3 Way Speakers


Is there an advantage of buying a 3 Way Speaker when Compared with a 2 Way Speaker.
rkolluri
usually given the same price point the 2 way will be the better sounding unit. Some three ways like the vandersteen 2 will compete out of it's price class. Usually the two way has an advantage of a less complex cross over and a better budget to spend on 2 drivers instead of three. The advantage of the three way if you get everything right is less complex signals for each driver to handle as well as often the ability to get better bass, since you don't have to use as small mid/bass driver. Thake each design on it's own merrits though. there are no hard and fast rules here.
The Pipe Dream is really a two way. just a diferent approach that can work very well. multiple small woofers can move alot of air and are low mass, say 16 or more 1" dome tweeters can also move air like a larger driver but with reduced mass. Listen to the sound coming out of the thing and let that be your guide.
If the speaker drivers were full range, than It wouldn't make a sence to even buy a 2Way speaker. There is no speaker driver that can produce a full range. Planar speakers still need a sub for a bottom end.
Theoretically 3Way design tended to get closer to the full range than 2Way design.
I prefere quality 2Way designs over 3Way(faster, more transparent, easier to drive, less signal path, more natural)
It depends on the school of thought you suscribe to. I have heard 2 way systems that sound great, but have also heard 3 way systems that are just as good if not better.

It really depends on the design of the speakers themselves not the number of crossover points used by the manufacturer. A well designed 3 way can rival a two way or vice versa.

Two way systems tend to combine the critical midrange driver with the bass driver. This driver usually crosses over to the tweeter at a lower frequency (2K 2.5K) to the tweeter. The theory is that you have less crossover points and the crossover is not in the critical midrange frequency of 3K as you tend to find in most 3 way systems. I don't subscribe to this because you are still crossing over in a midrange frequency regardless of the number. I guess I just don't believe in magic numbers. I think another disadvantage with two ways is that since the woofer shares duty with the midrange it has to be smaller and lighter to handle midrange duties. In contrast a woofer needs to be larger to be able to move more air. You run into a conflict of interest here. Something has to get compromised.

My preference has been to lean with 3 way systems that use sealed dome midranges. What I mean by this is that the midrange driver is enclosed within its own housing. I find the sound is more open and detailed with this type of driver design. I don't believe you can get as natural and clear of a sound with large diameter drivers that are ported being used as a midrange. This is what you tend to come across in two way designs.

The arguments against a three way are that crossover points always create problems. Having more drivers can lead to problems with musical coherence. I believe this means that you are further from the ideal of single point source. (i.e 1 driver design)

On paper, these argument may hold true. However, with the technology we possess today and the incredible quality of resistors and capacitors I seriously doubt that anyone can hear these theoritical imperfections with a well designed 3 way speaker.

If you want some speaker recommendations just drop me a line.
Well, I was taught a couple of simple ways of looking at speakers design,1 way,or 10 way. The ways actually do not seem to matter. If you are building a speakers and only have a marginal woofer and a marginal tweeter to work with, you may well need a marginal midrange driver to at least make the sound tolerable. If you use a very good woofer and a very good tweeter, you made not need
midrange as your drivers blend well to cover that important midrange area, If you are out in out trying to build the very best full range loudspeaker you can, you may well build a three way as you are able to compromise with the woofer/midrange drivers in that your woofer can be used to reproduce the lower frequencies it was really(on average) more designed to do. I think a lot of woofers in 2 way monitors are more midbass drivers, and there must be something there because I see a lot of subs being sold. I just had a pair of SR12 Silverline's, and where it may be the best bass I have ever heard in a monitor that size, I genuinely would not call it soul satisfying bass. IMHO, seems like a lot of high dollar(and unlike many in this group, I consider $1k high dollar) 2 way monitors are really unfinished 3 ways, waiting for a woofer. None of the rules are solid, I do think a lot of it has to do with parts on hand, how much money is being allowed for R&D(usually little)marketing(usually more) exotic veneers(makes a wonderful sonic difference on a 12 inch tall cabinet, doesn't it?) and actual production costs. There are some great 2 ways
Thiel, Fusalier, Silverline, Spica, Rogers, etc, just as there are some great 3 ways, Vandersteen, KEF,PSB's Utopia
etc. I really do think it has as much to do with what you have ready to use when you are designing a speaker to a specific price point in the market, especially a price point you need to be in quickly because profits are looming there. Nothing wrong with that, its business and none of these people would be in it if it was not tied to making money doing something you like doing. And I think they are pretty lucky to be doing that.
A good 3 way is always better than a good two way.Period.