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-   -   RAAL tweeters (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/3075988-raal-tweeters.html)

mariogonzalezzz 06-29-2019 08:12 PM

RAAL tweeters
 
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.

enricoclaudio 06-29-2019 08:32 PM

Good for you that you were able to audition in your room a pair of speakers with RAAL tweeters. I have myself a complete 7 x RAAL tweeter speakers setup and to me, they are the best sounding speakers I have ever owned that I can afford. Just because they are the best speakers for me, that doesn't mean they are the best speakers for you. That is why it's so important to audition speakers in your room instead of purchasing based on other people experiences. Now, are the RAAL tweeters the best tweeters on the market? Pretty sure they are not. Are they one of the best for many? I would say yes. To me, the best sounding tweeter currently on the market is the Seas Excel Diamond Dome Tweeter. Second best is the RAAL tweeter and third best is the Dynaudio Esotar3 soft-dome tweeter, but like I said, that is for me based on my auditioning experiences.

aarons915 06-29-2019 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariogonzalezzz (Post 58241196)
Not trying to offend anyone.

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

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.

I felt the same way, as did the guy who bought them from me. It is a great example of marketing hype though, the people who sell them have made people believe no tweeter comes close to the mighty RAAL. I personally think the limited vertical dispersion is what makes for the laid back sound but that pertains mostly to the 64-10 and 70-10, the 70-20 used in a 3 way apparently doesn't suffer the same problem.

PhilharmonicDennis 06-29-2019 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aarons915 (Post 58241270)
I felt the same way, as did the guy who bought them from me. It is a great example of marketing hype though, the people who sell them have made people believe no tweeter comes close to the mighty RAAL. I personally think the limited vertical dispersion is what makes for the laid back sound but that pertains mostly to the 64-10 and 70-10, the 70-20 used in a 3 way apparently doesn't suffer the same problem.

This discussion is obviously on tenuous ground since no allowance is made for crossover voicing. As many people complain that ribbon tweeters in general and the RAAL offering in particular are too bright and irritating. Once we hold voicing constant and compare a good dome with a RAAL, there is in fact a difference in the sound, and not everyone will prefer the RAAL. The difference is in the prominence of the ssssssssssssssssssssss region. A typical dome will have more energy in this range, with a more up front and arguably more focused presentation. I don't claim to know the exact reason, but I suspect it has to do with wave launch from the tall but thin ribbon element and perhaps to the wider horizontal dispersion of the RAAL tweeters. But the difference isn't subtle. When you switch from the dome speaker to the RAAL speaker, it sounds like the dome sound has been stretched out vertically with more detail and openness at the top of the frequency range, and less in the mid treble. This may seem counter intuitive given the slightly more restricted vertical dispersion of the RAAL's, but in my experience broad vertical dispersion is to be avoided. All it does is increase ceiling and floor bounce, which introduces nulls in the response and a general loss of clarity. As I indicated, I think the choice of tweeter type comes down to the kind of music you listen to. The Salk Song Tower is offered in both a dome and ribbon version, Jim Salk and I both frequently recommend that buyers who favor studio rock recordings and heavy metal go with the 0W1 dome. It will offer a more forward and perhaps visceral sound. For jazz and classical, where faithful reproduction of the natural ambiance of the recording venue is crucial, the RAAL will offer a more realistic experience.

Eddy_Z 06-29-2019 09:49 PM

Great example of why it’s important to audition in your own home. We all hear differently and there are many driver types out there.

I disagree with the “marketing hype” comment. Ascend Acoustics, for example, has zero marketing/advertising budget. Their sales come from word of mouth from owners of their speakers. I’ve owned speakers with various dome tweeters.......metal, soft and silk. While there were some very good ones, not one can touch the RAALs in my Sierra-2’s in extension and detail without harshness. The most difficult quality of them to try describing to anyone who hasn’t heard them is how natural and lifelike they sound. If “exciting” tweeters that have exaggerated sizzle are your thing then they are not for you. Also, depending on your room a dome’s dispersion may actually interact better in there.

torii 06-29-2019 09:55 PM

I own horn, dome, and ribbon. each tweeter has its strengths and I like all of my examples...klipsch, focal, magnepan.

aarons915 06-29-2019 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58241324)
But the difference isn't subtle. When you switch from the dome speaker to the RAAL speaker, it sounds like the dome sound has been stretched out vertically with more detail and openness at the top of the frequency range, and less in the mid treble. This may seem counter intuitive given the slightly more restricted vertical dispersion of the RAAL's, but in my experience broad vertical dispersion is to be avoided. All it does is increase ceiling and floor bounce, which introduces nulls in the response and a general loss of clarity.

