Sunday, 14 July 2013

Re-direction Part 2 - Speakers

Described by many as the heart of the system. Finding and/or designing the right speaker is probably the most important, as the approach I am taking is from the ears back. There is so much discussion and research on speaker design, and most of which is well beyond my capability to completed comprehend. However, from my research, there are number of key issues in obtaining the best quality speaker seems to be.

Crossover points - avoid if possible 250 Hz to 4 kHz, about 4 octave range. This is the most critical range of musical information and many describes it as the most critical point to avoid any crossover.
Use of neodymium or Alnico magnets seem to lead to higher quality of sound.
Use of cone materials that prevent breakup well outside (i.e., 2 octaves or more) the frequency range being played on the speaker.
Different speakers were designed to different enclosures, make sure the enclosure fits the speaker. General rules of thumb like using high Qts on open baffles, etc.
Important to have a smooth frequency response with good dispersion.

If we take the above first two items in our next design assumptions, we would be left with three speaker system. One for the LF work under 250 Hz, and one for the mid-range work from 250 Hz, and a HF unit crossing between 5kHz to 10 kHz that would take it to 40 kHz. The choices for the various drivers would be limited in the MR and HF areas. But once we take into consideration all the criteria, the range of speakers that can service in our requirements become somewhat limited.

However, in recent review of components and equipment, I have realised that I have amassed a range of speakers. FE207e, Lowther DX3, Saba green cones, Beyma Coax, Joran JX92s, FE127e, FT17H, and Alpha 15A. To be honest, to get good speakers cost money. And living in Australia, the cost of shipping of most speakers are quite sizeable. So the vein of being economically responsible, I will have to design a speaker system that uses one or more of the existing speakers in my collection. It appears from what I have, that it is mainly full range speakers, with the exception of the Beyma Coax. All the other speakers will mate well with a sub crossed at below 300 Hz or so, and can all probably do with a super tweeter (Fostex FT17H).

Therefore, it leads me to designing two speaker systems. One, the full range with sub and super compliment, and the other around the Beyma Coax. My next post will deal with the design of the Beyma Coax as a possible contender.

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