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Help me and others understand the # of drivers, size of drivers and sound level and quality

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A very basic question here but one that I think would be immensely help to understand.

 

One speaker has say 1 8" driver and a tweeter.

Another has 2, 3 or 4 8" drivers and a tweeter.

 

Why?

 

When you decide what to purchase for a particular purpose, how do you decide what size drivers to purchase.  An example say is the Klipsch RP series....you can get the 250, 260 or 280 series.  How and why would you choose between them?  

 

Yes it's a newbie question.  

 

Thanks in advance for any information shared. 

 

Respectfully, 

RK

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Bigger = Better :lol:

 

I personally have always preferred at least 8" drivers.  Larger drivers provide better bass and mid-bass.  Not sure how much midrange is effected by larger drivers.  Typically the larger the woofer, the larger the tweeter will be which in turn equates to a larger and wider overall sound.

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My personal rule is 5" driver minimum in a bookshelf speaker and 6" minimum in floorstanding speaker.

So for the RP series, I wouldn't go smaller than the RP-260f.

The bigger drivers come in a bigger cabinet and, usually, a bigger horn.

This means that the speaker will play louder with less power and the bass will go deeper.

One common misconception is that you get "more bass" with bigger drivers, but in my experience, most all Klipsch models are well balanced. You usually just end up getting more "volume" and "deeper" bass.

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When you decide what to purchase for a particular purpose, how do you decide what size drivers to purchase.

While some people fall prey to aesthetics I much prefer the logical approach....starting foremost with SPL requirements at the listening position be that in the garage, behind a desk, on the sofa in the living room, or 60 feet out into a large crowd.

 

Without establishing a realistic number, you essentially have no target to begin with.

Edited by Quiet_Hollow

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Without establishing a realistic number, you essentially have no target to begin with.

 

What if your target is "Which ones look the coolest?"  :lol:

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One common misconception is that you get "more bass" with bigger drivers, but in my experience, most all Klipsch models are well balanced.

 

You sure about that?  RF-3 hits as hard as RF-7's?  RSW12 vs RSW15?  I've owned all 4 of those speakers and can attest to hearing more bass with the larger woofers.  That's mere physics.  Larger woofers move more air.

 

My RF-83's had 8" woofers vs 10" woofers in the RF7 and RF7ii.  They were equal in bass but they are close in surface area too (3) 8" woofers vs (2) 10" woofers.

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One common misconception is that you get "more bass" with bigger drivers, but in my experience, most all Klipsch models are well balanced.

You sure about that? RF-3 hits as hard as RF-7's? RSW12 vs RSW15? I've owned all 4 of those speakers and can attest to hearing more bass with the larger woofers. That's mere physics. Larger woofers move more air.

My RF-83's had 8" woofers vs 10" woofers in the RF7 and RF7ii. They were equal in bass but they are close in surface area too (3) 8" woofers vs (2) 10" woofers.

Yes, I am sure. I think what you're referring to is higher overall volume as the mids and highs also increase proportionally. I'm taking about tonal balance.

What I'm saying is that bigger woofers doesn't mean you get a "bassier" speaker.

In my experience, the RF-35s I had were much more bass-heavy speakers than my RF-7s. Even the KG 4.2 had more relative bass than either the RF-7 or RF-35.

Bigger woofers does not mean more bass. It's all about the individual model's balance.

And the main reason I bring this up is because I started with larger models and assumed that smaller models would sound very lean and have very little bass.

I was wrong. Speakers as small as RF-10 and RB-15 surprised me with the fact that they were still tonally balanced and put out just as much bass as they did mids and highs.

The things that are sacrificed with smaller speakers are overall volume/impact and deep bass extension. Not bass balance.

If somebody were to ask me for a Klipsch speaker with "lots of bass", I'd point them toward KG 5.5 or CF-4 and away from KLF-30 or RF-7. Although these models share similar size woofers, they have very different tonal balancing.

Edited by mattSER

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Not trying to be difficult... I'm still not following your logic. The RF42ii that I purchased for my neighbor didn't have anywhere near as much bass as my RF7ii.

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Ok now I see what you are saying. I'm talking about volume of bass, not how much bass vs midrange and high frequencies.

My B&W DM604 S3 were bass heavy...meaning there was more bass than treble (slightly unbalanced)

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What if your target is "Which ones look the coolest?" :lol:

That certainly is a factor, but historically I've found that if I  can physically "see" a driver, then it usually doesn't sound as well as when I can't. Not always, but usually.

 

Over the years, I've grown accustomed to shy away from large piles of drivers. :emotion-50: I buy for the sound first and the looks last... but that's just me.

 

You can see in my profile picture that my HT won't win any homemaker awards anytime soon, but I can guarantee you that it doesn't sound like any other system out there either....even in comparison to other La Scala-based systems.

 

Speakers (and horns in particular) are very much like antennas by which their cosmetics are usually inversely proportional to their performance.

Edited by Quiet_Hollow

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Ok now I see what you are saying. I'm talking about volume of bass, not how much bass vs midrange and high frequencies.

My B&W DM604 S3 were bass heavy...meaning there was more bass than treble (slightly unbalanced)

Yes, exactly.

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One common misconception is that you get "more bass" with bigger drivers, but in my experience, most all Klipsch models are well balanced.

You sure about that? RF-3 hits as hard as RF-7's? RSW12 vs RSW15? I've owned all 4 of those speakers and can attest to hearing more bass with the larger woofers. That's mere physics. Larger woofers move more air.

