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Legatia SE Carbon-Series Component Speakers
Specifications Library & Car Audio Reference Guide
Contents
Welcome and Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 4
Legatia SE Carbon Speaker Design Considerations ...................................................................................................... 5
Motor .................................................................................................................................................................................. 5
Voice Coil........................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Shorting Cup ..................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Cone ................................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Suspension ........................................................................................................................................................................ 7
Basket ................................................................................................................................................................................ 7
Thiele/Small Parameters Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 7
Application to Thiele/Small Parameters to Legatia SE Carbon Designs ................................................................. 8
Enclosure Recommendations .................................................................................................................................... 8
Dipole Applications ....................................................................................................................................................... 8
Legatia L4SE Carbon Midbass ........................................................................................................................................ 10
History .............................................................................................................................................................................. 10
Attributes.......................................................................................................................................................................... 10
Summary ......................................................................................................................................................................... 12
Mechanical Drawing ....................................................................................................................................................... 13
Thiele/Small Parameters ............................................................................................................................................... 14
Frequency Response Graph ........................................................................................................................................ 15
Legatia L6SE Carbon Midbass ........................................................................................................................................ 16
History .............................................................................................................................................................................. 16
Attributes.......................................................................................................................................................................... 16
Summary ......................................................................................................................................................................... 18
Mechanical Drawing ....................................................................................................................................................... 19
Thiele/Small Parameters ............................................................................................................................................... 20
Frequency Response Graph ........................................................................................................................................ 21
Legatia L4G Grille Assembly ............................................................................................................................................ 22
Legatia L6G Grille Assembly ............................................................................................................................................ 23
Advanced System Installation .......................................................................................................................................... 24
Lessons Learned ............................................................................................................................................................ 24
Lesson One: Off-Axis Response.................................................................................................................................. 24
Lesson Two: Equalization of Pathlength Differences ............................................................................................... 24
Lesson Three: The Effect of HRTF, ITD, and IID ...................................................................................................... 26
Lesson Four: Point-Sourcing with Tweeter ................................................................................................................ 27
Lesson Five: Reference ................................................................................................................................................ 27
Advanced Installation of the Legatia SE Carbon Component Systems..................................................................... 28
Mounting Baffle Considerations ................................................................................................................................... 28
Crossovers ...................................................................................................................................................................... 29
Time Correction .............................................................................................................................................................. 30
Scenario 1 ................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Scenario 2 ................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Scenario 3 ................................................................................................................................................................... 31
Amplitude Equalization .................................................................................................................................................. 31
Acoustic Treatment ........................................................................................................................................................ 31
Advanced Installation Conclusions .................................................................................................................................. 32
Warranty .............................................................................................................................................................................. 33
Thank You! .......................................................................................................................................................................... 34
References .......................................................................................................................................................................... 35
Welcome and Introduction
Congratulations on your purchase of high performance Legatia SE Carbon-series mobile audio
component loudspeakers, and welcome to the world of Hybrid Audio Technologies, where high-end
mobile audio loudspeaker development is our passion! When installed and set-up properly, the
Legatia SE Carbon component system you have purchased will be the finest loudspeakers you have
ever heard and give years of superior performance.
Thank you for going “on line” to read and download your User’s Manual. Our offices are located
amongst the evergreens in North Georgia USA, and we happen to like trees. Aside from the obvious
aesthetic benefits, trees improve our air, protect our water, save energy, and improve economic
sustainability. Additionally, it is expensive to print and distribute thousands of copies of an owner’s
manual; we’d rather invest our production dollars into an incredible line-up of speaker systems for
your listening pleasure. With online resources becoming the main source of information for more and
more people, we are pleased that you’re here, reading this manual on line, verses having a print copy
which might get read once and put back into the gift box, or worse yet, discarded.
With the publication of this specifications library and car audio reference guide, it is our goal to assist
the “do it yourself” enthusiast and professional installer alike in getting the highest level of
performance out of Legatia SE Carbon component speakers and sets using straight-forward
installation advice and practical application of timeless acoustic principles. The first part of this
manual is comprised of a specifications library for all of our available Legatia SE Carbon component
speakers, passive crossover devices, and available accessory hardware. Simply scroll through the
library to learn more about the wide variety of Legatia SE Carbon products. The second part of the
manual has been written to be more or less a miniature mobile audio reference guide that can be
used to better any sound system, and in particular, a system that utilizes the Legatia SE Carbon
component speaker systems. It is an introductory primer to the world of high-end mobile audio; we
hope this user’s manual is not only informative, but motivating. Keep it handy throughout your
installation process, and any time you go to improve your audio system with other Hybrid Audio
Technologies products, or perhaps to take advantage of our lifetime guaranteed value trade-in
program. We are confident that if the principles explained in this manual are exercised in your own
installation, you will be ecstatic with the sound quality outcome!
We realize that you have a choice in loudspeakers, and are thrilled that you have chosen the Legatia
SE Carbon series. For more information about Hybrid Audio Technologies, our philosophies
regarding high-end mobile audio, to learn more about our lifetime guaranteed value program, and for
information about our other products, please visit us online at www.hybrid-audio.com.
Thank you, and happy listening!
Scott E. Buwalda
Founder – Hybrid Audio Technologies
Legatia SE Carbon User’s Manual
©Hybrid Audio Technologies
Page 4 of 30
Legatia SE Carbon Speaker Design Considerations
The Legatia SE Carbon-series component speakers are electrodynamic drivers that are comprised of
a diaphragm that is set in motion by a motor system that has both electrical and mechanical
components. The Special Edition Carbon midbass designs boast several key elements which
enhance the driver’s performance in vehicle-specific applications, notably applications which require a
shallow-depth midbass driver, such as typically found in numerous German-manufactured
automobiles (Audi, BMW, Porsche, and etc.). Likewise, the Carbon midbass’ can be used at the enduser’s discretion in a variety of automobile settings where a shallow-profile, long-throw midbass is
required. The Legatia SE Carbon midbass differ vastly from the Legatia SE-series wide-bandwidth
drivers, as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
Considerably shallower mounting depth;
Considerably smaller motor profile;
Inclusion of a “double-S” treated cloth surround for enhanced excursion, restorative force,
compliance, and edge-mode damping, for authoritative midbass operation;
Narrower recommended bandwidth operation, as compared to the wide-bandwidth Legatia SE
series, but with enhanced midbass and lower midrange authority;
Inclusion of a composite carbon fiber cone and dust cap for exceptional strength, while
balancing moving mass and resonance frequency;
The following design tenets are similar by comparison to the Legatia SE-series wide-bandwidth
drivers:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Same basket diameter, mounting hole, and bolt circle diameter as its sibling Legatia SE widebandwidth driver (but with considerably shallower depth and motor diameter, as described
above);
Incredibly low inductance;
High thermal power handling by AES standard;
High thermal power handling with suggested crossover;
High compliance of motor system;
Use of woven dual tinsel lead spider for mechanical balance, improved radial compliance, and
to eliminate tinsel lead slap;
Inclusion of nickel-plated, spring-loaded binding post terminals for enhanced connectivity;
Inclusion of high-energy opposing double-stacked neodymium cup and motor for increased
motor performance and smaller diameter motor;
Inclusion of aluminum radiator for heat dissipation and increased thermal power handling;
Inclusion of rose-tinted, laser-etched back plate cap with Hybrid Audio Technologies logo and
Special Edition nomenclature.
The following design tenets are typical of all Legatia SE Carbon-series midbass drivers:
Motor
The motor of the Legatia SE Carbon midbass speakers are paramount to the performance of the
drivers, providing for a flat and wide BL curve. The BL curve is flat and extended in all models,
yielding exceptional two-way linear excursion, resulting in the Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers
being able to accurately track the input signal. Reduced distortion and greater dynamics are the
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Page 5 of 30
immediate sonic benefits. The motor includes an opposing double-stacked high-grade NdFeB
magnet assembly to improve restorative force, compliance, motor strength, displacement, and power
handling, but also to serve a small diameter form-factor. The voice coil fully surrounds the opposing
double-stacked magnet.
