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Any difference between guitar-cab speakers and home hi-fi speakers?
Any difference between guitar-cab speakers and home hi-fi speakers?
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Old 12th December 2014, 01:14 PM   #1
FBMinis is offline FBMinis  Portugal
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Default Any difference between guitar-cab speakers and home hi-fi speakers?

Can a speaker from an average/good home hi-fi system be used as a guitar speaker?

No crossovers, just replacing one for the other, after building n open back enclosure.

Are they mechanically or physically different?
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Old 12th December 2014, 01:25 PM   #2
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Any difference between guitar-cab speakers and home hi-fi speakers?
Guitar speakers usually have a rolled off treble response and have a Q factor suited for open-back boxes. Otherwise, I would generally assume that a hi-fi speaker represents an upgrade in sound quality over most guitar speakers - which isn't necessarily what you want as some guitar speakers are expected to add wanted distortion when pushed.
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Old 12th December 2014, 01:46 PM   #3
gmad is offline gmad  United States
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The "classic" (12") electric guitar speaker has a frequency response that drops pretty sharply above ~4khz and a resonance of about 80hz. As long as you're not trying to emulate any particular sound, you can certainly use whatever pleases you.

In terms of construction, guitar speakers have paper cones, accordion surrounds, limited xmax and are high-efficiency.
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Old 12th December 2014, 02:22 PM   #4
sangram is online now sangram  India
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Efficiency will be the biggest issue. A home speaker cannot deliver the kind of raw output required in a band situation - even practice.

Also the guitar speaker driver has a peculiar response, and all of them are slightly different. Almost all the expensive ones have a sharp peak in the middle of the response curve, which gives them their characteristic 'sound'. The location of the peak is designed and voiced into the speaker.

Here is a Legend 12" FR:

Click the image to open in full size.

And here is, say, a 'regular' 12" home woofer:

Click the image to open in full size.

Finally, a 12" 'fullrange':

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12th December 2014, 02:36 PM   #5
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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From the evidence I see/hear, they are different.

Home speakers are for reproduction. That requires particular characteristics.

Guitar speakers are for performance. That too requires particular characteristics.

I would guess the two sets of characteristics are completely different. Well in one respect they are the same. They both turn electrical energy into sound energy. They are transducers.
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Old 12th December 2014, 02:48 PM   #6
FBMinis is offline FBMinis  Portugal
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Both hi-fi and guitar people are avid defenders of their dames but, as Andrew mentions, we are talking about transducers and I was trying to understand how different are they after all.

Ok, I've learned that they "sound" differently but cant a hi-fi speaker be EQed, whether electronically or by playing with enclosure size, to sound like a guitar speaker at low power conditions (like 2watt)?
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Old 12th December 2014, 03:09 PM   #7
scopeboy is offline scopeboy  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBMinis View Post
Ok, I've learned that they "sound" differently but cant a hi-fi speaker be EQed, whether electronically or by playing with enclosure size, to sound like a guitar speaker at low power conditions (like 2watt)?
Yes. Plenty of guitarists will jam at home through some sort of digital preamp that has a speaker simulation function, hooked up to nearfield monitors or even headphones.

The speaker simulator is basically a fancy EQ with lots of peaks and dips. From a DIY perspective, I've had decent results myself by just tweaking a digital parametric EQ to match the frequency response of a mic'd up speaker. Or if you have something that can do convolution, you can load a "cabinet impulse".

The trouble starts when you want to achieve some volume on stage. A flat speaker needs a lot of power to equal the guitar speaker's huge midrange peak. Though again, some guitarists nowadays will use a digital preamp plugged into the PA.
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Old 12th December 2014, 04:44 PM   #8
perempe20 is offline perempe20  Hungary
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we tried a Fostex 6" (FE167e?) TQWT, and it worked well for guitar.

I think sensitivity is the key.

Last edited by perempe20; 12th December 2014 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 12th December 2014, 05:10 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Aside from drivers' sensitivity and tonality - often a major part of the sound a player is looking for, wouldn't the dynamic attack and peaks be an issue of concern when using domestic music playback components?

It makes perfect sense to use high power handling pro gear in a domestic environment, but except under very restrained operation, the reverse might not be such a good idea?
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Old 12th December 2014, 08:12 PM   #10
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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Guitar speakers are more or less based on 1930's full range radio speakers. That being the case, it's not totally unreasonable that some of them may sound reasonably good playing back music. However, after decades of optimizing and exaggerating various colorations that were originally accidental, it might not be a hifi experience. Ultra-fi, maybe...

It should be pointed out that the super premium guitar speakers sold by JBL and EV, et al, were essentially only slightly modified versions of their hifi woofers, and can be quite good for hifi.
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