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Old 11th September 2008, 16:15   #1
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Default 2 way or a 3 way component system

I would like to seek some expert advice on how to decide whether to go for 2 way component or a 3 way component system.

Do 2 way have their pluses over the 3 way or vice versa? I am initiating this thread purely from SQ perspective.
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Old 11th September 2008, 16:47   #2
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I am not an Audio expert, but I came across this site, you can see if it can be of any help:
Component Speakers vs 2-way/3-way Speakers Which is better?
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Old 11th September 2008, 16:53   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kumar_ranjan View Post
I am not an Audio expert, but I.....
But you did make an expert choice for your Swift Audio !
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Old 11th September 2008, 17:07   #4
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Originally Posted by s0uljah View Post
But you did make an expert choice for your Swift Audio !
My decision was based on valuable inputs from ICE Guru's and not mine
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Old 11th September 2008, 18:06   #5
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Having used 3-way and 2-way And still using 3-way I would advice to stay at 2 way setup as they are easy to tune and maintain.
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Old 11th September 2008, 18:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by low_bass_makker View Post
Having used 3-way and 2-way And still using 3-way I would advice to stay at 2 way setup as they are easy to tune and maintain.
With due respect, the only thing that stands between you and the ability to perfectly tune 3-way systems is your lack of knowledge of acoustic phase. cheers:
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Old 11th September 2008, 19:40   #7
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Other than your taste in music, IMHO the 2-way vs. 3-way decision depends on:
1) what car (= ease of installation)
2) how much you can 'chop' your car/mod the interior
3) how good an installer have access to
4) how much you can spend on the additional installation costs involved in properly installing 3-ways.

Then of course, there is the matter of the availability of 3-way comp systems. Or the availability of a HU that can do 3-way or 4-way active, and the necessary channels of amplification.

If money, moddability and availability of installer are not issues, I'd say 3-ways are better for most kinds of music, especially for vocals-heavy music, jazz, & classical music.

Also, generally, 2-way comps in a price-bracket just above that of a particular 3-way comp set will sound as good overall (if not better). there will be a bit of output lacking in the midrange, but generally the sacrifice in midrange will be made up in the overall performance and lack of install & tuning hassle.

One other thing: You must think of what you will do with the comps when you shift cars -- the next car also might need all the extensive mods for installing the same 3-way comp set.

What budget were you thinking of allocating for the 3-ways?

BTW, I just shifted from 3-ways to 2-way because of nearly all the considerations mentioned above
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Old 12th September 2008, 08:52   #8
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Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
With due respect, the only thing that stands between you and the ability to perfectly tune 3-way systems is your lack of knowledge of acoustic phase. cheers:
I totally agree with you Ajay, the other day LBM and I kept playing with the placements of the front horns in his car.. but since we both lack the ability to play around with acoustic phase, we decided to leave it as it is.

Its better to stay with a high end 2 way set up.
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Old 12th September 2008, 09:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
With due respect, the only thing that stands between you and the ability to perfectly tune 3-way systems is your lack of knowledge of acoustic phase. cheers:
In fact is some ways a 3 way requires even less effort in matching phase than a 2 way. THnk about it with the mid and tweeter close together (as the should be in a 3 way) on the same axis and their distance to the ear being almost the same you only have to worry about the sub 300Hz range.
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Old 12th September 2008, 11:45   #10
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
THnk about it with the mid and tweeter close together (as the should be in a 3 way) on the same axis and their distance to the ear being almost the same you only have to worry about the sub 300Hz range.
Lol. That poor LBM can manage. He has problem with the other scenarios.
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Old 12th September 2008, 12:40   #11
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@hydrashok - Thanks for that explanation. It is very helpful.



Quote:
In fact is some ways a 3 way requires even less effort in matching phase than a 2 way. THnk about it with the mid and tweeter close together (as the should be in a 3 way) on the same axis and their distance to the ear being almost the same you only have to worry about the sub 300Hz range.
Apart from the installation and XO challenges, what are other Pros and Cons for 2 way and 3 way component systems. Very little has been said in terms of SQ differences.

