Full range single driver speaker, pros and cons?

Hey there,
New to the forum. Id like to try my hand at speaker building. After doing some looking around, I've become intrigued by the idea of a single driver full range speaker. To be honest it sounds almost to good to be true. So I assume Im missing something here. Could I get some of the strengths and weaknesses of this type of speaker design.

From what I understand there is no crossover required for this type of speaker, and the bass comes from the enclosure design.

I wonder why I haven't seen more commercial versions of this type of speaker. If this is in fact a very nice sounding design, I think it'd be good first speaker build for me.

Thanks Justin.
 
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sippy

Member
2008-06-17 11:58 pm
Hey there,
New to the forum. Id like to try my hand at speaker building. After doing some looking around, I've become intrigued by the idea of a single driver full range speaker. To be honest it sounds almost to good to be true. So I assume Im missing something here. Could I get some of the strengths and weaknesses of this type of speaker design.

From what I understand there is no crossover required for this type of speaker, and the bass comes from the enclosure design.

I wonder why I haven't seen more commercial versions of this type of speaker. If this is in fact a very nice sounding design, I think it'd be good first speaker build for me.

Thanks Justin.

Well, if you think they are too good to be true then they are.....

A good design will flabbergast with 'less' complex music and be a total let-down if you're into Megadeath or D'n'B.
Unlike 'One ring to rule them all', a single drive unit cant possibly hope to do the required 20Htz to 20Kilo.

They really don't have cross-overs and That alone makes it worth building a pair, midrange on multi-driver designs always sounds muffled (to me) after listening to a 'single driver'.

Single driver designs have less perceived value and are quite 'niche', average Joe who walks into a HiFi shop Want to see and hear 2, 2 1/2, 3 and even 4 ways.

Read some more, decide on a budget / take advise and build a pair. You will have fun.
 

mayhem13

Member
2008-09-22 4:37 am
It's a good entry point into DIY speaker building where you will learn about enclosure design and experience box tuning.

.....but single driver systems are very limited due to the limits of current cone driver technology. There's far too many negatives to list here and a well designed multi way speaker will out perform the niche full range in every measurable parameter.

Properly designing a crossover is VERY difficult to do and IMO accounts for most of the fullrange driver fancy. As history has shown us, people tend to villify what they fear or don't understand.
 

Lorepeo

Member
2016-02-23 10:52 am
quote mayhem13 "There's far too many negatives to list here and a well designed multi way speaker will out perform the niche full range in every measurable parameter."

Ok but don't you thing that a FAST full range (full range + woofer) could be a good mix?
MY answer is, a Full Range Assisted has "good" bass, medium and high frequency, but it means that whith the addition of a woofer can play good rock music? thing that everyone says can not be done alone full range, or it is always better a three-way speaker with the tweeter?
 
A good design will flabbergast with 'less' complex music and be a total let-down if you're into Megadeath or D'n'B.

Speaker design is as much an art as it is an engineering task. Speakers are hughly compromised devices and the art is in choosing which compromises to choose.

A good FR design has a seamlessness that most multiways fail to bring. Turn it up too loud or feed it big works and they can get overloaded.

The compromises one makes when choosing a FR suit many of us.

With a FR we are choosing to have a single physical sound source and not to have a crossover -- XOs are evil and devilishly tricky to design (a good FR driver is tricky to design too, but designers are reaching new heights all the time).

The compromises a FR driver designer has to choose bring us a rich range of FR drivers to choose from. The user can choose strengths and weaknesses that suit their needs.

Now if you want loud or want to feed it big works one can add helper woofers and an XO that minimizes the evil* to be able to go low as you want, and free the FR of bass duty. So we compromise by adding a minimally evil XO, having a more complex and a more expensive system (the woofers can cost many times what the FR does).

*(1/ XO can at or below the ¼ wavelength of the driver centre-to-centre distance (ie drivers are effectively coincident) and 2/ one can often get away with very simple XOs that are phase preserving).

And one final note: if one of the compromises you have to make is budget then a decent FR will bring the most bang for the buck.

dave
 
Yeah, while the standard reference these days for speaker design is 10 octaves [20-20 kHz], drivers are basically 5 octave devices, so any extension beyond this range is some form of distortion, euphonic though it may be. Since our acute speech hearing range is only a little over 2 octaves [~250-2.5 kHz telephone BW] and most acute hearing BW is limited to ~2 octaves [~1-4 kHz], this leaves plenty of design leeway on either side of the ~250-4 kHz BW [~4 octaves] since over the rest of the 10 octaves we all hear the same, yet not so much and down low the room dominates.

