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Old 8th November 2006, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default what are full range speakers?

sorry, but im a noob when it comes to speaker building and i have no clue about full range speakers. I used to think they were speakers w/ a sub. when i see pics, i see only one driver. Is there anything im missing?
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Old 8th November 2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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Nope. Full range implies that it covers the full audio range. Naturally, this isn't entirely accurate as it's pretty much impossible to create a single driver that can do everything, so they tend to sacrifice some upper extenson for more bass, or visa versa. A few make a pretty good fist of it though -some of the Fostex range like the FE206E / FE207E, Lowther's of course, the 6 1/2in Fostex units providing they're properly loaded to get the bass up to cite a few examples.
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Old 8th November 2006, 11:03 PM   #3
ronc is offline ronc  United States
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I once heard that a full range was 60 Hz to 16 Khz, but i was 8 years old at that time.
Now , with more advanced technology, you can get from around 35 Hz to around 18Khz with a MLTL.
Horns can get to around 40 Hz at the lower FR but require a more complex build. A BIB can get lower ( and its basically a horn).
However i tend to look at an 8" driver with a wizzer and back horn loaded as a three way system even though it has a single driver.
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Old 8th November 2006, 11:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: what are full range speakers?

Quote:
Originally posted by legendaryfrog
sorry, but im a noob when it comes to speaker building and i have no clue about full range speakers. I used to think they were speakers w/ a sub. when i see pics, i see only one driver. Is there anything im missing?

Sort of.

"Fullrange" has two meanings, but both signify speakers that can produce a full range of sound (deep bass to high treble) without any external help.

There's the traditional approach to this: speakers (often 3-ways or more) that can produce sound all over the spectrum (about 40hz-18khz) without help from a subwoofer. Often, these have a secondary super-low-bass driver crossed over to the primary woofer to help it at low frequencies.

However, the alternate definition applies to speakers that can, with a single driver, produce sound from the bottom end of most standard woofers (about 60-70hz) up to 18khz (tweeter territory). Because no crossover is used, distortion is minimized, and the price can be kept amazingly low. Also, efficency is VERY high - some fullrange speakers can produce an amount of noise on ten watts equivalent to many speakers on two hundred watts.

There's a downside, of course: Most fullrange drivers lack nastily in bass, and roll off rather sharply after a certian point - usually somewhere between 70 and 100hz. To compensate, we horn-load the heck out of them (see "Bigger is Better" for ideas) and often add a secondary subwoofer, allowing them to deal less with really deep bass.

FR speakers are something of a "niche" design; often, they can't do treble or bass (or sometimes both) as well as standard speakers, require massive, complex boxes, and specialized amplifiers. Frequency response is never quite flat, and the speaker drivers can be nastily expensive. (A pair of FE208's can set you back 250$.) However, sound quality is often very good (no crossover is the best crossover!), you can use less-expensive low-power amps (Sonic Impact T-amp or small SET amplifier), and the overall cost is a lot more reasonable than you'd think once you compare it to "traditional" speakers - a recent, popular design is based around $16 woofers and a 20$ tweeter, but the crosssover costs 40$ by itself!
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Old 9th November 2006, 12:30 AM   #5
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awesome. thanks a lot
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Old 9th November 2006, 01:40 PM   #6
Geoff H is offline Geoff H  Australia
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Hi legendaryfrog,

Don't be sorry about being a noob. We were all one once.

Us older bods refered to full range drivers, and multi way systems.

The multi way system had a number of drivers to overcome the shortcomings of some full range drivers.

In many cases economics came into the equation. Big magnets just got too expensive. ie Goodmans, Wharfedale etc. Then there was competition to see how much baffle could be covered with drivers!

One can't say one is better than the other. Just different aproaches to meet slightly different goals. They both have their merrits.
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Old 9th November 2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Geoff H
Hi legendaryfrog,

Don't be sorry about being a noob. We were all one once.

Us older bods refered to full range drivers, and multi way systems.

The multi way system had a number of drivers to overcome the shortcomings of some full range drivers.

In many cases economics came into the equation. Big magnets just got too expensive. ie Goodmans, Wharfedale etc. Then there was competition to see how much baffle could be covered with drivers!

One can't say one is better than the other. Just different aproaches to meet slightly different goals. They both have their merrits.
Total cost of Bigger is Better speakers:

2x inexpensive speaker drivers from MCM : 22$

1x 4x8 sheeet of MDF : Under 30$

Speaker batting : about 5$

Being able to build some speakers that, according to a guy who just built his first pair (I'm working on mine!) are absolutely kickass for under 60$ : Priceless.
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Old 9th November 2006, 06:45 PM   #8
Geoff H is offline Geoff H  Australia
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Hi Spasticteapot, I aggree (see my latest on plastic TLs)

What you are doing is extracting as much out of those drivers as we currently know how. The scene would be somewhat different had the likes of Martin King and Terry Cole had been arround in the sixties.

Young legendaryfrog can go straight into that area, bypassing all the rot (to quote Scottmoose) and spend the money saved on purchasing recordings.

Go on legendaryfrog, dig up some old drivers (old TVs are a good source, avoid the oval jobs) and build some BIBs or even cheaper plastic things like mine. Don't tell your mates what your up to, just let them hear the finnished product.
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Old 9th November 2006, 07:46 PM   #9
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Most of the music is in the midrange and typically that is what a FR does really well (also ideal candidtaes for extended midranges).

If you diy, a speaker can easily be built for under $200 that will handily embarass some at the hifi shop for 10x that or more -- and many are quite friendly to small, excellent sounding amplifiers (it will be interesting what Scott has to say when he auditions his "new" low buch SE 6V6 amps -- and the new small digital amps seem to be at home with a good FR too).

Add an adequate source and an amazingly musical system can be assembled for the cost of the sales tax on some people's cables -- and spending more money in the same vein usually just makes things better.

dave
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Old 10th November 2006, 01:08 AM   #10
Ken L is offline Ken L  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scottmoose
Nope. Full range implies that it covers the full audio range. Naturally, this isn't entirely accurate as it's pretty much impossible to create a single driver that can do everything, so they tend to sacrifice some upper extenson for more bass, or visa versa.

IMHO, Scottmoose says it pretty well -

I personally think that a better name than full range would be

"wide band" and then if using a sub or helper tweeter - wideband augmented.

Having said that - some of these do very,very well at doing their thing.

The best of these sound very, very good and image very well due to single point source coherence.
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