J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
I have heard and/or owned several speakers with dual 5.5" woofers. On paper, this gives them the same (or close) total cone area as a single 8" woofer. My Athena F1s, however, which use a single 8" woofer, have more satisfying bass to my ears.
Does this seem like it could be true in general, or is it merely the specific makes/models I am familiar with?
If it is true, I would be interested in hearing speakers (not a sub) that use a 10" or even 12" woofer. (Unfortunately, the only ones I know of like that are not too good overall, eg Cerwin Vega.)
 
avaserfi

avaserfi

Audioholic Ninja
While more surface area allows for easier reproduction of lower frequencies it is not the end all as there are other things that dictate bass response.

The actual volume the driver is given within the cabinet can create differences in the bass response. These differences can be perceived as more full and generally more pleasing or less pleasing depending on the response attained. Also, crossovers can be designed in such a way that achieves similar results.

Another factor is linear excursion of the drivers. It is very possible that a smaller driver with more extension will have equal output and response in-terms of bass.

There are other examples, but the main point is cone area alone is not sufficient to determine bass response as a loudspeaker is a system of components and looking at part of one component doesn't let you see the whole picture.

Lastly, I am confused by your wanting to hear speakers but not subs with 10" or 12" drivers. What makes the difference in your eyes? The only thing I can think of is proper integration* a larger driver within the speaker as opposed to how most subwoofers are integrated into a sound system. If the subs are integrated in the same manner there would be no difference from it actually being within the cabinet. Yet you can find this issue with a full range tower that has a poorly integrated larger driver. An example of this is my current design that is in the works. I have already built the module that will play the lower frequencies, but once the upper module is finished it will be one integrated unit while still being used for bass response. Would this qualify as a sub before, but not after?

*Proper integration refers to stereo subs within about 3 feet of the towers and crossed over with a high quality transparent unit.
 
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J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
I like having plain 2.0, two speakers no sub. I can't say why, I just do.
Since I prefer the speakers with one 8" woofer each to those I have tried with two 5.5" woofers each, I merely thought that even larger woofers might sound good to me (perhaps better than dual 8", in fact.)
 
Gimpy Ric

Gimpy Ric

Moderator
A lot depends on how "warm" you like your bottom end :D Just kidding, but really, I've got two 6.5" woofers in my towers, and they should be almost as big as a 10"er. Those towers have very little bass, but, I like a warm bottom end, so enter the subs. When I crank it up, I love mid bass punch from kick drums, dance and trance beats, and the big bottom end of stuff blowing up on DVD's.

Friday, when my MBM-12 arrives, I'm splitting up 16-20,000 Hz amongst many drivers.

HSU VTF-3 HO Turbo: 16Hz - 50Hz
HSU MBM-12 : 50Hz - 80Hz
Aperion Audio 633's : 80Hz - 20,000Hz

Err :mad: Could not find the cross over points for my towers, but you get the picture.
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
Those towers have very little bass, but, I like a warm bottom end, so enter the subs. When I crank it up, I love mid bass punch from kick drums, dance and trance beats, and the big bottom end of stuff blowing up on DVD's.
It may be mid bass punch that I like also, but I am not good enough at identifying specific frequency ranges to be sure. The Athenas are only rated to 40 Hz -3dB, but a bass guitar has plenty of "snap" and drums really kick, which I enjoy.
MY HT is separate, with completely different speakers (Def Techs.)
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
I have heard and/or owned several speakers with dual 5.5" woofers. On paper, this gives them the same (or close) total cone area as a single 8" woofer. My Athena F1s, however, which use a single 8" woofer, have more satisfying bass to my ears.

Does this seem like it could be true in general, or is it merely the specific makes/models I am familiar with?

If it is true, I would be interested in hearing speakers (not a sub) that use a 10" or even 12" woofer. (Unfortunately, the only ones I know of like that are not too good overall, eg Cerwin Vega.)
I don't think this is true in general. If you look some more, you can find speakers with dual 5.5" woofers that do better bass than others with single 8" woofers. As avaserfi already pointed out, there is a lot more involved than speaker cone area. There is Fs, Xmax (excursion), total Q, just to name a few. Then there is the cabinet design - speaker manufacturers have been known to cut a few corners here to save a few bucks and to get more midbass slam at the expense of bass depth by making the cabinet a bit too small. So in this case, I think the devil is in the details.

If you make a 2-way with a large woofer, 8" or more, combined with a typical 1" dome tweeter, you run the risk of having a speaker with poor midrange response. It will probably have little dispersion at the midrange freqs just below the crossover point. It may even have a midrange dip. That's why you rarely see a 2-way with large woofers.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Joe,
Nowhere in any of the formulas for bass response is the driver diameter part of the equation for the lowest reach of the speaker.

Now the larger cone is likely to have greater mass. This is likely to result in a lower free air resonance, which is part of the equation.

