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tobias07

2-way vs 3-way vs 4-way speakers

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Thank you all for your replies.

 

For $5000AUD what speakers/amplifier set-up would you'll recommend for music in a relatively large room (new or second-hand)?

 

Cheers

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28 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Oh,  I don't know what he calls them himself.   A discussion, on stereonet I think, educated me as to they way they truly work.  Either way I don't care, as you say, they sound really good.

 

Latest version on his web site   25 to 18000Hz, +/- 3 db. -10db  points  20 and 21000Hz.

Yeah, I had a quick look on Greg's site too and that frequency range is pretty close to your Fostex full range at 30hz - 18khz. As you say, doesn't matter, I only highlighted it to point out the prejudice toward single full range loudspeakers out there and shared among audio enthusiasts. 

26 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

A good 3 way speaker is much harder to build than a good 2 way speaker

corollary:  there are far more good 2 way speakers available on the market

corollary 2:  a 2 way speaker in the same price bracket as a 3 way speaker will mostly likely sound a LOT better

I thought audiofeline had tongue planted firmly in cheek with that post...............at least I hope so!:lol:

 

Yep, getting that band-pass filter right in a 3 way crossover is not easy and I still think the OP here should look at 2 way floorstanders and not exclusively 3 way standmounts as was suggested to him. I'm always loath to apply quality or performance to a price point, so wouldn't necessarily agree that a 2 way at the same price point as a 3 way will be a lot better loudspeaker. There are many very good 2 way loudspeakers out there, that will out perform a lot of 3 way loudspeakers at a considerably higher price point though.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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2 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

Well cheap ones are bad of course. :)     

 

Not just Synergy in the "does it sound nice" sense, but there is still the problem of  low vs high efficiency speakers need respectively the approriately sized amps, and also the "difficult load" loudspeakers, that some amps cannot handle at  high power.

 

and remember the sound will change in your own home compared to the sound room at the dealers.

Spot on (aussievintantage) .. I've been caught twice.  Firstly buying a 'far too large' floorstanders  thinking bigger was better only to have Overblown Bass in my room

Secondly , bought a  VTL 75/75 Tube amp  that couldn't control  Some Mirage M990 speakers  resulting in Flabby Sound... In both cases I was ignorant, heard the VTL with JBL Paragon Horns ( $40,000 amazing) and the swift talking salesman never queried what i was hooking them up to . I was a youngster and didn't know any better and just shelled out the cash ... beware

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2 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

Well cheap ones are bad of course. :)     

 

Not just Synergy in the "does it sound nice" sense, but there is still the problem of  low vs high efficiency speakers need respectively the approriately sized amps, and also the "difficult load" loudspeakers, that some amps cannot handle at  high power.

 

and remember the sound will change in your own home compared to the sound room at the dealers.

Spot on (aussievintage) .. I've been caught twice.  Firstly buying a 'far too large' floorstanders  thinking bigger was better only to have Overblown Bass in my room

Secondly , bought a  VTL 75/75 Tube amp  that couldn't control  Some Mirage M990 speakers  resulting in Flabby Sound... In both cases I was ignorant, heard the VTL with JBL Paragon Horns ( $40,000 amazing) and the swift talking salesman never queried what i was hooking them up to . I was a youngster and didn't know any better and just shelled out the cash ... beware

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2020 at 1:20 PM, tobias07 said:

Thank you all for your replies.

 

For $5000AUD what speakers/amplifier set-up would you'll recommend for music in a relatively large room (new or second-hand)?

 

Cheers

Refer to the tagged list of new speakers in your other thread and the main speaker forum for but perhaps allocate $1000-3000 for each speaker and amp.

 

To fill your large room you want largish size speaker cabinet with larger diameter woofers (8-12 inch woofers or pairs of 6 inch) to move enough air to create loudness and doof doof, reasonable midrange driver and nice detailed tweeter response.

 

See what you can get new for $3000 three way driver largish or floorstanding speaker in the tagged speaker list and at shops - not much, so instead aim for used speakers under 10-15 years old that were once $3-10k rrp. See like Focal 826 and similar, Krix, B&W, Wharfedale Linton, Martin Logan floorstanders, Monitor Audio, Kef etc.

