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 Speaker Placement
This tutorial is on Speaker Placement Specifically in Ford Falcons
I will cover the specifics about whets required to mount into each location in another tutorial.

Speaker Location
Front Stage
I'll start with the most important speakers in the car the front stage. The placement, angle and type of front speakers you select will make or break your entire system,. Great speakers installed poorly or not angled correctly will sound poor no matter what you do. Average speakers installed well can sound very good even in a modest set-up.

Important point to remember
- The higher the frequency the more direction it is. Tweeters therefore are very directional, their distance to the listener are crucial and their angle is very important a few degrees can make a huge difference in sound. Midbass drivers on the other hand are not very directional and the distance between them and your ears is not as important. Subwoofers are not directional and can be mounted backwards in a boot without affecting sound quality.
- Try to avoid mounting tweeters and midrange drivers more than a hand span apart. You will lose a sense of a single point source and will perceive separation in the sound. I.e. try to avoid mounting midbasses in the doors and then tweeters in the dash. Instruments that span a range of frequency's (most instruments) such as guitar, drums and vocals will appear to drop from up high on the stage to down low and will not sound coherent.
- No matter where you're mounting speakers (particularly doors) sound deadening will provide significant benefits and in my opinion is essential.



The first thing to consider is whether you are looking for a 2 way or 3 way front stage. This may be determined by a number of factors such as:
- Budget
- Time you have available for install
- Experience with installation techniques such as working with fiberglass & MDF
- How much you wish to cut into the vehicle or maintain a factory look and be able to return it to original condition for sale

2 way front stages are by far the most popular, easiest & cheapest to install and usually cheaper than a 3 way set-up to purchase. You can still get excellent results with a 2 way front stage so don't think more speakers is better. In a person with good hearing the frequency span we can hear is 20htz – 20,000hkz (of 20k) The more parts you break the sound into (i.e. 3 way front stage) the harder it can be to put it back together and get the correct sound so 2 way set-ups do have some advantages.



2 Way Vs 3 way front stage - Pro's and Con's
- Usually cheaper to purchase than 3 way systems (less speakers and smaller crossovers)
- It is easier to re-assemble sound broken in 2 instead of broken into 3 pieces.
- Easier to install into a car as you only have to find 2 speaker locations per side. The tweeter is usually very small so you really only need one larger speaker location such as a door or kick panel.
- Normally requires less amplifier power
- Easier to maintain a factory look with 2 way set-ups and prevent the need to have to hack into the car for installation.
- In a 2 way system each speaker has to reproduce more of the frequency range so they cannot play as loud before distortion occurs
- 3 ways system have a dedicated midrange so each speaker can be built to reproduce a specific frequency range.

I have found the when installed and tuned correctly 3 way systems tend to have a more accurate midrange (because they have a dedicated midrange driver playing those frequencies) and more midbass because the midbass driver is larger and does not have to cover the upper midrange. Generally they can also play louder.

Location
There are a number of locations for speakers in a falcon so here are the pro's and con's of each.

Ideally speakers on both sides of the car would be the same distance away from all passengers meaning all sound arrives to them at the same time. When you go to a rock concert the best place to be is up the front in the middle (unless you like moshing on top of the crowd). In a car it is obviously very difficult to get all speakers the same distance away so the closer they are the better the imaging will be. The idea is to be in the centre of the soundstage.

Kick panels
The closest you can get to equidistant speaker placement is usually in the kick panels. In a falcon this means approx 145cm to the passenger side kick and 120cm to the drivers side.
The kick panels will accommodate a midrange and tweeter or up to a 6.5" midbass (with some work). For 2 way set-ups the kick panels work very well and in my opinion are the best way to go. With 3 way front stages the midrange and tweeter fit nicely in the kick panels and they generally image and stage best in this location.

More detailed pics and specific directions will be provided in a later tutorial




Door
The door can be used to accommodate from 1 to all 3speakers. The biggest advantage of the doors is they are large and easy to work with off the car. The factory location also accommodates up to 6.5" speakers with minimal work, little installation cost and maintains the vehicles original look. It is also easy to buy a new door skin and simply change it over when you wish to sell the car.

If ease of installation and maintaining a factory look is a priority then you get very nice results with a pair of 5.25" splits in the factory door location. Mount the tweeter and woofer on a piece of 6mm MDF and angle it as much as you can behind the grill towards the opposing headrest. For a 3 way system you can perform a door build out on the bottom of the doors and mount large speakers up to 8".



Dash & A-Pillars
The main advantage of dashboard or A-pillar locations is they are very high up and it is quite easy to maintain a high soundstage. The Dash is also the factory location for the tweeters so it is very simple to place tweeters in this location.
The drawback is tweeters placed in the dash fire directly at the glass which smears the image and diffuses the sound. Glass also tends to emphasizes high frequency's and can cause a tweeter to sound harsh and aggressive, especially hard dome tweeters, I do not recommended the standard dashboard location. If you do use this location you may need to use the -2db or -3db option on your speakers crossover to drop the tweeter level down a little.

A-pillars have the advantage of being able to angle tweeters across the car for a nice high soundstage without reflections, the drawback is without time alignment or balance control the closest tweeter will sound louder than the one further away.


Under Feet/Front Seat
This location is only suitable in 3 way front stages for the midbass driver. It is reasonably equidistant and the wave frequency of midbass drivers means that with them firing up the midbass diffuses across the windscreen and lifts the soundstage. I have found this location works very well for midbass drivers however it obviously takes up some space around your feet. It also requires you to construct an enclosure.



Summary
No one location is the only answer for a good sounding car. My experience has been as follows.


For 2 way systems :
- Tweeter and midrange in the kick panels performed the best for imaging and staging
- Mounting midrange and tweeter in the door together gave a good sound and required a lot less work than the kick panels.
- Mounting the midrange in the factory location and tweeter in the A-pillar performed quite well and maintained a good stage height. Having the tweeter in the dash caused the image to be smeared across the glass and some separation was noticeable as the tweeter and midrange are almost 1 foot apart. When mounting in the doors try to angle the midrange up at the opposing headrest. Even 15degrees makes a difference to stage height and imaging. It also prevents standing waves caused by the speakers sound reflecting back from the door behind it.
 
 Document Summary
 
Document description: Part 2 of Pyroay's Car Audio Tutorials
Document written by: pyroay on 08 2005>, Copyright © 2005 pyroay, all rights reserved.
Document revised: 08 2005 - Revision 1.0
Document views: 15787 since 08 2005



 

 

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