Tweeter pros and cons:Ribbons, domes and Beryllium - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I have always been curious on the pros and cons of various tweeter designs....

Recently, I have been gravitating toward Rocket ELT525 series speakers because I understand they are great value but, supposedly the biggest compromise av123 made to get these speakers out at a reasonable price is the upper end....

I have also been reading about speakers like the Usher Be-718 tiny dancers, Paradigm Signature S8 v.2s and Salk SongTower RT.....all these speakers seems to offer FANTASTIC performance in the upper end of the audio spectrum from what I have read...

So what are the various pros and cons of these different tweeter designs and can you find exotic tweeters on speakers cheaper than say, the Salks or Tiny Dancers?

Also, how do wave guides figure into all of this?

All responses are welcome
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 12:40 PM
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A lot of people love the sound of ribbon tweeters. The ones that I've heard (and I am by no means saying I've heard hundreds of them out there) sound very artificial and distorted to me.

I was just caught off guard as so many praised their sound and I didn't feel the same.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 12:47 PM
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What ever is cost effective and engineered to integrate with the other drivers and crossover can work well....don't even discount paper cones if done correctly. Have an old set of AR's with 3/4" paper reinforced cones that work very well with a coated paper 6" woofer crossed at 2K.

YOUR ears are the best judge.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconno View Post

What ever is cost effective and engineered to integrate with the other drivers and crossover can work well....don't even discount paper cones if done correctly. Have an old set of AR's with 3/4" paper reinforced cones that work very well with a coated paper 6" woofer crossed at 2K.

YOUR ears are the best judge.

Exactly.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 06:08 PM
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I was over at ABT Electronics in Glenview yesterday and they have set up a theater with MK speakers connected to Denon separates. The room costs over $80,000 and it sounds better I think than it did with the snell package they had in it before.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 07:52 PM
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As of recently, I have heard all forms of tweeter variations - ribbon (Salk Song Tower RT first ever made, MA PL300), Be (Paradigm Sigs .v2, technically metal dome), soft dome - (Sierra's, SVS MTS-01) my own metal dome Paradigm Sigs .v1, Studio .v4

All implementations have their merits, but honestly I have found a new affinity for a well implemented Ribbon... they can be just so delicate and intricate, where I have found some soft domes can be to me somewhat veiled, whilst metal domes can really ride that edge but when properly employed in a relatively treated room can be just right... Now in my time spent - the Sig Be tweeters run that fine line between the Ribbons and the possible harshness of the metal dome that riding that edge I was referring to - crisp and clean but has the ability to show a tinge of ringing. The Be tweet seemed to have the power and punch if you will, very precise but not harsh, the ribbon was more on the softer side but still intricate.

The Songtowers were simply amazing sounding, but not for really high SPL - I would love to hear the HT3, - the PL300's were incredibly constructed - just spectacular in build quality in Ebony (very sexy) and sounded spectacular, just didn't hit every mark for me, maybe a touch to gentle in the mids. I truly found the Pardigm Sig S8's to be the best speaker I have heard to date - powerful mids, very strong bass and tweets to die for.

Thats my take... still have oodles of speakers to hear - Higher end Dyn's, Aerials, Dali's.... the list goes on... What can I say - I love sampling speakers....
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 08:40 PM
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The RAAL ribbon is the best I have personally heard.
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 09:17 PM
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I'm not even sure if this is pertinent, but how does each type deal with heat? Do some tend to distort or display effects of heat less over an extended playing period than others?

