Monday, November 19, 2012

Great Bass In A Tight Space

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Land yachts are quickly disappearing. Cars and crossovers have been on a course where space has become much tighter. There are more factory electronics now. Every concealed nook and cranny seems to be filled with something essential. Cabins are proportionally larger and dead space is rare. But, if you want great bass reproduction you need to have a sizeable subwoofer enclosure. Cars are also being built better now, often having solid or nearly sealed rear bulkheads. This compounds the problem of getting bass radiation into the cabin of a sedan. Much of the structure is in place to attenuate road noise and increase the structural integrity of the vehicle. So you can’t remove anything. Add to that, the fact that many vehicle owners want great bass but in a stealth installation…heard but not seen.

A good car audio designer must have quite a few tools in his bag because every vehicle is a little different and one size won’t fit all. Each individual vehicle will dictate a varying approach if you want to get the best bass performance. A good car audio designer must be able to understand and effectively execute a number of subwoofer loading schemes with equal effectiveness including infinite baffle, aperiodic, air suspension, bass-reflex and bandpass to name a few. The parameters of the sub driver must match the particular method of subwoofer loading (enclosure type) and each enclosure has to be modeled independently to uniquely fit a given vehicle. This requires a little computer power and a very good subwoofer modeling software.

Sure, many can get passable results with the audio equivalent of a dead blow hammer. What they lack in precision they make up for with the leverage of more power, more subwoofer and more enclosure space. We can certainly do that. But, when the situation calls for a more creative and knowledge-intensive approach, we have many more alternate solutions that yield better sound quality. The challenge is what makes it interesting.    

Earmark Car Audio

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