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Oppressively large speakers

Discussion in 'audio' started by Brian S, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Brian S

    Brian S pfm Member

    If you have the cash, is it possible to achieve the sound qualities of larger cabinets with smaller ones?
  2. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Isobariks achieve the bass response of a very large speaker in the cabinet of a merely large speaker.

    And dsp can allow you to flatten and extend the response of a smaller speaker at the expense of maximum volume.

    So yes there’s compromises to be balanced.
  3. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    I’ve recently discovered that transmission line floorstanders with standard sized drivers provide deeper bass than monster size drivers. It’s been a very pleasant discovery.
  4. geoturbo

    geoturbo pfm Member

    I'd consider a high quality monitor solution + independent subwoofers (up to four of them).
  5. Fatmarley

    Fatmarley Agnostic

    Large drivers produce an authority in the midrange that smaller drivers can't.

    Small transmission lines can sound surprisingly large. I was quite impressed with some little IPL acoustics I heard (only a 4" to 5" driver).
    Brian S likes this.
  6. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    It's not just - or even primarily - about bass. Good large drive units in the right cabinet and room just have a believability, even at lower volumes, pretty much regardless of what you play, that smaller speakers simply can't match.
    MikeMA, ThELiZ, Rockmeister and 2 others like this.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Indeed. Its about scale and dynamics. I love small speakers in the extreme near-field, i.e. used well within their dynamic envelope. That is their context. To fill a room and enjoy natural dynamic range, even at low volume, you need big drivers, and they usually come in a big cabinet. Large drivers and big cabs also tend to bring far more efficiency, which opens the door to better amps too as you now only need to buy quality, not arc-welding power.
    MikeMA, Nytechy, Timcat and 3 others like this.
  8. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Yes, provided you’re not talking about very small monitors, I think so, for some types of music, with the right amp, not at low volumes, and if the speakers are set up well in the room. I remember that Krell KSA 50 with Spendor SP1 gave an imposing, spacious, realistic image with great authority and balance

    It isn’t only a question of bass, it’s a question of dynamic contrasts and the sense of sound filling the space between the listener and speaker.

    Another avenue to explore is stacking small speakers. I know someone who says he gets very good results like that from a pair of stacked JR 149s
  9. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke pfm Member

    Not without compromise elsewhere. Either in speaker/cab design or the design of the transducer itself. Drivers can be built to work in smaller volumes but also not without a change to ts parameters or compromise elsewhere
  10. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    Within limits yes since you still need to displace the same amount of air to achieve the same SPL at low frequencies which tends to determine the speaker size. The price is that drivers for smaller cabinets tend to be less efficient and require more power. Raising the cone displacement for a given cone size tends to increase the level of distortion created. This can be addressed to a fair extent with motional feedback which might make a bit of a comeback beyond subs when more audiophile speakers are active rather than passive. We will see.
  11. mega lord

    mega lord Centre tapped

    In my limited experience there is no replacement for displacement ie 12" driver or more. There is such an ease and texture to the music which a 6.5" mid bass even in a transmission line can not equal. Especially true at low volume I find.
  12. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Will you lads stop it please, I love my small Spendor’s but all this talk of large drives has got me thinking......
  13. Brian S

    Brian S pfm Member

    I am listening to my 3/5 Spendors, near field and utterly satisfying with Mozart quintets: as were my Audio Note Js with Haydn quartets this morning.
    PhilofCas likes this.
  14. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    The most convincing approximation to having a live jazz quartet in the house that I'v heard was at a party next door many years ago when our neighbours had a "significant" birthday and used their 1970s era Leak turntable and similar quality Japanese amplifier driving refrigerator sized home made enclosures housing Tannoy 15" Monitor Golds.

    It was a big house, but wherever you went in the house you couldn't escape the feeling that it was a live quartet playing in the living room!
    Dirkster likes this.
  15. Brian S

    Brian S pfm Member

    That does sound amazing. My problem is more visual - the Tannoys wouldn't do. Could I acheive the quality of sound I get from my Audio Notes without going too near field, with something nearer the size of my 3/5s, if I spent six thousand quid instead of the near three thousand the Audio Notes cost. After thirty years, and lock down, I am finding the size of the Audio Notes rather oppresive in a small house. The question is hypothetical. I had to remortgage to buy the Audio Notes.
  16. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    What might one mean by 'oppressively-large' ..?

    The november evening I lugged the Quad 989s upstairs into place, snapped just after a 15hr / 480mile round-trip to collect, a couple of years ago; the little boxes are Impulse H2s....hmm. Tycho Magnetic Anomalies 1-4 it seemed.


    (yes , I still have both pairs, favouring the Quads: and there is a few-days after pic ...)

    PS ptooi, to you 'little boxers'.
  17. mondie

    mondie pfm Member

    Assuming you are talking about full-range systems with minimal compromise, yes it is. My new speakers are 1400mm high and run 15" and 2 x 12" drivers per side in a very innovative cabinet design making use of cavity loading (isobaric bass). I was particularly drawn to the design because it is a true full range hybrid horn system in a reasonably sized cabinet that sounds utterly sensational.

    If you are asking if it is possible to achieve the sound of large cones from small cones if you spend more ££ then no, you can't defy the laws of physics. I completely agree with the other posters above in regards to the magic of large cones.
    mega lord and Brian S like this.
  18. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    I’m sure the 989s sound wonderful but boy do they look big!
    Fatmarley likes this.
  19. Brian S

    Brian S pfm Member

    I am not out of sympathy with your position. But I suspect you have another room. My other room doesn't have 'fridge size Tannoys' in it, but a fridge sized fridge.
  20. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    Brian S likes this.

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