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Old 12th November 2008, 06:09 PM   #1
dgshtav is offline dgshtav  United States
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Default Speaker Driver Brand Question

Newbie here....

As you all know, there are numerous brands of speakers available at various price points.

It appears that, in general (and based on my limited reading), DIY-ers often speak well more on Scan-speaks and Seas over other bands.

So my questions are:
1. Are certain brands characterized with certain tonal characteristics? For Ex. (Hypothetical only) Scan-Speaks Mids/Woofs typically have the best mid tones, Eton woofs are generally better over others for subs, etc…you get the idea!
2. If so, then what are the strengths of some of these leading brands
3. Between the minimal reading I have had so far, I haven’t read a lot on Morel (as compared to Peerless, Scan-Speak and Seas)? So what do those with experience think about Morel? What are the *typical* characteristics of Morel? Is it a “Premium” brand? How are the mids *typically* on a Morel mid-range?

I perfectly understand that the sound is defined by lots of different variables beyond just the driver brand. So please receive my questions in the context of “Typical Brand/Product Line Characteristics” assuming most other variables…well…”constant“!

Those of you who have an inclination for a sweet, detailed, not so laid back and neither forward/pronounced mid-range freqs (delivered by either mid range speakers or a wider range woofers), what brand+product line do you generally prefer?

Please be kind if the above questions don’t make sense as I am a newbie and have just started reading up on forums.

Also, if questions similar to mine have already been discussed elsewhere, do please point me to such discussions. I did search, but as I said I didn't come across much on Morels'.

Thanks for your time and patience with my questions.
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Old 12th November 2008, 08:05 PM   #2
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That's kind of like asking us what is the best car to buy. Everyones preference is different so it's really up to you. The idea behind a transducer is to faithfully reproduce what's been recorded without colouring the sound. It also should have a flat response and low distortion. Often the more expensive drivers do this better than the cheap ones.

I think the manufacturers can be labeled as having a certain sound but more often you can tell the difference between cone materials more so than whom they are manufactured by. I know this isn't much help but you've asked a difficult question. Hopefully others will be more insightful but remember it's all about preference.
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Old 12th November 2008, 09:08 PM   #3
dgshtav is offline dgshtav  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon
That's kind of like asking us what is the best car to buy
......
......
I think the manufacturers can be labeled as having a certain sound ....
First, Thanks for the response.

I will try and use the cars analogy to see if I my questions will make more sense -
* Ferraris, Porches, Lambos', Jags, etc. are "fast pepy cars".
* Honda, Toyota, Ford, etc. are quality cars
* Hyundai, Suzuki, Scion, etc. are value line cars

People will differ on opinions and implementation will contribute a lot to realization as well...but you see..there's always a general opinion.

Another perspective could be the driver manufacturer's expertise. A specific manufacturer could be very strong in Sub drivers coz. they, as a company, have focused a lot more into that area for research. Another company could be great with their Tweeter lineup (Doesn't mean other brands are bad...it just suggests that tweeters are a strength of a certain company)

Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon
but more often you can tell the difference between cone materials more so than whom they are manufactured by.
Makes sense.

So 2 more questions to be added to the list above...

4. Which cone materials (and magnet materials) are best suited for what freq range?

5. Given a cone material, what are the advantages and disadvantages of that material?

if this 5th question could be too much to answer here, pointers to online resources where I could read up would help a ton too!


Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon

I know this isn't much help but you've asked a difficult question. Hopefully others will be more insightful but remember it's all about preference.
No, please...ANY response can go a long way...like yours helped me elaborate a bit on my question and helped me ask 1 more.

In fact....thanks for the patience....am sure noobs show up every now and then and my fear is that, as a noob, I could be asking the same questions that have been asked over and over that no one has any interest left to answer anymore....

