A full range speaker?


Many claim to be, but how many can handle a full orchestra’s range?

That range is from 26hz to around 12khz including harmonics, but the speakers that can go that low are few and far between. That is a shame, since the grand piano, one of the center points of many orchestral and symphonic performances, needs that lower range to produce a low A fully, however little that key is used.

I used to think it was 32hz, which would handle a Hammond B-3’s full keyboard, so cover most of the musical instruments range, but since having subs have realized how much I am missing without those going down to 25hz with no db’s down.

What would you set as the lower limit of music reproduction for a speaker to be called full range?

 I’m asking you to consider that point where that measurement is -0db’s, which is always different from published spec's.
D769b102 d65c 4884 917a d26f83ad1e53Ag insider logo xs@2xwilliam53b
I used to think such things mattered but now know very clearly they do not.

These specs are measured in anechoic chambers. So unless you listen in an anechoic chamber you can forget about that. Then since you are not in an anechoic chamber all the frequencies are reflecting everywhere creating nulls and modes where they are nullified and reinforced. This is especially bad the lower you go, where the lowest frequencies like you are talking literally criss-cross the room multiple times before you are even able to hear them. There’s psychoacoustic science behind all of this by the way.

Oh, and the top end is way more extended than you think. It extends far beyond 20kHz, to 40k at least if not 60k. No, you cannot hear that high. But instruments produce harmonics that high, which unless reproduced we lose fidelity. Change nothing else, simply add these back in, the whole presentation changes dramatically for the better. See my Townshend Maximum Supertweeter review and read others comments about supertweeters for more on that.

Really low bass, because of the physics of room dimensions, it really does not matter what anyone measures in their chamber it is nothing like what you are going to get at home. No two speakers ever made can do it. Physical impossibility. Unless in a vastly larger room or anechoic chamber.

What does work is multiple subs in multiple locations. With four subs it becomes very easy to achieve super clean articulate low bass. When this happens, another dramatic improvement in the presentation! Now since bass this low tricks our minds into believing we are in a large space the sound stage expands far beyond the room walls and starts to envelop us.

So that is what I think: we really do need everything from super low bass to beyond human hearing- only you cannot get it from any two speakers.   

With two speakers, two supertweeters, and four subs in a distributed bass array you can achieve full range in terms of frequency response. We still haven't touched on dynamic range, something I thought for sure you were going to ask about. But didn't. 
Post removed 
Actually, no. As always try to pick an expert with broad based experience setting up systems in real rooms with live unamplified music as the reference.

while many excellent speaker designers utilize an Anechoic chamber in testing, development and very importantly QC ( and component matching ( see utube video on production of Vandersteen Treo for example ) they also listen in duh… real rooms. Any of the powered bass models from Vandersteen for example include 11 bands of EQ … below 120 hz. Those 11 bands are based not on octaves but on typical room modes in a wide survey of  listening rooms…( ya somebody was thinking.. ) place speakers for best imaging, dial bass in. 
So at 20 HZ I am up a db and at 24 HZ down 1.

to the Op no bloated piano but w full weight and authority… I spend time in a nice reverberant space with several grands and a pipe organ with world class player ( like people who sit in at cathedrals in Euro during summer vacation time ) My reference is not dominated by a Fender jazz multitrack.

great question but don’t ignore the bass harmonics either… lots of energy up to and above 400 HZ 

have fun, enjoy your journey.
Also, the cited in room response is measured in my listening chair w RTA and calibrated microphone using Vandertones ( free download from Vandersteen website )

This is not new tech, 5 or 6 models over the years feature the 11 band EQ.
@millercarbon

Using an online tone generator I can hear and feel sound down to under 20hz in my listening area, how coherent that is is another matter. But looking at sound generation, no driver moves anywhere near the distances you describe in generating that, so I think you mean distance time delay, and not pressure level peaks. After all, a grand piano’s low A string is less than 8’ long, and to create that tone only requires it to travel a fraction of an inch.

