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Old 4th December 2001, 09:00 PM   #21
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Modern foam compositions certainly last a lot longer than they used to, but not neccessarily longer than rubber. However, no one seems to have made the point that rubber is not just rubber. There are many different materials used for surrounds, that may have the lay appearance of rubber, but in fact are not. They may be heavily plasticiced PVC, or polypropylene derivatives, etc. Each has it's place in the design of drivers. Don't tar all surrounds with the same brush.
The choice of surround material depends on many factors. Although foam is the lowest cost, it is also the lightest which is very important for high sensitivity drivers. "rubber" is very much denser so to keep weight down has to be made thin. It then tends to invert at large negative excursions due to enclosure internal air pressure and so makes nasty noises. Another very important aspect of surrounds is how they terminate resonant modes in the cone. Their shape and material composition is critical to getting a smooth response from the driver. There is not one optimal material. What works best with paper cones may not be the best for polypropylene etc. In fact, foam still is an excellent choice with paper cones.
This does mean that replacing a foam surround with a "rubber" one will almost certainly change the frequency response of the driver, and almost always reduce the sensitivity.
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Old 4th December 2001, 11:00 PM   #22
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JBL is high end? Since when?

Grey
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Old 4th December 2001, 11:01 PM   #23
lohk is offline lohk  Europe
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Many high efficiency drivers have a specially treated cloth surround, this is probably an area where rubber will be not very useful. I also think that most of the professional drivers do not use rubber surrounds for that reason.
But in Hifi/HighEnd there are only very few designs left which still use foam surrounds. I maybe wrong, but for me always foam was a mere budget solution.
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Old 5th December 2001, 07:12 PM   #24
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Andrew you are absolutely right and put it more eloquently than I had hoped to in my original post.
As for JBL; if Grey does not consider some of their drivers in the high end league, I wish he would let people bidding ridiculous amnounts on the much sought after and highly regarded LE 8 on ebay know so that they could save their money. Of course this is only one example of many highly regarded JBL units that is in this class though I'm no great fan of the marque, one has to concede this much at least. No?
tomcat
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Old 5th December 2001, 10:56 PM   #25
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No.
Price doesn't equal high end, viz. McIntosh. (Although it seems that Mc is trying to get back into the swing of things. I wish them luck. Regardless of how bad they've sounded since the '70s onwards, their equipment has always been some of the sexiest looking stuff out there.)
Want another example? Try a lot of the way overpriced California cabernets.

Grey
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Old 6th December 2001, 12:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
JBL is high end? Since when?
Since probably before you were born. James B. Lansing sold the JBL name in 1948.

If you need a demonstration of how good JBL equipment can be, go to an IMAX theater.
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Old 6th December 2001, 01:08 AM   #27
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I've seen quite a few IMAX shows. Loud isn't high end. There's a vast difference between quantity and quality.

Grey
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Old 6th December 2001, 01:56 AM   #28
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I'm in the Car Audio world, and I have a pretty good idea that rubber will long more than foam... Besides, there aren't no foam surround on the top units...

Audiolover

PS: Maybe the drivers get in different conditions, but speakers in a car will have a "faster deterioration time"...
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Old 6th December 2001, 07:42 AM   #29
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Quote:
I'm in the Car Audio world, and I have a pretty good idea that rubber will long more than foam... Besides, there aren't no foam surround on the top units...
Gee I guess this $6000 driver doesn't qualify as top unit, nor do any other of the best Audiobahn woofers.

Click the image to open in full size.

How about these $500 Gs Designs?

Click the image to open in full size.

These $1000 Doran Orian's?

Click the image to open in full size.

The top of the MA-Audio line?

Click the image to open in full size.

The entire Earthquake sub line?

Click the image to open in full size.

[Edited by ThomasW on 12-06-2001 at 02:54 AM]
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Old 6th December 2001, 12:23 PM   #30
pkgum is offline pkgum  Australia
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excellent woofers you posted there...
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