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Thread: Amplifiers and speakers, Understanding the numbers?

  1. #1
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Amplifiers and speakers, Understanding the numbers?

    Hi all,

    I "sort of get" some of the numbers a specs on amplifiers and speakers. BUt I lack the knowledge to understand how they all work together or what constitutes a "good" piece of equipment.

    Does anyone know of a decent "layman's terms" site that explains the meanings of the numbers and how they relate to real world use?

    Or how to properly select your components so that they work well together to give a decent SQ setup?

    I've looked at the FAQ's, and unless I missed something, they were of little use with regards to this.

    For example, here's the spec list for an amp I'm using now (I know it's not a high end one, I've only got so much money to through around right now):

    Pioneer GM 6200F

    CEA 2006 Specifications
    Output Power (4 Ohm, <=1% THD) 60 Watts x 4
    Output Power (4 Ohm Bridged, <=1% THD) 150 Watts x 2
    Output Power (2 Ohm, <=1% THD) 75 Watts x 4
    Signal to Noise (1 Watt into 4 Ohms) 80dBA
    Dynamic Power (4 Ohm) 60W

    Peak Music Power 600 Watts
    Number of Channels 4
    Load Impedance Capability 2~8 Ohm (Stereo)
    4~8 Ohm (Bridged)
    Continuous Power (4 ohm) 60W x 4
    Continuous Power (2 ohm) 75W x 4
    Continuous Power Bridged (4 ohm) 150W x 2
    Frequency Response 10Hz ~ 50kHz
    Total Harmonic Distortion 0.010%
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio >95dB
    Dimensions 11-13/16" x 2-3/8" x 13-1/4"
    Features
    Bridgeable
    Channel # Capability 2/3/4
    PWM Regulated MOSFET Power Supply
    Compression-Type Speaker Terminals
    Balanced Isolator Input Circuit
    RCA Inputs 4 Channel
    RCA Outputs (Pass Thru)
    Speaker Level Input 4 Channel
    Input Level Control Hi-Volt (400mV ~ 6.5v)
    Built-in Crossover LPF/HPF (Front/Rear Independent)
    Crossover Frequency Range 80Hz, -12dB/Oct.


    Other than knowing that the RMS wattage is the only real number for the power (seems most people agree peak is for marketing purposes) I don't really understand the numbers.

    Here's a pair of components I have:

    MB Quart dsg 216

    TECHNICAL DATA
    Power Handling: 50 - 120 W
    Frequency Response: 45 - 32.000 Hz
    Impedance: 4 Ohms
    Crossover Frequency: 5.200 Hz
    Sensitivity: 87 dB (1W/1m)

    FEATURES
    0.75“ (19 mm) tweeters with titanium dome and neodymium magnet system in plastic housing
    Woofers with two-piece plastic chassis, red polypropylene cone with edge wound voice coils


    Other than trying to match the rms ratings, I'm kinda lost with regards to how the amps and speakers should be selected for each other (altough I do understand the amp should be powerful enough to prevent clipping and adjusted properly).

    Oh, in case soemone wants to know, I'm running and audigy 4 with kx drivers (still trying to figure that out well enough) and the aformetioned 6.5's and a single 12" sub. No other processesing of the signal is done other than what comes out of the "as downloaded" kxdriver.

    Thanks from someone who wants SQ but doesn't have a lot of cash to spend on it.............
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  2. #2
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    This was somewhat useful:

    http://www.rayfes.com/caraudio/ampspec.php

    This was helpful also:

    http://www.rayfes.com/caraudio/power.php
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  3. #3
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    those article sounded pretty good, i just quickly skimmed over them though; are you in the process of purchasing new equipment? or just want to learn? if you're going to be getting new equipment and have the drive (it seems like you are proactive anyways), you should consider going 'active'. an active system drops the passive crossovers usually associated with component speakers and instead uses a processor in line before the amp to route signals to the appropriate speakers (kx project should be able to do this) The downside... more tuning needed, and you'll need more chans of amplification upside... more tuning needed (with the benefit of better sq), tuning dialied in based on your car and cost of speakers. (you can spend 1/4 of the amount on raw drivers then a component system with the same sound quality)

    this is also a helpful link if you'r going that route:
    http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31

    another thing that that article didnt go into is 'headroom' it brushed apon it with thd ratings but it didn't go into the benefits of getting 100 watt amp vs. 50 watt amp. first you'd think that it'd just be louder, that is true.. yes but the other benefit is when playing at the same volume, the 100 watt amp won't be taxed as much and give you a cleaner signal. the important thing is to set your gains correctly. Think of it this way, you have a 100 hp car and a 200 hp car. both driving at 65 mph... which one is less stessed?
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  4. #4
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    oh.. and if you go active you can spend less then $150 bucks and have an amazing two way setup that will sound a lot better then passive systems costing many times as much. In my dailly driver i'm going with a two way setup with some phaze audio mw-64's that i picked up for $75 bucks (new old stock) and its in the air right now but probably a seas tweeter ~$25 each. That $125 system will probably beat anything you could find at cc or bb
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  5. #5
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Right now I'm just looking to learn.

    Been fooling around with audio for some time now, but I'd say I've probably been making the classic mistakes everyone makes of throwing parts together. You know, Buy it, bolt it up and wonder why doesn't it sound good?

    Also, budget has dictated lower end components for me so far, so I need to upgrade incrementally for now.

    I will probably experiment with what I've got for now (finances dictate that currently) and see how much I can tune out of it. Maybe I'll learn a bi tin the process.

    I understand the very basics of setting an amps gain, but that's about it.

    Like I said, looking for links that will educate in layman's terms right now. I'm (perhaps) slighty advanced past that point, but only slightly............still Googling...........

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  6. #6
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_fx View Post
    oh.. and if you go active you can spend less then $150 bucks and have an amazing two way setup that will sound a lot better then passive systems costing many times as much. In my dailly driver i'm going with a two way setup with some phaze audio mw-64's that i picked up for $75 bucks (new old stock) and its in the air right now but probably a seas tweeter ~$25 each. That $125 system will probably beat anything you could find at cc or bb
    Now you have my attention...................

    Preparing to Google with the words "active" included...................
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  7. #7
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    just go to that link i sent you and search through that forum.. specially the tutorials section. you can get some very high quality dayton speakers from parts express and be a very happy camper. check out www.zaphaudio.com as well. he has a tweeter mismash and a 7/8" driver comparo that will help you a lot as well.

    Look at the Dayton RS180 and Seas CA18RNX for high-quality mids. If 7" is too big, look at the Dayton RS150, the Tangband W5-704S or the Seas CA15RLY

    the rs180 is $31 bucks at parts express and the seas neo's are about the same... that setup would be great and cost less then one of the tweeters in my corvette :dumby:
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  8. #8
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_fx View Post
    just go to that link i sent you and search through that forum.. specially the tutorials section. you can get some very high quality dayton speakers from parts express and be a very happy camper. check out www.zaphaudio.com as well. he has a tweeter mismash and a 7/8" driver comparo that will help you a lot as well
    Thanks, got them both open in another "tab" already.

    Reading...................
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  9. #9
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=295-364

    i try to always buy from p.e. if possible. they ahve outstanding customer service
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Woofnstuff's Avatar
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    with the KX simple is better when making your own DSP.
    ive got 5 KX setups now and they have enabled me to do things that would have cost a heap load more for next to nothing

    gimme a yell if you get stuck on KX

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