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Old 06-01-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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1962 24' Tradewind
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Speaker Suggestions?

I am looking for a nice set of speakers for my renovation. I am a bit of a music nut and must have great sound, including a nice, rich bass that doesn't overpower or is too whumphy. I have space for four 6-8" speakers that will go in the overhead cabinets. I keep getting pressured to use the cheapo $5/piece speakers because they are inexpensive and on hand, but I would much rather spend the dough and get something that will do the music justice. They will need to run on 12 volt. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
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Firstly, speakers don't run on 12v. They run on whatever your amplifier is putting out. You can get nice ones at Radioshack or Wal-mart.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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If I were looking for 12 volt automotive type speakers I would give Crutchfield a call. They have a huge inventory, their prices are competitive, and their service is second to none. We installed a Logitech 5.1 system with subwoofer in our Classic but it is 120 volt. The surround sound is outstanding and the speaker wires are small enough to conceal under and around trim, etc. We use it to power our flatscreen and DVD player. The system we installed is:
Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System with Subwoofer
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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Check out RETROSOUND
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Shop garage sales for old multimedia desktop PC speakers. Some even come with a small subwoofer, sound pretty good, AND they're cheap.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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The factory system in our trailer is awesome. Most of the equipment is car stereo equipment. The head unit is a Sony car stereo with Bluetooth and iPod control. There are four 6 1/2" coaxial speakers (2 in the living room, 2 in the bedroom). There is a 8" powered sub under the couch. In my previous trailer I used a trash-picked Altec Lansing 2.1 computer speaker system that sounded great. That speaker system is now in my office and I use it for music at company dinners in a big warehouse.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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It's smart to research and ask.

On MY wish list is a Tivoli system Check out their website. They make a sound system that runs off of 12 volts, with and adaptor so you can use it in your house. I personally wouldn't want to keep a nice stereo system in a trailer that is going to get very hot and very cold when the trailer is not in use. The Tivoli system is a book shelf design. I would velcro mine in a cabinet. It's a component system, and you can opt for a subwoofer. You can plug an iPod into it. Tivoli has some other audio products with rechargable batteries for people on the go
One thing to think about is how you are going to be camping. Will you have electric hook up most of the time? Any amplifier that puts out more than 20 watts is going to convert the 12 volts to 110. Loud music for long periods of time will eventually put a drain on your battery. Some kids camping in tents were blasting their car radio all weekend and I had to jump their car to get them home.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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I went with Kicker speakers they sound great,and they fit in the shallow airstream walls but I have heard they are not real good about taking punishment(vibration). I think if I had to do it over I would go with Alpine.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:46 PM   #10
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We will hopefully be fulltiming with mostly no hookups, 4 100 watt solar panels and two batteries. Am I to understand that the speakers are not directly powered, but the power runs through the control panel? Is this how car stereos work? Ideally I would like to be able to access Pandora by plugging in an ipad or computer to the control panel when I am able to get a signal. Has anybody else done this?
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminitus View Post
We will hopefully be fulltiming with mostly no hookups, 4 100 watt solar panels and two batteries. Am I to understand that the speakers are not directly powered, but the power runs through the control panel? Is this how car stereos work? Ideally I would like to be able to access Pandora by plugging in an ipad or computer to the control panel when I am able to get a signal. Has anybody else done this?
Speakers are not "powered" unless they have a built-in amplifier. Amplifiers and recievers (amplifiers with radio tuners and component switching) are "powered". Car stereo equipment is 12 volt and most don't draw many amps or amperes- a measure of efficiency or draw on a battery or electrical system. You can Bluetooth your music or cell phone conversations or sound from video games from an iPad, iPhone, iPod or whatever from a car stereo head unit on 12 volt. You can also play CDs, DVDs, or Bluray discs sound thought the surround sound system while using your TV as a monitor while plugged into 120 volt shore power. The equipment is not very expensive, either, but sounds great.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #12
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Speakers present resistive loads to the amplifier they are attached to. What you want to look for in any speaker is the Impedence (measured in Ohms). A speaker with an Impedence of 8 ohms is generally easier to drive than one with a 4 ohm Impedence. In fact a 4 ohm load will require twice the amplifier power of an 8 ohm load to generate an equivalent sound pressure level (SPL).

The other thing you want to understand is the frequency response characteristic of the speaker. Most electrical equipment, amplifiers in particular, are specified with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. Speakers typically can't cover this entire range unless they are very expensive, multi driver systems. The laws of physics make it virtually impossible for a single driver to manage reproduction of the full frequency range, thus the introduction of sub-woofers to manage the lowest frequencies, freeing up the main drivers from this task.

The problem is that as frequency changes, the Impedence of the speaker also changes. In my home system it is not uncommon for my speakers to dip below 1 ohm at the higher frequencies, thus I need an amplifier that can produce significant power -typically doubling output (watts) as the Impedence drops. This is an extreme case however as I am using some relatively exotic electrostatic speakers.

For our Airstreams we need to live with a 6-8 inch diameter speaker if we are going to keep them mounted in the ceiling. Ideally you want something that has a frequency response between 30Hz-20Khz. The subwoofer can handle all of the content below 30Hz, and you'll be hard pressed to find a speaker that is flat out to 20Khz, though it is possible, especially with a co-axial type speaker that is essentially 2 drivers (a mid-range and a tweeter), centered within the same driver basket. The advent of home theater has brought about the development of many good speakers intended for "in ceiling" placement that would work very well in our trailers, most notable from companies like Martin Logan, Paradigm, Mirage and Monitor Audio. While these solutions aren't the least expensive options, they would absolutely provide an upgrade in sound quality.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #13
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We use a Big Jambox Jawbone bluetooth, (wireless) speaker linked to either an iPod or our iPads if we want to use Pandora. All three devises have rechargeable lithium ion batteries that last for eight hours. The additional advantage of having no wires and the ability to take them anywhere, including outside was a big plus for us and then store them away when not in use.

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Old 06-02-2013, 10:03 AM   #14
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Buffalo , Wyoming
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Though I would share what I did on my 68 Overlander that I am restoring. I went with a scosche auto stereo that can be completely controlled by a smartphone via a app (iphone or android) Meaning I can change the radio stations, stream music, play Pandora, play a cd, and even place phone calls over the stereo system using my iPhone all without wires. I can even sit outside under awning and control everything including volume simply with my phone.

In term of speakers, I went 6x9 Infinity Reference series that I bought off amazon mainly of the excellent reviews. I concur with the excellent reviews some of the cleanest sounding speaker I have heard in a while. 5 Stars for sure.

I mounted the stereo in a under the dash mounting box that I flipped upside down and mounted to the overhead cabinet. Again you can find these on Amazon. See pics.

I replaced the faded speaker fabric but decided to go with a vintage speaker fabric used on the classic Fender Amps of the 60s. You know the one Hendrix and Clapton used to use! I redid the sliding Cabinet door with aluminum. I even order a 60s fender emblem to finish the project off.

I am happy with the results. The system sounds amazing and I think it looks cool while remaining vintage. Like being able slid the cabinet door shut and control the systems with my remote/phone!
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