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looking for 5 1/4" drivers that handle deep bass
looking for 5 1/4" drivers that handle deep bass
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Old 21st August 2012, 10:40 PM   #1
tapehead ted is offline tapehead ted  United States
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Default looking for 5 1/4" drivers that handle deep bass

The 5 1/4" speakers I'm using for this bass guitar cabinet (see vertical line bass cab thread, if you like) are just not handling the undoctored output of the instrument and the amp. They sound beautiful on 3 strings, but low E and it's subharmonics are giving these speakers fits, even with 12 speakers that allegedly handle 100 w apiece. This with a 500 watt tube studio monitor amp that's flat to 10 hz... and I only really need 40 hz (low E is about 43 hz). I've tried rolling off the bass with a control on the amp, but it's nowhere as nice, even at higher frequencies.

I've done some searching here and G**gle and am not turning up much in the way of anything useful... any really quality speaker manufacturers or distributors I should know about? Raw drivers, not cabinets...

Thanks a lot.
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:41 PM   #2
DBMandrake is offline DBMandrake  Scotland
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I'm afraid the subject line of your post is a bit of an oxymoron. Why so many 5 1/4" drivers instead of fewer larger drivers that will be far more suited to the job ?

Contrary to popular belief, many smaller woofers with the same cone area of one or a few larger woofers do not perform anywhere near as well, for a whole host of reasons.
- Simon
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Old 22nd August 2012, 12:51 AM   #3
fakeout is offline fakeout  Canada
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What if you wanted a desktop with 5-1/2" woofers so you wouldn't have an excessive amount of bass on your desk and right in your face? Does that make any sense?

I wish I could hear opinions from people who had tried 5-1/2", 6-1/2" and 8" woofers for desktop speakers.
Feeling Good by David Burns
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Old 22nd August 2012, 01:01 AM   #4
theAnonymous1 is offline theAnonymous1  United States
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A driver that size will either have a higher Fs than is suitable for good bass response, or a reasonably low Fs and horrible efficiency (like some small TangBand drivers).
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Old 22nd August 2012, 01:05 AM   #5
phivates is offline phivates  United States
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Use a woofer, 6 1/2 is the minimum. 5 1/4 is a midrange. Published specs are seldom accurate and the error is always an increase in fs. The cheaper the worser.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 01:11 AM   #6
Jonathan Bright is offline Jonathan Bright  Australia
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Hi Simon, Re;#2 I'd be grateful if you could expand on the differences between one large and numerous smaller woofers?

Cheers, Jonathan
"It was the Springtime of the year when aunt is calling to aunt like mastodons bellowing across primeval swamps." P.G. Wodehouse.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 05:33 AM   #7
Keriwena is offline Keriwena  United States
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The short explanation is this: speaker companies builder drivers with the expectation they will be used singly, or perhaps in pairs (MTM). A 5" speaker that has the motor strength, excursion, and heavy cone needed to produce deep bass still won't do it at high volumes because it lacks the surface area to efficiently couple to the air. Given this, when a company sets out to build a woofer, they usually make it at least an 8". In the MI industry, with no WAF considerations and roadies for haulage, 15"s are commonplace, and even those are used in multiples.

The speaker you're looking for is likely a 10" meant for use in a 4x10 bass cab. 12 of those would shake the foundations, for sure.

Mmmmm... there is one company that makes the sort of driver you're after, but their name is Better Off Said Enigmatically with audiophiles around.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 06:28 AM   #8
mondogenerator is offline mondogenerator  England
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playing bass guitar through THOSE would be funny Keriwena! Even those top hat satellite PA efforts would be funny.

For what its worth, hifi woofers are susceptable to ultra low frequency unloading them. Think of the string pluck transient...the string is displaced by say 5mm. This large step input is maybe a single cycle or half cycle. Your amp is flat to 10hz? Not such a good thing. Use a steep rumble filter set at 25-30Hz, that will certainly help. But, as many have said, ultimate SPL and power handling will still be limited.
Balancing the things I must do, with the things I'd like to do...This is a skill (or a luxury) amongst many that I do not possess.

Last edited by mondogenerator; 22nd August 2012 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 06:32 AM   #9
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Keriwena View Post
Mmmmm... there is one company that makes the sort of driver you're after, but their name is Better Off Said Enigmatically with audiophiles around.
Nicely done - I don't think anyone noticed

To the OP, E1 is 41Hz, but, as with most stringed instruments, the harmonics are rather dominant. You could probably get away with having a rising response in the 100Hz region, with rolloff below that.

The problem with what you're trying to do is simple - look at the excursion:area ratios.
A decent 15" driver will stand 6mm one-way travel and sound okay doing it.
9x 5" drivers (same cone area as 1x15") each attempting 6mm one-way will sound awful, as, unless they're mini-subs (whose efficiency is terrible anyway) Xmax will be somewhat smaller than 6mm.

The bass control on your amp will probably be shelving, affecting frequencies >100Hz.
Ideally, you'd use either a graphic eq, or make a 2nd order LR (or other) high pass circuit set to ~70Hz.

PS - the thermal rating of 100w has nothing to do with the point at which excursion becomes a problem
PPS - is this for stage use?
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Old 22nd August 2012, 09:37 AM   #10
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I think I'd look at a stack of 8's, high efficiency PA type speakers. You know, the ones DESIGNED to do guitar PA work. Different requirements from HI-FI in a house. What's the driver Gedlee uses?
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