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  • Full range speakers

    All of the posts/ideas/projects I have seen so far in this forum are based on the driver+crossover configuration.
    There seems to be a whole other side of the DIY audio community that swear by full range speakers (Fostex, Jordan, ETC), and say there's no need for crossovers.

    I would love to hear the opinions from you guys on the subject.
    My projects
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112307725038877176664

  • #2
    Re: Full range speakers

    This is just my opinion but any speaker design is about trade-offs. To get reasonable dispersion and frequency response in the upper octaves, a full-range has to be small but it can to it well, However, there's no 3" full range driver out there that will have respectable bass unless you trade-off something, maybe SPL or highs or mids. Two and three ways have their trade offs too but their audible trade offs are usually more acceptable to most people.

    I don't mean to bash full range drivers. I have heard some single full-range drivers that actually sounded great, especially in the midrange. But,,, I did notice the trade offs that were made.

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    • #3
      Re: Full range speakers

      i have jordans

      i have had fostexs. jordan 92's are good really good but they play from 80hz to 15000hz on axis. all the fostexs have off axis issues. my jordans are used as extended mids they run from 80hz to 6000hz.

      i use scanspeak 23w's for the lows and ribbons for the highs all active crossovers.

      if you want the jordans to play deep you need a crazy big horn and i don't have the room. if i had a pair of jordans in big horns and sat in the sweet spot I would like them but that is not for me right now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Full range speakers

        Originally posted by Phil_RC_1 View Post
        This is just my opinion but any speaker design is about trade-offs. To get reasonable dispersion and frequency response in the upper octaves, a full-range has to be small but it can to it well, However, there's no 3" full range driver out there that will have respectable bass unless you trade-off something, maybe SPL or highs or mids.
        +1. The maximum bandwidth for a driver is about four octaves, beyond which either low end response or high frequency dispersion suffers. There are some exceptions, notably electrostatics, but even with those a 2 way system works best over the full bandwidth.
        www.billfitzmaurice.com
        www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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        • #5
          Re: Full range speakers

          Originally posted by ckmoore View Post
          I would love to hear the opinions from you guys on the subject.
          I think they're just afraid of crossovers.

          Let's face it: in a speaker with a crossover, if one component is changed by more than 5%, you are making a an audible change in the timbre of the speaker. If someone out there doesn't like the sound of your crossover design, it's your fault, so to speak. However, if you make a full-range speaker with no crossover and someone doesn't like the sound of it, you can just blame the driver.
          Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

          Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
          Twitter: @undefinition1

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Full range speakers

            Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
            I think they're just afraid of crossovers.

            Let's face it: in a speaker with a crossover, if one component is changed by more than 5%, you are making a an audible change in the timbre of the speaker. If someone out there doesn't like the sound of your crossover design, it's your fault, so to speak. However, if you make a full-range speaker with no crossover and someone doesn't like the sound of it, you can just blame the driver.
            Yeah, just wait until they try to find an amplifier that doesn't use any inductors, capacitors or resistors to go with those crossover-less speakers! :p

            I agree that it is about tradeoffs, and the consequences of a crossover seem much less severe than those of a single driver that has to cover the entire frequency range.
            RJB Audio Projects
            http://www.rjbaudio.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Full range speakers

              I recently heard a pair of full range Omega Super 8 Alnico and non-Alnico. They had great mids, were very natural sounding, and had more extension than I expected, but were still not for me.

              Now, if you added a helper woofer and a super tweeter, who knows.
              "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

              http://www.diy-ny.com/

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              • #8
                Re: Full range speakers

                The fact that there are so many full ranger drivers being made/sold is an indication of their popularity.
                True, they do have their limitations, but when used within those limitations the results can be exceptionally good.

                For those that think multi-way loudspeakers cannot sound really, really, bad, go ahead and buy yourself a pair of "White Van" loudspeakers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Full range speakers

                  Originally posted by Phil_RC_1 View Post
                  This is just my opinion but any speaker design is about trade-offs. To get reasonable dispersion and frequency response in the upper octaves, a full-range has to be small but it can to it well, However, there's no 3" full range driver out there that will have respectable bass unless you trade-off something, maybe SPL or highs or mids. Two and three ways have their trade offs too but their audible trade offs are usually more acceptable to most people.

                  I don't mean to bash full range drivers. I have heard some single full-range drivers that actually sounded great, especially in the midrange. But,,, I did notice the trade offs that were made.
                  I think my 3" project "Dragon Foals" is about the best 3" FR speaker I've heard. It actually has bass to about 60 Hz or just a smidge lower, and has decent highs without the tweeter addition. The midrange is stellar.

                  The tradeoff here is probably power handling. While they will take quite a bit of juice within listenablity, you get IMD at *higher* levels as expected. It's granted you can't hit 40 Hz or lower with a 3" in any fashion...



                  Later,
                  Wolf
                  "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                  "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                  "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                  "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                  *InDIYana event website*

                  Photobucket pages:
                  https://app.photobucket.com/u/wolf_teeth_speaker

                  My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Full range speakers

                    thats why I love FR drivers in line arrays (maybe dipole), crossoverless, u solve the low power handling, limited SPL, freq dispersion etc. etc. You do loose out on the highs due to comb filtering, so then its not fullrange anymore :P

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Full range speakers

                      The fact that there are so many full ranger drivers being made/sold is an indication of their popularity.
                      True, they do have their limitations, but when used within those limitations the results can be exceptionally good.

                      For those that think multi-way loudspeakers cannot sound really, really, bad, go ahead and buy yourself a pair of "White Van" loudspeakers.
                      Those are probably also crossover-less speakers, just a multi-way version of them.;)
                      Dan N.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Full range speakers

                        Originally posted by Face View Post
                        Now, if you added a helper woofer and a super tweeter, who knows?
                        I know. You would have a 3-way.

                        The fact that there are so many full ranger drivers being made/sold is an indication of their popularity.
                        Agreed. Everyone has a television set.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Full range speakers

                          Originally posted by ajinfla View Post
                          I know. You would have a 3-way.
                          It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I'm glad you picked up on that. ;)
                          "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                          http://www.diy-ny.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Full range speakers

                            See also: http://www.vonschweikert.com/techspecs/6.php

                            "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                            http://www.diy-ny.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Full range speakers

                              In addition to the limits on bass extension and SPL which have been mentioned, FR drivers tend to get quite beamy at higher frequencies. This results in a very narrow listening "sweet spot."

                              MANY (not all) FR drivers also have a rising (or bumpy) on-axis response, particularly at the upper frequencies, which can be rather fatiguing to listen to. This may necessitate equalization, either active at the line level, or passive. Wolf's FR project, IIRC, wound up with a rather complex response-shaping filter, which sort of eliminates any hypothetical advantage of "no crossover."

                              There is a forum dedicated to FR driver projects over at Audio Circle. Lots of hobbyists discuss drivers and designs over there.
                              Last edited by brianp; 11-13-2009, 11:11 AM. Reason: Add info.

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