As for wave guides, from what I've read, it means different things to different people in terms of the shape and depth and so on of the guide, and for the intended sonic results as well. But clearly, those who design around them are doing it for a reason.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-21-2008, 09:32 PM
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If you want to get the low-down on tweeters, check the link below. You'll find in depth testing of the most common DIY tweeter choices along with an in depth explanation of the pros and cons that the test revealed. There's also a good section on waveguide use ans implimentation. The Pros for this type of setup are many but for the DIY world, it's really trial and error. The math and R and D is waaay to complicated as well as the construction process for DIY waveguides.

http://zaphaudio.com/

I have built a modified version of the TMM waveguides listed and i'm very happy with the results. The most dynamic speaker i've had in my home to date with excellent imaging. For critical music i probobly could have done better with a different design but for HT/Music use for the money and time invested i doubt i could eclipse the level of performance these produce.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpdrv View Post

As of recently, I have heard all forms of tweeter variations - ribbon (Salk Song Tower RT first ever made, MA PL300), Be (Paradigm Sigs .v2, technically metal dome), soft dome - (Sierra's, SVS MTS-01) my own metal dome Paradigm Sigs .v1, Studio .v4

All implementations have their merits, but honestly I have found a new affinity for a well implemented Ribbon... they can be just so delicate and intricate, where I have found some soft domes can be to me somewhat veiled, whilst metal domes can really ride that edge but when properly employed in a relatively treated room can be just right... Now in my time spent - the Sig Be tweeters run that fine line between the Ribbons and the possible harshness of the metal dome that riding that edge I was referring to - crisp and clean but has the ability to show a tinge of ringing. The Be tweet seemed to have the power and punch if you will, very precise but not harsh, the ribbon was more on the softer side but still intricate.

The Songtowers were simply amazing sounding, but not for really high SPL - I would love to hear the HT3, - the PL300's were incredibly constructed - just spectacular in build quality in Ebony (very sexy) and sounded spectacular, just didn't hit every mark for me, maybe a touch to gentle in the mids. I truly found the Pardigm Sig S8's to be the best speaker I have heard to date - powerful mids, very strong bass and tweets to die for.

Thats my take... still have oodles of speakers to hear - Higher end Dyn's, Aerials, Dali's.... the list goes on... What can I say - I love sampling speakers....

Let me know what you think of the Dali's--their dome/ribbon combo is pretty amazing in my experience!

creative>energy

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconno View Post

What ever is cost effective and engineered to integrate with the other drivers and crossover can work well....

This is true, and Dr. Geddes has a post that agrees with you, as well. He's talking about the importance of system integration over driver choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconno View Post

YOUR ears are the best judge.

Are you saying it's totally subjective??? so all the Bose lovers out there are right?
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 09:48 PM
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Ever since I can remember mfg's have tossed the same materials around for years
so in the end I would agree that if implemented correctly they all sound good.
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 09:16 AM
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In my opinion domes are easier to integrate and have better dispersion behavior. With Be available in the higher end designs ringing is pushed well up above the limit of hearing so it should not be an issue.

"Nature Abhors a Vacuum Tube" -  J. R. Pierce
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 10:29 AM
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Ribbons, when used properly, can be fantastic. The dispersion pattern of a ribbon is actually desired, limiting vertical dispersion and yielding broad horizontal dispersion. But some ribbons are better than others, some are delicate (in sound as well as durability), some have bad out-of-band peaks, and the really good ones cost a lot. Triad is looking at some high-sensitivity ribbon tweeters for an ultra-expensive speaker off in the future. Maybe.

Domes are easier to integrate into a multi-driver system. And cloth dome tweeters (usually silk) can still be among the best. Don't be fooled by exotic materials that may not work as well. Many metal dome tweeters hold energy and release it later in time without damping it, and they can sound spitty and annoying. A pulse response will show this in many titanium and beryllium tweeters. They often "ring."

In short, there can really be few accurate generalizations on this topic.

Paul Scarpelli
aka TRIAD DUDE

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post #15 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 10:38 AM
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I knew my Aperions are the best, the 6Ts are 1" silk dome audiophile tweeters-I knew it

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses". - Abraham Lincoln
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 03:44 PM
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I think Dynaudio have proven the point for the favor of soft silk dome tweeters - utterly smooth and detailed. Then again, a composite dome material such as the B&W aluminum with a diamond substrate has it's merits, price being no object of course.
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