ROLL CALL: Who has surround sound in their car(s)?

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sjcorne

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The problem with adding surround to today's cars is that manufactures keep putting the rear speakers in the bottom of the rear doors.
The Acura's have the rear speakers behind the rear headrests. The rear door speakers play the front channel content at about 1/2 level.
 

par4ken

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No. The problem with surround in cars is that the people in the rear seats hear the rear speakers over the front speakers. It is a crappy mix for them. I'm always in the front though, so... I'm okay with that. :) I learned this from a friend who I was trying to impress with my new car and its surround system. Unfortunately, she was in the rear seat and just said, "I'm only hearing effects". And it wasn't a bad mix. It was Porcupine Tree.
That is the same problem but in reverse. Personally I'm not overly concerned about the sound in the back seats. A solution for the front listener might be applicable for improving the sound in the back as well. I'm thinking that you need speakers (mid drivers at least) mounted higher so that they can be heard everywhere in the vehicle. The dilemma is how to best accomplish that goal.
 

par4ken

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The Acura's have the rear speakers behind the rear headrests. The rear door speakers play the front channel content at about 1/2 level.
My Ford truck has no rear headrests, just the back window. Correction it does have headrests I don't know how you could attach speakers to them though, I don't think that a rear seated passenger would enjoy having a speaker directly behind his head. There is a bit of space on the back support columns for the roof but the shoulder harness covers that.
 
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Infomas

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That is the same problem but in reverse. Personally I'm not overly concerned about the sound in the back seats. A solution for the front listener might be applicable for improving the sound in the back as well. I'm thinking that you need speakers (mid drivers at least) mounted higher so that they can be heard everywhere in the vehicle. The dilemma is how to best accomplish that goal.
How about an Atmos approach with speakers in the ceiling. 😂
 

furui_suterioo

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I just mounted a pair of Pioneer M650pro 6.5 inches speakers in my rear hat shelf and Kicker 5.25 inches in the front doors, but now one channel on my 4ch amp has crapped out so I haven't got quad yet.
I will be using the Involve QS demo board for matrix and a Q8 player for discrete.
I usually end up lowering the volume of the front speakers in most cars, but the rear Pioneers are going to have much more mid and bass than the front Kickers so it might work perfectly for front passengers. I dont care about the rear passengers :)
 

tonyE

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I miss the ELS in our old TSX Sport Wagons.

The rear speakers were mounted on spherical "pods" towards the top of the D pillars. So even those in the back set got a good image.

I got stuck in really heavy traffic once, two hours to go two miles, when a big crane shut down the entire I5 in San Clemente... but I didn't notice. I had borrowed a Grateful Dead DVD-A from my coworker... so I just had a nice listening session. By the time the album was over, I was 100 yards from an exit so I got moving around the jam.

However, I didn't care for the surround mix so much, but the audio quality was exceptional.
 

Larry Geller

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No. The problem with surround in cars is that the people in the rear seats hear the rear speakers over the front speakers. It is a crappy mix for them. I'm always in the front though, so... I'm okay with that. :) I learned this from a friend who I was trying to impress with my new car and its surround system. Unfortunately, she was in the rear seat and just said, "I'm only hearing effects". And it wasn't a bad mix. It was Porcupine Tree.
Not a problem at all in the RDX, mixes sound great in the back seat.
 

par4ken

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Well I've completed stage one of getting surround into my Ford F-150. That first step was to replace the crappy in door speakers. While I considered more high end units I settled on the more bargain priced Skar RPX68. I'm not as picky about car audio as I am home audio. While those speakers do blow away the factory units, they seem to have slightly peaky high end response. Now when I adjust the fadder to the rear I can actually hear stereo from the back speakers. The old speakers just produced a muffled mess. Setting the fadder midway the sound is more front centered rather than mid balanced. The new speakers do provide much cleaner well defined bass though.

I notice that with the (crappy) factory speaker placement the front left speaker is aimed directly at my left leg and because of that the right side sounds louder!

Step two will be to add an amplifier, required for better sound and to enable the use of a surround decoder. I have on order an eight channel unit.

As step three I'm going to add smaller speakers properly aimed for stereo and surround. I spent a lot of time searching for speakers that could fit. I looked at mounting pods but they were designed for separate midrange and tweeters. I wanted to use a single (or coaxial) full range driver. I just came upon "PIONEER carrozzeria Satellite Full Range Pair Speakers TS-STX510" and so have ordered two pairs.
 

par4ken

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So I received my (eight channel) amplifier from Amazon yesterday. I powered it up on my workbench, power led lights but no sound from any channel. The amplifier was sold as an open box. I noticed what looked like bits of cardboard around the vent holes. Looking closely through the vent I could see what looked like a swollen capacitor. I unscrewed the cover plate to get a better look. Sure enough swollen, blown capacitors in the power supply!

People worry so much about capacitors in vintage equipment but this unit is relatively new! It could have been miss wired or abused by a previous customer, still it makes me wonder. This will be the first time that I have ever had to return a purchase to Amazon. I'm very happy just how easy it is. Print out the return label and drop it off at Purolator.