 

For used keep an eye out for VAF I-66 ($1500-2500) extremely high quality, various B&W, Krix Esoterix and Neuphonix ($1500), Jamo Concert 11 ($1500) EHQ, Elac, Proac Studio 250 or Response 3 and 3.5 ($1500-3000) EHQ, various older Monitor Audio, various Kef like 104, Martin Logan floorstanders, Lenehan floorstanders, various Focals like 826 and 926 etc, Spendor sp100 If lucky ($3000), ATC 40 ($3000) EHQ, Various Dynaudio 82 & 380 and similar newer ($1500-3000) etc.

 

The above are all passive crossover speakers, which the majority of what you will find and at your level of search. 

 

A subwoofer may be needed to fill the room for reggae music and similar.

 

Edit: For integrated amps lookout for Accuphase, Luxman, Yamaha AS2100, Musical Fidelity, higher model Marantz etc. Separate preamp and power amp combos giving better sound can easily be found used or even new like Audio Research Ls7, Schiit Freya tube preamp ($900) or Stereo Coffee ($500), for power amps Bryston 3, Musical Fidelity, various beefy old looking Rotel, Parasound A21, Emotiva etc.

 

Have a look around at anything impressive and come back here with shortlist of models for further comments.

Edited by Al.M

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2020 at 12:17 PM, aussievintage said:

Reinforcing some ideas expressed above about passive crossover speakers,  less drivers, simpler crossovers means more chance it will sound good.  Just my experience over the years, is that 2 way speakers have more often impressed me than 3 way.  As said above, 3 way is much harder to do,  and I think many manufacturers do it because the market wanted it, not because it sounds better

 

I have found one exception to this.  That is with high efficiency wide range drivers just augmenting the treble with a super tweeters and bass with woofers. When doing this the crossover points are both much higher and lower than with a traditional speaker. This is far easier to get right as any mistakes are far less audible. 

 

Fullrange / wide band drivers tend to sound far more coherent and lifelike to my ears.... Especially if used in an open baffle. The trade off: Size. If you've space and the wife doesn't mind I think it's a trade-off worth making.

 

I built mine out of karri FJL panels and the wood grain is just gorgeous so thankfully my wife allowed it. Besides , they sound incredible. Lii Audio drivers are incredible, as are Aurum Cantus ribbons :D

Edited by MattyW

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On 20/05/2020 at 11:17 AM, tobias07 said:

I just wanted to know what is the difference between 2-way (sometimes 2-1/2-way), 3-way & 4-way speakers and which ones are better?

 

In general.

 

1.  More driver (total) area = lower driver movement for the same SPL.     This means higher SPL before distortion becomes audible.   This one is quite simple, as most people intuatively undersrand that "big speakers can play louder".

 

2.  Shape of drivers, and positioning relative to each other, define the overall coverage pattern of the sound (also known as "polar response", or "directivity").   Different combinations of driver shapes and locations, have different coverage pattern.    This mean even when equalised to an identical frequency response from a common measurement position, speakers with different coverage patterns all still sound different, as they have differening amounts of delayed/reflected sound, and that later arriving sound has a different peaks and dips in the frequency response.

 

Consider that (for example) the peaks and dips in the frequncy response of the reflected (late arriving) sound, is why your bathroom sound like a bathroom .... or why you can tell things about your environment with your eyes closed and listening to sound....  speakers with different balance to their later arriving sound, are imparting their own "new information" to the later arriving sound (even when all speakers being compared are equalised to a common response on the direct listening axis) ..... like your bathroom does.

 

 

 

3.  It's very difficult to say "better" in general.     You can take advantage of a 3 or 4 or 5 or whatever way speaker to make for a "better" coverage pattern. ......  but the added complexity can also be a trap, and a poorly engineered speaker is a poor speaker, no matter how many drivers.

 

 

On 20/05/2020 at 11:17 AM, tobias07 said:

I normally just looks at the watts

It's usually hard to tell anything useful from this.....  a higher number (w) is definitely not always better.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2020 at 12:45 PM, audiofeline said:

A good 2-way speaker is much better than a poor 3-way speaker.

A good 3-way speaker is much better than a poor 2-way speaker.


 

There is another permutation in this line of thinking, that is:

 

” A good 3-way speaker is generally better than a good 2-way speaker “

 

A lot has been said in this thread about the complexity and pitfalls of building 3-way loudspeakers, but this is looking at them in a negative light. Just because some people find it difficult to perfect a 3-way speaker it does not mean they lag behind a 2-way. Get the box, crossover and driver compliment right and in my experience 3-way speakers always exceed 2-way speakers.
 

