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So...What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dave-Action-Fig, Apr 11, 2009.


  1. Dave-Action-Fig

    Dave-Action-Fig

    Nov 28, 2006
    Sorry for this noob question from this gear newbie.
    But I wanted to know what is the difference in sound between 10" en 12" speakers and how much does the number of speakers influences your tone (not the loudness)?
    I know 15" are slower then 10" but whats up with 12?
    And what would you recommend me (I like a pretty deep but clear sound)?
     
  2. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    The difference comes from the cabinet design. Two cabs with the same size speakers can sound totally different.

    A 15 is not "slower" than a 10. That myth comes from old, poorly designed cabs; those ancient cabs would sound bad with tens--- if tens were available back in those days.

    You really have to listen to different cabs and choose the one that works for you. Tone, cost, weight, size, and volume.
     
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There's no difference in tone based purely on size or number of drivers. The only difference based purely on size is the angle of midrange dispersion, which is narrower as the driver is made larger, and is halved when two drivers are mounted side by side.
    There is no such thing as slow drivers.
     
  4. I disagree with that blanket statement. But that is just IME and IMHO.
     
  5. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    I'm sure there are some examples of bad drivers---either in design or condition---and there certainly have been lots of bad cabinets.

    But I tend to agree that Bill's statement is correct in general. The difference in cone motion between good drivers of different sizes is negligible.

    The poorer midrange dispersion of large drivers might often be construed as "slow response."
     
  6. This I totally agree with. :)
     
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There are two driver functions where 'speed' is part of the equation. One is the speed at which the driver responds to an applied signal. All drivers respond to an applied signal at the same speed. The other is the speed at which the cone travels. All drivers travel at the speed of the waveform input.
    Those who refer to the 'speed' of a driver are usually confusing 'speed' with transient response, which is not a product of the driver size. An in depth explanation of what does affect transient response can be found at
    http://billfitzmaurice.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7506&start=0
     
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    There's another problem with speed. Our ears hear sound pressure, not cone speed. Whatever it means to say that a speaker sounds "faster" must relate to sound pressure at a given listening point. But sound pressure is related to the product of cone acceleration and effective radiating area. Thus, at first glance, if two speakers have the same cone speed, the bigger cone will be the one that sounds "faster."

    Like Bill F says, something else must be responsible for the perception that smaller cones sound "faster." Off axis response is one candidate. Another is simply that some popular 10" systems are designed with fairly high tuning.
     
  9. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Simple experiment: take a driver or cab you think is "fast" and place an active crossover that can sweep its crossover point from say 5000 Hz down to 100 Hz. Run the power amp driving the enclosure off the low-pass side. Use a good CD with full band for signal, and start with the crossover point at 5K Hz. As you listen during broad bandwidth sections, slowly turn down the crossover point. Not how much "slower" the enclosure begins to sound as percussive treble and then upper mids, and then mid-mids are muted and removed by the filter the crossover presents.

    Pretty soon you have the muffled "subwoofer only" sound goin' on. But the driver/enclosure is the same.

    Alternately, take a well-mic'd kick drum through a great PA stack and play it first with a hard beater, one that emphasizes "click". The upper content of the beater is very present. Then replace that beater with a soft deep felt beater and note how differently your perceptions are. Nothing changed in the PA stack drivers.
     
  10. Argue with what ever theory you wish! I gave up on playing D140's due to having to play ahead of the rest of my band mates to be on time with them. Altecs and EV's did not present this concern. All 15" drivers, one design just missed the mark in lew of fewer returns. I realize my 12"s have more "attack" if you will from the better mid performance, but respond no faster than the 15's did.
    That is why I disagree with blanket statments, those that make them should know there are always exceptions. :)
     
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I am not arguing against anybody's listening or playing experiences. I am arguing that "speed" as described by players, and the physical speed of the speaker cone, are not the same thing, though they have the same name.

    If anybody wants to compare designs, my speaker analysis "program" is much less user friendly than WinISD, but it computes and graphs the transient response function.
     
  12. sparrow

    sparrow

    May 26, 2005
    Belgium
    i like chicks
     
  13. Dave-Action-Fig

    Dave-Action-Fig

    Nov 28, 2006
    Thanks for the help dudes!

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The difference between JBLs and Altecs/EVs was all in the midrange, and had absolutely nothing to do with the driver size, nor did it have to do with 'speed' of response, real or imagined. I never cared for JBLs either, compared to Altecs and EVs they sounded dull and didn't let the tone of my Rotos come through. But to suggest that any speaker would have a delay of the sort you suggest is, well, silly. Other forces must have been responsible for that perception, and there was no shortage of those in the '60s. :hyper:
     
  15. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    So that's different than currently?
     
  16. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    What you have to pay dearly for today was abundantly cheap, if not free, then.
     
  17. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    The owls don't sleep.

    gratefulsound.
     
  18. I do find it interesting to assume you can attach any type of mass to a circular former wound with wire, place that in a magnetic field, attach something to keep it centered and it will perform just like any other simular device. Why people spend all that time on R&D is I guess beyond me? Must be the "other forces" they are using that I don't subscribe the use of?:p
    Why all theses T/S specs? They are all the same right, there is no difference between them. You are right I'm just silly :hyper: :)
     

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