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Blown speakers

I wish that everything I purchased would have done as well as the Acoustic Research AR-2ax speakers. At the same time I bought the speakers, I was bargaining for a new car. I came within $200 of purchasing a Checker Superba. Had I purchased the Checker, I probably would still be driving it just as I still use the AR-2ax speakers.

Mike, you need to read your own references, my math is right. Each 3 dB increase in sound pressure requires twice the power. A 10 dB increase requires 10 times as much power. Your example has a 6 dB difference, thats 4 times, not 60 times.

I did not mean that the Polk Audio speakers were $500/pair, I meant that Crutchfield’s has speakers that cost upwards of $500/pair. There were two brands in this price range, both only make car speakers, not HiFi speakers for the home or studio.

Polk Audio does make very good speakers, as do Infinity, which were also available at Crutchfield’s starting at $99/pair. Both make fine Home and studio speakers, as does Altec-Lansing.

My home speakers are Kenwood 777A’s. These were the last acoustic suspension speakers made by Kenwood, they went all Bass Reflex after that. Too bad as these are really good speakers.

Yup…You’re completely right I had missed a step…It’s difficult to compare a speaker that way.

Take the same speakers…88db rating and 94 db rating…

To play each speaker at 110dbs…

88db rating speaker - would require about 128 watts of power.

94db rating speaker - would only require about 32 watts of power…A difference of almost 100 watts to produce the same sound pressure levels.

Polk Audio does make very good speakers, as do Infinity

Polk and Infinity make decent mid-fi speakers that most of us can buy. Polk has NEVER built anything close to true hi-fidelity. Infinity use to, but not when they sold out years ago and is now owned by the Harmon group.

As for Altec Lansing…Sorry but you’re referring to the WRONG Altec Lansing company. There were two… The original Altec sold it’s name “Altec Lansing/Consumer Products” to a Canadian company “Sparkomatic” some 25 years ago. That’s the Altec you’re referring to. The original Altec (professional) was bought out by Telex and the product line was merged with Electrovoice and and the name was then dropped.

http://alteclansingunofficial.nlenet.net/Message.html

Let’s see I listen to ZZ-top, AC-DC, most metal, don’t really like Metallica, sorry, but turning up the music to insane levels just mean you miss a lot.

Turning up the volume, mean the base and drums really over power the rest of the instruments, to the point where you really can’t hear them.

Then as you damage your hearing you miss even more, given enough time, and it shorter than you think, you won’t be hearing much and then you won’t hear any music.

Just something to think about.

My opinions are subject to change with new facts.

OK, so I’m not up to date on who makes what. My stereo system dates to the 70"s, I bought it while stationed in Japan. I had to replace the receiver awhile back and that caused the system to deteriorate a little, the low frequency response went from 20 Hz to 40 Hz, so when I play Also Spract Zarathrusta, I can’t hear the 32 Hz sub tone that underlies the piece. All the new receivers have a 40Hz cutoff to stop the 26 Hz turntable rumble and it can’t be bypassed like in the old receivers. It’s kinda odd that most people rely on CD players that don’t have the rumble problem.

Sparkomatic, OMG, they are one of the cheap, crappy car radios I remember from the past. They are a good example of why I would avoid a company that doesn’t make home systems too.

Something else today, companies are less forthcoming with their specifications. You see a big a “1200 watts” on a surround sound system, but nothing about speaker size, THD frequency response at +/_ 3dB like you used to see. I guess as the market expanded, the average technical knowledge of the consumers decreased. When a good audio system required a very significant share of one’s income or savings, they paid more attention and learned all the specs. By comparison, an investment in a sound system today is chump change.

I am satisfied with the speakers that I bought for my car, I maybe went a little overboard with them as putting quality speakers (and head unit with HD radio and iPod) in a Saturn is a bit like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how much you spend, it’s still a lousy audio environment. But I have a 100 mile commute so I want a little sound quality and the Polk’s with the JVC head unit are plenty good enough. I could try a lot of Dynamat, but that only makes a 3 to 6 dB difference in road noise, not enough to justify the cost.

You missed the point about Sparkomatic…Sparkomatic only makes home…the REAL Altec kept making professional speakers.

I have no problem with my oem system. Polk is fine for you and I because I’m not about to spend thousand for a very high end system. But that doesn’t mean that Polk is high end…if youre a little handy you can build a high end system for the price of Polks.

Believe it or not…speaker design hasn’t advanced much in the past 40 years. There are speakers built 40 years that sound far far far superior to 95% of all speakers built today. In many ways speaker manufacturers have forgot how to make good quality speakers. Even the BEST sounding speakers of today only have a little advantage of the best sounding speakers of 30 years ago.

More like a trapezoid, IMHO.

