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Key word: "tones." You're absolutely correct... limiting yourself to organ music.
I don't get your point. All music is made up of tones. If your sub isn't playing any tones above 120Hz you won't be able to localize it.


Earlier you said that small woofers can't move enough air ("Most main speakers do not have large drivers that are designed to play back bass frequencies at high levels without distortion"...) and then afterward you said "The bigger the woofer, the less it has to move to generate any frequency compared to smaller counterparts."

While it is true that a small driver has to move farther (have a longer excursion) to generate the same SPL as a larger driver, it is not true that a woofer can generate "any frequency compared to smaller counterparts" without distortion (they're krap for HF), nor is it true that one can generate significant SPL without moving. If there is ONE advance that has been made in speaker driver design in the past 50 years, I'd say it's in small drivers, with insanely long excursions, and active feedback electronics, that allow them to give a pretty convincing simulation of real bass from a small box.
Right, and I'm not seeing a contradiction between those two statements. Surely you're familiar with Hoffman's Law: you can only choose 2 of 3 between low bass extension, sensitivity, and small enclosure size. Most small woofers come in speakers with rather small-ish cabinets, which means you're sacrificing either extension or sensitivity, both of which affect how low they can play and the volume at which they can play (not to mention that such speakers will put extra strain on your amp to power those low frequencies, while most subwoofers come with their own internal amps). Subwoofers are subject to the same law, but don't have to move nearly as much to produce those low tones. Again, "there's no replacement for displacement."

I also assumed in a thread about subwoofers and low frequencies I didn't have to specify "bass frequencies" when I said "any frequency compared to smaller counterparts." Obviously subwoofers aren't designed to play most mid-to-high frequencies, so I didn't feel I needed to specify that. Also, of course they have to move, they just don't have to move as much compared to their smaller counterparts. The advancements in more linear results with large excursions for small speakers may be true, but that still doesn't negate the benefits of bigger drivers for low bass.
 

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If there is ONE advance that has been made in speaker driver design in the past 50 years, I'd say it's in small drivers, with insanely long excursions, and active feedback electronics, that allow them to give a pretty convincing simulation of real bass from a small box.
Can you recommend some speakers for me to try - ones I can get in the UK? Smaller the better. And ones which can be controlled by a regular mid range amp.
 
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