Voice Coil
The voice coil diameter of the Legatia SE Carbon range of midbass drivers represents the optimal
balance of diameter, power handling, and moving mass. The L4SE Carbon uses a 25.5mm (1-inch)
voice coil, and the L6SE Carbon uses a 35.5mm (1.4-inch) voice coil. The voice coil diameter serves
several key functions: elevated power handling, dissipation of heat (thereby lowering power
compression), and maximizing the size of the magnet assembly for enhanced motor compliance. The
voice coils used in all Legatia SE Carbon designs are high-purity aluminum, which is superior to
copper for heat dissipation, as well as significantly reduced moving mass. The result is an extremely
light weight winding with good power handling and low inductance.
How much amplitude a speaker can reproduce depends on the volume of air it excites without
overheating. The volume of air that a speaker excites is determined by the surface area of the cone
and the excursion capability of the motor system. Xmax is defined as the width of the voice coil that
extends beyond the front plate, and relates to how far the speaker can move in either direction
without appreciable distortion. The Legatia SE Carbon designs boast exceptional one-way linear
excursion (Xmax).
Shorting Cup
All Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers come equipped with copper shorting cups. The shorting cups
consist of an optimally sized and placed cup of copper (Cu) to create a total inductance profile that is
not just low, but flat over stroke, frequency, and power. Inductance is the number one limiter of high
frequency extension and modulation of inductance with stroke, frequency and power, and is the
primary source of intermodulation distortion (IMD).
Cone
The shape, weight and strength of the Legatia SE Carbon midbass cones relate directly to the
authoritative midbass ability of each design. The Legatia SE Carbon cones are concave-shaped
hybrid carbon fiber diaphragms, described below. Convex shaped cones, typical of “dome”
midranges, typically exhibit “peaky” frequency response, so we opted instead on a concave cone
topology for the resultant smoother frequency response. And contrary to common belief, most
convex cones have a narrow directivity pattern. The concave cone of the Legatia SE Carbon
midbass drivers have a wider directivity pattern, and are excellent for use in “off-axis” applications.
The SE Carbon is a complete departure from the typical Hybrid Audio Technologies philosophy of
point-source midbass and midrange (full-range) drivers. The composite cone, although not ideal for
wide-bandwidth operation, does an aplomb job of effectively recreating midbass and lower to middle
midrange tones effectively. In concert with a low-resonance tweeter, the ultimate two-way front stage
can be created. When placed in close proximity to a tweeter device, such as the Legatia L1 Pro or
Legatia L1 Pro R2, one can achieve having all imaging cues emanating from the pair of drivers in an
installation, ensuring stable stereo imaging across the fundamental frequencies which define image
placement and definition. The Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers include a carbon fiber diaphragm
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with low moving mass. Carbon fiber is acknowledged as being an exceptionally strong material, but
exhibits edge-mode distortion at high frequency, and therefore should be appropriately filtered using
active crossovers, or custom passive crossovers. By nature, the carbon fiber cone and dustcap are
water resistant.
Suspension
All Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers include a rolled “double S” surround made of treated cloth
which is highly consistent. The surround topology terminates mechanical vibrations well, having a
low stiffness for positive damping of resonances. The surround, which acts as an air seal between
the cone and the basket, adds to the restoring force of the spider. Another function of the surround is
to absorb cone flexure waves as they are transferred up the cone. You'll also know a Legatia SE
Carbon midbass design by its double-S surround; this design feature allows for the use of a smaller
height grille, and more flexibility in mounting options. The surround is also instrumental for taming
edge mode distortion.
The spider material was chosen for optimal performance in all models; the spider is a 90/10
cotton/Nomex blend with single-dip low viscosity phenolic. This material provides the stiffness
desired without being overly brittle or stiff, where vibrations in the spider are well damped and do not
translate into the former or the cone.
Basket
The basket of the Stage VI Legatia SE Carbon series drivers are a shared design with the same
size/diameter drivers in the Stage VI Legatia SE, and Stage V Legatia drivers, for easy change-out
potential; the frames of similarly-sized drivers are interchangeable in mounting topology. The basket
is a high-quality cast aluminum design, and contains a large flange providing for the mounting of the
driver via four screw holes. The Legatia SE Carbon frame features large openings behind the cone to
eliminate chuffing and other aerodynamic-based noises, as well as provides adequate communication
to the back of the cone for acoustic suspension and proper operation.
Thiele/Small Parameters Introduction
Acoustics pioneers Neville Thiele and Richard Small developed a way to predict speaker
performance and frequency response. These parameters are known collectively as “Thiele/Small
Parameters”, and are divided into physical characteristics and response parameters:
The Physical Characteristics of a speaker are:
Re:
Sd:
BL:
Mms:
The D.C. resistance of the voice coil measured in Ohms.
The surface area of the speaker’s cone.
The magnetic strength of the motor structure.
The total moving mass of the speaker including the small amount of air in front of and behind
the cone.
Cms: The stiffness of the driver’s suspension.
Rms: The losses due to the suspension.
The Thiele/Small Response parameters are:
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Re:
Sd:
Fs:
Qes:
Qms:
Qts:
Vas:
The D.C. resistance of the voice coil measured in Ohms.
The surface area of the speaker.
The resonant frequency of the speaker.
The electrical “Q” of the speaker.
The mechanical “Q” of the speaker.
The total "Q" of the speaker.
The volume of air having the same acoustic compliance as the speaker’s suspension.
Application to Thiele/Small Parameters to Legatia SE Carbon Designs
Enclosure Recommendations
The mechanical and electrical parameters of the Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers are amenable to
a variety of different installations and speaker locations. In a typical vehicular installation, Hybrid
Audio Technologies recommends that the Legatia SE Carbon drivers be placed in an “infinitely large”
enclosure, which is more notably known as “infinite baffle.” Small sealed enclosures are not needed
to be constructed, nor are typically recommended in most circumstances for any of the Legatia SE
Carbon range of products (there are some minor exceptions, based upon application, intended use,
power handling, and etc., please contact us for details). Hybrid Audio has also had great success
incorporating the Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers in dipole configuration (detailed below),
transmission lines, and in larger vented enclosures.
In a typical installation, Legatia SE Carbon midbass products should be mounted with unrestricted
access to airspace. The reason why the speaker was designed in this way is highly empirical. When
a speaker is mounted in a small closed box, it radiates as much energy forward of the cone as it does
rearward of the cone. All speaker cones and dust caps (diaphragms) are a weak sound barrier at
best, and the result of the high amount of energy being “pushed” into a small enclosure is the energy
transmitting through to the outside of the cone (an additive phenomenon to the incidental wave). It is
conjectured that this effect is most notable in the low hundreds of Hz region, where acoustical stuffing
materials are ineffective and the internal dimensions are not small enough for the internal air volume
to act as a pure compliance. Consequently, Hybrid Audio has designed this speaker to work well
without an enclosure, and as such, should not be significantly prone to enclosure back-pressure and
sound coloration when placed infinitely baffled. The “infinitely large” enclosure, per se, improves
spectral response and power response variation between high and low frequencies. And in the case
where an infinite baffle operation is difficult or impossible to achieve in your car’s environment, we
highly suggest the use of acoustic resistors (aperiodic membranes or trade name Variovents®) in
sealed enclosures to help dissipate the backwave energy. If you absolutely must use a sealed
enclosure, we recommend that you contact us for details and assistance in targeting a sealed
enclosure volume applicable for your intended purpose. In all cases, the use of loosely-packed
fibrous damping materials, such as fiberglass, Dacron, or long-fiber wool will also significantly
improve the final installation, no matter what type of baffle and enclosure configuration is chosen.
