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Old 23rd April 2010, 02:09 AM   #1
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Question Novice Question, Why Full Range?

I am just dipping my toe into DIY Speakers, I have been reading a few forums and have found myself drawn to full range speakers as a first step.

I have chosen full range speakers becuase of the simplicity (no crossover), their are a lot of designs that I could copy (i'm looking at the Aplair 12) and I have heard a few built by a friend that I liked (Alpair 7).

I want to know what reasons others have for going down the full range road?

I would appreciate anyones input.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 02:45 AM   #2
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* good efficiency (often)
* midrange magic
* point-source (coherent)
* great on vocals, small ensembles, acoustic music
* mate well with tube amps (often)
* a challenge (who doesn't like a challenge?)
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Old 23rd April 2010, 03:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Musiccynic View Post
I would appreciate anyones input.
Others will weigh in with their own reasons, but for me, it can be summed up in one word - imaging. While multi-way speakers that image well certainly exist, the combination of cabinet, drivers, and crossover design is rather hard to get right. With the right full-range driver in the right enclosure, you've eliminated many of the variables (and a lot of the cost, if that's a factor) that can get in the way.
I'm currently listening to a pair of mFonken's. They leave much to be desired when I ask them to properly render Deep Purple or The Stones, but they are absolutely magical when pouring Allison Krauss or Ladysmith Black Mambazo into the room.
So the first step then, is identifying what kind of music you listen to and what type of amplifier you intend to drive your speakers with. The things like your listening room and other variables can be considered. Don't worry. As long as your expectations are in the ball park, you're going to like whatever you come up with. A pair of of Pioneer B20's and a 1.3 cu. ft. sealed box (ZillaAudio.com, Outdoor Speakers | Rock Speakers | Garden Speakers | Patio Speakers | In-Wall Speakers | Ceiling Speakers and more!) or even a BIB (if your room is suited) is very cheap and simple way to get your feet wet.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 03:33 AM   #4
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Be aware that the term "full range" is a bit of magical thinking. You must make a set of tradeoffs that include bass extension, treble extension, efficiency, volume capabiltity, cost, etc., and any anecdotal insights. No single driver can defy the laws of physics, so you must choose the criteria you find most important. That said, you really ought to research the Jordan JX92S - it is an amazing driver that overcomes the issues presented by the drivers mentioned.

Last edited by Doppler9000; 23rd April 2010 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 05:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppler9000 View Post
Be aware that the term "full range" is a bit of magical thinking. You must make a set of tradeoffs that include bass extension, treble extension, efficiency, volume capabiltity, cost, etc., and any anecdotal insights. No single driver can defy the laws of physics, so you must choose the criteria you find most important. That said, you really ought to research the Jordan JX92S - it is an amazing driver that overcomes the issues presented by the drivers mentioned.
Modern fullranges are finally starting to eclipse the best of the past (imagine where we'd be if FR development hadn't stalled in the 50s).

We now have FRs that will do 9 octaves or even a bit more. 1 cone still limits dynamics (but it is no sin to add a pair of powered woofers).

There is lots of choice. In all sorts of budget ranges. I suggest starting modest. You might have to try a couple flavours to find what best suits your needs (that's OK, FRs are like cookies, you can't have just 1 ). A personal example of that is the JX92 i got based on all the raves. After trying them all which ways, i sent them packing because i couldn't live with them. Check out serenechaos and Inclinedplanes dislikes fro some more examples.

dave
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Old 23rd April 2010, 05:18 AM   #6
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there is no "best of ...." anything
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Old 23rd April 2010, 04:14 PM   #7
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After years of messing with crossovers and building speakers that sounded good but became fatiguing after 15 minutes i found out about full range drivers. The Pioneer B20 was my first taste but it needed a tweeter for sure. Crossing that driver to a tweeter was much easier bc the B20 covered a wide range. There are so many drivers to choose from now and so many that are inexpensive to try. Trying inexpensive TangBand's, for example, will give you an understanding of what their more expensive drivers will do (everything the cheaper ones do and more). You can buy a few and see if you prefer paper or metal drivers... wizzer or non wizzer drivers... then you can experiment with cabinet design... sealed, ported, back horn, open baffle... So there are a lot of things to think about which make it an interesting hobby. But the main reason i enjoy full range drivers so much is their sound! Much less fatiguing than typical 'cross over' speakers. They are not perfect but you may find you prefer the trade offs they make. Then you can listen to your music for hours.

Godzilla
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Old 23rd April 2010, 09:08 PM   #8
Urchinn is offline Urchinn  United States
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Impossible to describe...but once you hook up decent fullrangers to a flea power tube amp and put on a 1950's Sinatra LP THEN YOU MAY FEEL YOUR JAW DROP! I bought a used pair of Madisound BK-16 kit speakers about 4 months ago and could not be happier. Can't wait to build some double-mouth arrangement....
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Old 23rd April 2010, 09:59 PM   #9
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I think it's down to the crossover (if there is one, usually to bring in a tweeter/subwoofer) being well out of a human's sensitive hearing range (my reference for this is around 300Hz to around 6kHz).

Most simple 2-way speakers have a crossover around 3kHz. No matter how well you design it, it will never integrate the two drivers as well as a single driver going right through.

I started with full rangers as a mess-about, but then I bought some that were a little more serious (for a teenager! before anyone says anything). Now I'm addicted to the full-range sound. I find two-way speakers difficult to listen to, because they never get vocals as close as a full range speaker can. For me it's that simple.

Chris
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Old 24th April 2010, 12:08 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for their quick responses.
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