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The difference between guitar speakers and ordinary Hi-Fi speakers

2021-07-15 21
You may have heard the following two points before:

Like other speakers, guitar speakers are designed to accurately reproduce the original sound signal.

Guitarists always overload the speakers to get enough volume.

Here we can say that the above two views are wrong, and we will explain the reasons before.

All guitar amps can be said to be a complete sound manufacturing process: the guitar itself, the preamplifier (including various effects, equalization, etc.), and the power amplification that can generate overload. Of course, the horn is an indispensable element.

However, sound production and modification do not end with speakers. In fact, it is a cyclical process, that is, feedback. In general performance or recording, the volume of the speaker is above the middle and upper, and the volume generated by the speaker is enough to make the string resonate and add it to the note that is about to weaken, or generate acoustic feedback through other control technology equipment.


The difference between guitar speakers and ordinary Hi-Fi speakers


But this feedback is not the annoying whistling sound we often hear on the microphone. For the guitar, when there is enough gain, it will produce natural overtones after the notes played. Regarding the use of feedback, there are corresponding guitar skills. I also want to ask a teacher in this regard.

A higher gain is required when using feedback, but this does not mean that the volume is increased excessively. Therefore, the preamplifier/power amplifier circuit design of the guitar amplifier often produces a larger gain to overload it. This has the advantage of equalizing the volume of each string, playing and hitting/hooking/clicking the strings, and more Easy to produce overtones and so on.

For those who are not musicians, it may be strange that the guitarist overloads the speakers, because they think it will produce distortion and make the sound quality worse.

But in fact, in the past 30 years, people have racked their brains to create a variety of satisfying overload and distortion sounds, making it a technology. Nowadays, it is generally accepted that the more ordinary the distortion sound is, the better, and many guitarists are still looking for the "pure" distortion sound.

Although there are many devices that imitate this kind of sound (effects, digital modules, power attenuators, etc.) at a low volume, the result is unsatisfactory. Nowadays, the sound of vacuum tube power amplification is still the object of many guitarists' desire.

The following descriptions let everyone understand the reasons why the speaker volume should be turned up as much as possible:

Of course, if a guitarist just wants to play as loudly as possible, he can buy a transistor amplifier. At the current price, you can buy a 1600W transistor speaker with the money you buy a 30W vacuum tube speaker! And more durable.

But what we want is sound! Not just the volume. In the case of using the maximum power of the speaker, it is impossible to turn down the volume. This is frustrating news for those who do not want to disturb others, but also want to make the speakers make a beautiful sound.

It is more difficult to describe this kind of distortion sound vividly. It is a bit like the sound of a harmonica, saxophone or violin, but it is completely unique to electric guitars.

In addition, the guitar itself also affects the overdrive sound. A single pickup produces a bright, strong tone, and a double pickup produces a full, soft tone.

Similarly, the speakers of guitar speakers are quite different from ordinary HIFI speakers. The speaker speaker modifies the sound to a certain extent, while the HIFI speaker only restores the sound accurately. The following figure shows the response characteristics of the two within twice the power:

Note: Please don’t get me wrong because it can be used even if it exceeds the speaker’s rated power. We don’t recommend this.

The HIFI speaker is designed to accurately restore the sound within the linear range, so beyond this range, the cone of the speaker may be damaged or even burn out the coil. The musical instrument speaker retains the linear part when it is close to the maximum power, and then limits the movement of the paper cone, so that the sound is compressed and a non-linear part is produced. In addition, for the design of the musical instrument horn, at maximum power, it can still achieve explosive notes without damaging the horn. Therefore, the horn of a musical instrument generally has a wide and short coil and a smooth restriction on the movement of the paper cone in extreme conditions.

Finally, the frequency response performance of musical instrument speakers and HIFI speakers are also different
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