Archive for February, 2010

The good and the bad about car audio equalizers

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Equalizers (EQ) are great tools for fine tuning those little frequencies that is missing in your system.

EQs cannot be applied to solve foundation problems. In fact the more EQ is being used the worst off the system can be tonally.

Our goal is to naturally EQ the system using as much as possible, cable, power management and associated equipment etc., while maintaining an external EQ to fill in the minor missing gaps.

EQs must be flexible, less digital inclined and should not alter the tonal palette drastically.

It should be analog sounding where possible and have a good solid power supply section. EQs can help restore some voltage drop by enhancing back the signal before it is fed to the amplifiers or next chain of equipment.

That is all EQs should do. It is not a magical wand to cure system problem. It is an aid and not a cure.

Without EQs, a system can sound lonely, a tad dry and subdued (depending on systems). EQs enhances the presence, brings back hat little that is missing without overdose.

At Audio Creations (AC), we use Audio Control (AC) not because it is synonymous with AC but due to it’s long standing solidity and quality. We are experts with AC units and we know how to identify which units are better than others and what joys it can bring you, and what it cannot do.

We highly recommend modifications for EQs and crossovers (primarily AC units) by means capacitor upgrades and high-end modules. They make significant tonal benefits and improve the grip and control in the music material. We offer these mods, for both new and used alike.

Know the boundaries of what an EQ can do, and it can be a useful tool to bring you a step up in your car audio system.

Enjoy tuning….

Do I need an expensive, double-stacked, triple-stacked, high-powered subwoofer?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Subwoofers!! Can’t live without one, yet some people are trying ways to do without them. Can we come up with a good car audio system without one? We cannot lie to you, the answer is NO.

I have seen many “champions” spend thousands on a good imported subwoofer but expect to get it all up and running for lows couple of hundred ringgit (RM). You see that commonly in Malaysia because imported car audio equipment is expensive here due to the weak currency, hefty shipping and high-taxes. Therefore people tend to stinge on the application and installs. Furthermore, if you spend on expensive, power hungry (demanding) and low sensitivity subwoofer, be prepared to splurge equally on amplification.

Subwoofers like any speaker driver sounds as good as how you build them. Enclosure, crossover and placement all plays an important part. In other countries, one may spend as much on making the enclosure right as they have invested on the subwoofer driver itself. Some people even build a couple of enclosure to see which ones works best and sounds best in their system.

Sometimes it takes a long time for a person to decide on what subwoofer to buy, but the minute they get it, they rushed for the installers to slap it into a box. Guess what, the choice is usually the smallest sealed enclosure. What if the bass is too hard and does not go low? Stuff it with polyfill?

Building a right enclosure is not rocket science nor it’s a simple task especially in a  car audio environment. It is still a tough nut to crack but with the right expertise, equipment and know-how, you’ll fall in-love with your subwoofer again. It can be a budget JL audio WO, to expensive JL audio W7, to exotics like Scanspeak 23w and Phase Aliante, all the same rules apply.

You don’t need an expensive subwoofer per se. Look at home audio subwoofers, many of them use reasonably affordable drivers, no where high-end! Yet, some home audio ones are very expensive (an indication would be rm5,000-rm15,000). Why? Because it has a built in plate amplifier? Could seem like a good reason but it is not. We know the prices of those plate amplifiers. 

Remember to spend wisely. Equal amounts to material, application and install. Efficiency, displacement and tuning goes a long way.

A sales pitch to promise you results to better your car audio system

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

A sales pitch! Yes, exactly what it is. Audio Creations is putting out a challenge to enthusiast, customers, loyal followers and even beginners to visit us and see if we can better your system. No obligations, no unnecessary purchases or worries… just a bit of time and inconvenience of leaving your vehicle with us while you are busy at work, vacation or play.

In many instances, the bigger the better, the more power the better, the more delicate the better sound quality, the more status the more bling (or is it the other way around?)… is that what you really want?

We are results oriented. You pay for huge performance and not a shiny new toy or bragging rights. No competitions, trophies, public recognition and attention grabbing. More admirers, less enemies. Gain respect,  gain stature without the fuss and let people brag on your behalf.

Sounds good? That’s what your car audio will be, if you take this step. Call us for an appointment.

0123315669 – michael

 

 

disclaimer: there is none!

Foundation to a solid sounding Car Audio – Power Conditioning

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Have you ever wondered why some car audio systems can sound so wholesome and powerful, while some other mega-watt and mega-expensive setups do not sound at all that powerful?

Interestingly, but not uncommon, some systems are so narrow and limited to certain music genres it can perform admirably, while others can give you hours of enjoyment with almost any cds you throw at it.

A very simple truth is a bad foundation. By that I mean, the system is sitting on a bad platform… no, not the car environment, not the car acoustics like everyone like to blame and critisize but a bad footing, known as power supply, or what we at Audio Creations like to term is as car audio power management (CAPM).

Without power, there is no music. Power feeds the source unit, feeds the amplifiers and all tuning devices (processors) before it can do anything to re-create music within your space.

Just like any of us are aware (or if you have not by now), if you playback bad media (badly recorded material, pirate copies, scratched compact disc etc.) through your source unit, do not expect to get much except garbage-in, garbage-out.

However, ever noticed that even if you support well recorded cds, not all of it sound as to what you expect before you pop-it into your cd player. After awhile, you may even stop buying because ‘expensive’ did not give you the desired results or equal enjoyment.

Why? you ask us… At Audio Creations we address the whys and why nots before addressing the change this and change that because we believe in giving you more than what is worth to your ears and not what it is worth to your pocket.

CAPM is a serious issue, especially if you have spent thousands, tens of thousands or more on your system without jaw dropping improvements. Without writing an essay, CAPM gives you:

a) squeezes out the full capability of your equipment – you want 100% from your investment and not merely 20-30% of what your gears are capable of.

b) makes a quieter background, one that is less hissy, spitty and noisy – we always blame hiss and brightness on the recording and some even blame the tweeter without realising it is not.

c) reconditions the wholesome and life in the music – bad power thins out music and robs the life out of what would have been a good performance.

d) makes future upgrades worth every penny - a good foundation paths the way to  realising that high-end is not about snake oil (unfortunately some may be). when a system is able to show it’s full potential, we can judge better if an upgrade is worth the invesment. without power management, changing an equipment could only give you a measly 10% improvement (suprisingly yet people accept, as is), whilst with it’s price-tag, it’s claimed to give you a huge difference (50%-100% at least).

CAPM is not easily understood. That is the reason why nobody sells the idea. There is really nothing to see or touch. Only seasoned, winning competitors and some exhibitors may use them as a secret weapon. Now, it’s about time you understand and upgrade your weapons too….

What say you?