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post #1 of 41 Old 02-07-2014, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I have never heard a ribbon tweeter in my life so can someone please explain to me the pros and cons of using ribbons, say in comparison to using a cd and waive guide?

Thanks
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post #2 of 41 Old 02-07-2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozziedog View Post

I have never heard a ribbon tweeter in my life so can someone please explain to me the pros and cons of using ribbons, say in comparison to using a cd and waive guide?

Thanks

Tough to generalize but I will anyway

Ribbon Pro's - Smoother more lifelike and live sound. Can really pick up the tiny details like fingers sliding on the guitar strings and singers voice pure as gold. Sound is all around you

Like all components their are varying degrees ranging from cheapies to raal ribbon which is considered the best.

Ribbon Cons- Not as dynamic or pinpoint as CD. Since their not pro audio cannot handle extreme spl's as well as cd.

If i had two rooms I would have CD for my movies and a seperate room for 2 channel music with ribbons.

These are all generalizations. Everyone has their own individual tastes. Everyones room is different.
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post #3 of 41 Old 02-07-2014, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

Tough to generalize but I will anyway

Ribbon Pro's - Smoother more lifelike and live sound. Can really pick up the tiny details like fingers sliding on the guitar strings and singers voice pure as gold. Sound is all around you

Like all components their are varying degrees ranging from cheapies to raal ribbon which is considered the best.

Ribbon Cons- Not as dynamic or pinpoint as CD. Since their not pro audio cannot handle extreme spl's as well as cd.

If i had two rooms I would have CD for my movies and a seperate room for 2 channel music with ribbons.

These are all generalizations. Everyone has their own individual tastes. Everyones room is different.

I've built both type, which you can see in my sig. I think chalugadp is on the money.

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post #4 of 41 Old 02-08-2014, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for the clarification. I will stick with a cd for my upcoming build.

Thanks again
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post #5 of 41 Old 02-08-2014, 05:04 AM
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I prefer ribbons over domes any day of the week, and if you have a small room, like my 10' by 10' theater room, then I would prefer ribbons to compression drivers too as the ribbons can do just fine, SPL wise, in a smaller room. I absolutely love my RAAL's as they sound so lifelike, especially for voices in various movies. That is just something that a compression driver, for what ever reason, can not duplicate! I am actually in the process of building some compression driver based L + R speakers just to try out, but I will never go with a non ribbon based center channel..I have plans of upgrading my RAAL equipped Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 center to an Ascend Acoustics Horizon center channel sometime soon.
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post #6 of 41 Old 02-08-2014, 02:37 PM
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10 by 10 , that's a bathroom marty !
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post #7 of 41 Old 02-08-2014, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

10 by 10 , that's a bathroom marty !
Do you really have a MartySub in a 10 x 10 room. That' nuts. I have a room 10 x 12, but it's going to become a cellar.

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post #8 of 41 Old 02-09-2014, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

Do you really have a MartySub in a 10 x 10 room. That' nuts. I have a room 10 x 12, but it's going to become a cellar.

I actually have two full size MartySubs in my 10' by 10' room, and also soon to be added JBL-2226 mid-bass enclosures! Not sure how the mid-bass enclosures with the 2226 will work out with the duel MartySubs in such a small room. I have a total of four of the 2226's and my plan is to try two mid-bass enclosures, and two Seos-15 + DNA-360 + JBL-2226's. I plan to compare the Seos speakers to my RAAL equipped Sierra-1's, and if I like the Seos speakers better for movies, then the Sierra-1's will be going to the living room for a dedicated 2-channel setup. If u end up preferring the Sierra-1's then I will likely store the Seos speakers until sometime in the future when I have a larger room.
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post #9 of 41 Old 02-09-2014, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I actually have two full size MartySubs in my 10' by 10' room, and also soon to be added JBL-2226 mid-bass enclosures! Not sure how the mid-bass enclosures with the 2226 will work out with the duel MartySubs in such a small room. I have a total of four of the 2226's and my plan is to try two mid-bass enclosures, and two Seos-15 + DNA-360 + JBL-2226's. I plan to compare the Seos speakers to my RAAL equipped Sierra-1's, and if I like the Seos speakers better for movies, then the Sierra-1's will be going to the living room for a dedicated 2-channel setup. If u end up preferring the Sierra-1's then I will likely store the Seos speakers until sometime in the future when I have a larger room.

