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Frequency Response -- What is "good".

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am looking at 3 speakers right now. I have only been able to audition one of them so far...and I am fairly in love but it is a budget buster at 3.5k for the front towers.

The speakers I like have 2 7'' woofers, 6 inch mid and a 1 inch silk dome. I am tending to lean towards silk domes I noticed..but am not positive about this. I did audition some 10'' woofers and got to tell you I didn't like it. Too much boom without enough punch. I plan on having big subs to go with this outfit so I want more mid punch than big boom from the towers. When I heard the cymbols on the ones I liked ...I physically felt it. The mid bass was that good.

Anyway...

On to the specs...and of course I need help on:

1) What are the makers omitting?
2) How much marketing hype is frequency response?
3) Anyway to look at componets and guess speaker A will be much like speaker B?

Two Mid drivers = better Mid tones (generally?) All depends on xover and specs tell you nothing?


Speaker One:
3.5 way floorstanding vented box
Frequency Resp. 38 Hz-25.000 Hz 40 Hz-25.000 Hz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 90 dB SPL
Impendence 6 ohm
Tweeter: 29 mm high definition precoated fabric dome driver with
no ferrofluid.
Midrange: 1x150 mm cone driver. Free compression basket design
and thermo-mouldered polypropylene textile cone.
Woofer: 2x180 mm driver. Free compression basket design>


Speaker Two:
3-Way
Frequency Response (+/- 3dB) 45-20,000 Hz -- (+/- 6dB) 35-22,000 Hz
Impedance 6 Ohms
Sensitivity 92 dB
Tweeter 1" Custom silk dome tweeter
Midrange Two 5" Woven Kevlar Woofers with Aluminum Phase Plugs
Woofer Two 6" Woven Kevlar Woofers with PVC Dust Cap and Rubber Surrounds

Speaker Three:
Typical In-Room Frequency Response 34Hz - 27kHz ± 3dB
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 41Hz - 28kHz ± 3dB
Sensitivity 92dB @ 2.83v / 1 meter
Sensitivity (Anechoic) 89dB @ 2.83v / 1 meter
Impedance Compatibility 8, 6, and 4 ohm rated amps and receivers
Tweeter 26mm high-definition soft dome tweeter with integrated elastomer wave guide. Axially magnetized neodymium ring magnet with large damping chamber and fully underhung voice coil, wide surround and low-viscosity magnetic fluid cooling.
Midrange Woofer (1) 5.25” mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofer featuring an underhung voice coil with neodymium magnet system.
Woofer (2) 5.25” long throw mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofers.


It is interesting that Speaker two has two mid range drivers and two Kevlar Woofers. Soft dome I assume = silk with some coating?
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post


1) What are the makers omitting?
Measured SPL charts.
Quote:
2) How much marketing hype is frequency response?
It's all hype if there are no charts to back up the claims.
Quote:
3) Anyway to look at componets and guess speaker A will be much like speaker B?
If you know what the drivers are you don't have to guess, you can know exactly how the speaker will perform. But they won't tell you.
Quote:
I plan on having big subs to go with this outfit so I want more mid punch than big boom from the towers.
If you plan on having big subs you don't need towers. Towers go lower than bookshelves, but using subs you don't need to go lower with the mains than bookshelves go. By going with bookshelves rather than towers you'll get better speakers for the same $.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was "told" towers have better mid-range and over all sound stage than a compatable bookshelf.

It seems to make sense to me in that ... towers can have multiple mid range drivers whereas bookshelfs only get one. In addition, the driver size is often larger in a tower vs. a bookshelf.

Not that I am opposed to bookshelf...
post #4 of 8
A good bookshelf can produce as much mid bass as a tower. Tower speakers with the right design can hit lower...important if you are NOT using a sub!
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

I was "told" towers have better mid-range and over all sound stage than a compatable bookshelf.

It seems to make sense to me in that ... towers can have multiple mid range drivers whereas bookshelfs only get one. In addition, the driver size is often larger in a tower vs. a bookshelf.
They can, but that's not why.

A 3-way has an advantage over a 2-way in that the drivers are not asked to do as wide a range. For example: An infinity P363 can use a 3-inch mid-range driver which is excellent in the 500-3000Hz range because there is a seperate bass driver to cover below 500Hz.

A 2-way design has to make a more difficult choice. Larger bass drivers can adversely affect the mid-range, but are needed to get down to crossover (or wherever they bottom out).

Also: a single driver doing a large range of frequencies can suffer doppler shift on the high frequencies caused by the LF movement.

On the other hand. With a limited budget: a 2-way can use more expensive (presumably better) drivers and a more expensive (presumably better) crossover for the same cost (as it has less of them).
Also: bookshelves (being smaller) are inherently more rigid (all else being identical) than larger towers.

So it's not a simple answer. Which is better will be determined by the individual choices made in each design.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

I was "told" towers have better mid-range and over all sound stage than a compatable bookshelf....
By a loudspeaker designer? cool.gif
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

I am looking at 3 speakers right now. I have only been able to audition one of them so far...and I am fairly in love but it is a budget buster at 3.5k for the front towers.

