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Neodymium vs. conventional speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DiazRomero, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. DiazRomero


    Jun 25, 2004
    Moss Beach, CA
    This is probably the wrong forum but I wanted to get as many responses as possible. Just looking for observations and opinions on the differences (besides weight) between neodymium and conventional speakers and cabinets you may have experienced.:bassist:
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A lot of neos seem to have a pretty big upper mid hump from what I'm told. I've only played a handful of neo cabs but I hear it as well.
  3. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I've got two Dr. Bass RX115s--one Neo, one not. I haven't used them at any really loud volume yet, but as far as I can tell they sound pretty darn near the same (one of the first things I did when I got the second one was A/B them).
  4. joegeezer


    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    I think they sound about the same too. I've switched to all neo now. 2-410neo cabs and two 215 neo cabs, and one 3 way cab with a neo 15, and a conventional co-ax 10 w/tread on HF driver. Sure has saved alot of weight, and they all sound great!!
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There are no major differences that can be purely attributed to the magnet material; flux is flux. Where specific drivers do differ it's due to other specs, many of which are explained here:

    You'll note that magnet material is not mentioned.
  6. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
  7. Alexander

    Alexander Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Actually, to my ear the Neos sound much better than traditional speakers. But only if you use them with blue wires. The orange wires make them lose too much low end extension...

    :bag: :p
  8. Grooveman1961


    May 8, 2006
    it's simply the weight of the magnet. Neodymium is a much more powerful material, magnetically, so less can be used.
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    OTOH Neo gives the opportunity to get a lot more flux without excessive weight, and that gives transducer engineers the ability to come up with drivers that weren't all that practical with ceramic. But again, it's not the magnet material that makes the difference, it's the T/S specs made possible by the material.
  10. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    I heard that Neodymium can give you crotch crickets.
  11. I don't understand it all, but I still like to read about it. And then I like playing through 'em! :bassist:
  12. Nightlyraider


    Sep 30, 2009
    He's saying that the new magnets are literally "more magnetic" then the old magnets. You can theoretically use Neodymium magnets to create speaker applications that did not exist/were not possible with ceramics.
  13. riker1384


    Jan 2, 2007
    I think one manufacturer (Bob Gallien maybe?) said Neos have less distortion than ceramics. I'm not sure why, maybe they can make them into a more linear geometry or something.
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The 3012LF and 3015LF are the first wave. They don't differ hugely from what is possible with ceramic magnets, but they're far more practical than 30 pound drivers.
    At some point neo will make ultra high Bl drivers practical, their advantage being the ability to deliver far higher bass output than current drivers. The downside is that they also require a lot more power, in the multi-kilowatt range, but continuing development of high efficiency amp designs will get around that restriction.
  15. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    These driver's are already implemented in high-end prosound. Right?
  16. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Nope. They're still in the experimental stage, fodder for presentations at AES conventions. I'm talking about Bl values of 30 and more. The JBL 2258, which is a top of the line pro-sound eighteen, has a Bl of 22; 26 is about the limit at present.

    The old E140 has a BL of 24, which would make it a killer in the low end except it has a quarter the required xmax and an eighth the power handling necessary to deliver on what its massive magnet would otherwise allow. The 3015LF has a BL of 19, but with twice the power handling and three times the xmax of the E140 it's a far better parameter balance. To make good use of a BL of 30 you'd need at least twice the xmax and four times the power handling of the 3015LF, and now you're talking about needing a 2,000 watt amp, so it will be awhile before we see drivers of that sort.
  17. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    These are pretty close to those specs.


    2.2db Power compression (full power) is impressive if true.

    I'd like to see distortion based xmax figures. B&C offers two different xmax measurements.

    The Italians(one Spanish) seem to be in an arms race at the moment.
  18. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I love lurking on these kinds of threads... :cool:

    Just imagine where the cutting edge for bass amplification will be in five years. Or in 10 years. And beyond...

    Imagine how these qualitative advances, as well as quantitative advances, have the potential to influence the creation & performance of new forms of actual music. Truly 'tis a good time to be a musician. 'Tis a great time to be a bassist. :meh:

    (Guess I'm not lurking anymore... :smug:)

  19. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I a not a speaker expert like Bill, but I surely appreciate what MarkBass is doing with their Neo speakers, and can only imagine the future.

    I still cannot believe that my new 1 x 12" combo nearly replaces my old 2x15 + head that I painfully dragged around in the 70's. My back STILL hurts from than thing!
  20. Powman


    Apr 28, 2009
    That sums it up for me...

    I did not have a problem with the tone of my previous heavy weight rig...on the contrary, it sounded great.

    I feel the tone of my Markbass stuff is better, but I am willing to concede that this may be due to cognitive dissonance.

    In any event the tone is at least the same if not better than my previous stuff. But shedding all that weight up the stairs!:help:. I dont ever want to go back to heavy amps!:)