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Different sizes of speaker - explain it to me


HeartfeltDawn

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I refuse to put up threads in the Amp forum about 8" speakers as clearly liking 8" speakers means you're not a man/enjoy sexual practices with chickens etc etc etc.

 

In nice simple language, explain how the sound from an 8" inch speaker will differ to a 10" or 12" speaker. I have a feeling that I want a 2x8" cabinet in the future. Help that feeling grow into full-blown desire, although not a desire that involves sexual practices with chickens.

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It is possible to make a 8" speaker with a very controlled high end, in fact most hi-fi drivers intended to be used with a tweeter are that way. But in doing this the response becomes simple, accurate, hi-fi. It is possible to make a 12" speaker with way more hi-end extension than that, e.g. the top few peaks of Celestion V30 are up in the 10 KHz range. The cone is vibrating in direct response to the voice coil only in a small ring around the center, with many complex waves moving across the cone. The high end is rough, inaccurate, with slow transients and great complexity. This allows for some extremely high end to exist without feeling too harsh and stiff.

With a 8" that does allow upper high end, it will have highs that no 12" can touch, but this is not usually considered a good thing. They are less loud, but this could be made up for by using many more of them. It is possible that the extra complexity of more drivers, possibly in an unusual configuration, can also compensate in a way for the high end.

As well as points mentioned above, smaller speakers are more directional, with less spread of sound. This is either good or bad, depending on the situation!!



No, larger drivers are more directional, and so is more of them (barring angling). What you get with, for example, a wall of 4x12's is a sound that starts out spread out, but the highs and even midrange go out in a big wide line from that. With a single driver, a wider part of the frequency range will spread over a wide area in a wide cone shape, although even then the very highest frequencies will be directional -- multiple drivers can't narrow that spread, because there's no spread in the first place.

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