The speakers I like have 2 7'' woofers, 6 inch mid and a 1 inch silk dome. I am tending to lean towards silk domes I noticed..but am not positive about this. I did audition some 10'' woofers and got to tell you I didn't like it. Too much boom without enough punch. I plan on having big subs to go with this outfit so I want more mid punch than big boom from the towers. When I heard the cymbols on the ones I liked ...I physically felt it. The mid bass was that good.

Anyway...

On to the specs...and of course I need help on:

1) What are the makers omitting?
2) How much marketing hype is frequency response?
3) Anyway to look at componets and guess speaker A will be much like speaker B?

Two Mid drivers = better Mid tones (generally?) All depends on xover and specs tell you nothing?


Speaker One:
3.5 way floorstanding vented box
Frequency Resp. 38 Hz-25.000 Hz 40 Hz-25.000 Hz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 90 dB SPL
Impendence 6 ohm
Tweeter: 29 mm high definition precoated fabric dome driver with
no ferrofluid.
Midrange: 1x150 mm cone driver. Free compression basket design
and thermo-mouldered polypropylene textile cone.
Woofer: 2x180 mm driver. Free compression basket design>


Speaker Two:
3-Way
Frequency Response (+/- 3dB) 45-20,000 Hz -- (+/- 6dB) 35-22,000 Hz
Impedance 6 Ohms
Sensitivity 92 dB
Tweeter 1" Custom silk dome tweeter
Midrange Two 5" Woven Kevlar Woofers with Aluminum Phase Plugs
Woofer Two 6" Woven Kevlar Woofers with PVC Dust Cap and Rubber Surrounds

Speaker Three:
Typical In-Room Frequency Response 34Hz - 27kHz ± 3dB
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 41Hz - 28kHz ± 3dB
Sensitivity 92dB @ 2.83v / 1 meter
Sensitivity (Anechoic) 89dB @ 2.83v / 1 meter
Impedance Compatibility 8, 6, and 4 ohm rated amps and receivers
Tweeter 26mm high-definition soft dome tweeter with integrated elastomer wave guide. Axially magnetized neodymium ring magnet with large damping chamber and fully underhung voice coil, wide surround and low-viscosity magnetic fluid cooling.
Midrange Woofer (1) 5.25” mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofer featuring an underhung voice coil with neodymium magnet system.
Woofer (2) 5.25” long throw mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofers.


It is interesting that Speaker two has two mid range drivers and two Kevlar Woofers. Soft dome I assume = silk with some coating?

The best advice I can give is you that unless you are a well-practiced speaker designer, don't look at what is inside the box, look at how it performs.

If you don't know how it performs, then it is a pig in a poke no matter what details they give you about how it is designed.

None of the specs you have provided have any necessary connection to sound quality except sensitivity and there are many problems with sensitivity specs:

(1) No standard way to measure sensitivity is indicated (standards exist but nobody in your list seems to be paying attention to them).

(2) All that sensitivity relates to is at most maximum loudness, and that's only known if we add power ratings which are just usually just as flaky as the sensitivity specs. IOW there are standard ways to specify max power that but again nobody in your list is promising to use them.

All three systems have sensitivity that varies over a 4 dB range, which is audible, but not very significantly so. It takes a 10 dB variation to create the impression of "twice as loud". I don't even see any power ratings.

As far as the frequency response specs go, one of them seems to have no dB tolerance, so we don't know what it means. The other two are probably for on-axis response, but off-axis response also contributes significantly to sound quality.

The frequency response specs don't tell you about how loud the speaker can get at low frequencies and that is very important. It is possible to build a speaker that is flat down to 20 Hz +/- 1 dB but its maximum undistorted output is below the threshold of hearing so all it will ever do that you hear is spew out garbage. It would be better to have a speaker that does not respond to 20 Hz than to have one that spews out garbage at 20 Hz.

I hope that my comments have at least confused you, because the list above is a reasonable recitation of modern speaker specs, but modern speaker specs generally mean a lot less than they may appear to mean.

I won't tell you to go listen to speakers because the SQ of speakers is profoundly changed by the room that they are working in, and no retailer is going to duplicate your listening room well enough for the audition to have any meaning.

What I will tell you is that you should pick a speaker that has a good chance of smooth on and off-axis response together with clean response down to 80 Hz so that you can use it with a good subwoofer.

If you ask questions please provide makes and models because at least that can be used to make more detailed investigations.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post


I was "told" towers have better mid-range and over all sound stage than a comparable bookshelf.

That would be an audiophile myth. The box does not control SQ nearly as much as the drivers and crossover that are in it.

Quote:
It seems to make sense to me in that ... towers can have multiple mid range drivers whereas bookshelfs only get one.

That would be another myth. Here is one bookshelf of many that has 2 midrange drivers:

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-PC351-Three-way-Center-Channel/dp/B0044D1788


Quote:
In addition, the driver size is often larger in a tower vs. a bookshelf.

Often is a hedge word and has no place in a general rule.

Midrange drivers don't necessarily get better as they get larger. There is an optimal size for midranges and it is probably between 3 and 5 inches plus/minus. There is generally no problem fitting one or two drivers that size in a bookshelf enclosure.
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