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Latest jobs Retrieving latest jobs. A "shorting ring", or Faraday loop , may be included as a thin copper cap fitted over the pole tip or as a heavy ring situated within the magnet-pole cavity. The benefits of this complication is reduced impedance at high frequencies, providing extended treble output, reduced harmonic distortion, and a reduction in the inductance modulation that typically accompanies large voice coil excursions.
On the other hand, the copper cap requires a wider voice-coil gap, with increased magnetic reluctance; this reduces available flux, requiring a larger magnet for equivalent performance. Driver design—including the particular way two or more drivers are combined in an enclosure to make a speaker system—is both an art, involving subjective perceptions of timbre and sound quality and a science, involving measurements and experiments.
A few of the issues speaker and driver designers must confront are distortion, radiation lobing, phase effects, off-axis response, and crossover artifacts. Designers can use an anechoic chamber to ensure the speaker can be measured independently of room effects, or any of several electronic techniques that, to some extent, substitute for such chambers. Some developers eschew anechoic chambers in favor of specific standardized room setups intended to simulate real-life listening conditions. Fabrication of finished loudspeaker systems has become segmented, depending largely on price, shipping costs, and weight limitations.
Individual electrodynamic drivers provide their best performance within a limited frequency range. The three most commonly used sound radiation systems are the cone, dome and horn type drivers. A full-range driver is a speaker designed to be used alone to reproduce an audio channel without the help of other drivers, and therefore must cover the entire audio frequency range. These drivers are small, typically 3 to 8 inches 7. Full-range or more accurately, wide-range drivers are most commonly heard in public address systems, in televisions although some models are suitable for hi-fi listening , small radios, intercoms, some computer speakers , etc.
In hi-fi speaker systems, the use of wide-range drive units can avoid undesirable interactions between multiple drivers caused by non-coincident driver location or crossover network issues. Fans of wide-range driver hi-fi speaker systems claim a coherence of sound due to the single source and a resulting lack of interference, and likely also to the lack of crossover components. Detractors typically cite wide-range drivers' limited frequency response and modest output abilities most especially at low frequencies , together with their requirement for large, elaborate, expensive enclosures—such as transmission lines, quarter wave resonators or horns—to approach optimum performance.
With the advent of neodymium drivers, low-cost quarter-wave transmission lines are made possible and are increasingly made availably commercially. Full-range drivers often employ an additional cone called a whizzer: The whizzer cone extends the high-frequency response of the driver and broadens its high frequency directivity, which would otherwise be greatly narrowed due to the outer diameter cone material failing to keep up with the central voice coil at higher frequencies.
The main cone in a whizzer design is manufactured so as to flex more in the outer diameter than in the center. The result is that the main cone delivers low frequencies and the whizzer cone contributes most of the higher frequencies. Since the whizzer cone is smaller than the main diaphragm, output dispersion at high frequencies is improved relative to an equivalent single larger diaphragm. Limited-range drivers, also used alone, are typically found in computers, toys, and clock radios.
These drivers are less elaborate and less expensive than wide-range drivers, and they may be severely compromised to fit into very small mounting locations. In these applications, sound quality is a low priority. The human ear is remarkably tolerant of poor sound quality, and the distortion inherent in limited-range drivers may enhance their output at high frequencies, increasing clarity when listening to spoken word material. A subwoofer is a woofer driver used only for the lowest-pitched part of the audio spectrum: Since sound in this frequency range can easily bend around corners by diffraction , the speaker aperture does not have to face the audience, and subwoofers can be mounted in the bottom of the enclosure, facing the floor.
This is eased by the limitations of human hearing at low frequencies; such sounds cannot be located in space, due to their large wavelengths compared to higher frequencies which produce differential effects in the ears due to shadowing by the head, and diffraction around it, both of which we rely upon for localization clues.
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To accurately reproduce very low bass notes without unwanted resonances typically from cabinet panels , subwoofer systems must be solidly constructed and properly braced to avoid unwanted sounds of cabinet vibrations. As a result, good subwoofers are typically quite heavy. Many subwoofer systems include integrated power amplifiers and electronic subsonic sub -filters, with additional controls relevant to low-frequency reproduction e.
These variants are known as "active" or "powered" subwoofers, with the former including a power amplifier. In typical installations, subwoofers are physically separated from the rest of the speaker cabinets. Because of propagation delay, their output may be somewhat out of phase from another subwoofer on another channel or slightly out of phase with the rest of the sound.
Consequently, a subwoofer's power amp often has a phase-delay adjustment approximately 1 ms of delay is required for each additional foot of separation from the listener which may improve performance of the system as a whole at subwoofer frequencies and perhaps an octave or so above the crossover point. However, the influence of room resonances sometimes called standing waves is typically so large that such issues are secondary in practice.
Subwoofers are widely used in large concert and mid-sized venue sound reinforcement systems. Subwoofer cabinets are often built with a bass reflex port i. A woofer is a driver that reproduces low frequencies. The driver works with the characteristics of the enclosure to produce suitable low frequencies see speaker enclosure for some of the design choices available. Indeed, both are so closely connected that they must be considered together in use.
Only at design time do the separate properties of enclosure and woofer matter individually. Some loudspeaker systems use a woofer for the lowest frequencies, sometimes well enough that a subwoofer is not needed.
