Home Forums DIY Speakers and Subwoofers Planar Magnetic Subwoofer?

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    rawr
    Participant

    Just introduced into the amazing world of DIY speakers so pardon if this is a stupid question. I have a pair of Argon MKIII headphones with a bass response of ~30Hz, so why can’t I find PM drivers with a frequency response even near that? I understand they typically don’t have enough displacement to be a good subwoofer, but why couldn’t you add passive radiators?

  • Planar Magnetic Subwoofer?

    123toid updated 3 weeks, 2 days ago 3 Members · 11 Replies
  • 123toid

    Administrator
    June 8, 2022 at 12:19 am

    That is a good question. Planar headphones have been known to have really good/even low end response. However I think part of the issue is that they don’t excite the air the same way a traditional motor structure with high xmax does. So in theory they wouldn’t move air in the same way. That isn’t a big deal for headphones, but would probably be a problem in a room. I’lls ee if @elliottdesigns has anything else he’d like to offer up.


    Planar Magnetic Subwoofer?

    • elliottdesigns

      Member
      June 9, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      Nope, you pretty much nailed it Nick, the fact is that you need large volume displacements of air to be efficient at low frequencies, planars don’t move very much without high distortion, so the only way to go about it would be to have a very large surface area instead. This is impractical in terms of cost, size and in general, planars simply weren’t designed for this use case, the intent was large surface area for the size, but scaling up would introduce complexity too much

  • elliottdesigns

    Member
    June 9, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    Actually I can add something, the only reason passive radiators work is from the volume of air displaced by the cone’s rear, without that, they simply wouldn’t move, the added efficiency would be imperceptible, plus planars need to be enclosed the way they typically are to function properly.

    • rawr

      Member
      June 9, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      That makes sense. In headphones the volume is so small it’s workable, but it can’t move enough air for a speaker unfortunately. I was hoping radiators might assist enough but I guess not.

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      June 9, 2022 at 3:37 pm

      @rawr thanks for starting this discussion. I feel everytime someone asks a question I learn something new. Thanks @elliottdesigns for the excellent information. It make sense.

      I will say, I am just finishing up a video on the Edifier Stax S3 Planar Headphones and I love the bass they produce. So fast and clean. I am a huge fan of Planar headphones. Overall, I really prefer them over dynamic driver headphones. At least with all the headphones I have currently tested.


    • rawr

      Member
      June 9, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      Have you tried the Argon MK3? If you’re in Cali I’d be willing to let you try them out.

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      June 9, 2022 at 3:46 pm

      I have not. Are they also planar headphones? THey look nice and I really appreciate the option for a balanced jack. They look very nicely made.


    • rawr

      Member
      June 9, 2022 at 3:53 pm

      They’re planar headphones alright. They are absolutely amazing. Vocals, sound stage, instruments, bass, all perfect for me. I connected them to my SA420 so I can adjust the bass (for the heck of it) and they basically turned in Beats by Dre. They’ll play anything and it’ll sound great.

      A song I discovered for testing vocals and sound stage is “Lover, Please Stay” the live version by Nothing But Thieves. I’ve been with opera singers when they go full throttle on the volume and you can feel it in your head. These headphones are the only thing that have ever replicated that feeling. Not even JBL 4311’s can do it.

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      June 9, 2022 at 5:04 pm

      That is amazing That sounds about right for planar headphones. There are a lot of benefits to the low moving mass of planars. I might have to reach out to them sometime. I was honestly surprised they were planars, since the price is so low. Typically $300 is around entry level for a set of planar headphones. SO they look very competitively priced. I am intrigued for sure.


    • rawr

      Member
      June 9, 2022 at 6:18 pm

      Technically they are Fostex T20RP, but Mod House Audio retunes them. Based on reviews it’s not worth getting the T20RP.

      What state are you in?

    • 123toid

      Administrator
      June 13, 2022 at 11:06 pm

      I’m far away, in West Tennessee.