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A ribbon has a distinct sound compared to a dome tweeter. The low moving mass of the ribbon compared to a dome give them an "airy" sound (sorry for the audiophile mumbo jumbo). The Fountek as well as the Arum Cantus and Raven are all excellent ribbon tweeters.


On the negatives, ribbons tend to have worse off axis response than a dome which makes good off axis driver integration and power response harder to achieve. Also ribbons are far less forgiving of being overdriven or driven too low compared to a dome tweeter, in other words easier to make them distort and blow. Both of these characteristics mean that ribbons require a lot more skill and care in the design of their crossover than a dome tweeter. Textbook formulas or off the shelf crossovers need not apply.


Speakers with ribbon tweeters can sound very good, but it takes a skilled XO designer to make this happen.


Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zest /forum/post/0


When you say "airy" does this mean detailed but smooth at the same time

Smooth is as much a function of the XO and integration between the mid and tweeter as it is the tweeter itself. I have heard the same ribbon (Arum Cantus G2 in the Salksound HT3) sound detailed and smooth and in another speaker by a different designer sound harsh. It all comes down to the talents of the guy (or girl) designing the XO.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zest /forum/post/0


When you say "airy" does this mean detailed but smooth at the same time

I hate using audiophile terms too but I'll try to explain it. Ribbon tweeters, to me, sound more transparent than regular tweeters which was less harsh than most dome tweeters I've heard before. I wouldn't intepret them as more capable than domes but if done right the ribbons seem to do a good job a reproducing the real difficult tweeter material more realistically. Even though some dome tweeters can outdo some ribbon tweeters in just the raw data numbers, what it comes down to is if you prefer the sound of ribbons to domes.
 

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LCY ribbons are supposed to be great. Fountek... not so much.
 
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