Dipole Applications
While infinite baffle or resistive sealed enclosures are highly recommended for this driver, you might
find that in the rare instance that the Legatia SE Carbon drivers can be placed in a completely open
baffle, i.e. dipole. A word of caution: Legatia SE Carbon drivers mounted in an open baffle have to
move more air than a similar Legatia SE Carbon driver mounted in a resistive sealed enclosure, or
Legatia SE Carbon User’s Manual
©Hybrid Audio Technologies
Page 8 of 30
infinitely baffled, just simply for the fact that there’s a progressive acoustic short circuit between front
and back waves below the speaker’s resonance frequency (Fs) in the open baffle configuration.
Great care must be taken in this instance, because there is no acoustic compliance afforded in a
dipole configuration, and the speaker will reach its mechanical limits much quicker (and will net
increased distortion). However, in certain instances, a dipole-style midbass may work well in a
vehicular installation, in that radiation from the rear of the baffle, having undergone enough phase
shift as it comes around to the front, adds to the total sound at off-axis angles. Of great importance in
the dipole midbass configuration is the setting up of crossovers and weighing the negative effects of
distortion of elevated amplitude levels.
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©Hybrid Audio Technologies
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Legatia L4SE Carbon Midbass
History
The Legatia L4SE Carbon’s topology is a derivative of the massively successful Legatia L4SE
transducer which was first launched in August 2010.
At the onset of the Legatia SE Carbon program, the purpose for the series was to be an exceptionally
high-end option for shallow-depth midbass drivers to be used specifically in German automobiles, and
in other vehicles where typical-depth high-quality midbass drivers would not fit, and where depth was
at a premium. By early Spring 2011, a beta prototype pair of Legatia L4SE Carbon’s had been
refined after hundreds of hours of testing and development; these highly-evolved drivers were sent to
close industry affiliates for third-party testing and evaluation, specifically in the Porsche 928 vehicle
platform as a dedicated door-mounted midbass, paired with a low-resonance tweeter. After countless
hours testing the speakers under various circumstances, and four full revisions of the Carbon L4SE,
final approval was given. Production refinements were mid-Summer of 2011, to incorporate features
inclusive and proprietary to the Legatia SE Carbon line, and final production commenced August
2011. The Legatia L4SE Carbon was launched in October 2011 and is the reference 4.65-inch
dedicated midbass driver in Hybrid Audio’s product category known collectively as the Legatia SE
Carbon Series.
Attributes
The Legatia L4SE is a 118mm (4.65-inch) midbass driver to compliment both two-way and three-way
system designs, where a shallow-depth, long-throw, small-format midbass is required. The following
are the L4SE Carbon’s design attributes:
Basket
The basket of the L4SE Carbon is a shared design with the Legatia L4 and Legatia L4SE for easy
change-out potential; the L4, L4SE, and L4SE Carbon are interchangeable in mounting topology.
The basket is a high-quality cast aluminum design, and contains a 118mm flange providing for the
mounting of the driver via four screw holes (the use of 3mm cap head screws is ideal). The overall
dimensions of the driver are very amenable for use in the car audio environment, and in locations
typical of the standard “4-inch” driver, or in custom locations at the discretion of the end-user,
boasting a depth of just 42mm (1.65-inch) (16mm less than the Legatia L4SE). The basket features
large openings behind the cone to eliminate chuffing and other aerodynamic-based noises, as well as
provides adequate communication to the back of the cone for acoustic suspension and proper
operation.
Motor
The motor of the L4SE is paramount to the performance of the driver, providing for a flat and wide BL
curve (as a learning note, BL is the equivalent of torque in a car; a car with a flat and constant torque
curve provides much better acceleration and performance than a car with a peaky, non-constant
torque curve). The BL curve is flat and extended, yielding 6mm of two-way linear excursion, resulting
in the L4SE Carbon being able to accurately track the input signal. Reduced distortion and greater
dynamics are the immediate sonic benefits. The motor of the L4SE Carbon includes an opposing
Legatia SE Carbon User’s Manual
©Hybrid Audio Technologies
Page 10 of 30
double-stacked NdFeB magnet to improve restorative force, compliance, motor strength,
displacement, and power handling. The magnet assemblies are fully surrounded by the voice coil.
Voice Coil
The voice coil diameter of the L4SE is a large 25.5mm (1-inch), which is the proper balance between
size and moving mass in super high-end mobile audio midranges/full-range drivers. The voice coil
diameter serves several key functions: elevated power handling, dissipation of heat (thereby lowering
power compression), and maximizing the size of the magnet assembly for enhanced motor
compliance. The voice coil is high-purity aluminum, which is superior to copper for heat dissipation,
as well as significantly reduced moving mass. The result is an extremely light weight winding with
good power handling and low inductance.
Suspension
The unique double-S shaped surround is treated fine cloth which is highly consistent, and does not
suffer the variance one might find in natural rubbers, foam, or untreated cloth. The surround
terminates mechanical vibrations well, having a low stiffness for positive damping of resonances. The
spider material was chosen for optimal performance; the spider is a 90/10 cotton/Nomex blend with
single-dip low viscosity phenolic. This material provides the stiffness desired without being overly
brittle or stiff, where vibrations in the spider are well damped and do not translate into the former or
the cone.
Cone
As noted in the introduction, the SE Carbon is a complete departure from the typical Hybrid Audio
Technologies philosophy of point-source midbass and midrange (full-range) drivers. The composite
cone, although not ideal for wide-bandwidth operation, does an aplomb job of effectively recreating
midbass and lower to middle midrange tones effectively. The Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers
include a carbon fiber diaphragm with low moving mass. Carbon fiber is acknowledged as being an
exceptionally strong material, but exhibits edge-mode distortion at high frequency, and therefore
should be appropriately filtered using active crossovers, or custom passive crossovers. By nature,
the carbon fiber cone and dustcap are water resistant.
Hybrid Audio Technologies recommends the use of a low-resonance tweeter to be used in concert
with the Legatia L4SE Carbon, such as the Legatia L1 Pro or Legatia L1 Pro R2. When placing the
midbass and tweeter in close proximity to each other, one can achieve having all imaging cues
emanating from the pair of drivers in an installation, ensuring stable stereo imaging across the
fundamental frequencies which define image placement and definition. Naturally, crossover filter
selection is paramount.
Shorting Cup
The L4SE Carbon uses a copper shorting cup. The shorting cup consist of an optimally sized and
placed copper (Cu) cup to create a total inductance profile that is not just low, but flat over stroke,
frequency, and power. Inductance is the number one limiter of high frequency extension and
modulation of inductance with stroke, frequency and power, and is the primary source of
intermodulation distortion (IMD).
Legatia SE Carbon User’s Manual
©Hybrid Audio Technologies
Page 11 of 30
Tinsel Leads
The tinsel leads for the L4SE Carbon are terminated on one side of the voice coil. The tinsel leads
are stitched into the spider and bonded directly to the former and brought out to the terminals, which
completely eliminates tinsel lead slap and does not compromise the structural integrity of the cone.
Terminals
The Legatia L4SE Carbon comes equipped with heavy-duty nickel-plated spring-loaded push
terminals for both positive and negative, which is an enhancement over the L4 model. The terminals
optimize contact, and give the end user flexibility in tinned wire or binding post terminations.
Summary
The Legatia L4SE Carbon is the world’s finest multi-purpose super high-end small-format midbass
driver. Mechanical and electrical parameters are amenable to a variety of different installations and
speaker locations. This driver is intended to be used in an infinite baffle configuration; a simple, solid
baffle, solidly attached to the car’s chassis with available airspace at the rear of the baffle is all that is
required for optimum operation. The size of the L4SE Carbon allows it to be mounted in typical “4inch” midrange locations within a vehicle, especially in those circumstances which require extremely
shallow depth, or in custom locations at the discretion of the end-user, as long as there is adequate
airspace behind the driver to allow it to maintain proper damping and acoustic suspension.
