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Speakers and Bass Frequencies

HAROLDYOUNG

Jul 15, 2023
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Researching about bass reproduction in stereo or music speakers, it used to be that 15 inch diameter speakers or even
18 inch in big enclosures with tuned ports were required to get the best bass response. Now modern small combinations
of speakers even down to 4 or 5 inches are used to get similar bass output. Anyone know how that works?
 

Alec_t

Jul 7, 2015
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I don't know, but I'd surmise that the coil suspension has been changed to allow greater throw. The small and large speakers may have similar bass power outputs, but have you seen any figures for the relative harmonic distortion levels?
 

bertus

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Nov 8, 2019
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Hello,

A lot of informarion on loudspeakers can be found on ESP:

Bertus
 

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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Now modern small combinations
of speakers even down to 4 or 5 inches are used to get similar bass output.
Not similar, especially for volume levels.

More air has to be moved for a given volume level, as the sound frequency goes down.
That's why tweeters are the smallest, and midrange and bass speakers are larger.
Thus bass speakers are required to move the most air to give high volume levels at the lowest frequencies, so they are large speakers with a large cone movement.
A 4 or 5 inch speaker can theoretically be designed to go down to low bass frequencies, but it cannot be practically designed with sufficient cone excursion to move enough air that gives high bass sound levels without significant distortion.
So large speakers are still used in most subwoofers for that purpose.

Some smaller, ported bass sub-woofers, such as some that Bose sells, appear to have a high output, but they consist of a tuned chamber which has a resonant peak in the low frequency response to boost the apparent output, but don't reproduce all the bass frequencies accurately.

I have a very good, sealed cabinet subwoofer for my TV sound system, that has no ports giving no frequency peaking and good transient response.
It has a 12" high-excursion speaker that shakes the walls (and my chair) with loud special effect's movie sounds, such as explosions, with no audible distortion (some of the sounds I feel more that hear).
A 4 or 5 inch speaker would never be able to do that.

Of course, if you don't use the system for TV/movie sound, and only listen to low level music (not loud rock), than a small woofer may perform adequately for you.
 

HAROLDYOUNG

Jul 15, 2023
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Not similar, especially for volume levels.

More air has to be moved for a given volume level, as the sound frequency goes down.
That's why tweeters are the smallest, and midrange and bass speakers are larger.
Thus bass speakers are required to move the most air to give high volume levels at the lowest frequencies, so they are large speakers with a large cone movement.
A 4 or 5 inch speaker can theoretically be designed to go down to low bass frequencies, but it cannot be practically designed with sufficient cone excursion to move enough air that gives high bass sound levels without significant distortion.
So large speakers are still used in most subwoofers for that purpose.

Some smaller, ported bass sub-woofers, such as some that Bose sells, appear to have a high output, but they consist of a tuned chamber which has a resonant peak in the low frequency response to boost the apparent output, but don't reproduce all the bass frequencies accurately.

I have a very good, sealed cabinet subwoofer for my TV sound system, that has no ports giving no frequency peaking and good transient response.
It has a 12" high-excursion speaker that shakes the walls (and my chair) with loud special effect's movie sounds, such as explosions, with no audible distortion (some of the sounds I feel more that hear).
A 4 or 5 inch speaker would never be able to do that.

Of course, if you don't use the system for TV/movie sound, and only listen to low level music (not loud rock), than a small woofer may perform adequately for you.
The Bose is one I was thinking of in that very small cabinet. However there are multiple 5" speaker arrangements (and cabinets) that go down to 30 Hz.
 
