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NeviSonics

YOUR source for
audio services
and
speaker repair


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Speakers
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Foam Edge Replacement
 Reconing
Cabinet (Box) Tuning





 

 SPEAKER REPAIR and Audio Services - Serving your audio needs since 1989


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         Personalized Service

         Repairs Customized for Your Speaker Brand

 

How Speakers are Designed

 


Exploded diagram of speaker components

 

 

Flat Frequency
All home stereo speakers are designed (ultimately) to have the "flattest" possible frequency response. Flat (in this context) does not mean being off pitch but means linear, like a line drawn with a ruler --- all parts of the frequency spectrum (bass, midrange, and treble) get equal weighting of the sound. Every recording studio in the world has (ultimately) a flat pair of speakers to monitor their recordings on. That way, every album mix should have roughly the same balance of bass and treble. Look at your album (or movie) credits (they so often go unnoticed). Parts of a song may be recorded at one studio and the vocals elsewhere. The final mix may be at an entirely different location (maybe in a different country) and then there is the mastering. If you have a compilation album of different artists (probably bought on one of those TV ads) there may even be a final mastering to get all of the tunes to sound cohesive (in frequency response and volume level). All of these studios need a reference (square one) where they can find the scheme of the "big picture" --- this is a flat frequency response.

Drivers
Speaker design engineers are paid to produce a line of speakers that are flat in response over the frequency range. This is not a process of putting a few speaker components, or drivers, in a pretty box, but of designing the box to complement the ultimate driver(s) for the frequency range. Please read our page on the importance of box tuning. Woofers (the big, low frequency drivers) depend on the cubic footage and "stiffness" of air inside the box to produce their sound while most midrange drivers (and all tweeters) are independent of the box and require different techniques to match the other drivers and produce good sound.

Crossovers
Crossovers are the electrical components hidden inside each speaker cabinet that divide and route the bass, midrange and treble signals to the appropriate drivers. Crossovers are really the heart of the speaker and crossover design separates the "men from the boys" in the speaker world. Although some retail stores sell things that they call "crossover networks" to the "build your own" crowd, these are shunned much as an "off the rack" suit or dress would be shunned by the fashion conscious. Boy, I could write another page (of this one's length) just on the hows and whys of crossover design (but thats not why we're here). Let's just say that, for great sound, each crossover must be "tailored" to its application.

Unless you bought your speakers second hand, you probably went to the stereo store and listened (or A/B tested) many different brands of speakers and picked the one that sounded the best to you. Granted, not everyone has a perfectly "flat" ear, you picked the pair that sounded best to your ear (probably on your favorite album).

The question that I pose is --- now that your speakers need repair, why would you consider second-guessing the engineer of your speaker by replacing the damaged drivers with substandard components?

 

Last updated 12/16/2012

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