At home in virtually any arrangement, the L4SE Carbon is Hybrid Audio Technologies Legatia SE
Carbon high-end small-format midbass offering, boasting exceptional performance and a design
philosophy that goes hand in hand with true high-fidelity playback.
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Mechanical Drawing
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Thiele/Small Parameters
Overall Diameter
φ118 mm (4.65-inch)
Mounting Depth
42 mm
Bolt Circle Diameter
φ109.5 mm
Mounting Hole
φ94.5 mm
Recommended Minimum Crossover Frequency
150 Hz at 24 dB/octave highpass
Pnom Rated Power Input (No Crossover)
35 watts (AES Standard)
Pmax Rated Power Input (No Crossover)
75 watts (AES Standard)
Pmax (With Recommended Minimum Crossover)
150 watts
Frequency Range
135 Hz – 4,500 Hz, +/- 3 dB
Sensitivity
91 dB at 2.83V/1meter
Mms
4.242 g
Cms
300 um/N
BL
3.82 T*m
Voice Coil Diameter
25.55 mm (1-inch)
Impedance
4Ω
DC Resistance
3.2 Ω
Fs
135 Hz (free air)
Qms
3.353
Qes
0.789
Qts
0.639
Xmax
3 mm (one way)
Vas
1.3 L
Sd
5,281 mm2
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Frequency Response Graph
Please note that the response peak at approximately 170 Hz is a testing room mode and is not indicative of the
speaker’s performance at that frequency. All speakers tested show this same phenomenon, and it has been
concluded to be a room artifact.
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Legatia L6SE Carbon Midbass
History
The Legatia L6SE Carbon’s topology is a brand new design for Hybrid Audio Technologies, and does
not include any family derivatives in the product line (unlike that of the L4SE Carbon, which is a direct
derivative of the massively successful Legatia L4SE transducer which was first launched in August
2010).
At the onset of the Legatia SE Carbon program, the purpose for the series was to be an exceptionally
high-end option for shallow-depth midbass drivers to be used specifically in German automobiles, and
in other vehicles where typical-depth high-quality midbass drivers would not fit, and where depth was
at a premium. By early Spring 2011, a beta prototype pair of Legatia L4SE Carbon midbass had
been refined after hundreds of hours of testing and development; these highly-evolved drivers were
sent to close industry affiliates for third-party testing and evaluation, specifically in the Porsche 928
vehicle platform as a dedicated door-mounted midbass, paired with a low-resonance tweeter. Shortly
thereafter, the L4SE Carbon was produced and began distribution in October 2011.
Concurrently with the L4SE Carbon project, the Legatia L6SE Carbon project was born, also to satisfy
the need for a shallow midbass driver in a true 6.5-inch diameter “universal hole pattern” frame
platform, for use in predominantly German automobiles where shallow grille clearance and shallow
depth were a necessity, but also in universal applications where mounting depth was at a premium.
The L6SE Carbon project required several iterations of alpha samples for real-world testing as we
refined the performance of the driver in several key areas, including moving mass, resonance
frequency, usable frequency response, sound pressure level, and Qes/Qms/Qts. The result of this
effort was recognized by our in-field testers, confirming that we had landed on a premium-entry
speaker with shallow depth that did not sacrifice sound quality and robust output.
The L6SE Carbon project required most of 2011 to complete, and in fact, required the first few
months of 2012 to perfect the design for its intended purpose. Production commenced April 2012,
and the L6SE Carbon was released to an enthusiastic reception in June 2012.
Attributes
The Legatia L6SE Carbon is a 164.5mm (6.5-inch) midbass driver to compliment both two-way and
three-way system designs, where a shallow-depth, long-throw midbass is required. The following are
the L6SE Carbon’s design attributes:
Basket
The basket of the L6SE Carbon is a new design for Hybrid Audio Technologies, and is not shared
with any other product in the Hybrid Audio line-up. The basket is a high-quality cast aluminum
design, and contains a 164.5mm flange providing for the mounting of the driver via four screw holes
(the use of 4mm cap head screws is ideal). The overall dimensions of the driver are very amenable
for use in the car audio environment, and in locations typical of the standard “6.5-inch” driver, or in
custom locations at the discretion of the end-user, boasting a depth of just 62mm (2.44-inch) (16mm
less than the Legatia L6SE). The basket features large openings behind the cone to eliminate
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chuffing and other aerodynamic-based noises, as well as provides adequate communication to the
back of the cone for acoustic suspension and proper operation.
Motor
The motor of the L6SE is paramount to the performance of the driver, providing for a flat and wide BL
curve (as a learning note, BL is the equivalent of torque in a car; a car with a flat and constant torque
curve provides much better acceleration and performance than a car with a peaky, non-constant
torque curve). The BL curve is flat and extended, yielding 12mm of two-way linear excursion,
resulting in the L6SE Carbon being able to accurately track the input signal. Reduced distortion and
greater dynamics are the immediate sonic benefits. The motor of the L6SE Carbon includes an
opposing double-stacked NdFeB magnet to improve restorative force, compliance, motor strength,
displacement, and power handling. The magnet assemblies are fully surrounded by the voice coil.
Voice Coil
The voice coil diameter of the L6SE is a large 35.55mm (1.4-inch), which is the proper balance
between size and moving mass in super high-end mobile audio midranges/midbass drivers. The
voice coil diameter serves several key functions: elevated power handling, dissipation of heat
(thereby lowering power compression), and maximizing the size of the magnet assembly for
enhanced motor compliance. The voice coil is high-purity aluminum, which is superior to copper for
heat dissipation, as well as significantly reduced moving mass. The result is an extremely light weight
winding with good power handling and low inductance.
Suspension
The unique double-S shaped surround is treated fine cloth which is highly consistent, and does not
suffer the variance one might find in natural rubbers, foam, or untreated cloth. The surround
terminates mechanical vibrations well, having a low stiffness for positive damping of resonances. The
spider material was chosen for optimal performance; the spider is a 90/10 cotton/Nomex blend with
single-dip low viscosity phenolic. This material provides the stiffness desired without being overly
brittle or stiff, where vibrations in the spider are well damped and do not translate into the former or
the cone.
Cone
As noted in the introduction, the SE Carbon is a complete departure from the typical Hybrid Audio
Technologies philosophy of point-source midbass and midrange (full-range) drivers. The composite
cone, although not ideal for wide-bandwidth operation, does an aplomb job of effectively recreating
midbass and lower to middle midrange tones effectively. The Legatia SE Carbon midbass drivers
include a carbon fiber diaphragm with low moving mass. Carbon fiber is acknowledged as being an
exceptionally strong material, but exhibits edge-mode distortion at high frequency, and therefore
should be appropriately filtered using active crossovers, or custom passive crossovers. By nature,
the carbon fiber cone and dustcap are water resistant.
Hybrid Audio Technologies recommends the use of a low-resonance tweeter to be used in concert
with the Legatia L6SE Carbon, such as the Legatia L1 Pro or Legatia L1 Pro R2. When placing the
midbass and tweeter in close proximity to each other, one can achieve having all imaging cues
emanating from the pair of drivers in an installation, ensuring stable stereo imaging across the
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fundamental frequencies which define image placement and definition. Naturally, crossover filter
selection is paramount.
Shorting Cup
The L6SE Carbon uses a copper shorting cup. The shorting cup consist of an optimally sized and
placed copper (Cu) cup to create a total inductance profile that is not just low, but flat over stroke,
frequency, and power. Inductance is the number one limiter of high frequency extension and
modulation of inductance with stroke, frequency and power, and is the primary source of
intermodulation distortion (IMD).