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Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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Well I'm no audiophile or audioholic but if I was I would say that small speakers cannot reproduce high-quality bass sound because of
the light mass of the speaker unit, size constraints.
But you got to get past that!
Now we're talking the physics of human perception, which is the key.
Frequencies of 18-20,000Hz that a normal human can hear.
Frequencies are created by the fluctuation of air pressure caused by the movement or vibration of a
given object.Slower vibrations have lower frequencies and faster vibrations have higher frequencies
When an object vibrates, it creates mechanical kinetic energy.
This energy gets transferred to the air particles surrounding the object, creating acoustical kinetic energy.
This creates air pressure variations, which is what people hear through.
In music, the source of kinetic energy can be from electrical signals produced by instruments and song files.
This energy transforms to mechanical kinetic energy by means of a speaker,which then transforms to acoustical kinetic energy.
of speakers even down to 4 or 5 inches are used to get similar bass output. Anyone know how that works?
Why stop there you see you got to think outside the box or outside the speaker box.
DSP in this case audio encoding.
You ever heard of MPEG, Dolby AC-3 Audio encoding techniques?
Increasing the sound energy in the bass signal range is an unviable solution since the gain required
are exceedingly high and signal distortion occurs because of speaker overload.
low frequency illusion using psychoacoustic phenomena of the missing fundamental.Wich is a simple and effective signal processing method to create bass signal illusion using the missing fundamental effect.
Pitch is very subjective and is a psychophysical quantity.
For a pure tone the fundamental frequency corresponds to the frequency of the tone. The pitch is very distinctive or unambiguous
When can identify the pitch of that frequency with a pure tone.
A pitch that is produced by a set of frequency components rather than by a single frequency is called a Residue.
fundamental frequency is missing
yet will still be perceived as a residue pitch,which in this case is also called virtual pitch.
The psychoacoustic phenomenon responsible for this effect is the
"Missing Fundamental" effect, that is the pitch perception of a set of harmonics is that of the fundamental frequency.
Alternatively if we can produce
the harmonics we can perceive the fundamental frequency.
This phenomenon is used to improve the Bass frequency perception.
If we can produce harmonics for each frequency in the Bass frequency we can perceive the Bass signal psychoacoustically.
We are tricking the brain.
Electronics taught me that!
 

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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However there are multiple 5" speaker arrangements (and cabinets) that go down to 30 Hz.
Yes, can use multiple small speakers to get the combined needed low frequency air movement.
But how is that an advantage over one larger speaker?
 

HAROLDYOUNG

Jul 15, 2023
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Yes, can use multiple small speakers to get the combined needed low frequency air movement.
But how is that an advantage over one larger speaker?
Yes, can use multiple small speakers to get the combined needed low frequency air movement.

That is the answer to my original question, I suppose. So the answer (according to you) is that multiple small speakers can do the same
as one large speaker.
 

crutschow

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Yes, can use multiple small speakers to get the combined needed low frequency air movement.

That is the answer to my original question, I suppose. So the answer (according to you) is that multiple small speakers can do the same
as one large speaker.
In theory yes, but they would need to be designed to have the same low frequency response as a large speaker, which is not a trivial requirement.
 

danadak

Feb 19, 2021
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Is there a Bose forum where you can post this question ? Just a thought, and link the
dialog back to MakerPro.....

Then I see this :

1691923066328.png

Then I see this and wonder if anything is linear there, and one person to the next, for the
same source.......its all a vacuum tube versus solid state imaginary.....

1691923207131.png

And then I conclude some songs I like, some I dont, and there is no valhalla to be found.
What sounds good to you is good. Fortunately we do not have to discuss the non linearities
and environmental factors in the source creation.......we will just ignore those factors for the
sake of sanity....

Kind of like buying a muscle car to only ever see commute traffic jam speeds......if it feels good
all is well, you have found valhalla....:) just dont bother to look at shift RPM.


Regards, Dana.
 
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crutschow

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Then I see this and wonder if anything is linear there, and one person to the next, for the
same source.......its all a vacuum tube versus solid state imaginary.....

Sorry, but I have no idea what point you are trying to make(?).
I see nothing that is related to whether it is a tube or solid-state amp.
Of course the ear is not linear, but the speaker output should be linear, since it's purpose is to reproduce the original sounds/music as faithfully as possible.

