In a nutshell sq can be defined in three verbs: Accuracy, Definition, Perfection. Likewise the misconceptions of sq can also be defined in three verbs; Quiet, Subtle, Flat.
The ultimate goal of a sq car is to accurately reproduce the media to the artist original intent, or the original recorded quality, unhindered unaltered and with no added noises or coloring. As far as I know, no one has actually achieved this goal. Not even in a home environment, where the challenge is much easier, has this been achieved. Asking a speaker to reproduce something that was created by many different actual instruments is an unbelievable mountain to climb. There are many companies trying to reach the top but none have actually gotten to the point where a 100% undeniable clone of the sound has been achieved. As of right now I believe the reference brands closest to this in car audio are Micro Precision
and ZR labs
. Oddly enough Focal and morel, my favorite brands and this holds true for many people, Are not at the top of the list. Morel's midbass drivers actually introduce a noticeable amount of distortion. Whereas Focal's utopia line, while expensive, is not the pinnacle of reproduction. The cost is mostly from the beryllium used in the tweeters being expensive to use. Last I have heard the "best", so far, material to use for a tweeter diaphragm is actually diamond. Bowers and Wilkins actually grows their own diamond for their high level tweeters and are achieving extremely high frequency response well past the human ear's range. Why is this necessary? Think about it this way; Say you have two people, one person's max lifting capability is 100 pounds, where the other can lift 300 pounds. It is much easier and less stressful for the stronger person to carry 100 pounds than it is for the guy at his max.
Now to address my biggest irritations while reading non sound quality based stereophiles explain sq.
First things first, a decibel is NOT a measurement of loudness. It is a representation of the ratio between two values of a physical quantity. The most common way a decibel is used is to represent either gain or attenuation. This is where people get the idea it is expressing loudness. It's not in car audio it represents the level or pressure caused by the speakers. This is why 130db caused by a subwoofer is so much different than 130db caused by a tweeter.
SQ is not quiet, it is however much less likely to create the levels of pressure caused by spl type stereos. The actual loudness of a sq car is plenty loud to make a normal person bail at full volume.
A sq alignment is not designed to play "flat." It is designed to work with the human ear to create the illusion of a flat responding speaker alignment. The human ear is most sensitive to the midrange frequency range. That is why if you were to look at the eq graph in sq car it will look like an inverse bell curve. It will not look like a ruler, that would cause a huge spike in ear at midrange and sound peaky and seem to "shout" at you. This is one of my biggest irritations against pa equipment in car, they are much louder at these freq and will not work well without a ton of eq.
Now for the sedate/subtle vibe people think sq cars have. When is the last time you went to a concert, classical or not. That put you to sleep? There is so much in music other than bass, impact is not just a byproduct of a huge substage. A properly aligned speaker system will kick you directly in the center of your body just like a drum kick would. It should not feel violent nor over bearing, just prominent. At a listening level that you are comfortable with you should never feel like your fatiguing nor like your stereo is taking anything away from your body.
A little fact not many people are aware of is that your body actually interprets loud bass notes as an attack on itself. In response it releases a chemical similar to adrenaline, this is where the "rush" of a loud demo comes from. This is also why people with highly addictive nature think they need loud stereo's. It's not just an excuse to say they are "addicted" to bass.
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