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Old 4th February 2006, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default Different speaker shapes

I am trying to find out whether a speaker's shape effects its sound quality. I thought that if a speaker wasn't round, a 6 by 9 for example, then the sound waves would roll of the speaker at different rates causing distortion or sound cancellation. I am just frustrated because my friend is stubborn and doesn't believe me when I tell him that. So if someone could tell me how speaker shape effects sound quality I would greatly love to rub it in his face. Thanks.
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Old 4th February 2006, 01:14 AM   #2
Vikash is offline Vikash  United Kingdom
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Default Re: Different speaker shapes

Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny25
So if someone could tell me how speaker shape effects sound quality I would greatly love to rub it in his face. Thanks.


I assume you mean driver not speaker since you mentioned 6x9. The cabinet shape and volume, material, stuffing and positioning in the room all affect sound. The position of a driver on the baffle (for mid and high frequencies) will have an effect on the sound as will how its mounted (flush mounted, chamfered etc). It follows that the shapeof the driver mounted on the baffle will have an effect too. This is just the surface of it and we generally concern ourselves with this stuff in hi-end design. If you'er talking about 6x9's then in all liklelyhood you're talking about car audio. Let your friend live blissfully in ignorance.
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Old 4th February 2006, 01:22 AM   #3
Vikash is offline Vikash  United Kingdom
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Actually, if you take only the drivers and exclude the enclosures and room from the equation, and assume no real differences between the cones (shape depenent break ups, stiffness etc) then I'm not so sure that the cone shape, considered only by itself, will bear any difference to the sound.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
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Old 4th February 2006, 05:49 AM   #4
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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As a matter of fact, there are some very good speakers that are not round such as ESL type speakers. It really depends on how the designer does trade-offs.
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Old 7th February 2006, 03:44 AM   #5
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It's me again. For my own peace of mind I would just like to ask, and yes I meant a 6*9 oval vs. say a round 6.5, if the cone shape is oval would the sound coming off of it be shaped differently at different locations around the speakers perimiter. With the longer sides and short top and bottom lengths, the angle of the cone would be different all the way around.
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Old 7th February 2006, 06:36 AM   #6
rjb is offline rjb  New Zealand
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Sorry to disapoint.

There have been many fine sounding oval speakers, which you could definitely call high fidelity, by reputable makers in USA, UK, Germany etc.. In fact that shape has some advantages over round.

Definitely not just for car speakers.
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Old 7th February 2006, 07:08 PM   #7
owdi is offline owdi  United States
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One area where a round cone is generally superior to an oval is it should be more rigid, which would result in lower distortion.

Dan
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Old 7th February 2006, 07:26 PM   #8
dnsey is offline dnsey  United Kingdom
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Your question suggests a misunderstanding of the way loudspeakers work.
How do you imagine that sound waves 'roll off' the cone? The cone is, ideally, a piston which produces areas of rarefaction and compression in the air in front of it - i.e. sound waves. The rate at which the waves 'roll off' (are propagated) depends on the density of the medium - in this case air. As the shape of the cone has no bearing on this, the waves will be propagated consistently for any shape of diaphragm.
BTW, supposing the effect you suggested did exist, have you thought about how much effect reflection and diffraction by adjacent surfaces have? In a car especially, such effects would completely swamp any difference due to cone shape.
Having said all that, as a very generalised rule of thumb applied to cheap drivers only, round drivers do tend to be better designed and made than oval ones, so there's a grain of truth in it
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Old 7th February 2006, 11:33 PM   #9
Dumbass is offline Dumbass  British Antarctic Territory
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny25
I thought that if a speaker wasn't round, a 6 by 9 for example, then the sound waves would roll of the speaker at different rates causing distortion or sound cancellation.
This is not true. How could sound waves come off the cone "at different rates" if the cone is attached to the same coil?
Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny25
So if someone could tell me how speaker shape effects sound quality I would greatly love to rub it in his face.
Sorry, you won't get that satisfaction.
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Old 9th February 2006, 05:44 AM   #10
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Hi

Being a fan of spherical enclosures and having built quite a few, I
have concluded that rather than putting cores in the middle
of the sphere for damping it might be a better idea to
have egg shaped interiors and spherical exteriors. Maybe
it all harps back to the Olson tested on baffles. Rod Elliott's
ESP site is a healthy place to starton this subject
Regards
AnthonyPT

http://sound.westhost.com/bafflestep.htm
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