Neodymium Magnets

Posted on Jun 24, 2016 in Speaker Cabinets

Neodymium, or Neo, is the new buzzword among speaker manufacturers, and well it should be. Neodymium is an extremely lightweight, yet highly magnetic material that some believe will revolutionize the speaker industry. The advantages of a highly sensitive, lightweight driver in musical instrument amplification are obvious. The EA NL-210 weighs in at a mere 39 lbs. This represents a savings of 43 pounds from our CxL-210. One main reason is the reduction in weight provided by the neodymium drivers. Each magnet in the NL-210 weighs in at a mere 7 ounces compared to the CxL-210’s massive 105-ounce magnets. The savings of 196 ounces (12.25 pounds) is just the start. Additionally, a speaker frame holding 7-ounce magnet does not need the same heft of one holding a 105-ounce magnet. Finally the use of imported Poplar plywood as opposed to Baltic Birch for the cabinet construction represents a further reduction in weight. The use of imported Poplar is for another discussion, let’s get back to the discussion of Neodymium.

This revolutionary material comes with some serious application issues. Issues that EA is uniquely qualified to address. Neodymium is highly sensitive. Unfortunately, their sensitivity diminishes with heat. Neodymium magnets that have suffered heat fatigue are permanently damaged. Secondly, compared to other driver types, some Neo drivers have an “ugly” midrange hump at about 600hz (midrange). EA’s proprietary design of Kevlar 10″ neodymium drivers has all but reduced these issue that others continue to face. The EA Neodymium drivers employ an aluminum heat sink with a center phasor that cools the motor structure and smoothes the speaker response. EA Neodymium drivers have specially designed kapton voice coils and are power rated between 250 to 300 watts. The motor structure has been optimized to maintain a symmetrical magnetic field for extremely low distortion. The EA voice coil assembly utilizes copper clad aluminum wire yielding a design that has the ideal compromise between reliability and lightweight. The longer winding length of our Neo voice coil assemblies provide a longer linear excursion that translates into a more controlled low end. Finally, the Kevlar cone that is used on our Neo driver is both stronger and has a smoother response than the industry standard paper cones.

Finally, Neodymium is difficult to work with. The added difficulties and the relative rarity of Neodymium contribute to the added expense of Neo drivers as compared to conventional drivers. The reduction in price over the past few years has made Neodymium feasible to use in Musical Instrument applications and EA is uniquely qualified to bring out the best in Neo.