My criteria for judging audio equipment is how well it reproduces the sound of a French Horn (my instrument) and how well it reproduces piano music. Like you, I haven’t heard improvement over the last 4 decades in the accuracy of sound from speakers.

You see a big a “1200 watts” on a surround sound system, but nothing about speaker size

Wattage means NOTHING…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It’s probably the most meaningless info about a speaker…yet it’s the one that most people cling to. Case in point…I have two sets of speakers…one can handle 200 watts…And the other 80 watts…Is the 500 watt system LOUDER…Sound Better??? In this case NO…It doesn’t come close to sound quality…and it won’t even come close to being as loud…so it’s a meaningless piece of information.

I am satisfied with the speakers that I bought for my car, I maybe went a little overboard with them as putting quality speakers (and head unit with HD radio and iPod)

I’ve been thinking about getting a HD radio…Haven’t decided yet. I may this summer.

My speakers I built use a design that’s been around for 40 years. I’ve had them re-conned and magnetized (Alico magnet). I’ve done side-by-side comparison to NEW speakers costing THOUSANDS of dollars…and they still sound BETTER then most. Sound quality is SUPERB…And if I want to they can reach THUNDERING sound that will make your ears bleed. But have to get a new amp for that…tough to do with only 12watts/channel.

I completely agree with you, but I think you missed my point. It wasn’t power of the speakers, which is nothing more than the max power the speaker can handle before blowing out. It was about the lack of meaningful specs that can be used to determine the true value of the system. When you can look at a display system, you often see 2" speakers with a 6" sub powered by a high wattage system. The true power of the system, the RMS per channel at a THD of .1% or less 20-20kHz is not anywhere to be found.

Specs about the speakers in the systems are really hidden. Its probably OK for surround sound systems since they are only used for movies, but I can’t imagine trying to listen to music on something that poor.

As for the Saturn, the factory system was only AM/FM. Radio stations that play good old oldies are going off the air. It seemed the only hope was an iPod. It just so happens that the head unit I got came with HD radio. It soon blew the factory speakers, thats why the Polks. I commute 100 miles/day so a little entertainment is justified.

The reason I selected the Polk’s was that they do not use Titanium tweeters. Everything that cost less or the same do. I have tinnitus and for some reason titanium tweeters make my ears ring. It doesn’t make since since frequency is frequency, the source should not matter.

I don’t care for Titanium tweeters either. They are very flat…but they roll off very fast past 17k hz.

As for the Saturn, the factory system was only AM/FM. Radio stations that play good old oldies are going off the air. It seemed the only hope was an iPod. It just so happens that the head unit I got came with HD radio. It soon blew the factory speakers, thats why the Polks. I commute 100 miles/day so a little entertainment is justified.

My 90 Pathfinder…the OEM system was awful…and I was driving about 45k miles a year…So I put in a decent system (Kenwood Head-unit and amps) and JBL speakers.

My 98 Pathy came with a Bose system. Although I’m not a big Bose fan (especially for home)…it was a good sounding system.

My 05 4runner came with the factory Toyota system…and it’s very good also. Don’t need to upgrade at all. Factory sound systems are much better then they were 20 years ago.

 I'm in the same position as you. One of the speakers in my 2000 Buick Regal in the right door buzzes and really sounds bad, I'd guess a rip in it.  I had faded it just a smidge to the left, but it's getting worse. (I don't crank my music, I think maybe it got snow in it at some point.)

 Head unit?  That's up to you.  If it were me, if the FM thingy sounds good I wouldn't bother, but that's just me.  Speakers?  I'd definitely do it.  Who cares if it's 11 years old, speakers just aren't that expensive (they can be of course but don't have to be).  I'd definitely replace the 2 speakers.  If you do the third, I'd replace the matching speaker too.  If you have even more speakers (I think I have 6 speakers), that's up to you.  Personally, I'm not going to replace more than I need to.  If it proves to be a pain to get the speaker out, I might even just find a junkyard speaker so I don't have to do both doors 8-)

 Hopefully Volvo isn't as crazy as Buick.  If I were to replace my rear speakers, even though I can see them jutting into the trunk, I have to remove the rear seat!  To do the fronts, I have to take off all the trim on the door and get to bare metal.  Why couldn't the speaker cover pop off and then I could just unscrew the speaker? *rolls eyes*

I have had to replace speakers in cars that had just A.M. radios and I didn’t play the radios at high volume. On my 1965 Rambler, the speaker fired upward from the top of the dashboard. The sunlight did a number on the cone as did the condensation from the windshield. I have two speakers on either side of the dashboard that also fire upward on my 1978 Oldsmobile and I had to replace them. I also installed rear seat speakers under the package shelf and the sunlight ultimately did in these speakers. In all cases, I just went to radio shack and bought the correct size speakers with the correct impedance. To me, the sound quality isn’t greatly important as it seems to me that most car sound systems sound like 4 guys sharing the same sinus.