Yes, which is exactly how they measure. Generally, the power response is recessed in the 2-3k range due to the limited dispersion of the woofer and RAAL in that range and it picks up from 3-8k. This gives it the signature "non-fatiguing but detailed sound".

As far as vertical reflection to be avoided, the only real research I've seen on this area is in this study:

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18245

They concluded that even with a timbrally inaccurate reflection, as in all vertically spaced speakers, the vertical reflections were perceived as beneficial even though it wasn't much better than 50/50. I suspect in speakers with good vertical dispersion (full range, coaxials) that vertical reflections are just as beneficial as horizontal reflections but I'm not aware of any research that has studied that. Besides for that, floor and ceiling bounce is based on the distance from the speaker to the floor and ceiling and occurs in the range of the woofer anyway, so there wouldn't be any inherent advantage to a tweeter having limited vertical dispersion, except in marketing jargon of course.

aarons915 06-29-2019 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eddy_Z (Post 58241336)
Great example of why it’s important to audition in your own home. We all hear differently and there are many driver types out there.

Actually according to the Harman research we don't all hear differently, people of all different background, races, sexes, etc prefer a neutral on and off-axis response as has been shown in numerous double-blind tests over the years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eddy_Z (Post 58241336)
I disagree with the “marketing hype” comment. Ascend Acoustics, for example, has zero marketing/advertising budget. Their sales come from word of mouth from owners of their speakers. I’ve owned speakers with various dome tweeters.......metal, soft and silk. While there were some very good ones, not one can touch the RAALs in my Sierra-2’s in extension and detail without harshness. The most difficult quality of them to try describing to anyone who hasn’t heard them is how natural and lifelike they sound. If “exciting” tweeters that have exaggerated sizzle are your thing then they are not for you. Also, depending on your room a dome’s dispersion may actually interact better in there.

See my previous comment about their recessed response in the 2-3k range and coming on strong from 3-8k range, it's what gives them their non-fatiguing but "detailed" sound. I can see why many people would like that honestly but if you compared them blind to a more neutral speaker I don't think they would come out on top. At the very least, there are cheaper tweeters that measure similarly, like the Focal Aria tweeter that a forum member recently chose over the RAAL.

PhilharmonicDennis 06-29-2019 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aarons915 (Post 58241360)
Yes, which is exactly how they measure. Generally, the power response is recessed in the 2-3k range due to the limited dispersion of the woofer and RAAL in that range and it picks up from 3-8k. This gives it the signature "non-fatiguing but detailed sound".

As far as vertical reflection to be avoided, the only real research I've seen on this area is in this study:

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18245

They concluded that even with a timbrally inaccurate reflection, as in all vertically spaced speakers, the vertical reflections were perceived as beneficial even though it wasn't much better than 50/50. I suspect in speakers with good vertical dispersion (full range, coaxials) that vertical reflections are just as beneficial as horizontal reflections but I'm not aware of any research that has studied that. Besides for that, floor and ceiling bounce is based on the distance from the speaker to the floor and ceiling and occurs in the range of the woofer anyway, so there wouldn't be any inherent advantage to a tweeter having limited vertical dispersion, except in marketing jargon of course.

I'm not following your comments about a recessed power response in the 2-3 kHz range. What's that based on? Apparently you're talking about a two-way design where the woofer is beaming compared with the broader dispersion of the RAAL or other ribbon. But the same is often true of dome 2-ways. And this certainly doesn't apply to my BMR 3-way, where the Audioholics spinorama measurements all show a very flat power response over the entire treble region. Yet the same difference in sound quality is immediately apparent when you compare the BMR with a dome design. I agree that more research needs to be done on the pros and cons of broad vertical dispersion. At this point, all I can say is that the best speaker I've ever heard used radar theory to limit vertical dispersion over a broad range of frequencies. I'm currently collaborating on a design that adapts the BMR to a similar vertical radiation pattern. Perhaps that will throw some light on the advantages of that approach. But that issue aside, I stick with my position that there's nothing inherently "laid back" about the RAAL tweeter. It does have a different sonic signature when compared with a good dome, but there's nothing laid back about it--just more expansive and, in my opinion, more realistic when reproducing instrumentals and voices in a good non-studio venue.

torii 06-29-2019 10:53 PM

I think doc floyd also mentioned he didnt believe any of the tweeter material differences mattered as they all could be designed to do the same thing/sound great. some materials used to just charge more money/profit.