The reason for this is quite simple, a 3-way has less IMD (intermodulation distortion) than a 2-way speaker. I’m no expert in this, but it means that you are able lower distortion by using two drivers (dedicated midrange and bass units) to do the job that one driver does in trying to reproduce both midrange and bass frequencies. A lot of this has to do with the amount of cone travel a single driver in a 2-way has to do to reproduce bass and then try to slow down-stop-n-start again to produce midrange frequencies. Not to mention also, controlling cone break up during this process. The two mid-bass drivers in a 3-way design has an easier time controlling distortion. I guess if you are not chasing low room filling bass, then a 2-way within its playing envelope, can keep up with a 3-way. This is not all there is to it, and I’m sure more knowledgeable people can explain it better.

 

There is a reason flagship speakers from the major players like Wilson Audio, Magico, B&W etc, are all three or more way designs. Given unlimited resources and good engineering, nothing exceeds like large multi-driver loudspeakers.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve

 

 

.

Edited by Steve M

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On 20/05/2020 at 3:20 PM, tobias07 said:

Thank you all for your replies.

 

For $5000AUD what speakers/amplifier set-up would you'll recommend for music in a relatively large room (new or second-hand)?

I believe you are over thinking it, sure be educated but there comes a point where you just have to jump in "boots and all" you won't get it right first time.

 

This is just me but if you spend 5k new as soon as you walk out their door you've lost 2k.

Your preferred music taste lends itself to big lazy vintage, forget subs and look at 2 or 3 ways with at least 10" woofers. Now here is the challenge the speakers you really want you haven't heard yet and they won't be available, when something good comes up by the time you do your research they have sold.

Be patient knowledge is king, to me independent reviews that arrive at the same conclusion are the most reliable, especially from SNA members. 

Cast your net wide but choose the best models (acclaimed) from well known brands, every manufacturer has produced lemons and dumb purchase will sound crook no matter how shinny the badge.

I think the amp is a little easier, $1000-1500 will get you a cracking old Sansui and will set you up for a long time.

Having a large room makes your task a little easier, and to me is what the hobby/addiction is all about, buy multiple speakers and play them off each other, never sell until you have A/B'ed against what you have. You will soon learn what you like and if you have brought right you won't loose money. 

 

We have similar Music taste and the same size room, my go to speakers for reggae "at the moment" cost 6 times less than my mainstays, so not always about the Benjamin's. 

 

Good luck 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Powerglide said:

I think the amp is a little easier, $1000-1500 will get you a cracking old Sansui and will set you up for a long time.

+1

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Posted (edited)

Where are you in Vic? A mate of mine in Melbourne is selling a beautiful pair of Toshiba SS-41 speakers soon. Fully restored with the ancient electrolytic caps changed for a combination of K71-4 poly and Miflex KPCU-1 copper in oil caps.

 

The SS-41 is the far rarer and better sounding big brother to the vaunted Toshiba SS-30 speakers. The SS-41 were basically rebranded Onkyo E-83A speakers.  Incredible for jazz and rock. Would likely pair beautifully with a 40+ WPC tube amp or a Sansui.

Edited by MattyW

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1 hour ago, MattyW said:

The SS-41 is the far rarer and better sounding big brother to the vaunted Toshiba SS-30 speakers. The SS-41 were basically rebranded Onkyo E-83A speakers.

Would never seek these out, but it's what I'm getting at about casting the net wider, choosing the best models, and listening to advice, helps if they have been restored. 

They look great and I would try them if the stars aligned, surly they could handle more than a 60w amp

https://audio-database.com/ONKYO/speaker/e-83amkii-e.html

 

I recently picked up a pair of Celestion Ditton 44's for a steal, max amp recommendation 100w, how much danger am I in feeding them 120, without being silly? They are not set up at the moment, I want to build new boxes and crossovers first, but the week I tested them seemed like they were hungry for power, very rock n roll. 

 

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Posted (edited)

You'll be fine with a 120W amp. We rarely ever use more than the first 1 or 2 watts so no big deal. 

 

Because of the way they calculated efficiency the Toshiba's/Onkyo's are really about 91db @ 1m. The 98db was taken at closer than 1m, just to confuse matters a bit. Still a very easy to drive speaker. 

