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Old 11-08-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
Romans5.8
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Default Any car audio / speaker guys in the house?

I tried to ask this question on an audio specific forum but two pages later and no luck. I keep getting links to non-marine grade speakers and a bunch of people giving me solutions that aren't one of the options! Y'all around here have spoiled me the way you all answer questions here.

So anyway, this winters plans include a fairing. I've got two options, two 6x9 speakers, or 4 5.25" speakers.

Any suggestions on which would be louder? It's been my experience that you don't get much bass at speed. Just curious as to what would be louder and clearer at speed. I'm leaning towards the 6x9, because that will leave two channels open for mounting pod speakers on my tour pak later, but if the 4 5 1/4 speakers will be louder, that might be the better options.

Thoughts? An amp probably isn't an option due to the limited power output of the 900 stator. So whatever I run will just be powered by the head unit.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:13 AM   #2
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Try J&M Audio.
www.jmcorp.com.
The only thing they does specialize in motorcycle audio.

Another good source is Sierra Electronics.
www.sierra-mc.com
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad46 View Post
Try J&M Audio.
www.jmcorp.com.
The only thing they does specialize in motorcycle audio.

Another good source is Sierra Electronics.
www.sierra-mc.com
Thanks but it doesn't look like sierra nor JM sell the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I'm not looking for a handlebar audio system I'm looking for a system for my fairing that I'll be buying and installing later. The question was more about folks opinions on the two options listed above, not necessarily where to buy it. They both sell speakers, but for OEM fairings that use small and odd shaped speakers (5" range). I AM looking at the possibility of 5.25" speakers, but, in the standard automotive style, not the odd 'honda' shape. That, or 6x9 speakers which no OEM fairings use.

Thanks for the reply though.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:39 AM   #4
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I would think the 6x9's would give more sound, and if there's room to build some type of ported enclosure behind them, you would hear better base response.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:24 AM   #5
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Have you checked Crutchfield.com? They do a fantastic job with car audio, they have marine speakers and other electronics. The sales and tech support know their stuff and are second to none IMHO. I think three way 6x9 speakers should give you the best sound at freeway speed. Let us know what you learn thanks.

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Old 11-09-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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Dollar to a donut you won't notice the difference. With that few speakers, no amp and at speed you won't know if you're listening to two 6X9's or 4 5.25's. At that point it's purely aesthetics and personal preference. One will be no louder than the other, if you feed either one 40 watts, you're going to hear 40 watts. Crutchfield is a great place to get stuff if you know exactly what you want, also you could stop by a car audio store and they could help also. It's been awhile since I was in the stereo scene but my old camaro could bounce a quarter off the roof with ZZ Top's rough boy. My suggestion is just to get what you're happy with and what you think looks the best.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
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6x9 all the way.

Here's why:
Speakers are not 100 % efficient. Each speaker will lose a certain amount of power just trying to move.

So you need to get as much power to the speaker as you can to get output.

Again- More speakers does not mean more decibels- unless you want tweeters screaming at you. Tweeters require little energy, mid range requires more and bass the most of all. Mids will be underpowered every time bass is called for- The bass will rob the mid range output straining to produce the bass.

MUST: get a head unit with the ability to cut the low end frequencies aka a built in "cross-over" (in this case you want to be able to cut 60hz and below). That size speaker in that style enclosure would be lucky to hit 70hz so this reduces power draw.

An alternative is a "bass blocker" rated for 60hz cut off (basically a capacitor you put on the speaker wire between the head unit and speaker), but they may draw just as much power as not having one - not sure.

Also I *think* the smoothness of "roll-off" will not be there when using a capacitor/bass blocker vs having it built into the head unit. Essentially the head unit cut at 60 would be gradual diminishing of volume from approx 80hz down to 60 whereas the capacitor would be sharper cut.

To drive the original point home:
If you have 20 watts would you rather give that to 20 speakers or 2? What would be louder then? Remember: speakers have a certain amount of loss or inefficiency. Its "sensitivity".

