Author Topic: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...  (Read 3924 times)

Offline dBe

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If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« on: August 21, 2017, 10:16:51 PM »
What would it be with these parameters:

Configuration
Driver type(s)
Frequency response and timbral characteristics
Sensitivity
SAF -  a BIG one

And anything else you want to throw into the mix.

Just thinkin' here.

Offline BobM

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 05:00:07 AM »
No such beast.

Different types of speakers do different things well. Nothing does it all, especially considering WAF.

Ribbons are fastest, but you need surface area (no WAF) and power (no low watt SETs need apply)

Horns have dynamics, but usually have little imaging (not always though) and are large (low WAF)

Cone speakers don't always get the coherence thing right

lots of other shortfalls among all of them.
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Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 05:14:44 AM »
They would be invisible, so audiophiles could only judge them by sound, using their ears.
That way unshakable sighted beliefs about cones, domes, horns, ribbons, monopole, dipole, aluminum, wood, etc, etc. would play no role.
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Offline Hugh

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 06:38:49 AM »
They would be invisible, so audiophiles could only judge them by sound, using their ears.
That way unshakable sighted beliefs about cones, domes, horns, ribbons, monopole, dipole, aluminum, wood, etc, etc. would play no role.

+1.
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Offline mdconnelly

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 06:46:45 AM »
Interesting... we'd all likely want to describe the perfect speaker based on sound qualities.  But I'm willing to bet we each are strongly affected by the visual design appearance.   Some speakers are truly creative design works of art, others are monoliths, and yet others - typically smaller - are meant to be heard and not seen.

A few years back I bought a pair of Von Schweikert VR-35s which are designed to go against the front wall.    Great for my room that must also meet WAF requirements and they punch well above their price tag.   But they are boring to look at and I occasionally find myself longing for something with a more elegant visual design appeal.

So I might propose that each of us likely has a different design requirement for the perfect speaker.  Or more likely, the perfect speaker is always the next one we buy.

Offline rollo

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 06:47:15 AM »
 To start a flat frequency response from 20HZ to 20KHZ in one unit. A minimum of 94DB sensitivity. Does not matter if OB, Box, Planar, single driver, electrostatic or fieldcoil. No or minimal crossover to boot.
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Offline spm3

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 07:56:46 AM »
An electrostatic speaker with a killer woofer (or double woofer - OR MORE!) and an amazing crossover to tie everything together!
That's the sound I love haha

Offline Folsom

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 11:30:14 AM »
What would it be with these parameters:

Configuration
Driver type(s)
Frequency response and timbral characteristics
Sensitivity
SAF -  a BIG one

And anything else you want to throw into the mix.

Just thinkin' here.

Depends on the budget and space.

Either way I like to make speakers respond as much like a pure voltage devices as possible, but not in the most traditional of ways. Generally I prefer anything but sealed to compensate for natural impedance without a crossover. And then the crossover takes some interesting modifications not typically seen.

When choosing drivers I have no reservation for any kind of mantra. If the spec's fit I am interested. Nice waterfall's are good to see. In general I like cone and dome. I have really enjoyed different planar types at different times, but feel like they don't have the full potential cone and dome done really well can have. I have yet to thoroughly jump into horns, but can say my interest in them would be linearity, not CD.

The QES/QMS/QTS does interesting things. Too much QES (lower number) and the speaker will be restricted a lot, especially for bass. With QMS it is funny because it's a mixed bag. While less of it makes a more voltage driven unit, you can also suffer from QES dominance it seems, with too little (higher number). QTS is the measure of the two, where QES is highly dominate. I haven't decided whether I prefer bass from a mid QTS woofer, or prefer to start with a lower QTS woofer that responds well to porting, then tune it up a little by lower QES (increasing the number).

I think higher BL is good.

Higher sensitivity is appreciated as I think low efficiency speakers are a pain to power, it's costly. I am not saying I would never have one, and the amps to back it up, it's just not my first approach.

Because of how I like to use drivers in the crossover I basically prefer higher inductance since there are attributes I want that come with it. I am able to negate the negative effects of it well enough.

