Torque Cars

Thinking of upgrading my speakers

Discussion in '205/206/207/208 forums' started by Chris7024, 16 January 2009.

  1. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    Decibels are not absolute units.

    They are used for relative measurements only. The SPL in dBa (A-weighted) is not a direct function of amplifier output. regardless of how it's measured.

    Think of it in these terms:

    0dB is flat out (ie as loud as it will go) and -∞dB is silent.
     
    Last edited: 23 January 2009
  2. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    with regard night clubs you could wear earplugs like the staff are supposed to, again we know most of them dont but they are there. this prevents them sueing the nightclub for loss of hearing

    also dB is distance related,
     
  3. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    Ok you confused me about the measurement of dB now. Nightclubs can't cause much damage to hearing though.. cause everyone goes there and doesn't wear ear plugs but everyone seems to have pretty good hearing...
    How will I know that the volume isn't loud enough to cause ear damage other than ringing in my ears? I've put it up really loud before and I can't detect any ringing...
    Also.. what's LPF (Low pass filter) and what difference will it make if I turn it up or down? Same with 'level'
     
  4. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    120 dBA is considered to be threshold of pain for most humans.

    60 dBA is normal spoken conversation level.
     
  5. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    That's just weird. So that means if someone talks quite loud they can give you hearing damage...
    How am I supposed to know what dB I'm playing the music at? I didn't play the music that loud but now my ears are ringing...
     
  6. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    take dB reading as similer to this

    lets say your volume is set to 20 and it measures 90 dB at 1 meter

    to get 91 dB at 1mtr youd need youve volume around 40. its worked out using an inverse square law from what i can remember. should really ask ma dad about this as hes got a degree in noise pollution
     
  7. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    Well my car volume goes up to 30. And I usually put it on 6 or sometimes 8 if I want it abit louder. But I don't know how loud that is because I put alot of bass on too. Isn't there a way to can feel the bass more than you are hearing it?
     
  8. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    in truth most bass you will feel rather than hear .
    generally subs handle frequancys under 50Hz hunam hearing can only hear around 20Hz to 20kMz depending on your own hearing as this changes as you get older

    for example i have an issue with bass in my right ear this is due to the amount of shooting i take part in.
     
  9. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    The numbers are only indices. They have no units as such
     
  10. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    So there's no way I could ever know how loud it is anyway? There's so many different settings I don't think I could ever work out if it's bad for my hearing or not...
     
  11. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    you could install meter on the dash is you were that worried.
    what did you set the gain to on the amp ?
     
  12. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    You'll need a calibrated SPL meter to make any meaningful sense of volume levels. Ignore the volume control settings and whatever number that represents. It is meaningless.

    You're unlikely to be able to generate enough volume in a car to do damage so I'd stop worrying.
     
  13. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    How much are these SPL meters?
    Why do you say I won't generate enough volume to do damage? It goes up to 135dB and someone said over 70dB can do damage. Also a rocket taking off is 180dB.. that's not much more than my car. I just want to be safe.. cause I don't want to be playing music at the same volume all the time thinking its ok but everyday my hearing is detiorating.
     
  14. Ztevieboy

    Ztevieboy Full member

    Messages:
    15
    From:
    Wigan area
    Car:
    206 2.0 Hdi
    Noise-induced cochlear damage is the root cause of the majority of the cases of tinnitus. The primary contributor for this is listening to MP3 players at a very high volume. You should know that listening to your MP3 player set to more than 60% of its maximum volume for an hour or more can damage your cochlea. The cochlea is composed of tiny hairs that send electrical impulses to the auditory nerve, which are then interpreted by the brain as sound. But, when these tiny hairs get bent or broken due to sudden or repeated exposure to loud noise, they randomly send electrical impulses even though no sound waves are detected. This sound usually comes as a ringing noise, which we of course know as tinnitus.

    Loud car stereos have exactly the same effect.
     
  15. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    Where have you taken the notion that your car audio generates 135dBA? I think you've confused signal to noise ratio specifications with apparent and perceived loudness. There is no way you'll create enough air movement to record 135dBA in a car.

    1dBA is the smallest change in level the human ear can reasonably detect.

    An increase of 3dBA will require you to double the input current to the speakers.