As far as upper limits I will only consider third level harmonics, as that is what the 20khz is for, not actual notes while the energy above that is measurable, most of us cannot hear it, although I think many of us listen with our sense of touch as well, so I'm sure we can feel it.


To @everyoneelse;

It would seem treble is fair game as well. And I am interested in all aspects of musical sound generation/reproduction so to use an upright bass as an example, I want to hear the musicians fingers sliding up and down the strings while playing it; which can go very high up the frequency range, as well as the woods resonance in an acoustic version, and the lower harmonics that accompany the center of the note.

I guess I was assuming that we would be talking about sitting in your room listening measurements/experience and not a speaker in vitro, so no Anechoic chambers allowed. 

I just wonder what people find acceptable, since I know many people have very expensive, to me, systems that can barely manage 40hz, -0db down. 

Unfortunately Vandertones is an .exe, and so not available for the Mac. As I’ve mentioned, I use an online signal generation site. But have bought a decent portable recorder, and am now looking for opportunities to record pure notes of individual instruments, and I have a friend who is the department head in choral studies at a local university, so am going to see if I can wrangle some time in their concert hall to record the piano, which is already there. 
That will be an interesting database to make available to all who might want to add to, or use the file from. Perhaps there is already a start out there?
I'm pretty happy with 35hz of good bass. But for the few albums with very low bass information lower is better. 
A 30 hz bass note is 38 feet LONG.

A 20 hz bass note is 56.6 feet LONG.

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"People Ask"

"A 30 Hz sub tone is most apparent (and desirable) with movie soundtracks. Most music doesn’t have much sub 30 Hz information, however there are exceptions such as rap/hip hop/electronica-type music. Also, pipe organ music can go down to 16 Hz (in organs with a 32 ft long pipe)"

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Re: OP

After all, a grand piano’s low A string is less than 8’ long, and to create that tone only requires it to travel a fraction of an inch.

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NO, you’re hearing it generate a tone because of the construction of the cabinet and how the that tone is amplified. There is a WHOLE lot more going on other than a string being struck by a hammer. The length of the string inside offers ONLY a means to tune to the NOTE desired. It could be 24" long and still hit an extremely low note.

The size and construction of the "String" really gets complicated depending on what they do. Bass vs Classical vs Steel Guitar vs Upright vs Grand piano. ALL stringed.

Again SUB is felt and it vibrates your ear drums, BUT hear it.. NO YOU DON’T. SUB means BELOW what you HEAR. What you actually hear is BASS.

No different with above 20Khz, VERY few can hear above 12-3Khz, but leave it out of the MIX you will notice it MORE than you will ever hear it.
The Hi in HiFi, just isn’t there.

Though I’ve seen live performances that shut OFF the bullet tweeters behind people LEAVING the joint, and VERY short tempers flaring.

In any case enjoy your information gathering, do a DEEP dive into pipe organs.. CRAZY some of the huge pipe organs.. 3 stories high..
I’ve seen and herd some Jim Doozies..

Full range speaker, no problem..  http://pointillistic.com/vmps-audio/RMX.htm

6 pairs or LESS are left on this earth.. only 16 pairs were ever made.. I just happen to have a pair.. 20hz-25khz

2 dollars and 22 cents worth

Regards
I like to listen to electronica and rap, and even Pink Floyd has tons of subterranean bass throughout their music. I find it difficult to find a speaker that goes that low and also has a soulful engaging sound. At least for under $10k. This is 100% my own issue. I’ve heard the ones that go high and go low for little dough and I say no, no, no. YMMV, hope it does. Someone above said 35, for me it a solid 30.

A full range speaker?

Many claim to be, but how many can handle a full orchestra’s range?

That range is from 26hz to around 12khz including harmonics, but the speakers that can go that low are few and far between. That is a shame, since the grand piano, one of the center points of many orchestral and symphonic performances, needs that lower range to produce a low A fully, however little that key is used.