Tinsel Leads
The tinsel leads for the L6SE Carbon are terminated on one side of the voice coil. The tinsel leads
are stitched into the spider and bonded directly to the former and brought out to the terminals, which
completely eliminates tinsel lead slap and does not compromise the structural integrity of the cone.
Terminals
The Legatia L6SE Carbon comes equipped with heavy-duty nickel-plated spring-loaded push
terminals for both positive and negative. The terminals optimize contact, and give the end user
flexibility in tinned wire or binding post terminations.
Summary
The Legatia L6SE Carbon is the world’s finest multi-purpose super high-end shallow-depth midbass
driver. Mechanical and electrical parameters are amenable to a variety of different installations and
speaker locations. This driver is intended to be used in an infinite baffle configuration; a simple, solid
baffle, solidly attached to the car’s chassis with available airspace at the rear of the baffle is all that is
required for optimum operation. The size of the L6SE Carbon allows it to be mounted in typical “6.5inch” midrange locations within a vehicle, especially in those circumstances which require extremely
shallow depth, or in custom locations at the discretion of the end-user, as long as there is adequate
airspace behind the driver to allow it to maintain proper damping and acoustic suspension.
At home in virtually any arrangement, the L6SE Carbon is Hybrid Audio Technologies Legatia SE
Carbon high-end midbass offering, boasting exceptional performance and a design philosophy that
goes hand in hand with true high-fidelity playback.
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Mechanical Drawing
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Thiele/Small Parameters
Overall Diameter
φ164.5 mm (6.5-inch)
Mounting Depth
62 mm
Bolt Circle Diameter
φ156.5 mm
Mounting Hole
φ141 mm
Recommended Minimum Crossover Frequency
60 Hz at 24 dB/octave highpass
Pnom Rated Power Input (No Crossover)
60 watts (AES Standard)
Pmax Rated Power Input (No Crossover)
125 watts (AES Standard)
Pmax (With Recommended Minimum Crossover)
200 watts
Frequency Range
57 Hz – 5,500 Hz, +/- 3 dB
Sensitivity
91 dB at 2.83V/1meter
Mms
11.19 g
Cms
635 um/N
BL
4.74 T*m
Voice Coil Diameter
35.55 mm (1.4-inch)
Impedance
4Ω
DC Resistance
3.4 Ω
Fs
57 Hz (free air)
Qms
2.793
Qes
0.661
Qts
0.534
Xmax
6 mm (one way)
Vas
15.4 L
Sd
13,070 mm2
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Frequency Response Graph
Please note that the response peak at approximately 170 Hz is a testing room mode and is not indicative of the
speaker’s performance at that frequency. All speakers tested show this same phenomenon, and it has been
concluded to be a room artifact.
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Legatia L4G Grille Assembly
Note: The Legatia L4G grille has application for the Legatia L4SE,
Legatia L4, as well as the Legatia L4SE Carbon.
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Legatia L6G Grille Assembly
Note: The Legatia L6G grille has application for the Legatia L6SE, Legatia L6V2, as well as the original Legatia
L6 offering. The L6SE Carbon can be made to fit with mild adaptation.
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Advanced System Installation
Hybrid Audio Technologies has prepared a more advanced topical discussion of Legatia SE Carbon
installation techniques, concepts, and principals, where a little bit of additional installation work can
net immense gains in overall sound quality.
There are certainly many things you can do to improve your mobile audio system, such as addition of
amplification, a dedicated subwoofer system, higher-gauge speaker wire, and higher-end passive
crossovers, and active crossovers. All of these things require an additional amount of monetary
investment into your audio system, and may not net the immediate gains that other, more elementary
installation items can net. The following discussion is pertinent to easy and cost-effective
enhancements you can do for your audio system, particularly as it relates to the installation of Legatia
SE Carbon component speakers.
In any mobile audio system, the weakest link will always be the speaker systems, followed closely by
installation techniques (sometimes its vice-versa). Since the Legatia SE Carbon component system
you have purchased has solved the first issue, the second issue, that being installation techniques,
can see a significant improvement as well by understanding and incorporating some or all of the
techniques in the following sections.
Lessons Learned
We like to call this our “Lessons Learned” section, where we expose some critical lessons that we
have learned through thousands upon thousands of hours of trial and error:
Lesson One: Off-Axis Response
When a speaker system like the Legatia SE Carbon is placed in an automotive environment, we hear
the direct (shortest path) and reflected (longer path) sounds, such as resonances and reverberations.
The two sounds are processed by the brain as one sound, and this influences our perception of
height, width, and depth of soundstage, as well as rearward ambience. For this reason, the off-axis
radiation pattern of any speaker in a vehicular environment has a significant influence on how natural
the music sounds.
The lesson to learn here is that most mobile audio sound systems benefit greatly from having the
front stage speakers at least partially “off-axis.” Off-axis means that the speakers are not pointing at
you, but rather at some angle less than 90 degrees away from you.
Lesson Two: Equalization of Pathlength Differences
Quite possibly the most important functional consideration that a do-it-yourself enthusiast or
professional installer should give to the Legatia SE Carbon speaker placement is to optimize, as best
as possible, pathlength differences (PLD’s) in the vehicle. PLD’s are defined mathematically as
follows (this example assumes a right-hand drive vehicle---PLD’s are always a positive number):
X–Y=Z
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Where:
X = distance of the center of the left speaker from your left ear.
Y = distance of the center of the right speaker from your right ear.
Z = pathlength difference.
Applying this formula, assume that the distance of the left speaker from your left ear is 140cm, and
the distance of the right speaker from your right ear is 100cm, the pathlength difference is 40cm.
Good stereo imaging is completely dependent on arrival times of the fundamental vocal frequencies.
Differences as little as 10 microseconds can be detected by the brain. A PLD of 30 centimeters
equates to the sound from the nearest channel arriving about 0.9 milliseconds earlier than the furthest
channel. It is Hybrid Audio’s opinion that the end-user should try to keep PLD’s to less than 30
centimeters in a vehicle which is intended to have good imaging and staging character from both
seated positions.
The best way to go about evaluating certain locations in your vehicle is, in general, to look for the
potential locations as far forward and away from you as possible, but still with a general “line of sight”
to the speakers (particularly the speaker on the far side of the vehicle). An easy way to test various
potential locations is to hold a tape measure or other measurement device from the potential speaker
mounting locations, and measure those locations with respect to your ears.
Reference the figure, below. In this scenario, three potential locations for the mounting of the Legatia
SE Carbon midbass driver are shown:
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In scenario “a”, we show the installation of the Legatia SE Carbon midbass in the dashboard or high
in a door panel. As you can see from the diagram, the PLD’s between the left and right speakers are
large, due to the proximity of the listener to the near-side speaker. While the mounting of primary
drivers in the dashboard or a-pillars has become increasingly popular, this configuration will
undoubtedly require both time and intensity domain equalization in most vehicles to ensure a good,
focused center image, properly located in the center of the vehicle for one seated position. There
are, however, some rare exceptions, and you may actually find that the dashboard locations provide
the best equalized PLD of the available mounting locations; this is very rare though – in our
experience, less than one percent of vehicles on the market today have optimized dashboard speaker
locations for the midbass drivers.
In scenario “b”, a typical door installation location is shown, and in many vehicles represents a good
improvement in PLD’s from the dashboard, high in the door panel, and a-pillar location identified in
scenario “a.” The door speaker installation scenario is the one detailed in the basic installation section
at the beginning of this manual, and in most vehicles represents a satisfactory location to mount
speakers; not ideal but satisfactory. The door speaker installation scenario will likely also require
some amount of time and intensity equalization to ensure a centered image in most vehicles; this can
be as simple as adjusting the balance control on your source unit, to more advanced ways of digital
time and intensity manipulation.