With the size of the martys and the other large speakers you either have or going to have, I can't imagine you have any space left for seating. The pressurization must be brutal in that room. Don't know how you can stand it but if it works--it works.
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post #10 of 41 Old 02-09-2014, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I actually have two full size MartySubs in my 10' by 10' room, and also soon to be added JBL-2226 mid-bass enclosures! Not sure how the mid-bass enclosures with the 2226 will work out with the duel MartySubs in such a small room. I have a total of four of the 2226's and my plan is to try two mid-bass enclosures, and two Seos-15 + DNA-360 + JBL-2226's. I plan to compare the Seos speakers to my RAAL equipped Sierra-1's, and if I like the Seos speakers better for movies, then the Sierra-1's will be going to the living room for a dedicated 2-channel setup. If u end up preferring the Sierra-1's then I will likely store the Seos speakers until sometime in the future when I have a larger room.
Nice.. I plan to build some Finalists, but before I do that I plan to build a quartet of MartySubs when I build out my theater room which is 18 x 19.5.

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post #11 of 41 Old 02-09-2014, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

Tough to generalize but I will anyway

Ribbon Pro's - Smoother more lifelike and live sound. Can really pick up the tiny details like fingers sliding on the guitar strings and singers voice pure as gold. Sound is all around you t.

I disagree with that entirely.

A piece of Reynolds Wrap wiggling in a diffraction slot is just not a good way to make treble. And to get any output out of them, the foil strip has to be long enough that the vertical polars go to pot.
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post #12 of 41 Old 02-09-2014, 06:20 PM
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So then why so much positive subjective feedback from ribbons in general?

And I'm not disagreeing with you, I've personally never gotten to excited about ribbons.
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post #13 of 41 Old 02-09-2014, 07:02 PM
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the raal may be a little different. i'm not familiar with ribbons either, but martycool007 mentioned he was very impressed with this one:

full set of measurements:

AscendSierraRibbonTowerRaalTweeterMeasurements.pdf 152k .pdf file


teaser:



looks pfs to me. :-)
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File Type: pdf AscendSierraRibbonTowerRaalTweeterMeasurements.pdf (151.6 KB, 15 views)

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post #14 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 06:33 AM
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Regarding the ribbons and their treble SQ, I have yet to listen to a bookshelf speaker of any brand or price that has remotely similar SQ in the top end compared to my RAAL equipped Sierra-1's. I can't explain it, but in a properly treated/setup listening environment the RAAL is truly amazing. If you have never gotten the opportunity to hear a RAAL, then you have no idea what you are missing, but, who knows, you might not like them, or end up having a bias against them and end up being underwhelmed on your first go around with them. To each his own....

There seems to he a misconception that ribbons can not be crossed as low as domes. My RAAL 70-20xr's are crossed at 1,200hz, and they sound fantastic! Sure, most ribbons can't cross that low, but you can't really lump all ribbons in that one category. Also, in my room, my Sierra/1's will do reference no problem, although my room is small, (ie 10' by 10'), before this I had them in a 34' by 16' room and the belted out plenty of SPL. No, they won't do reference in that particular room, but, the can get pretty loud with minimal distortion .
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post #15 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 09:46 AM
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Here is CSD for two different large ribbons I built around 10 years ago.

I believe the very quick decay is what makes ribbons sound so clean if crossed high enough, but wouldn't use them in the presence of heavy bass.



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post #16 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Regarding the ribbons and their treble SQ, I have yet to listen to a bookshelf speaker of any brand or price that has remotely similar SQ in the top end compared to my RAAL equipped Sierra-1's. I can't explain it, but in a properly treated/setup listening environment the RAAL is truly amazing. If you have never gotten the opportunity to hear a RAAL, then you have no idea what you are missing, but, who knows, you might not like them, or end up having a bias against them and end up being underwhelmed on your first go around with them. To each his own....

There seems to he a misconception that ribbons can not be crossed as low as domes. My RAAL 70-20xr's are crossed at 1,200hz, and they sound fantastic! Sure, most ribbons can't cross that low, but you can't really lump all ribbons in that one category. Also, in my room, my Sierra/1's will do reference no problem, although my room is small, (ie 10' by 10'), before this I had them in a 34' by 16' room and the belted out plenty of SPL. No, they won't do reference in that particular room, but, the can get pretty loud with minimal distortion .

Are you sure it's cross at 1,200hz? I highly doubt that. I'm pretty sure its 2.2k and that would be a minimum too. The foil would loose control at that fr. with lots of distortion. I personal haven't play with raal yet but i do have a few small and large ac on hand. One thing i know for sure is that it has very low decay which make them sound incredibly clean.
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 11:00 AM
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I've heard some superb ribbons, but fwiw, I've heard some superb compression driver approaches.

