Are whizzer cones crossovers and should they be called such in common usage?

Yes, because it is the most correct technical term for them.
0 (0%)
No, because it is not the most correct technical term for them.
7 (87.5%)
No, because although the most correct technical term, this is not the commonly understood usage in the industry in general.
0 (0%)
It doesn't matter because either term won't change my understanding of the subject
1 (12.5%)
It doesn't matter because either term won't confuse a casual reader studying single driver speakers.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Are whizzer cones crossovers and should they be called such in common usage?

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Jonathon Janusz

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Similar to the other poll I made asking about how the terminology of "active speakers" and "single-driver speakers" relate to each other, this is another side discussion that I see often enough to think is worth getting a better gauge of the pulse of this community to learn whether the idea is gaining traction or is really a distraction.  So, again, to clearly and plainly give this question its moment in the sun, I'd like to know what the community thinks about these terms and how they should be used in public discussion.

So, here's the same question with a different subject.  What does our community think?  Good, bad, right, wrong, harmless, or confusing?



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crossover > caps and coils

whizzer > the part of a single driver that emits higher frequencies. However, many single drivers can emit higher frequencies without a whizzer so it's hard to point to any specific part of the driver that's "the crossover" but the behavior of the driver can be considered a mechanical crossover.


The whizzer is actually attached to the main cone... I'm not seeing how it can be considered a separate thing. Nope, I stand corrected! Not always.


Coaxial drivers consisting of midrange and tweeter can be mechanically coupled and I wonder if this coupling could be called a mechanical crossover. If so, it seems a small step to a whizzer.


For anyone who might not know, a driver has two modes: pistonic and resonant (a.k.a. breakup). 

Pistonic is where the whole cone moves as a rigid piston (in the lower range).  Resonant is where only part of the cone (in the higher octaves).  A whizzer (if there is one) is part of the resonant movement (although it is also simultaneously moving on the piston, LOL).

If an imaginary driver is producing (let's say) a 100Hz sine wave, then the cone is moving as a rigid piston.  If it's producing 10kHz sine wave, then it's far above the pistonic range - the sound is produced by just a small sub-section of the cone, mostly in the center.

In between those two points, there's a transition zone from pistonic to resonant, and it might be smooth in places, and/or very rough.  It might be sweet, charming, warm, vintage-sounding or utterly grating.  It's interesting that people who cut off the whizzer sometimes found that the whizzer-less driver got worse (because that whizzer was actually damping or notching out some of the treble).

As DaveC113 said, lots of drivers have both pistonic and resonant ranges, and thus a mechanical crossover.  The whizzer is a specific, optional feature.