Soulburner 06-30-2019 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by torii (Post 58241408)
I think doc floyd also mentioned he didnt believe any of the tweeter material differences mattered as they all could be designed to do the same thing/sound great. some materials used to just charge more money/profit.

Yeah, and I put that question to him directly: how do you explain the differences in energy decay? Clearly the ribbons are unmatched there, and most attribute that to sounding different. I know a subwoofer with less ringing sounds different, too (more articulate, details aren't smoothed over/run together), so I'm not convinced that everything you need to know is in the frequency/amplitude response. The claim made by Toole is that these impulse/decay differences would manifest in the FR graphs...I don't know. I'm far from an expert here.

Soulburner 06-30-2019 12:42 AM

I do know there are tweeters that will give the RAAL strong competition: https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...-dome-tweeter/

As seen here: http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=Song3%20BeAT

aarons915 06-30-2019 08:20 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58241394)
I'm not following your comments about a recessed power response in the 2-3 kHz range. What's that based on? Apparently you're talking about a two-way design where the woofer is beaming compared with the broader dispersion of the RAAL or other ribbon. But the same is often true of dome 2-ways. And this certainly doesn't apply to my BMR 3-way, where the Audioholics spinorama measurements all show a very flat power response over the entire treble region.

I should have prefaced that comment that I was talking about a 2 way and yes the woofer is to blame for beaming in that range but it's due to the RAAL(64-10) not being able to cross over lower. A dome crossed higher than 3k will have the same problem except I'm not aware of many domes that can't be crossed over down to at least 2k, which solves that problem.

So we agree the BMR doesn't have this problem due to the midrange but the 2nd problem with ribbons is that they seem hard to match up with other drivers. Midwoofers are the hardest but it appears to be true with midrange drivers as well. Most measurements I've seen of RAALs show the natural dropping of SPL with frequency up to around 3k then start rising, this is what I believe aids in giving them the non-fatiguing but detailed sound so many mention. Using the NRC measurements of your BMR (off-axis) you see the same thing:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...5932&thumb=1.1

I'm not sure where they're crossed over but it appears to be 500hz, the woofer and midwoofer seem to transition pretty nicely and then when the RAAL starts taking over the response starts rising. RAAL tweeters have a unique response which many people like and there's nothing wrong with that but I was just pointing out that they sound how they measure with the added problems that have been discussed. If I preferred their sound to a more neutral tweeter I'd be looking to mimic their response in a cheaper dome, if one exists outside the Focal Aria tweeter.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58241394)
At this point, all I can say is that the best speaker I've ever heard used radar theory to limit vertical dispersion over a broad range of frequencies.

There might be something to this but the key words to me are "over a broad range of frequencies". Many people claim that limited vertical dispersion was designed into speakers with ribbons or MTM styles when in reality it's a limitation of the tweeter or just a null produced from the MTM spacing. From reading some of the Harman research we know that the off-axis response should be close to the on-axis response with a smooth downward tilt. So limiting dispersion over a broad range of frequencies in the vertical plane is probably fine but a large null and then increasing response beyond that is going to sound different than the on-axis response.

aarons915 06-30-2019 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soulburner (Post 58241508)
Yeah, and I put that question to him directly: how do you explain the differences in energy decay? Clearly the ribbons are unmatched there, and most attribute that to sounding different. I know a subwoofer with less ringing sounds different, too (more articulate, details aren't smoothed over/run together), so I'm not convinced that everything you need to know is in the frequency/amplitude response. The claim made by Toole is that these impulse/decay differences would manifest in the FR graphs...I don't know. I'm far from an expert here.

I went back and found the quote you're talking about. When Dr. Toole was asked if the low mass was responsible for a ribbons sound he said this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floyd Toole
The "quick decay" you speak of is totally predictable from amplitude vs. frequency responses because transducers are minimum-phase devices. Impulse response plots are impressive, but the reality is that humans do not respond to phase shift so these time-domain plots are misleading. We humans do not hear waveforms. I am an engineer and had to learn this myself, fortunately at an early stage.

