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Car audio speakers as replacement woofers? Good or bad, and why?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Bass guitar speakers seem so expensive, and I know you get what you pay for. Would it be possible to replace the woofers in a bass cabinet with car audio woofers as long as they had the correct power handling? How would it sound?
  2. wildsponge


    Oct 21, 2004
    Novato, CA
    No way. Car speakers are designed to work in cars. If you put them in a cab, they'd sound alright depending on how your ran them, but you wouldn't get any projection. Stick with bass speakers
  3. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    Use the SEARCH feature; it's been covered a lot.

    There are some very nice car audio speakers and there are also cheap ones; you get what you pay for. In either case, car audio speakers are subwoofers and only work up to about 200hz or less, while your bass speakers commonly go to 1,000 - 5,000hz. If you need subwoofers, they are worth considering, but they suck a lot of power.
  4. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    AS a rule consummer Audio speakers are desighned to handle compressed and mastered Cd's etc. Even the monster bass Cd's don't send the transient spikes of levels that a bass cab will see. On most all production cd's are very heavily limited where as a bass amp many times sends a signal that can have huge variences in sound pressure levels. There may be some car speakers that are an exception to this rule but not many of them, a bass speaker that is rated for a hundred watts in many cases will see peak levels as high as 300 watts! Where as car systems deliver very consistant power lvels.
  5. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    The main issue you have with car audio speakers is their low efficiency. They rely very heavily on cabin gain to acheive decent volume. Once you take them outside of a car interior, you don't get much volume out of them.

    Look at the efficiency ratings of some car or home audio subwoofers, then look at the efficiency of some bass guitar or PA cabs. Most car/home speakers will be in the mid to high 80's, pro sound stuff will be in the mid to high 90's - some in the low 100's.

    Even though some car subs have extremely high power ratings, they also have extremely low efficiency.

    1000 watts into a speaker with an efficiency of 85db gets you 115db theoretically - when you factor in power compression, you're looking at more like 110db. Compare that to a an SVT 8x10, which peaks out at around 125db.

    What this translates to is that you basically cannot get the kind of volume you need for an average rock gig out of car/home audio speakers. If you've got a drummer with a really light touch and a quiet guitarist (yeah, right), you might be able to use car/home audio stuff, but you'll be running it right at it's limit.
  6. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours Supporting Member

    Since we're talking cars here, your action would be the equvilant of using a tire off your John Deere tractor on your Pontiac. While it might get you out the driveway, your mileage would be awful.

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