I used to think it was 32hz, which would handle a Hammond B-3’s full keyboard, so cover most of the musical instruments range, but since having subs have realized how much I am missing without those going down to 25hz with no db’s down.

What would you set as the lower limit of music reproduction for a speaker to be called full range?

 I’m asking you to consider that point where that measurement is -0db’s, which is always different from published spec's.

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Odd you would post this, just as I am listening to Regna Schirmers' 2000 recording of Schnirrke's 3 sonatas. 
A  reference piano rdcording if ever there was one. 
I am pondering if the wide band which arrives Friday is able to match  what I am hearing with  The Frankenstein.
I mean it goes deep and powerful, 
 
The Frankenstein has dual W18's, vs  the Vox as a    single driver, 
If the Vox does actually go to the claimed 20hz, this might give it a chance to match dual W18's going to 40hz.
Then also to consider the Vox is like 97db sens, the W18E001's a miserable 87db, 
What might be giving the W18's that nice  solid punch in the piano low register is the Mundorf high ends caps. 

Thing is how often does classical muisc have notes under the 40hz range??
Ravel and Debussy , did not write much in the super low registers. 
So honestly i  consider the 20hz-40hz, as nothing more than a  **bonus** = not necessary. 

Dual W18's/87db/40hz/Mundorf cap
vs
Vox  97db/20hz

Can't say which will offer the deeper resolution of the low piano notes. 

My concern is  can the wide band handle the voicing of a   symphony orchestra in full swaing, as in Ravel's Daphne and Chole. 
The Millennium tweeter crashed in such passages.

This to me will be the real test of a  wide band for classical music. 

Dome tweeters have a  rough time attempting to voice all those fq's via a   3/4 inch voice coil.
+ The new wide  bands have an astounding flat fq chart , allowing for a  full representation of even the tiniest nuances which most domes struggle with. 

I'm guessing  the wide band will reveal all sorts of   nuances which the Millennium had  missed picking up. 

Oh, and the top end is way more extended than you think. It extends far beyond 20kHz, to 40k at least if not 60k. No, you cannot hear that high. But instruments produce harmonics that high, which unless reproduced we lose fidelity
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OK this helps me understand what my tech was saying about the above 15khz range. 
There may not be much music above 15khz,  but its the **ambience**  = The sparkle, sheen which we want in these ultra fq range, 
Some of the wide bands claim, 30k-60khz. Which may be a  issue, if simbliance kicks in.
 Can too high a  sensitivity become a  issue in this ultra high range??
no driver moves anywhere near the distances you describe in generating that, so I think you mean distance time delay, and not pressure level peaks.

Good one. https://youtu.be/zt_HteJLY3A?t=73
Vandersteen Quatro Wood at 24dB within 2dB

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Vandersteen's have that incredible low/deep bass, but at the expense of the muddy(distorted)  300hz-ish -1khz- ish range. 
the musicians fingers sliding up and down the strings while playing it

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I can hear some of this in my 
DavidLouis 4 incher   wide band at 91db.
I am sure the new higher sens wide band even notable.  Due to higher sensitivity. . 
Schnittke Cello concertos/sonatas BIS and Chnados. as Reference cds.
Wide bands  voice music in a magical way.  
 
 not a speaker in vitro

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This is  my expectations of how the wide band will respond. Speaker disappears, only music floating through the air. 
You and the music unite as one  being/experience, Like on LSD or something. = Surreal. 
I just wonder what people find acceptable, since I know many people have very expensive, to me, systems that can barely manage 40hz, -0db down.

