What makes a full range speaker good quality?
Basically ive been looking at full range drivers out of curiosity, trying to imagine what my next build could look like, only the more i look at different drivers the more i dont understand the basics about them.
Some of them are really cheap, like the dayton pc83 that ive recently used, that goes down to mid 50hz and the trebble clarity you get from those speakers is rediculous, you can hear things in songs ive never heard before. But then i see some drivers that cost almost £200 that only go as low as 100hz, some even higher, so im wondering what they could possibly offer that is better than the cheap dayton that also gives the bass that you would want from a single speaker.
Why do people buy a £200 full range driver, that delivers weak bass even in a vented enclosure, is it purely to use in relation to a seperate subwoofer? And how do you tell which is a good driver other than checking its vented f3?
Also if most full range drivers go all the way up to 20000hz, why do tweeters get used with them a lot of the time? Doesnt that create even more of a lack of bass with the high f3 of some of those speakers?
Theres a lot of questions there, i know lol, but i needed to write them down now incase i forgot to ask at a later date
I am very curious about this as well. I’ve been using the DA ND91 which I think sounds absolutely amazing, it costs about twice as much as the pc83, but still in the reasonable end I think. I have also used the DA ND65 for small builds and I was really surprised by how big sound such small units can produce.
Looking forward to reading the answer to the above.
Hey guys, I'll look more into this question tomorrow. I had a long day and need to hit the sack.
This is a really good question. And one, I won't be able to full answer in one post, but I'll try my best to reach the important bits.
First thing to realize, is there is no such thing as a perfect full-range driver. There are trade-offs. Those trade-offs might not be as noticeable at first glance, but they are there. The PC83's for example are a pretty fine driver for nearfield. I have used them myself. But you wouldn't use those to fill a room with sound. For that, you would probably want something a little bit bigger.
In general, a full-range driver is typically better at low end or high end response. That may not always be noticeable right off the bat. Sometimes you will need to take distortion and waterfall measurements to see that.
Some of the bigger more expensive full range drivers also tend to use a transmission line box. This helps out the low end of those drivers. I am no means an expert in transmission lines, so I cede this to someone with a little more knowledge than I have.
You final question about a tweeter, is what might be the most important trade-off of using a full-range driver. ever driver, depending on their size, starts to beam. This basically mean that at a certain frequency the response will deviate from it's on axis response. This is true of any type of driver. The size associated with the driver, will determine the frequency in which a driver starts to beam. Here's a good article on it. It is important to understand this for a few reasons.
The first is, with a good full-range driver, your off-axis will be different than your on axis driver. You will want to keep in mind on what degree you listen to a driver from. If you do a lot of off axis listening, you may choose a full-range driver that has a rise in it's response. That way, off axis will be more even. Although, the on axis will now be a little hot in your treble region.
This is where a tweeter can really come in handy. Since a tweeter is smaller, it will beam at a much later frequency. So if you pair a full-range or midrange driver with a tweeter, you can get much more consistent off-axis response. If you have multiple areas you are trying to cover with sound, this might be the better route to go.
Thats a hell of a reply lol, thanks for taking the time, hadnt realized there could be differences in the sound due to on or off axis, i hadnt really noticed with the speakers ive used or built but i do have a small room that i usually listen to music in, so maybe thats why i hadnt had issues with that in the past. I think maybe i will have to build a speaker using a tweeter in future, and see if i can notice any improvement in sound quality over just using the full range on its own, ive been comparing the sound of my last build to an old set of technics 3 way speakers but given that they are around 15 years old now maybe im missing out on todays standards of speaker designs to accurately compare to.
I think ill have to ask a lot more questions before im at the point where i can make my own surround sound speakers, which ive been dying to do for some time now, and hopefully you wont mind helping me out with that when i finally take the leap lol
Another thing you could do is build or use a coaxial style driver. I am considering building a speaker using this Eminence driver. You literally just screw a tpi compression driver and it turns it into a full-range speaker. You still need to create a crossover for it. but it has some advantages over a traditional two way speaker. The main being all the sound should arrive at the same time. I haven't used any of these, but I am intrigued by them.
Im not sure i fully understand how they work when you say you screw a compression driver to it, does that mean it attatches to your mid bass driver directly and acts as a tweeter but all in one unit instead of two seperate drivers? If so meaning you can make a smaller enclosure? Sorry if i misunderstood, but either way id love to see what you can make with it
I also have a quick question about adding a tweeter to a full range, if i were to do it, say with the pc83 just as an example, that driver is 30 watts rms, how would i match a tweeter to that? As in what wattage should i be looking for and how will the amplifier split the wattage between the two? And would i need more than a 2x50 watt amplifier in that scinario?
Yes, the compression tweeter screws right into the back of the midrange. Thus it create a coaxial or concentric speaker. The midrange will still need a properly designed box. That box just needs to be deep enough to fit both drivers.
As far as the tweeter goes...that is a tricky one to answer. What I will say, is that there is what we call a power dissipation that happens with frequency. The lower a driver plays, the more power it will consume. So for example, if you have a three way speaker giving it 100w, 80w might go to the subwoofer, while 17w goes to the mid and only 3 goes to the tweeter. Of course, this is just for illustrative purposes, the point at which you crossover will have a lot to do with this. In the case you are talking about, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Almost any tweeter will have enough power handling, as long as you cross it over properly.
Sorry ive taken so long, i hadnt realised you had replied, i didnt see the notification until now
Thanks for that explanation, i might actually add a tweeter into my next build and see how i manage with it, but i dont think im quite at the level yet to attempt a compression tweeter lol hopefully one day ill be knowledgeable enough to do it though. I still find it confusing how people wire up two woofers with one tweeter in the middle, i just cant fathom what would connect to what as theres only two speaker outs from the amps i use, and how the crossover connects in the circuit 🤷♂️