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Old 06-05-2004, 02:37 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by DidHeFocus?
This horn looks exactly like the stock focus horn(below), but claims to be 130db. They even are both marked AM-80 so they may be exactly the same. If so, I don't believe the decibel spec at all. We all know what the factory horn sounds like! I did see this horn at the store and it will fit with no modifications.
You could try it, but you may get the same thing you already have!
Hey, that's great, DHF. This prompted me to do a little searching of my own, and I came across a LOT of detailed owner reviews of various Fiamm aftermarket horns (air horns, electric horns, etc.) on a Miata discussion list (a louder horn is a particular big issue to Miata drivers, because the Miata is invisible to SUV drivers). Here's the link: http://www.miata.net/products/pmisc/fiamm.html

The page includes SEVERAL reviews of the AM-80, and the owners were all quite pleased with it.

It might just be the same as the stock Focus horn, but maybe not...
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Old 06-05-2004, 02:41 PM   #42
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Ummm.. readiing a bit more closely, I think the Fiamm AM-80 is just the Focus OEM horn. It's rated at 130db at four inches (!), not 1 meter, according to one of the owners.

That spec sounds like probably the output of the Focus horn.

Oh, well....
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Old 06-05-2004, 03:19 PM   #43
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Okay, here's what I've learned:

1. The maximum SPL on any Fiamm non-air (I mean, "electric") aftermarket horn for cars is 130 db at 4". That's the SPL of the AM-80, which is the Focus stock horn. It's the SPL of the Highway Blaster or whatever it's called. Heck, it's the SPL of basically all of Fiamm's electric horns for cars.

2. The maximum SPL for the airhorns is an order of magnitude louder. It's maybe 118 or 122 db at 3 FEET. I think that's probably a very significant real-world difference!

3. Some owners complain that the Fiamm automotive air horn kits tend to start to die after two years or so. The compressors seem to slowly lose their compression. Here are a couple quotes from the Miata list, both from reviews of the "Riviera" kit DHF has installed:

REVIEWER #1: "Fiamm Riveria Two Trumpet Air Horns...I am installing my third set in less than 1 year. I love the sound of the horns, but for some reason, they don't last. I am not on my horn very long, but only after a couple of months one of the horns wares out and needs to be replaced. Much better sound that stock meep, meep horn and worth the money, even if they are disposable."

REVIEWER #2: "A couple of years ago, I got the FIAMM [Riviera] dual air horns as a present. After about 18 months, they began to get weaker; by the time I replaced them, they were sounding like a weak goose. I tried various testing to see if it was an air leak, and determined that the compressor simply wasn't up to snuff anymore.."

4. So clearly there'd be a market for a much louder electric horn! Why isn't there one? Perhaps maximum SPL on stock horns is limited by the dept. of transportation...

One solution would be to simply splice in one more AM-80 aftermarket horn.

DHF, do you think this can be done without a relay or anything -- just splice it into the OEM AM-80's leads? If so, that should yield a total SPL fairly similar to the air horns.

It would be nice to get the two AM-80's in different frequencies, to get a harmonizing sound.

Is the OEM AM-80 the "low" or "high" tone? (the AM-80 comes in two versions -- 405 hz vs. 485 hz). See: http://www.stealth316.com/2-fiammhorn.htm
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:26 AM   #44
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I'm pretty sure the Focus horn is the Low tone version. It has an L that is in a circle on it as seen in my picture. I saw an H on the Harbor Freight Fiamm horn in the same spot.

About the air horns being disposable, maybe they are. But at 17.99 and 12.99 on sale, I won't mind to much since the hard part is the initial install. My other car has had them for around two years now and they still sound excruciatingly loud.
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Last edited by DidHeFocus?; 06-06-2004 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:45 AM   #45
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The Harbor Freight is the High tone version and they claim that it uses 5 amps. The Focus horn fuse is 20 amps, so I don't think there would be a problem running a high AND a low horn together without using a relay. As I posted before, my Chevy has the air horns powered directly from the stock horn circuit with NO relay.
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Old 06-06-2004, 04:47 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by DidHeFocus?
The Harbor Freight is the High tone version and they claim that it uses 5 amps. The Focus horn fuse is 20 amps, so I don't think there would be a problem running a high AND a low horn together without using a relay. As I posted before, my Chevy has the air horns powered directly from the stock horn circuit with NO relay.
Outstanding Steve. So we've figured out the simpleton's alternative:

Get a High-Tone (H) AM-80, mount it next to (or even onto!?) the factory Low-Tone (L) AM-80, splice it into the wires running into the factory AM-80, and run 'em together.

Should be a lot louder (does anyone know how to calculate the difference? It can't be exactly twice as loud, can it?), and also a more distinctive sound (two tones).

Shouldn't it?

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Old 06-06-2004, 07:33 PM   #47
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A dual-tone horn sounds much better to me because it forms a musical chord, rather than just a beep. As far as the acoustical physics of adding two horns output together, I would guess it is similar to audio formulas that I am familiar with. Doubling the audio power to a speaker will raise the output 3 db. Putting 2 speakers together playing the same signal should yield the same 3 db boost. Two horns should be the same as two speakers as far as output levels are concerned. Since the two horns will be playing different frequency tones, I don't know if the same thing holds true.
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:50 PM   #48
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this sounds like a fantastic idea..... i've had a$$hole drivers in big trucks cut me off, and you can't ride 'em, 'cause their bigger and if you hit 'em, you'll still lose - so you lay on the horn and its sounds like tweety "i thought i saw a putty tat!!" "I did! I did!"

plus, scaring the s[:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)] out of unsuspecting people sound like a whole lotta fun!!!!!!!!!!

....i'm just concerned about the frequency of replacing them.....anyway to make the horns more reliable, or were those people that folkus quoted just morons?

last note.......you don't have to be an aggressive driver to get pissed off sometimes.....i was going to a ball game with some friends, and this old b@$t@rd in a white subaru freakin station wagon comes charging across three lanes of traffic and almost takes out my car (almost brand spankin new at the time). i only escaped because i have highly impressive driving skills, and my advance trac. my cc was on at 85 at the time, so when i swerved to avoid him, i almost began to fish tail. i love that advance trac, even though it cost an extra 2 grand almost, it might've saved the lives of 4 people that day.....

anyway.......back to the road rage.....i took a vote, after we made sure we were okay, and we chased the little f[:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)]er, rolled up beside him, rolled down the windows, and everybody but me flipped the old fart off!!!those horns would've come in handy - my job was to honk the horn and get his attention...........if only i had those horns..............
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:20 PM   #49
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The 3 dB increase with an additional source applies if they are at the same frequenecy because the common waves form a type of constructive interference.

- Scott
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:20 PM   #50
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Quote:
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The 3 dB increase with an additional source applies if they are at the same frequenecy because the common waves form a type of constructive interference.

- Scott
So what's the summing effect if they're at diff freq's?
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