The third and final potential mounting location as shown in this diagram (scenario “c”) represents a
kick panel installation, where the midbass are placed far forward in the A-frame cavity of the kick
panels, present in most vehicles. The kick panels are the small panel next to the throttle and brake
pedals, down by your feet. While it is not immediately obvious looking at a two-dimensional drawing,
in many cases the kick panel location affords the best equalization of pathlength differences for most
vehicles. And the reason why this is a good choice for most vehicles is defined in the second full
paragraph of Lesson Three, below.
The lesson to be learned here is that by taking a few moments to evaluate the potential mounting
locations in your vehicle, in a very short period of time, you will be able to find the best location for
your Legatia SE Carbon midbass by determining the location with the smallest PLD.
Lesson Three: The Effect of HRTF, ITD, and IID
Head-related transfer function (HRTF), interaural intensity differences (IID), and interaural time delay
(ITD) all play a key role in the optimum placement location for the Legatia SE Carbon component
speakers. A sound wave approaching the eardrum from your chosen speaker location is shaped by
interactions with the size and shape of your head, torso, and outer ear, resulting in the HRTF. More
specifically, the HRTF is the ratio between the sound pressures of the wave at the eardrum, as
compared to the sound pressure that would exist at the center of the head if the head were removed.
In general, the sound arriving at the ear further from the source is attenuated and delayed relative to
the sound arriving at the ear closer to the source. This generates an interaural intensity difference
(IID) and an interaural time delay (ITD). As a sound approaches the head, the ratio of distances from
the speaker location to the near and far ears increases, and the effects of head-shadowing are
amplified, causing the IID to increase. The spectral shaping caused by the head and the shape of the
outer ear may also change. The ITD, which results from the absolute difference in path length from
the source to the ears, remains approximately constant as distance decreases. From this we learn:
•
ITD is the dominant factor for frequencies below about 500 Hz;
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•
•
A combination of ITD and IID are dominant for frequencies between approximately 500 Hz and
2,000 Hz; and
IID, in concert with HRTF, are dominant above about 2,000 Hz.
These are generalizations, and are subject to the size and shape of one’s head and torso, and size
and shape of the outer ear (the folds and ridges of the ear), but in general, the above is a good
guideline for establishing ITD, IID and HRTF thresholds for the human auditory system.
Because the Legatia SE Carbon midbass’ ability to play into the sub-200 Hz range, an effect clearly
dominated by ITD, up to and exceeding 2,000 Hz, an effect clearly dominated by IID and HRTF,
placement of this driver is extremely important. The driver should be placed as far forward as possible
in the vehicle to optimize ITD. Lateral (forward to back) placement is much more important than
horizontal placement (up and down). This is because of the brain’s ability to process sounds such as
spectral envelope cues, and use a phenomenon known as the “precedence effect”; the brain can be
easily “fooled” into thinking a sound stage is high with kick panel or floor-mounted speakers (a word
to the wise: the best place to put a set of speakers is not always “up high”, as most vehicles do not
offer an amicable location in the dashboard or a-pillars for good image placement for both seated
passengers, especially in the critical frequencies sub-500 Hz). In addition to the time equalized
placement of the drivers, the end-user must also consider that above approximately 2,000 Hz,
intensity plays a key role in good sound staging and imaging. Therefore, the Legatia SE Carbon
midbass’ should be placed in an area where intensity differences can be equalized, either
mechanically or electronically, to ensure good imaging and sound staging.
The lesson to be learned is that, like Lesson Two, the Legatia SE Carbon midbass should be placed
as far forward from your listening position as possible, and every effort should be made to optimize
time and intensity domain characteristics of the installation.
Lesson Four: Point-Sourcing with Tweeter
The term “point-sourcing” is often used to describe the technique of having a single pair of speakers
in an installation cover the majority of the critical middle band frequencies. In many installation
scenarios, the Legatia SE Carbon midbass could be considered a point-source speaker driver when
combined with a low-resonance tweeter. Point-sourcing, if done correctly, can lend itself to a variety
of valuable attributes, including precise image definition and stable sound staging character. By
applying Lessons 1-3 above, the Legatia SE Carbon midbass can be used as a point-source driver,
when used in close proximity with a Legatia low-resonance tweeter, such as the Legatia L1 Pro, or
the Legatia L1 Pro R2, to achieve excellent staging and imaging results.
The lesson to be learned here is that the Legatia SE Carbon midbass, can faithfully reproduce four
octaves of tones, and with the use of a low-resonance tweeter, would make a valuable addition to any
sound system as a point-source pairing for the spectrum comprising vocal imaging cues.
Lesson Five: Reference
One of the most important things to do before completing your Legatia SE Carbon installation is to get
a reference for your future listening tests. To really know what a snare drum sounds like, you must go
and listen to one, in person, live and un-amplified. There is no substitute for the visceral impact and
emotion of live music. Nothing else in life can touch your soul the way music does. Whether it’s a
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200-member orchestra, or a four-piece fusion band, nothing compares to the phenomenon of live
music.
Take this as Hybrid Audio’s official request: become a student of music and your mobile audio sound
system will be better for it. We want nothing more than to know there are great sounding audio
systems around the world using our products, and you’d make us all very proud if you became a
student of music and learned its beauty and passion.
Advanced Installation of the Legatia SE Carbon Component Systems
Mounting Baffle Considerations
Now that we have revealed five of our most important “Lessons Learned”, we can now apply these
lessons to the Legatia SE Carbon installation. The first important matter is the physical installation of
your Legatia SE Carbon midbass, and more specifically with respect to improving the Legatia SE
Carbon midbass’ mounting baffles. Most vehicles’ factory mounting locations for speakers are less
than ideal. In most cases, the OEM speaker mounting flanges are likely nothing more than flimsy
extruded plastic, and provide no sonic benefit to your Legatia SE Carbon installation. The Legatia SE
Carbon drivers are long-throw midbass and the plastic mounting baffles that come from the factory in
virtually every vehicle will lead to buzzes, rattles, vibrations, and resonances, all of which negatively
affect the Legatia SE Carbon installation. In other vehicles, you may have attached the Legatia SE
Carbon midbass’ directly to the door metal (hopefully with a layer or two of self-adhesive sound
damping in between), but this is still not entirely ideal. In whatever scenario you have installed your
Legatia SE Carbon midbass, there are certain “tricks” and techniques that may be applied to get the
most out of your Legatia SE Carbon component set, specifically the midbass installation, as follows:
Mounting the baffle, sound damping, and “decoupling”: the mounting baffle or mounting location
should either be secured extremely well to the vehicle’s body, or completely isolated from the
vehicle’s chassis. The reasoning is that the speaker baffle panel will vibrate and will radiate sound.
Even small vibrations can result in the baffle itself radiating more sound than the actual speaker at
certain frequencies. The mounting baffle or mounting location should be damped with a layer of
typical sound damping to reduce the Q of the baffle and lower its vibration resonance frequency
below the range of the driver’s frequency response. In many cases, using thicker baffle panel in
concert with self-adhesive sound damping can also be advantageous, provided the rearward wave of
the speaker has no obstructions created by the baffle itself. Finally, if possible, the speaker should be
mechanically decoupled from the baffle. This can be something as simple as a layer of self-adhesive
foam tape, to more exotic examples of decoupling, including rubberized rings or multiple-layer septum
shielding.
Building solid mounting baffles: in many cases, it is advisable to mount your Legatia SE Carbon
midbass’ in high-stiffness wood or high-density fiberglass (or wood treated with fiberglass resin).
Hybrid Audio Technologies recommends the use of a solid hardwood, such as birch or oak, namely
because these woods are stiff and help to dissipate resonance, and screws can be inserted and
removed multiple times without stripping. Avoid Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), particularly in wet
environments like the door, as the MDF will act like a sponge with humidity and moisture, and not
only that, the MDF is a dense, but not stiff type of wood, and the results may not be particularly
noticeable if you use MDF. Once your baffle is built, it must be covered in one or two layers of a
good-quality, brand name self-adhesive damping product; a solid wood mounting baffle with sound
damping treatment will augment the Legatia SE Carbon installation by eliminating resonances.
