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Speaker innovation in the last 20yrs ?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
How far has speaker innovation come in the last 20yrs?

As I sit down listening to my Kef Q70's, that were purchased in the early 90's, i wonder how well they'd match up against a pair of say Kef's range of today, that now retail for a similar price.

I'm happy with them as it stands. No need to replace. They've somehow survived, 5 house moves and even a cross atlantic move. Two young children, that thankfully never figured out that the grill came off and they could poke the soft rubber dome in.... Actually I tell a lie, one dome did get pushed in, but I somehow managed to suck it back out to its normal out shape using a straw and some suction.

When they launched, Dolby Pro-Logic only existed, no DD, let alone lossless audio. They were married to a DSP-A3090, which is god knows how many generations back on the Yamaha range. I suspect the rubber domes / cones will eventually deterioate one day.. But for now. They seem to be in fine standing.

So has anything really changed SQ wise on an actual speaker? Aside from some clever marketing ?
post #2 of 7
Probably better capacitors and better sq have trickled into lower budget speakers. Nothing extraordinary except maybe flat speakers, tweeters and perhaps in wall tech. You could always do an upgrade on your crossover network and have your surrounds redone soon. Get to keep your speakers longer and maybe get more even though upgrading your crossover can be costly depending on what you buy, who you source it from and whose does it.

butter and jelly please.
post #3 of 7
Been an audio enthusiast for several decades. eek.gifredface.gif

One major area of change over twenty years, without question, is high excursion subwoofer drives.

We've had planar magnetics, ribbons, stats, and very high quality materials for cone/dome dynamic drives, also cabinet mfg and bracing etc, time alignment,...all for quite some time.

What Klippel is exploring and uncovering is exciting.
post #4 of 7
In 20 years the basic physics of speakers haven't changed at all. Klippel has helped some in driver material selection/application but there is a ways to go. Active crossovers and separate amps for each driver should be used in speakers now. It's sad when a car stereo speaker system's crossover can be more advanced than home audio's.

I think speaker manufacturers should create a sound reproduction system with the following components:

1. Pre-amp/sound-processor with calibration microphone.
2. Built-in digital amplifiers for each driver in the speaker.
3. Speakers of varying design with the size of the intended room they are meant for CLEARLY ADVERTISED for the consumer.

This would be what I would do if I had the money to invest in a speaker company. I would create a complete sound systems for targeted room sizes. All a consumer would have to do is know what their room measurements are and they can easily select one of the most advanced sound system experiences available at any cost, tailor made for their environment.
post #5 of 7
Testing (measuring) and design tools have made the biggest impact, IMO.
post #6 of 7
I agree with cschang.
Also in my opinion, budget frienly speakers have shown some improvement.
post #7 of 7
IMO, consumer line arrays, such as those by Keele and the recently announced steerable line arrays by THX are groundbreaking. Huge headroom, controlled directivity, and consistent row-to-row SPL coverage throughout a room is what I would consider advancing the state of the art.

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