RAAL tweeters - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 554 Old 07-02-2019, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I must have missed something. You've been talking about the little 2-way monitors with Zaph woofers. I don't understand why you're bringing up the BMR.
The guy I quoted was implying that I'm basing my opinion only on 1 small mini-monitor, which is false. I realized after comparing the Zaph 5.2 to the Mini Phils, it wasn't a perfect tweeter to tweeter comparison because of the crossover difference so I wanted to hear it in a 3-way. I've said before that the BMR did fix most of my gripes I had with the 2 ways.

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post #62 of 554 Old 07-02-2019, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I didn't publish them for two reasons. First, I switched to a slightly different design, so the plots weren't strictly applicable. There was no real change in the extreme off-axis plots, so I did post those on my site. They've since been confirmed by the Audioholics Spinorama tests. The other reason had to do with the measured bass response. Before I get into that, could you tell me whether the NRC measurements of your Verita monitor were for the sealed or ported model? Thanks.
I went back and compared the Audioholics groundplane and the NRC curve. From what I understand (partly from reading the NRC site's information)is that the chamber is reliable down to 80hz. Below that they apply a correction to the graph based on other tests that they have done. The Verita I sent it was sealed and the bass response is accurate in matching my own nearfield measurement. I did notice the large difference between the NRC graph and what Audioholics measured. The groundplane in an open space is a very reliable measurement but indicates a -3dB in the 50-55hz range which is quite a bit off from your -2dB @34hz spec.

I went back and looked at other ported speakers tested at the NRC and some look reasonable while others not so much (like the BMR). I've found nearfield tests where you sum the port output to the woofer(s) to be very accurate - just as long as you properly adjust for the port size (ahem, Stereophile, take note).

The THD and linearity tests would be very relevant, especially for your HT customers. You need to post them.

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post #63 of 554 Old 07-02-2019, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Sounstage did independently measure one RAAL speaker, a Selah design and it measured well, certainly better than any speaker using an AMT, (ie. Golden Ear, Martin Logan).
Yes they do but I believe it was the 70-20 RAAL, I really should differentiate when talking about them because I've only heard the 64-10, not sure how much different they are.

Rick you seem to have worked with a few RAALs and this new BZ labs tweeter I see in some of your speakers currently, I don't mean to put you on the spot but why did you choose them instead of the RAAL? Is it a case of getting you 90% there for much cheaper or something else? I see they're able to be crossed over much lower but they don't seem to be quite as smooth as the RAALs.

Have you done any comparisons of those 2 tweeters and the Scanspeak Be you use?
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post #64 of 554 Old 07-02-2019, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post
I went back and compared the Audioholics groundplane and the NRC curve. From what I understand (partly from reading the NRC site's information)is that the chamber is reliable down to 80hz. Below that they apply a correction to the graph based on other tests that they have done. The Verita I sent it was sealed and the bass response is accurate in matching my own nearfield measurement. I did notice the large difference between the NRC graph and what Audioholics measured. The groundplane in an open space is a very reliable measurement but indicates a -3dB in the 50-55hz range which is quite a bit off from your -2dB @34hz spec.

I went back and looked at other ported speakers tested at the NRC and some look reasonable while others not so much (like the BMR). I've found nearfield tests where you sum the port output to the woofer(s) to be very accurate - just as long as you properly adjust for the port size (ahem, Stereophile, take note).

The THD and linearity tests would be very relevant, especially for your HT customers. You need to post them.
I was pretty sure the NRC measurements were for the sealed version of the Verita. I had lengthy discussions with the NRC engineer about his bass plots, and he said that the anechoic chamber was built at a time when most speakers were either sealed or front ported. It wasn't designed to take into account different arrival times introduced by moving ports to the rear in an anechoic environment. The results for rear ported speakers can't be compared with those of sealed or front ported speakers, because there are interactions between the rear port and woofer that wouldn't exist in a normal listening venue. In the case of the BMR, the NRC results showed a big bump at 100 Hz, followed by a rapid roll-off. That simply isn't the case, as is documented in the Audioholics measurements. As for the Audioholics ground plane measurements, Paul Kittinger (who did the bass modeling for the BMR) discussed this with the reviewer, and be replied that the measurements changed dramatically depending on whether the mic was facing the woofer or the tweeter. I don't know whether they ever came to an agreement on the proper measurement method, but I did just write to Paul to see where things stand. In general, I think bass measurements are more uncertain than you make out. Splicing a port measurement to a woofer measurement involves lots of assumptions, and I don't give a lot of credence to those results. On the other hand, if you play a 34 Hz test tone and the windows rattle, you can assume you have decent bass extension. As for distortion plots, they are also very controversial and difficult to translate into audible performance. The BMR hits about 1% harmonic distortion in the 1.5 kHz to 2.5 kHz range at 90 dB output, and then declines to insignificant levels above that point. Most reviewers don't include distortion plots because they are so difficult to interpret. You won't find them in either the Audioholics or Stereophile speaker reviews.
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post #65 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
The BMR is one of the most well known and popular speakers lately and it's hardly small. Way to add value to the thread, by the way.
Well, he's not wrong. You do seem to go out of your way to crap on RAAL tweeters...

