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Thread: Unusual Speaker Designs

  1. #41
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Arkansas, USA

    Yep, that's it! I wouldn't been just 9 years old in 1961, but no doubt that is the magazine I saw it in. Used to read it from cover to cover whenever I could get my hands on one.

    If everything in that article is true, that Sweet Sixteen design, now nearly 60 years old, is just as good as nearly any speaker you can buy today. And people pay literally THOUSANDS of dollars for "audiophile" speakers with unobtanium alloys in the drivers and voice coils wound with 24-karat gold on platinum formers suspended by silk spiders.

    I think speakers are often the weak link in any sound system, whether home stereo or organ, but I also think that people often (nearly always) do the wrong thing when they think they are "upgrading" the speakers. They buy super expensive speakers or they buy poorly-made el cheapos, and either way what they get is probably not going to sound as good as an old reliable design like the sweet sixteen. Shame that people are unwilling or simply unaware. Throwing more money at a project is not always the best approach.
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
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  2. #42
    ff Fortissimo toodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Logan UT

    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    ... If everything in that article is true, that Sweet Sixteen design, now nearly 60 years old, is just as good as nearly any speaker you can buy today. ...

    Back in those days, you couldn't really buy bass drivers with serious displacement, lots of the improvements in basic magnet design hadn't happened, and we didn't have the serious analysis of loudspeaker design that we have easy access to today. And no one talked about imaging. Then there has been all kinds of research into "not so exotic" materials like the adhesives used in speakers, and cone materials. Most tweeters back then were horns, which tended to have peaky response.

    So, 60 years ago it was probably a reasonably viable approach for the amateur speaker builder, and the approach solves a serious problem for organ builders--how to get a loud enough signal at low distortion so you can fill a church.

    But I'll take today's technology and materials for loud speakers. But for anyone who wants to build one of these they certainly have that option.

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