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What makes Alnico speakers outstanding?
What makes Alnico speakers outstanding?
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Old 23rd January 2018, 12:13 PM   #1
Kay Pirinha is offline Kay Pirinha  Germany
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Default What makes Alnico speakers outstanding?

Hi,
one can observe very easily that speakers rather often are literally praised as "Alnico" speakers. This obviously has to be related to the alloy the magnet has been made from.
As the magnet's only job is to create a strong magnetic field within it's air gap and to interact with the voice coil's own field, I'm wondering whether the same field can't be created by any other magnet of suitable properties, being it e.g. a ferrite, a neodymium one or even a solenoid?
Or has an Alnico created magnetic field got some snake oil properties?
Best regards!
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Old 23rd January 2018, 12:21 PM   #2
talaerts is offline talaerts  Belgium
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I wondered about that. It seems that lowthers with the 3 magnets all sound different. Can it be that the hysteresis curve is different?
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Old 23rd January 2018, 12:33 PM   #3
gabdx is offline gabdx  Canada
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Yes, the energy of magnetization at different electrical fields have a major impact on the sound.

Ferrite has a nice smooth curve like a transformer core, magnetize relatively slowly and demagnetize slowly.

Alnico is more lively but still has some curve. Neodymium is like Alnico on steroids. For an audio signal it would seam the most able to recreate almost any signals.

But don't get it wrong, ferrite speakers can sound as good but different.

The main strength of Alnico vs ferrite is when matched to a SET for some reason the match is perfect, take the same alnico and use a SS, all magic is gone. Take the SET on ferrite speakers, bass is dull. It is very complicated to explain, no one really dived into the thing seriously.
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Old 23rd January 2018, 12:51 PM   #4
Kay Pirinha is offline Kay Pirinha  Germany
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What does hysteresis have to do with a given and constant magnetic field, as it is concerned in (to be more precisely: after) the magnetization process only?
Next question: How are speakers with Alnico magnets discerned from others in case you don't have a datasheet and/or the sheet doesn't specify the magnet's material (which is the case mostly)?
Best regards!
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Old 23rd January 2018, 01:31 PM   #5
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
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A while ago I read an article about the difference between ceramic and AlNiCo magnets, but I can't recall the source. The shape of each type was analyzed in particular. Ceramic (ferrite) magnets are flat discs, AlNiCo magnets are high "pot" shaped. The reason lies in their magnetic properties (B-H curve). Apart from the shape, the color is also characteristic: ferrite is greyish black and smooth, AlNiCo is shiny (often painted grey or whatever) and sometimes has rough outside surface. Due to the shape (flat disc vs. tall cylinder), AlNiCos are in general longer throw. AlNiCo is conductive which is not good. Both are sensitive to shock and heat. This is all I know about them.
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Old 23rd January 2018, 03:29 PM   #6
graaf is offline graaf  Poland
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it's no magic - science:
Putting the Science Back into Loudspeakers

Quote:
Traditional loudspeakers use ferrite magnets for economy. However, ferrite is an insulator and so there is nothing to stop the magnetic field moving within the magnet due to the Newtonian reaction to the coil drive force. In magnetic materials the magnetic field can only move by the motion of domain walls and this is a non-linear process. The result in a conductive magnet is flux modulation and Barkhausen noise. The flux modulation and noise make the transfer function of the transducer non-linear and result in intermodulation.
The author did not initially believe the results of mathematical estimates of the magnitude of the problem, which showed that ferrite magnets cannot reach the 16-bit resolution of CD.
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Old 23rd January 2018, 03:45 PM   #7
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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What makes Alnico speakers outstanding?
There are many levels of Alnico. As always it comes down to execution.

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Old 23rd January 2018, 03:59 PM   #8
pieter t is offline pieter t  Netherlands
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A major difference between Alnico and ceramic / neodymium is that the latters are "permanent", and Alnico looses it's strength over time, apart from it's vulnarability to shock and heath as lcsaszar already mentioned.
These disadvantages of Alnico seem to have some attraction ....
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Old 23rd January 2018, 09:03 PM   #9
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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I have noticed the Alinco speakers have much lighter cones, so maybe there is a speed or quickness
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Old 23rd January 2018, 09:09 PM   #10
globalplayer is offline globalplayer  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter t View Post
A major difference between Alnico and ceramic / neodymium is that the latters are "permanent", and Alnico looses it's strength over time, apart from it's vulnarability to shock and heath as lcsaszar already mentioned.
These disadvantages of Alnico seem to have some attraction ....
I saw 30 year old ceramic magnet speakers whose remaining magnet strength has been maybe a third or fourth of the original value, maybe even less.
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