Car Audio Myth Collection

Discussion in 'General Car Audio Discussions' started by geolemon, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member

    All the time, I run into people, or threads on forums, with car audio myths, fairy tails, and tall tales being spread under the guise of factual data.

    I have come across so many, I'm actually having some difficulty pulling them all out of my head. :D

    So - I thought I'd start a thread on a few forums, to collect some good myths.

    And then - I thought it would be fun to selectively start threads on this forum to discuss each one of them.

    After all, myths no doubt all have some footing in reality...
    ...and then, just like the "telephone game" that we all played in 3rd grade as an example of how a message can become brutally distorted as it is passed on from person to person... liberties were taken, until the rationale behind the myth was completely lost, leaving behind a myth that eventually took the shape of what seemed intuitively logical, or at least interesting, to the layman (who ironically spreads the myth pursuing his and others interest in educating themselves :rolleyes: ).

    So, I thought we could collect some myths...
    And then discuss them, to learn where they came from - to separate the mythical from reality.

    Sound like fun?

    Here's a few to get us started:

    "Underpowering a speaker can damage it"

    "Capacitors don't do anything"

    ...often followed by:
    "...Richard Clark proved it!"

    "Ported boxes sound bad" wait, maybe that should be:
    "Bandpass boxes sound bad"

    "The tweeter should be installed as close to the mid as possible"

    ...and there's a bunch more.
    Let's hear them! B)
  2. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member

    Just heard another good one:

    "a skilled installer can make a cheap sub sound like a world class sub"
  3. DerrikW

    DerrikW Full Member

    Mounting a sub inverted will make it sound like shit. An installer at circuit city once told me this.

    Note: No I was not having anything installed there.
  4. The_Ancient

    The_Ancient Full Member

    here we go, you know the "cap myth" is not really a myth in 99% of the cases-- most people that use a cap have no need for one, Places like Best Buy install them to increase their margins. that is what causes the so called "myth".

    How many times do we have to aurgue of caps????? :):):):)
  5. luvdeftonz

    luvdeftonz Full Member

    "You have to LP your front speakers at 50-60 hz to keep bass up front".

    Subs put out watts. "Hey, this 12" JBL puts out 1200 watts, man" <_<

    "Prefab enclosures suck". Well, some do, but I've found many prefabs made of 3/4" mdf put together with glue and screws. That's the sealed enclosures, btw. The ported still kinda suck because they typically have too little port area, they are tuned way too high (45-50 hz...yay). Most people's opinion of bandpass enclosures are due to the fact that they heard the wrong sub put in the wrong sized prefab. I have a 12" jbl gti that comes with a recommended bandpass design...and I'm going to try it just to see how a top notch sub sounds in a bandpass that was actually designed...not just put together.

    "The power and ground have to be identical in size". It's nice, but not necessary.

  6. hobbes26

    hobbes26 Full Member

    You can measure a speaker's output in acoustical watts...

    But usually people who mention it that way have no idea what they're talking about...
  7. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member

    Hey - it's things like these that MAKE a myth a myth... ;)
    All things have some footing in reality.

    But it's when they become generalizations - and discussed as if they were unconditionally true - that they enter the land of the mythical.

    I want to discuss those things, so that people can understand where the myths got started - after all, that is usually where the truth lies - and understand how ultimately ignorant so many of these myths are. B)

    Hopefully, I'll start some threads that spawn some real good discussions - it's bound to raise some controversy and some really good questions. ;)
  8. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member

    To clarify - let's not specifically discuss any myths here.
    Let's leave this thread purely as a repository for those myths to be listed.

    ...we can argue the validity of the myth in later threads. ;)

    Thanks in advance!

  9. PolkMM

    PolkMM Full Member

    anything thats started with "The guy at circuit city told me..."
    What about RCAs being need to be split up from the power wire because itll induce noise.
  10. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member

    Just posted on another forum on this one:

    "Large cone subs can't sound as good as small cone subs"

    ...and also reminded me of the closely related:
    "Small cone subs can't play as low as large cone subs"


    Keep 'em coming!
  11. The_spacemonkey

    The_spacemonkey Full Member

    this was my response at CAF

    I didnt read everyone elses, but here are the ones that always get me:

