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Aluminum vs paper speaker cones?


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There's a lot of technobabble around regarding speaker cone materials. I have strong suspiscion that it doesn't really matter what you use, it's how you use it.


However, I have noticed a lot more use of exotic cone materials in home hifi than in pro-sound. Hartke got a lot of bad press because their drivers were less robust under abuse than conventional cones and I suspect this may be one reason behind the preference for predominantly paper cones.


Whilst at Uni I set up my Dad's old hifi in the lounge (keeping my nice modern system in my room, it's my precious...) and it took a hell of a battering from lots of loud parties. The speakers were quite weird EMI elliptical woofers (about 12"x6") and their power handling was quite low (short excursion). After a heavy session they would distort really badly on low notes for the next few days, but always recovered as (I presume) the surround, spider and cone went back to their correct shape. I doubt that a metal cone would exhibit this degree of resilience.




P.S. Would Dm7#11 have the fifth as well as the augmented 4th in it?

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Hartke pioneered aluminum cones. And I have heard a lot of blown Hartke speakers, blew a few myself.


Their speakers are brighter than paper speakers and to me sound best if you use a not so bright amp top. That's why a GK head and Hartke speakers are a good combination.


Hartke now makes paper cone speakers as well.


I'd just stay with paper.

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Paper? Nah, I'll take plastic. They don't get wet and tear from condensation from the Ice Cream and cold beverages.


Oh, did you mean speakers?


Yeah, I'll take paper there, too.

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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I'll take plastic. Get me some of those translucent woofers, take them out of the Honda and put 'em in a 4x10 with a red lightbulb behind. Glow-in-the-dark funk!


For real, gimme paper. People either love Hartke's or they blow them up... but I haven't played more than one little 10 or 12 combo amp that sounded tinny.


Now if someone made speaker cones out of brass. We all know that some of the best instruments are made of brass.

- Matt W.
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i think paper is just the norm that's why everyone uses it. alot of companies use paper impregnated with polymers to make it stiffer and more durable nowadays. most people say that it doesn't matter what the cone is made of; it won't effect the sound. that can't be true. Hartke speakers are hundreds times brighter and crisper than other speakers. Way too crisp if you ask me. there is another company called alumabass that makes a completly smooth aluminum cone that is anodized gold. they look killer and are supposed to be less bright than hartke. I still haven't seen a bass cab with cones made of plastic or polypropalene. That what all the studio moniters and hi-fi home stuff are made with. maybe bass cab companes need to experiment less with cab desogn and start looking more into speaker design and technology. Check out Phil Jones Bass to see some really innovative ideas in bass cab design.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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Adamson (www.adamsonproaudio.com) makes most of their cones with Kevlar! That's pretty cool, despite the fact they do large scale pro sound reinforcement and not bass cabs, but still :D . I still have to use them, when I have the $$ to rent an adamson system.

"If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. Unless you are a table."

-Mitch Hedberg

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