Differences between cheap speakers and expensive ones

Discussion in 'Automotive Electronics' started by Lectraplayer, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Lectraplayer

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 2, 2015
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    5
    I have been wondering as I'm getting ready to upgrade my radio as to what exactly the differences between high end speakers and cheaper ones are. Is it mostly performance at longer excursions near the top end of the power rating and more durable materials? ...or is there something else I should be looking for?

    As examples, in one instance, I'm looking to build a subwoofer system. I have my plans for a box that gives me 5 cubic feet for use with a pair of 12 inch subs. If I choose two types of subs, say, a pair of $70 a hit Gothic subs vs the cheaper Pyle subs, what exactly will be the difference between the two brands at normal listening levels? (Say, about 200 watts going to them when both are rated at 1000 watts)

    Likewise, if I chose a set of 6.5 inch speakers, maybe Sony Xplods vs the cheaper Scosche (both 50W RMS) in the same doors, what exactly kinds of differences should I look for?

    I have wondered this one for a long time. Though I have seen the displays, I'm not exactly sure what kind of enclosures they have to showcase them, which would make a HUGE difference.
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    17,322
    5,335
    Like everything else, you get what you pay for.

    200W in an automobile?

    What did you say? Can you repeat that?

    Wait a minute while I replace my hearing aids with ear plugs!
     
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  3. Lectraplayer

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    86
    5
    200 watts does sound like a LOT, but for bass, it's not much. I was using that a s an example.

    I'm not even sure what my actual listening power would be at the moment. I'm getting around 70dB.
     
  4. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    20,225
    5,719
    Generally, a more expensive speaker will have a smoother frequency response with lower distortion.
     
  5. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    17,322
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    I am a bass player. My Fender R.A.D. bass practice amp is rated for 30W and I never have to play it at full power.
     
  6. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    4,907
    5,348
    Once you get past a certain price point extra money gains you very little. I replaced the stock fronts with a nice set of Infinity Reference 6022i speakers years ago.
    [​IMG]

    The rear sub was replaced with a MTX in the damped and padded (poly fill and EDM rubber) original car sub enclosure.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Response before and after. (relative power levels on graphs)
    [​IMG]
    ugly booming bass.
    [​IMG]

    After: Much nicer response and decay times.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Lectraplayer

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    86
    5
    That was an ugly curve you started with. I'm going for a fairly complete spectrum, which it looked like you did improve.
     
  8. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    A comment I'd like to make concerns "upgrades" that I made some 40+ years ago as I was "collecting" and upgrading stereo pieces for both home and car.

    Upgrading speakers on a nice sounding poor quality system made horrible sounding systems. The OEM speakers for both the car and a home stereo acted as filter for hiss. When full-range speakers were added, the inherent hiss in the system was apparent and pronounced.
     
  9. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    The high end was tamed with EQ and DTA (Digital Time Alignment) so you need a fairly high-end head-unit for that but the low end even with a fairly good no EQ curve still has too much 'boom' due to high decay times in a car at low frequencies. To improve that would required adding interior damping.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For the best sound you really need DTA in a car.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudspeaker_time_alignment

    [​IMG]
     
  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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  11. MrSoftware

    Senior Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    1,130
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    In my younger years (before real responsibility) I was a bit of an audiophile
    and spent too much money and time on car audio. The short answer is yes there is a difference in speakers and the better ones tend to be more expensive, but more expensive does not necessarily mean better. Also installation and component selection are just as important as speaker selection. The options are endless. My advice is decide first what sound you want (clear and tight, loud and boomy, etc..). Then do some homework to seek out components and designs that suit your needs and budget.
     
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