Thanks again.
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Old 12th November 2008, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by dgshtav
A specific manufacturer could be very strong in Sub drivers <snip> Another company could be great with their Tweeter lineup
Yes, very true


Quote:
[i]4. Which cone materials (and magnet materials) are best suited for what freq range?[/B]
Too broad of a question. Tweeters are made from paper, aluminum, titanium, polycarbonate, silk, textiles, polyester, beryllium, diamond dust... No clear winners

Woofers are made with paper, poly, carbon fiber, aluminum, kevlar, quartz composite... No clear winners

Magnets are ceramic, alnico, neodymium and field coils. No clear winners

Quote:
[i]5. Given a cone material, what are the advantages and disadvantages of that material?[/B]
It must meet the requirements as laid out in the design goals which include moving mass and stiffness.

Quote:
[i]am sure noobs show up every now and then and my fear is that, as a noob, I could be asking the same questions that have been asked over and over that no one has any interest left to answer anymore....[/B]
Not to worry, my knowledge base is well suited to the newbs.

Just glad you have an interest.
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Old 12th November 2008, 09:38 PM   #5
dgshtav is offline dgshtav  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon

Too broad of a question. Tweeters are made from paper, aluminum, titanium, polycarbonate, silk, textiles, polyester, beryllium, diamond dust... No clear winners

Woofers are made with paper, poly, carbon fiber, aluminum, kevlar, quartz composite... No clear winners

Magnets are ceramic, alnico, neodymium and field coils. No clear winners

You will make a great politician! But WAIT...you are alrady a Mod!!

But seriously...Thanks for taking the time to respond.

The elaboration of "No clear winners" is one of the things I am looking for and it definitely gives me something to google as well.
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:12 PM   #6
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There are so many factors that go into a driver sounding good. The cone and magnet are but two of them. Basket material, voice coil former, the size and type of enamel wire, number of layers, the length and width, the surround material, the spider, the dust cap, the venting...the list goes on and we haven't even touched on the enclosure or lack thereof. Each designer has their own preferences and hopes you like and agree with their decision(s).

Just like cars.
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon

Woofers are made with paper, poly, carbon fiber, aluminum, kevlar, quartz composite... No clear winners
And paper itself is a composite material, and it is easy to add various ground-up materials to the paper slurry before the cone is molded. The paper can be made from hemp (the US Constitution was written on hemp paper, the most durable paper of the time), ground-up silk, cotton, or wool clothing, as well as wood pulp, and then the "additives" can be any collection of weird materials that strike the fancy of the driver designer. All kinds of stuff can be added to polypropylene as well, invariably with ludicrous advertising claims of this or that "wonder material".

Cone materials have traditionally been trade secrets, so it would take a laboratory analysis to determine what cones made in the 1930's were made of, or even cones in the 1950's. The finest and most durable art-book-grade papers of the pre-WWII era were made with hemp and ground-up clothing fibers ("rag" papers), so it wouldn't be surprising to see them in speaker cones, too. Wood pulp was always considered the lowest grade of paper because it was less chemically stable (due to processing residues) and more prone to tearing.
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for chiming in Lynn.

You see dgshtav, there are even sub sets to the materials. Again we haven't even touched on laminates incorporating a honeycomb stabilizer or some rather eccentric or esoteric combinations of materials, but before this leads to ad nauseum, you can see why the questions were difficult to answer.
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:52 PM   #9
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OP: Since you specifically asked several times about Morel, I think you'll find they are very expensive in relation to the performance you get. Some models are just plain lousy, and you wonder how they got their reputation.

I'm not really sure where you're coming from or where you're going, but for $200-300 you could build several nice pairs of simple 2-ways with mid-woofers and tweeters of different cone materials from the Madisound and PE specials and close-outs (use a replaceable baffle for flexibility), and you might gain some useful practical experience and answers about the questions you've asked.
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Old 12th November 2008, 11:11 PM   #10
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I would recommend you visit www.zaphaudio.com and read up on his driver tests and speaker designs - these will give you an idea of what makes a driver good and help you decide on which design/drivers to purchase, if that's your goal.
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