View Full Version : Coaxial vs. Component Speakers
07-14-2006, 10:02 PM
Coaxial vs. Component speakers......what are the advantages/disadvantages of each.....I noticed the newer MCs have gone to component.....
Component allows the manufacturer to use better drivers since they're usually trying to hit a lower price point with coaxial speakers. Component also have more elaborate crossovers, which definitely make a big difference in sound quality. The best of both worlds is when you can find coaxial speakers with a separate crossover. Ideally, the sound should be from a point source and coaxial speakers come closer to this. Any time the components are separated by more than a couple of inches (actually, more than 1/2 of the wavelength at the crossover frequency), the sound isn't as good as if it came from the ideal point source because of phase cancellations and the sonic coloring this produces.
Man! That Holiday Inn Express was great last night!
What JimN said (better drivers and crossover)+ with components you can mount the tweeter up more towards ear level. Sound waves are more directional as you move up the spectrum. Bass and Sub-bass are essentially non-directional so you can put a sub-woofer anywhere. As you get in to mids and highs, sound waves become more directional. This means if your tweeters are down at ankle level (like they are in most cars and boats) you are firing highly directional waves at your feet. If you can mount the tweeters up closer to ear level, or aim the tweeters up, you will get better sound. I agree with JimN, ideally you would have the same point of origin (corrected for wave length) for your entire sound spectrum, but boats and cars are far from ideal sound stages.
Infinity makes a Kappa line of components with the tweeter permanently mounted with the mid-driver, like a coax. The tweeter pivots so you can aim the highs up towards ear level.
I put them in my boat and am happy with how they sound. Because the tweeters are mounted inside the mid-driver, installation was simpler (no drilling new holes) and looks cleaner IMO. Plus they come in a 6.75 inch size, which fits the factory opening. Not sure about your boat, but for mine, a standard 6.5 inch was too small for the factory cutout.
The problem with separating the mid and tweet by more than a couple of inches is that you'll hear that they're separated when the music goes up and down in the frequency range. The sound from a 6 1/2" driver is nowhere near sub bass and really only produces mid-bass. Placing an additional tweeter higher up works but if there's only one, the imaging will be pretty bad when they're greatly separated. Angling the tweeter upward is a much better way to get the highs up to your ears.