omfg JBL speakers

You're surprised?
Low and mid-fi speakers generally use pretty inexpensive drivers (often less than a dollar--two or three dollars, tops--when purchased in 1000 piece lots) assembled overseas where labor is cheap.
Crossovers are generally as cheap as they can make them. Having a PC board isn't necessarily a measure of quality; many excellent crossovers use point-to-point wiring. The main benefit of a PCB (aside from giving the parts a physical mounting system) is to reduce wiring errors. This is a non-trivial benefit when you're talking about folks who know nothing about electronics soldering parts together for a dollar an hour. If the parts aren't silk screened onto the PCB, you can assume that there was a big diagram on the wall above the workbench for easy reference.



2002-01-07 6:02 pm
GRollins is right, about the cost issues. The budget end of the market is extrmely competitive, and the more 'audiophile' brands will often sacrifce some margin to get you in, hoping to make it back when you upgrade later.

BUT, how do they sound? If they are good sounding (wrt pricepoint), and they only have simple crossovers, that tells me the designer did a good job optimising all the parameters. I have yet to find in audio that making something more complex, beyond what's neccesary, makes it sound better.

For example most 6" mid-basses will start to break up somewhere above 2.5kHz at moderate levels, with metal cones being the worst usually. If you don't want to hear all that rubbish, you have to either(a) use higher order, more complex x-over (b) tweeter that will work at lower frequencies (c) better mid-bass with simple x-over. Drive units only work in a limited frequency range, and the drive unit's deigner must make lots of decisions and compromise the performance in some areas even in very high cost / high performance drivers. My mid/high Pro drivers cost $US1500 ea, and I only use one cap to cross them over. That's all they need.

Then of course, there are Lowther, Fostex, Goodmans, Diatone, Eminence etc drivers that need no crossover at all.