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kvndoom
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Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:35 am

So I have a chance to get some Klipsch KLF-10 speakers this coming weekend, if he hasn't sold them by then. I've always wanted a pair of vintage Klipsch speakers, since my best friend had some KG4's back when we were in high school (those are still in the family, I should add).

I have visions in my head of getting these, feeling the wrath of the dual 10's, performing the Bob Crites tweeter and crossover mods, and enjoying them for many years to come.

But here's the thing. I just bought some 3-way towers (which I would have to sell if I love the Klipsch more) and I'm concerned about the KLF's not having a dedicated midrange. They are crossed over at 2KHz, which to me seems high for a 10" woofer. I don't want to get these and be disappointed in the reproduction of vocals and instruments in that range.

Should I be concerned? I mean the reviews I've found have been almost unanimously positive but I can't shake that nagging doubt. Any opinions are welcome, moreso if you have first hand experience with similar speakers. Thanks!
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:01 am

A well-deigned 2-way system will have a woofer with a carefully controlled cone geometry and stiffness, such that higher frequencies cause only a smaller area (towards the center) of the cone to vibrate. This is how it is possible to get decent mid-range from a large driver -- by using progressively less of the cone as the frequency goes up.

A good 2-way can sound better than a mediocre 3-way. You may get less phase distortion too, since the crossover is simpler.

Edit: This product listing has a good picture that illustrates this: https://www.amazon.com/Seismic-Audio-Su ... 003AYA0LW/

See how the cone has a bunch of concentric pleats in it? This allows zones of the cone to move semi-independently of each other. At the low end of the range, the entire cone moves. At the high end of the range, the inertia of the (heavier) outer part of the cone keeps it relatively stationary, while the lighter central area is still free to vibrate as the cone flexes along those pleats.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:08 am

Usually the problem with big drivers used for midrange is how they become increasingly directional as they approach the crossover frequency. This can lead to a bit of a disconnect as the tweeter will be projecting a nice wide beam, in a frequency where the mid-bass has become narrow.

If you're willing to put up with a narrow sweet spot it's not that big of a problem, and people who sit themselves off center probably don't care.
 
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:18 am

jihadjoe wrote:
Usually the problem with big drivers used for midrange is how they become increasingly directional as they approach the crossover frequency. This can lead to a bit of a disconnect as the tweeter will be projecting a nice wide beam, in a frequency where the mid-bass has become narrow.

If you're willing to put up with a narrow sweet spot it's not that big of a problem, and people who sit themselves off center probably don't care.

The dome shaped dust cap over the center of the driver helps mitigate this effect somewhat, by dispersing the higher frequencies over a wider angle.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:59 am

Also, adding complexity to a crossover network usually detracts from the overall fidelity of a speaker, at least at price points affordable to those not suffering from nervosa.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:15 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Also, adding complexity to a crossover network usually detracts from the overall fidelity of a speaker, at least at price points affordable to those not suffering from nervosa.

I (sort of) said that already (phase distortion). But it can introduce additional peaks and valleys in the response curve too.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:39 pm

I still have my pair of 1974 Advents. So, yes.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:51 pm

just brew it! wrote:
A well-deigned 2-way system will have a woofer with a carefully controlled cone geometry and stiffness, such that higher frequencies cause only a smaller area (towards the center) of the cone to vibrate. This is how it is possible to get decent mid-range from a large driver -- by using progressively less of the cone as the frequency goes up.

A good 2-way can sound better than a mediocre 3-way. You may get less phase distortion too, since the crossover is simpler.

These were before Klipsch went big-box, so I do have faith in their engineering. Some other money factors have come into play (curse you, real-life!) in the last 24 hours that might kill this deal unless the seller can negotiate a little. And again, he may well sell them before Saturday anyway.

But oooh I do feel like my giddy self from the 90's again!
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:25 pm

This should help solidify the ongoing advice: the great majority of studio monitor speakers are 2-way designs. The woofer handles the midrange, and a tweeter for the highs.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:29 pm

..I design speakers.

I couldn't find any measurement for that speaker, or indeed - most Klipsch speakers. :oops:

-with that in mind, IF the crossover is steep enough at 2 kHz to mitigate the upper freq. "break-up" of the 10", and IF the dispersion of the horn is well matched to the dispersion of the 10" at 2 kHz, then it should be good.

IF it's not, then:

1. you could have some narrow-band peak/"spike" ON-AXIS (0-degree axis or "aimed straight ahead") and only slightly off-axis with respect to "break-up" (uncontroled cone motion that leads to a spike or grouping of spike's in the frequency response).

2. the off-axis response could be poor off-axis with an apparent depresion/"dip" in the freq. response somewhere beyond 15 degrees +/- (from on-axis). This would be around 2 kHz (particularly 1.4 to 2.5 kHz).



Regardless, it's going to be a more directive (narrow beamwidth of sound as freq.s increase) speaker: This typically results in a more forward sound with less ambiance, though sometimes better imaging. Klipsch is also often a bit more efficient than other manufacturers - which usually results in a more dynamic sound while have less low frequency extension for the loudspeaker-box's total volume.
 
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:56 pm

morphine wrote:
This should help solidify the ongoing advice: the great majority of studio monitor speakers are 2-way designs. The woofer handles the midrange, and a tweeter for the highs.

No doubt! But most of those seem to be endowed with 6.5 or 8-inch woofers. Most of the large-woofer 2-ways I ever see are PA speakers, and I won't even go there. :lol:

I've just had the speaker itch for some reason this year. I've got a perfectly functioning set of KEF IQ9's that sound amazing (other than utter lack of bass, but physics is physics which is why they invented subwoofers), and I certainly don't need anything else. I just have been longing lately for that "big" sound that comes from huge passive speakers. But I don't want loud presence to equate with mediocre SQ.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:27 am

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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:27 pm

kvndoom wrote:
But here's the thing. I just bought some 3-way towers (which I would have to sell if I love the Klipsch more) and I'm concerned about the KLF's not having a dedicated midrange. They are crossed over at 2KHz, which to me seems high for a 10" woofer. I don't want to get these and be disappointed in the reproduction of vocals and instruments in that range.

Should I be concerned? I mean the reviews I've found have been almost unanimously positive but I can't shake that nagging doubt. Any opinions are welcome, moreso if you have first hand experience with similar speakers. Thanks!

I wouldn't count on either one being bad. Klipsch made, and continues making, some of the highest-rated 2-ways in the market. The main thing is that I wouldn't expect a speaker decades old, even a great one, to sound any better than a modern design made with the benefit of CAD/CAE acoustic models and modern materials. Just different, and of course the older, classic speaker will have a much more active refrurb/modder community.
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Re: Can a 2-way / 10" woofer produce great midrange?

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:46 am

So I did it. Saturday morning I left home at 0330, made a 400-mile round trip to get these babies, and I just have to say...

My fears were totally unfounded. These are hands down the best speakers I've ever owned. Even for how exhausted I was, I stayed up until 0300 Sunday morning listening to song after song after song after song...

The way guitar notes roll out of these Klipsches is phenomenal. From Air's "Space Maker" to pretty much anything by Lee Ritenour (although I am partial to his "Portrait" album) to whatever else I threw at them that night, it was always guitar reproduction that took my breath away moreso than anything else (but everything else was amazing also). Wow, just wow. :o

Safe to say that I'm a Klipsch man for life now. Talk about love at first bite!
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