The Speaker Guru speaks: Siegfried Linkwitz

Speaker Designer Questions

. . . I will not participate, though, because I spend my time already on similar topics on my own web page. For the fun of it I give you my off the top answers to your questions and without elaborating.

1. Without giving the standard "weakest link" answer, how important would you rate speakers as component?
It is the bottleneck.

2. How have speakers changed in the past 25 years?
Little, except that the interaction between electrical drive signal and acoustic polar response has been generally understood.

3. Do we have to spend a lot on woofers and tweeters to get good sound?

4. What are the top three design parameters you use? (or the top three things you worry about most)
Non-linear distortion, stored energy, dynamic scale distortion.

5. Do you design on measurement or sound?
Measurement first, then sound, then measurement, then sound, etc.

6. What to you think is that "special something" is that makes some speakers sound so good?
Good midrange clarity.

7. What are your speaker audition strong points and weak points, i.e., what problems do you find most difficult to pick up in listening tests?
Some carefully selected broadband and wide dynamic range signals reveal it all.

8. Do you have a theory on crossovers or use whatever seems to work?
I use what is appropriate to the task.

9. Do we overstress the bottom octave and area above 20K Hz?
Yes and yes. Have you checked your hearing?

10. What one piece of advice would you give every new speaker builder?
Learn how to make meaningful measurements before you start computer modeling.

11. When you get cornered at a party by a speaker builder, what is the question they ask most often?
I have not met a speaker builder at a party.

12. Will we ever find the Holy Grail in sound reproduction?
Multi-channel (6+) with proper mic technique can come close.

13. So, which is it, tubes or SS?
Properly designed SS.

14. What does the future hold for speaker design?
Lower distortion drivers. Integrated amps.

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Copyright Peter Jay Smith 2005 Return to