Now if I have a choice of using two drivers of the same ares as a single that can be aligned for the same F3, I will generally pick the two drivers. For one thing there are two voice coils which is likely to translate into less thermal compression for a start. Also it makes for easier diffraction compensation in the crossover. With larger drivers I'm even more likely to choose two drivers. If I can get the same F3 from two ten inch drivers, I will pick that over a 15 inch, which has the same cone area as the two tens.

You can not lower the F3 by adding multiples of the same driver. However you can improve upper bass performance.

I agree with you about separate subs. As you know I believe a sub if it is used, should be planned as part of the speaker system, and preferably, physically be part of the system.

I don't know if this makes sense or I have confused you more.
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
On paper, my Mirages with dual 5.5" woofers have the same bass response as the Athenas, and it is true that any bass note I hear on one I can hear just as easily on the other. The difference is what I call "effortlessness". You can get powerful bass from a bassoon if you blow it hard and use good technique. By contrast, touch a kettle drum and the bass is just there. That is the best I can do at describing the difference. (The F1s are bigger than the Omni 150s, so cabinet volume could be what is really making the difference. To my ears, there is no difference in midrange clarity, though the Mirages have superior soundstage/imaging.)
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
On paper, my Mirages with dual 5.5" woofers have the same bass response as the Athenas, and it is true that any bass note I hear on one I can hear just as easily on the other. The difference is what I call "effortlessness". You can get powerful bass from a bassoon if you blow it hard and use good technique. By contrast, touch a kettle drum and the bass is just there. That is the best I can do at describing the difference. (The F1s are bigger than the Omni 150s, so cabinet volume could be what is really making the difference. To my ears, there is no difference in midrange clarity, though the Mirages have superior soundstage/imaging.)
Those are interesting observations. I have looked at both speakers. They both have the same F3 point. The Mirage is diffraction compensated. The lower driver shelves at 700 Hz. Now those speakers are 8 ohm nominal. However they are 4 ohm speakers. Below 700 Hz, which is in a large part of the power range they are 4 ohm.

As far as I can tell the Athenas are not diffraction compensated.

So there are a number of explanations for your observation.

The spacing of the drivers in the Mirage is causing peaks and nulls, due to the driver spacing. I would not personally have a driver lay out like that.

Your amp does not like the 4 Ohm load below 700 Hz, and is stressed, and that is the reason for the lack of effortless sound. What amp are your driving it with?

The driver in the Athena is just a better performer than the Mirage drivers. I think, but I am not certain that those drivers in the Mirage, are part of the new Tymphany Vifa series. In that case they should be pretty good.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
When you say "diffraction compensation", do you mean the same thing as I do when I say "baffle step compensation"? See this link for an explanation of what this is about.
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
I don't think it is an amp issue. My Carver CM-1090 is pretty darn robust. As I mentioned, the simplest explanation could be cabinet volume (since the consensus seems to be that it is not driver size.)
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
When you say "diffraction compensation", do you mean the same thing as I do when I say "baffle step compensation"? See this link for an explanation of what this is about.
Yes, that is problem. It's known under a number of terms. I prefer to call it baffle diffraction loss.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I don't think it is an amp issue. My Carver CM-1090 is pretty darn robust. As I mentioned, the simplest explanation could be cabinet volume.
Cabinet volume is not the explanation. Now I assume both these speakers are ported, is that correct? If two speakers are correctly aligned and, are both of the same genus, then cabinet size is not an issue. Cabinet size is determined by the driver parameters. Now if one of the speakers were closed box, then the bass output would be greater. The sealed rolls off at 12 db per octave. Sorry but cabinet size is not the explanation.
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
It is frustrating because there are a lot of things I really like about the Mirages (which are brand new), but I find myself preferring the Athenas overall (which I have had a long time, though they have been stored at my folk's until last weekend.) Bass is the primary reason.
 
billy p

billy p

Audioholic Ninja
Joe its funny you have come back to the Athenas. Not that I have much to add here but considering they are both part of API they are nothing alike. Mirage really never shared the same philosophies as Energy or Athena and their design teams took the sound in a different direction.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
It is frustrating because there are a lot of things I really like about the Mirages (which are brand new), but I find myself preferring the Athenas overall (which I have had a long time, though they have been stored at my folk's until last weekend.) Bass is the primary reason.
I think your reasons for being frustrated with the Mirage are multiple. I leaned not to build speakers like that over thirty years ago. It seems like a nice idea but it isn't. You obviously have keen ear. In addition to comb filtering I mentioned, with the tweeter hung over the upper driver there has to be reflections from the tweeter base causing all kinds of interference modes. I addition with the acoustic axes of the speakers so far apart, the speakers just have to be knee deep in phase and group delay problems.

I would love to see a waterfall plot for those speakers. I bet it would be high up in the audio chamber of horrors.
 