From this it becomes obvious that ideally we need the < 1" driver loaded by a very large horn the pioneers came up with to cover most of the 10 octaves, relying on a large multiple woofer open baffle to cover the lows and a super tweeter horn for the extreme highs.

So how to successfully scale this down to a single driver has been the most intensely researched speaker design to date with the late Babb Lorelei prototype coming closest IME.

Historically, 8" - up drivers were used due to severely limited peak power handling, with 8" being preferred for high speech intelligibility apps, but computer aided design, materials, manufacturing technology has now advanced enough to allow much smaller drivers to play as loud as the vintage 8" while going lower, higher without obvious distortion, so now personal preference WRT how a driver performs at the musical extremes is more important than ever, making choosing without actually auditioning them too much of a 'crap shoot' to suit me.

GM
 
........or it is always better a three-way speaker with the tweeter?

Per what I just posted, yes in theory [four-way with subs], but many recordings are very rolled off in the extreme HF [LF too], so a two-way has historically been sufficient for prosound, studio monitors and their stereo system variants, etc.; with three, four way limited to movie soundtracks, large orchestra, pipe organ symphonies and some modern music recordings.

Specific to pop, rock, country music; historically one didn't even need a true woofer, just a strong mid-bass since recordings were rolled off below 80 Hz and as much as -24 dB/40 Hz, so even many of today's small 'FR', wide range mid-bass drivers can do this in some form of TL alignment.

GM
 

Lorepeo

Member
2016-02-23 10:52 am
I'm so undecided...
My favorite full range is the aucharm 5 "(aliexpress).
It has a xmax 2.5 mm and a frequency range from 60Hz to 20khz.
I would be happy if you could watch it's spec on the internet website (aliexpress).
With the speaker configuration of the one-way in TL how much can increase the bass? The TL configuration could drop as low as 30 / 40Hz.
With the full-range speaker with those tecnical speci which could be a concrete project in TL or Horn you might suggest me that I can accomplish? (please Show me the link to the project that you suggest me).
Or (as I wrote in another thread) is best not to make the TL (because it is more difficult for adjustments and sizing of the soundproofing) and is better to do a two way with the help of a woofer (Fast Full Range)?
I realized that with the construction of speakers the variables are thousands.
That's why I would like to start from a fixed point that are the speakers full range aucharm 5 ", a house not too big, i will not listen to high volumes (i'm not interested to produce vibration of my house) but I just want to produce a normal listening of good quality and with an extension of frequencies hz as complete as possible.
 
I've just tried a full range driver for the first time and was quite surprised at the result (Mark Audio Pluvia 7). The sound has a presence and coherance that I find appealing. The extension on both extremes was better than expected. With a perfectly acceptable bass response and highs that reach all but the highest levels. For general musical use it is well in it's element.
 
From what I am reading its more of a natural sound. Maybe even go as far to say that its the sound that you were intended to hear in the first place? I listen to all kinds of music, I mean everything. And 90% would be from a turntable source. the other 10% would be digital stream. For now the I be using a pioneer SX-1050 till I can either build a tube amp or buy one.
What would be a good first speaker to build in my case. Something that I can get a taste of the sound that a fullrange speaker system produces. The room would be mid size to small for now. Id like to maybe use a driver that would be under $50.00 US. is there something with in that parameters that could be recommended.

Thanks Justin
 
I'm just getting my feet wet with full range drivers but based on my recent experience, the Pluvia 7 at $45 USD each would fit your requirement.

In comparison to a 2-way speaker I built for somewhat more money, a Creative Sound V1 ported). I do not feel any major lacking in the Pluvia 7 build. The V1 hits a bit harder in the bass (with more X-max) with better dynamics and the highs have more air but I feel like the coherance and "wholeness" of the Pluvia 7 is a bit better. For harder hitting purposes (home theater, more aggressive music) I would lean towards a 2-way system but for more laid back, simple music I prefer the Pluvia 7 build.

It had the advantage of being cheaper (V1 was about $220 CAD to build, Pluvia 7 build about $140). If you really made me choose between the two I'd take the V1 but it's not an easy choice, and if your application and budget are more inclined towards the Pluvia 7 I'd imagine you'd be quite happy.
 

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All things considered, a dipole FAST system with at least a 12" and preferably two [or a 15"], prosound mid-bass woofer and use digital XO, EQ seems the way to go for a truly 'fast' system ;).

GM

I guess that make those of us playing with smaller arrays of bass augmentation, such as dual Alpair 12PW per side, only 'haf-fast" - which, you know, sounds like something else. ;)