it to the store, which
sends it to a regional repair depot: you have no options.

Nowadays, making a good car stereo (in China, you know) is very cheap,
and profits are big. Virtually all the innards are off-the-shelf mix &
match modules. Only the faceplate is unique. This is true of all brands,
so brand names are almost meaningless. Oh, one will have some trick
radio circuit, another a blinking faceplate.

Looking at their car stereos, I immediately noticed that two of their
models have Dolby ability for tape. That's good! Probably 90% of car
tape products don't have it. That's amazing! A Dolby circuit costs about
$1.50. More important, Dolby-processed tapes sound pretty lousy when not
"de-Dolbied" in playback. Further, _all_ commercial music tapes are
Dolby-processed.

I bought a great car stereo sight-unseen a few years ago from JC
Whitney. The product is discontinued, and there's nothing like it now
(it also came with an illegal trademark). I still have some respect for
the better Blaupunkt models (now from Singapore).

Hope this is a decent answer.

Richard

== FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html

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Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 13:10:47 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Fitting speakers in diff places: Clarification

I want to clarify a couple of things in my last post.

1.



What I should have said is "...in a truck cab." That's because space
is so limited in a cab. For vehicles with more mounting room, a larger,
more efficient, bass-reflex design may be the way to go.

2.



Whoops! I was thinking about _honest_ home stereo watts. Car speakers,
radios, and amps are standard at 4 ohms (vs home 8 ohms). This makes the
amp circuits deliver lots more power to the speakers, typically double.
Then you add for BS and a couple of other things. Thus, I guess that if
I wanted a car radio/amp/etc., in order to get the performance of that
12-40wpc home unit, the car stereo should _claim_ to deliver 96-320
watts total (or 48-160 watts per channel).

Regardless of all the hoopla and hype in this field, 12 (honest) watts
per channel is a hell of a lot of power in a vehicle. In a larger home
environment, with good speakers, I measured 5 watts per channel peaks on
rock music. With that power, the sound was very loud, with lots of
punch.

Richard


== FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html

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Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 20:45:28 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: Why? Was Re: FTE Small - fitting speakers in diff places

Burnett wrote:
>
> > Tim wrote:
> >
> > No louder than the vehicle *NEXT* to you at the stoplight I hope!
>
> I do a lot of interstate driving, so my listening environment is somewhat
> different from what you describe.

True.. 90% of my driving is urban and the remainder is split between
off-road & highway. I doubt you're playing the type of music I
(usually) hear others playing either. :-)

> I absolutely agree that when driving in
> residential areas or in close proximity to other traffic that consideration
> for your 'neighbors' is important.

I wish more people shared that sentiment! I live in a trailer park and
often hear cars 'thumping' for a 1/4 mile each side of my house,
occasionally drowning out my TV at the closest approach. (Not to
mention at least ONE encounter per day at a stop light/sign in my short
7 mile drive to/from work..)

> In fact in some areas, the police carry
> SPL meters to enable ticketing of drivers who violate noise ordinances.

My immediate reaction is 'Whoopee'; but further thought tempers it a
bit..

>
> > I'm very "loud over-amped/distorted bass" intolerant. If it's annoying
> ME
> > then you're probably damaging your hearing.
>
> What you're hearing is probably "under-damped" and not "over-amped."

Fascinating..

> As a side note - many people find that, when listening to music on a really
> good system, increasing the volume seems to make the music more clear and
> not simply louder.

True.. the 'subtle' changes are heard easier this way (like the noise of
the shot in 'Comfortably numb')

> For many people, clean accurate reproduction is key. Add to this realistic
> or 'concert level'

Of course the concerts I've been to left me with impaired hearing for a
short duration and unknown long term effects..

> what I'm after might be more related to speaker placement than output
> power, but for many people 40-50W/Ch just won't cut it.

I stand corrected.. I just get irked by the inconsiderate.

> Finally, it's interesting to note that the music that is most difficult to
> reproduce at 'concert level' is often classical music. Live Rock and R&B
> usually maintain a consistently loud level, but the peaks in live classical
> music produce some of the highest measured SPLs.

Quite agreed; my 'normal' fare is heavy metal, but surprisingly enough
classical is my second choice.

> Have fun!!


You too! :-)

Tim Turner
== FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
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