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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:53 pm 
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Hi guys, for just pure sound quality, driver control..etc, do new amps outperform my old Orions or have things degraded in the auto sound industry? I'm asking because I'm not seeing much these days to do with sound quality, mostly just SPL.

My old amps are the Orion HCCA. These were my favorite amps but I have not used them in so SOOOO long but I'm thinking of doing so.

PS. I'd be using the 250 running stereo to run the doors or kickpanels using a custom 2-3 driver setup and the 225HCCA bridged 4 ohm mono on a pair of 8ohm 10" that I have. I know I wont extract the full power of the amps since these need to be loaded down, but I'm fine with a proper 50w or so to each door and maybe 100 or 200w to the subs.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:28 pm 
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I am going to be buying a stereo for my new truck as the previous owner removed the original one (wife accidentally spilled coffee on it from the cup holder above the radio). I don't know much about car stereos.

How do orion amps sound? I am looking for a clean sounding amp as opposed to lots of muffled watts. What would be a good front end for the amp?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Hi Albert,

Well honestly, I have no idea what Orion amps sound like - at least not new orion amps. The old ones like the ones I have I thought sound incredible. I think these are from 1995. IMO the sound quality is very much like that of Yamaha integrated amplifiers or receivers which I think is quite good.

These amps were rated only 25wpc for the 225HCCA and 50wpc for the 250HCCA but they had the ability to drive difficult loads and power usually doubled when the impedence was cut in half so for example, the little 225HCCA thats 25wpc could deliver 400W RMS into a 1 ohm mono load.

I guess I'm basically curious like you are....what do new amps sound like? Wonder if they have improved in sound quality vs the old stuff or just gotten loud.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:51 pm 
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Location: Welland, ON, CA
You're right for the most part. Most of the stuff today is about SPL more then anything. Keep and use those Orions. they're gold. Same with old school PPI amps. they're highly saught after. They still fetch a good buck on ebay for people who are seriously into SQ for car audio. The PPI art series were amazing too.


svtcontour wrote:
Hi guys, for just pure sound quality, driver control..etc, do new amps outperform my old Orions or have things degraded in the auto sound industry? I'm asking because I'm not seeing much these days to do with sound quality, mostly just SPL.

My old amps are the Orion HCCA. These were my favorite amps but I have not used them in so SOOOO long but I'm thinking of doing so.

PS. I'd be using the 250 running stereo to run the doors or kickpanels using a custom 2-3 driver setup and the 225HCCA bridged 4 ohm mono on a pair of 8ohm 10" that I have. I know I wont extract the full power of the amps since these need to be loaded down, but I'm fine with a proper 50w or so to each door and maybe 100 or 200w to the subs.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:56 pm 
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It's hard to beat a Class A, B or A/B, which most older amps are, for SQ...but they can be power hungry


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I have an older Xtant 3150C collecting dust after I upgraded to a PG x series ...again this is dating back to early 2000's gear or earlier.

the Xtant sounded really good with the focal k136...but lacked the power to run them properly...That's probably why they opened up so well with the more powerful amp in the PG

remember sounds starts at the source

good CD player...

then there's the preamp....or the deck...I've gone through three decks in my system and it got better each and every time.

the AMP just amplifies the preamp signal, but you need enough power depending on your speakers....

-----

my next car I'll be able to apply all I learned over the last three cars...but I'm a big believer in the newer D-class amps...Clean power and relatively cheap. you may hate SPL, but all that power is useful even if you don't want it loud.. something like the Alpine PDX-4.100 would be an ideal car amp.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:56 pm 
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I was a big car audio SQ guy in the 90's, and I still have some gear from the era including some Nelson Pass designed Soundsteam amps. In general, even though it isn't the thriving hobby / industry it was back then, I think the car audio products today completely outperform what was considered high end 15 or 20 years ago. For a direct comparison of your classic Orion amps, check out offerings from companies like Tru, Brax, or Audison. That said, even the amps from the mainstream Japanese companies have improved a great deal.

The most recent system I put together is powered by Pioneer Premier amps which are based on B&O Ice modules (class D) and while they're not exotic, I think they're very good. It's possible that my old 'Streams might have a slight edge for SQ, but the Premier units are small, don't have heat isues, and don't put an extra load on my car's alternator. There's still lots of people who don't think Class D amps are suitable for high end home audio (which I disagree with) but they're ideally suited for car audio. Also the best subwoofers today are often less efficient than the old school ones, so they really can only be powered with modern class D amps.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:12 pm 
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With car audio amps I think the environment itself will have a much larger impact on SQ vs say an amp. If the cars poorly setup, it doesn't matter what amp you use (guess same goes for home audio but I think to an even further extent with car audio). I've had several different style amps in my summer vehicle, anywhere from high end mid 90's tech to my current amp, which is a tiny little Alpine 5 channel, class D. As far as SQ goes, they all basically sound the same to me (if I could do a direct comparison, maybe would notice a difference but not from a typical swap). Of course a nice head unit will make a difference, while mine about 5 years old now, it was a high end unit at the time & has an auto EQ setup like most home receivers/processors. It set's up speaker distance, crossover points, EQ, etc. It defently makes a more noticeable change (for the good) vs swapping amps. Also the thing that made the biggest difference was adding sound deadening in several key areas. The car my setup is in was far from ideal for stereo's & no matter what speakers/amps you choose, the sound was never that great. After the sound deadening, it was night & day difference, I couldn't believe it was the same setup.