    Caps make more power for your amp
    Caps will fix any dimming problem
    There is no difference between the sound of different amplifiers
    You can hear the difference between 0.001% and 0.1% THD in a subwoofer amplifier
    You cant get good sound out of a ported box
    You cant get loud out of a sealed box
    Bandpass boxes are the cure all box for any woofer
    Bandpass boxes are the devil and sound like ***
    Clipping will hurt a speaker when driven within its rated power levels
    Distortion hurts speakers
    Speakers must be broken in first or it could hurt them.
    Flat frequency response is all you need for good sound
    Square subs hit harder
    Round subs hit harder
    Triangle subs hit harder
    Active crossovers are better than passive crossovers
    Passive crossovers are better than active crossovers
    A flat BL curve is all you need for a good sounding driver
    Underpowering damages speakers
    Bigger subs dont play as "fast" as smaller subs
    Your sub crossover should always be set less than 100Hz
    you can bridge speakers
    Dumax is the end all be all of measurements
    Because Richard Clark said so, it must be true
    Working at a car audio shop makes you and expert
    Having 10,000 posts on an audio forum means your an expert
    Home audio speakers wont work in car audio applications
    Car audio speakers wont work in home audio applications
    X-max tells how loud a sub can get.
    and of course: the gain should be used as a volume knob

  12. The_Ancient

    The_Ancient Full Member

    whaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    That is "All mightly and all Knowing" Clark to you :bash: :p

    This is True, Just go to Bst buy and ask, they will tell you :lol:
    Again this is True, just go to CAF, Ask me, then Link me to that post and I will be more than happy to Take my 10K+++++ post count and tell you how much of a Expert I am :bag:
    its not?

    :gunsmilie: :love: :oops:
  13. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member



    That's perfect...

    I'd check my thread on CAF... but I can't get on.
    "Server is busy" :rolleyes:

    Your list alone will make some interesting threads... keep an eye out, both here and CAF I think...
  14. peter_euro

    peter_euro Full Member

    Here are a few:

    Klippel is not out to make money selling his $70k "Klippel"... :D

    More speakers cost, better they sound...

    Tru blue (sounds like Madonna's song, LOL) LED's are classier than others...

    You can get the same lo end extension with 10 like with 15...

    Prefab bandpass boxes work for any subs

    Plexi makes subs sound better

    Vented boxes make subs sound dirty

    Sealed boxes are the only way for SQ system
  15. geolemon

    geolemon Full Member

    Oh... I really like the "the more speakers cost, the better they sound" one... lots of discussion there, and I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere yet! B)

    And actually - you CAN get the same low end extension with a 10 as you can a 15... in fact, I could find some examples of 15's that couldn't play as low as some 10's. All in the balance of the design of the loudspeaker. ;)

    It's the exceptions - exceptions that make people miss some really valuable opportunities - that make myths bad news... in fact, the worst of them even lead people astray fundamentally.
  16. peter_euro

    peter_euro Full Member

    You know I was just messing with you about Klippel BTW...

    I really disagree with you on that 10 vs 15 thing though (and this applies to majority of subs but there are of course exceptions) since you can have a 10 playing low but it will never match the output of 15 at lower freqs... I have not seen a 10 yet where FR would not start rolling off much faster than for a 15 (I am talking about the same model of a sub)... If there is a 8-10 dB drop vs 60-80 Hz output, you will have a hard time smoothing the FR to where the 20-30 would play at the same or even close enough output... I am sure there are exceptions (mainly they are though in HT area) but I would stand at my opinion strongly... Just not enough air being moved with smaller cones (even if you have multiple drivers) or am I just a total basshead (but then I have only a single B15 lately and it is more than enough...)

    And completely agreed on the system balancing issue but even then it is so much easier to have larger car audio drivers play lower freqs (unless you talk about pro drivers that are designed not to play very low in exchange for very high SPL and durability for club or concert conditions). As time goes by, I like B15 more and more (this has to be the most transparent sub I have ever used)
  17. k100dre

    k100dre New Member

    steering wheel command interfaces are a con

    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Tell me this is not true or what?

    Bought a Kenwood autoradio CD player, supposedly compatible provided I bought the right bit with the steering wheel command butons of my Citroen Xantia (First model ever, Xantia 1 1993 - 1997). I bought the car radio CD player, but hey! the interface was not in stock, so the radio was installed and I was asked to come back the following week for the missing bit.

    When this was eventually installed, only the mute and volume buttons worked, the seek and station jump didn't. I asked the dealer to get onto Kenwood to get the issue fixed and was told a week later that Kenwood claims that basically all the interfaces are all the same reagardless of the radio or the car, that they are made by one and one only supplier and that none of them work properly, since after all controlling the volume is really all you need.... punk!

    One really wonders why there are more than one button on a car radio.

    I thought beneficial to inform people here that steering wheel commands interfaces that you buy with your new autoradio are a con job. You'll buy the radio then you'll buy the enticing bit of crap never in stock and you'll be told too late for a return that it only works 10%, take it or leave it... ****!

    Unless of course somebody here can tell me this kind of stint is limited to Kenwood.

    :mad: :mad: :mad: