I am surrprised not to see more of you designing high end car amps. - diyAudio
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Old 12th September 2004, 07:30 AM   #1
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Default I am surrprised not to see more of you designing high end car amps.

I would think that you guys would find this to be a great challenge for yourselves. I would love to see you guys come up with a cool class A amp for the car like the one made by TRU audio.

http://www.trutechnology.com/main.htm

These guys are even working on a true tube amp for the car.

Is the reason that most of you don't design stuff for cars because it's so hard? I am not an engineer but I know that car amps take a lot work to sound good.
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Old 12th September 2004, 10:26 AM   #2
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it's to do with the PSU for a car amp...say if you were to build a Class A amp for a car, because of the SMPSU you have to invest a lot in filtering and stuff, and a SMPSU by itself is not an easy thing to build...add in the battery and alternator as another variable...you get the idea, basically in a car, you would want to have high effiicency, ok maybe in extreme cases you don't, so probably a class D amp for the subs, only class A or A/B amps for the mids and highs. As far as I know, with car subwoofers (that are themselves already inefficient) there's no real point into using Class A amps for them...
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Old 12th September 2004, 02:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: I am surrprised not to see more of you designing high end car amps.

Quote:
Originally posted by DJNUBZ
I would think that you guys would find this to be a great challenge for yourselves. I would love to see you guys come up with a cool class A amp for the car like the one made by TRU audio.

http://www.trutechnology.com/main.htm

These guys are even working on a true tube amp for the car.

Is the reason that most of you don't design stuff for cars because it's so hard? I am not an engineer but I know that car amps take a lot work to sound good.
I'm not sure why anyone would bother. A car is a crap environment acoustically and most speakers and installations aren't anywhere near the resolution of home stuff, so it'd be much harder to tell the difference.

As for putting vibration sensitive devices (tubes) in a vehicle when you don't have to, or class A (real class A, not just something with a sticker and a lot of dissipation) into a hot environment, my question is, why? If people want the challenge, sure, go ahead, don't let my opinion dissuade you.

Music in the car (for me) is something that keeps me sane in the traffic when I can't have the pulse of a twin (motorcycle) between my legs and in my ears. I just installed a new head and 6x9's in my car today; pretty basic Pioneer, but now I can hear what the late John Entwhistle and Booby Sheehan are playing. And it's good.
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Old 12th September 2004, 07:20 PM   #4
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Well I can agree with you and disagree with you Brett. I car isn't the best environment for audio but it also has a lot of great points when it comes to audio. In fact I have heard many car audio systems that outclass a lot of highend home gear (yes I have heard quite a bit of high end home gear). I can agree with you on the bike thing though.

I am guessing though that you have no experience with SQ installs. You might want to check it out by stopping at a iasca compition and seeing if someone will let you listen to their system.

li_gangya Wouldn't those problems be what an audio engineer would find as a challenge? You would never use a class A amp on the subs but you would use an A/B or D. A lot of the high power sub amps out now are class D but there are still a few A/B around. You would use Class A (or A/B) on a nice set of componants or horns for the front stage.

If it is so hard how come there are so many companies making car amps? There are tons of cheap knockoff amps floating around that you can pick up for $50 and I am sure cost less then $5 to make.
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Old 12th September 2004, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by DJNUBZ
I am guessing though that you have no experience with SQ installs.
Not so. I've still never heard a car system come even remotely close to what the best domestic systems can do.
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Old 13th September 2004, 06:14 AM   #6
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Could you tell me what experiences you have had with SQ car installs? I am just curious as to what types of setups you have heard and what you felt was missing which you have found in home audio. I do belive that there are a lot of bad sounding car audio setups and that a lot of people into car audio have not heard a good setup.
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Old 13th September 2004, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DJNUBZ
Well I can agree with you and disagree with you Brett. I car isn't the best environment for audio but it also has a lot of great points when it comes to audio. In fact I have heard many car audio systems that outclass a lot of highend home gear (yes I have heard quite a bit of high end home gear). I can agree with you on the bike thing though.

I am guessing though that you have no experience with SQ installs. You might want to check it out by stopping at a iasca compition and seeing if someone will let you listen to their system.

li_gangya Wouldn't those problems be what an audio engineer would find as a challenge? You would never use a class A amp on the subs but you would use an A/B or D. A lot of the high power sub amps out now are class D but there are still a few A/B around. You would use Class A (or A/B) on a nice set of componants or horns for the front stage.

If it is so hard how come there are so many companies making car amps? There are tons of cheap knockoff amps floating around that you can pick up for $50 and I am sure cost less then $5 to make.

Quote:
Originally posted by DJNUBZ
Could you tell me what experiences you have had with SQ car installs? I am just curious as to what types of setups you have heard and what you felt was missing which you have found in home audio. I do belive that there are a lot of bad sounding car audio setups and that a lot of people into car audio have not heard a good setup.

Hi,

I've had the priviledge of listening to the highest of quality car audio systems and I have to tell you, "Hi - Fi" is a term that does not apply!

They're nothing but show off bass /SPL generators. The reason there's so many is because there's alot of people with more money than brains and are willing to pay for what they mistake as being the best in an effort to elevate their social status, and so it's a big market.

It's OK to have a decent system in it that can overtake the road noise, and if you do it right you can have decent sound quality, with respect to other car systems, but it couldn't possibly compare to the quality one can get from even a cheap domestic system.

Class A or tubes in a car is a total waste.

When it comes to a car I'd rather build the power into it where the rubber meets the road, and listen to that, than to a thousand pound audio system. It's also alot more fun than the thousand pound audio system, which always seem to be coupled with chrome tipped tomato can tail pipes.

Seriously.... there's alot of people installing such foolishness as DVD players and plasma screens inside their cars too, there's a big market for that, but what's the point, do they pull over on their way home from work and watch movies? Nah, it's just to say "look what I got". I'll always tell em, "too bad you it's not a big screen".

Having a home theatre system in your car is about as smart as having a car in your home theatre system.
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Old 13th September 2004, 07:57 AM   #8
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Play Stations, DVDs and LCD screens are ideally suited for long trips carrying children and/or other people in the car for obvious reasons. Children and family stay quiet in the car as long as you keep them busy with their favorite picture or video-game

LCD screens are also very useful as monitors for GPS travel systems [lots of traveling salesmen install these systems to make their life easier] and as 'active mirrors' to see the what's behing long cars through a small cammera when parking

However, other people installs these systems just to say 'look at what I got'

Finally, in order to produce Hi-Fi in a car : Conditioning the cabin against vibrations and characteristic resonances from its materials is mandatory, building rigid acoustic enclosures for all speakers is also mandatory. Placing the drivers in strategic locations in order to reduce undesired reflections and crossing then properly using digital-domain delays to compensate for driver/channel time offset and phase shifters to compensate for each driver+enclosusre phase response are also crucial tips

Anything other than this is wasting money, it's like adding in-car ornaments with audio-gear appearance , and amplifiers are the less critical thing here

However, car-audio competitions and manufacturers are almost entirely marketing oriented so it's not likely to see serious people or products, but just exotic stuff and fairy marketing tales. I strongly prefer to use standard hifi or PA components, particularly speakers [and I recommend lots of ply-wood and fiberglass for enclosures, custom-tuned crossovers and at least one DSP based adjustable delay line to compensate L-R time offset in order to get some imaging ]
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Old 13th September 2004, 08:10 AM   #9
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Oooooh come on now, they'd still fight over what movie to watch or what game to play or who's turn it is

I see too many with dvd screens and no gps or kids either. I think it's safe to say the majority of the market is for the "lookee what I gots" But yeah they do have their uses... I always liked the back up camera but it's really not required unless it's a vehicle you just can't see behind otherwise.

I agree that's how the sound is done right.. but would you go so far as to call it Hi Fi?

Isn't MDF better than plywood, sealed with urethane bond?
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Old 13th September 2004, 08:39 AM   #10
Eva is offline Eva  Spain
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MDF and ply have its particular pros and its cons. I prefer ply since it's much lighter than MDF, it's moisture resistant and everything inside a car is subject to deformation, vibrations and big temperature changes

I would call Hi-Fi what I described with no dobuts, since by that procedure I've got far better in-car results than with Hi-Fi equipment inside any non-treated 2,5m x 3m x 4m typical room

For example, the room where I'm sitting now produces almost no imaging and cancels bass, no matter what audio equipment you use the effect is allways the same [the room is not treated, it has the previously mentioned dimensions and has asymetric furniture layout]. However, the same equipment produces nice imaging placed outdoors

Anyway, I'm very sceptical about what people calls 'Hi-Fi'
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