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Old 18th December 2008, 11:34 AM   #1
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Default Fullrange, are you guys kidding yourselves?

I have been toying with the idea of building a couple of fullrange speakers because some of the opinions here of the benefits of such a system sound quite logical and good, if true.

The thing that really puzzles me is are you guys just kidding yourselves? After all, there are a few people around who think that crappy, hissing, scratchy vinyl records sounds better than a good CD. But then, that's their opinion but it's not mine.

If fullrange speakers are as good as they are made out to be, why hasn't the big manufacturers like KEF, Acoustic Energy etc, etc producing them? And manufacture is only left to a few, practically unknown names to the general public, to do so.


The Manufacturer's are in competition with each other, and I am damm certain that if one of them thought he could get a march on the others by producing such speakers, which could be cheaper and better than the competitors I am sure they would.


I presently have KEF Q55 speakers and Hypex amps and listen to a lot of classical music, but if someone could convince me that fullrange was the way to go and that I would get a better sound if I replaced my KEFs, I am willing to give it a go.
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Old 18th December 2008, 12:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fullrange, are you guys kidding yourselves?

Quote:
Originally posted by cirrus18

If fullrange speakers are as good as they are made out to be, why hasn't the big manufacturers like KEF, Acoustic Energy etc, etc producing them?

The new and better ZU
Its not strictly "fullrange" but I believe it does use one
Owner of 6moon is a fan of small tubeamps and fullrange and you will find some tested there

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/zu16/essence.html
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Old 18th December 2008, 12:40 PM   #3
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Are you here to vent your opinions or are you here to learn? If the latter, invest $200 on a pair of Fostex FE207E's and a sheet of decent plywood. Put them in 35 liter BR's with 3"x 5" ports and give them a good listen.

Others will argue for a cheaper entry, but many of the cheaper drivers require some serious tweaking and smaller drivers won't have enough bass without more complicated cabinets.

This is not the pinnacle of full range performance, but should give you a good taste of what single drivers speakers are all about. Build these and then post your results in a month or two.

Bob
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Old 18th December 2008, 04:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fullrange, are you guys kidding yourselves?

Quote:
Originally posted by cirrus18
The thing that really puzzles me is are you guys just kidding yourselves?
About what? Everyone knows there are compromises in every speaker system. The FR guys just like what they offer more than the alternatives. No mystery here.

Quote:
[i]If fullrange speakers are as good as they are made out to be, why hasn't the big manufacturers like KEF, Acoustic Energy etc, etc producing them? [/B]
Most manufacturers also need to print some data. A FR driver that goes from 45 Hz - 15kHz doesn't look good on paper. When you remove the grill, what no tweeter? They are never going to be a big commercial seller. FR drivers are for those who listen with their ears not their eyes.
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Old 18th December 2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by cirrus18

If fullrange speakers are as good as they are made out to be, why hasn't the big manufacturers like KEF, Acoustic Energy etc, etc producing them?

If you want to make money (and the above companies do want to make money) then you have to make something that will appeal to the broadest part of the market. Most everyone has had some experience with multiway speakers. They are comfortable with tweeters and woofers and that's what they expect. There is also a perceived value factor working against fullrange speaker. To the average buyer, more drivers means he is getting more value for his dollar.

Sonically, there are a set of trade-offs to single driver design. The coherency and purity of most single drivers is a welcome trade-off for the cost of ultimate extension. Coherency isn't something you can really put a number on and stick in your sales flyer but extension is. Also, a lot (not all) of single driver designs need a more complex (read: more expensive to make) cabinets to produce the dynamics that multiway seems to produce.

Despite these disadvantages, there have been a number of successful fullrange speaker companies. Hornshoppe, Omega, Gallo, and the aforementioned Zu. So to overcome the adversities of the public eye and still enjoy critical and commercial success validates the approach in my book.

Oh, and a little off topic, Not many of my records are "Hissy", "Scratchy", or "Crappy" and a good many of them played on even my modest vinyl rig will walk all over any digital front end I've ever heard and I've heard some good ones.

Edit: Cal beat me to the punch!
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Old 18th December 2008, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by gurley123


Despite these disadvantages, there have been a number of successful fullrange speaker companies. Hornshoppe, Omega, Gallo, and the aforementioned Zu. So to overcome the adversities of the public eye and still enjoy critical and commercial success validates the approach in my book.

Oh, and a little off topic, Not many of my records are "Hissy", "Scratchy", or "Crappy" and a good many of them played on even my modest vinyl rig will walk all over any digital front end I've ever heard and I've heard some good ones.

Edit: Cal beat me to the punch!
Good points, and you're forgetting the biggest moneymaker in audio, Bose. They're crossoverless too. Crappy but nonetheless in the Full Range family.

And the best sound I've heard (and I've heard a lot of nice rigs) has always been from vinyl.

But the original poster seemed to be trolling as much as anything, so hopefully some other people will be able to get over their apprehension by reading this thread, elsewise, we've all wasted our time.
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Old 18th December 2008, 05:17 PM   #7
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>>> The Manufacturer's are in competition with each other, and I am damm certain that if one of them thought he could get a march on the others by producing such speakers, which could be cheaper and better than the competitors I am sure they would.

I am not so sure they would. Marketing plays an important role in the way companies portray their products.

>>> When you remove the grill, what no tweeter? They are never going to be a big commercial seller.

I agree with Cal.

Everything is a compromise. Fullrange driver fans just like this set of compromises. We are not kidding ourselves in the least. We've listened and built and listened again until we get something we like best. You won't see me buy another Scan Speak mid woofer or Dynaudio tweeter anytime soon as long as there are fullrange drivers to choose from and creative cabinet solutions to build. And those complicated to build creative cabinets are another reason you don't see fullrange drivers on commercial speakers too. Just the latest titanium/berillium/diamond coated marketing hype in a basic box with a crossover that always needs tweaking. But hey, if you prefer that set of compromises than buy those speakers.

Godzilla
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Old 18th December 2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Re: Fullrange, are you guys kidding yourselves?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon


When you remove the grill, what no tweeter?
I laughed when I saw this since I have disassembled several computer speakers with dummy tweeters.
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Old 18th December 2008, 05:58 PM   #9
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Consider too, that gaining the most from the typical FR speaker "system" often requires unconventional components elsewhere in the chain. The market for exotic and semi-exotic audio gear is small indeed compared to the "mainstream" consumer audio market. Nevertheless, it is well served. I don't believe that these designers and small manufacturers are fooling themselves, and I am quite certain that their customers, who often spend tens of thousands of dollars to indulge their tastes, are fooling themselves. Suggesting that they are deluded, simply because mainstream manufacturers don't see a suitable return for playing in that field is nonsense.
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Old 18th December 2008, 06:06 PM   #10
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Maybe so.
It's sure not the "ultimate."

"Coherency and purity" seem to be the arguments given, at the cost of "volume, dynamics, and frequency extension."
Then there's cost & ease of construction.

"Fullrange" (or wide range) seemed to be a "stepping stone" in the audio journey, until it was too limiting, but it remains a viable second system when used within its (volume, dynamics, frequency extension) limitations.
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