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chuyler1 16th February 2009 12:42 PM

Full range drivers in a car?
Plain and simple, my introduction to full range has corrupted my ears and now my elaborate car audio system sounds like ***. I have a processor with a fully parametric EQ, digital crossover, and time alignment, but I cannot seem to get the focus that comes so effortlessly out of my frugel horns with eNabled FE126e's.

So has anyone experimented with full range drivers in their cars? Obviously I don't expect them to play down to 50Hz, but if I could get them to cover 150Hz-10KHz with authority the rest of my system could pick up the slack.

How well would some of the 4" Fostex drivers work in a sealed fiberglass enclosure like what I could install in my car kickpanels? Specifically, what volume would I need and how low will they play?

_henry_ 16th February 2009 01:54 PM

i would try to put 2-3" fullrange on the dash or the pillar like alpair 5 or fostex ff85, and some midbass with high Q on the door panel and some serious sub on the boot or good 6-8" sub under the seat, but of course depending on the car :)

901Fixer 16th February 2009 02:01 PM

Be careful what you use on your dash or anywhere the speaker will be facing upwards. Many fullrange drivers have an open voicecoil and the cone will act like a funnel to direct dirt and debris right into the voicecoil motor which will quickly damage the driver. I hope to experiment with a fullrange driver in my car soon but it will be on the door or kick panel like you mentioned above.

_henry_ 16th February 2009 02:09 PM

it still depends on the car
'if u have a space to make a compact enclosure, which usually fiberglass with epoxy and shape to fit the space.

u can even make a shape like B&W nautilus midrange to make it less diffraction

of course u need to deal with reflection on the windshield


chuyler1 16th February 2009 03:45 PM

I've done several projects with FG before so I'm open to that, but I don't think i want the speakers on the dash so that's why I'm thinking about the kick panels.

Do you thing a 2-3" would be a safer bet than a 4" since I have 6.5" drivers in the doors to cover midbass duties?

chrisb 16th February 2009 03:47 PM

Don't forget that most automobiles/trucks, etc provide a very harsh environment for loudspeakers. Constant vibration, extremes of temperature and humidity, and to overcome the road noise, they tend to be played at much higher actual SPL's to achieve the same subjective volumes in most homes.

Much of the engineering challenge in designing mobile electronics and speakers is to ensure their physical ruggedness and reliability, and of course to tailor frequency response and power handling parameters to very special acoustic requirements. One of the primary failure modes with car speaker systems is failure of passive crossover components due to excessive power - overheated padding resistors and exploded capacitors.

I don't doubt that you could get excellent results from "home" full range drivers costing far less than specialty mobile products, just don't be surprised if they don't last very long. Pro PA gear might well be another consideration.

one1speed 16th February 2009 04:30 PM

I tend to agree with what's above. Plus, with car and road noise, you have to decide what it's worth.

A friend of mine has one of the best car audio systems I've heard. I know he just used separate components, with a woofer and tweeters, plus a sub. This is all run through a very nice system with large capacitors, digital this and that, etc.

I'd think upgrading all of the components will get you farther than trying to make Fostex work, as they're just not intended for this usage.

I cool idea and fun to play with, but...

On another note, have you fully sound proofed your doors, etc? There's a lot more to car audio than just the parts and pieces.

Best of luck.

marchel 16th February 2009 04:53 PM

One way to find out is to try a pair of fostex ff85 , temporarily make a small cardboard box and place the box with the driver on each corner of the dash , aiming them on optimal direction. Cut 300hz or above, Use your door mid bass and your subs for lower freq. duties.

Try it for a week or 2 and find out if you like or not, and report about it here :) . Cause I've been toying with that Idea on my car too , but havent got time due to busy schedule.

Note: placing the FR speaker in the dash might get you clearer sound than on the KP, Which you wont be needing to wind up the volume as much. The enclusure doesnt need to be big, cause the driver will be playing 300hz and above only.

HK26147 16th February 2009 05:47 PM


So has anyone experimented with full range drivers in their cars?
These books offer practical advice:
Killer car stereo on a budget by Daniel L Ferguson
Car stereo speaker projects illustrated by Daniel L Ferguson

I used the "Killer" book to make versions of his systems,
I have used full range speakers, BUT always in conjunction with a high pass filter.
This will allow the FR's to play louder because they will only be thermal limited and not suffer from over-excursion trying to play bass octaves.
I prefer not to put any HF drivers down low ( where my ears aren't)

One possibility - A Tang Band W4-1052SD 4" 4ohm fits in a very small sealed or B/R.

planet10 16th February 2009 05:48 PM

Chops became addicted the other way... he got FE103 for his car, and was spoiled by listening to the cardboard break-in boxes (he now has FE126eN in the same box).

If you can fit them, they will probably work (i'd tend to avoid doors -- if possible i'd build separate boxes) ... many home drivers have 8 ohm impedance, cars (because of the batteries) tend to like less. I would echo using them as a midtweeter and maintaining your existing kit below ~300-400 Hz.

If you go with the fostex FF85 or FE83 you'll want to at least puzzlecoat them for environmental reasons (ignoring the fact that it makes them sound better -- as you already have spotted fever the 1st production batch of FF85KeN should be done by week's end)

Looking at the Fostex, the FE83 is a touch more efficient, the FF85 gos lower in a smaller box.

The Alpair have treated metal cones which should give them more tolerence of extreme humidity (but maybe not temperature). The plastic frames are good for home, they should offer a touch more vibration resistance, but may be more temp sensitive. The bezels (at least on the A5) are quite big, they are less efficient, but they get away with a smaller box.


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