My RF-83's had 8" woofers vs 10" woofers in the RF7 and RF7ii. They were equal in bass but they are close in surface area too (3) 8" woofers vs (2) 10" woofers.

In my experience, the RF-35s I had were much more bass-heavy speakers than my RF-7s.

 

 

Are you sure about that? My listening tests between the 2 are exactly opposite to your results. I can hardly see 2 8" woofers in a far smaller cab produce more bass than the larger 10". It's like comparing the RC-7 to the RF-7, no chance IMO.

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A very basic question here but one that I think would be immensely help to understand.

 

One speaker has say 1 8" driver and a tweeter.

Another has 2, 3 or 4 8" drivers and a tweeter.

 

Why?

 

When you decide what to purchase for a particular purpose, how do you decide what size drivers to purchase.  An example say is the Klipsch RP series....you can get the 250, 260 or 280 series.  How and why would you choose between them?  

 

Yes it's a newbie question.  

 

Thanks in advance for any information shared. 

 

Respectfully, 

RK

 

Several possible reasons....

 

First... a single 8" driver has a surface area = pi x radius x radius = 3.14159 x 4 x 4 = 50.27 square inches

 

Two 8" drivers have a surface area = pi x radius x radius = 3.14159 x 4 x 4 = 50.27 x 2 = 100.54 square inches

 

Now you've immediately doubled the amount of air you're moving, which in part gives you an increase in efficiency.

This increase, by adding another driver of the same size/specs, gives you another 3 decibels in sound level.

 

So if one 8" driver gave you 90 dB with 1 watt at 1 meter... then two 8" drivers will give you 93 dB with 1 watt at 1 meter.

 

Or the two 8" drivers will give you 90 dB with exactly half the power, in this case 1/2 a watt. And since the drivers aren't moving as far to create the same sound level, they should be more linear (accurate) and create less distortion.

 

All of these variables would then come into play within the speaker, crossover and how the cabinet is tuned.

 

On the RP-260, you have two 6.5" drivers versus the RP-280 with two 8" drivers.

The RP-260 is in a slightly smaller cabinet (34 Hz low end) versus the RP-280 (32 Hz low end).

The RP-260 is slightly less efficient (97 dB 1w/1m) versus the RP-280 (98 dB 1w/1m).

The RP-260 has slightly less power handling (125w cont / 500w peak) versus the RP-280 (150w cont / 600w peak).

 

In this case the adage "Bigger is better" pays off... the RP-280 has better low end frequency response, is more efficient and has better power handling. That's not always the case, but is generally true.  On some past Klipsch models, the bigger model (Chorus II vs Forte II or KLF30 vs KLF 20) in the series had slightly less bass response in exchange for increased efficiency.

 

If you have a very large room (all else being equal, except for price) the RP-280's would probably be the better choice and perform better.  If you have a smaller room, the RP-260's would probably be sufficient.  It will come down to your room, your ears, what kind of music/movies you're listening to and how much you want to spend.

Edited by GPBusa
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One common misconception is that you get "more bass" with bigger drivers, but in my experience, most all Klipsch models are well balanced.

You sure about that? RF-3 hits as hard as RF-7's? RSW12 vs RSW15? I've owned all 4 of those speakers and can attest to hearing more bass with the larger woofers. That's mere physics. Larger woofers move more air.

My RF-83's had 8" woofers vs 10" woofers in the RF7 and RF7ii. They were equal in bass but they are close in surface area too (3) 8" woofers vs (2) 10" woofers.

In my experience, the RF-35s I had were much more bass-heavy speakers than my RF-7s.

 

Are you sure about that? My listening tests between the 2 are exactly opposite to your results. I can hardly see 2 8" woofers in a far smaller cab produce more bass than the larger 10". It's like comparing the RC-7 to the RF-7, no chance IMO.

Yes, but the RF-7 has a tweeter that spits hot fire and makes the overall balance much more lean than the RF-35. Sure, those 10s can deliver much more bass, but the overall tonal balance is more lean than the bassy RF-35.

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Are you sure about that? My listening tests between the 2 are exactly opposite to your results. I can hardly see 2 8" woofers in a far smaller cab produce more bass than the larger 10". It's like comparing the RC-7 to the RF-7, no chance IMO.

Take a look at my response above. I was confused with what he was trying to explain. Yes a single 15" woofer will be louder and hit harder than an 8" woofer. I believe what he is saying is if you had say a Floorstanding speaker with a single 8" woofer and you add a second woofer to the speaker, it doesn't mean the speaker itself will necessarily be out of balance (more bass than treble) because Klipsch balances them out. Hopefully I'm understanding that correctly

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Yes, "more bass" to me means that the bass is more prominent than the treble.

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Yeah, I understand. I just don't want newbies thinking that smaller klipsch speakers don't have bass.

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Y'all are confusing a few terms here.

 

Loudspeaker efficiency and voltage sensitivity are two completely different animals. Toss in room acoustics and voicing on top of that, and there's no longer any meaningful comparison.

 

If we don't keep the variables separate, we end up with seemingly random experiences.

 

Doubling speakers does NOT double efficiency, for example.

 

Where frequency response is concerned, both Matt and Mike are correct. Absolute SPL (effectiveness of the system)  and relative SPL (spectral balance) are equally important to quality of the sound......but they aren't the same thing just because they both deal with SPL.

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