So get a speaker with the highest "sensitivity" rating you can find. This will give you more output/Db as it is a more efficient speaker. (The higher the sensitivity Db rating, the more efficient the speaker is).


There are a bunch of car audio no-nos here:

Lack of power, lack of separation of front and back waves (sealing front of speaker/ "air around you" from back/"cabinet". Also the L/R speakers share a common cabinet. Not the best.

If it were me:

2 6x9s or 2 6.5s

Small d class amp (optional depending on other powered farkles and what I had left in stator output)

Foam gasket to seal large gaps in fairing (if possible - never handled a fairing like this up close)

Sound Deadener (CLD type resonance Deadener) on insides of fairing to reduce vibration/resonance/Db loss. Just cover 20% of the surface area.
This is more important if the fairing /cabinet is pretty well sealed.

Poly fill (inside of a throw pillow) put inside fairing to make speakers "see" larger cabinet volume and this play lower frequencies. (With netting/ screen to keep it out of head unit aka stereo). Only if I can pretty much seal the fairing enclosure. Otherwise it's not going to do much.


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Last edited by Vulcanrules; 11-09-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcanrules View Post
6x9 all the way.

Here's why:
Speakers are not 100 % efficient. Each speaker will lose a certain amount of power just trying to move.

So you need to get as much power to the speaker as you can to get output.

Again- More speakers does not mean more decibels- unless you want tweeters screaming at you. Tweeters require little energy, mid range requires more and bass the most of all. Mids will be underpowered every time bass is called for- The bass will rob the mid range output straining to produce the bass.

MUST: get a head unit with the ability to cut the low end frequencies aka a built in "cross-over" (in this case you want to be able to cut 60hz and below). That size speaker in that style enclosure would be lucky to hit 70hz so this reduces power draw.

An alternative is a "bass blocker" rated for 60hz cut off (basically a capacitor you put on the speaker wire between the head unit and speaker), but they may draw just as much power as not having one - not sure.

Also I *think* the smoothness of "roll-off" will not be there when using a capacitor/bass blocker vs having it built into the head unit. Essentially the head unit cut at 60 would be gradual diminishing of volume from approx 80hz down to 60 whereas the capacitor would be sharper cut.

To drive the original point home:
If you have 20 watts would you rather give that to 20 speakers or 2? What would be louder then? Remember: speakers have a certain amount of loss or inefficiency. Its "sensitivity".

So get a speaker with the highest "sensitivity" rating you can find. This will give you more output/Db as it is a more efficient speaker. (The higher the sensitivity Db rating, the more efficient the speaker is).


There are a bunch of car audio no-nos here:

Lack of power, lack of separation of front and back waves (sealing front of speaker/ "air around you" from back/"cabinet". Also the L/R speakers share a common cabinet. Not the best.

If it were me:

2 6x9s or 2 6.5s

Small d class amp (optional depending on other powered farkles and what I had left in stator output)

Foam gasket to seal large gaps in fairing (if possible - never handled a fairing like this up close)

Sound Deadener (CLD type resonance Deadener) on insides of fairing to reduce vibration/resonance/Db loss. Just cover 20% of the surface area.
This is more important if the fairing /cabinet is pretty well sealed.

Poly fill (inside of a throw pillow) put inside fairing to make speakers "see" larger cabinet volume and this play lower frequencies. (With netting/ screen to keep it out of head unit aka stereo). Only if I can pretty much seal the fairing enclosure. Otherwise it's not going to do much.


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Okay so I'll just bring it all over to your house and have you help me out eh? LOL.

So sounds like two 6x9's is the way to go. There IS a company who makes two 6.5 speaker enclosures, but that fairing is much more expensive.

So if a stereo tells me the 'three band equalizer' can be set for:

+/- 10 dB at 60 Hz
+/- 10 dB at 1 kHz
+/- 10dB at 10 kHz

That means if I run 60hz at -10db I'm okay? Or is that not what you were talking about?

