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(Popular Mechanics)   The 10 best cars for audiophiles. I thought a full sized Dodge van with no windows...oh, AUDIOphiles, nevermind   (popularmechanics.com ) divider line
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7604 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 May 2011 at 8:53 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-05-20 06:34:41 PM  
Car for audiophiles? It'll have to be 1) horribly, offensively overpriced, 2) surrounded by hugely improbable performance claims, and 3) perform no better than the average bimbo box (often worse).

Remember, these are the people that buy Pear cables and fell all over themselves to get special green markers to color the surfaces of their audio CDs with in the belief that it would improve fidelity.
 
2011-05-20 08:00:22 PM  
All I care about is a USB port. I like to cruise around with a memory stick full of MP3's. No batteries or external power necessary, and if I lose it or break it, I buy another one for $25.
 
2011-05-20 08:32:53 PM  
If you pick a car based on the stereo, you are doing it OH so very wrong.
 
Pud
2011-05-20 08:38:14 PM  
From the Mazdaspeed3 - balanced sound and a surprising thump from the subwoofer cleverly mounted inside the spare tire.

Just curious, how the hell does that work when your USING the spare tire?
 
2011-05-20 09:02:04 PM  
I find this relevant to my interests.
 
2011-05-20 09:02:43 PM  

Pud: From the Mazdaspeed3 - balanced sound and a surprising thump from the subwoofer cleverly mounted inside the spare tire.

Just curious, how the hell does that work when your USING the spare tire?


It sits under the tire/wheel. But I see what you did there.
 
2011-05-20 09:05:36 PM  
It's okay, subby, there's a lot of overlap on that particular Venn diagram anyway.
 
2011-05-20 09:10:19 PM  
i395.photobucket.com
 
2011-05-20 09:12:37 PM  
Back when I was 19 and I still cared about stuff like this, I had a Camaro (early 90's) with a pair of Soundstream 12's in that well that GM tried to pass off as a trunk. No seats or anything between me and the boom, just a large glass window to reflect the sound forward. Of course I can't hear for shiat now.

/Transfer Function FTW
 
2011-05-20 09:18:08 PM  
5.1 Mercedes C230 (new window)
caraudiomag.com

/hot sound
 
2011-05-20 09:18:11 PM  

CitizenTed: All I care about is a USB port. I like to cruise around with a memory stick full of MP3's. No batteries or external power necessary, and if I lose it or break it, I buy another one for $25.


That's me. I went from 6 CDs in the changer, plus 6 more in the armrest to, an 8GB thumb drive. Changed my world... and finally got me to stop buying CDs.
 
2011-05-20 09:22:29 PM  

What Plants Crave: Back when I was 19 and I still cared about stuff like this, I had a Camaro (early 90's) with a pair of Soundstream 12's in that well that GM tried to pass off as a trunk. No seats or anything between me and the boom, just a large glass window to reflect the sound forward. Of course I can't hear for shiat now.


I had a Ford Escort EXP(ok quit laughing, I was a kid!), supposed sports car with no back seat, so I just had to fill up all that space. I had 2 kicker competition 15" in a box that sloped down from the back that contained 4 punch 8" where the front boxed area had the crossover, my alpine amp for the highs in the front, 2 punch 75 amps for the subs/mid-bass and a punch 45 for the mids up front. I loved the car until my uncle(the doctor) forced me to take a hearing test at his hospital and realized I had horrible hearing.

Loved the car and even won a few db contests, hearing loss ignored.

/what?
 
2011-05-20 09:23:25 PM  
You know how I know Popular Mechanics doesn't know what an audiophile is? They touted the power specs as if audiophiles care. I use a tube amp; this one is rated 28 watts per channel. Some audiophiles use little 5 watt amps and swear by them.

The headline should be "The Top 10 Cars for Self-Impressed People"

/no boutique parts here; just a 50 year old amp, mid priced speakers and leftover wire from a construction site to hook them up
//I laugh at the idiots with their maple blocks, too
 
2011-05-20 09:34:40 PM  
Missing:

shadyvans.com


Oh wait, they said audiophiles?
 
2011-05-20 09:34:58 PM  
This list is a complete failure. All the cars they piked are VERY noisy.

You want a care where you can actually hear the damn stereo? Get a hybrid or an electric.
 
