The present paper focuses on methods for estimating equivalent source positions or “hot spots” on an object to be modelled acoustically. This procedure is the first step in the derivation of an acoustic equivalent source model to be used e.g. in connection with measured acoustic transfer paths. Methods based on Near-field Acoustic Holography as well as the Inverse Boundary Element Method are described and compared. The use of the different methods is illustrated by actual measurements and calculations on a real passenger car exhaust line system.