Understanding Speaker Frequency Response Curves and FRFR

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by tzd, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    Oct 21, 2011
    I'm trying to pick a suitable PA speaker for my modeler, so presumably I should pick something that is as true to FRFR as possible.

    I have been looking at the frequency response curves of speaker spec sheets. Of course I don't have much knowledge or experience in this subject so I'm asking here.

    With reference to the two curves below, does this mean that the speaker with the curve on the right will make a truer FRFR speaker than the one on the left?


    Attached Files:

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  2. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Senior Member

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    Oct 13, 2015
    FRFR (Full Range Flat Response) is a general and somewhat misleading term, as no two speakers claiming to be FRFR will have the identical frequency response plot, nor will any of them be absolutely flat.

    About the closest you would find would be matched pairs of the same make/model speakers from a given manufacturer. And, the matched pairs asssertion is not often seen these days, except in high end Studio Monitors. Even then the speakers and rooms are tuned, so regardless what the speaker's plot may look like the result is custom tuned to what sounds best in the room.

    That being said, as the the two graphics you posted are using different vertical scales, the plots look different. The one on the right appears smoother, varying about +/- 2 or 3 db within the hoizontal 5 db row depicted on that plot between 95 to 100 db SPL. The plot on the left appears more jagged (i.e rougher), however, it also seems to be about +/- 2 or 3 db, above the 90 db index.

    The one on the left clearly has more bottom end as it does not begin to attenuate until 70Hz. The one on the right is significantly attenuated by 70hz. At 50hz it is at 85 db, down about 12db from the approx 97 db at 100hz. For guitar, this would be below what you care about anyway.

    Overall each of these speakers will likely sound good. They will each have their own characteristic voicing or slight coloration.

    The best thing to do is listen to as many as you can within the size and price range as you can. Also bear in mind, some are rear ported, some are front ported, some are designed for near field. These attributes can affect where they will best be suited for placement and use. Others, as PA or stage monitors will have a different throw or projetion of the sound field.

    The FRFR plots of a 5" Studio Monitor vs. an 8" Studio Monitor or 10" FRFR PA Monitor may look very similar. Nonetheless, you'd absolutely, in an instant, be able to discern which you prefer for sound, size, and price when you were to hear them A/B/C each at the same SPL. Other aspects are how full they sound at varying distances and volumes, and how they may suit your needs: near field, larger room, or approaching an Amp In the Room experience.

    There are lots of choices in each product category. Enjoy the evaluation process. It can be an ear opening experience.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Mar 18, 2007

    Yes to this. Forget the graphs and specs when it comes to this application. There so much else going on it's practically meaningless. Audition with your ears.

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