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Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
Lol. That poor LBM can manage. He has problem with the other scenarios.
LBM, would you like to share the challenges that you faced? What worked well and what didn't?

Last edited by akbaree : 12th September 2008 at 12:42.
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Old 12th September 2008, 12:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
LBM, would you like to share the challenges that you faced? What worked well and what didn't?
The major was the placement and the blending part of the 3-way.

I had tried the Passive way and the Active way.

So after all the tuning, placement issues I would suggest you a good 2-way will be a good thing to do.
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Old 12th September 2008, 13:38   #13
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In a 2 way setup the speaker designer has to make some compromises. He has to choose between low bass (under 80Hz) capability and midrange. You will find many two way sets that excel in midbass, but lack potency in the midrange band. Such a midbass driver has to be coupled with a larger tweeter that will go low, so that some of the midrange can be convincingly delivered.

While such sets are available in the mid-high segment, in the budget segment (under 10K) you will find plenty of sets that have bass oriented midbass drivers and small tweeters. Such sets can have nice midbass and detailed treble, but lack a bit in midrange. Many times this sound is exactly what the customer wants.

Again, that is not to say you cant find excellent 2 way sets that have a nicely matched midbass and tweeter that will give you excellent midrange to highs with nice accurate midbass. Couple such a set with a nice fast sub and one can achive excellent results.

A good 3 way will always have better overall representation of the whole range. By adding a dedicated midrange driver, the load on the midbass and the tweeter is decreased as all drivers can function in their linear functioning area.

If one has space and feasibility for a 3way, in most cases it will have better overall musical range than a similarly priced 2way. But of course that means you compare two worthy products. If one compares a quality 2way with a crappy 3way then the 2way will still sound better. For example Hydra went from a 12K 3way to a 34K 2way and found the 2way to be better.

If you can do a good 3way frontstage, nothing like it. Most brands dont carry 3way sets so dealers will try to dissuade you and steer you towards 2way.

Cheers!
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Old 13th September 2008, 18:13   #14
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Hi!! Friends!! even i'm confused about the 2 way and 3 way component system. The first question i would get worried about 3 way is, how would one tune them?
I would find it too difficult for me to tune them. well i'm only talking about my side only.
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Old 13th September 2008, 23:36   #15
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There should be no anxiety about that, @feelthebass, it really doesn't require much work. All 3-way manufacturers would have worked the maths out of it - the drivers and default XO configuration give (almost) a linear response. It is meant to work out of the box. One does not fidde with the XO in almost all the cases; the system is tuned together with the XO left constant.

However, if one does not want to believe that or wants to reckon with more variables like cabin gain, damping due to upholstery, personal bias for or against mid or high frequencies, that needs some work. 2 ways of doing it: one with a microphone and an oscilloscope (or the readymade software by Alpine, Bosch, Bose etc. which automate the same principle) or spend hours listening to various genres of known (to the end-user) music and checking whether all the sounds are appearing as they should be. There is no end to taking the skin out of hair.

One has to keep in mind that the HU (or a signal processor like the Alpine PXA) should give the tuner latitude to do it, otherwise it will be like mounting an M800 engine in a Ferrari.

To add fuel to the fire, 3-way speakers respond differently when driven by a passive XO (out of the box; 90% of the cases; passive configuration) or active XO (via HU, with each speaker beign driven separately by 1 channel of a multi-channel amp; 10% of the cases; active cofiguration).

In normal cases, it is better to eat the mango(es) instead of counting the trees. Bhai LBM is your nearest reference (kya yaar, child in the armpit and drum beating in the city?) - he has (used to have, not sure if he has changed it) an HU+PXA+amp setup using the passive XOs, and had done the tuning himself.
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