Ok I see what you mean now, I apologize for my analogies, maybe are a little bit misleading. But when I say that damping works at all frequencies I mean in the transient phase, sharp changes of signal etc.
So for example for the LCD 2 in sequence:
1. I apply a signal to the speaker.
2. The diaphragm moves.
3. I stop the signal (or abrupt change).
4. In an ideal world the diaphragm does not have mass and it is not linked to anything so it would stop or it would change direction instantly! Unfortunately in the real world the diaphragm does have a mass (the ortho ones are very small comparing to dynamic though) and it is connected to the frame so it doesn't stop instantly. Without any "brake" it would tend to vibrate without stopping but then the air and other internal energy dissipations would eventually stop it.
5. If from the point the signal stops, the diaphragm is connected to an amp according to the CDR (critical damping resistance) principle then it will get to the resting position quicker because of the electric damping effect.
- The fact that the diaphragm does not stop instantly is sure, especially for large excursions at low frequency. It is enough looking at waterfall plots, impulse responses and using common sense, to be sure about it.
- The fact that when no signal is applied to the speaker the diaphragm is damped if connected to an external circuit (in CDR mode) it is also a true thing (unless I am completely missing something here). This will occur in whatever situation and for any speaker (including orthos), if I close the speaker in a short circuit, its oscillation will be damped (more or less depending on the speed of the diaphragm), this is a basic principle of electromagnetism, if I try to move the diaphragm it will be stiffer than the same speaker connected in an open circuit. The same type of damping as for a sphere in a viscous liquid.
Dear Steve I hope I explained myself a little bit better, does this makes sense for you?