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Quick question about Frequency Response (help me understand)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
To start with I do understand that frequency response is not the "end all be all" of what makes a good speaker.

What I don't understand though is it better for the number on the left to be lower, or higher?

For example the NHT Absolute Towers that I was thinking about say their response is 58-20,000 Hz. Those are $500 a piece. Where as say JBL Studio 570's have a response of 45-40,000 Hz.

They both cost the same yet as you can see the left # is far higher on the NHT's but the right # is far higher on the JBL's.

The left numbers represent the lower frequencies (bass) and the right numbers represent higher frequencies correct??

If so wouldn't you want the # on the left to be lower and the # on the right to be higher, thus making those JBL's stats wise seem to destroy the NHT's?
post #2 of 6
http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

Frequencies are arranged from left to right with an index across the top.

Humans hear from (at best) a low rumble of 20hz to a piercing whine of 20khz.

All else being equal: you'd want that first number to be as low as possible and that second number to be as high as possible.

Of course not all is equal (and there's a lot more to perceived sound quality than frequency range)

But here's one of the most important parts to remember in a modern system... you likely have a subwoofer.
I don't need the bookshelf speakers in my home theater to play 30hz, because my subwoofer does that for them. All I need is for that first number to be low enough for the subwoofer to meet it.

In your example: both of those speakers would pair well with a subwoofer and you would no longer hear a difference in how low they went.
If you ran sans-sub; you would get more "rumble" and more low-frequency "presence" out of the JBL's you listed (in all likelihood)
post #3 of 6
How many db down is the response at the frequency extreme's? One could be 3db down and the other 10db.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

How many db down is the response at the frequency extreme's? One could be 3db down and the other 10db.

Though there are companies gaming the system, the norm is to report at -3db. Some report at -6db to get the number a few hz lower.
There are actually more factors that come into play than that even. Let's assume -3db@40: is the slope after that 6db/octave or 12db/octave? That's the difference between giving you -6@30 (ish) and -9@30 (ish). How a speaker rolls off below its bottom rated frequency (and above its highest) can certainly matter.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

How many db down is the response at the frequency extreme's? One could be 3db down and the other 10db.
+1. Claimed frequency response numbers without measured SPL charts to back them up aren't worth diddly squat.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

+1. Claimed frequency response numbers without measured SPL charts to back them up aren't worth diddly squat.

It doesn't have to be an actual graph. A statement of maximum deviation (+/- 1.5db) give much of the same information.
Though I prefer a graph. (then again: I also want to see the off-axis graph as well, and a waterfall plot would be nice)
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