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Money might be able to buy the 20hz-40hz, 
but at what cost?
Lets say a  audiophile figures out how to get the elusive 20hz-40hz.
Say witha  $500-$1000 (EACH!!!)Scanspeak woofer 
But how is the 300hz-1khz range? 
A bit muddy?
Well thats the tradeoff, Now he has the Golden 20hz-40hz, but he has to live with the muddy 300hz-1khz , AND!!! can the Scanspeak go above the 1500hz to meet the  tweeter?? Or cuts off at 1khz??
There are headaches trying to acheive the 20hz-40hz. 
I strongly suggest, just completely forget the 20hz-40hz. 
Ain't worth the trouble.
My dual W`18's **only*** go to 40hz, but with duals, you get the gut feeling of a  20hz punch. 
Troel's gave me this insight in his MMT designs. = Dual midwoofers going to 40hz, sounda  much solid punch that a single woofer going to 20hz. 
Again SUB is felt and it vibrates your ear drums


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A sub would grate my nerves to no end. I note Vox and AER offers subs in their bigger designs. No thanks. No subs ever, never.
Full range speaker, no problem..  http://pointillistic.com/vmps-audio/RMX.htm

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Very impressive indeed. WOW
The Mother of all ribbons.
Price?? don't care to know.


I have an old mirage 400 watt with dual 12’’ subs and I drug it into my basement to hear what I was missing and, yeah i got those good vibrations and every piece of ductwork in the house rattling in sympathy. I agree with the above post, get healthy bass to 40 hz, it’s enough to feel and the furniture won’t rattle across the floor.
 Someone above said 35, for me it a solid 30.

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Each his own
I'd much rather have a  40hz bottom midwoofer that offers a cleaner superior 40hz-1khz range. 
This is the tradoff.
Seas Magnesium Excel goes to 40hz, The Scanspeaks go to 25hz
Magnesium's are more musical in the 200-1khz range.
I don't care for paper cones, Heard too many paper cones back in the day.
So i give up the lower **tight punch** in these Scans, for a  superior voicing of the 200hz-1khz range of the Magnesium cones. . 
Always a  tradeoff.
The Seas newer cones, Graphene gives a  more kick in the lows, but at a  price, 2x;s((W22 = $550 each!!) the price of magnesium
Again trade off, $250 bargain vs a  wallet busting $550. 
For what, ? a  few hz's below 40hz?? = Not worth it. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6B6WjAzuc8



If I were to build my dream speakers these would be the foundation of them.
Scan-Speak 32W/8878T11 Revelator 13" Woofer
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-12-woofers/scan-speak-32w/8878t11-revelator-13-woofer/

Or these in an open baffle, which is the way I'm leaning these days.
AE Speakers
http://aespeakers.com/shop/dipole/dipole15/

And these would be something like what I would build, putting it all together into the expense of the components, and you’re talking about $1,200 just for the x-over parts.

Fikus:

https://7eaa2cfe-c763-4345-a86f-2293c16f288c.filesusr.com/ugd/c6db56_2defcb5f99e040468c140c1216b0016...
william53b OP103 posts07-12-2021 6:19pmFor those who want to know: Frankenstein!

https://www.klipsch.com/blog/klipsch-kpt-904-speakers-frankenstein-edition

man that is one heck ofa  monster.
puts my Frankies to shame
william53b OP103 posts07-12-2021 6:41pmIf I were to build my dream speakers these would be the foundation of them.
Scan-Speak 32W/8878T11 Revelator 13" Woofer
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-12-woofers/scan-speak-32w/8878t11-revelator-13-woofer/

Or these in an open baffle, which is the way I'm leaning these days.
AE Speakers
http://aespeakers.com/shop/dipole/dipole15/

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Why the need for a  13 super bass anda   15 inch dipole woofer???
bass on top of bass????
 
My dream speaker would be

Seas W22 Graphene xossing at say 200hz/Mundorf high end caps, and a  Vox 5 incher.
Thats a  huge waste of the W22 Graphene.


Doing the math.

Sound travels about 1100 feet/second at sea level, and for you nitpickers, at 50% humidity and 72 degrees. A cycle of 25hz happens, surprise, 25 times a second.

Divide 1,100 by 25 = 40 ft. A 25hz tone is 40’ long, but it happens 25 times a second, so that frequency sustained for 1 second travels 1,100 feet. While 10khz travels 0.11 feet per second.

