Full Range drivers - do they always "rip your ears off" at high volumes? - diyAudio
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Old 12th December 2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default Full Range drivers - do they always "rip your ears off" at high volumes?

Someone on here mentioned a while back that a small full-range driver isn't ideal for high SPL applications (even when crossed over), because the sound deteriorates very quickly as you ramp it up.

Assuming we have a perfect amp, why is it that these small full-range drivers sound so awful when you begin turning it up?

With my test subject, a visaton FRS8M, not a cheap driver, but by no means the best, it didn't matter what slope I used on foobar, the sound was equally as bad at any given volume (assuming the speaker has begun distorting).

The sound goes from quite shouty (lots of sibilance) to screamy, lots of nasty midrange distortion, treble even worse, sounds like everything from guitar to vocals is screaming at you.

I'm curious - why is this?
Other people have noticed it, so it's not just me.

Thanks for any input
Chris

PS, I have tested this on other speakers, and they all seem to have a certain maximum volume, then the sound gets very bad very quickly.
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Old 12th December 2009, 07:08 PM   #2
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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Distortion
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Old 12th December 2009, 07:19 PM   #3
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Pour an entire 5 Gal bucket of water into a 12 Oz glass, and where does the extra water go?

Last edited by blackeye*_0; 12th December 2009 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 12th December 2009, 07:19 PM   #4
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I have mentioned this (it is a *paper* driver issue) on quite a few occasions, but for the most part I have been shot down. I have heard everything. 'It's your amp. It's your room. It's your cables. It's your bass drivers etc etc'. Please ignore the excuses. It's the PAPER.

I rejected Lowther, AER (germany) Visaton, vintage and Fostex untreated drivers because of this. They are all useless. I believe the problem is paper fibers 'rubbing' together. Your solution is a 'treated' paper driver, something similar to the Fostex F200A or a driver with a plastic cone.

I would not give you five bucks for any speaker in the, say, Fostex FE lineup because they sound awful to me. I consider any speaker with this problem a poorly-engineered unit. Years ago I bought a pair of Bose 301. I was unhappy with them right away and this was long before I knew anything about hifi. The paper tweeters and woofer were to blame.

HOWEVER - paper is a fantastic material for diaphragms. I just don't feel any magic with metal or plastic cones, myself. So what I need, and what you need, is paper - with tweaks. I use the Audio Nirvana Super Eight with the Enable treatment and it is quite unwilling to be harsh. I have to push it near its limits to hear alot of ear ripping. And actually the stock form is better than any of the other brands I have mentioned, but the treatment is another level indeed. No, it doesn't have quite the resolution of the more expensive drivers, but it blows them away in every other capacity.

Furthermore, I don't think I would buy the $20k Feastrex alnico driver either, because I know what will happen. Money is no guarantee of satisfaction! I just wish I had learned this early, before I wasted thousands on pretty paperweights. I might be able to save you grief if I say just one thing: let your ears decide, not the people here.
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Old 12th December 2009, 07:23 PM   #5
BudP is offline BudP  United States
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With single cone and whizzer cone drivers, running full range there are "zones on the main and whizzer cone that do not impress energy into the air in a minimum phase manner. Means they have some tendency to emit or not emit or emit more than they should at various points on the cone, for different frequencies and different amplitudes. Very little work on this issue is in the public domain, though it is known about. You can get a visual reference from Baranek's book "Acoustics", or, you can access my white paper on EnABL here as the same drawings are available but not the instructive text..

standingwaves

Look through until you see some drawings of circles with bands of pluses and minuses on them. The cone of the Visiton is actually pretty similar to these drawings, done back in the early 50's.

There is a solution. It will quell most and quite possibly all of your troubles, it is called EnABL and can be found on this forum. I have attached a txt file with most of the locations for commentary and how to obtain the benefits. It is free for you to use and is quite proficient at solving these problems.

Bud
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File Type: txt EnABL posts for treatment text file.txt (5.4 KB, 104 views)
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Old 12th December 2009, 08:26 PM   #6
brig001 is offline brig001  United Kingdom
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Frequency modulation - Doppler effect?
Amplitude modulation - driver non-linearity with displacement?
Cone break-up?

All of these are reduced in a multi-way system - have you tried those drivers crossed over with a tweeter and a sub? Might help prove things one way or another, or more likely cause more confusion...
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Old 12th December 2009, 09:02 PM   #7
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I have tried a very crude method of enabl treatment, prior to my research into it. I used acrylic paints (orange, of course), and went around a wharfedale 4" full range speaker, and used white on a pair of FRS8 drivers. I used the thinnest paintbrush I could find, but still made a far mess of it all.

Pics of that attached.

I'm going to try a test with some 4" poly coned speakers, see what's what.
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File Type: jpg 220145.jpg (93.2 KB, 649 views)
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Old 13th December 2009, 02:08 AM   #8
BudP is offline BudP  United States
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Quote:
Frequency modulation - Doppler effect?
Amplitude modulation - driver non-linearity with displacement?
Cone break-up?

All of these are reduced in a multi-way system - have you tried those drivers crossed over with a tweeter and a sub? Might help prove things one way or another, or more likely cause more confusion...
Got that right!. EnaBL just allows you to cease to worry about the out of band breakup problems, that even sharply rolled off multiway systems suffer from. And then there is that beguiling extra 60 db or so of coherent information that shows up, underneath the typical 40 db down cut off of coherent information, that typical drivers labor under.

chriss, you REALLY want to order Ed Lafontaines EnABL kit. see the txt attached above for the thread here on diy. Learning this simple system of application, though tedious, will take you right to the level of competence you need to get to, before you work on something near and dear to your heart. I teated inclinedplanes drivers for him, and he is being very straight about how well they work, and they didn't have a lot to apologize for, before treatment, just three shriek zones.

Bud
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Old 13th December 2009, 02:40 AM   #9
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Full range drivers have their own limitations as well as advantages like any other driver. Cone brake ups are usually not filtered out and drivers are run crossover less. Cone material and motor design allows the driver to have a very extended frequency response on axis but usually at the expense of other things like limited excursion. It's a trade off. Distortion character is different. It's a bit like spreading butter over toast.
Most of the full range drivers are low power low x-mas and aren't meant to play very loud.
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Old 13th December 2009, 02:44 AM   #10
BudP is offline BudP  United States
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AGREED!!!!!

Bud
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