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Mounting baffle dimensions: While building baffles is important, it is notable that mounting baffle
size is equally important. All mounting baffles should be kept as small as possible with respect to the
size of the speaker. The purpose of using a small baffle is to avoid the potential for low amplitude
diffracted sound waves becoming summed with the incidental waves. A narrower baffle also becomes
increasingly important as frequencies range into the Legatia SE Carbon midbass’ upper bandwidth,
where the power response is more uniform and incident and reflected waves are indistinguishable. In
practical terms, keep baffle dimensions small with respect to the size of the Legatia SE Carbon
midbass, chamfer or round sharp edges (including, in particular, the mounting hole’s rear inner edge),
flush-mount the speaker whenever possible, and use shallow, surface-mounted hardware. Also,
remove all unnecessary protrusions from the baffle surface.
Crossovers
One of the most fundamental and important considerations in the final tweaking of a car audio system
is the set-up of the speaker’s crossovers. The Legatia SE Carbon drivers use rigid carbon fiber
cones that exhibits cone breakup in its upper frequency bandwidth. The proper utilization of
crossovers, especially active crossover networks, can effectively mitigate this cone break-up
phenomenon at high-frequency. It has been Hybrid Audio’s philosophy to tune the speaker system to
the vehicle’s acoustic signature using just active crossovers, and only a very minor amount of
equalization. Our very best world championship vehicles have always had one thing in common:
creative use of active crossover filters and very minimal equalization. Use your crossovers to tune
your car, and the equalizer to suit the vehicle’s speaker response to your own tastes.
The first thing to remember is that every speaker exhibits some sort of a natural roll-off. This rolloff
typically amounts to about 12 dB/octave, and needs to be taken into account, especially when
designing passive crossover systems. Simply adding a capacitor and inductor in series (6 dB/octave
bandpass filter) to a Legatia SE Carbon midbass driver does not necessarily mean that you’ll see a
phase coherent 6 dB/octave bandpass filter at its crosspoints. In fact, summing the effect of the
driver’s natural bandpass roll-off, you might actually be approaching a theoretical 18 dB/octave
bandpass filter at certain frequencies. On the other hand, with the cone break-up mode phenomenon,
a simple, low-order lowpass filter may be doing virtually nothing to abate the large break-up mode at
high-frequency. Furthermore, with respect to highpass frequency, the speaker could potentially begin
to exhibit significant intermodulation distortion as the cone becomes non-linear trying to reproduce the
lowest octave of tones, not to mention irregular polar radiation patterns between the Legatia SE
Carbon midbass and the accompanying Legatia tweeter.
Given the large uncertainty of low-order crossover systems, Hybrid Audio recommends the use of
higher-order electronic crossovers so that fine tuning can be done electronically. The active network
benefits from easy correction of different speaker sensitivities and equalizing not only the individual
drivers but the combined response as well. Not having to account for the speaker’s impedance
verses frequency, as well as the passive device impedance and phase shift makes the active filter
superior to most passive crossover networks, due to the fact that each and every aspect can be
tailored to better suit the individual installation’s requirements. The ideal crossover system for most
users, is an active one that takes into account the Legatia SE Carbon driver location and its
characteristics, in concert with the polar radiation patterns of other speakers involved, all the while
balancing linear and non-linear distortion (non-linear harmonic distortion increases with sound
pressure level or cone displacement, and thus, crossover frequency is critical and can be vehicle and
user dependent).
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As mentioned previously in “Lesson Three”, imaging cues of near-field (within 3m) sources come from
effectively two auditory methods: ITD and IID. ITD is the time it takes for sound to reach the far ear
after reaching the near ear. Typical adult male heads have an ITD maximum of approximately 400
microseconds. IID is the measure of intensity difference of the far ear as compared to the near ear.
ITD is typically used by the brain to localize low frequency sources below 500 Hz. IID is typically used
by the brain to localize high frequency sources, above 2,000 Hz. HRTF is also used in conjunction
with IID. Above approximately 4,000 Hz, the higher frequencies are attenuated by the head for the
far side ear. A sound to your left will have a different spectral content for the left ear as compared to
the right ear. The HRTF is unique for each individual (based upon shape and size of the head and
torso) but typically occurs at around 4,000-5,000 Hz. HRTF will affect the IID at even higher
frequencies, more so than simple average SPL. Above 6,000 Hz or so, the HRTF portion of IID
becomes the dominant factor. The spoken word (human voice) comprises a fundamental frequency
range of approximately 150 Hz to 6,000 Hz.
Taking the above into account, your desired crossover frequency for the Legatia SE Carbon midbass
should be one that allows the midbass to play as much of the audible spectrum of the spoken voice to
ensure point-source delivery of the tones and pinpoint image definition. In many cases, this would be
around 200-250 Hz for high pass, and around 3,000-4,000 Hz for low pass, in combination with a lowresonance tweeter, like the Legatia L1 Pro, or the Legatia L1 Pro R2. In all cases, the chosen
crossover frequencies should be evaluated for sonic character, while balancing distortion and power
compression at high amplitude levels.
Time Correction
It is our humble opinion that time correction should only be used in three different circumstances:
1) When the installer recognizes that a vehicle cannot image properly from both seated positions
and it seems more plausible to make the vehicle stage and image well from only one seated
position.
2) To counter the effects of group delay.
3) Time alignment between pairs of drivers.
Scenario 1
The first scenario is rather elementary. If a vehicle is too small to achieve equalized PLD’s, it doesn’t
lend itself well to equalized PLD’s, or the vehicle’s owner doesn’t wish to embark on physical
reconstruction of the car to achieve optimized PLD’s, it is a good use of time correction to make the
vehicle image well from the single seated position. It should be noted that it is Hybrid Audio’s opinion
that it is always better to improve the car mechanically and attempt to fix mechanical problems with
mechanical solutions, than it is use to electronics to fix mechanical problems. However, we realize
that there is the occasion when there is little desire to try to mechanically optimize one’s listening
space, and electronic manipulation is desired. It is important to recognize that, given the
fundamentals of ITD and IID discussed previously, time alignment is rendered virtually useless for
frequencies above approximately 2,000 Hz.
Scenario 2
In the second scenario, the use of time correction is much more cognitive, and shows great promise
for countering the effects of group delay. Group delay is impulse response over time. Group delay
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increases significantly at low frequencies, and is considerable in larger midbass and subwoofers. An
excellent use of time correction would be to delay the smaller Legatia SE Carbon midbass and
tweeters with respect to the larger subwoofers, so that the low frequency delay of these drivers is
synchronized in the time domain with the output of the midbass and treble frequencies.
Scenario 3
The final scenario is time alignment between pairs of drivers. When employing multiple drivers in
order to achieve a unified listening experience within a vehicle, it’s usually a requirement to install the
drivers at physically separated locations; for example, your midbass may be located in the doors, and
the tweeter may be located in the dashboard or a-pillar. In order to compensate for this, you might
choose to selectively delay certain speakers in the installation so that all of the tones reach your ears
at the same time (note that as previously alluded to, time alignment of your tweeters would be
rendered virtually useless).
Amplitude Equalization
An excellent use of today’s dual-mono equalizers and advanced digital signal processing is the ability
to equalize amplitude anomalies between speakers and sets of speakers installed in a vehicle. In a
vehicular installation, the frequency response of drivers can sometimes be manipulated for the
betterment of the system using independent left and right amplitude adjustment. Virtually any good
car audio system can be made better with judicious use of a minor amount of equalization. And while
equalization will not cure phasing anomalies in a car, usually the product of vehicular mechanics, they
can certainly be helpful in fine-tuning the system to your own personal taste or in the quest for
playback accuracy to the original musical composition.
