Monday, July 9, 2012

Coaxials And Component Speakers- Part I

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Focal 165 KRX2 Component Set
It often seems like subwoofers get most of the attention. However, I have always thought that musically it begins and ends with the fullrange coaxial and component speakers. This is an area in which I definitely do not want to skimp.

Your coaxial and component sets carry eight of the ten audible octaves. That is where you get all of the musical contrast and character. 50 % of all musical fundamentals fall between 200 and 600 hertz, which is the sole domain of the midbass driver in your coaxials/components. Something worth trying is listening to your subwoofer without any contribution from your coaxials/components. So what happened to all the bass tonal construction? The pitch accuracy seems to have disappeared with the coaxial and now the subwoofer sounds soggy and drunk!

Well, that is somewhat normal. For bass to sound musically plausible the subwoofer is largely dependent on the coaxials/components for the upper harmonics, which serve to define the bass. Getting that precise balance correct between the bass fundamentals and harmonics is one of the key elements that separate systems that sound like a collection of speakers versus a system that virtually disappears. In order to have a seamless transition from your fullrange coaxial/components and subwoofer there are a number of critical system design and installation execution considerations.

While most coaxials/components are infinite baffle, you still need to have an acoustically isolated baffle. You need a rigid and non-resonant baffle. Extra care needs to be taken to minimize the impact of the vehicle, especially the little acoustic problems in the immediate proximity of the speaker. All too often the fullrange speakers are treated as if they are totally self-sufficient. That couldn’t be more wrong.

Sound is highly subjective. It’s an individual preference. That is particularly true when it comes to fullrange coaxials/components. Many subscribe to a more aggressive hard shell tweeter sound, which lends a distinctive quality to some music, while others subscribe to a more damped and neutral sounding soft dome tweeter. Make sure you get to compare the speaker differences in a good sound room that gives every speaker the best opportunity to sound its best.

Earmark Car Audio

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