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Thread: The Car Stereo Thread

  1. #26
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Well, yes I'm sure it does. Sorry - I was confused before - it is actually a B&W system (Mark Levinson is on Lexus). Anyway, I own B&W 602's in my home and they are phenomenal, phenomenal speakers. If the standard Harmon Kardon stereo is balls-out, then there is no way a $5k B&W upgrade is gonna suck. Not sure why you disagree but go listen for yourself if you wanna be proved wrong.
    I had two BMW's a 2002 (330) and a 2012 (328) and both came with the "standard" HK stereo and both of them sounded REALLY good, I have no doubts about any upgraded stereo in a BMW sounding phenomenal!
    Last edited by Mythos; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:10 AM.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    Ok, so any of you guys with the $5k turntables, the tube amps and the $2k cables have killer stereos in your vehicles?

    Tell us about them, what do you got?
    I have a pretty high end system (not using tubes, but extremely good solid state), but I couldn't care less about car stereo. And I even managed one of the most high end car stereo shops in Los Angeles for about 10 years, a while back.

    But the things that are most satisfying about high end home audio, are almost completely missing from car stereo. Sure, car stereo can be very dynamic (while standing still), have a relatively flat frequency response, but home audio can do that, and so much more.

    No matter how quiet ones car is, quiet passages are lost. An orchestra can play from about 110 db down to about 20 db. The quietest cars in the world about 58db while driving. Even if you are are listening to an orchestral piece, with the loudest passages at 90 db, the quietest passage will be almost inaudible. Even prog has a decent dynamic range, so the quietest passages will be mostly lost.

    More problems with car audio are: fine details, especially with acoustic instruments are mostly lost, imaging and soundstage are almost nonexistent, unpredictable comb filtering (DSP can adjust for this with regards to frequency response, but not phase and time issues), and more.

    With my home system, musicians are represented in space, several feet beyond the outer edge of each speaker, and far beyond the wall behind the speakers. The speakers acoustically disappear in my room, and so do the wall of my room. I have heard some of the best car systems there are, and have never heard any of them do this.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  3. #28
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    With my home system, musicians are represented in space, several feet beyond the outer edge of each speaker, and far beyond the wall behind the speakers. The speakers acoustically disappear in my room, and so do the wall of my room. I have heard some of the best car systems there are, and have never heard any of them do this.
    Neither have I. That would be asking too much from a car stereo, methinks.

  4. #29
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Yeah but I've had amazing experiences grooving to some shit in my car doing 80 or 90 that can't happen with my fatt ass laying on the couch at home. Real detailed classical listening is done at home or with headphones, not on in a car.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  5. #30
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I find the type of music I listen to in the car affects my driving. Classical = mellow, old man driving (left blinker on). Death Metal = pedal to the metal if you don't like my driving stay off the sidewalk, asshole.

  6. #31
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Not if you spin Shostakovich 11!!

  7. #32
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    I did not intend this thread to be a debate about where is the better place to listen to music..

    It's kinda amusing how I started a thread to find out what types of car stereo's you have in your cars and it gets twisted into another chance for the guys with the killer home stereo's to rail on anyone that likes to listen to clear music in their cars...

    Maybe we could make a Couch or Lazy Boy Chair thread for all the guys with the killer home stereo's to talk how comfortable their ass is when listening to those killer home stereo's...!

    Kickers, MB Quarts, PPI, JL, Infinity, JBL, anyone?

  8. #33
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Car stereo is not HiFi, but it can be a wife-free zone, and no neighbours to ask you to turn down the volume.

    And there is a moving panorama to accompany the music.

  9. #34
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    I did not intend this thread to be a debate about where is the better place to listen to music..

    It's kinda amusing how I started a thread to find out what types of car stereo's you have in your cars and it gets twisted into another chance for the guys with the killer home stereo's to rail on anyone that likes to listen to clear music in their cars...

    Maybe we could make a Couch or Lazy Boy Chair thread for all the guys with the killer home stereo's to talk how comfortable their ass is when listening to those killer home stereo's...!

    Kickers, MB Quarts, PPI, JL, Infinity, JBL, anyone?
    This is a tough subject.....I have had this problem for quite some time.....there is even MORE Woo and BullS#i+ in mobile audio! No one seems to want to accurately reproduce audio in a moving vehicle.....Yes, there are inherent problems with road noise / wind noise. I have a vintage Rolls Royce that I want to install a good system into BUT before that I have to renew all the door / window rubber seals to quiet it down inside the cabin. Then I have to find some reliable source of information for accurate audio reproduction.....been looking for 30 years now but so far I have found no one I trust.

    I'm sure there are newer vehicles out there that have great audio "matched" to the vehicle....but to install a system into a vintage vehicle....that is a bit more elusive.
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  10. #35
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I have a vintage Rolls Royce that I want to install a good system into
    OK, we're gonna need some photos to salivate over.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  11. #36
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Car stereo is not HiFi, but it can be a wife-free zone, and no neighbours to ask you to turn down the volume.
    If NOTHING else, the room is too small.

