Speaker Cabinet Theory

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Why are there so many sizes and types of speaker enclosures?

Speaker Cabinet Theory

Most cone speakers require some type of cabinet, or enclosure to optimize their sound quality. The main purpose of a speaker cabinet is to cut down on rear output that creates sound cancellations which can have a detrimental affect on a speaker's performance.

In the audiophile world, there are three basic schools of thought when it comes to speaker cabinets. The first, and most primitive, is the Open Baffle Design. This is simply a speaker mounted to board, in a round cutout. The board or baffle is cut to a particular size to optimize the speaker's performance (many old theater speaker designs used this principal). The second ideas (that gained a foothold in the 1950's) was the use of 'lossy', or resonant cabinets. A lossy speaker cabinet will attenuate rear sound waves, making them less noticeable. The final basic theory is to make the speaker cabinet as non-resonant, or 'dead' as possible. When knocking on the side of this type of speaker cabinet, it should feel, and sound solid and very dull.



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