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Wooden speaker cones - coming soon to a speaker near you


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   gregstaten

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Posted April 08 2004 - 01:14 AM

Here's a very interesting new development. Apparently a JVC scientist has figured out how to make speaker cones out of wood. The solution? Soaking the wood in sake!

The Solution Was Sake

According to audio engineer friends of mine this has been considered to be one of the holy grails of speaker design for many years. After all, the resonance properties of wood are well known and considered superior to just about any other material. (There's a reason the finest musical instruments are still made out of wood.)

I'm really interested in hearing these.

-greg

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted April 08 2004 - 04:22 PM

Greg

Shaping wood has been around for, maybe 200 years. Soaking and steaming are the traditional way of shaping.

Think of it this way. How do they shape the sides of acoustic guitars. How do they make bamboo furniture?

In my experience the material used to make the cone makes little or no difference.

But the really crazy thing is that they are going to charge quite a premium for little tiny speakers for the for a $550 "executive entertainment system".

Breakthroughs are hard to come by so the engineers and the marketing people are always looking for something novel to plug the product.

Always interesting to see the next breakthrough.

Artie

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   gregstaten

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Posted April 09 2004 - 05:11 AM

Oh I know shaping has been around for hundreds of years. The trick is to get wood so thin that it can be used for a speaker cone. That was the trick he accomplished.

I'm not an audio engineer, but those I know and trust tell me that this is potentially a very significant breakthrough. (An audio engineer friend of mine in New York sent me the link.) And those I talk to tell me that the material used to make the cone absolutely affects the quality of the sound. It isn't the only determining factor, naturally, but it is a factor.

-greg

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Tim Stumpf

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Posted April 09 2004 - 05:27 AM

Not to be a smartas*, but isn't really thin wood basically paper? I think they've been doing paper for quite a while.

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 09 2004 - 06:08 AM

If you have not heard of Dali speakers www.dali-usa.com

Also from there site:
THE NEW CONES
The 6.5” and 8” woofers are custom made for the Helicon series, with new wood and paper fibre composite cones and dust caps as well as high-acceleration- geometry profile cone shape. DALI prefers light, stiff cone materials that react with lightning speed to the signals, but not too stiff in order for the inherent sound of the cone material to not shine through. To obtain this, we have chosen a new type of paper cone that contains unusually long wooden fibres in a carefully measured proportion. The fibres control resonance and permit a more lightweight cone to be used, and they are clearly visible when they are near the surface. A light coating then controls the few remaining resonances. The shape is also optimised to most effectively transform the impulses from the voice coil into faithful movements of air.

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted April 09 2004 - 07:48 AM

Cone material most definitely affects the sound. I think it's a very interesting development. $550 for an "exectutive" system is actually pretty inexpensive for what they consider to be a fairly groundbreaking technology. The cost of production is obviously not obscene, or they would be charging a lot more. The question is, what will these drivers really cost and how long before we see mass production of them, aside from this system?
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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Mike SJ

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Posted April 09 2004 - 08:15 AM

"In my experience the material used to make the cone makes little or no difference."

my $.02 i have noticed so much more clarity with kevlar cones over other types.

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Rory Buszka

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Posted April 09 2004 - 08:37 AM

I saw this on another message board. Somebody there quipped:

Quote:
Looks like he was using the sake to soften more than just the wood.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted April 09 2004 - 11:00 AM

LMAO! I was thinking the same thing. When I read that, I thought "Sake huh?" His brain had become soft, so he came up with the idea after 20yrs?
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
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#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted April 09 2004 - 01:53 PM

John Garcia

What empirical evidence is there that cone composition affects the sound of speakers?

Let's take a look at some of the best speakers in the world. Wilson Watt-Puppies, the largest selling speakers in the over $10,000 price range. Wilson buys most of its drivers from companies like Scan Speak, Vifa, Focal. Wilson "dopes" the drivers up in their own way. The Watt-Puppies cost $22,400 a pair.

Do ya really believe that Wilson is missing the boat with the composition of its drivers?

Wilson does not use Kevlar drivers either. Missing the boat again?

The 2 best sounding speakers I have ever heard (including the $40,000 Wilson Maxx) were:

1) No name bookshelf made in California.
2) Apogee full range ribbon speakers.

In the case of the Apogee's, the "cone" material definitely affected the sound given the fact that they use thin metal strips and not cones in ribbon speakers, and mylar suspended between perforated metal plates in electrostatics.

If there was one cone composition that sounded better than anything else, wouldn't that be common knowledge?

Artie

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted April 09 2004 - 02:41 PM

Resonances and breakup modes come to mind. It's worth keeping in mind that the Japanese have historically patented the hell out of drivers with many oddball compositions and impregnations resulting in many shitty patented drivers. Perhaps this is better.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   John F. Palacio

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Posted April 10 2004 - 06:58 AM

Chu says:
Quote:
many oddball compositions and impregnations resulting in many shitty patented drivers


How do you REALLY feel about it, Chu?Posted Image
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted April 10 2004 - 01:20 PM

Some of the worst drivers ever made have come from Japan, but the sake is good especially when served with a comely looking woman. Bottom's up Posted Image

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted April 10 2004 - 02:10 PM

Quote:
What empirical evidence is there that cone composition affects the sound of speakers?
Quote:
If there was one cone composition that sounded better than anything else, wouldn't that be common knowledge?
Take a chill pill, Arthur. John merely said that different cone materials would affect the sound of a speaker (which I would tend to agree). He did not say one material was functionally “better” or sounded “better” than another.
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#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Raymond D'amato

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Posted April 14 2004 - 08:39 AM

HEY GUYS WOODEN SPEAKERS ARE NOT NEW 40 + YEARS AGO
THEIR WAS A SPEAKER SYST. CALLED THE BI-PHONIC COUPLER
IT LOOKED LIKE A PICTURE FRAME AND ABOUT 4 INCHES THICK.
A COUPLE OF UNIVERSITY MFG. SPRAKER ENGINEERS WENT INTO
BUSINEESS AND MFG. IT HERE . BTW THE TWEETER WAS A UNIVESITY DESIGN AND SOLD IN MATCHED PAIRS A LEFT AND A RIGHT . NOT MUCH IN THE BASS DEPT. BUT HAD ONE OF THE BEST
TRANSIENT RESPONSES I EVER HEARD. I OWNED A PAIR FOR AVERY SHORT TIME THEY WRE TROUBLESOME THE WOOD KEPT SEPERATEING.
AHHHH ! MEMORIES

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Mike SJ

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Posted April 14 2004 - 08:43 AM

"It's worth keeping in mind that the Japanese have historically patented the hell out of drivers with many oddball compositions and impregnations resulting in many shitty patented drivers"

oh, is this how BOSE started?

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted April 14 2004 - 05:36 PM

The Bose sound better dipped in salsa.

This is an interresting read. I've never heard of wooden speakers before.

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael__M

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Posted April 15 2004 - 08:06 AM

Hey, I'm just a newbie but I thought it was something like cone stiffness and weight affects accuracy of the driver, which in turn leads to the particular sound the speaker produces.


Oh yeah, paper is not wood. It is made from wood but it is definitely not just thin wood.
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#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Mike SJ

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Posted April 15 2004 - 08:37 AM

When will we see Hemp cones?

stronger and lighter that paper!

can you see Tommy Chong selling Hemp speakers?