Loudspeaker Cone Technology and Loudspeaker Design Technology

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This is the introduction to my new book, which will be for sale next year. You will find more parts of it here in the future, so keep checking in please.With this book I have endeavoured to explain the major factors of the sound reproduction of a loudspeaker. It hope it will be a helpful summary for the loudspeaker enthusiast as well as the professional who wants an overview of the latest technology and knowledge. It also provides the enthusiast with a broad knowledge and basic understanding of loudspeaker design in order to enable him or her to understand the manufacturers data and advertising and therefore also supply a guide for the purchase of loudspeakers, be it finished products or kitsets. Unfortunately a lot of advertising is unclear, confusing and missleading. I wish this book will shed some light in the mystyrious ways of sound reproduction, which are very often not as mysterious as some people would like us to believe. I therefore also describe a generic loudspeaker with excellent sound reproduction and moderate cost. Due to the ever changing market I don’t name specific models but rather show with the following example in this book that an excellent sounding speaker does not need to be overly complicated or extravagant. A carefull selection of good parts and well engineered crossover is mostly sufficient. Unfortunatly the latter is a bit difficult to achieve without some basic measuring equipment and experience. However for the commited DIY the costs for equipment is relatively affordable nowaddays and experience is mostly gained with time.I ommited elaborate mathematics, since the enthusiast is usally interested in the practical aspects and the professional knows the basic mathematics already. Therefore my emphasis lies on cone technology and driver design, which is normally, providing the cabinet is sensfully designed, the most critical part which determines the soundquality. Several transducer principles will be explained, but again the emphasis lies on the electrodynamik transducer for reasons of practicality, sensitivity, size and last not least price. Due to these advantages it does not surprise that most commercial loudspeakers use standard electrodynamik transducers to reproduce sound instead of exotic technology which is usually costly and their advantages in sound reproduction are often questionable to say the least. Of course this does not mean the electrodynamik transducer is always superior, but in order to achieve a significant advantage over a well designed and constructed electrodynamik loudspeaker a manufacturer has to go to great length and in the case of an exotic transducer design, spend extensive time in the development which again is costly. All the new introductions of transducer technology that I have heard of are based on theories and designs invented many decades ago and allthough improved and modified, are not really "new technology". It seems all the transducer inventions have been made and we can only improve on those. Maybe new scientific research and developments will enable us one day to build the perfect loudspeaker, preferably with very small size, but until then we will have to compromise and live with an "almost perfect sound".

Since sound reproduction is to a great extend also a matter of perception, there is a big element of subjectivity and personal taste involved. This element of taste often leads to massive discussions and arguments about which loudspeaker sounds best. We have all sorts of sophisticated measuring equipment at our disposal, with which we can measure all sorts of things, but the relation between measurements and perception is not well researched and is not conclusive at the present day. A big problem up to date is the measuring signal that is used, which should be representative of a musical signal but still be simple enough to conduct exact measurements. Especially in the area of distortion measurements there are no clear methods in place that allow an assessment which emcompasses all important audible aspects.