So, if you are 1,100 feet from the point source of sound you may notice the Doppler shift in tone. But at normal listening distances? Nah.

Don’t even think about thinking about this if you’re having a drink and listening to your system this evening, because the phase shift between those lows and highs, of say 10khz is dizzying!

😂


Which Mundorph caps? The bottom end of their various lines is extremely average.

https://www.partsconnexion.com/mundorf-film-capacitors.html

Why not DuLund, Jupiter or Miflex?

Now this is a burning money Cap: https://www.partsconnexion.com/DUELUND-47uf100.html
Thanks for the recommendation MotzartFan.

 Regna Schirmers' 2000 recording of Schnirrke's 3 sonatas ordered.
Anything under 28 Hz is just vibration grand piano lowest  keys most is 28 Hz  ,money best spent on a speaker that will be clean to around 30 Hz ,there is very little recorded information 1-2% at most  below 30 Hz.
@motzartfan

I would have one or the other, not both woofers.  Speakers are energy conversion devices, to get lower bass with a smaller diaphragm it has to travel a greater distance, and that can only be tamed with a driver like GR Researches 12” speaker plate amp combos that are servo controlled.

I'd prefer to have a 15” that travel such a short distance, about ⅓, to create the same note at a given SPL, and so don’t need the servo. 
The Golden Days of audio tell us that if you use an the exponential horn as a 2-D go-by diagram, you can set your tweeter at the throat, select your woofer size, and then use the…

Oh, what the hell was I talking about anyway?!

😉
to the OP i can get you the wav files, super happy guy in Michigan with 5a just used them. The Vandy test tone disc includes scaling acoustic bass w finger, string and body noise ( recorded at Ocean Way ) Vandersteen drivers / cast baskets and motors in many cases ( almost  all ) are made by scanspeak, for decades. the 12” push pull honeycomb aluminum sub is unique to the 5 and 7. Carbon diaphragms are all made in house in good ole California.

Finally, time and phase don’t have to be screwed up…..

speakers currently in residence, studio, or mobile recording rack ( this last bit a hint about the journey you are rightminded about embarking on ) : Vandersteen, Thiel, Quad, Apogee, Klipsch, Totem, Bryston, Stax, and a beater but heavily modified pair of Dynaco A-25.
witness the acoustic event, capture event, including the ability to play back event in real time in the original reverberant space ( but with a heavy bias to nearfield monitoring, use a Stax grade or better headphone to also monitor, capture using a single stereo pair, failing that buy or build a small mixer ( this can make microphones seem cheap ), acquire a small collection of great microphones, piano lends itself well to a combi stereo…$2-3 k ( see your above posting about energy conversation device aka transducer ), buy or build great microphone preamps, cables…to Mogami or not ?, Then the fun begins…Digital , Tape…or both..
An open baffle recipe.

Woofer: AE 15” dipole., larger or smaller depending on room size.

Midrange: SEAS Exotic X1-08, F8, 8 ohm, 8" Full Range Driver

Tweeter: Mundorf AMT27D1.1 Dipole Air Motion Tweeter

About $5k, just for the drivers.
I attempt to build systems reaching under 25Hz, my criteria for full range in any speaker attempt at SOTA.