Everyone is different, but for me the fun factor is paramount. Once experiencing the dynamic realism attainable with compression HF, it's difficult going back. That said, I've experienced high dollar systems utilizing ribbons and AMTs that set a auditory benchmark for anything I've ever experienced. But those were a bespoke $250k xtx system, and a Steinway Lyngdorf $400k system. I know, eek.gif

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... but wouldn't use them in the presence of heavy bass.

Interesting, are you saying the acoustic energy modulates the ribbon? Makes sense, any data?

The aforementioned Steinway Lyngdorf and xtx systems above both possessed mammoth LF displacement (2-3 dozen sealed 12"s with the former, and (10-12) 15"-18" sealed with the later). The only data I had was the price of admission tongue.gif ... certainly was great fun though.
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post #18 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 11:17 AM
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No data, just an observation from working with big ribbons (1"x45"x5 microns). Any air movement in the vicinity caused the ribbons to move. Damping with a layer or two of silk stocking near the surface of the ribbons reduced the effect. (second CSD is from the ribbon in my avatar)

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post #19 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datranz View Post


RAAL's spec's:

- Program power handling: 200 W*
- *Recommended crossover: 4th order L-R @ 1600 Hz

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post #20 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

RAAL's spec's:

- Program power handling: 200 W*
- *Recommended crossover: 4th order L-R @ 1600 Hz
For which driver? There's two DIY models and an OEM model that's slightly different for each vendor.

With that said, I'm a big fan of the OEM RAAL, it has a nice clean sound to it crossed properly.

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post #21 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 05:12 PM
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post #22 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

140-15D

http://www.raalribbon.com/products_flatfoil_140-15.htm
Having seen actual distortion measurements of the 140-15D, I would cross closer to 3K.

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post #23 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 06:42 PM
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Having seen actual distortion measurements of the 140-15D, I would cross closer to 3K.

The ones on their website or have you seen others?

I didn't inspect theirs, but the FR curves looked overly smoothed.

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post #24 of 41 Old 02-10-2014, 07:14 PM
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sorry, but i wouldn't use it anywhere below 2k, but i haven't never play with a raal before so what do i know.
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-11-2014, 05:36 AM
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The RAAL ribbons in my Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1's are custom made for Ascend, (I believe), and although I might be confused , I believe that Dave said mine were crossed at 1,200hz.

While most ribbons would need to be crossed higher, I know that RAAL and several other high end ribbon tweeter companies do indeed make ribbons that can be crossed around 1,200 to 1,700hz.
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post #26 of 41 Old 02-11-2014, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnw View Post

Here is CSD for two different large ribbons I built around 10 years ago.

I believe the very quick decay is what makes ribbons sound so clean if crossed high enough

I agree this is really something special. Those results are impressive. I think ribbons are very good at this. To bad they are limited in other ways.
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post #27 of 41 Old 02-11-2014, 08:41 AM
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So very true...without the limitations I'd use them for HT.

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post #28 of 41 Old 02-12-2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

So then why so much positive subjective feedback from ribbons in general?

And I'm not disagreeing with you, I've personally never gotten to excited about ribbons.

That's a fair question. My opinion is that there are two primary reasons. First, they're rarer and thus look more exotic than domes. We all know how much visuals drive perception of sound. For that matter, it's fairly common for a speaker marketer using an allegedly magic part to hype up that frequency range so that people ooh and aah over the sound of that part. See, e.g. Lansche and Acapella speakers with plasma tweeters and hyped-up treble. Second, ribbons often sound different, because of their different polars compared to a symmetrical driver, high midrange distortion/lower overload point (compared to a standard driver of the same surface area, because of a ribbon's small excursion), and the diffraction issues.

To be sure, I have no experience with the Raals, the foil flavor of the month, either listening (to my knowledge) or actually using them. One reason I have not bothered with Raal is that I have wasted money on previous fetish-foils from Raven and LCY, both of which had similar levels of hype in their day. An awful lot of money in the case of the Ravens, though it is the LCY that stands as the single worst-performing tweeter I've ever used or heard at any price. I've also heard ribbons from Expolinear in Berlin (including one they've sold since at least the late 1990s that CSS recently picked up on this side of the Atlantic), Philips, Monitor Audio, Magnepan, Apogee, and others in setups otherwise unfamiliar to me.

The common thread in my experiences with ribbon tweeters has been an edge to the treble and listening fatigue over time on orchestral recordings. Not at all unlike the sound of a PA or movie system with diffraction slot horn tweeters, really. Which makes sense considering that a ribbon is about the highest possible diffraction type of tweeter. Perhaps the irony is that for certain genres of live, amplified music that kind of coloration is in fact more realistic than the more natural presentation of a diaphragm that's not wiggling in a diffraction slot. But it's not for me.

