Do I want long throw speakers in my rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by superbassman2000, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. So i was just wondering, I have been reading about long throw speakers, and I don't know a whole heck of a lot about amps and cabs, but i have been considering adding a 210 to my current rig, and I when i first found out about long throw speakers, i was thinking maybe that'd be something i'd like, but then after some more reading it sounds like long throw speakers are only needed in gigantic venues, like auditoriums and cathedrals--while i don't play in either of those, might they still be worth it?

  2. I'll take a stab at this, but I'm sure you will get a more technical answer from some of the very good EE type TBers on the site.

    From what I understand, 'long throw' speakers is a layman's term that describes speakers with long cone excursion (I believe the technical term is 'high X Max'). This long excursion results in the speakers (in conjunction with the way the cabinet they are in is tuned) to produce very deep bass... deeper bass than speakers of the same size with tighter surrounds, etc.

    The best example of this type of speaker that I can think of seems to be the 10" speaker(s) in the Acme cabs. Those little cabs go VERY low. The downside to this type of speaker is that they typically need a lot of power (givent that deep bass takes more power to accurately reproduce than higher frequencies), and they also are very poor at reproducing upper mids. The Acme cab gets around the upper mid issue by using a 3-way design... with not only a woofer and tweeter like most bass cabs, but also a small mid driver that 'makes up for' the lack of mid response in those almost 'subwoofer' type long throw speakers.

    Other cabs that seem to match the 'long throw' description are the older EA VL cabs (also 3 way designs), and the large Bergantino HT cabs (not as extreme as the Acme, they are two way design, but with deeper low end and less upper mid response than most other cabs).

    So, it has nothing to do with the size of the venue or volume... more to do with if you want your bass cab to extend very low and if you don't mind cranking a lot of power into the cab. If anything, these types of cabs put out less volume... but have a deeper, fuller sound.

    I find this type of voicing sounds better in the living room than on the gig, since a very wide bass tone many times gets in the way of other instruments (especially the bass drum) in a mix. Others love the 'long throw' type voicing.

  3. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    long throw refers to the excursion of the drivers not the abillty of the drivers to throw sound out a distance. sound is sound. once generated it drops off at the same rate depending on distance, no matter what created the sound. whether it's a trashcan lid or a bass driver physics is physics. bass frequencies can fool the ear due to their long wavelenth but that has more to do with the frequency produced that the source of the sound. typically "long throw" speakers can go lower but you might consider a midrange driver to make up for the mids that are typically sacrificed for low end response.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You're confusing what Ken correctly described for drivers with PA speakers (especially horns) that are designed to throw sound far back in a room. For example, a 120 X 120 degree horn might be appropriate when you want nice dispersion on a dance floor close to a wide stage in a tall room. In a long narrow room you might well prefer a 60 X 30 degree horn, since it puts the energy in the room and not off the walls. Those examples would commonly be called short throw and long throw horns, make sense? As usual, there's plenty more to this though.
  5. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Thanks to dubious slang from non-grokking yappers "long throw" has two meanings where once there was one, and even that was shorthand. It was first probably applied to horn-loaded designs where the horn's polar pattern was decidedly tight, control that could be applied to minimize interaction between multiple cabs and with nearer structural surfaces indoors. These designs didn't "throw" the sound any further really. The same inverse square law applied to them. But lots of bass players using "bins" began to spout such nonsense as, "the bass doesn't develop till it's 28 feet out", further minimizing actual understanding. Bad soundmen helped them believe in all the wrong fairy tales.

    The second mangling came from people who didn't understand what the first was really about, but somehow thought that it meant the sound got "threwed" (sic) farthererererer. Then they started calling woofers with deeper excursion - xmax/xmech - "long thow" and many actually believed they were capable of making sound go further away as well. But that too is nonsense.

    This has been a public cervix announcement.
  6. that makes a lot of sense thanks guys!
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Band name alert!:cool:
  8. ok, i can understand that--i did a search for a definition of long throw speakers, and I came up with this website ->

    which now that i look back is all about PA systems :)
  9. Throw is an often mis-used term. As noted above, it is an obsolete term for cone excursion. It is also used to describe the projection characteristics of a driver at far distances.

    Projection charcteristics are modified when the driver topology changes from point source to an array. Check out ProSoundWeb for schooling on cardioid subwoofer experiments to see how directional characteristics are controlled in the bass range.