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Old 27th August 2003, 05:07 AM   #1
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Default Ringradiators and the high end...

I was reviewing the tweeter choices of some high end companies like Krell, Audio Physik and Sonus Faber because they all advertise the use of a ringradiator tweeter. Given the multi-megabuck prices of their units, I was assuming that they are using versions of the ScanSpeak 2904/700000. Wrong! Apparently they use the Vifa XT25TG30-04, which is not bad, I guess, but... a $45 driver in enclosures sold for $4k-$37k(!!!) a pair? WTF? Not even a "regular" Revelator or Esotar? How much is their markup?

Of course, they all say it's "customized". But how far can that customization go? 'cause if I look here the difference between the Vifa and the 930000 below appears to be pretty big. I strongly suspect they are only being cheap, and they actually go for <$100 units, (maybe even the generic, $50 ones) otherwise why not get the "good stuff" right from the beginning? And if they really need customization, I'm sure the manufacturer could accomodate a bigger batch of say 970000 at the same price.

To put it another way, is there a good reason for using that driver other than saving $$?

Did any of you have a chance to take one of these apart and see what the "customized" units are all about?

Ideas, comments? Am I missing something?
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Old 27th August 2003, 05:28 AM   #2
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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Maybe it sounds real good. A good reason to include it in your next speaker design. But I think it might be tricky to get right regarding crossovers, other drivers, etc. Lots of DIY folks think that by buying expensive drivers they will automatically get good speakers. Not true as you may have picked up around here.
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Old 27th August 2003, 05:46 AM   #3
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I'm sure it sounds good. But that's not the issue. Look at the link - the 930000 is considerably "cleaner". If they ask premium prices, shouldn't they use premium parts? Or can the regular Vifa be tweaked for less distorsion, to match the 9xxxxx, for example?
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Old 27th August 2003, 05:54 AM   #4
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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Just because it costed a lot of money doesn't mean it is good.

people have said to me you can take a cheap radio shack ( my favorite the polly prop 6.5" ) and build a awesome sounding set of speakers. witch costed less. then you can go buy a pair that cost's 2 grand and well they sound like crap compared. some times it is even the person he may decide that he likes his cheap speakers compare to a hi end pair. My friend like the sound that came from his 15$ alarm clock radio better than a full sized stereo. : O )


BUT i pity the person who pays 10g's for a [air of them POS nuance ones. THEY SUCK.. from top to bottom
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Old 27th August 2003, 05:55 AM   #5
navin is offline navin  India
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1. the selling price of a loudspeaker, amplifier, car, printing press, laptop etc... is not dictated by only the cost of the raw materials in fact raw materials are a fraction of the cost just ask the Coca-Cola Company. raw materials in the audio world are about 7-10% of the selling price. this is a lot better than coke where raw materials are about 1-2% of the selling price but not as good as automobiles where it is as high as 20-30%. these percentages depend on a lot of factors (target audinece, volumes, price of goods, emand and supply equations, etc...). i once took apart a bose 301 (circa 1985) and found the raw materials could be obtained (retail) for about $50 (incl cabinets and XO) for a speaker that retailed for $300. Bose would ofcourse been able to obtain the raw materials for less we can safely assume $30.

2. the ring radiator used by any speaker manufacturer is usually modified by the driver manufacturer (vifa etc...) as it allows the speaker manufacterer to do what they know best and only the driver manufacter knows it's driver best. so usually sonus faber would ask vifa to modify the unit to do a ba or c like they mght ask vifa to take the ring radiator and change the impedance curve, resonant freq., etc.... these mods can be from adding ro removing damping materials behid the tweeter, adding a copper ring or plastic lens to correct phase anomalies etc...
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Old 27th August 2003, 07:02 AM   #6
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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I am just guessing that the tweeter might be a similar situation to midrange drivers with rigid cones such as the Seas metal cones.

The Seas have a huge resonance at a certain point, that cheaper, paper cone drivers don't have. The speaker builder has to know how to add a filter to get rid of that resonance, and when he does, they sound great. A lot of DIY people prefer paper cone mids because they inherently sound good and don't require as much measuring and fiddling to get right. If you don't know what you are doing, the Seas can sound a lot worse that a cheaper driver.

Now, about that link. That guy is showing just one thing that you can measure about a tweeter. How about a waterfall plot showing if it rings on after a pulse? How is it's frequency response curve? How about a bunch of other stuff I don't know about? It is a marketing trick to show you the stat that the product excels at and "forget" to show you other stats that might be equally important or more important. (of course the site isn't doing this on purpose)

These are just thoughts- I'm no expert, but I'm starting to catch on after being a DIY Audio member for a while........
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Old 27th August 2003, 07:33 AM   #7
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First: the Vifa ringradiator is quite a long time on the market now, when the speakers you mentioned were build it was the only ringradiator to use and it costed much more.

Second: Maybe these companies use in their design other drivers which accompany the vifa very well, it's all about the best match you can make. Not to slam the most expensive drivers in a box.

Third: The sound of the driver,or the subjective performance.

Personally I find the 93000 quite restrained sounding (as with a blanket for the tweeter) compared with the XT25.
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Old 27th August 2003, 11:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clueless
I'm sure it sounds good. But that's not the issue. Look at the link - the 930000 is considerably "cleaner". If they ask premium prices, shouldn't they use premium parts? Or can the regular Vifa be tweaked for less distorsion, to match the 9xxxxx, for example?

As with a lot of things what looks good on paper doesn't necessarily end up being good in reality, as others have said, it's what it sounds like that counts

I'm a strong believer in "You get what you pay for" but there are always exceptions to any rule!

I haven't heard either tweeter by the way

Regards,

Tony.
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Old 27th August 2003, 02:13 PM   #9
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It's a very interesting question. The Vifa XT25 and the Scan-Speak 7000 are made by the same company.

Depending on your degree of paranoia and cynicism, you would assume that Krell could choose either for their speakers and the cost wouldn't change that much, for a $20K speaker.

So either Krell thinks the 7000 is a rip-off, or they are cheap and think no-one can hear the difference.

Cheers

Steve
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Old 27th August 2003, 04:01 PM   #10
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Let me just say that I'm aware of the fact that the engineer who knows how to make a great sounding speaker out of lesser quality parts is better than the one who makes a good speaker out of the best parts. This is why the final price also includes the "know-how". But still... obviously ScanSpeak thinks the 700000 is better, otherwise why bother to make 2 units and the huge price difference?

Variac: some more info is here (courtesy of DIYAudio member Keith Kidder).

At least on paper some 9XXXX look better.

Navin: I knew about those kind of modifications. But the initial issue remains the same: price and quality of the "standard" drivers. Why not choose a better "out of the box" unit and tweak/customize it from there? All things being equal, the final result should be better for the more expensive unit, and for such prices, I think the buyers are entitled (and expect) to get the best components. They pay for SOTA, shouldn't they get SOTA?

As the saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. One more reason to DIY.

The Vifa is relatively new and "cutting-edge" but it looks to me like it's a "scaled-down" version of the 700000 in most aspects.

Like I said, I may be missing something, but this is exactly why I started this thread.
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