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#1781 - 02/22/02 12:06 PM Woofer Performance
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm from the old school where big bass required big woofers.

In researching new speakers to replace my 20+ year old Cerwin Vegas, I find that most full range speakers today are tower designs using multiple small woofers for the bass.

Some designs use two woofers, some use three. Most are in the 5" - 6" range.

In any event, could you please explain how smaller woofers, even multiple woofers, can perform as well as the old 12" woofers in my CVs?

Thanks for your help.



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#1782 - 02/23/02 11:14 PM Re: Woofer Performance
BBIBH Online   content
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1032
Loc: Canada
That is a very good question. I am sure Ian and/or Alan can make exact thoughts known, but lets take a few thoughts.

As with most things in our lifetime, I would guess tehcnology has had a hand in this. More efficient driver designs have made newer, faster, higher power handling drivers. Cabinet design probably has a great deal of influence as well. They are possibly easier and cheaper to make?

You mention multiple smaller bass drivers as opposed to one larger bass driver. I can guess from different manufacturers (Axiom included I believe) that the array of drivers is/can be tuned to operate more efficiently in different frequency ranges than a driver that must reproduce all frequencies below the crossover point.

Also, as a speaker really is an electric motor which produces motion back and forth. They are built of different parts that are directly related to the size of the driver. When amplifier power (assumed to be a music note, or sound wave) is applied to the driver, it moves. Applying Newtons 1st and 2nd Laws of Motion would indicate that smaller drivers are easier to control, are quicker to change motion/direction, and easier to move.

Perhaps I am over analyzing this. Let us see if Ian/Alan can provide any information.

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1783 - 02/24/02 04:16 PM Re: Woofer Performance
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Not overanalyzing at all, BBIBH. In fact, you nailed it in your last paragraph. I would only add that smaller woofer cones--as opposed to, 12-inch cones--have less mass, and are less prone to flexing (they can be made stiffer more easily) as they move rapidly back and forth compressing and rarefying the air molecules.

So if a 6-inch cone is lighter and stiffer than a 12-inch driver, it will require less force to move it, and because it doesn't flex, it will produce less distortion and coloration. By pairing a couple of 6-inch drivers, you can move roughly the same quantity of air and achieve comparable low-frequency output and bass extension with the decided advantages that smaller-cone drivers yield.


Alan Lofft
Axiom Resident Expert
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#1784 - 02/24/02 08:40 PM Re: Woofer Performance
BBIBH Online   content
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1032
Loc: Canada
See, I knew my analytical mind could come to good use one day! ;)

I would also guess, that based on the smaller drivers being easier to control, and new cabinet thinking away from standard square or rectangle boxes, the bass is more accurate and less "false". Because large drivers require bigger cabinets, and they were always rectangular or square boxes as they are easier to make. But the material of "older" speakers was typically lacking, and being a common shape, there would be many acoustic issues: standing waves, resonances, vibrations, etc. These could/would lead to bass being "constructed" when music was played - most of which would not be accurate, but enhanced at certain frequencies. This would give the impression of greater bass, but in fact it could be artificial bass.

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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