    Except for maybe Garyhead's Rolls.

  12. #37
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    If critical listening is your goal, then a moving car is a poor place to achieve it. But there can be many other reasons to listen, and even more importantly, music has the magical property of being able to combine with other activities to create unique multi-sensory experiences. Particular,, traveling and music are two complementary ways to mentally bind time, while driving and dancing (ie reacting to rhythm) are complementary ways of physically doing so. Music in a car thus becomes a self-defining experience that really should not be compared to other venues; it’s unique.

    At home, I use my mid-range HT system (Definitive Tech 5.2.2 + Denon) for lossless and/or multichannel sources at reference level. For lossy music (MP3, Bluetooth, etc) I use a pair of smaller DT bookshelf speakers at more moderate levels where the distortion will be less painful. It’s the latter experience I aim to simulate in my car, where the addition of road noise is the equivalent of distortion even when using FLAC flies. But you still want it to be as clean and uncolored as is reasonable, and thus my choice of Focal speakers.

    But seriously, there’s nothing hifi about a system where most of the highs are bounced off windshields that are differently-shaped in every car, or where half of the speakers are aimed directly at upholstered furniture. I know some head units can do “room compensation” like home AV receivers do, but IMO car interiors are just too jammed up and close-quartered for that to have much benefit.

    I love a good car stereo because I love the experience of driving and playing great music. But for me all of the elements of that experience need to be in balance, and the focus needs to stay on the road.

  13. #38
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Two weeks ago I traded in that car for a 2020 Forester. I bought the Rockford Fosgate $594 stereo upgrade. It does all the same things, and sounds very very good... but it's not better than what I had.
    Every Subaru owner I've talked to or read posts from says that the RF upgrade is not worth the money (Sorry). I have a 2018 Crosstrek, kept the stock head unit and upgraded the speakers. It's a noticeable improvement, but not a killer car stereo setup by any stretch. I can't bring myself to take up additional space in the car with an amp and a sub. And a new head unit is out of the question. There is just too much integration with other systems and the steering wheel controls. I see no point in messing with that.
    Last edited by Nearfest2; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:14 AM.
    Chad

  14. #39
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Yeah, I kinda knew the RF upgrade was overpriced. But I had a couple weeks to live with the factory stereo, and I knew that wasn't going to be good enough either. And besides, the trade-in on my 1998 just about covered the stereo

    Supposedly the Harmon Kardon upgrade is better. But it's only available on the Sport, Limited and Touring editions, and only as part of a suite of options, and that option package is $2,045.00.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:18 PM.

  15. #40
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    Ok, so any of you guys with the $5k turntables, the tube amps and the $2k cables have killer stereos in your vehicles?

    Tell us about them, what do you got?
    5K is what I spent on both of my Hi-fi chains (one in Brussels, the other in North Holland), and i get plenty of purity - including expensive cablings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    I'm not a $5K turntable guy so this is coming from the other side of the spectrum.

    Factory audio systems have gotten sufficienty good enough and so heavily integrated into everything else in cars' built-in features that I pretty much gave up on the idea of ever getting a custom one a long time ago. My main complaint is their increasing use of touchscreens. You can't do anything by feel anymore and have no choice but to take your eyes off the road. A secondary complaint is that there's no more CD player these days, but I can live with that.
    Absolutely...

    in the 80's & 90's, I spent little fortunes to better the sonic sustem in the car and only managed to get it stolen (despite removable facades) and end up replacing door windows. Last time I did it was in the early 00's in my used Xantia (very cool car, but dead in just a decade of life), where there was still a cassette deck. Anyways, the car is about the worst place to get good sonicss, given the important glass surfaces and imperfect seating arrangements.

    Instead now, I make sure that the system in place is good (and indeed on an European upper scale car, it's always good enough) and that it can only be installed on a car of the same brand and year (Saab 2008 in my case), which means that it's worthless for thieves to steal it.




    Couldn't do with out the CD player though.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  16. #41
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I love a good car system but there's a part of me that admits nothing beats having a cheap 8 track of the Who or Zeppelin, cranked up to the point of distortion, with the windows down and an open road. And, because I'm a country boy and it's my god-given right, a can of beer in my right hand.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  17. #42
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Supposedly the Harmon Kardon upgrade is better. But it's only available on the Sport, Limited and Touring editions, and only as part of a suite of options, and that option package is $2,045.00.
    Actually, all the stock radio for Subaru are made by Harmon Kardon. I have heard that the HK upgrade is also not worth it. I have a Limited and didn't bother.
    Chad

  18. #43
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    I love a good car system but there's a part of me that admits nothing beats having a cheap 8 track of the Who or Zeppelin, cranked up to the point of distortion, with the windows down and an open road. And, because I'm a country boy and it's my god-given right, a can of beer in my right hand.
    As much as I like a nice sound in the car, I agree with you here. To me, music in a car should sound like Grand Funk at Shea Stadium with all the distortion and ear-bleeding volume. The ultimate road-rage song is the Groundhogs' "Cherry Red." No "Please pass the Grey Poupon" for me.
    Lou

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