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RE: General speaker design characteristics for a 2A3 amp

I've been mulling over building a smaller speaker
because of WAF for years.

But, I haven't done it because I've yet to hear a
small speaker system that performs musically in the
things that I enjoy-- point-source, wideband micro
and macro dynamics.

The other problem is engaging the listening room.
This requires moving lots of air at low distortion levels.
You can use subwoofers and get air moving at the low-end
but is this really compatible with the rest of the system?

I don't like it-- but YMMV. I also think that a good
woofer sounds great all the way up to 1700HZ or so...

There are plenty of speakers that sound and measure
well themselves, but will not turn the listening
room into the event you're listening to. You are
aware that you're listening to a speaker.
Sometimes we assume that the room is engaged when
imaging, field depth, and soundstage vertical &
horizontal are all OK.

Where is the power, glory, and dynamics to go
with it?

I don't like the sound of 12" woofers at all.
There are some 6 1/2 and 8 inchers that sound GOOD,
and one can find these in many of those "sounds
better than it should for it's size" models.

You'll find multiples of these smaller units in
some expensive speakers that "do it all". Measurement-wise?
Certainly. Getting the ROOM to play music well?
Well, not so much...........

It's like saying "my little auto has more power
than I expected". And that's fine. Just don't compare
it to a FORD GT. (did Ford really build 500 of those?).

I don't know, but for a smaller speaker, all I can
think of is use the 15" Altec-style woofers in enclosures
that are 1/2 the cubic foot volume of ideal Querter-Wave
theory.

This cuts-off the extreme low-end but still leaves you
with a speaker that you can really love over the long-haul.

15" woofers are interesting. JBL made a latest model that
is rated at 101db/watt. GPA has one also, more along Altec
design lines. Their "604" series is really outstanding when
used properly. It's been pointed out to me that this 15"
woofer has a rather large hole in its middle to mount the
tweeter/midrange short-horn, and therefore, has less woofer
surface area than the single unit woofers, and also might have
horn-in-the-middle colorations due to the horn being placed
where bass energy can bounce off of the horn, and the horn is
too short (front-to-back) to compete with the best
longer-horn-loaded drivers..

All true, but the thing PERFORMS musically. No matter what
you like to play. It's just outstanding in so many ways.

Other brands of 15" woofers are out there, and I've been able
to compare some of those.

In general, I found that 15" woofers that had efficiency
ratings of 98, 99, or 100db/watt ratings just can't compete
with the Altec, JBL and GPA 101db models. There's just no
contest at all when it comes to listening to them.

That extra db or two wasn't gotten easily, and the results
are certainly audibly superior.

-Dennis-




Edits: 04/12/17

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