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I am planning to build a hi-fi speaker along with a tweeter and a woofer.

Most probably, the predominant stage of the speaker is the audio signal processing stage. According to the need of high fidelity sound regeneration and right correspondence of signal frequency-loudspeaker, the signal processor should be at its finest.

Basically, there are two main approaches for the signal processing: Analog and digital. I’ve been searching for pros and cons of those in a general manner and I am trying to find the best option for my system. Actually, I am struggling to figure out which design point of view best fits the speaker system.

Which one of those design approaches is the most suitable for the hi-fi audio reconstruction? Additionally, can those methodologies be melted in the same pot so that the results make use of benefits of each one of them?

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  • $\begingroup$ "I am planning to build a hi-fi speaker along with a tweeter and a woofer." Normally a speaker is a passive power transducer, and, normally, a speaker includes tweeter and woofer. Are you planning to build an active speaker, that takes in line-level or digital audio, then processes it and does power amplification to drive individual speaker elements? $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    Oct 18 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ This is really a long debate. Short answer is design both an analog and a digital version, and compare their results. Yes it will cost (almost) twice money and time, but in return you will have the ultimate answer for yourself...! $\endgroup$
    – Fat32
    Oct 18 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ @TimWescott Yes, I am planning to build an active speaker that will include both filtering and amplification stages within. $\endgroup$ Oct 18 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Fat32 Of course, the conclusion can be crystal clear after comparing the duo. But, I'd like to know which one of those raises the bar. Thank you for your interest. $\endgroup$ Oct 18 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Karakoncolos Maybe you can ask more precise, objective questions around those issues? $\endgroup$
    – MBaz
    Oct 18 at 22:17
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the predominant stage of the speaker is the audio signal processing stage.

That's a questionable statement. Transducers, enclosure design, physical management of diffraction and dispersion are arguably more important and can not be fixed with signal processing (analog or digital). Keep in mind that the speaker emits a complicated 3-dimensional sound field and signal processing is more or less "0 dimensional", i.e. it affects all points in space the same way but can not fundamentally change the shape of the sound field.

the signal processor should be at its finest.

That's overkill. Digital Signal processing hardware is quite powerful these days and the processing needs for even a high end advanced speaker are pretty moderate in comparison.

Which one of those design approaches is the most suitable for the hi-fi audio reconstruction?

The vast majority of speakers these days use active digital signal processing in a "system" approach. The signal processing can be fine tuned to the specifics of the transducers, enclosure, amplifier, power supply, etc. Passive speakers require careful matching of all components.

Some people argue that "digital" is inherently inferior to "analog" but there is little scientific data to back this up.

can those methodologies be melted in the same pot

Not really. These are two fundamentally different design methods. For example, I would chose different enclosure designs & tunings for an active digital speaker than for a passive analog one.

Once you have the digital infrastructure in place, you minimize the analog processing as much as possible. There is nothing you can do in analog that can't be done equally or better in digital.

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    $\begingroup$ I haven't started to write the sentence as, for instance, "Obviously,...". Instead, I've written down "Most probably,..." in order to reflect my guess because I'm not an acoustical engineer, I am just looking from the electronics point of view (It is certain that dealing with structural designs is prominent as much as the signal conditioning is.). Other than that, I appreciate your ideas. $\endgroup$ Oct 18 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ While true that the sound field cant be changed if you have a single emitter, DSP does allow for quite much more options to change after the build. E.g. adjusting gain here and there to offset some mechanical resonances and achieve flat responses. $\endgroup$
    – tobalt
    Oct 19 at 6:04

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