Systems reaching down to 15Hz are an entirely different experience.   :)
Classic Klipsch corner horns 
Post removed 
Millercarbon has it right - the low extension depends more on your room than you would think.I do not see yet the question answered though: can a single driver speaker reproduce an orchestra?Yes it can. Fostex FE204 Voigt pipes I built can. It has particularly truthful piano reproduction, the best approaching a real piano I heard so far from speakers.
How can it be?The brain makes sense of the fundamentals ONLY when the upper harmonic spectrum is correct. With single driver speakers there is a flawless continuity with the upper harmonics, so even though the 26Hz fundamental is already quite rolled off, but you have the 52Hz & up harmonics PERFECTLY lined up, so your brain will reconstruct the 26hz fundamental that's not physically audible, and the lowest note will be there in absolute harmonic richess, although lighter in weight (versus the heavy handed, but dried up 26Hz that you get from a powered sub or additional base driver that has different resonant characteristics than the upper drivers, hence the tonal spectrum goes south.)
Audio technology is not perfect, each solution has advantages and disadvantages. People assume that adding more drivers is a perfect solution, however, it has its own compromises.
Also, I'd like to add that I have not heard any commercial full ranger that comes anywhere to a full range experience, although I have not heard any properly set up. (With FR speakers proper speaker placement & amp matching is beyond vital.) Improper FR speaker set up: shrill and annoying sound. Proper set up: listened to Beethoven IX on them right after listening to Bethoven IX with live orchestra, and the FR gave a better experience than the live one. Just a thought... FR can sound great.  Also, I heard the best timpani on these FRs. ;). They are not brutes, don;t expect titanic crashing the iceberg and peeling your plaster to strike massive egos. Think base that has 3D definition, kettle drum that you literally can see in your room, with the skin vibrating and the waves washing over you and stopping your heart for a second - not from brute speed, not the sound-trying-to-rape-your-room, but the intense speed that defies what we expect from recorded sound. FR drivers can do more in the base department, because the ultra high sensitivity gives them the dynamic / speed edge.   (Need I add: 95dB and higher sensitivity FR...)
Bruce Edgar had a FR speaker made with Lowther 6PMA, maybe you can find one around... (he made very few though.) That's an outstanding FR!!!! Practically no Lowther shout, yet all of the Lowther speed and best low extension of any FR I heard.
I like feeling my music, and my system is used for home theater as well, so a solid 25hz satisfies me. But my pair of KEF R 400 b's only go comfortably to 28, so for now that’s it. 
Oddly enough, using some furniture, not to my wife’s liking, to fashion a horn, really increases the volume and decreases the distortion.
My newly acquired PBN Montana XPS speakers have an in room rating of 25 hz to 22 khz, pretty full range to me. However I do back them up with dual Rythmick F12 subs. Never enough bass!
@realworldaudio


Yes, if you go back to the beginning horns were necessary to reproduce bass because the amps only had so much power, so a good full range can get you most of the way there with a folded horn box, or a BAB. 

I currently have 3 sets of Fostex laying around waiting for cabinets, 4, 6, and 8 inches, two Sigma and a pair of Fostex FE206NV 8"ers.
Agree with @douglas_schroeder  that listening to a system with strong output down through 15 Hz is a completely different listening animal than most people would suppose. Whoever said that there's just not that much musical info below 40 Hz was absolutely wack. 

Also recall that "20 Hz" does Not represent the "lowest sound we can hear"...it simply is the lowest sound we can hear that most people can Identify as a **musical pitch** or **tone**. But, there is all kinds of musical information - having to do with tone,  dynamics And spatial relationships - that can easily be felt as well as heard. Not to mention the idea of properly pressurizing a room of a given volume vs amp power vs typical listening levels.

But I certainly agree with others that, more than anything else, it really doesn't just take a custom system (which indeed it does) but it takes a truly custom room. A nice, reasonable, typically good set of dimensions might be on the order of 25 or 30 ft long, by say 20 ft wide and at least 14 or 15 ft tall(!) And kiss goodbye any thoughts of 2x4 construction - you'll need more like 2x12's, instead - floor, walls and ceiling alike. And you will still need room treatments, maybe not as much as in a 'bad' room, but you'll still need them...and EQ.

People do engage in these sorts of projects from time to time, but all that is a major barrier that most people aren't quite willing to try to scale for obvious reasons. The rewards are there, particularly if you're looking to build your next home, or modify you're existing house (if you've accumulated home equity over the years, that can come in handy). True, full-range sound can be had, but, done right, it will come as a nasty sticker shock. But impractical problems sometimes require just plain impractical solutions.

NO one hears a sub signal NO ONE.. You feel it..

If anyone was to sit in a SUB only room, and then crank the sound, your bones would fall apart.. Just that simple..

