Woofer size in modern speakers

October 31, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

7 comments on “Woofer size in modern speakers”

  1. Some speakers are larger at the bottom where the woofer is placed on the front baffle and the baffle narrows as it goes up to where the upper woofer, midrange, and tweeters are located either in a triangle type cabinet or a large box on the bottom and a narrow rectangular box on top of the larger box where the upper range drivers are located. So there are ways around this besides putting large woofers or subwoofers on the side of the cabinet. You can also choose a high quality pair of bookshelf or mini monitor speakers and dual subwoofers which solves the wide baffle problem.

  2. Exactly.
    Ampeg is a famous brand for electric bass amplification.
    The larger stage stuff uses a grid of 8” drivers to handle the power, keep it tight.
    Adjacent drivers reinforce each other with up to 6dB of boost also.
    I have and old 15” cabinet with a small horn - it’s can’t come close to a sealed multi 8 or 10” drivers array.

    1. Yeah, right. For an electrical bass instrument the sound of a 15" woofer is too dull without mids/highs. This was good in the old days of music. Today a funky bass is preferred and the smaller woofers have a better extension to mids and highs. My son plays both e-bass and stand-up bass. First boxes were DIY with one 15" woofer in a big box plus 2 12" speakers in another box on top. Sound was good but for transportation too bulky. So he changed to smaller combos with integrated amplifier, mainly Fender gear.

    1. A pair of 8” drivers is a little less than a 12” woofer, yes. Ours are about 200 cm^2 each when a 12” woofer is about 480-500, depending on the surround size/configuration.

      In the case of 4 8” drivers, we’re about the same as a single 15” woofer (they just over 800 cm^2 in cone area).

      Cone area is proportional to efficiency and also box size and so older speakers are typically designed for higher sensitivity/less bass response. Also, there used to be a lack of understanding of the importance of directivity and so you’d often see larger drivers crossed over to a tweeter (10-12” 2-ways and such).

  3. It would seem based on Paul's presentation a stand mounted speaker with two large subwoofers would be the way to go all things being equal which of course they are not.

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