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#35652 - 03/02/04 12:54 PM 'square-wave proof' speakers?
Raindance Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 170
Loc: Minnesota
Hi folks,

Are there any speaker technologies that don't get damaged by loud square waves?

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#35653 - 03/02/04 01:08 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
Strange taste in music?

And my fiancee complains when I turn up Anti-Flag!

Bren R.

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#35654 - 03/02/04 01:12 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
smoovranger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 34
Are you talking about clipping?

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#35655 - 03/02/04 01:15 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Do you mean true square waves, in which the speaker driver must try to instantaneously move from max positive excursion to max negative excursion, or semi-rounded square waves, in which the attack is not so harsh?
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#35656 - 03/02/04 01:50 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
Raindance Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 170
Loc: Minnesota
Bren, hah

Basically extreme clipping, yes-- by your description, PM, it sounds like loud square waves would fry every speaker known to man?

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#35657 - 03/02/04 05:17 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10405
Mike, it isn't entirely clear to me from what angle you're appoaching this. Although I rather like Bren's suggestion, I suppose that you're really thinking about clipping. A square wave of the same amplitude as a sine wave at the same frequency requires the square root of 2(i.e. 1.414)times as much voltage, and since power is proportional to the square of the voltage(i.e. P=V(squared)/R), this amounts to twice the power going into the speaker voice coil on a fully-clipped or square wave signal. Since the voice coil has to absorb twice the power, but it doesn't move any farther on the clipped or square wave to help it in cooling, it can overheat and fail if it can't dissipate the exta power over the time period involved. So, I suppose that answer is that no speaker is "square-wave proof", but the greater its power handling capacity, the greater its ability to play square waves at high level or to handle clipping without permanent damage.


Edited by JohnK (03/02/04 05:40 PM)
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#35658 - 03/02/04 06:08 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
Raindance Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 170
Loc: Minnesota
John, that was very helpful. I had been of the thought that square waves damaged drivers through sort of 'jerking' them back-and-forth instead of a more normal sine-wave curve-- to hear it's a power / heat issue makes everything clear.

Thanks folks!

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#35659 - 03/02/04 07:50 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The power/heat issue and 'jerking' back-and-forth are closely linked.

At either flat end of a square wave, the driver is not moving yet a lot of power is flowing through the voice coil. The back-and-forth motion of a voice coil is what cools it, so the only chance the voice coil has to cool while reproducing a square wave is while it's in transit between the two extremes.

Since more time is spent "excurded" (the horizontal parts of the wave) than in transit (the vertical parts of the wave), this leads to rapid head buildup.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#35660 - 03/02/04 09:15 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
rcvecc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
i believe these subs are designed to handle square waves http://www.globalsupersale.com/inc/pdetail?v=1&pid=3123

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#35661 - 03/02/04 10:34 PM Re: 'square-wave proof' speakers?
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10405
Obviously that's the case, Ron, but now even the sine waves will come out square.
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