One important consideration of amplitude equalization (also known in some circles as “amplitude
alignment”) is the ability to tune those frequencies above about 500 Hz that are not completely
affected by time correction. The very best vehicles have some sort of amplitude equalization
between the left and right speakers to account for IID and HRTF. After your Legatia SE Carbon
system is installed, you may wish to attempt some minor amplitude equalization between the left and
right channels to achieve a more stable image that is not frequency dependent, or perhaps to improve
image placement or stage coherency.
Acoustic Treatment
A considerable benefit can be made to any mobile audio system with the select placement of acoustic
treatments. The purpose of using acoustic treatments is to reduce the amount of reflected energy in
the hostile automotive environment, and hear more of the direct sound being emanated from the
speaker. It is akin to the signal to noise (S/N) ratio in a piece of electronics, where the signal could be
considered the direct energy coming from the speaker, and the noise could be considered the
reflected waves off of nearby surfaces, such as windows, hard center consoles and door panels,
windscreens, and etc. A word of warning though: there is a fine line between too little and too much
acoustic treatment; just as some vehicles can benefit from some selectively applied treatments, there
is a point where the vehicle can begin to approach “semi-anechoic” conditions, and lose its liveliness,
which is not ideal. Reflections are all around us, and are a part of our day-to-day lives. It is our
opinion that some lateral reflection is a good thing; it helps to establish stage boundaries, and gives
the recoded playback and more visceral and “believable” sound.
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The first principle to understand is that below 200 Hz, acoustic treatments are rendered virtually
useless. It is Hybrid Audio’s assertion that only those frequencies above 200 Hz benefit from the use
of treatments, given that a 200 Hz waveform is about 1.7 m long; 1.7 meters is less than or equal to
most vehicle widths. This is also the frequency where we believe pure tones in the vehicle are going
to be difficult, if not impossible to localize. Finally, most vehicles exhibit a Schroeder Frequency (Fs)
between 50 at 125 Hz; the Fs (or cabin-gain frequency) is vehicle dependent, and is the frequency at
which resonances become so tightly packed in frequency and space that the acoustical properties of
the vehicle behave quite uniformly. (As an aside, one significant benefit of car audio sound systems
is that frequencies below the lowest room resonance increase at a theoretical 12 dB/octave…it’s no
wonder car audio systems have such great bass!)
Acoustic treatment can be very effective above 200 Hz, depending mostly on the polar radiation
pattern of the speaker. In the case of the Legatia SE Carbon midbass, the polar radiation pattern is
quite large at lower frequencies, with a narrowing of the radiation pattern (“beaming”) at frequencies
into the treble bandwidth.
Should the Legatia SE Carbon midbass be placed in the kick panel locations, one may find that a
notable improvement can be made by adding acoustical treatments, such as open-cell foam, into the
underside of the dashboard. Likewise, should the midbass and/or tweeter be placed up high on apillars, or in the dashboard, where comb filtering (reflective summation and cancellation off of a hard
surface, such as a windscreen) may become an issue, a dashboard “mat” or other soft furnishing may
be a noticeable improvement. It will require trial and error to get it right, but the learning is in the
experimentation!
Advanced Installation Conclusions
Sadly, there are no rules in mobile audio, only several hypothesis and theorems that seem to work for
most vehicles. Your vehicle may be different, and defy everything we know, and everything written in
this manual. You may find that getting that rich, detailed sound that you crave may require some
experimentation and a lot of work to make it right. Or you might be fortunate to have a vehicle that
sounds excellent with minimal work. Have patience and work through the issues; the result will be a
rewarding musical experience in your vehicle! Just remember, it is critical to get a reference, as
detailed in Lesson 5. Go out and become a student of music and audio, learn, and improve your
audio system one step at a time. The journey is exciting and rewarding!
What we have included above is only a very brief primer to the world of high-end mobile audio
systems. We invite you to read more by going to our website.
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Warranty
Hybrid Audio Technologies extends a limited one year warranty to the original purchaser, certifying
that this product will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal and proper use
for one year from the date of purchase.
Hybrid Audio Technologies’ responsibility under this warranty is limited to replacing or repairing, at
Hybrid Audio Technologies’ option, products or parts determined by Hybrid Audio Technologies to be
defective either in materials, or workmanship. To attain warranty service, the customer must deliver
the product or the defective part(s), appropriately packed with proof of purchase date, to an
authorized Hybrid Audio Technologies dealer. In the event that a direct return from a consumer is
required, the consumer must obtain from Hybrid Audio Technologies a return authorization number,
and ship the defective product directly to Hybrid Audio Technologies. All shipping expenses are the
customer’s responsibility. If the product has been updated or superseded, a replacement will be made
with a current model of the same quality and function. Warranty of the replacement parts is limited to
90 days or the unexpired portion of the warranty period of the product on which the parts are being
used, whichever is longer.
This warranty does not cover any defects or costs caused by: (1) modification, alteration, repair or
service of this product by any persons or company other than Hybrid Audio Technologies; (2) physical
abuse to, overload of, or misuse of, the product or operation thereof in a manner inconsistent with the
use indicated in the instructions; (3) any use of the product other than that for which it was intended;
or (4) shipment of the product to Hybrid Audio Technologies for service. This warranty does not cover
labor costs.
Hybrid Audio Technologies is not liable for any special incidental or consequential damages,
including, but not limited to, personal injury, property damage, damage to or loss of equipment, loss
of profits or revenue, costs of renting or buying replacements and/or any other additional expenses,
even if Hybrid Audio Technologies has been informed of the prospect of such damages. Any express
warranty not provided herein, and any remedy which other than the warranty contained herein might
arise by inference or operation of law, is hereby excluded and disclaimed including the implied
warranties of merchantability and of the fitness for a particular purpose.
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Thank You!
Hybrid Audio Technologies is delighted that you have chosen a Legatia SE Carbon component
system for your high-end mobile audio sound system. We are convinced that a great product offering,
backed up with unsurpassed customer service and technical support will advance the Hybrid Audio
Technologies namesake in the coming years. We are pleased that you have joined us in our “new
generation of in-car audio.”
If there is anything we can do to help you get the most out of your Legatia SE Carbon installation,
please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected], or by visiting us at www.hybridaudio.com!
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References
Blauert, Jens. Spatial Hearing. The Psychophysics of Human Sound Localization. MIT Press,
1997.
Hartmann, William M. Auditory Localization in Rooms. Proc. AES 12th International Conf.,
Copenhagen, 1993, "The perception of reproduced sound", pp. 34-39.
Klippel, Wolfgang. Loudspeaker Nonlinearities - Causes, Parameters, Symptoms. 119th AES
Convention, New York, October 2005, Preprint 6584.
Linkwitz, Siegfried. A Loudspeaker Design for Reduced Reverberant Sound Power Output. AES
Convention, New York, 1987. JAES, Vol. 35, No. 12, December 1987.
Linkwitz, Siegfried. A Three-Enclosure Loudspeaker System with Active Delay and Crossover.
Parts 1, 2, 3, Speaker Builder: 2/80, 3/80, 4/80.
Linkwitz, Siegfried. Loudspeaker System Design. Wireless World, May/June/December 1978.
Linkwitz, Siegfried. Narrow Band Impulse Testing of Acoustical System. 60th AES Convention,
Los Angeles 1978, Preprint 1342.
Moore, Brian C.J. Controversies and Mysteries in Spatial Hearing. Proc. AES 16th International
Conf., Rovaniemi, 1999, "Spatial sound reproduction", pp. 249-258.
Moulton, David. The Creation of Musical Sounds for Playback Through Loudspeakers. Proc.
AES 8th International Conf., Washington, 1990, "The sound of audio", p. 167.
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