Question on Jags

Question on Jags *******************************
I am not knowledgeable on car audio systems at all.
I have a few questions:
1. What has a greater impact on the sound quality of a car audio system ? Is it the speakers or the sound unit ie CD changer/player/radio ?
2. I have a Lexus which has a Nakamichi sound sytem. It sounds fabulous. When I test drove a XJ8 2005 Jag, the car guy said it had an Alpine sound system giving me the impression that it was a premium sound system. However, I did not care for it. So I am confused.
My 15 year old son says if I want better sound, all I have to do is to upgrade the speakers. Is that true ? He says it is very easy to install better quality speakers on a Jag. Again is this true ?
I thought the CD changer made a greater impact on the sound quality. My son claims the speakers make all the difference.
3. What are the standard and premium sound systems in 2004 / 2005 Jags ? ( specifically XJ8)
Thanks for your help in advance,
Irfan Ballard
California
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The speakers are by far the most critical piece in any audio system, followed by the power amplifier. That's not to say that a crummy amp won't ruin the sound out of good speakers- it will. But a middle-of-the-road amp through good speakers will sound far better than a high-end amp through poor speakers, in general. The CD player itself has probably the least affect on sound of all, its relatively easy to produce good quality "line level" (milliwatt) output. Where it gets hard is in the power amplifier, converting milliwatts to 10s of watts, and then hardest of all in the speakers converting electrical signals to sound with good fidelity. The really hard-to-predict thing is how the speakers will interact with the car itself. What surrounds the speakers has a huge impact on how they sound. Door-mounted speakers generally don't sound as good as speakers mounted in the package tray of a sedan which can use the trunk as a resonant space, for example.
FWIW, I wouldn't consider Alpine "high end" by any stretch. Maybe things have changed since I was an audio buff in the 80s, but Alpine used to be about on a par with Pioneer and the like.
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You might want to take this to rec.audio.car. However, you should know a few things. First of all, most car audio systems (at any price) are not designed to be accurate and sound pretty awful when trying to play back classical and acoustic music.

The speakers. But what is even more important is the shape of the inside of the car and the speaker placement. In a typical car system, the driver is sitting way to the side.... not in between the two speakers and forming an equilateral triangle between them. There are all of these reflective surfaces. Usually the speakers are pointed in weird directions and not directly toward the listener.

There are lots of premium sound systems out there that sound terrible.

Upgrading the speakers would be the first thing to do before anything else, yes. Probably not all that expensive.

No, these days the electronics are pretty decent, even crappy electronics. But it's still hard to make good speakers, and it's damned near impossible to set them up properly inside a car.

Damned if I know, the last Jag I worked on was an XKE with an AM radio.... --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On Tue, 14 Apr 2009 18:39:53 -0700, irfanballard wrote:

Your son is pretty good for a 15 Year Old!!
Yeah, upgrading the speakers is the easiest way to get a better band for your buck from any stereo. The Nakamichi would sond like an AM radio with bad speakers.
Spend some time over days trying to find the right speaker. You can burn your ears out fast trying to do it all in one day. I generally use MB Quart, but mine were made in Germany before Rockford took them over. Still decent speakers. I like deep bass and crisp highs, and they suit me well. First thing I did with my Scion was installed the Quarts, and all was well for about a year until I upgraded to a JVC MP3 player.
Alpine is a good stereo, but certainly not in the same class as Nakamichi...
Adding an amp won't hurt, either. The more overhead, the better the sound.

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Some people around here have those very loud ''sound systems'' in their cars.The kind that rattles the windows in my house.I wish I had some kind of a super duper remote control gadget I could use to fry the ''sound system'' in their cars. cuhulin
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On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 22:40:38 -0500, cuhulin wrote:

"Loud" /= "good".
I have a JVC MP3 player (same model) in the Supra and the Scion. The Supra also has a 4x100W/ch amp powering the same model Quarts as in the Scion, and a 12" woofer w/ 300W.
You can't hear it outside. It doesn't rattle the license plate.
You can't hear someone talking inside the car, either. Clean & good is better than just plain loud
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