 

My mate has used them with his upgraded 100WPC Quad 405 with passive preamp with no issues at all which is good. Blow a tweeter on rare piece of gear like these and there are no genuine replacements to be found. He's in the process of refinishing them so here's a picture of them recieving their first coat of paint yesterday before being sanded back and painted again. Will be absolutely stunning when done. When he picked them up for $1,100 from the last owner they were aesthetically in pretty rough shape.

 

Trying to resist getting them sent here. I really don't need another pair of speakers. That said I feel I need to disclose that I bought these speakers and he picked them up for me in Melbourne..... I really shouldn't have done it as my wife will kill me. Ah, such is life.

 

received_256256082280347.thumb.jpeg.df5058e0677196b988d22c027b3b8a34.jpeg

Edited by MattyW

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More is betterer!

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2020 at 10:47 AM, tobias07 said:

Hi all,

I just wanted to know what is the difference between 2-way (sometimes 2-1/2-way), 3-way & 4-way speakers and which ones are better?

I have seen that the more expensive speakers are normally 3-way speakers but I am unsure why. Also if you could tell me what to look for when buying a new set of speakers. I normally just looks at the watts but sometimes these are all different and makes it hard to compare. I know this also depends on the amplifier, but how do you match speakers to an amp correctly?

I am very new to this, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Hello @tobias07

 

if you are very new, you will probably get, in answer to your query, a confusing and conflicting array of advice. This is because, in hifi, execution/implementation is more important than the type or principle of technology.

 

Therefore, you can get terrible 4-way speakers (including terrible bass) and outstanding 2-way speakers, or vice versa. The devil is in the details.

 

That is why, as a beginner, you cannot make good choices by choosing between technology A vs technology B. For example, 2-way vs 3-way vs 4-way speakers, or class A vs class B vs class D amp, valve vs transistor amp, etc etc. The devil is in the details.

 

And, if you want to inform your choices by learning about hifi before deciding what to buy, you will be here for years. And you might even end up ill-informed, by listening to poor advice from 'audio gurus' who are actually biased and more in love with ideas than with pure, technology-neutral, results. To be honest, it's a minefield.

 

On 20/05/2020 at 2:50 PM, tobias07 said:

For $5000AUD what speakers/amplifier set-up would you'll recommend for music in a relatively large room (new or second-hand)?

For your money, I suggest this, (shop), and start with one subwoofer. Add up to 3 more over time, if you wish. IMHO the execution/implementation 'score' for these components would be 10/10. The devil would be delighted. Also, notice how they all have DSP control.

 

I am a bit concerned about your large room's shape and acoustics. I hope it is not too reverberant, and you have some big soft furnishings and carpets and curtains. Also, aim for a listening angle of 60 degrees. This might mean listening at a distance of 3 to 3.5 metres from the speakers - perhaps by placing the main speakers approx 1/3 of the 10m room length from one end of the room, and yourself a similar distance from the other end.

 

regards,

Grant

Edited by Grant Slack

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On 24/05/2020 at 1:02 PM, Steve M said:

The reason for this is quite simple, a 3-way has less IMD (intermodulation distortion) than a 2-way speaker.

Because distortion is only audible above a certain threshold .... what this means is that (generally) 3-way speaker can play louder than 2-ways (before distortion becomes audible).

 

On 24/05/2020 at 1:02 PM, Steve M said:

A lot of this has to do with the amount of cone travel a single driver in a 2-way has to do to reproduce bass

Yes, it's to do with the moving inductor, and mudulation of current and inductances when asked to play high and low at same time.

 

On 24/05/2020 at 1:02 PM, Steve M said:

This is not all there is to it, and I’m sure more knowledgeable people can explain it better.

That's about the strength of it.    Trying to do it with a 2 way, means (unless you use a subwoofer, which I guess is cheating), high excursion.

 

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Hi Dave,

 

"cheating" suggests that a rule has been broken. I don't see the adoption of subwoofer solutions that way, at all.

 

cheers

Grant

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15 minutes ago, Grant Slack said:

Hi Dave,

 

"cheating" suggests that a rule has been broken. I don't see the adoption of subwoofer solutions that way, at all.

 

cheers

Grant

Cheating in that a 2-way + subwoofer = a 3-way speaker.... so not really a 2-way any more.

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