Originally Posted by Transmaniacon
That’s a big generalization about planar/ribbon tweeters. There’s a reason the RAAL ribbon is so popular, and it’s for the exact opposite reasons you list.
All three brands offer great sound, but I just wanted to clarify this point so as not to mislead people.
Good point. I did mention opinions vary and listening plus being able to return is critical. But I'd like to move into the ribbon tweeter thing a bit more. For sure, the Raal amorphous steel core ribbon tweeters are faster and more dynamic than their counterparts and do VERY well compared to a majority of dome tweeters. When carefully paired and designed with the right crossovers and drivers -- you can get real magic. Verity, Lohergin, Saratos -- just a sampling of some great speakers that use ribbon tweeters -- but all of them are hugely expensive.
When you are in the price point range we are talking about in this thread, ribbon tweeters in a speaker as a whole are truly challenged. The problem is that the Ribbons are highly directional, fragile, and aren't well integrated with cones as far as a truly desirable integrated signature sound. Its almost like listening to two speakers at once. The dome tweeters are FAR better at flexibility for off axis listening and imaging. Ribbons lauded for detail and speed are really just interpretations of an increase in distortion. They have restricted vertical dispersion as well. Its just physics.
My last concern about ribbons is their relative fragility. Beyond aluminum tears, ribbon tweeters can be damaged from a littany of electronics gear issues. Voltage, " pops, current leakage. And then you have to replace the tweeter. ( Capacitor be damned!) Some speaker companies ( and I am not referring to any speaker line mentioned in this thread) won't replace damaged ribbon tweeters despite their warranty claims. Too frequent and too expensive to do.
Two last points - If someone has high end hearing loss - a speaker with a ribbon tweeter makes a lot of sense. For me, I have what is called " hyperacusis" in one ear -- so I tend to not find ribbon tweeters very enjoyable to listen to. Just too " bright" and un-naturally so compared to live sound.
Lastly, this is just a discussion about tweeters; magnaplanar speakers as a whole is a totally different topic.