2011-05-20 09:40:34 PM  
That's all well and good, but how is the soundproofing? Unless the car is dead quiet, and not too many cars are, there's no point to having a super hi-fi system in it, if there was a point in the first place. It's hard enough to hear the difference between CD and DVD-A quality sound under perfect conditions, to expect to hear it doing 80mph on a highway is laughable.
 
2011-05-20 09:41:42 PM  
steamingpile:
I had a Ford Escort EXP(ok quit laughing, I was a kid!), supposed sports car with no back seat, so I just had to fill up all that space. I had 2 kicker competition 15" in a box that sloped down from the back that contained 4 punch 8" where the front boxed area had the crossover, my alpine amp for the highs in the front, 2 punch 75 amps for the subs/mid-bass and a punch 45 for the mids up front. I loved the car until my uncle(the doctor) forced me to take a hearing test at his hospital and realized I had horrible hearing.

Loved the car and even won a few db contests, hearing loss ignored.

/what?

Loud car stereos were our version of those iPod earbud thingies.

StingerJ: Some audiophiles use little 5 watt amps and swear by them.

i341.photobucket.com

We called them 'cheater' amps. Though these were not about sound quality, but volume. Rated at 25w/ch @ 4ohms they would keep you in a low power class, but they were stable down to something like half an ohm.

/boom
 
2011-05-20 09:45:24 PM  
images.hemmings.com
 
2011-05-20 09:47:32 PM  

What Plants Crave: We called them 'cheater' amps. Though these were not about sound quality, but volume. Rated at 25w/ch @ 4ohms they would keep you in a low power class, but they were stable down to something like half an ohm.


Lol, I had a buddy who use a couple of those and then covered them up with the seat backing, I told him he needed to cut it out for heat ventilation but was ignored. A few weeks later he asks me to build him a cover to go around his amps to replace his cover, seems he was on a long road trip when he noticed smoke and when he got out to pop the trunk all that plastic mix on his seat cover had started melting. It stunk so bad he had to get a hotel room for the night. Over heating was bad on some of those amps, one was so bad that a install tech actually had to go to the hospital for burns after his skin blistered.

Saw numerous people destroy cars that could have been avoided.
 
2011-05-20 09:48:59 PM  

farkstorm: 5.1 Mercedes C230 (new window)


/hot sound


I love how the diagram has an Ipod connected to the $10000 stereo. How appropriate - "Man, my mp3's are gonna sound AWESOME through this thing!"
 
2011-05-20 09:48:59 PM  
A car for Audiphiles?

www.cartype.com
 
2011-05-20 09:49:57 PM  
Bazooka tube yo.
 
2011-05-20 10:12:53 PM  

CowboyNinjaD: Missing:

Oh wait, they said audiophiles?


I don't get it.
 
2011-05-20 10:19:33 PM  
oh hey, its got a BOSE in it, that must mean its good. with the way it was starting, i was beginning to think that they just went out and picked cars that came with bose systems.


im mostly happy with the simple little stereo i put in my car. i could really use a 2nd amp so i can run a 10-12" sub, as i would like a bit more bass, but i can live with what i have for now.

Kenwood Kiv-700 w/ 500gb WD External drive
Polk Momo 6x9 in sealed boxes
Polk Momo 4x6 in the kick panels (couldnt fit anything larger)
Xtant A4004

shoved in a tiny little 2 seater convertible. award winning? no. good sounding? yes. audible with the top down and my foot to the floor? yes. its really all i want.
 
2011-05-20 10:26:05 PM  
I really cannot believe that nobody has yet mentioned the best of all: MONSTER trucks.
 
2011-05-20 10:32:31 PM  

Virtuoso80: That's all well and good, but how is the soundproofing? Unless the car is dead quiet, and not too many cars are, there's no point to having a super hi-fi system in it, if there was a point in the first place. It's hard enough to hear the difference between CD and DVD-A quality sound under perfect conditions, to expect to hear it doing 80mph on a highway is laughable.


Damn straight! Driving the old Subaru with 5 guys in it one NYE, there was enough road and engine noise that all the crappy old speakers could manage to put above the noise floor was the bass. I mean, we had Daft Punk going so it wasn't like we couldn't sing along anyhow, but still.