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post #66 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 06:15 AM
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Well, anyway I look at it from my perspective, the RAAL is the best tweeter i have heard at its price range. And yes, a well done dome tweeter can be close...

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post #67 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 06:30 AM
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We'll...I have both dome and RAAL....in my setup.

I concur...both are nuanced...if..from the outset....I elected to go with RAAL throughout the front soundstage...I'd be very content.
I've thought long and hard but couldn't bring myself to upgrading my mains...based on my own experiences...with both tweeters.

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post #68 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mariogonzalezzz View Post
Not trying to offend anyone.

Are RAAL tweeters better suited for older people with more sensitive hearing?

I auditioned a pair a while ago and found them boring. Too relaxed, especially with movies.
Even with music they were just too laid back for me.

Many here claim them as the best tweeters available, like oled regarding tvs.
I dont buy it and the RAAL tweeter speakers I auditioned are highly regarded here.



Going back to the original comment/question posed...most things in audio are not so simple...as evidenced by the further comments of two experts....Phil and Rick.


My loudspeakers are the Salk Veracity STs that have the RAAL 70-20...a few observations about them. The vertical dispersion is good enough that if your listening position is 10' back, you can stand up and barely notice any change in the sound at all. The horizontal dispersion is very wide, the sound is pretty even all around the room but better yet, the prime listening position is 3-4 feet wide....not 6" wide.


Most important...the RAAL easily reflects every other upstream change you make....so as a recent example, I've been using a Parasound Halo A23 amplifier and now am using a Digital Amplifier Company 2Cherry and the change in clarity, soundstage, and a variety of nuances are easily audible.


If you prefer head banging music played at 110 db at the listening position....the RAAL isn't the tweeter for you....but if you listen at 85db....then you might be shocked with the clarity and soundstage and almost 3 dimensional imaging it can provide for virtually any type of music.



Does this make the RAAL 70-20 the "best tweeter" available....NO....it is a very good tweeter capable of producing amazing sound....but everything else matters....the room....the source...the preamp...the amp....AND as has been said, there are very fine musical Be, AMT, dome and other tweeters that can sound great in some applications, too bright in others and still in others, too polite...but isn't that true of most tweeters?


Where does this leave us??? In a time when there are fewer and fewer audio salons and therefore the buyer often doesn't hear what he is buying in advance...and speakers are expensive to return...I'd say, trust the guys like Jim Salk, Phil, Rick and others who you can communicate with and therefore have a better chance of getting a loudspeaker that is tailored from the drivers and crossovers that will meet your needs.


Also, for those that haven' seen it....here is what Ascend shows/measures for the 70-20 they use in their tower speaker.


http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...on%20Tower.pdf
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post #69 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56 View Post
Well, he's not wrong. You do seem to go out of your way to crap on RAAL tweeters...
If "crapping" on RAAL tweeters is saying they sound a bit laid back and that I think they don't match the marketing hype some of you need to grow some thicker skin. I've said both of the speakers I've heard with the tweeter sounded good, I just didn't see a benefit worth the extra money for my tastes.

I don't know if you guys realize this but many of you RAAL supporters exhibit cult-like behavior when someone doesn't sing glowing praises about your tweeter.
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post #70 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
If "crapping" on RAAL tweeters is saying they sound a bit laid back and that I think they don't match the marketing hype some of you need to grow some thicker skin. I've said both of the speakers I've heard with the tweeter sounded good, I just didn't see a benefit worth the extra money for my tastes.

