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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Is vibration bad or good
Is vibration bad or good
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Old 7th November 2019, 10:14 PM   #1
lorenzoS is offline lorenzoS
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: England
Default Is vibration bad or good

Dear members, I am new. I think it is a bad idea to join this forum at a time in my life when I'm low on cash. Anyway. I have a burning question.

I have recently finished my first ever set of speakers. They are a two-way bookshelf stereo set of about 3.5L from memory with 5" woofers and first-order crossovers with cutoff at 6kHz. Wall material is 18mm MDF. I acoustically stuffed with nontraditional layers of hessian sackcloth. They work. I'm pleased.

I am not really an audiophile (I'm an electronic engineer (well now communications but...)coming at this from an electronics hobby perspective rather than as a Hi-Fi aficionado or music lover). This means I'm finding it hard to evaluate my speakers perceptively. I tried a simple sine tone test. I was pleased to find my laptop speakers wont produce sound below 150 Hz whereas my homebrew speakers were still audible at 70 Hz. I also compared them to a libratone too, my previous home audio solution. That was also audible at 70 Hz but quieter. However, the libratone was much more vibrate-y. The floor could be felt to shake. It also had I want to say more "echo-y" colourful sound. I think I prefer this sound slightly, and it solidified an idea in my head that the homebrew speakers sounded a bit "dead". Indeed there is no vibration even when I put my hand on the things apart from the cones. Violin sounds great, enya sounds cool, some other songs I like less, especially most electronic or pop songs.

My question is, in theory, is room shaking bass good or bad? Is vibration good or bad? And also what variables affect how much vibration is produced?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 7th November 2019, 10:25 PM   #2
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Speaker cabinet vibrations are always bad, and all the sound should be from the drivers.
Bass should only be present if it is in the source recording, though most commercial speakers
are tuned otherwise.

Last edited by rayma; 7th November 2019 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 7th November 2019, 10:42 PM   #3
Johno is offline Johno  Australia
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Is vibration bad or good
Hi LorenzoS welcome to the club. I suspect most of us here are retired and therefore cash flow negative or neutral, but ultimately, a hobby is good for mind, body and perhaps soul.

I live in a place where live music performance is very strong - choirs, opera, ballet, brass bands and a magnificent old pipe organ - and where vibration producing bass is always part of the experience. So vibration and bass at a reasonable level is good.
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Old 7th November 2019, 10:47 PM   #4
Galu is online now Galu  Scotland
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There is a school of thought that a loudspeaker cabinet should be designed to be as light and thin as possible.

It is claimed that the more solid and heavily damped a cabinet, the more energy it stores, the slower energy is released and the more sluggish and leaden the speaker sounds.

Having a light and thin-walled cabinet, it is suggested, allows any stored energy to be dissipated quickly.

One would think that light, undamped cabinet panels would vibrate, but could this be essential to convert stored energy into heat and provide the rapid energy dissipation mechanism suggested above?
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:02 PM   #5
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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If it vibrated equally at all frequencies it wouldn't be much of an issue
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:05 PM   #6
fatmarley is offline fatmarley  England
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If some music sounds good but other stuff not so good then you most likely have a wonky frequency response. Best thing you could do is buy a measurement microphone.
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:06 PM   #7
MAAC0 is offline MAAC0  Portugal
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Let me put this way. You are watching a movie on TV. Do You like explosions or Thunder ? Do want to feel it ? Yes ! Your walls and floor and even You couch must vibrate.
Now consider listening to a violin or even Enya's voice. She's singing that high frequency tone and You hear the cabinets and not the drivers. That's bad of course. What i want to say is, there should be always vibration but in a controlled way. There is no perfect world nor perfect speakers. The best speakers are the ones You like.
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Old 8th November 2019, 12:54 AM   #8
system7 is offline system7  United Kingdom
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A libratone speaker seems to be a wifi boombox of small size.

These gadgets use tremendous electronic bass boost to produce that illusion of deep bass. It doesn't really convince since you can't beat the laws of physics with small drivers. The bass output is probably a highly boosted 120Hz lump!

Your own project at 3.5L and 5" driver is not going to rattle the floorboards either!

No replacement for displacement with bass:

Even something 8" 25L closed box like this is only right for a smallish 4metre square living room:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

You have built a bedroom speaker....

Tricks can be employed, like reflex loading to get another octave, or a bit of bass boost from a bigger bafflestep coil. but really I wouldn't expect anything much from less than 8L:

Peerless HDS PPB 830860

Even that won't go loud. The 5" driver will run out of excursion quite quickly. And distort.
"Per ardua, ad astra." Best Regards from Steve in Portsmouth, UK.
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Old 8th November 2019, 02:11 AM   #9
Tweet is offline Tweet  Australia
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Because you are new to most of this can I direct you to a site that may give you a leg up on loudspeaker design. It is somewhat elementry for the more seasoned DIY'ers of many years but will introduce you to the complexity of loudspeaker design. The presenter is not pretentious in any way and is down to earth in his videos.

Worth a look.


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Old 8th November 2019, 11:18 AM   #10
lorenzoS is offline lorenzoS
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Location: England
@System7, always good to hear from a Portsmouth man. When you say a 120 Hz 'lump', this means you suspect they have an active base boost circuit which just massively amplifies the 120Hz band in question? Is it really bad to use such tone controls to compensate from less than flat frequency response, if yes, why?
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