/Actually, "bass" is a misnomer - more like the door panels rattling in time to the music
//I think the speakers are actually completely blown
 
2011-05-20 10:32:43 PM  

horse-pheathers: Car for audiophiles? It'll have to be 1) horribly, offensively overpriced, 2) surrounded by hugely improbable performance claims, and 3) perform no better than the average bimbo box (often worse).

Remember, these are the people that buy Pear cables and fell all over themselves to get special green markers to color the surfaces of their audio CDs with in the belief that it would improve fidelity.


That's not an audiophile, that's just a moron. The same that buy a honda civic and dump a bunch of cash in after market crap and a body kit thinking it's actually fast and cool.
 
2011-05-20 10:35:55 PM  
www.markpascua.com
 
2011-05-20 10:39:22 PM  

steamingpile: What Plants Crave: Back when I was 19 and I still cared about stuff like this, I had a Camaro (early 90's) with a pair of Soundstream 12's in that well that GM tried to pass off as a trunk. No seats or anything between me and the boom, just a large glass window to reflect the sound forward. Of course I can't hear for shiat now.

I had a Ford Escort EXP(ok quit laughing, I was a kid!), supposed sports car with no back seat, so I just had to fill up all that space. I had 2 kicker competition 15" in a box that sloped down from the back that contained 4 punch 8" where the front boxed area had the crossover, my alpine amp for the highs in the front, 2 punch 75 amps for the subs/mid-bass and a punch 45 for the mids up front. I loved the car until my uncle(the doctor) forced me to take a hearing test at his hospital and realized I had horrible hearing.

Loved the car and even won a few db contests, hearing loss ignored.

/what?


I had an Isuzu Rodeo with two 12" Solarbarics (I can't remember the amp) back in the day.

/Oh to be young and stupid again...
 
2011-05-20 10:42:48 PM  

another-farker: oh hey, its got a BOSE in it, that must mean its good. with the way it was starting, i was beginning to think that they just went out and picked cars that came with bose systems.


im mostly happy with the simple little stereo i put in my car. i could really use a 2nd amp so i can run a 10-12" sub, as i would like a bit more bass, but i can live with what i have for now.

Kenwood Kiv-700 w/ 500gb WD External drive
Polk Momo 6x9 in sealed boxes
Polk Momo 4x6 in the kick panels (couldnt fit anything larger)
Xtant A4004

shoved in a tiny little 2 seater convertible. award winning? no. good sounding? yes. audible with the top down and my foot to the floor? yes. its really all i want.


The best custom stereo I ever set up in a car, was with polk momo's in the front and back, same size as you. Added a blaupunkt 3 1/2 in the center and a 10' sub, and I swear i've never heard better. That was in a grand prix.

sadly, its become way too expensive to switch out the stereos in newer cars. with everything being integrated, not like you can just install stuff anymore... just the mounting kit for my rx-8 is something like 250, so I said no thanks. but I miss that high quality sound for sure.
 
2011-05-20 10:49:09 PM  

divx88: horse-pheathers: Car for audiophiles? It'll have to be 1) horribly, offensively overpriced, 2) surrounded by hugely improbable performance claims, and 3) perform no better than the average bimbo box (often worse).

Remember, these are the people that buy Pear cables and fell all over themselves to get special green markers to color the surfaces of their audio CDs with in the belief that it would improve fidelity.

That's not an audiophile, that's just a moron. The same that buy a honda civic and dump a bunch of cash in after market crap and a body kit thinking it's actually fast and cool.


Ever read magazines aimed at audiophiles? All these con-men who claim to have "golden ears" opining at length about the value of this $10000 cable that would actually be better replaced by a straightened coat hanger? That sell widgets that are supposed to "tune" a CD to produce better sound? Most who call themselves "audiophiles" (in my experience) _are_ morons, on a par with chiropractors and homeopaths, and those that cater to them are playing them for the suckers they are.
 
2011-05-20 11:00:04 PM  
Popular Mechanics slide shows suck.
 
2011-05-20 11:02:27 PM  
So we're all 16 again, wonderful.
 
2011-05-20 11:09:17 PM  

grinding_journalist: Pud: From the Mazdaspeed3 - balanced sound and a surprising thump from the subwoofer cleverly mounted inside the spare tire.

Just curious, how the hell does that work when your USING the spare tire?

