Is the 2.5 way speaker the ideal home speaker?

Time for what I hope is another fun thread. 

One type of speaker which is actually pretty common but which gets little press / attention here on audiogon is the 2.5 way. 

A 2.5 way speaker is almost a 3-way, but it isn't. It is a speaker with 3 drivers, but instead of a tweeter, midrange and woofer (TMW) it lacks a true midrange. The "midrange" is really a mid-woofer, that shares bass duties with the woofer. Often these two drivers are identical, though in the Focal Profile 918 the midwoofer and woofer were actually different drivers with the same nominal diameter (6"). 

The Monitor Audio 200 is a current example of the concept, but I am sure there are many others. It's also quite popular in kit form. One of the most high-end kits I know of is the Ophelia based on a ScanSpeak Be tweeter and 6" Revelator mid-woofers. I haven't heard them, but I am in eternal love with those mid-woofers. I believe the original plans come from the German speaker building magazine Klan Ton. 

However many other kits are also available

But regardless of kit, or store purchased, are you a 2.5 way fan? Why or why not? 



Showing 1 response by fsonicsmith

I think it is helpful to think of speaker design as largely being an evolutionary process based upon consumer demand. There is a reason why large Altec Lansings and Klipsch K-horns gave way to acoustic suspension like the AR3a and KLH to Advent and then to the predominant design of the day-narrow baffled deep floor standers that are ported and either 3 way or 2.5. 
There is a reason too why the outlier designs like planars, wide baffles, open baffles, time arrays, plasmatrons, you name it remain outliers. 
It is largely a matter of being able to deliver the most-looked-for audio attributes for an average consumer's room with an average consumers choice of amplification at a reasonable cost. It is a matter of survival of the fittest. The companies that thrive innovate and evolve and their research and development over time begins to converge on a common solution to these consumer wants. 
In the Preamp/Amp forum someone asked about amplification for the Spendor D7.2 and I tried to help but unwittingly derailed the thread a big when I compared and contrasted the D7.2 with the DeVore O/93's. I own both. I was thinking of this very concept while describing what makes the Spendors so attractive. They do the imaging, soundstage, and midrange things exceedingly well. Most but not all present-day audiophiles want these attributes. Standmounts do these things exceedingly well too at the expense of bass and authority. But again, my main point is that the DeVore O/93's play to a whole different suit of priorities that for better or worse, are sought after by a minority of high-end listeners. I happen to prefer the DeVores but for variety I love the Spendors too.