Difference between Audio drivers?
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silverensign

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So I recently scrapped an old speaker system from phillips and got 1 of the two drivers (The thing that actually produces the sound; I think im using the right word) out without damage. this sole driver has a diameter of between 3-5 inches (I don't have it with me at the moment to measure). So I have been wanting to play around with it and just have some fun. So it got me thinking, could I convert this driver, which was used in a normal left/right speaker, into a subwoofer driver. So I tried doing some research on this topic, but I could find nothing. So I have a few questions below regarding this.
 
1) What is the difference between a regular driver and a subwoofer driver, if any.
 
2) a) If there is no difference how could i turn this tiny driver into a subwoofer
 
    b) if there is a difference how could I convert it into a subwoofer if possible
 
3) what affects the sound quality between different drivers. (saying everything else was the same, such as amp/dac, enclosur, etc. but the driver itself was different. say I took a 5" sennheiser driver and compared it to these phillips 5" driver.
 
if you have anything else you want to say or talk about on this subject i'm more than willing to listen in. I'm pretty clueless on the technical part of sound systems/products.
 
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kraken2109

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1. Subwoofer drivers are normally much larger and designed to have higher excursion (backwards and forwards movement) to create high SPL (sound pressure) for low frequencies.
 
2a. A small driver is not going to be a subwoofer.
b. It's not going to be a subwoofer
 
3. Different drivers are made of different materials, different thickness etc
 
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silverensign

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Ok, understood, I would need a bigger driver to make a subwoofer. But lets say I'm the kind of guy who likes to tinker and goes ahead and tries to convert it into a sub woofer just for kicks. How would I do it?
 
On a side note,does the diameter of the driver dictate what frequencies that driver is strongest in?
 
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Steve Eddy

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On a side note,does the diameter of the driver dictate what frequencies that driver is strongest in?

Among other things, yes. If you look at the specifications for loudspeaker drivers, there's a parameter known as Fs, which is the resonant frequency of the driver in free air. The response of the driver begins to drop below Fs, though the type of enclosure used can help give you a bit more output below Fs (such as ported enclosures) but there are limits. You can also reduce Fs by adding mass to the cone, but this will also reduce efficiency, which means you'll need to provide it more power to get the same level of output.

For drivers the size of what you're talking about, Fs will typically be in the range of 100 to 200 Hz, so really, trying to make anything resembling a subwoofer is rather futile.

I would suggest if you want to do some tinkering is to use the drivers on an open baffle. Basically just a piece of plywood as large as you're willing to use. Mount the driver off center a bit and at a height about ear level. Just use a simple stick or dowel to prop them up.

Also for a bit of fun, place them in the middle of the room, sit down on the floor and listen to them near field (about three feet away or so).

se
 
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