April 30th, 2002, 04:37 PM #1
What features to look for in good speakers?
I was thinking about getting some new PC speakers and was looking over at new egg. What do "frequency response" and some of the other terms mean.
Is pure wattage important? watts to the satelites? watts to the subwoffer? Anyone with speaker knowledge (I know you sound system enthusiasts are out there ) please shed some light on the subject.
April 30th, 2002, 05:47 PM #2
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Hmmm, some good questions.
Frequency response is a touchy thing. Mostly I think that it's a definition of how well a speaker responds or utilizes power at a given produced frequency. Some speakers won't respond over or under certain frequencies due to physical limitations. Well, that's a hack explanation, but hopefully it helps. Generally if you're building an entire speaker system (say for a band) you'll want horns, which have a high frequency response for your highs, 8 to 15" speakers for you mid range due to good midrange response (10 - 12 being about the best, depending on the maker) and 15 - 18" speakers for your subs as their peak response is usually between 90 - 150Hz. Porting can get you better response also (as my ported 4x10 cabinet has an effect low frequency range of 43Hz, though the speakers themselves are not qualified that low).
Pure wattage? Hmmm. Wattage is also tricky. Yes, most of the time more wattage translates into more volume, unfortunately not always better volume. That depends mostly on the speaker manufacturing, and somewhat on the amplifier manufacturing. In general though, it takes 10x the current wattage to go up by one sound decibel. That's generally speaking for musical instrument speakers and public address systems (more or less). Don't quote me on the number, because it's different for every system anyway. Just a rough idea.
Anyway, that's all just in my experience setting up sound systems for bands and may not translate perfectly into home audio/computer audio situations.
How much are you planning on spending on system I guess is the question you'll want to answer. My system (Altec Lansing 641) ran me $200 shipped, (a little less now) and it sound uneblievable. It's 400W total. I forget the exact power dispersion, but it's something like 35W per satellite (4 total) and the rest to the dual speaker sub. It's only an honest 200W, but somehow they get away with saying 400W programmable. Maybe someone can shed some light on that little trick.
Logitech makes a nice kit, the Z651s I think? And Creative also makes a killer system called the D510. Both of those are full 5.1 digital compliant while mine is only 4.1 (two channel).
If you're limited for space, I would personally recommend the Altec Lansing 621 (two satellites and the dual speaker sub) or the ATP3 (much cheaper) system. I am a big AL fan obviously.
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