It is interesting that one of the first loudspeakers I tested in the anechoic chamber at the NRCC in 1967 (52 years ago!!!!) was a ribbon tweeter, the Kelly Ribbon from the UK. I just looked at the measurements in my personal archive. At the time it was promoted for the same reasons that ribbons and electrostatic loudspeakers are today: "massless" diaphragms, "Instant" transient response, etc. etc. It was a learning experience for me, and only definitively provable in double-blind listening tests. Of course, nothing back then was as good as things are now, but the implied superiority simply was not heard. As time passed and measurements and knowledge improved, nothing has changed. There are good loudspeakers and not-so-good loudspeakers, and the method of moving the air has not revealed itself as being the dominant factor. If any one method was obviously superior, it would dominate the products we can buy.

As far as the "massless" consideration is concerned, I have a Tesla S P90D in my garage that accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.2 s. It is a heavy four door, potentially 7-passenger, sedan that is much quicker than most two seat sports cars - and I have owned a few. The secret is in the motor, and that is also the relevant factor in loudspeaker transducers. Ribbons and electrostatic speakers typically have relatively weak motors compared to what can be put behind a cone or dome. In the end, frequency response is king.


gajCA 06-30-2019 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58241324)
For jazz and classical, where faithful reproduction of the natural ambiance of the recording venue is crucial, the RAAL will offer a more realistic experience.

Interesting, that is the exact same conclusion I came to comparing the AMT in my LX16s to the domes in the Q Acoustic Concept 20s.

I liked both speakers but the AMT excelled at Jazz, Classical, acoustic.

By a huge margin?

Not really, it took a lot of direct A/B to ferret out that difference as my ears are hardly "golden" at age 62! :p

Soulburner 06-30-2019 10:40 AM

My new speakers use a tweeter that costs something like $20 (though placed within an aluminum waveguide designed with the help of an expensive laser measuring device). If you're telling me that one could equalize the response to match the RAAL and that's all it would take to sound the same (given the same dispersion pattern), I'd be impressed and shocked at the implications.

I can't refute what Dr Toole is saying from his experience, but someone needs to run this test or we really don't have data to prove it.

PhilharmonicDennis 06-30-2019 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aarons915 (Post 58242270)
I should have prefaced that comment that I was talking about a 2 way and yes the woofer is to blame for beaming in that range but it's due to the RAAL(64-10) not being able to cross over lower. A dome crossed higher than 3k will have the same problem except I'm not aware of many domes that can't be crossed over down to at least 2k, which solves that problem.

So we agree the BMR doesn't have this problem due to the midrange but the 2nd problem with ribbons is that they seem hard to match up with other drivers. Midwoofers are the hardest but it appears to be true with midrange drivers as well. Most measurements I've seen of RAALs show the natural dropping of SPL with frequency up to around 3k then start rising, this is what I believe aids in giving them the non-fatiguing but detailed sound so many mention. Using the NRC measurements of your BMR (off-axis) you see the same thing:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...5932&thumb=1.1

I'm not sure where they're crossed over but it appears to be 500hz, the woofer and midwoofer seem to transition pretty nicely and then when the RAAL starts taking over the response starts rising. RAAL tweeters have a unique response which many people like and there's nothing wrong with that but I was just pointing out that they sound how they measure with the added problems that have been discussed. If I preferred their sound to a more neutral tweeter I'd be looking to mimic their response in a cheaper dome, if one exists outside the Focal Aria tweeter.



There might be something to this but the key words to me are "over a broad range of frequencies". Many people claim that limited vertical dispersion was designed into speakers with ribbons or MTM styles when in reality it's a limitation of the tweeter or just a null produced from the MTM spacing. From reading some of the Harman research we know that the off-axis response should be close to the on-axis response with a smooth downward tilt. So limiting dispersion over a broad range of frequencies in the vertical plane is probably fine but a large null and then increasing response beyond that is going to sound different than the on-axis response.

