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Old 05-25-2011, 01:05 AM   #1
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Resonators Explained?

Hello Everyone,

Since my J-Pipe install, I've been looking at exhaust options and since I don't like a loud exhaust, I've been attempting to learn more about resonators.

Most searches led to long reads and/or incomplete information. I didn't find a thread dedicated to resonators so I figured I would start one for us noobs. I'm hoping some more experienced folks will participate and clear up any confusion we may have. We don't want the blind leading the deaf.

My first thoughts were does a resonator reduce HP? After searching around the net, the best answer I could find is it will not reduce HP as long as it is good quality and installed properly. If there is any loss in power, it will be ~1-2hp but still negligable. The most common type of resonator is a straight through pipe with a perforated side wall that is enclosed by a solid larger diameter enclosure.

Since Magnaflow seems to be a top tier provider, I've looked over their site and wonder what the different diameters of their round line up are for? I'll assume bigger means quieter. Then, their oval lineup offers the different sizing options but with center and offset offerings. Are the different offsets for pipe matching placement or performance? They also have a Magnapack product that is fairly pricey so what's the difference?

Then, there is something called a glasspack. Magnaflow also sells one and it appears it is a form of a resonator. Anyone care to chime in on these products please feel free.

Finally, there is placement of the resonator? I've been specifically looking at RV6's dual exhaust and while looking it, I was thinking where would I put the resonators (need two). The, I realized it is already resonated (like many cat-back systems) so could I just replace their resonator with a larger one or still add additional resonators?

Sorry for the long post. I appreciate any help and clarity.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
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Honestly don't look so deep into it. A resonator is "basically" just another muffler, simple as that. Mostd won't lose any power to really speak of. I used to think there was a difference too but luckily an exhaust builder set me straight a few years ago. The thing to realize is that no matter the manufacturer, there are really only three "types" of mufflers out there. You have the most common straight thru packed muffler (magnaflow, hks, atlp, etc), you have a steel chambered muffler (flowmaster mostly that use metal dividers in the muffler to reduce sound), and you have the Turbo/OEM style which is "kinda" a mix of both (both packing and chambers to really kill sound AND performance ).

This is how I've learned to look at it and its a very easy way to tell the differences. Obviously there are subtle differences between particular companies but the general principal is the same. So with your resonator, how big of a resonator really dependent on the rest of the exhaust. I think the reason ATLP gets away without a resonator on their Quads is because they use a very healthy sized muffler and they seem to make up for it. If you are catless and have avg sized mufflers, I'd get a 4" round magnaflow and call it a day. I personally look at exhausts as a ever evolving process. Meaning I would go build a setup and if I didn't like it, just change the components and see if you like it better. There really isn't any MAGICAL exhaust setup out there, just those setups that people have found satisfactory to them.


Oh and glasspacks, stay the hell away. Simple as that.

This help at all?

PS, how can you have a performance exhaust thats overly quiet? Pretty hard to do and you might just have to accept it.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vill0169 View Post
This help at all?

PS, how can you have a performance exhaust thats overly quiet? Pretty hard to do and you might just have to accept it.
Vill, yes it does help, I appreciate the reply.

It was my understanding that performance doesn't always have to result in a loud sound. If this is true, you can take the new agressive sounding RV6 true dual and add two Magnaflow resonators and end up with a milder sound like Comptech while keeping all the gains.

Boy, the more research I do the more I'm leaning towards a custom magnaflow setup.

A question for you, if resonators do not reduce HP, do mufflers?
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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It really depends on the muffler. Really anything that alters the speed/direction/etc of the exhaust is going to in some way affect performance. Not to a huge degree but it's kinda hard to say it doesn't.

I would really not try to look too deep into it. Basically just about anything you do will be in some way better than stock - whether that's hp, sound/tone, loudness, looks, etc. It's up to you to decide what you want to change from stock.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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In my experience, resonators just makes the sound deeper which, in essence, makes it lower in a way. Depends on the setup, a resonator can make something seem louder or seem lower. Only way to completely lower the exhaust noise in-cabin would be to install mufflers- which would negate a lot of HP gained or wrap up the trunk with something to prevent the noise going into the cabin.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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Resonators

On your typical cat-back exhaust system, you'll see a couple of bulges in the piping that are apparently mini-mufflers out to help the big muffler that hangs out back. These are called Helmholtz Resonators and are very similar to glasspacks. The main difference is that firstly, there is no sound-absorbing fiberglass or steel wool in a Resonator. And secondly, their main method of silencing is the reflective principle, not absorption. An easy way to tell the difference between a glasspack and a true Helmholtz Resonator is to "ping" one with your finger. A glasspack will make a dull thud, and a true Resonator will make a clear "ping!" sound.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:33 PM
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