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Car DSP or AMP

jayapple

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Joined
Feb 21, 2022
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It seems like we haven't really discussed the car's audio equipment much. Lately, I've been studying car DSP and amplifiers, some of which are integrated into one unit.

There are quite a few car amplifiers out there, but they can be quite pricey. However, most of them still use chips from the last century. I find it hard to grasp this industry sometimes.

In the HiFi industry, decoders and amplifiers have become highly integrated and offer high performance. On the other hand, in cars, some of these amplifiers or decoders may still rely on outdated chips that cost less than one-tenth of their selling price.

Of course, cars don't provide an ideal listening environment. However, it seems like this industry is lagging behind in terms of development compared to others, especially in the modification market where even some products come with exorbitant prices but deliver subpar performance compared to original car AMPs. High price and low performance seem to dominate here unfortunately.

That being said though, there are definitely some good products out there. It's just that without objective testing or reviews available for them yet.
 
This is probably why car audio is expensive and poor quality. Few people pay attention to car audio. Low quality or even inferior products can sell high prices to dominate the market.
 
Amir has reviewed a couple of car amps. If there is one you want him to review you would need to buy it and send it to him. In my personal limited experience there is benefit to upgrading both the car speakers and amplifier. The OEM speakers and ampliers tend to be built for efficiency at lower power and a price point. Upgrading the speakers to something modern with larger magnets etc means you also need to upgrade the amp to something more powerful in order to move those beefier speakers. My brand new car with a Meridian audio OEM system doesn't sound nearly as clean and punchy as my upgraded system with Morel speakers and amp in our other car.
 
Personally I need to have at least a decent audio quality in my car. What I always do is, I choose the most basic setup when I buy a new car, since those Harman Kardon, Bowers & Wilkins, etc... "upgrade" packages are rarely worth the price. Then I simply bring the car to an audio installer and I drop around 1000€ to upgrade the speakers with quality components (personally I'm loyal to Audison).

I never bothered to add amplifiers and DSPs because I don't listen at high volume usually, but if you need more power than head unit output I guess they're necessary.
 
Here’s a thread I started about sound in a small RV. Start at Post 15, where I realized that I needed an automotive system. I ended up with a Pioneer 4-channel automotive amp that Amir reviewed (positively).


But no DSP or REW.

Rick “thinking 70 dB background noise defies home techniques” Denney
 
Amir has reviewed a couple of car amps. If there is one you want him to review you would need to buy it and send it to him. In my personal limited experience there is benefit to upgrading both the car speakers and amplifier. The OEM speakers and ampliers tend to be built for efficiency at lower power and a price point. Upgrading the speakers to something modern with larger magnets etc means you also need to upgrade the amp to something more powerful in order to move those beefier speakers. My brand new car with a Meridian audio OEM system doesn't sound nearly as clean and punchy as my upgraded system with Morel speakers and amp in our other car.
My car stereo brand is also Meridian and only makes sound. So I also want to upgrade the car stereo, even though you can't hear the music details in the car. This may seem unnecessary, but sometimes it's just too bad compared to desktop audio systems
 
I imagine (but don't know ) that DSP using REW would actually have big benefits in a car.

People say you can't really EQ above Schroeder because reflections and whatnot force you to "put your head in a vise" if you use EQ at too high of a frequency - which is true.

However, in a car, your head is more or less in a vise anyway. I imagine you can safely EQ much higher than you would in a normal room. The whole system is practically nearfield.

Sure, your noise floor is through the roof while you're driving, but that's no reason to quit before the finish line. :)
 
People say you can't really EQ above Schroeder
The frequencies have to bend to my will, wether they like to or not.:p

I bought a new car that i will get in roughly 2 month, a Dacia Jogger:
dacia-jogger-neuer-expression-5-sitzer-arktis-weiss-white.png

I get 2 front channels (tweeters below the wind shield, two mid-woofers in the front door) and two wide band speakers in the rear doors.

Here is a measurement (moving mike) made by a guy on a german forum before and after correction with PEQ:
img-20240426-wa0004-jpg.782


He used this:

I ordered one as well and it came today. The amp has 6 channels with PEQ and delay. Four of them are amplified. All 6 are available as RCA, so you can use your own amplification.

The plan is to use two channels for the front (60Hz up), two channels for the back (60Hz to maybe 120Hz) and a subwoofer in the boot connected to RCA out (up to 100Hz or so).
 
There are few measurements for car stuff, but i wanted to order an active subwoofer to round out the lower end.

No need for incredible SPL, so a cheap 10" should do. I ordered this one because it came with a grille, so i don't kill my sub when i put stuff in the boot.
1714851981117.png


A German magazine tested them and provided these measurements (without explaining what the colors are for):
1714852313706.png
 
I got it, but the quality is so bad, i have to send it back.

This is what it looks like, the grille isn't in it's recessions and rattles, i think this is unacceptable for a sub, it has to be rattle free:
PXL_20240508_161301132.jpg


There is a nasty scratch on the side, no biggie, but it is there:
PXL_20240508_161614431.jpg


One of the cracks that is filled with white stuff:
PXL_20240508_161421780 (1).jpg

PXL_20240508_160037038.jpg


Nice: velcro on the bottom:
PXL_20240508_160046912.jpg


The backside:
PXL_20240508_160638208.jpg


Without the grille, the speakers surround is foam and will likely disintegrate after a few years of heat in the car:
PXL_20240508_155038109.jpg

PXL_20240508_155045909.jpg


The other stuff in the box.The remote doesn't set the volume, but the boost frequency :facepalm:.
PXL_20240508_162058999.jpg

PXL_20240508_162141315 (1).jpg


Possibly the thinnest power cable you have ever witnessed:
PXL_20240508_162034565.jpg


The electronics are ok, Class AB, but fine:
PXL_20240508_160157219.jpg

PXL_20240508_160331267.jpg

PXL_20240508_160401456.jpg


The driver is stamped metall and has warped from mounting it in the box. The magnet feels heavy enough. The port is well placed and flared on both ends:
PXL_20240508_155545352.jpg

PXL_20240508_155537770.jpg


I'll make my own subwoofer. A power amplifier has been ordered, and i have a unused Alpine SWG-1244 driver that would be perfect for a closed box of around 35l.
 
These last months I have listened to stellar reviews for Rebec Audio. They seem to be a Chinese manufacturer that has great prices for a very nice performance.

I haven't listened to anything from them, but they seem to be an EMMA winner in the last years.
 
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