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________

I agree completely with your comments about vertical dispersion. And I also agree that the RAAL 64-10 isn't optimal for a 2-way for most uses, although that has nothing to do with its "inherent" sound quality, which is if anything more neutral than most domes. But I have to cry foul with your posting of the BMR's response. You neglected to mention that those plots were taken at 45 degrees-75 degrees off axis. A depression in the upper midrange, lower treble is almost inevitable that far off axis because the midrange will typically (but not always) have less dispersion at the top of its passband than the tweeter has at the bottom of its passband. I picked out two of the best measuring 3-way speakers in the NRC archive--the Revel Concerta F12 and the Paradigm Signature S8, and both show the same dip off axis as the BMR despite their use of a dome tweeter in a wave guide (which alleviates what would normally be a larger dip without the guide).
https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/me..._concerta_f12/

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/me..._signature_s8/

And here's the $14,000 Focal Sopra with a Be tweeter but no wave guide:

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...nts&Itemid=153 And here's what you're up against with even a highly regarded 2-way speaker with a dome tweeter: https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/me...h_30_domestic/

In short, the BMR measures much flatter off axis than most speakers, and therefore whatever differences you hear between the RAAL and a dome tweeter, including a Be, is not due to a depression in the transition area between the midrange and tweeter, assuming the RAAL is crossed over at an appropriate frquency. (For 2-way applications, there's always the 70-20, which is good down to 2k.)

OldMovieNut 06-30-2019 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soulburner (Post 58242722)
My new speakers use a tweeter that costs something like $20 (though placed within an aluminum waveguide designed with the help of an expensive laser measuring device). If you're telling me that one could equalize the response to match the RAAL and that's all it would take to sound the same (given the same dispersion pattern), I'd be impressed and shocked at the implications.

I can't refute what Dr Toole is saying from his experience, but someone needs to run this test or we really don't have data to prove it.

He did not mean smoothness of the frequency response, he meant the high frequency extension. The more extended the response, the faster the decay. The RAAL has a more extended response than even a Be dome because it has less mass.

Cheers,
OldMovieNut

PhilharmonicDennis 06-30-2019 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58243104)
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________

I agree completely with your comments about vertical dispersion. And I also agree that the RAAL 64-10 isn't optimal for a 2-way for most uses, although that has nothing to do with its "inherent" sound quality, which is if anything more neutral than most domes. But I have to cry foul with your posting of the BMR's response. You neglected to mention that those plots were taken at 45 degrees-75 degrees off axis.

I just noticed that you had indicated parenthetically that the BMR curves were off axis, although not how far off axis. That doesn't change by reaction, which is there's nothing about the extreme off axis response that relates to any unique sound characteristic of the RAAL.

xcjago 06-30-2019 03:45 PM

Man, I thought I liked RAALs because they sounded good. Turns out it's just cuz I'm old and my ears are defective. :eek:

aarons915 06-30-2019 03:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58243104)
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________

I agree completely with your comments about vertical dispersion. And I also agree that the RAAL 64-10 isn't optimal for a 2-way for most uses, although that has nothing to do with its "inherent" sound quality, which is if anything more neutral than most domes. But I have to cry foul with your posting of the BMR's response. You neglected to mention that those plots were taken at 45 degrees-75 degrees off axis. A depression in the upper midrange, lower treble is almost inevitable that far off axis because the midrange will typically (but not always) have less dispersion at the top of its passband than the tweeter has at the bottom of its passband.

Sorry I did say off-axis of the BMR plots but I should have clarified they were 45-75 deg off-axis, I wasn't trying to deceive anyone here. I agree it's difficult to match the directivity of midrange/tweeter, especially in a 2-way.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58243104)
I picked out two of the best measuring 3-way speakers in the NRC archive--the Revel Concerta F12 and the Paradigm Signature S8, and both show the same dip off axis as the BMR despite their use of a dome tweeter in a wave guide (which alleviates what would normally be a larger dip without the guide).

Those aren't bad but I think the real goal is something like the Kef Ref 1, which is flat on-axis out to 30 deg and then smoothly declines from 45-75 deg. Probably hard to do in a 2-way but the LS50 isn't bad either, aside from a peak around 2.2k of a few db. I realize all of this is getting very nit picky when all of the speakers mentioned, including the BMR, do measure and sound very good but I do like theorizing about the "perfect" speaker.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...6160&thumb=1.1


Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58243104)
In short, the BMR measures much flatter off axis than most speakers, and therefore whatever differences you hear between the RAAL and a dome tweeter, including a Be, is not due to a depression in the transition area between the midrange and tweeter, assuming the RAAL is crossed over at an appropriate frquency. (For 2-way applications, there's always the 70-20, which is good down to 2k.)