On a hydroelectric dam face the turbine rooms, limit the exposure to ALL people.  Same issue in engine rooms on transport ships..

You have to be VERY careful with exposure to low LOUD harmonics.

I read earlier in the thread 15 hz.. LOL. A 32 foot pipe will hit 16 hz in a TUNED chapel/Cathedral ONLY.  Helmholtz tech is used to control and obtain it.. It doesn't just happen in nature..

A VERY well thought out room is the only way to get even close to 20 hz.  NASA's Langley Research Center has purchased two Larger VMPS Subwoofers as a source of 118+ dB, 20 Hz tone bursts. The Larger Subwoofer was the only commercially available system capable at that time.

Nearfield testing can go lower, add a room in the mix, it literally has to be built to work.. 

FEW people could even put up with VIBS like 15-25hz.. Unless you're already NUTS..

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I read earlier, "Whoever said that there's just not that much musical info below 40 Hz was absolutely wack."

"Also recall that "20 Hz" does Not represent the "lowest sound we can hear"

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I'm going to leave the statements above, but I would recommend a little education.. HEARING and SUB in the same sentence. Surely you jest!!
I want to go to my first trade show.   I want to hear this to believe it.  I have been under the opinion to not even try FR. Some of the full rangers have separate cabinets. Maybe you can spend enough.  My subs go to 30.  I can hear 20 Hz test tone but has no impact due to roll off.  My speakers go to 35 and sound better with subs.  Subs add the finishing touch.  Granted not 5 figure speakers.
Even if a speaker is "full range" most rooms cannot accommodate "full range".  Getcher full range by going to a live concert!
@oldhvymec

Of course you are mostly right, but why be so confrontational? People don’t listen when you do that, and if you have info people should know, you frustrate them and yourself by not conveying it in a pleasant manner.

I can hear 16hz. My subs can’t play that frequency in a musical context, but they can make that tone as a singular function. Great speakers are made to reproduce sound as recorded and experienced, so they are reproduction devices; and designers that care expect their clients to care as well, so assume those who purchase their product will attempt to provide an environment conducive to them functioning properly. Let us assume that each of us is making their best effort to do that.

I'm retired, so limit my spending cause I hope it's a long ways till I'm dead, and so may need a spare $20k here and there for those unforeseen emergencies that happen to old people who's parents were so thoughtless as to have not made themselves wealthy so I could have money to burn. I envy those who's parents were.

Budget wise I can have a $50k system or a $50k room to listen to it, but not both, so I, like all of us, have to determine my best options, and build my system according to a plan. I think we should all be reasonable and assume we are all like minded in that, and be courteous to one and other in that regard; there is something like that in the forum guidelines.

Several people have mentioned how few notes actually are played in a piece of music below 32hz, and as someone who listens to just about everything, I would have to agree with them that is a good standard to be considered full range.  But a Klipsh Heresy only goes down to about 48hz, but does so brilliantly as the woofer goes up to 400hz, that gives it good dynamic range balance, and is that speakers best attribute. (Please, no corrections, those figures are approx off the top of my head, and those are not the point I'm making about that speaker.)

So, that being said, what is your opinion on what defines a full range speaker, hz wise? What is the limit at which you would say, "That's required for my average listening needs, and after that I will need a sub?


@daledeee1

An excellent response!

Exactly on point to the question I thought I was asking. Something I can enter into a spread sheet.
@ivan_nosnibor

I agree that a balance should be struck between the room and the system. Most people don’t leave enough room in their budget for the room adjustments.

But those can be had in various manners, some even spouse friendly. Bookshelves with books in them are as effective as a custom made sound diffusion panel that applies to a wall. Same with fiber arts, which when you think about it makes more sense since those can be an investment; oriental rugs, tapestries and whatnot.