Configuration... depends what you're building. I think 3 ways are pretty optimal. It is probably possible to do a good 2 way but I haven't been convinced just yet. While I am all about not going sealed, the frequency range of the midrange will be some of the reasoning on whether I want it sealed or not. If it's a long way from it's impedance spike/s then it's ok. And I actually am fine with using bipolar configurations as well. They are tricky and need tuning but I like their benefits for design of reducing the need for too many drivers and possible comb filtering.

I highly recommend fighting diffraction, it causes high frequency fatigue.

Box material is important. I prefer rigid construction. Aluminum is awesome, and a variety of other things beyond the average. Simple MDF works but isn't remotely close enough to deadened enough even with no-rez applied and braced; it can sound good but is limited ultimately. That is another reason bipolar can be useful, to circumvent needing more costly, heavy, box construction.

When it comes to treating the inside of the box I hate stuffing. IMO everyone is wrong to use more than the slightly puff you can see through. It kills sound. But almost ironically lining the walls seems to improve sound. The goal is to reduce return waves in the box, and reduce vibration. What you line the walls with does add a touch of dampening but doesn't seem to have as negative of consequences as stuffing does that over dampens the speaker. I think nearly all speakers sound very over dampened which greatly hinders believability as there is no believable reverberation in the instruments you hear.

On and on and on... this is why I haven't made a speaker project design just yet. Although I certainly am working on getting there.

 

Offline rollo

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 12:15:25 PM »
Certainly NOT an easy task. Engineering and Art form IMHO.


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Offline Folsom

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 02:54:49 PM »
I think the art part is a higher level of engineering understanding  :rofl:

Well, sorta. A competent engineer must understand the difference between value in a subjective response vs. a distortion reading. Polar plots may help. There's plenty of things going on where you apply engineering principles but have little to no ability to measure. Many people prefer to go with what they can faithfully accept and doesn't require judgment, but often lack success.

I think Danny Richie is interesting in that he'll sacrifice a little distortion to improve another aspect. Not many driver developers are willing to make this jump that may or may not measure in say a waterfall plot. I think that's a mature outlook.

Offline jimbones

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 08:37:00 AM »
Have to agree with BobM, its all trade off. Depends on what is important to you and prioritize those in your design.
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Offline rollo

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 11:14:33 AM »
Have to agree with BobM, its all trade off. Depends on what is important to you and prioritize those in your design.


  What should be important to any speaker design is proper tonality, harmonic structure, proper timbre and full range frequency response with low distortion.
  Trade-offs should be type, size, shape and finish. Danny Richiees trade-off was to NOT pay attention to all the measurements but to stand fast in his conviction. Rant over. I need a nap.


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Offline Scott F.

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 12:21:11 PM »
Shoot for the stars....right?


OK, I would want a thin film that is mounted on a wall and it should be transparent.
It would provide the depth and width of soundstage of an open baffle
No crossover
Highs should be as crisp and non-fatiguing as the best tweeters available
The midrange should have the clarity and presence of my old Lowther PM2As
Bass should be tuneful yet crushing and should go to at least 20Hz
They should be north of 110dB sensitive and not break up until after 125or 130dB (that way I can play them with 1 watt and still have ample headroom).


....oh, and they need to be cheap (not inexpensive). I'm talking in the $500 range.


Too much to ask for? :thumb:
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Offline bpape

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 02:28:15 PM »
A full range, no xover, version of the old Hill Plasmatronic tweeter.  Essentially zero mass, infinite speed but would be a bugger size wise to do the low end.
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Offline Folsom

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Re: If you were to design the Perfect Speaker...
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 04:01:11 PM »
I do not subscribe to crossoverless. I probably would if I didn't have special ways of changing them.


Trade-offs do happen, but in many ways they are more give and take in order to get compatibility with amplifiers. I'm not certain that I think you have to sacrifice a lot at any given point. The problem is if you go in one direction the speaker may not respond well at all to many amplifiers. That does not make me think it's wrong, just problematic for a manufacturer.