Car stereo for checking mixes

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Does anyone here have a car stereo set up in their studio for checking mixes?

My (GM) car has a factory Bose Stereo system and it's great for checking my mixes. So great in fact, I want it in my studio for quick reference. I don't plan on ripping it out so I'm wondering what it's going to take to build this 12v DC setup in my 120V AC studio.

Apparently, all the electronics can be had from eBay, but I don't have the means to build proper speaker enclosures.

https://www.ebay.com/b/Bose-Car-Electronics/38635/bn_575913
 

Mickster

Well-known member
^^^^^What he said for sure. You’ll likely never get close to duplicating your car interior in your studio.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Bose systems typically boost the bass and treble - the inherent boxiness of a car bumps the mids up. It won't sound the same at all outside the car.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
:eek::rolleyes: Another great idea down the drain.. Guess I'll just continue running out to the car several times a day.

sunk.jpg
 
Does anyone here have a car stereo set up in their studio for checking mixes?

The car stereo thing isn't because car stereos are particularly desirable or good at any given thing - It's just that its a quick and easy way, for most, to listen on an average system.
A lot of people use NS10s in the same sort of way but any modern sound dock or old hifi could do that job.

In the ideal world it's not even needed because you know your mixes are as they should be, and trust your environment and monitoring chain,
but how many of us live in the ideal world? ;)

If I took you up wrong and just like the system and want it in your house, then what they said ^^.
 
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ecc83

Well-known member
What the others say regarding car acoustics is real enough but I am never one to let "facts" get in the way of a good DIY audio product!

You lack the cabinet making skills/tools? No matter, trawl Ebay and junk and charity shops for some small hi fi (ish!) speakers. With minimal tools you should be able to shoehorn the Bose speaker in them. Will it sound like the inside of your motor? No but as a nearfield system could be pretty close.

Had you though how to power the speakers? A 20W+ per channel hi fi amp* can be got from the above sources or you could just us a car radio! A 12volt @3A switch mode PSU will cost peanuts. (I think I have three!).

Of course you will need the smarts necessary to connect it all up but the task is pretty simple and not dangerous, just don't short the speaker lines.

*Make sure it is happy to drive 4 Ohm speakers.

Dave.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
The car stereo thing isn't because car stereos are particularly desirable or good at any given thing - It's just that its a quick and easy way, for most, to listen on an average system.
A lot of people use NS10s in the same sort of way but any modern sound dock or old hifi could do that job.

In the ideal world it's not even needed because you know how your mixes are as they should be, and trust your environment and monitoring chain,
but how many of us live in the ideal world? ;)

If I took you up wrong and just like the system and want it in your house, then what they said ^^.

No, you're right on there. I do realize having that system in my studio will not produce the same results.. as it's been fine tuned to the vehicle's cabin environment. I used to use a boom box with cassettes before CD/USBs were widely available for recording. Once I get my hearing tuned in, you're correct, it won't be needed.

Looking to move away from burning CDs, I looked for a Bose Wave System with USB and found one, but the USB is only used for initial setups - will not play music files from a stick. For now I have purchased a bluetooth FM transmitter which operates from my car's aux outlet/lighter and accepts USB drives which will play via the car's Bose FM radio. If I can scrounge up a small 12V source with a similar outlet I could use that to feed a Bose Wave FM receiver in my studio.. Monster Bluetooth FM Transmitter with 3.4A USB Charging - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

What the others say regarding car acoustics is real enough but I am never one to let "facts" get in the way of a good DIY audio product!

You lack the cabinet making skills/tools? No matter, trawl Ebay and junk and charity shops for some small hi fi (ish!) speakers. With minimal tools you should be able to shoehorn the Bose speaker in them. Will it sound like the inside of your motor? No but as a nearfield system could be pretty close.

Had you though how to power the speakers? A 20W+ per channel hi fi amp* can be got from the above sources or you could just us a car radio! A 12volt @3A switch mode PSU will cost peanuts. (I think I have three!).

Of course you will need the smarts necessary to connect it all up but the task is pretty simple and not dangerous, just don't short the speaker lines.

*Make sure it is happy to drive 4 Ohm speakers.

Dave.

LOL! Atta boy..never say never, Dave :D I may yet still get around to building that home audio system but just piecing it together here and there over a couple of years. There are plenty of PSUs available which match the automaker's OEM systems, so no problems there. eBay does seem to have most, if not all components (see previous post link). That's a good idea about old speaker cabs and I was thinking the same.. just swap them out. I have no idea what wattage yet. Some OEMs are in the hundreds - just have to match components as you said. Ideally, I'd get a complete system from an old car.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I kind of stopped worrying about how things sounded in a a car when I realized that the kind of music I mix is not the kind of music most folks seem to listen to in a car. And, honestly, it's very hard to get a car mix of acoustic-y stuff that plays at speed.

I think these days that earbuds and all those small bluetooth speakers and soundbars are better, or at least higher priority, options for checking mixes, once you're happy with your studio monitors and cans, and maybe a decent "stereo" pair. (A bluetooth capable car stereo is a pretty cheap upgrade these days, and playing your SoundCloud file on that from your smartphone in the car is probably a more likely scenario than someone playing a CD, too.)
 

