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Music has always been part of my life. And the means to listen to music has been a long way. From the 3 transistors amplifier taken from a broken toy record player to the A&R Cambridge amplifier. From the early shoe box home made speaker covered with wood looking adhesive up to the Magneplanar speakers.

So that when my youngest daughter told me that she was looking for a pair of speakers for her new apartment, I started thinking about something special. What about starting from a white page, right from the fundamentals of acoustics ? Ideally the best way to install a speaker is to mount it on a wall separating the volume where the listener seats and an equivalent dead volume. The problem is that the architecture of few houses comply with this type of configuration… The good news is that it is possible to compromise this requirement as long as we can prevent acoustic short circuiting using a large enough baffle around the driver.

Hum getting lost with these terms ? Never mind. There is great web site describing and explaining in a very scientific manner all about “Design and tuning of loud speakers“. It is written in french by a French audio enthusiast.

Quick and dirty glossary of terms:

  • Driver: So as to say the pressure generator. This pressure may be generated by the linear displacement of a cone membrane, a flat membrane, a compressed ribbon, air suppression (ionization), etc.
  • Acoustic short circuit: Isolating the front and the back of the driver by means of baffle or enclosure prevents the high pressure generated in front of speaker during positive activation to equilibrate with the low pressure conditions at the back of the driver
  • Baffle mounting surface of the driver separating the front and the back of the driver.

Here are some examples of implementation:

Starting point

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Cute little ones

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Basic and strong looking

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Real large baffle aren’t they ?

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Real large boomers !

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