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 Post subject: Vinatge speakers
PostPosted: Oct Sun 01, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Sep Sat 23, 2006 8:19 pm
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Some vintage radios have speaker that incorporate tweeters, but most have seperate tweeters. Which arrangement produces better sound?

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PostPosted: Oct Mon 02, 2006 1:25 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Black Hills, SD 57745
That's a lot of variables to accomodate. Co-axial drivers will tend to locate the sound as coming from a single point source.

OTOH, you're stuck with whatever tweeter was used in the original design, but sometimes it's bolted on and could be swapped out.

If we're talking consoles, the crossovers are usually just a capacitor, the baffles are open to the rear, the typical driver quality is middling at best. "Tone" might be altered by capacitors in the amp.

Vintage Hi-Fi speakers were sealed or ported, crossovers of better design and quality, enclosures more solid. Drivers might be of good to excellent quality. Top of the line co-axials were excellent for their day and separate drivers could be as good.

Still, paper cone tweeters are "soft-sounding" compared to a nice dome. Woofer cone excursions were limited, voicecoils were often made of less robust paper, though some did have metal formers, and magnets were usually smaller and weaker than today's versions. Alnico magnets lose strength over the years. Cloth surrounds often leak air, ruining the bass. Old paper gets brittle or overworked, glues fail.

But the drivers were efficient, to make the most of the limited power. To merely substitute a modern speaker might give better sound but no volume.

Once the Advent, Klipsh and other high-end lines came out, multiple separate drivers became the norm, but higher power was often needed to make up for the loss in efficiency.

All other things being equal, a co-axial speaker would have that slight edge of the point-source imaging. But finding exact copies of the drivers in both co-axial and separate configurations would be about impossible. So you'd really be comparing two different speaker systems, and any audible difference due only to driver locations would probably be lost.


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