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Background Speaker cabinets
Cabinets and horns

Speaker cabinets

For most people, who listen to music at home, the word loudspeaker means a box with two to three speaker units mounted above each other. These multiway systems, where music is reproduced through seperate units for bass, midrange and treble, are currently the most widespread and will for many people be the definition of a speaker.


The general bass reflex cabinet

Bass reflex is a very common cabinet type, it increases the low frequency range, provides higher efficiency and/or the ability to use smaller cabinets with bigger units. This cabinet type transmits low frequency signals from that back of the speaker unit to the listener through an opening or port in the cabinet. To obtain the optimal output the port length and diameter must be matched very precisely to the cabinet's size and the unit's properties.


Quater-wave horn

A horn loudspeaker uses a horn to match the speaker membrane to the surrounding air. In principle the horn does not reinforce the sound on it own but provides a better coupling between speaker unit and the air. A well built horn has the effect that it transfers a larger amount of elctrical energy from the coil to the air, which means that the speaker unit sounds much bigger than it really is.



The Olson Horn is named after the American audio pioneer Harry Olson, who first descriped the principle in a patent application in 1937. Since then the concept has  developed and been refined by Tetsuo Nagaoka - one of the Japanese speaker industry's grand old men.


Transmission line

A Transmission Line cabinet has a long folded tunnel inside the speaker cabinet. This tunnel is normally dampened with some sort of damping material, and it absorbs or reduces the sound from the speaker units rear side. The tunnel is designed with the speaker unit's properties in mind, typically it is created as on the illustration - the tunnel's cross section becomes smaller and smaller the farther away from the unit and towards the opening.


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