Mickster

Well-known member
I drove my car to and from work every day for years. The last car had a pretty good stereo system and I did use it for checking mixes from time to to time....not as a primary reference....but often as a second thought reference. Driving for hours with your car's stereo playing CDs certainly gives you a source that you're VERY familiar with. It was always fun to listen to my stuff in the car....and from time to time....I headed off a problem or two doing that.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
...
I think these days that earbuds and all those small bluetooth speakers and soundbars are better, or at least higher priority, options for checking mixes, once you're happy with your studio monitors and cans, and maybe a decent "stereo" pair. (A bluetooth capable car stereo is a pretty cheap upgrade these days, and playing your SoundCloud file on that from your smartphone in the car is probably a more likely scenario than someone playing a CD, too.)
I just checked out my newly purchased Bluetooth USB FM Transmitter in my car and it works great. Two recent mix renders on a USB stick sounded very good, however.. with it's volume at max the stereo had to be turned up quite a bit. Normal stereo listening level is at 10:00 and had to upped to 2:00 to compensate.

Then I paired my smartphone via bluetooth and that works nicely too. I didn't stream my Dropbox stuff yet, just the phone operation. This will save me a ton-o-money not buying CD-Rs now. And of course the stick is very rewritable.

I drove my car to and from work every day for years. The last car had a pretty good stereo system and I did use it for checking mixes from time to to time....not as a primary reference....but often as a second thought reference. Driving for hours with your car's stereo playing CDs certainly gives you a source that you're VERY familiar with. It was always fun to listen to my stuff in the car....and from time to time....I headed off a problem or two doing that.
That's pretty much what I've been doing. I've got a bunch of CDs out there with studio recordings from several of my old bands that I've been listening to every time I drive. Some rough home studio recordings too. There was lots of editing in my head stuff going on there. Now I can retire those CDs and enjoy my flash drive.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Wow. I tried to listen to Dropbox (from Dropbox page) on my car's stereo via my phone through this bluetooth FM device and it worked.. sort of.. Connected ok, but volume was super low. The bluetooth FM transmitter was at full volume but Dropbox doesn't have a volume adjustment.. only a speaker icon to mute/un-mute. No idea what's up with that. Dropbox volume on my PC is low too, but nothing like the car problem.

Tomorrow I'll download the Dropbox file and play that back in my car.. see if that's any better.

Seems I read awhile back that linking to Dropbox takes you to a file's preview page which may offer poor audio quality, don't recall if volume was part of that problem. Downloading the file was supposed to deliver full quality on playback.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
The problem with streamed audio is that we don't have a lot of control over what compression is being applied, and it can vary depending on the connection speed sensed by the server. Audio is usually not the problem that video presents, but they still are paying for bandwidth, and you're at the sender's mercy. It's better if you load the song into your phone's music player (iTunes or whatever) if you want to know the bitrate. Of course, there's also the Bluetooth audio protocol, which you don't control, but then, neither does anyone else, though your send and receive device capabilities probably come into that equation, as well.

You could use SoundCloud - you can probably play "private" tracks using their app. (Haven't tried lately but I seem to recall it's possible.)

And, you should probably pseudo master at least to get your mixes to a consistent loudness, like -17dB or -14dB LUFS. Something like that. Then the volume should be about the same as other stuff you hear.

But, this is how audio is played in cars, by and large. It's that or your USB stick. I'd certainly compare to get a feel for what's going on.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Yes. The mixes I put on my USB drive were done at a lower volume than a pseudo master would be, for sure.
That's part of it. I'll bump them up next time around.

I did DL the Dropbox file that was playing back at super low volume and the DL played back at much higher volume - comparable to the other mixes already on the USB drive.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
I have lost track a bit of this thread but if OP is still going for a house bound Bose car system, mention was made of the power amplifier requirement? I would expect those speakers to be arounf 90dB/W/mtr in sensitivity so 30 watts should be adequate(~105dB per speaker) I doubt he will need the prodigious power claimed (but rarely acheived in practice) for many ICE systems.

Not least because the inside of cars is or can be noisy (not everyone can drive a Roller like me!) 80dB would I think be typical and ICE has to get over that.

Dave.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Looks like Behringer bought the Auratone name. (NB: Not to be confused with Avantone! Their powered version is $250!) That's the exact same speaker they were selling as the Behritone C5A a few years back. (see the back view of the "B" model here.)

I have a single C50A (all plastic case) version that I use for mono checks when my old, addled brain reminds me to do so.

These are more in the "grot box" category of speaker than a sub for sitting in a car, though.
 

Massive Master

www.massivemastering.com
The things that are missing from trying to use a car stereo inside are [1] THE CAR and [2] WALLS of typical construction.

Put your car inside a room and it won't sound nearly the same... Cars have their own set of issues to be sure as far as accuracy and consistency are concerned - But one problem they don't share with a typical room is that there are no low end reflections to deal with.

Long story short (as so many audio-related stories go) -- Get your room under control. Then you won't need to use a car as a reference.
 
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