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Message Forums Car Stereo Message Forums > Subwoofers and Speakers > SPL tricks and tips
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ssi
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 SPL tricks and tips

this is a quick little guide for some of the newbs out there. the goal is to help acheive maximum spl without any drastic changes to equipment or the vehicle.


1 - more power does not always mean more spl.

2 - larger enclosure does not always mean more spl, especially in low power situations.

3 - in most vehicles spl is easier to achieve at higher frequencies, it all depends on the peak frequency of your vehicle.

4 - opening the door or rolling down the window does not always gain spl.

5 - turning the gain all the way up on your amp will usually hurt your spl.

6 - pvc pipe on the port of your box can help get more spl, but not always.

7 - when bracing your enclosure, use threaded rod. it will cause less turbulance than wood.

8 - round the inside corners of your box, especially the back corners.

9 - different weather conditions and temeratures can affect your spl, and your peak frequency.

10 - closing your ac vents gives spl gains in some cases.

11 - coating the inside of your enclosure with fiberglass resin will gain spl in most cases.

12 - moving your enclosure closer to the front or back of your vehicle can increase spl.

13 - reversing polarity on your woofer can gain spl in some cases.

14 - when testing your vehicle, allow your woofer to cool for a few minutes between burps.

15 - playing your system before you meter the car will usually hurt your score.

16 - when you meter your car, play test tones. by playing test tones you make the best use of your battery power.

17 - make your speaker wires as short as possible, this helps with voltage drop.

18 - do all of your testing on a termlab mic, they are more consistent than audiocontrol.

19 - having your friends lean on your car does not mean you will hit a higher number.

20 - most alternators put out maximum power between 1500rpm and 2200rpm. please dont put the gas pedal on the floor, its very annoying to the spectators.

21 - putting a peice of wood across the back of your trunk to "create a reflective surface", does not usually increase your spl.

22 - filling your car up with your buddies to "take up air space" does not help your spl.

23 - try disconnecting your bass knob, they usually drop your power output between 15watts and 60watts.

24 - when choosing equipment for a low power system, choose a woofer with a high efficiency. it will take less power to move.

25 - make sure that all of the joints in your enclosure are COMPLETELY SEALED, airleaks are your enemy.

26 - if your running on an audiocontrol mic, dont piss the judges off. the audiocontrol has a sensitivity knob and it is very easy for an angry judge to destroy your chances of winning.

27 - you need to know what frequency to play in different weather conditions. you need to have a plan for hot weather, cold weather, wet weather and everything in-between.

28 - if possible, get your own personal mic. that way when you arrive at the show, you can test and find the optimal frequency to play for the show.

29 - when building a wall in your car, you generally want the woofer to be on the passenger side and the port to be on the driver side. however, some vehicles are an exception to this rule.

30 - remember, EVERYTHING affects spl. even the type of material on the inside of your car.

31 - having the cleanest car, the coolest sunglasses, or the biggest wheels wont help your spl score.

32 - dont talk trash about other competitors, just because their setup doesnt look good, doesnt mean that it cant beat yours.




guys, feel free to add to this list.
and please stay on topic.

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New Post 05-09-2005 07:51 PM
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umpalumpa7777
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28 - if possible, get your own personal mic. that way when you arrive at the show, you can test and find the optimal frequency to play for the show. where can u usually buy SPL mics and what do they run? i looked all over the net and could never find one.

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New Post 05-09-2005 08:19 PM
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ssi
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-09-2005 by umpalumpa7777
28 - if possible, get your own personal mic. that way when you arrive at the show, you can test and find the optimal frequency to play for the show. where can u usually buy SPL mics and what do they run? i looked all over the net and could never find one.

you can buy the audiocontrol epic 150 or audiocontrol epic 160 off of ebay for 200$, they dont measure in tenths of a db but they are a good start and they are cheap. you can buy a termlab usb setup for 600$ from termpro.com, that is the best one to get because most of the sanctioned events use them, and they are one of the most consistent meters on the market. you can also run a sine sweep and the termlab will tell you the peak frequency.

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New Post 05-09-2005 08:22 PM
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cheetoh
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If i line my trunk, doors, headliner and floorboards with Dynamat will it help with SPL?

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New Post 05-09-2005 08:35 PM
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ssi
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-09-2005 by cheetoh
If i line my trunk, doors, headliner and floorboards with Dynamat will it help with SPL?

usually, but there have been cases where it has hurt spl.

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New Post 05-09-2005 08:42 PM
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squeak9798
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#17 - Wouldn't you likewise want to use the largest guage wire possible?? #24 - Keep in mind manufacturer rated "sensitivity" will not always be accurate, and may not be what the speakers TRUE sensitivity is (Infinity and Audiobahn come to mind, among many others :-D ). Also keep in mind that, for a daily driver, there are trade-offs involved with having a "highly efficient" woofer. Namely, low frequency extension or box size.