D class amp is a no go. Kawasaki says I have about 70 watts of extra juice leftover. That means a 5 amp car stereo (60 watts) is pushing it to begin with. I realize that I'm going to suffer in the quality department on that one, but, a motorcycle is an acoustical nightmare anyway. You just won't get concert sound at speed. But there is also no sense on me spending money on sub-par stuff if I can make the best of what limited options I have!

Also, from the bottom of my heart- THANK YOU for explaining why. I have asked this question on car audio forums, to guys at crutchfield, e-mailed manufacturers of fairings. I either got 'both are about the same' or an opinion one way or another, but NOBODY would tell me or explain to me why they felt that way. I already know what my two options are, I don't need a bunch of people I don't know repeating them to me! Finally though, an explanation as to why! And it makes sense.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:06 PM   #9
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You're quite welcome. I know how hard it is to get lucid data with this stuff. Everybody is an expert until you ask followup questions. Particularly an issue with car audio where the nebulous quality of sound is involved and we easily deceive ourselves in our pride after installation.

In general I tend to both overindulge my curiosity and need to understand the data in order to make qualified decisions about the "professional" advice I solicit. It's frustrating just trying to do something right isn't it!? In the age of eBay the quality of advice is transferring from mom n pop shops to forums where they can breed their own culture of misinformation sometimes - although I have learned a lot from them you still have to sift though and find the gurus. It's almost like you have to get into an expert level education just to build a decent budget system.

I digress...

A 3 band eq is not a substitute for a crossover. It's objective is to diminish signal intensity at a given "center" and then rope in other frequencies adjacent both above and below it on an arc with the greatest cut at the stated frequency.

So it doesn't do much for 20 hz and frequencies above that which are left unaffected by the lowest EQ setting.

If you already have the head unit and can't return it- plug it in and if needed get some bass blockers so the speakers play cleaner. Again, not sure if the caps/blockers will absorb energy and offer no power savings but at least your speakers will play cleaner/clearer by not trying to reproduce low tones it can't and distorting the cone which is trying to meanwhile play Midrange /low mid accurately.

Best bet- a head unit with a "built in crossover" and even better "variable level built in crossover".

I actually have an old kenwood with a separate Sirius receiver sitting in a box in storage. I used it 4 years or so and it's been sitting 3 years collecting dust. It has all kinds of settings you'll never need/use. I'd have to research if it would actually be a viable option CD player wise because on a motorcycle you'd def want a good amount of skip protection (a 10 second or better buffer) so if it skips it can play off the buffer while it re-tracks so playback is seamless.

When you install whatever radio you get- its gotta be secure. If the backside of it is flopping up and down its gonna skip a lot.

Also- the screen needs to be good in bright light. The best screen I ever had was on a pioneer where it had blue background illumination and black alphanumeric. I guess because of the contrasting colors it made it more legible than just the alphanumeric being illuminated. Worst was a cheap off brand with a vacuum fluorescent display. LEDs are obviously going to be much crisper and brighter than fluorescent.

Finally- pick something with large buttons so gloved fingers can operate it easily. Or with a good large rubber buttoned remote if you can find a good mounting location. Get some of that e-z pass/bristle-block style Velcro. As long as you prep the surface for adhesion that stuff will never let anything of reasonable weight break free unannounced- including large GPS's so long as you use it in the right amount and in the right plane of resistance to jolts.


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Last edited by Vulcanrules; 11-09-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #10
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Also: when choosing speakers look for ones that are designated ok for "infinite baffle" or "free air" installation.

What this means is that it doesn't need a sealed cabinet so much and bass response should be stronger. Although those are prob the ones with lower sensitivity ratings meaning they are liable to have a stiffer cone and thus need a bit more juice.

This is where the car audio forum can help a lot. Especially with 6x9s you should be able to find some reviews of guys who stuck em in the rear deck of their car (free air/IB 75% of the time) and how they performed.



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