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Old 07-16-2012, 01:04 PM
musicadivine musicadivine is offline
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Default Optimum woofer size in speaker for Guitar ?

Hello,

I am just selling my Acoustic guitar amp and I will replace it with good condenser mike, 2 Active speakers & small mix.

I would like to know, what is the optimal size for main driver (woofer) in Active speaker to get the best reproduction of guitar basses, especialy in Jumbo guitars? Anyone who prefer 12" or 15" or you think that 10" is more than enought?

Thanks

Last edited by musicadivine; 07-16-2012 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:12 AM
GmanJeff GmanJeff is offline
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Woofer size alone isn't dispositive. Cabinet volume and design (e.g., sealed versus ported) impact frequency response. I use EV ZxA1 powered speakers with 8" woofers, which sound very good for guitars in standard tuning and vocals. The Fishman SA220 has mid-woofer speakers which are only 4" in diameter, but which reproduce guitar frequencies very nicely.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:55 PM
buzzardwhiskey buzzardwhiskey is offline
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This is an interesting topic to me, and not at all intuitive or straight forward.

To me there is a "feeling" created by larger speakers that's missing from smaller speakers. Mind you, the Fishman stick-types and my Unico 8" and many other smaller cone offerings can sound very "honest", but they don't (to me) have the same enveloping "feel".
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:17 PM
arashaw arashaw is offline
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I would also like to know how to pick a speaker/cab specifically for acoustic guitar. What are the optimum sizes? Why is a Daedelus speaker much better than say a QSC or EV? What is the best "throw" angle?
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:29 PM
GmanJeff GmanJeff is offline
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I'm not sure there's a single answer to what is "best" or to what size speaker is optimal. It depends what your needs are - how far the sound needs to carry, how efficient the speaker needs to be if you're using an external power amp, the environment(s) you'll be in (outdoors, indoors in a large noisy room, a small quiet room, with a band or by yourself?), how durable/road-worthy the gear needs to be, whether weight or size are considerations, and whether you can get the sound/fidelity your audience expects and that you'll be happy with. In many common gigging environments, striving for ultra-high fidelity audio reproduction is somewhat pointless - the environments are inherently noisy and the audiences not all that attentive or critical even if they appreciate sound that's at least undistorted and reasonably pleasant - that can be achieved with smaller and less expensive gear than some would advocate as a matter of principle, if not pragmatism.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:26 PM
donh donh is offline
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I am a speaker designer and could make almost any size woofer "work", but when I did it I chose a 12". (it works a treat, you wish you had it!)

Can't speak to other's designs in general, as there are too many parameters to make a flat statement.

Guitar bass strings go down to about 80Hz, and you want a smooth low-end roll-off with no lumps and good control by the amplifier device.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:52 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicadivine View Post
Hello,

I am just selling my Acoustic guitar amp and I will replace it with good condenser mike, 2 Active speakers & small mix.

I would like to know, what is the optimal size for main driver (woofer) in Active speaker to get the best reproduction of guitar basses, especialy in Jumbo guitars? Anyone who prefer 12" or 15" or you think that 10" is more than enought?

Thanks
As mentioned above, there will be several factors involved other than the diameter of the woofer. It will be the entire design of the speaker system that will determine whether it will handle the lower bass notes of your guitar.

For example, my Daedalus W803 speakers are + - 2 db from 50HZ to 20k HZ. They handle dropped C tunings very well indeed (C = 62Hz). They have an 8" woofer. My Ultrasound 50E monitor, also with an 8" woofer, does not handle those lower bass notes as well.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:50 PM
mutantrock mutantrock is offline
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There really is not an optimum size rule.... so whatever sounds good. For the powered speakers, the quality of the amp(s) built into them are also an important factor.

I like a very clean sound without a "muddy" overly bass heavy resonance sound. I am most concerned about the midrange clarity and smoothness of the speaker. I have QSC K8 speakers and like them for their sound quality and how they work for my style of acoustic guitar/vocal music.
I have heard the QSC K12 speakers and I thought they were too bassy sounding in the setting I heard them in and for the female guitar/vocalist who was using them.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:42 PM
royd royd is offline
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you want a good flat response that goes to 80 hz (low E) or perhaps a little lower or at least doesn't drop too rapidly if you do dropped tunings (approx. 73 for a D and 65 for a C).

Speaker size doesn't have a lot to do with how low the speaker goes or how rich/full the bass is. I use an Acme B2 with my bass and I haven't run into a bass cab that has as fat and honest a low end. It is pretty much flat to 41hz (low E on a bass guitar) and -6 at 31 so you get a serious fundamental even from a low B on a 5 string bass which is 31 hz. It has two 10 inch woofers, a 5 inch mid and a tweeter and is very flat in response. It sounds great with acoustic guitar although the low end is overkill for an acoustic guitar.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:10 AM
jomaynor jomaynor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutantrock View Post

I have heard the QSC K12 speakers and I thought they were too bassy sounding in the setting I heard them in and for the female guitar/vocalist who was using them.
There are many other factors besides speaker cone size that can cause an acoustic guitar to sound muddy or bassy from a decent 12" like the QSC, however.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:30 AM
DukeLeJeune DukeLeJeune is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arashaw View Post
I would also like to know how to pick a speaker/cab specifically for acoustic guitar. What are the optimum sizes? Why is a Daedelus speaker much better than say a QSC or EV? What is the best "throw" angle?
Optimum size = big enough to not distort for the size gigs you'll be playing, but not so big that it's impractical. I know that's not a very good answer, but I guess my point is that well-designed cabs can come in different sizes.

Why might a boutique speaker like the Daedalus sound better? Attention paid to the details of crossover design, driver choice and integration, and cabinet construction. I compete against Lou Hinkley's designs in another market, and he is very, very good, so it's not suprising to me that his cabs are arguably at the top of the food chain in the amplified acoustic guitar world. He works very hard on getting the details right, and imo it's quite interesting to see that his passive designs are still highly competitive.

In my opinion, the optimum throw angle would be the angle where the woofer and mid/high frequency sections integrate the best (I know that's not what you were asking, but hang with me here). For instance, QSC's different-sized cabs have different pattern widths, with their smaller cabs having wider patterns than the bigger ones. This is because the smaller woofers have a wider pattern in the crossover region, and they have tailored their horns to pattern-match the woofers in the crossover region.

So now we're sort of back to your first question: If you need a big cab, in order to get good pattern matching through the crossover region (which imo really does matter), then you might be looking at 90 degrees. If you only need a smaller cab, then a wider pattern, 100 degrees or more, might be more optimal. But as you can see I'm giving higher priority to driver integration and pattern uniformity than to pattern width per se.

Okay now that I've gotten that out of my system, the optimium pattern width would probably be whatever gives adequate coverage for your audience, and thus would change from one gig to the next. With two cabs, you would have the option of aiming them as needed.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:35 PM
arashaw arashaw is offline
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Thanks for explaining. I looked at some specs on EVs and QSCs and it looked like, if I understand correctly, as volume goes up they loose some range/details. The Daedelus specs givin in this thread are much better when comparing. Of course these are bunch of different random sizes I quickly scanned over.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:38 PM
mutantrock mutantrock is offline
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When I was looking I was able to audition the powered EV and QSC and they were really a level above anything else I could compare side by side at the stores. I suggest listening to them if you can. I didn't look at specs until after bought mine haha...They just sounded awesome I knew they were all I needed.

The Daedelus I have never heard but they look awesome and I would love to hear them some time. Obviously, they are another step or two up from QSC and EV.
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