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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 11:27 am 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
This may be an old post, but I thought I'd chime in.
As for the way those amps sound versus newer amps, its hard to say as sound difference between amps is extremely hard to notice. Nonetheless, poorly designed amps show their sound character with high floor noise i find, new or old. Those HCCA are beasts and were designed for competition as per their impedence driving capability which is not a requirement anymore especially if you properly design your system. They also put out WAY more power than rated. that tiny 225HCCA actually puts out close to 80 wrms per channel at 14.4v @ 4 ohms!! at 1 ohm bridged, its power is in excess of 500 wrms. The 250HCCA doubles that. they are also current hogs, something new amps do alot better. Overall, new amps are often much better designed, with more features and higher quality parts for the equivalent price point, but they certainly lack the nostalgia factor which is one of the key factors keeping old school amps prices relatively high compared to their performance. Another factor that makes old school amps desirable is their build quality and reliability which is often questionable in newer products of the same value today. but if you were to compare a high quality amp that today costs as much as the original retail price of that HCCA, I'm sure you would have a superior product in the new amp. Once again, sound wise, there's only marginal difference between quality amps, old or new... the most substantial SQ piece in your system will be the speaker and their installation.

Marco


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:20 pm 
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poochieone, welcome to CAM!
I used to have and HCCA, and they are INCREDIBLE for SQ. The key was a great design, regardless of the power rating. Oodles of current when called upon, it's no wonder they were on any SQ short lists.
AS for comparing to current offerings from any given manufacturer, I think you'd have to spend a good chunk of coin on a new amp versus what the old Orions can be purchased for.
Similar to home audio, for not a lot of money, you can get a used TOTL amp for a fraction of what a new design would cost.
On the other hand, I'm using an Audiopipe GM502 for the front stage on my wife's car, it's sounds surprisingly good for a budget piece, rated at 46 watts/channel into 4 Ohms.

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:04 am 
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Location: burlington, ON, CA
Sony have an indash SACD player cheap perhaps only in the states I think this one is special and anyone in the market for a new hifi source in their vehicle would be smart to consider this one. Forget about huge amps in a car and forget about hifi unless you have a quiet ride like the long wheelbase top line lexus/Rolls/Mayback/etc. You can aim for top mid fi but in a vehicle too much noise and so one must over compensate with SPL and that friends is a recipe for trouble. So good source-good DA conversion-good amplification-good speakers-reasonable pressurization or SPL in a small cubic foot space with your ears very close to the speakers and you have an excellent HIFI playback system exactly what I recommend here. Simple economical quality...


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:31 am 
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Thant's debatable - applying sound damping material can lower the noise floor in any vehicle to levels that will allow good SQ.

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:20 am 
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I think this thread is getting a bit off topic, however, everything above is debatable and some there are some very general and incorrect statements being made.
Cars can indeed be dampened sufficiently to quiet them down considerably and provide a critically dampened auditioning environment. However, once the car starts moving, that perfect SQ listening experience is out the window. on the other hand, how many SQ rooms allow you to listen to your music while cruising at 60 km/h with wind on your face and beautiful live scennery? which provides the best experience? its all in the eye of the beholder.

As for what`s necessary for good SQ in a car, it comes down to the following in order of importance:
1) speakers; no matter how exotic your amps and signal processing and installation techniques it all pales in comparison to the product your speakers will produce: ACTUAL SOUND.
2) Installation/tuning; following the same ideas above, the best equipment and speakers will never sound their best if not installed properly, and i don`t mean wiring speakers in polarity!
3) toss up on amplification/source and signal processing. you should have some of each, how much of it should be based on each individual install`s goals. typically, reducing margins of return apply here!


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 4:26 pm 
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SQ in a car depends on where the engineers could shoehorn a speaker in there, and nothing more.
You cannot move your speakers, people! You cannot maximize anything other than the space alloted by bean counters and considering weight distribution.
Plus a sub.

I understand that head units and active XO's can control a lot of stuff, but golly, If I could only open up the fronts a bit and toe them straighter...

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:07 am 
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yournamehere wrote:
SQ in a car depends on where the engineers could shoehorn a speaker in there, and nothing more.
You cannot move your speakers, people! You cannot maximize anything other than the space alloted by bean counters and considering weight distribution.
Plus a sub.

I understand that head units and active XO's can control a lot of stuff, but golly, If I could only open up the fronts a bit and toe them straighter...

Kickpanels are the only way that i know of to get any kind of decent soundstaging.


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