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Thread: Weather affecting speaker performance?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate silencery's Avatar
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    Weather affecting speaker performance?

    Yeah, this is a weird one. I was just wondering though, does the operating temperature happen to affect performance? I'm out in so cal, so it really doesn't get THAT cold here; worst case is like 30-40F.

    Sometimes, however, it seems that when I'm just starting up on a cold day/night, my system doesn't sound as good as it does after i've run the heater for a bit, and the cabin warms up. The lows-mids really seem more flat, and the highs just aren't as loud.

    Am I just trippin out?

    Perhaps there are some sound gurus that know? As a reference, I'm using a zapco i450 w/ a JL 6W0 and Alpine SPX-177a's.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    sometimes the weather does affect performance - in terms of the amplifiers....

    once they warm up they tend to reproduce sound a little more accurately....

    or so some people say

    same with speakers, they are essentially a mechanical device....if the surrounds are a little stiff the music might sound a little flat....just like a car or a motorcycle - it's best to let it get up to operating temperature before you start hammering on it, need to get the oil flowing and let the motor find it's sweet spot where it works most efficiently

    son in short - yes, there is probably a difference, all be it very small, it's probably something that can affect the stereo's performance, marginally
    Jan Bennett
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  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate silencery's Avatar
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    red,

    Thanks for the response. I was expecting an answer like that .

    Looks like I am just paranoid...

  4. #4
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    sometimes the weather does affect performance - in terms of the amplifiers....
    once they warm up they tend to reproduce sound a little more accurately....
    or so some people say
    I thought this was mainly directed at valve amps. They definately need a warm up time, but I am sure that if there is a warm up time for modern amps, it would be very short.
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

  5. #5
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    tube amps need a warm up as well, longer than the regular amps out now....and you are right, it is very short
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
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    A little off subject, but couldnt weather effect the different matterials that subwoofer cones are constructed of? Lets say an aluminum cone. I would think that at very cold temperatures it could break being pushed to hard before it warms up?

  7. #7
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    Car speaker performance is affected by cold weather

    I'm an audio mastering engineer in Colorado where we often experience temps in the teens below zero (F). During the audio mastering process we play a test CD in a car stereo in addition to testing on a variety of home stereo receivers and speakers. What we have found is that temperature can drastically affect bass performance so we make it a point to never test in a car when the outdoor temps are below about 30 degrees F.

    Those of you that live in similar environments have probably noticed that the seat cushions of your vehicle become quite stiff when temps drop into the single digits or colder. Just as the polymers in your seat cushions stiffen in cold, so do the materials used to manufacture the surrounds in audio speakers. The "surround" is that flexible ring that connects the speaker cone to the speaker basket. In one of our tests perfomed at 10 degrees F (w/o car heater), bass was reduced by 24 dB compared to tests done at 70 degrees F. Some speakers are more affected by cold than others depending on the speaker materials. Speaker surrounds can be made of butyl rubber, Santoprene, and several other polymers. Each material has its own characteristics when exposed to cold and therefore affects speaker performance to varying amounts. If the temperatures are cold enough its entirely possible that the materials will become brittle and break. I would expect that you don't have to worry about breakage if the speaker surround is made of butyl rubber as this same type of rubber is used in automobile tires.

    In addition to the speaker surround, there are also speakers with "liquid cooled" voice coils. Oil is the liquid used in this application to prevent freezing, however even though the oil doesn't freeze in typical automobile applications, it does thicken and affects movement of the coil in the magnetic gap which in turn affects audio performance. To address the issue of damaging your amplifier, I would imagine that as the surround becomes stiff that the load on the amp in increased as is the chance of damaging the amp.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Woofnstuff's Avatar
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    well there you go, thats my new thing ive learned today

    obvious when you think about it, tho a cold winter here for us is a night where it gets down to chilly 2 or 3 deg C, and the only time ive seen the ground white was after this amazing hail storm .. once...

  9. #9
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    LOL, really old thread 3+ years.

    Might as well add to it.
    http://www.zaphaudio.com/temp.html

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