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zinblade19 23rd April 2013 05:24 AM

Hi-Fi Full Range speakers playing complex music
I have read that full range speakers have problem playing complex music forms (like electro-pop) yielding distortions & loss of details.
I have never heard any stand alone Hi-Fidelity full range speakers like Fostex 206.
So, it would be very helpful if someone throws some light on this topic.

picowallspeaker 23rd April 2013 05:37 AM

just ask : what hifi means ?
and also : how a loudspeaker works ?

It's not that difficult to come to a conclusion

zinblade19 23rd April 2013 08:48 AM


Originally Posted by picowallspeaker (
just ask : what hifi means ?
and also : how a loudspeaker works ?

It's not that difficult to come to a conclusion

By Hi-Fi, I meant within full rangers.

Theoretically, full range speakers should have problem reproducing complex music.
What I wanted to know is how bad is it in practical listening experience, in your opinion.

picowallspeaker 23rd April 2013 09:11 AM

Oh my opinion :rolleyes::o:p
Somebody may say that it's some kind of Doppler distortion...
Caused by the impossibilty to move at the same time at 100 Hz and at 10 KHz
Others would say that the pistonic region would allow only a certain range to be played correctly. As a loudspeaker is still a passband device, it would allow
to focus its activity in its mid-band, being the extremes not necessarily useful
to detect the 'message'. But then it comes the term 'Hi-fi' which means that the original recorded event to be reproduced, it could be played at a level that it would make it seem to be played like it was in front of you. Electronic music
is another department because there is no precise relationship between an oscillator-generated sound and what you can find in the real world.
So generally for a relaxed low level listening or background music or just for the news, it is not strictly necessary to display a system that has high dynamics. those high dynamics require the specialized drivers which are woofers-midrange and tweeters. But I see nowadays that some FR are aknowledged to play at satisfactory levels, only needing a subwoofer to meet
the high excursions to move big masses of air at low frequency.
I'm using some 2" FR such as Monacor SPX 20 and SPX 21 as mid-tweeter
and they perform quite good, being quite easy to 'cross' with a woofer with 1st or 2nd order slope filters.

SMathews 23rd April 2013 09:15 AM

I have tried only one full-ranger (AER MD2) in a back loaded horn and it is excellent playing some music, like jazz or Indian classical. When I try to crank it up while playing large orchestra music, the best way I can describe it, is it losses it. It is bad enough for me (personally) to look to correct it. The AER is an excellent driver with its issues, like everything else. I believe this has got to do with the whizzer on the driver. The mechanical crossover from the main cone to the whizzer is the cause (resonance) of this and happens around 2KHz. If you look at the response of most whizzer based drivers you will see a hump in this area followed by a dip. There are fullrangers or widebanders without a whizzer cone. Hope it helps.


xrk971 23rd April 2013 12:02 PM

Full range drivers are remarkable devices for the wide dynamic range of frequencies that they can produce, sometimes over 7 or 8 octaves. I think the problem arises when playing music with both wide spectral content and wide amplitude content. The worst case is big symphony classical with for example double bass and kettle drums violins and piccolo going all at once and some at lower volumes. Full rangers can probably play some of these but not all at same time. I would guess that if one were to make a three way with three identical full range drivers with cross over it may actually sound decent with orchestral music or electronica. It would need a sub still and will lack high SPL punch because a 4 in driver can't move air like a 6 in or 8 in driver. The main reason I like full range is the spatial imaging it affords and this is not important with symphonic classical, electronica, or hard rock. But for jazz, vocals, classic rock, chamber classical, the full range speaker can be sublime when paired with the proper recording using proper microphone setups. Having said that, one particular full range speaker has consistently surprised me with its ability to play a wide range of music with decent dynamics is the mass loaded transmission line and a 4 in class full range driver.

Bill poster 23rd April 2013 12:21 PM

One way to avoid the above is to go active and use the FR's with a dedicated bass driver (choose one w/ good transient response). Something like the Hypex modules with a scanspeak or dayton woofer in a sealed enclosure.

Colin 23rd April 2013 12:56 PM

Probably lack of headroom and/or amp clipping. Fullrangers are often used with low power amps, which won't help. To get an idea of how much headroom is required to accurately reproduce music peaks, try the calculator on the Crown website

Amplifier Power Required Calculator

The usual figure suggested is 26dB headroom to realistically cover short-term peaks.

And the piston calculator gives an idea of how low a drive unit can go for a given size/xMax and acoustic level

Piston Excursion calculator

Other than that, there's no specific reason why a fullrange unit should do any worse than the cone midband driver in larger systems. I've used a 4" unit in a MLTL and it sounded great. It's limit was the weedy Naim amp I used at the time. More recently I've used a 2-way active system with considerably greater headroom and that also sounds very good, especially on orchestral music.

cogitech 23rd April 2013 02:20 PM

1) I have heard/read a lot about this topic.

2) I have listened to a lot of different types of music on various full range drivers.

3) 1 and 2 above are not consistent with each other.

4) I continue to increase my experience of 2 and reduce my experience of 1.

Overkill Audio 23rd April 2013 06:06 PM

multiple drivers = fraction of the problems...
2 Attachment(s)

A single full range driver will always fail to satisfy the main criteria for true high fidelity or life like reproduction of music ( dont even think about home cinema...!)

In order to have a good mid and top end you need small and light cones.
In order to get a good low end you need bigger stronger / heavier cones....Or lots of small and light.

Its not rocket science, " If you want true full range sound with dynamics and low distortion you need lots of Sd.
" There is no replacement for displacement " Well actually thats not quite accurate or even appropriate but you get my point.
One key benefit of a large Sd is that each cone is only moving a tiny amount so minimising displacement is a great advantage of having a large surface area, or lots of small surfave area's.

The attached are very efficient, very dynamic, sound astonishing and work with 5 watt SET's or 1,000 watt class D's and everything in between.


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