    To make something seem twice as loud you will need to add 10dBA. To do this you need to apply TEN TIMES as much current to the speakers. And that's assuming that the speakers can stand it and are still operating in their linear range(s). So, to make a 120 watt system sound twice as loud you will need 1200 watts, put simply. Yet it probably won't seem twice as loud anyway because human hearing is not linear.

    dB measurements, whether as a measure of perceived loudness (A-weighted-dBA) or purely as a relative measurement of signal level have no value whatsoever in audio terms. The dB scale is logrithmic in nature.

    Also, take amplifier ratings in watts with a couple of kilograms of heavily laced salt.
     
  16. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    Ok I can't remember where I saw it... so I was probably wrong about it being 135dB
    But Ztevie says listening to an Mp3 player at 60% volume can damage your hearing, so surely my speakers in my car would. How many dB do you think my speakers will go at maximum including the bass? And if I put the bass on the max and put it at volume 8 out of 30 do you think that'd cause damage?
     
  17. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi

    Firstly, with regard to Ztevie's statement: 60% of what?

    Let's please stop comparing volume control positions. As I said in a previous post, treat 0dB as flat out and minus infinity as silent, or off.


    If you use lots of bass boost then you will need more powerful amplifiers and speakers that can handle the power. Bass is very demanding of amps and speakers. To get strong bass you need to move LOTS of AIR. Amplifier watts alone don't resolve this. Sub-woofer placement and phase cancellation make a far bigger difference to the quality of the sound you think you're listening to.

    If you're using the bass EQ set to max then there's little amplifier current reserves to deal with anything else.

    This will limit the maximum SPL possible.

    If I were to guess I'd say you might achieve 102-103 dBA.

    Go and listen to a symphony orchestra live. It's disturbingly loud. This is can possibly be equated to about 109-112dBA

    To truly reproduce that dynamic range across the whole audio spectrum you will probably need about 3kW of continuous output power and speakers that can handle such programme level peaks.
     
  18. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    So I'd only get to about 100dB at the most? So what you're saying is I could put all the bass, treble, loudness, volume etc. up to the max and it wouldn't damage my hearing permanently (because 100dB wouldn't damage hearing if it was only for a minute or two, and I would never play it at full blast longer than that lol). And also since I'm playing it at volume 8 out of 30 and there's not much bass, one would assume that can't be much more than 80dB? So basically I can do whatever I like with the settings and volume cause it won't damage my hearing, is that right?
     
  19. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    Pretty much yes. 80dBA is probably a good guess and yes again, that will not damage your hearing in the slightest. Even with all the EQ wound up to max.

    You might find the odd programme peak (loud bit - kick bass, for example) might push it up 10dB or so but is only for a very short time.
     
  20. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    What about when I had ringing in my ears the other day?
     
  21. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    I'm not a neuroscientist but if I were a gambler I'd plonk five hundred quid on your hearing being absolutely fine.

    We need to take the incessant nanny state missives a little more lightly in my opinion. I played for a dozen years or so in a couple of very viable money earning covers bands. And the stage levels were high. Unavoidably so. It was quite common for each of us to have a 500 watt floor monitor point straight at us so we could hear the vocals clearly and pitch our own correctly.

    And virtually every gig I'd have ringing ears for the whole drive back home - quite often 2-3 hours.

    And the ringing persisted.

    Next morning - all gone. And my hearing is still very very acute.

    Some witter on about it catching up later in life. There's no evidence to suggest this actually happens.

    Don't spend the next forty years in purgatory waiting to suddenly go deaf as a result of a few loud gigs.
     
  22. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    Damn when I first looked at that I thought it said you are a neuroscientist lol.
    Well I haven't noticed any hearing problems.. but I don't think I would notice if I had any anyway...
     
  23. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    You'll be fine. It takes a lot of repeated exposure to very high SPLs (sound pressure levels) over years to start accumulating significant, or even noticeable harm. For example, operating a road drill four hours a day for fours years without any hearing protection might cause some loss of top end treble acuteness.
     
  24. Chris7024

    Chris7024 Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    109
    Car:
    peugeot 207 1.4
    What about the dude who said keep your music at a level your ears a comfortable with then when they adjust to the music don't be tempted to turn it up?
    And I've heard a few DJs saying they've noticed as the years have gone by they are listening to music on their headphones at a much higher volume. Wouldn't this be due to deafness from loud music?
     
  25. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    High quality studio headphones might be able to shove in higher than sensible levels. As might DJ headphones to be able to get over the level of the house PA.

    But were talking about far higher levels than any car system will achieve.

    Now please stop worrying yourself, Chris.

    You'll wind up with perfect hearing but suffering from severe anxiety and stress as a result of the worry.
     
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