Reactive-style mufflers are very common. They typically direct sound waves (in other words, noisy engine exhaust) through a series of pipes, chambers or reflective plates. Before reflection, the sound waves are powerful and are travelling in the same direction, translating into loud noise. Once these waves are reflected, though, they become disorganized and cancel each other out, much like an ocean wave dissipates after crashing onto a rocky shoreline. After reflection and cancellation, the dampened exhaust noise exits through the tailpipe.
Absorptive mufflers are the choice of high-performance car enthusiasts who like an aggressive muffler sound. With absorptive mufflers, exhaust gases travel down a straight tube lined with sound-deadening materials towards the tailpipe. Along the way, turbulence is created as some of the sound waves escape into the perforations that contain the absorptive material, turning sound energy into radiant heat. The result is a somewhat-reduced, throaty rumble that some drivers really enjoy.
As the name suggests, combination mufflers combine absorptive and reflective technologies to dampen exhaust noise.
Performance Versus Noise reduction
With mufflers, there is always a trade-off: the more you dampen sound, the more you impact engine performance. While a reactive-style muffler typically excels at dampening sound, it creates a lot of back pressure for the engine, causing a reduction in performance. For most drivers, a quiet, refined ride is well worth a slight reduction in engine power. The lower cost of a reactive-style muffler is appealing, too.
In contrast, an absorptive muffler is all about performance and a distinctive sound. You’ll hear a rumble with an absorptive muffler, but if you enjoy a more aggressive ride, then this is muffler you should choose. It may cost you a bit more, and you may have to deal with a noise violation or two, but the performance is worth it.
If you want the best of both worlds, and you’re willing to pay a little more, a cutting-edge combination muffler may be your best choice.
We Can Help!
At Marigold Service, we’ll help you choose the right muffler, and we’ll install it with precision. For more information, contact us.