It sits under the tire/wheel. But I see what you did there.


More importantly, why the HELL are you listening to the radio instead of driving the shiat out of your Mazdaspeed3?

/Proud '07 Mazdaspeed3 owner
//I only turn up the (okay-ish non-Bose) radio to drown out the squeaks and rattles on the highway.
 
2011-05-20 11:17:36 PM  
Not mentioned?

images2.wikia.nocookie.net

washiblog.files.wordpress.com


/both images hot like synthesized pop idols
 
2011-05-20 11:36:10 PM  

grinding_journalist: Pud: From the Mazdaspeed3 - balanced sound and a surprising thump from the subwoofer cleverly mounted inside the spare tire.

Just curious, how the hell does that work when your USING the spare tire?

It sits under the tire/wheel. But I see what you did there.


It sits over the tire:
imageshack.us

/loves my Protege 5
 
2011-05-20 11:46:01 PM  

RogermcAllen: grinding_journalist: Pud: From the Mazdaspeed3 - balanced sound and a surprising thump from the subwoofer cleverly mounted inside the spare tire.

Just curious, how the hell does that work when your USING the spare tire?

It sits under the tire/wheel. But I see what you did there.

It sits over the tire:


/loves my Protege 5


I'll have to check out my spare tomorrow morning. I was wondering where the sub was located.

/2010 Mazda3s without Bose
//not sure I need it... sounds awesome as is
 
2011-05-20 11:53:28 PM  

steamingpile: What Plants Crave: Back when I was 19 and I still cared about stuff like this, I had a Camaro (early 90's) with a pair of Soundstream 12's in that well that GM tried to pass off as a trunk. No seats or anything between me and the boom, just a large glass window to reflect the sound forward. Of course I can't hear for shiat now.

I had a Ford Escort EXP(ok quit laughing, I was a kid!), supposed sports car with no back seat, so I just had to fill up all that space. I had 2 kicker competition 15" in a box that sloped down from the back that contained 4 punch 8" where the front boxed area had the crossover, my alpine amp for the highs in the front, 2 punch 75 amps for the subs/mid-bass and a punch 45 for the mids up front. I loved the car until my uncle(the doctor) forced me to take a hearing test at his hospital and realized I had horrible hearing.

Loved the car and even won a few db contests, hearing loss ignored.

/what?


HA! I had the same car. Two 12" Lanzar 12's, 1000 watt amp. That thing would rattle the hair on the back of your head. AWESOME bass.
 
2011-05-20 11:54:22 PM  

MrEricSir: This list is a complete failure. All the cars they piked are VERY noisy.

You want a care where you can actually hear the damn stereo? Get a hybrid or an electric.


Are you reading the same list we are? They have what are probably the three quietest interiors ever created (the Lexus, Mercedes, and Audi). And three more which are probably in the top 10% (the Acura, Porsche, and Infiniti).
 
2011-05-20 11:58:33 PM  

RogermcAllen:

/loves my Protege 5


wikid one:
/2010 Mazda3s without Bose


Mazduh fanboi brofist!

1.bp.blogspot.com

dokool: Not mentioned?


/both images hot like synthesized pop idols


Wow, Toyota's getting desperate, trying to market their soul-sucking appliance car to otakus. Don't they know most otakus are too broke to afford even a month's payment on a Corolla because they're spending it on anime-related stuff? Besides, isn't Scion the brand that's supposed to be marketed to the younger crowd, while modern Toyotas are for the June and Ward Cleavers of the world?
 
2011-05-21 12:07:52 AM  

Nuff Said McFarky: Wow, Toyota's getting desperate, trying to market their soul-sucking appliance car to otakus. Don't they know most otakus are too broke to afford even a month's payment on a Corolla because they're spending it on anime-related stuff? Besides, isn't Scion the brand that's supposed to be marketed to the younger crowd, while modern Toyotas are for the June and Ward Cleavers of the world?


Putting aside your off-the-shelf otaku bashing, it's an interesting marketing move if only because there's an absurdly small segment of otaku (and by extension an even smaller segment of Americans) that are even familiar with Hatsune Miku, and only a fraction of them would be remotely swayed by these advertisement.

Plus, no itasha option which is a dealbreaker.
 