I'm not sure what else could be causing the RAAL based 2-ways to sound "laid-back" then. When I had the Mini Phil and compared to the same woofer with a titanium dome crossed at 1800Hz, the dispersion differences were pretty obvious and then again with the BMR. If anything the BMR are closer to being bright than laid back but based on the audioholics power response measurement, that is due to the BMRs range and not the RAAL. I think many people just think tweeter when they think of the high frequencies but really 1-3k is the more common range responsible for a speaker sounding laid back or bright in my experience over the years.

aarons915 06-30-2019 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soulburner (Post 58241516)
I do know there are tweeters that will give the RAAL strong competition: https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...-dome-tweeter/

I think it's the other way around lol, that tweeter is pretty much the perfect tweeter. Great on-axis response, well behaved off-axis, smoothly declining, can be crossed over low, etc. If the RAAL tweeters measured like that I don't think anyone would be questioning their claimed superiority over other tweeters.

Quote:

Originally Posted by xcjago (Post 58243710)
Man, I thought I liked RAALs because they sounded good. Turns out it's just cuz I'm old and my ears are defective. :eek:

The rising response could definitely compensate for higher frequency hearing loss. I don't think RAAL are bad tweeters or sound bad by any means for the record, I just don't think they do anything special that is worth paying a premium for.

PhilharmonicDennis 06-30-2019 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aarons915 (Post 58243732)
I think it's the other way around lol, that tweeter is pretty much the perfect tweeter. Great on-axis response, well behaved off-axis, smoothly declining, can be crossed over low, etc. If the RAAL tweeters measured like that I don't think anyone would be questioning their claimed superiority over other tweeters.



The rising response could definitely compensate for higher frequency hearing loss. I don't think RAAL are bad tweeters or sound bad by any means for the record, I just don't think they do anything special that is worth paying a premium for.

I've worked extensively with that Be tweeter, which by the way, is about 3 times the cost of the RAAL in the BMR). I obviously like it, as does Jim Salk, or it wouldn't be in Jim's upscale speakers. Its on-axis response is superb, but its horizontal dispersion is pretty limited. I personally prefer the RAAL, but you have more flexibility in the crossover point with the Be's. (I agree that its off-axis response is very controlled, but so is the RAAL's and most any decent tweeter's. Any glitches in off-axis response are usually caused by baffle effects and interaction with the driver its crossed to) The KEF plot you posted is instructive. It doesn't have much of a dip in the lower treble due to the woofer cone acting as a wave guide, but it's all at the expensive of drastically rolled off response off axis. I've heard a lot of KEF's, and while they have lots of admirable qualities, they don't have the expansiveness I try to aim for in my designs. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree about the audible impact of various off-axis resp. BTW,what 2-way RAAL speakers have you heard? I've listened to the Sierra 2 on many occasions and it's certainly not laid back. My Mini Monitor is arguably more laid back due to a higher crossover point, but surprisingly its far off-axis response is very flat. I can't quite figure that one out.

Russdawg1 06-30-2019 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariogonzalezzz (Post 58243888)
I wont say which raal tweeter speaker pair i auditioned but will say its a southern california company. i returned them after a week. I no longer believe the hype.


Why not just say Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2’s?

aarons915 06-30-2019 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58243794)
I've worked extensively with that Be tweeter, which by the way, is about 3 times the cost of the RAAL in the BMR). I obviously like it, as does Jim Salk, or it wouldn't be in Jim's upscale speakers. Its on-axis response is superb, but its horizontal dispersion is pretty limited. I personally prefer the RAAL, but you have more flexibility in the crossover point with the Be's. (I agree that its off-axis response is very controlled, but so is the RAAL's and most any decent tweeter's.

I haven't heard that particular Be tweeter so I defer to your experience there but I'm not only talking about the RAAL's response, I think the main issue is matching the directivity to midwoofers/midrange drivers. Most RAAL based speakers are smoothly declining in the woofer range to about 3k and then start rising again while the on-axis is flat. The Harman research tells us that you want matching on and off-axis response or a smoothly declining off-axis response, the RAAL does neither, although I understand that many people like that presentation.


Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58243794)
BTW,what 2-way RAAL speakers have you heard. I've listened to the Sierra 2 on many occasions and it's certainly not laid back. My Mini Monitor is arguable more laid back due to a higher crossover point, but surprisingly is far off-axis response is very flat. I can't quite figure that one out.

