Speakers are like works of art to the well-trained ear. There’s a subjective strand to sound value depending on preferred music genres. Speakers that work for Vivaldi may be wrong for INXS.
It is possible to switch individual components in a sound system to benefit all kinds of styles and tastes of music or sound. It’s a fine art with endless dependencies over how components fit with the quality and design of others in the system.
Read on and discover how premium speaker components such as quality low-frequency LF drivers can improve speaker sound.
The Speaker Hierarchy Explained
The types of sound and where you wish to listen to your speakers will play into your choices. An outdoor music event, for example, will need something different to the speakers you’ll want for listening to your favourite tunes at home.
Coaxial speakers can fix poor frequency response. They can fill in the missing sound frequencies experienced with single-cone speakers. Although commonly used for car stereos, they’re not limited to just that.
Component speakers have better functionality, power handling, tweeter and woofer material options. That’s when compared to coaxial speakers. Overall, they sound better and are the preferred choice if:
- Sound quality is your number one priority
- You wish to use speakers with advanced materials, especially for tweeters
- You enjoy crossovers with steeper cutoff and tweeter volume reduction
- You’ll perform custom speaker installation with higher-end electronics
- You want better music playback and listening on high-fidelity recordings
- You drive your speakers with an amplifier for extra clarity & power
One of the benefits of swapping out drivers and crossovers in an audio system is better performance without a total overhaul. We refer to this as “component swapping” or “component upgrading.” You’d replace parts with higher-quality or better-matched premium speaker components to improve sound quality.
Drivers are responsible for producing the sound in speakers. They include woofers, tweeters and super-tweeters. There are LF drivers and mid-range drivers too. High-quality drivers get made with greater precision using premium materials and enhanced design. Take the best LF Drivers. They have:
- Increased power, sensitivity and excursion
- Better handling capacity and enhanced capabilities
- Lower distortion levels
An upgraded driver can result in enhanced frequency response and better sound dispersion. Upgrading to high-end tweeters can bring improved detail and highs that are clearer. Better woofers can deliver a richer sound and better bass for music and movies.
These are electronic circuits. We use them in multi-driver speaker systems to divide the audio signal into different frequency bands for each driver to handle. Upgrading crossovers involves replacing the existing components with higher-quality capacitors, inductors and resistors.
It can lead to more accurate signal division between drivers and smoother transitions between frequency ranges. A well-designed crossover can ensure that each driver operates within its optimal frequency range, minimising distortion and phase issues.
Component Swapping: a Step-by-Step Guide
Here’s the process for elevating audio performance through component upgrading:
Identify Weak Points
Take a long hard listen to your audio system and identify components that could benefit from an upgrade. Focus on where the system lets you down on bass response, treble clarity and overall balance. Here are some music suggestions to help:
“Uh Uh” by Thundercat
The song is from one of the most critically acclaimed albums ever. It will test your speaker’s tonal variation and bass extension. An efficient speaker will display unbroken bass sounds and variances in the note tonality.
“Orinoco Flow” by Enya
The song has three distinct parts: the marimbas for the high-frequency sound, Enya’s vocals for the mids, and the strings for the low-frequency part.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
The song has layer upon layer of vocals and sounds from all the instruments, so it’s perfect for testing rhythm. The “a cappella” part tests the speaker’s capabilities for tonal balance.
“Spoon” by Can
This song will test the rhythm and timing of your left and right speakers. It offers the optimum musical elements to ensure you have a well-balanced system.
Research and Selection
Take your time and research carefully. Choose replacement components compatible with your existing system. Check that they will give improved performance. Buy your premium speaker components from reputable dealers and manufacturers known for producing or stocking high-quality audio parts.
Install with Care
Follow any instructions carefully. Make sure you understand the process before you start the installation. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer or seek professional help. You may need to solder, connect wires and adjust settings like crossover points. It may be worth enlisting the expertise of a friend if these tasks take you out of your comfort zone.
Listen and Make Adjustments
Once you’ve installed the new premium speaker components, prepare for a “burn-in” period while the new parts settle in and achieve optimum performance. Make any necessary adjustments to settings like crossover frequencies so that you fine-tune the system’s sound.
The Big Comparison Test
Here’s the part that counts most. It’s the only way to tell whether your upgrades were a good investment. Spend time comparing the original components with the new ones. Even a minor improvement can be worth all the pain for most sound aficionados.
Bear in mind that the extent of any improvement will depend on:
- The quality of the original components
- The synergy between new and existing parts
- The overall design of the audio system
It helps to have a good grasp of audio electronics. You should also seek advice from experienced professionals when performing component swaps. You’ll have a better chance of avoiding damage or incorrect and unnecessary installations.
Surgesound for All Your Premium Speaker Components
At Surgesound, we only offer the best tried and tested brands that use the latest sound technology. We are the Australian Distributor for Eighteen Sound, Clare and B&C products.
We stock a range of audio parts, from coaxial speakers to LF drivers. Can’t find what you’re looking for? We’ll order it quickly and efficiently. Talk to one of us at Surgesound about all your speaker component needs.