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What makes a good Rock n Roll speaker?

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  • What makes a good Rock n Roll speaker?

    Since purchasing some KEF LS50 I wondered what quality (of a driver) aside from XMAX to move more air?

    Most little speakers I have owned do not fair well at all with rock or even popular music. My Continuum is a good example. Certainly it sounds sweet with certain music but ask it to do current pop etc it just does not have that DNA.

    The LS50 on the other hand does. Now donít get me wrong, it is still lacking the lowest and impactful bass notes but what is does it does very well.

    A song I really like but just makes most small speakers whimper is Bare Naked Ladies ďBrian WilsonĒ

    The LS50 does not seem to get congested like the LS3/5a that it replaced. The vocals remain set apart and without a sense of strain or congestion. In fact all the instruments remain free from the smearing I normally expect with a lessor design.

    I once had some JMLab Mini Utopia and that was a fantastic rock speaker (really fantastic all around.)

    I imagine the quality of the driver has a lot to do with it. Low distortion etc. The well designed box may contribute as well. Since it is especially inert It seems to be free of any contribution to the music.

    If anyone has thoughts on that I am all ears.

  • #2
    Accurate response is accurate response, no matter what the genre being listened to. As for the issues with small speakers that's Hoffman's Iron Law at work.
    www.billfitzmaurice.com
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    • #3
      High sensitivity and the ability to move a lot of air.
      Last edited by Sydney; 04-04-2018, 11:54 AM.
      "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
      "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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      • #4
        For a Rock speaker my priorities would be something like F3 in mid-30ís , SPL to 100 Ė 102 dB, sensitivity of at least 87 dB at 2.83V for a bookshelf, 90 dB for a floor stander.

        It would be great to hear the LS50s at Fort Wayne for comparison to all the other coax designs.
        John H

        Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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        • #5
          I got a set of Pioneer speakers for my sonís wedding reception a few years ago. I connected them directly to a LinearTech 375 rms w/channel amp. He plugged his iPhone into them. They consist of a 12 inch woofer, a 5 inch paper midrange, and a 2 inch paper tweeter. Real heavy on the bass end. You turn them up high and the blast it out. Not very good for orchestral.

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          • #6
            If I were making a speaker for RnR, it would look like this
            - large midrange for less room involvement and greater directivity.
            - waveguide or compression driver for dynamic treble and less room involvement
            - aim for high efficiency and sacrifice low bass for it, focussing on getting mid bass strong and powerfu
            - probably use a paper cone, seem to make electric guitars sound good but I wouldn't shy away from other materials necessarily

            Sounds a lot like a PA speaker honestly.

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            • #7
              Make em BIG!
              .
              Click image for larger version

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ID:	1371344

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              • #8
                Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                Accurate response is accurate response, no matter what the genre being listened to. As for the issues with small speakers that's Hoffman's Iron Law at work.
                That's my take on it, too. If a speaker only sounds good with a particular genre it's most likely coloring the sound somehow and "remastering" the music.
                Francis

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                • #9
                  For classic rock there is no need for response below 40hz, and IMO the best speakers for the genre are large floor standers with large efficient drivers. I grew up in the '70's and '80's with a set of 15" 3 ways on a 65w Sansui AU-D5.
                  Paul O

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by View Post
                    Make em BIG!
                    .
                    [ATTACH=CONFIG]n1371344[/ATTACH]
                    Thanks for posting this. I miss 1974. I'd seen that photo before, but tonight it sent me off into Google-land where I found this thread about fake speaker stacks. It's really interesting (to me anyway) and features some good pictures and a video that still works. The Dead's drummer was not thrilled about working under that very real pile of speakers. Can't say I blame him!

                    Also, I agree that big is good when it comes to R&R speakers. Big and loud.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sydney View Post
                      High sensitivity and the ability to move a lot of air.
                      ​Are you saying that Linkwitz is full of air?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by View Post
                        Make em BIG!
                        .
                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]n1371344[/ATTACH]
                        Whoa

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                          For a Rock speaker my priorities would be something like F3 in mid-30’s , SPL to 100 – 102 dB, sensitivity of at least 87 dB at 2.83V for a bookshelf, 90 dB for a floor stander.

                          It would be great to hear the LS50s at Fort Wayne for comparison to all the other coax designs.
                          That would be really cool to see. Someone close mustt have a set or be able to get a set. I am certain you can do way better for the $. Having said that, I donít think it would be an ďeasyĒ task to do better in such a small speaker. My Continuum is a very nice sounding speaker. The LS50 is better by a wide margin on popular music. On mellow music such as Dianna Krall or Norah Jones etc. However, the Continuum is very sweet sounding with that and true to the design goals. When it does into the MLTL box it may fill in the bottom a little. I am also curious how the mid-bass will sound.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                            For a Rock speaker my priorities would be something like F3 in mid-30’s , SPL to 100 – 102 dB, sensitivity of at least 87 dB at 2.83V for a bookshelf, 90 dB for a floor stander.

                            It would be great to hear the LS50s at Fort Wayne for comparison to all the other coax designs.
                            The LS50 is does not really fit in your criteria and I think what you say is reasonable. With and F3 of 79 and and F6 49 it is only going to be convincing to a point. It does not have that mid bass thump in the chest that a proper RnR speaker would.

                            I am not sure that mid 30ís is as important. The JmLabís Mini Utopia I mentioned only went down to about 50hz but the dual 7Ē drivers in this MTM, along with with a 91.5 dB sensitivity made for a fantastic rock speaker. I am sure the bigger designs were even better but at some point room size matters and I have never had that amount of space.

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                            • #15
                              I have owned huge vintage retail speakers, with 18" woofers etc, that were not great for rock and roll,but had nice smoothness and huge deep bass, but also, limited overall power handling, and also owned retail speakers with only 10" woofers with a mid bass bump and ability to play really loud without strain, and the 10" woofer speakers were FAR better for loud rock.

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