I don't know if you guys realize this but many of you RAAL supporters exhibit cult-like behavior when someone doesn't sing glowing praises about your tweeter.
Hmmm, let's see, "my experience" is counter with "my experience" which is then countered with "you're like a cult". Great argument, I'm convinced. Where can I be de-programmed? LOL

It's really NOT about whether everyone "sings glowing praises", I've not actually seen anything like that stated, it's simply an observation that you seem to stalk threads about speakers that use RAAL tweeters or about the tweeters themselves and crap all over them. It is like clockwork.
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post #71 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Well, anyway I look at it from my perspective, the RAAL is the best tweeter i have heard at its price range. And yes, a well done dome tweeter can be close...
that's like the amt tweeter in the sub $500 category for me .. there may be better tweeters at that price range , and i have heard quite a few(that aren't) , but the folded ribbon sounds more accurate to my ears for more instruments than any other speaker in the range... i would take it for granted that (for most) the raal is the best tweeter in the $1000-2000 range ..
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post #72 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
If "crapping" on RAAL tweeters is saying they sound a bit laid back and that I think they don't match the marketing hype some of you need to grow some thicker skin. I've said both of the speakers I've heard with the tweeter sounded good, I just didn't see a benefit worth the extra money for my tastes.

I don't know if you guys realize this but many of you RAAL supporters exhibit cult-like behavior when someone doesn't sing glowing praises about your tweeter.
i don't think that liking a good dome tweeter more than the raal is wrong , as long as you realize you might be in the vast minority .. we all know that perception is individual and changes periodically with audio...

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post #73 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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maybe some of use need to grow thicker skin, although as a member of the dermatology research community, that is just disturbing If you say "RAAL tweeters just aren't right for me"...perfect. But "RAAL tweeter don't live up to the marketing hype"...well, to me that is just not accurate.

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post #74 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56 View Post
Hmmm, let's see, "my experience" is counter with "my experience" which is then countered with "you're like a cult". Great argument, I'm convinced. Where can I be de-programmed? LOL
The difference between me and most others who have tried RAAL speakers is I attempt to do scientific evaluations when I compare speakers. After that I tried to understand in technical terms why I was hearing what I was hearing because I'm interested in the science of psycho-acoustics. I offered up in-room measurements backing up my claim and showed a quote by Dr. Toole addressing the claims of "massless" ribbons and the claimed superiority of them. A little more than one guy not liking them and dismissing them wouldn't you say?

As far as cult-like behavior, show me another thread where someone doesn't like a certain speaker and a group of people come and attack that poster and I'll concede that point. Every brand on here has their fanboys but this is on another level.

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It's really NOT about whether everyone "sings glowing praises", I've not actually seen anything like that stated, it's simply an observation that you seem to stalk threads about speakers that use RAAL tweeters or about the tweeters themselves and crap all over them. It is like clockwork.
I've said it before but I feel there at least needs to be 1 dissenting voice on here so that prospective buyers have something to think about. If you look at my posting history you'll see I commonly recommend people to try Revel, KEF and a RAAL-based speaker when they're looking around the $1500 price range. Hardly what I would call an anti-RAAL bias but I know many people do like them so I think people need to hear for themselves.
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post #75 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I wouldn't expect any tweeter to wipe the floor with another decent and less expensive driver. We're talking major diminishing returns, and any differences may be more important to some people than others, particularly due to different tastes in playback material. ...
This pretty much sums it up. The law of diminishing returns applies to the performance of different types of tweeters as much as to so many other things in life. There's always going to be a mix of enthusiasts and skeptics who will describe any differences in tweeters and other products in very different terms. On forums the discussions between the two sides can get more heated and personal than most folks would consider prudent. Each side of the great RAAL debate have made good points here without necessarily contradicting the good points made by the other side, so no winners or losers.
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post #76 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 11:34 AM
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Looking at some of the RAAL literature, I came across the 140-15d and I have to admit that ribbon measures very well:



I'd love to see a blind shootout between 2 identical speakers and that tweeter against something like this SB Satori Be tweeter:

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post #77 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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As I was perusing the Satori beryllium tweeters, I saw this nice little footnote:
*** Warning ***
Beryllium is a toxic material. Should you ever break the dome, do not touch the pieces with your bare hand.


I think I'll stick with my asbestos-free RAAL...............

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post #78 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 01:29 PM
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And if you listen to both speakers in a huge room? Or outside, without wall reflections? Do they then sound only as different as their frequency response plots? And EQ could then make them sound identical, outside? Don't tell me that the major differences in the sound of a RAAL vs a dome are reliant on having a smallish room?
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post #79 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 03:22 PM
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^ by the way, those thoughts are intended to seek a response either in the affirmative or one that brings insight or evidence that the sound of a RAAL or other ribbon is due to more than just dispersion pattern and on-axis frequency response. The scientist in me really wants to get to the bottom of this.
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post #80 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 04:18 PM
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This hobby is our thing, so of course we're going to get into the nitty gritty of the drivers to a greater degree. I'm definitely guilty of delving into the specs and maybe putting too much emphasis on them even though I know a loudspeaker is a system that has many parts that need to integrate well.