I haven't heard the Sierra 2, I have heard that Dave voices his speakers a bit brighter than you so I'd like to hear them but I haven't yet. I originally heard the 64-10 in your Mini Phil and specifically chose them because I thought the 5" midwoofer had a better chance at mating with that tweeter up that high, I also use dual subs and cross around 100Hz with a 4th order high pass so the bass response didn't mean much to me. After that I was part of the BMR roadshow, which is how I heard them. Any deficiency I heard in the Mini Phil in the upper mids was fixed in the BMR. I actually thought the BMR driver was the dominant force in that speaker, with the tweeter and woofer helping on the lows and highs.

The most telling experiment to me was comparing the Zaph ZA 5.2 to the Mini Phils, though. I put those speakers together with the intention of them being destroyed by the Mini Phils due to all the hype I had read on the RAALs. It really made me realize what many people in the DIY community talk about which is the system is much more important than individual drivers. I just felt like an expensive ribbon tweeter should wipe the floor with a $20 dome if there was an inherent superiority.

Soulburner 06-30-2019 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aarons915 (Post 58244024)
The most telling experiment to me was comparing the Zaph ZA 5.2 to the Mini Phils, though. I put those speakers together with the intention of them being destroyed by the Mini Phils due to all the hype I had read on the RAALs. It really made me realize what many people in the DIY talk about which is the system is much more important than individual drivers. I just felt like an expensive ribbon tweeter should wipe the floor with a $20 dome if there was an inherent superiority.

I don't want to take this thread off topic, but do you still have these? I have been searching for suitable surround speakers literally forever and then there's this. Would the sealed, reduced-BSC version of these do well as on-wall surrounds? $280/pair is a good price point, though I see no reason why it needs to be 9" deep. That might be a deal breaker.

aarons915 06-30-2019 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soulburner (Post 58244052)
I don't want to take this thread off topic, but do you still have these? I have been searching for suitable surround speakers literally forever and then there's this. Would the sealed, reduced-BSC version of these do well as on-wall surrounds? $280/pair is a good price point, though I see no reason why it needs to be 9" deep. That might be a deal breaker.

I still have the Zaph 5.2s, I botched the cutouts so I think that's why no one really wants them lol, but they sound great. I sold the Mini Phils. If you're talking about the Mini Phil and want to match ribbon tweeters I think the sealed version would great for that task, I had the ported version.

Soulburner 06-30-2019 06:19 PM

Looks like this discussion took place a couple of years ago. Even Dave at Ascend chimed in: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...itor-raal.html

PhilharmonicDennis 06-30-2019 08:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by aarons915 (Post 58244024)
The most telling experiment to me was comparing the Zaph ZA 5.2 to the Mini Phils, though. I put those speakers together with the intention of them being destroyed by the Mini Phils due to all the hype I had read on the RAALs. It really made me realize what many people in the DIY community talk about which is the system is much more important than individual drivers. I just felt like an expensive ribbon tweeter should wipe the floor with a $20 dome if there was an inherent superiority.

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. After reading your comment about the Mini Monitors, I took some off axis measurements to remind myself of the speakers performance in that area. I was surprised at how flat the response was even far off axis. I've attached a measurement at 60 degrees. I couldn't find any angle where the response in the 1-3 kHz region was scooped out. I frankly don't know how I avoided that outcome, but it does indicate that any "laid back" character isn't due to a mismatch in the radiation patterns of the woofer and tweeter, or to any inherent problem with the RAAL's response at the low end.

aarons915 06-30-2019 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis (Post 58244500)
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. After reading your comment about the Mini Monitors, I took some off axis measurements to remind myself of the speakers performance in that area. I was surprised at how flat the response was even far off axis. I've attached a measurement at 60 degrees. I couldn't find any angle where the response in the 1-3 kHz region was scooped out. I frankly don't know how I avoided that outcome, but it does indicate that any "laid back" character isn't due to a mismatch in the radiation patterns of the woofer and tweeter, or to any inherent problem with the RAAL's response at the low end.

I'm glad you said that because of all the speakers I've heard in the past few years I've felt they were all top notch and I could live with any of them. Sometimes I feel like people on this forum make too big a deal out of differences between speakers but I agree these differences I'm talking about are subtle, no speaker I've heard in the past few years has "wiped the floor with another".

Those measurements do indeed look good but when I compare my in room measurements they're quite a bit laid back compared to even the KEF Q150. The LS50 have more energy from 1k and beyond than both of them by about 3 db, which is quite a bit in room.


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