2011-05-21 12:08:11 AM  
I'm mildly surprised the Hyundai Genesis Sedan isn't mentioned. It's supposed to be a nice enough car, but with a nice stock sound system.

For the record, the car I drive (G37) is my first Bose system and I am fine with it. The decent sub helps, as does fitting 11 speakers into a car of that size.
 
2011-05-21 12:16:10 AM  

dokool: Nuff Said McFarky: Wow, Toyota's getting desperate, trying to market their soul-sucking appliance car to otakus. Don't they know most otakus are too broke to afford even a month's payment on a Corolla because they're spending it on anime-related stuff? Besides, isn't Scion the brand that's supposed to be marketed to the younger crowd, while modern Toyotas are for the June and Ward Cleavers of the world?

Putting aside your off-the-shelf otaku bashing, it's an interesting marketing move if only because there's an absurdly small segment of otaku (and by extension an even smaller segment of Americans) that are even familiar with Hatsune Miku, and only a fraction of them would be remotely swayed by these advertisement.

Plus, no itasha option which is a dealbreaker.


Lighten up, Francis, I am a Weeaboo myself. Can't take a little self-depreciating humor? Besides, I found out this is actually aimed at Asian-Americans, not otaku.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/13/idUS222515+13-May-2011+PRN2​0​110513

Aside from Asian-American otaku, I don't know of any who are familiar with the whole Vocaloid thing, and most Toyota fans are going to buy Toyotas regardless, so I still question the efficacy of this marketing campaign. The recalls plus the ever-improving models from the American and Korean brands are killing them.
 
2011-05-21 12:17:44 AM  

Pud: From the Mazdaspeed3 - balanced sound and a surprising thump from the subwoofer cleverly mounted inside the spare tire.

Just curious, how the hell does that work when your USING the spare tire?


Having owned a Mazda Protege I can answer this one. The sub unit sits in the rim of the spare tire. The tire is mounted horizontally under the rear carpet, the sub sits in the center and a long bolt holds it and the tire to the floor. When the spare is removed the sub can still be bolted to the floor.

/Zoom Zoom and all that
//Still have an 85' RX7 GSL-SE and a "9"
///Mazda, most fun you can have without going German or Italian
 
2011-05-21 12:20:26 AM  
2002 Honda Stock System.

Bone. Stock.
 
2011-05-21 12:23:22 AM  

Nuff Said McFarky:
Lighten up, Francis, I am a Weeaboo myself. Can't take a little self-depreciating humor?


As a former otaku who still does stuff in the convention scene once in a while I mostly object to the insinuation that otaku spend money on anything at all considering how poorly the industry's faring.

Besides, I found out this is actually aimed at Asian-Americans, not otaku.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/13/idUS222515+13-May-2011+PRN20​110513

Aside from Asian-American otaku, I don't know of any who are familiar with the whole Vocaloid thing, and most Toyota fans are going to buy Toyotas regardless, so I still question the efficacy of this marketing campaign. The recalls plus the ever-improving models from the American and Korean brands are killing them.


Interesting read, but they obviously are going for otaku with the AX thing.

As far as people who are familiar with Vocaloid, there's plenty of them on Sankaku Complex (which I read when I want to get angry at my former hobby and those who I shared it with), and they were pretty -pardon the pun- vocal about this campaign at the art.
 
2011-05-21 12:36:23 AM  

dokool: Not mentioned?

/both images hot like synthesized pop idols


no one gives miku any love. and when they do it's sorely un-wanted.

/PO-PO-PO-PO-PI-PO
 
2011-05-21 12:37:59 AM  

Virtuoso80: farkstorm: 5.1 Mercedes C230 (new window)
/hot sound

I love how the diagram has an Ipod connected to the $10000 stereo. How appropriate - "Man, my mp3's are gonna sound AWESOME through this thing!"


I don't think iPods do 5.1
 
2011-05-21 12:42:16 AM  
Audiophiles love sound but have no idea what music sounds like.

Some of my favorite music sounds like shiat. Old Metallica, Ministry, Slayer, death metal. The production value sucked but the songs were amazing. Great sound is a nice plus but boiling it down to the sound neglects the passion of the music.
 
2011-05-21 12:45:56 AM  
jan.ucc.nau.edu

There is no better way to play music in a car. Been using one of these since I was bringing my discman into my car.
 
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