Originally Posted by polizzio
Just what is this "warmth" of paper cone drivers you describe, versus say an aluminum driver material?
The descriptive adjectives frequently used with subwoofers or their drivers intrigue me. Help me understand this warmth characteristic please.
Unfortunately it's darn near impossible to quantify.
The various cone materials will have unique tendencies -- akin to personalities -- which is one of the primary reasons different ones are chosen by the various manufacturers, so they can achieve a specific sound "signature". For me, paper-based cones often come across as more natural and appealing. The soft materials in general seem more to my liking; I'd rather have a silk (soft) dome tweeter than a metallic (hard) dome. Same with midranges and woofers to be honest. I've heard cones derived from metals, ceramics, polypropylene, doped (coated essentially) and carbon fiber, yet I still gravitate towards paper for some reason. Personal preference is really all it is.
While the different materials have distinct properties you can't necessarily say all hard dome tweeters will sound harsh, but that's often the case. For me anyway. They come across as crisp or detailed to others, but tend to grate on me after a short while and cause listening fatigue. Not all paper coned drivers sound warm though, so it goes both ways. You can't really measure something like that either, so it's not like you can really look at any one graph and say 'ah yes, that one is aluminum. At least I've never been able to discern a pattern.