Though the Raal dude is irrationally opposed to providing public data about his product, and uses NDAs to keep data private, the available third-party data do show his parts to be excellent devices if used within fairly severe constraints. Perhaps the foam lips do in fact mitigate some of the vertical issues compared to other ribbons of the same length, so it may be better there. Still, the Raal seems to require a very small midrange and special attention to cabinet diffraction to compensate for its wide horizontal coverage. A good example of a speaker that seems to optimally employ a limited-application part like the Raal is Dennis Murphy's Philharmonic Audio 3, with its narrow planar midrange and MF/HF cabinet shaped to minimize diffraction. True, one could fairly argue that the same applies to any speaker using a narrow element for the tweeter on a 180º waveguide, such as a 19-30mm dome tweeter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Regarding the ribbons and their treble SQ, I have yet to listen to a bookshelf speaker of any brand or price that has remotely similar SQ in the top end compared to my RAAL equipped Sierra-1's.

I'm not doubting your perception, just your attribution of it. Magic parts have their place in marketing, largely because they allow higher markup, but actual performance usually comes from design.
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I can't explain it, but in a properly treated/setup listening environment the RAAL is truly amazing.

You completely lost me there. The phrase I use for any speaker that requires severe room mutilation to sound good are "inappropriate speaker for that room" or just plain "bad speaker." If a listener perceives a speaker to need such treatment, that's usually a sign the speaker has poor polars. Considering that this particular vender happily markets very low-performance speakers such as the one measured below, skepticism is well justified here!

6.%20AscendContourHor.jpg
Source: Princeton Univ. 3D3A Lab.

In looking for your speaker, I found this old thread on an Ascend forum. Here, in particular, was an "ah ha!" comment from Curtis.

"I didn't lke the tonal quality of the Kef 201/2's as much as the others. I thought at times the highs or upper mids did not sound right at time...maybe over emphasized. They do have LF and HF adjustments on them, but we left them stock. They did seem to image the best of the group."


Why did the Ref 201/2, the best small speaker I've yet heard, get marked down compared to the lesser designs, in precisely the area where measurements prove it overwhelmingly superior (smooth upper midrange/lower treble polars vs. midrange mushroom clouds) to everything else auditioned? Possibly because the listeners saw speakers they knew and thought were good, that all were similar, and this one sounded different because it was better. IOW, they were acclimated to poor performance, and excellence sounded wrong.

True I haven't heard all of the speakers they compared. But a good friend owned the Usher Tiny Dancers, and I do not have a positive impression of them. Funny thing is, after a blind listening test he sold them and uses KEF 3005 eggs atop bass bins. Kind of a lower-output variant of the old Waveform speakers. The sound in his living room considerably improved as a result of replacing a badly-optimized expensive speaker with a well-optimized inexpensive speaker.

The lesson for you here, IMO, is to spend a good bit of time listening to your SEOS-based speakers* before judging them, and don't judge them until you go back to your other speakers for a confirmation listen first. Chances are at first the SEOS will sound a bit boring to you, and perhaps off in the midrange. And maybe lighten up on the room mutiliation when you're trying them out. Good speakers do not require heroic measures to deliver excellent sound. Quite the opposite: room mutiliation generally hurts more than it helps if the speakers are competently designed.

*I haven't followed which design you've picked, but there is generally a much higher level of design competence in the SEOS kits offered than in prefab commercial home loudspeakers.

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post #29 of 41 Old 02-12-2014, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

And maybe lighten up on the room mutiliation when you're trying them out. Good speakers do not require heroic measures to deliver excellent sound. Quite the opposite: room mutiliation generally hurts more than it helps if the speakers are competently designed.

So much in your post, but this really jumped out at me.

I disagree, as there are exceptionally competent offerings (spanning a variety of designs) that could clearly benefit from treatment approaches in most every room.
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Flat, Deep, Clean, Linear, and Loud
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Active 16.8kw, 7.3 system
(3)Seaton Cat12C up front, (4)QSC K8 sides/rears
(2)Seaton SubM-HP, (4)18" IB
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post #30 of 41 Old 02-12-2014, 01:14 PM
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Wow, so much in your post, DS-21, that I disagree with. I do not have the time at the moment to analyze and respond to each of your comments that I disagree with, but, I will say that my RAAL equipped speakers have detail that I have not heard on material that I have heard lots of times over the years on many different speakers. They have a sound in the upper mid-range and top end that I love, and have again compared on many different speakers. Your notion that I am biased due to the cool factor is completely unfounded. I could make the same argument with your speakers without even knowing what they are! I have owned several different ribbon speakers going back to the 1990's. The RAAL equipped speakers sound the best, for the price, in my opinion.
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