Until recently, I had and liked metal or ceramic metal domes by the likes of older Infinitys, B&Ws, and Paradigms. Most of those models I owned had a reputation for having more energy in the ~ 2-6 kHz range-definitely not laid back. I now have planar tweeters in my fronts, and don't feel like I'm missing any detail in that range, which reinforces my contention that its more important to have a well-designed, integrated speaker system, and less important what the specific driver technology is.

Of course there are many other factors that contribute to perceived quality such as the room, equipment, configuration, personal preferences, etc... Thankfully, there are many paths to audio nirvana.
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post #81 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
^ by the way, those thoughts are intended to seek a response either in the affirmative or one that brings insight or evidence that the sound of a RAAL or other ribbon is due to more than just dispersion pattern and on-axis frequency response. The scientist in me really wants to get to the bottom of this.
The Floyd Toole quote I posted made it clear that frequency response is king so yes if you could somehow duplicate the exact radiation pattern of a RAAL in all directions, it would sound the same. I'm sure that is almost impossible to do though.
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post #82 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
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showed a quote by Dr. Toole addressing the claims of "massless" ribbons and the claimed superiority of them.
Actually, this raised a question for me.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Toole (I've recently started reading his book) and the general idea of linking objective measurements to subjective preference—great stuff—so I take his points seriously. His argument, conceptually, is that the lower mass of the ribbon vs. a dome is compensated by the more powerful motor that you can mate to a dome tweeter (this is his "my Tesla accelerates really quickly even though it's really heavy" analogy). Seems entirely reasonable.

Then I stopped to think about the math for a second and that's where the question comes up. You, know, Newton's second law, F = MA. What we care about here is acceleration, so A = F/M. To wit, if you have double the mass, you need twice the force.

Consider a good-quality dome tweeter. I searched for "dome tweeter moving mass" and got a very nice SEAS tweeter, the E0055-06 T35C002. Not the tweeter used in the Sierra-1 but my guess is not all that far off. Moving mass listed at .47 grams.

The Ascend web site says the moving mass of the RAAL used in the Sierra-2 is less than 1/100 of a gram, so let's go with .01 grams.

.47 / .01 = 47, that is, the dome tweeter has almost 50 times the moving mass of the RAAL. So, the motor in the dome has to be able to exert ~50x more force than the motor in the RAAL to have the same acceleration.

So here's my question: is that reasonable?

I readily admit I don't know much about the motors used in typical dome tweeters or the motors used in the RAAL tweeter, but I've handled both a SEAS dome and a RAAL tweeter, and while the dome tweeter is definitely overall more substantial, it's not anything like 50x larger or heavier.

Anyone who knows more want to comment? I'm curious.
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post #83 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
I readily admit I don't know much about the motors used in typical dome tweeters or the motors used in the RAAL tweeter, but I've handled both a SEAS dome and a RAAL tweeter, and while the dome tweeter is definitely overall more substantial, it's not anything like 50x larger or heavier.

Anyone who knows more want to comment? I'm curious.
I don't know how powerful their respective motors are either, maybe someone will chime in on that front. I do know that when claims are made about tweeters having faster "transient response" than others, it's the same basic argument as fast vs slow woofers, which most know don't really exist. Just like in the woofer argument, if a transducer can play a note, it's by definition fast enough. Now one area the RAAL does better is the extended frequency response out way beyond human hearing, so maybe there is something to it at very high frequencies but humans aren't going to hear that difference.
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post #84 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 05:33 PM
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The Floyd Toole quote I posted made it clear that frequency response is king so yes if you could somehow duplicate the exact radiation pattern of a RAAL in all directions, it would sound the same. I'm sure that is almost impossible to do though.
I'm talking about putting them outside where there are no reflections and thus, dispersion doesn't matter on-axis. Should be an easy test, as would be the EQ to make them match.

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Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
.47 / .01 = 47, that is, the dome tweeter has almost 50 times the moving mass of the RAAL. So, the motor in the dome has to be able to exert ~50x more force than the motor in the RAAL to have the same acceleration.

So here's my question: is that reasonable?
It is. The dome's motor concentrates force across many turns of wire in a small gap (remembering the product of B*L) while the ribbon is a force-over-area device that because the field is so enormous has much lower local strength. However, if the small signal outputs and the HF cutoff are similar, the two are, in this parametric regard at least, approximately the same device.

I witnessed one of the planar driver field's last major developments in real time, and the force/mass relationship was a key element even among such lightweight devices - while 93dB ceramic ferrite dome tweeters are commonplace, it takes high energy Neo to lift a planar's very lightweight diaphragm out of the mid 80's. Even for their leaf diaphragms their gaps are simply too big, as they are in ribbons.