And I certainly don't see the connection to muscle cars. :rolleyes:

So how is any of this pertinent to the discussion here about the size of a woofer speaker?
 

danadak

Feb 19, 2021
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Re-inforcing Delta Primes comments on its all an illusion, the pursuit of live audio
reproduction. To wit his excellent statement fragment

"low frequency illusion using psychoacoustic phenomena"

Or Harold Youngs statements on continuing evolution of that which, after all, can
only be achieved by going to the audio event in person. But then then the non linear ear
sensors corrupt whats being generated....its all an illusion.

Thats what Detroits selling muscle cars and off the road vehicles to people trapped in
commute jams most of their life is, an illusion. Or helping the tube nuts course correct
that which they never had.... Although I have witnessed many lauding the sound as
"warm", which does not pass the "faithful reproduction" quest, in fact thats an agent
of corruption.

We all just have to enjoy that which pleases us, not that which was generated because
it can never be acquired / reproduced, even by the artists going from one venue to another.


Regards, Dana.
 

AnalogKid

Jun 10, 2015
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the non linear ear sensors corrupt whats being generated...

By that definition, the 85% of the world's population that is not at least partially color-blind is in fact color-blind.

You are confusing a normally-functioning sensor that has both normal and abnormal ranges of response with the response of a theoretically perfect sensor that does not exist. Human hearing, when not over-driven, does not distort music because of its response curves, because the music was composed (designed) within the response curve of human hearing. This is very much like negative feedback correcting distortion introduced by a non-perfect opamp.

ak
 

danadak

Feb 19, 2021
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Human ear produces tones when none existed in source, even if not overdriven, the "missing fundamental" :



Regards, Dana.
 

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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the non linear ear
sensors corrupt whats being generated....its all an illusion.
Just because the error is non-linear doesn't mean what we hear is corrupt.
By that definition of illusion, the obviously every thing we sense is a corrupt illusion, since all our sensors are non-linear.
But I don't see how that is pertinent to the reproduction of accurate sound(?).
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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In a population raised in current music technology, above age 8 only around 1% can "hear" over that entire range
Conforming to well established rules canonically quoted as 20 Hz to 20 kHz, I mentioned 18 Hertz to 20 kilo hertz.(I am 1% of the population) therefore the frequency response across the audible spectrum is probably that characteristic most familiar to laymen, hobbyist ,as well as being that which has been most thoroughly studied by those who build careers and make their living studying such things( like me).:)
 

Delta Prime

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Just because the error is non-linear doesn't mean what we hear is corrupt.
By that definition of illusion, the obviously every thing we sense is a corrupt illusion, since all our sensors are non-linear.
But I don't see how that is pertinent to the reproduction of accurate sound(?)
Knowing how we hear, as well as understanding the limits that define our auditory mechanism, is essential when rendering subjective judgments on the performance of any piece of audio hardware that makes this discussion pertinent.
The thread starter while researching encountered speakers that were 4 to 5 in. diameter. (like I said. "Why stop there" ).
getting smaller and smaller how small can you go?How about this...(earbuds)....bud. :)
 

HAROLDYOUNG

Jul 15, 2023
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Knowing how we hear, as well as understanding the limits that define our auditory mechanism, is essential when rendering subjective judgments on the performance of any piece of audio hardware that makes this discussion pertinent.
The thread starter while researching encountered speakers that were 4 to 5 in. diameter. (like I said. "Why stop there" ).
getting smaller and smaller how small can you go?How about this...(earbuds)....bud. :)
Earbuds are irrelevant to this topic as well as headphones because they are inserted directly (or intimately adjacent to) the internal components of the human ear, almost incorporated into the organic ear mechanism. "Speakers" on the other hand, are outside the human ear mechanism and are pushing and puling external air in the atmospheric space outside of the ear, causing a change in air pressure of the air in the room a person is standing or sitting in, even vibrating (with bass) the entire human physical body. So earbuds don't count in the "small speaker conversation" as described here by the OP (ME), although they are related because of the frequencies sensed approx
20 to 20,000 Hz with a young person who has excellent hearing ability or a lesser range usually for older people.
Talking about "small speakers" here not earbuds.....bud (or headphones).
 
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