F

flippo

Full Audioholic
mirage

I use a pair of the omnisat v2 satellites as my main speakers. I really like them for their soundstage and imaging which are hard to beat for the price. I am thoroughly content with them and plan on getting more in future (for center and surrounds). I knew before I bought them that a sub would be needed as the lower 3 db point is at 70hz. I believe that Mirage probably expects a sub will be used with the 150's and that if a sub wasn't going to be used then the 350 model or 550 model should be used. My 2 cents.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I use a pair of the omnisat v2 satellites as my main speakers. I really like them for their soundstage and imaging which are hard to beat for the price. I am thoroughly content with them and plan on getting more in future (for center and surrounds). I knew before I bought them that a sub would be needed as the lower 3 db point is at 70hz. I believe that Mirage probably expects a sub will be used with the 150's and that if a sub wasn't going to be used then the 350 model or 550 model should be used. My 2 cents.
I think Joe bought the 350 if I remember correctly. A speaker like that should be correctly balanced and voiced to give a believable sound field without a sub. Lack of bass is more often than not due to problems in the upper bass and lower midrange. On most music there is little content below 60 Hz. It is that 60 to 400 Hz that you have to get right. When it is wrong most listeners wrongly identify the problem as being in a lower frequency range. My NFM 1s have an F3 of 53 Hz. However anybody who has ever heard them comment on the great bass response.

http://mdcarter.smugmug.com/gallery/2465549#129315000

This is what a DIY builder said about them. I talked him through building a set of speakers based on the NFM-1 This is what he had to say.

"My impression is well balanced or neutral. The bass is very tight not boomy or that one note bass thump of most commercial speakers. The mid range is very smooth and the highs are silky. I haven't run a frequency response graph yet but it sounds as if there is usable content into the 35-40Hz range."

http://mdcarter.smugmug.com/gallery/3191208#224564223

http://mdcarter.smugmug.com/gallery/3191208#P-2-12

That Mirage approach just has to create more problems than it solves. If you want a coherent omni directional speaker take a look at the Ohm, with the Walsh driver. That at makes engineering sense if you want a 360 speaker. I have always had a soft spot for the Walsh driver.

http://www.ohmspeakers.com/productline.cfm
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
I may have typed 150 by mistake, but it is the 350s that I have. I am going to give them another chance tonight, but I merely set the F1s aside instead of putting them in the storage closet so that I can switch back quickly. I think it is the F1s that I will end up with, but I need to be sure.
This has me wondering if there are other speakers with an identical configuration (one 1" tweeter + one 8" woofer) but even better quality?
One thing I am certain of is that the Athenas are in no way representative of their price class. They sound much, much more expensive than they are.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
I may have typed 150 by mistake, but it is the 350s that I have. I am going to give them another chance tonight, but I merely set the F1s aside instead of putting them in the storage closet so that I can switch back quickly. I think it is the F1s that I will end up with, but I need to be sure.
This has me wondering if there are other speakers with an identical configuration (one 1" tweeter + one 8" woofer) but even better quality?
One thing I am certain of is that the Athenas are in no way representative of their price class. They sound much, much more expensive than they are.
So those Mirage Omnis are the 350 and not the 150s. I was confused when I looked them up.

I also couldn't find a link for your Athena F1s. Are they bookshelf or floorstanding, and are they in vented or sealed cabinets? I think most Athenas are vented. Do you have a link, a picture, or specs?

The trend in commercial speakers has gotten away from larger woofers like the 8". There are a number of reasons why - both technical and marketing/sales related. The general trend is toward smaller cabinets that allow owners to place them in a wider variety of locations. Despite their audio shortcomings, Blose understands that most people want smaller cabinets. They are cheaper to make and ship. With the smaller cabinets and woofers come less bass response, and the frequent use of subwoofers.

The technical problem I see with a 2-way using an 8" woofer and a 1" tweeter, is poor midrange dispersion, and as a result, poor imaging. To generalize, most cone woofers can easily disperse sounds widely if the wavelength is longer than the diameter of the cone. With decreasing wavelength (8" wavelength corresponds to roughly 1600 Hz), an 8" cone begins to beam its sound straight ahead. Imagine light from a bare light bulb compared to a flashlight beam. When the woofer beams, off axis response drops, and imaging suffers. Most 1" tweeters, except some very expensive ones, can't be crossed over lower than 2000 Hz. So there will be a lack of imaging, perhaps even an audio hole right smack in the middle of the midrange.

With smaller woofers, a 2-way has a much better chance of doing better in the critical midrange. With this general trend going strong for as long as 15-20 years, manufacturers have been producing 5-6" midwoofers with better bass response than most available before.

Still, there must be other 2-ways with 8" woofers. Keep looking. Maybe someone has dealt with all these problems and found a good solution.
 

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