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New Post 05-09-2005 11:18 PM
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iagrdshaka
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Heres a couple more

Unhook battcaps or capacitors

The placement of the sub box is key

aeroports can sometimes actually increase your spl score

Sand the ends of the port

And of course the biggest secret is ductape and resin

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New Post 05-10-2005 12:33 AM
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ssi
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-09-2005 by squeak9798
#17 - Wouldn't you likewise want to use the largest guage wire possible?? #24 - Keep in mind manufacturer rated "sensitivity" will not always be accurate, and may not be what the speakers TRUE sensitivity is (Infinity and Audiobahn come to mind, among many others :-D ). Also keep in mind that, for a daily driver, there are trade-offs involved with having a "highly efficient" woofer. Namely, low frequency extension or box size.

you wouldnt want to just throw in the lowest guage wire you can find, you should never need your speaker wire to be any bigger than 10 guage, unless your running absolutely insane amounts of power, like 2000 watts and above per wire. the ac outlet in your house carries something like 2000-3000 watts rms worth of power and is only 12-14 guage, but is one solid peice and not strands. alternating current requires less wire to transfer than direct current. power from battery to amp is direct current, therefore a larger guage wire because direct current has more resistance than alternating.

i know that specs can be decieving, thats one reason im not running audiobahn in my car, well the low-end stuff that is.

ive run some of the most highly efficient woofers on the market, and never had any problems with low end or enclosure size. the only way i can see that it would cause those problems is if you put too much power to it, afterall all it is highly efficient and will require less power to move, but of course, like you said that is in a daily driver. for example.. a Memphis HPO will walk all over a DD 9515 in any box, with any power level under 800 watts.. efficiency does matter.. the only time the 9515 will pull away, is when you add a bunch of power... because it will show less power compression then the HPO will.. due to coil size, and cooling..

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New Post 05-10-2005 04:17 AM
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ssi
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-10-2005 by iagrdshaka
Heres a couple more

Unhook battcaps or capacitors

The placement of the sub box is key

aeroports can sometimes actually increase your spl score

Sand the ends of the port

And of course the biggest secret is ductape and resin


i mentioned enclosure placement in the list.
i mentioned rounding the port.

i mentioned using resin in the list. ive seen the posts that people have made about using duct-tape on the ends of the port and on the gasket of the woofer. all of those tests were done on an audiocontrol mic, wich is very inconsistant, and they only tested it once. not very reliable.

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New Post 05-10-2005 04:21 AM
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squeak9798
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 RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-10-2005 by ssi
you wouldnt want to just throw in the lowest guage wire you can find, you should never need your speaker wire to be any bigger than 10 guage, unless your running absolutely insane amounts of power, like 2000 watts and above per wire. the ac outlet in your house carries something like 2000-3000 watts rms worth of power and is only 12-14 guage, but is one solid peice and not strands. alternating current requires less wire to transfer than direct current. power from battery to amp is direct current, therefore a larger guage wire because direct current has more resistance than alternating.

i know that specs can be decieving, thats one reason im not running audiobahn in my car, well the low-end stuff that is.

ive run some of the most highly efficient woofers on the market, and never had any problems with low end or enclosure size. the only way i can see that it would cause those problems is if you put too much power to it, afterall all it is highly efficient and will require less power to move, but of course, like you said that is in a daily driver. for example.. a Memphis HPO will walk all over a DD 9515 in any box, with any power level under 800 watts.. efficiency does matter.. the only time the 9515 will pull away, is when you add a bunch of power... because it will show less power compression then the HPO will.. due to coil size, and cooling..


#1 - Larger guage wire will have less resistence for a given length. If your primary concern is decreasing the amount of voltage loss in the power transfer from amp to speaker, why again wouldn't you want to use large wire?? BCAE has a nice calculator to show you the resistence/resulting power for a given wire length and guage size: http://www.bcae1.com/images/swfs/speakerwireselectorassistant.swf - Fool around with it some. #2 - Hoffmans Iron Law :-p You can have high efficiency, but you'll have to trade off either low frequency extention or box size. You can't have all 3.

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New Post 05-10-2005 09:39 AM
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ssi
Member

 RE: RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-10-2005 by squeak9798
#1 - Larger guage wire will have less resistence for a given length. If your primary concern is decreasing the amount of voltage loss in the power transfer from amp to speaker, why again wouldn't you want to use large wire?? BCAE has a nice calculator to show you the resistence/resulting power for a given wire length and guage size: http://www.bcae1.com/images/swfs/speakerwireselectorassistant.swf - Fool around with it some. #2 - Hoffmans Iron Law :-p You can have high efficiency, but you'll have to trade off either low frequency extention or box size. You can't have all 3.

i must have had the only high effiency woofer ever created that didnt lose low end. please refer to my statement about the speaker wire, about how 10ga would be sufficient until there is an insane amount of power, and be happy.

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New Post 05-10-2005 05:42 PM
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xxwiredxx
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SSI,I was wondering if it would make a difference in your spl if you have all leather interior compared to cloth interior or vice versa? It has been a simple question that I have had on my mind for years now,so that is why I asked.Thanks ahead of time for your reply..

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New Post 05-10-2005 07:19 PM
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ssi
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-10-2005 by xxwiredxx
SSI,I was wondering if it would make a difference in your spl if you have all leather interior compared to cloth interior or vice versa? It has been a simple question that I have had on my mind for years now,so that is why I asked.Thanks ahead of time for your reply..

yes, it can change your spl.

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New Post 05-10-2005 07:36 PM
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squeak9798
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 RE: RE: RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-10-2005 by ssi
i must have had the only high effiency woofer ever created that didnt lose low end. please refer to my statement about the speaker wire, about how 10ga would be sufficient until there is an insane amount of power, and be happy.

Sure....just needed a little bit larger box to acheive it ;-) About the wire guage thing....There is nothing wrong with using larger than 10ga wire. I've never heard of having a lower resistence hurting anything......

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New Post 05-10-2005 07:36 PM
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xxwiredxx
Member

 RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 05-10-2005 by ssi
yes, it can change your spl.

Thanks again for your reply...Let me ask you another quick question since we are talking about types of interior.In your personal opinion,between leather and cloth interior which one do you feel will provide a better chance of getting a good spl score? Thanks ahead of time for your reply..
I have leather interior that is why I am asking..

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New Post 05-10-2005 07:48 PM
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