Let’s face it, when it comes to an exhaust system for your car, consumers will generally ask for the “loud system” or the “quiet stock standard one”. Problem being, not everyone has the same personal preferences when it comes their vehicle. How loud is loud to a consumer? From the conservative burble to the one that shakes your neighbour’s windows, the distance is quite a leap.
Today, we’re going to lift the lid on how we put together a custom system to suit the personal taste of our customers. The easiest way to navigate this is by size. The sports system with the main muffler is going to be quieter than the one with a hot dog resonator, which is again quieter than a straight section of pipe. This may be okay when choosing a system for your everyday vehicle, but when you consider how many vehicles are on the road, different shapes and sizes, different engines and performance needs, we need to think a little beyond this model.
Day to day, many types of vehicles pass through our door. Family cars, small 4 cyl run-arounds, high performance vehicles, trucks, buses, generators and even the odd wood chipper, all requiring different types of mufflers. In addition to the many sizes available in oval and round mufflers, did you know that their internals are one of the main points of difference? Here is a breakdown what you would expect to find in an everyday muffler and how it works to achieve it’s purpose.
The megaflow design allows maximum flow (as the name suggests), but due to the amount of densely packed fibrous material, it absorbs the most amount of sound. Absorption mufflers like the Redback Megaflow design are made for high-performance applications. The void inside the muffler is "glass-packed" (using a fibreglass material) which acts like a sponge to soak up most of the sound waves. It has little impact on exhaust gas flow which is great for performance gains.
Application: High-Performance vehicles
Pros: Best flow for the most power
Cons: Not as loud as you think
Chambered mufflers have a great design to maintain gas flow and increased sound level over a standard muffler by incorporating the deflection method. The deflection method uses the theory that if a sound is deflected against itself, it will cancel itself out, kind of like your noise-reducing headphones. These work by sending the sound waves on a collision course with each other, but also using less packing inside the muffler which allows for a bigger frequency and therefore a deeper exhaust note.
Application: Everyday Performance
Pros: Mid-range compromise between sound & performance
Cons: Can be prone to drone (depending on the vehicle and exhaust setup)
Triple Flow (AKA Tri Flow)
Also called "Turbo flow", this design is great at reducing the noise of the sound waves from the exhaust system, but they can be a little restrictive when it comes to exhaust gas flow. If you're looking for a muffler to dramatically reduce noise, then it's the Tripleflow or turbo flow design that is best suited here. This design increases the distance the sound waves need to travel before they exit the muffler. The longer a sound wave travels, the weaker it gets.
Application: Standard vehicles
Pros: Keeps everything nice and quiet
Cons: Not great for performance, but great for your neighbours
A straight through design that uses the absorption method, but can add additional sound control when placed in the right spot. Often added to a performance system that is a little too loud, the resonator or hotdog treats the sound waves that aren't captured by the main muffler. As the name suggests, it removes resonance or drone out of a loud exhaust system. A simple way to put it is that your muffler is like your volume control and the resonator is like the tone control. You need both for an efficient system.
Application: Install it downstream of a loud muffler
Pros: Cuts out drone
Cons: Won't reduce much sound when used as a stand-alone muffler