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Sound Science: The Art of Speaker Design

Back in high school when I was trying to milk the most out of my Beatles, Hendrix and Charles Lloyd LPs, a friend showed me how to yank speakers out of old radios and connect them en masse to create a more impressive array than that provided by the typical ’60s suitcase stereo. Within no time I had six or seven three- and four-inch speakers mounted, naked, on a large sheet of crummy wall paneling, wired into my compact Sylvania.

With some trepidation I switched it on, and instead of blowing up or shooting flames, the contraption worked! Yes, the sound was bigger, but as we have all learned by now, bigger does not necessarily mean better. In fact, it sounded pretty crappy. The million details involved in speaker design were way beyond my comprehension of the time.

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