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Cutaway

A cross-sectional photo of a basic subwoofer - courtesy of FixMySpeaker.com

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A subwoofer (AKA a "sub") is a loudspeaker designed to reproduce bass, a low-pitched audio frequency.

Basic Parts of a SubwooferEdit

  • Cone (or Diaphragm)*
  • Dust Cap*
  • Surround*
  • Basket
  • Magnet ("Motor")
  • Spider(s)*
  • Voice Coil*
  • Former*
  • Tinsel Leads*
  • Terminals

NOTE: *Denotes components considered to be the 'soft parts' of the driver.

SuspensionEdit

There are two basic components to a subwoofer's suspension. These two components are the surround and spider of a sub. These parts of the driver are actually the only connections that the 'soft parts' have to the basket and motor structure.

The surround of a subwoofer is considered the 'top half' of the suspension, where the cone is connected to the top rim of the basket. It can be made of a number of materials, usually foam and/or rubber, but can also be made up of santoprene, butyl, and urethane; along with some other experimental materials. The surround is usually attached to the basket with an adhesive, and then connected to the cone of the sub with an adhesive and/or stitching.

The secondary (but equally as important) feature of the subwoofer's suspension is called the spider. As you can see depicted in the first photo, the spider connects to the basket on the lower half of the basket. Another term for this contact point is the 'spider landing'. The spider is generally attached to the basket with an adhesive, but this is not always the case. Most manufacturers use 'CA' (Cyanoacrylate) glue, which is a form of 'super glue'. However, some other techniques have been experimented with and used, such as spiders edged with a plastic or metal ring that bolts to the basket at the landing. Depending on the goals that the driver was built to achieve, a spider can be made of a few different materials - the more popular ones being conex and nomex.

Fun FactsEdit

  • The first subwoofer was designed in 1961 by Ken Kriesel.

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