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Additionally, some loudspeakers use the woofer to handle middle frequencies, eliminating the mid-range driver. This can be accomplished with the selection of a tweeter that can work low enough that, combined with a woofer that responds high enough, the two drivers add coherently in the middle frequencies. Mid-range driver diaphragms can be made of paper or composite materials, and can be direct radiation drivers rather like smaller woofers or they can be compression drivers rather like some tweeter designs. If the mid-range driver is a direct radiator, it can be mounted on the front baffle of a loudspeaker enclosure, or, if a compression driver, mounted at the throat of a horn for added output level and control of radiation pattern.
A tweeter is a high-frequency driver that reproduces the highest frequencies in a speaker system. A major problem in tweeter design is achieving wide angular sound coverage off-axis response , since high frequency sound tends to leave the speaker in narrow beams. Soft-dome tweeters are widely found in home stereo systems, and horn-loaded compression drivers are common in professional sound reinforcement. Ribbon tweeters have gained popularity in recent years, as the output power of some designs has been increased to levels useful for professional sound reinforcement, and their output pattern is wide in the horizontal plane, a pattern that has convenient applications in concert sound.
A coaxial driver is a loudspeaker driver with two or several combined concentric drivers. Used in multi-driver speaker systems , the crossover is an assembly of filters that separate the input signal into different frequency ranges i. Hence the drivers receive power only at their operating frequency the sound frequency range they were designed for , thereby reducing distortion in the drivers and interference between them.
The ideal characteristics of a crossover may include perfect out-of-band attenuation at the output of each filter, no amplitude variation "ripple" within each passband, no phase delay between overlapping frequency bands, to name just a few. Crossovers can be passive or active.
A passive crossover is an electronic circuit that uses a combination of one or more resistors , inductors, or non-polar capacitors. These components are combined to form a filter network and are most often placed between the full frequency-range power amplifier and the loudspeaker drivers to divide the amplifier's signal into the necessary frequency bands before being delivered to the individual drivers.
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Passive crossover circuits need no external power beyond the audio signal itself, but have some disadvantages: Unlike active crossovers which include a built-in amplifier, passive crossovers have an inherent attenuation within the passband, typically leading to a reduction in damping factor before the voice coil  An active crossover is an electronic filter circuit that divides the signal into individual frequency bands before power amplification, thus requiring at least one power amplifier for each bandpass.
Any technique that uses crossover filtering followed by amplification is commonly known as bi-amping, tri-amping, quad-amping, and so on, depending on the minimum number of amplifier channels. Some loudspeaker designs use a combination of passive and active crossover filtering, such as a passive crossover between the mid- and high-frequency drivers and an active crossover between the low-frequency driver and the combined mid- and high frequencies. Passive crossovers are commonly installed inside speaker boxes and are by far the most usual type of crossover for home and low-power use.
In car audio systems, passive crossovers may be in a separate box, necessary to accommodate the size of the components used. Passive crossovers can also be designed to compensate for undesired characteristics of driver, horn, or enclosure resonances,  and can be tricky to implement, due to component interaction. The changes are matters of concern for many in the hi-fi world. Active crossovers may be simple circuits that emulate the response of a passive network, or may be more complex, allowing extensive audio adjustments.
Some active crossovers, usually digital loudspeaker management systems, may include electronics and controls for precise alignment of phase and time between frequency bands, equalization, dynamic range compression and limiting control.
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Most loudspeaker systems consist of drivers mounted in an enclosure , or cabinet. The role of the enclosure is to prevent sound waves emanating from the back of a driver from interfering destructively with those from the front. The simplest driver mount is a flat panel i. However, in this approach, sound frequencies with a wavelength longer than the baffle dimensions are canceled out, because the antiphase radiation from the rear of the cone interferes with the radiation from the front.
With an infinitely large panel, this interference could be entirely prevented. A sufficiently large sealed box can approach this behavior. Since panels of infinite dimensions are impossible, most enclosures function by containing the rear radiation from the moving diaphragm. A sealed enclosure prevents transmission of the sound emitted from the rear of the loudspeaker by confining the sound in a rigid and airtight box. Techniques used to reduce transmission of sound through the walls of the cabinet include thicker cabinet walls, lossy wall material, internal bracing, curved cabinet walls—or more rarely, visco-elastic materials e.
However, a rigid enclosure reflects sound internally, which can then be transmitted back through the loudspeaker diaphragm—again resulting in degradation of sound quality. This can be reduced by internal absorption using absorptive materials often called "damping" , such as glass wool , wool, or synthetic fiber batting, within the enclosure. The internal shape of the enclosure can also be designed to reduce this by reflecting sounds away from the loudspeaker diaphragm, where they may then be absorbed. Other enclosure types alter the rear sound radiation so it can add constructively to the output from the front of the cone.
Designs that do this including bass reflex , passive radiator , transmission line , etc. To make the transition between drivers as seamless as possible, system designers have attempted to time-align or phase adjust the drivers by moving one or more driver mounting locations forward or back so that the acoustic center of each driver is in the same vertical plane.
This may also involve tilting the face speaker back, providing a separate enclosure mounting for each driver, or less commonly using electronic techniques to achieve the same effect. These attempts have resulted in some unusual cabinet designs. The speaker mounting scheme including cabinets can also cause diffraction , resulting in peaks and dips in the frequency response.
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The problem is usually greatest at higher frequencies, where wavelengths are similar to, or smaller than, cabinet dimensions.