Neodymium magnets vs Ferrite magnets - diyAudio
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Old 11th November 2009, 03:10 AM   #1
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Question Neodymium magnets vs Ferrite magnets

I always wondered about this but does a speaker like the Sony SRS-ZX1 that uses neodymium magnets sounds better than if the speakers had ferrite magnets? I know that the speakers I have use neodymium magnet but I was wondering if it had ferrite magnets instead what would happen?


Basicaly my speakers is a full range 57mm driver that puts alot of good bass for there size and they normaly cost $400 but I got them for $197 with shipping.



Here's a link to my speakers.

SRS-ZX1 | Stereo Speakers with Remote | Sony | SonyStyle USA
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Old 11th November 2009, 03:30 AM   #2
gooki is offline gooki  New Zealand
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Neo magnets allows for a smaller, lighter driver. The sound quality is not determined by the type magnet.
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Old 11th November 2009, 03:33 AM   #3
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Neodymium magnets are an expensive rare-earth metal that can hold a very high magnetic "charge." As such they provide a much higher magnetic flux density in the air gap and so can generate a much greater action force in the voicecoil. The electro-mechanical parameter is called "Bl" or the product of the magnetic flux density and the length of wire in the voicecoil.

Changing magnets on a speaker would change "Bl" and likely mess everything up. A speaker sounds good because it finds a symbiotic combination of ALL the various parameters that produces a balanced sound.

It is possible to make excellent sounding speakers from both Ferrite and Neodymium magnets. Even the old-school Alnico magnets from WW2 era produced some beautiful sounding speakers that are still sought after today and Alnico has even less "B" than Ferrite.

P.S. and welcome to the forum. Great question!
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Old 11th November 2009, 03:48 AM   #4
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Well I guess I was also wondering about this but if they can make speakers that use ferrite magnets sound as good as speakers that use neodymium then I wonder why did Sony decide to use neodymium magnets for the speakers. I remember reading on sony's website that it said something about neodymium magnet headphones for example they would say it would give clear treble and powerful bass. Also about my speakers on Sony's site it says "Neodymium Magnet Speaker Unit for High Quality Sound".


So that's why I thought that neodymium magnets speakers have better sound than ferrite magnets but I guess I was wrong and maybe Sony is wrong about saying that.
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Old 11th November 2009, 04:06 AM   #5
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Well, what do you want them to say? "Neo magnets for light weight!" ? Just doesn't sound as good, does it.

There will be arguments about magnet types forever. But one thing is for sure, Neodymium isn't bad. And the light weight, small size can have many advantages.
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Old 11th November 2009, 04:19 AM   #6
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panomaniac View Post
small size can have many advantages.
.
You mean like having more space fore thicker pole plates instead
Ok, small drivers will have the benefit of being less closed in by magnet
Older alnicos had that advantage too

Two pictures of 21" woofers of same make
The new model with neo is the cheaper one
Maybe because theres much less iron involved, and less work
Unfortunately still very expencive

Clouldnt resist showing it bottom up
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg PD 2151.jpg (5.0 KB, 912 views)
File Type: jpg PD 2151 magnet.jpg (44.2 KB, 872 views)

Last edited by tinitus; 11th November 2009 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 11th November 2009, 04:40 AM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Yes, very pretty magnet!
In pro use the weight savings are very welcome. Anyone who has worked on the road can tell you that.
But neo can be helpful in other places. Headphones, microphones, maybe phono cartridges. All could benefit from strong, small, light magnets.
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Old 11th November 2009, 05:05 AM   #8
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Yes, but one problem could kill them very early...surface treatment I believe is crutial
They really dont like air, humidity, and the surface treatment isnt too good either, doesnt stick too good
Is there something about not liking bumps either
And neo quality may vary a lot

Last edited by tinitus; 11th November 2009 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 11th November 2009, 05:34 AM   #9
gooki is offline gooki  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueae1405 View Post
Well I guess I was also wondering about this but if they can make speakers that use ferrite magnets sound as good as speakers that use neodymium then I wonder why did Sony decide to use neodymium magnets for the speakers.
Could be any number of reasons such as.

- OEM drivers used neo magnets so they didn't change the design.
- Reduced weight to save on shipping costs.
- Performance vs weight.
- Air flow in enclosure.
- Ticking marketing check boxes.
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Old 11th November 2009, 05:34 AM   #10
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Hi Guys,
Coming from the makers point of view, Neo is primarily used on small drivers due to its high output relative to size. Usually as part of a size limited volume assembly (e.g. audio modules used in flat panel TV's).
Going large with Neo is mostly cost prohibitive + cooling issues as the magnetic output can be adversely affected by increases in moderate to higher environmental temperatures. The driver's output is potentially more variable.

Ferro remains the material of choice. Its magnetic properties can be varied according to the material grade and its less effected by temperature variation. Down-side is size and weight.

Some folks debate the relative acoustic merits but flux to flux D. output from either material broadly measures the same when size/output is proportionally applied to driver builds. I've built same 2" drivers both in Neo and Ferro motors, nothing much between them in anechoic and listening tests.

Mark
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