What I wonder about is why people will buy $1,000 worth of sound treatment items, but not use the same thing the Met uses; heavy velvet drapes. Put those over your windows and you are a long way towards the finishing line. Cover your back wall with them and eliminate almost all standing waves. Heck, even lined linen will do a remarkably good job. I use all three, and it makes my wife happy and it fixes my room. 

But I would like to see an irregular sheet size panel for ceilings produced at no more than 4-6” tall that tastefully could be applied to the entire ceiling as an architectural enhancement, and give me the feeling of a 16’ ceiling. 
Enough digression.
A couple things about room treatments in general: it may look at first like it’s just a matter of picking out what you might think you might need from a vast forest of treatment products that are out there, pro or DIY. The one big problem with any of that is that it will in fact work to some extent. That is, whatever you pick out will work, but how much and at what frequencies? It’s great to say that we can absorb or diffuse by so much at X frequencies. But how do even know where the problem spots in the room actually are to begin with? Are we reducing the right frequencies at the right room locations? Are we in fact making things better or making things worse? We can’t know what to treat and what to leave alone if we haven’t yet done our homework and have visually mapped out where the problem areas in our room actually are...until we do that, then we’re just guessing...the odds certainly don’t favor guesswork simply because the behavior of the world of acoustics typically does not follow ’common sense’ logic...our best guesses are more likely to turn out to be wrong than right. There’s always experimenting, which is good, but measuring the room first is even better. But this can’t be done in a single sitting, it takes Many different readings. It’s tricky, and in the pro arena, when it’s time for that they call in the other pro’s: the acousticians. In the hifi world, that gets pricey, worth it maybe, but still pricey.

But, of all the things you mention above, the drapes idea seem to be maybe your best shot at your biggest bang for the buck here. I mean those very heavy sound-deadening curtains they use in studios, with a thinner outer covering to keep the wife happy. None of the you mention will really do anything to offer much control below 200 Hz, but above, those curtains would be good. But the best part is that you can control how much wall coverage and you can experiment easily by sliding them open or closed...a great way to experiment for yourself. Rugs on the floor if you don’t already have them.

AFA the ceiling is concerned, I’m not sure anything would be effective for the bass. Foam would help only so much in the mids and the highs, but the reason the mids and highs sound so compromised to start with is because of the bass. Too much folded bass energy in the small room creates not only a problem with the fundamental bass note, but also on all the harmonics of that note, as you go up in frequency (and down in amplitude). So you can put foam, fiberglass or curtains down to control the harmonics everywhere, but they are just band-aids. The real trick would be to try to gain room size and volume to keep the bass from bombarding the mids and highs into oblivion. Once the mids and highs are contaminated (mixed in with the harmonics), you can’t absorb your way out of the problem without reducing the good sound along with the bad...so, if you must do it that way, then reducing things by a judicious amount, and no more, is the about only hope there is of applying an optimal treatment, a limited compromise...but it does also help keeps costs sane, since any additional treatment after that point would only make things sound worse.
A speaker has to go flat to 30 hertz with large baffles and large drivers in a full size cabinet to be considered full range and if you can find one made prior to 1965 that is 16 ohms you will definitely hear a full range system unlike anything made today. The baffle should be twice the width of the woofer and three times the height of the woofer to be considered a full size cabinet so for a 15 inch woofer it would be 30 by 45 inches and the cabinet should be 1.5 to 2 times the depth of the driver so for the 15 inch woofer that would be 22.5 to 30 inches deep. When you get a speaker like this with the high quality drivers in it you will know what full range is and the need for a subwoofer will go away completely.
realworldaudio-
The brain makes sense of the fundamentals ONLY when the upper harmonic spectrum is correct. 
If true this would explain a number of things. It would explain whyTownshend Supertweeters improved the sound of instruments far lower in frequency than the Supertweeters output. It would explain why frequencies we cannot even hear as such nevertheless have an effect that can be heard. And it would account for the fact there are three times as many ear cells devoted to detecting these high frequencies than the ones we can hear.   

Maybe not explain, the question of why is always hard to crack, but it does for sure agree with all of these observations.