I've ordered another amplifier, a four channel unit this time. Initially I will run the Pioneer satellite speakers in parallel with the door speakers connected via a capacitor. If that proves satisfactory so be it. If not I can always purchase another four channel amplifier and bi-amplify.
 

furui_suterioo

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I just mounted a pair of Pioneer M650pro 6.5 inches speakers in my rear hat shelf and Kicker 5.25 inches in the front doors, but now one channel on my 4ch amp has crapped out so I haven't got quad yet.
I will be using the Involve QS demo board for matrix and a Q8 player for discrete.
I usually end up lowering the volume of the front speakers in most cars, but the rear Pioneers are going to have much more mid and bass than the front Kickers so it might work perfectly for front passengers. I dont care about the rear passengers :)
I got the NOS JDM Hitachi CS-4000IC Q8 player installed in the dash and the Involve board in the glove box. It sounds great(after correcting slight speed issue) but the front speakers cannot handle as much bass as the rear speakers.
Can I simply add a capacitor in series with each front speaker? What value would be appropriate?
The amplifier is 100W per channel and the front speakers are 4ohm 5.25 in. Thanks.
20220812_083213.jpg
 
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DuncanS

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I got the NOS JDM Hitachi CS-4000IC Q8 player installed in the dash and the Involve board in the glove box. It sounds great(after correcting slight speed issue) but the front speakers cannot handle as much bass as the rear speakers.
Can I simply add a capacitor in series with each front speaker? What value would be appropriate?
The amplifier is 100W per channel and the front speakers are 4ohm 5.25 in. Thanks.
So you'd probably want to reduce anything below 150Hz-200Hz. Have a look at 2-Way Crossover Designer / Calculator Help
 

par4ken

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I got the NOS JDM Hitachi CS-4000IC Q8 player installed in the dash and the Involve board in the glove box. It sounds great(after correcting slight speed issue) but the front speakers cannot handle as much bass as the rear speakers.
Can I simply add a capacitor in series with each front speaker? What value would be appropriate?
The amplifier is 100W per channel and the front speakers are 4ohm 5.25 in. Thanks.
Yes you can add capacitors in series with the front speakers. Car speakers are generally 4 ohm impedance which require twice the capacitance of typical 8 ohm units. To simply roll off a bit of bass try something like 300µF - 400µF. In my application I was going to try something like 100µF as the door speakers will still handle the full bass. I would recommend experimenting with different sizes to see what works/sounds the best. Smaller sizes will block more bass, larger will pass more.

As DuncanS mentioned there are online calculators that you can use to calculate for a particular crossover frequency. Myself I have a large supply of film capacitors that I can pick from, they are too big for most of my electronic projects but would be great for speakers. If you use electrolytics they should be bipolar types.

Alternately if you are running an amplifier they often have crossovers built in. Use high pass for the front and full range for the back.
 

tarkusnj

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There is one car I know of that came with a factory installed universal player that handled surround formats of DVD-A and SACD. I'm sure you all know what it was ; )
 

HomerJAU

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Well I've completed stage one of getting surround into my Ford F-150.

What year is your F-150?

I’ve ordered a new 2023 Ford Everest (based on 2022 Ford Ranger). It has a Sync 4 based 10 speaker system but I suspect it won’t play surround based on testing Sync 4 in a current Mustang. The new Everest has not yet been released although we should see them hit the streets very soon.

I’d like to hear more about your F-150 mods as I may need to do similar. I promised myself my next car would play MCH FLAC but decided the Everest 4x4 was the car to buy for our planned outback adventures.
 

huggies66

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My Ford truck has no rear headrests, just the back window. Correction it does have headrests I don't know how you could attach speakers to them though, I don't think that a rear seated passenger would enjoy having a speaker directly behind his head. There is a bit of space on the back support columns for the roof but the shoulder harness covers that.
Who the hell cares what the passengers in the back like? lol Stereo stays very low when others in the car, for the most part. 90% of the time I'm alone or just a front passenger.

On a side note, I went from an 09 TL to a 13 TL a couple years ago, and the sound seems to have improved quite a bit. Dont believe I had any blown speakers in the 09. Anyone else hear a difference?
 

par4ken

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What year is your F-150?

I’ve ordered a new 2023 Ford Everest (based on 2022 Ford Ranger). It has a Sync 4 based 10 speaker system but I suspect it won’t play surround based on testing Sync 4 in a current Mustang. The new Everest has not yet been released although we should see them hit the streets very soon.

I’d like to hear more about your F-150 mods as I may need to do similar. I promised myself my next car would play MCH FLAC but decided the Everest 4x4 was the car to buy for our planned outback adventures.
My truck is 2009 (Crew cab). The factory speakers were terrible as are most factory jobs. I hate the way "modern" (I know that it is well over ten years old but it is modern to me) vehicles have four speaker systems but the speakers are arranged so that you can only properly hear one set from each seating position. With the older cars you could hear sound from front and rear equally well. By adjusting the fader the sound image would move from the front to the sides to the rear. No cogging effects. Perfect setup for surround.

I don't even get proper stereo with the factory placement in the F-150. I hear the right front perfectly, the left front is muted by my leg and the ridiculously long armrest. I was traveling in my 2019 Pathfinder recently and the placement there is slightly better but not by much. You mainly hear the front speakers, I do not enjoy two speaker stereo and the speakers should be placed farther forward.

I received the Pioneer satellite speakers and have mounted them but have not hooked them up yet. The fronts are on the pillars but I might move them to the doors.
 
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par4ken

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Who the hell cares what the passengers in the back like? lol Stereo stays very low when others in the car, for the most part. 90% of the time I'm alone or just a front passenger.

On a side note, I went from an 09 TL to a 13 TL a couple years ago, and the sound seems to have improved quite a bit. Dont believe I had any blown speakers in the 09. Anyone else hear a difference?
Surround for rear seated passengers is not my priority, but with proper placement it should not be too bad. You will be able to hear the front satalite speakers from the back, and the backs from the front. Angling the rear speakers properly, they shouldn't blast rear seated passengers.
 

dobyblue

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Finally upgraded the awful factory subwoofer in my 2015 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite 5.1 system, didn’t mess around! What a massive difference.
 

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