Do You Miss Acoustic Suspension Speakers?

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
This article gives a historical perspective of the acoustic suspension speaker and how it revolutionized bass in small enclosure loudspeakers. There are some audiophiles that prefer these type of designs and this article talks about some of the pros behind them while also comparing and contrasting today's sealed and ported speaker and subwoofer designs.

Read: Acoustic Suspension is NOT a Sealed Enclosure

AR.jpg

Editorial Note about Sealed vs Acoustic Suspension Enclosure by James Larson:
As excursion for bass drivers have grown larger, high compliance suspension of the type needed for acoustic suspension design becomes more difficult to engineer for reliable performance. The thin suspension components needed for high compliance suspension are susceptible to self-destruction at high excursions, not to mention increased distortion from rocking modes and deformation. Furthermore, air doesn't have enough damping force against the effects of progressive suspension for high excursions. At high excursions, the suspension must be able to damp itself, and that means that it has to have lower compliance than an acoustic suspension system would call for. Acoustic suspension was a more viable solution in older eras of loudspeaker design when one-way linear excursion could be around 5mm, but modern designs aim for much larger excursions where high compliance suspensions become impractical.
 
XEagleDriver

XEagleDriver

Senior Audioholic
FYI, the link resulted in:

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Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
Here is Steve's statement:
Mathematically, in Thiele-Small parlance (language that wouldn’t be commonly spoken in the loudspeaker universe until the early ‘70’s, almost 20 years into the future from the time of these speakers), these low-compliance drivers are known as having a high total Qts, usually well above .4 or so.

That is inexact. Low compliance has no direct relation with a high Qts:

For example, Altec Woofers: 411A Rs: 18.3 (high compliance) Qts: 0.33

515-8GHP Rs: 37 (lower compliance) Qts: 0.19

The Qts is related to the ratio magnet weight to moving mass/suspension. The magnet strength is the important factor. A bigger magnet means more sensitivity, better transient response and a lower Qts.

 
Last edited:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
FYI, the link resulted in:

Our apologies...

The item you requested does not exist on this server or cannot be served.
Please double check the web address or use the search function on this page to find what you are looking for.
If you know you have the correct web address but are encountering an error, please contact the Site Administration.
Thank you.
404 Not Found

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Linky works fine now fwiw.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
My first pair of good speakers were acoustic suspension (Original Advents), good speakers, but also the last I had with that design. Missing them particularly? No.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I miss them, but I think it is more properly stated as "I miss that time in audio".
I consider it the golden age of audio as the technology for decent consumer home stereo was coming into fruition as prices dropped into the common man's realm.
Certainly Henry Kloss was a big influence with his contributions to AR, KLH, Advent, and Cambridge Soundworks. I don't know if he was involved in the development of Acoustic Suspension, but he certainly did a great job of incorporating it into financially viable speakers that sounded very good compared to the competition of the day!
One of my favorite speakers of that time was my KLH 6V's which represented great bang for the buck! The V in 6V stood for vinyl in KLH's innovative idea of reducing the cost of the popular KLH 6 speaker by using vinyl woodgrain (unlike today, woodgrain veneer was the default finish, and vinyl very much the exception).
Nonetheless, I still have plans to use my old AR 3a speakers as (sub)woofers for a pair of satellite speakers. It may be the personified sense of these being an "old friend" that does it for me, or simply a well developed memory/fondness of the character of their bass, but I still like the sound very much. I know these are not real subwoofers, but they dig deep enough to do well for most music and will make a nice complement to something like the NHT SuperZeros!
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic General
My first pair of good speakers were acoustic suspension (Original Advents), good speakers, but also the last I had with that design. Missing them particularly? No.
My first pair of good speakers were New Advents later replaced by small Allisons (both acoustic suspension) then Polks and DCM Time Windows (both ported). And the latter 2 sounded better to me than the former. So no I don't
miss the design. But those small Allisons on some Bose Speaker stands sure looked cool :)
These days I'm running some Infinity Primus 363s so I have been out of the acoustic suspension speaker scene for quite a while.
 
E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
One of my favorite speakers ever were the Allison CD series. I remember my AR 38 and 58 very fondly. B&W and many subs are sealed acoustic suspension designs.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Now that the Benchmark Media speakers are discontinued, I'm not aware of any acoustic suspension speakers in production. Are there any?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
The way NHT uses " acoustic suspension (i.e. sealed) enclosure" is sure vague. If they are only referring to the enclosure rather than the driver....
 
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic Chief
I think that they are just calling sealed designs an acoustic suspension design. I doubt very much they are true acoustic suspension as described in the article.
Yeah very few sealed speakers are actually
acoustic suspension design , lots of older speakers boxes are large enough for a single or duel port . That’s too large for acoustic suspension design...


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E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
A sealed speaker is acoustic suspension! They have have been abandoned because ported designs have gotten much better and have for a long time not suffered from port "coloration". Ported designs offer better bass efficiency than acoustic suspension thus more db per square cm of driver. In essence they overcame the deficiencies they use to suffer from. As I pointed out previously they haven't disappeared at all, most subs still use today.
 
D

D Murphy

Junior Audioholic
A sealed speaker is acoustic suspension! They have have been abandoned because ported designs have gotten much better and have for a long time not suffered from port "coloration". Ported designs offer better bass efficiency than acoustic suspension thus more db per square cm of driver. In essence they overcame the deficiencies they use to suffer from. As I pointed out previously they haven't disappeared at all, most subs still use today.
Either you're missing the point of the article or there's some hidden meaning in your comment that's going over my head. But for the record, can you give an example of a true acoustic suspension subwoofer (other than using an AR3 as a sub,)?
 
E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
Either you're missing the point of the article or there's some hidden meaning in your comment that's going over my head. But for the record, can you give an example of a true acoustic suspension subwoofer (other than using an AR3 as a sub,)?
All B&W subs are sealed enclosures so are Sunfire among others.
 
E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
All B&W subs are sealed enclosures so are Sunfire among others.
Again read the attached article on acoustic suspension. If the box doesnt have a port, aka vented, aka bass reflex, its by definition a "acoustic suspension" design. And you are correct it is not a very common speaker design anymore but for subs its still prevalent. Its also part of the reason that good subs almost invariably include very high power class D amps. The latest DB1D, for example, has a 2kw amp! BTW acoustic suspension predated AR. One of AR's founders, Vilchur came up with the design a couple of years before AR was founded by himself and Kloss
 

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