It's been correctly noted that with enough motor very heavy industrial shaker tables can be made to reach 20kHz. The problem is not mass, and the indicator is simple HF bandwidth, band shape, and output.

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post #86 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 05:38 PM
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Actually, this raised a question for me.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Toole (I've recently started reading his book) and the general idea of linking objective measurements to subjective preference—great stuff—so I take his points seriously. His argument, conceptually, is that the lower mass of the ribbon vs. a dome is compensated by the more powerful motor that you can mate to a dome tweeter (this is his "my Tesla accelerates really quickly even though it's really heavy" analogy). Seems entirely reasonable.
I haven't seen that. What I have seen is his statement that ringing shows up in frequency response measurements, so you only need to look for a smooth FR to know it's a good speaker. However, he also later stated that humans don't hear ringing. Being that we do hear frequency response, and ringing shows up in frequency response, that one puzzles me.

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Then I stopped to think about the math for a second and that's where the question comes up. You, know, Newton's second law, F = MA. What we care about here is acceleration, so A = F/M. To wit, if you have double the mass, you need twice the force.

Consider a good-quality dome tweeter. I searched for "dome tweeter moving mass" and got a very nice SEAS tweeter, the E0055-06 T35C002. Not the tweeter used in the Sierra-1 but my guess is not all that far off. Moving mass listed at .47 grams.

The Ascend web site says the moving mass of the RAAL used in the Sierra-2 is less than 1/100 of a gram, so let's go with .01 grams.

.47 / .01 = 47, that is, the dome tweeter has almost 50 times the moving mass of the RAAL. So, the motor in the dome has to be able to exert ~50x more force than the motor in the RAAL to have the same acceleration.

So here's my question: is that reasonable?

I readily admit I don't know much about the motors used in typical dome tweeters or the motors used in the RAAL tweeter, but I've handled both a SEAS dome and a RAAL tweeter, and while the dome tweeter is definitely overall more substantial, it's not anything like 50x larger or heavier.

Anyone who knows more want to comment? I'm curious.
I don't, but Brian at Rythmik answered this question regarding subwoofer drivers. He provided convincing arguments as to why increased motor force can not compensate for all of the variables that change when driver mass increases.

Edit: Here's one link. Looking for more.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...l#post57805872
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I'm talking about putting them outside where there are no reflections and thus, dispersion doesn't matter on-axis. Should be an easy test, as would be the EQ to make them match.
They would sound identical and yes that would be an easy test to do outside.

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It is. The dome's motor concentrates force across many turns of wire in a small gap (remembering the product of B*L) while the ribbon is a force-over-area device that because the field is so enormous has much lower local strength. However, if the small signal outputs and the HF cutoff are similar, the two are, in this parametric regard at least, approximately the same device.
Thanks for the info Jon, not that I ever doubted Dr. Toole.
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post #88 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 05:53 PM
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They would sound identical and yes that would be an easy test to do outside.
If this were true, this would also mean that the RAAL ribbon advantage would be greatly lessened in a treated room with side absorption panels. Yes?

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is there any good reason why i preferred the jbl 530s over a raal speaker?
im obviously not as knowledgeable as some of you. just interested in the hobby but not enough to go as far as reading graphs, measurements, rew, etc.

i read many reviews and more than once it was mentioned that after several auditions people always end up choosing speakers with compression drivers with waveguide?
i think the jbl studio 5 series are designed that way. and i understand the jbl 530 is highly regarded, but damn after so many speaker pairs i really think i wont upgrade again.
especially at the price i got them for.
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post #90 of 554 Old 07-03-2019, 06:11 PM
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However, if the small signal outputs and the HF cutoff are similar, the two are, in this parametric regard at least, approximately the same device.
Thanks for chiming in Jon. That was the gist of Dr. Toole's comments, as well. Now if you wanted to address some time domain issues, I don't think anyone would object (or Dennis or Rick, for that matter).

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I haven't seen that. What I have seen is his statement that ringing shows up in frequency response measurements, so you only need to look for a smooth FR to know it's a good speaker. However, he also later stated that humans don't hear ringing. Being that we do hear frequency response, and ringing shows up in frequency response, that one puzzles me.
I've been reading his book, and as been mentioned he says it's all or mostly about frequency response and that time and phase are of less concern except under certain conditions. I have to admit I'm having a hard time with that. He mentions that transducers are minimum phase devices, so the time domain is expressed in the frequency response. I'm missing some piece of the puzzle because while transducers are minimum phase, speaker systems generally aren't.

There doesn't seem to be consensus because you have designers like Thiel and Vandersteen that place tremendous importance on time domain behavior.
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