LEAK 3090 Replacement Tweeters - diyAudio
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Old 23rd February 2012, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default LEAK 3090 Replacement Tweeters

Hello all!

I'm new to the forum. I've been snooping around for a while and there is some wicked geekery to be had! I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.

I am looking for a pair of replacement super-tweeters for my beautiful LEAK 3090s. I am told the original Isodynamic tweeters cant be fixed (although I couldn't even get anyone to look at them, so there is possibly hope in the future). I am a music producer and I use them as main monitors for referencing mixes so a flat response is pretty important (the LEAKs do +-3db 35hz-26khz), although I'm not looking for super harsh/revealing "monitor" speakers, as I have another pair for that. I also use them for general listening. I'm powering them with an old Soundmaster VF200 dual mono power amp, I can find any info on it but to my ears it sounds wicked and it has plenty of power.

Photo:

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Specs:

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I originally replaced them with Monacor RBT-95 SQs, which are ok (especially for the price!) and incidentally fit perfectly when wedged under the faceplate. However, it seems they were a little underpowered for a speaker of this size and recently the right hand side has had an intermittent distortion problem, with some volume discrepancies. I haven't swapped them to check it is the driver so I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like a toasted tweeter.

So I'm looking for a ribbon or similar, with enough power to keep up with the LEAKs and I would love to get some recommendations. My budget is around £40-80 each (I'm a student!) but please tell me if that is stupidly low.

Many thanks,
Louis
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Old 23rd February 2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Maybe others experience may help you.
isodynamic? whats that.
Maybe more consistent/quality
FT7RP - Fostex ribbon tweeter
http://www.fostexinternational.com/d...f/ft7rprev.pdf

Last edited by Inductor; 23rd February 2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2012, 01:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Inductor. Some interesting info on the technology behind these, although due to the complicated nature it doesn't look hopeful for repair. There's something about ribbon tweeters (especially the old LEAK ones) that are just really nice to listen to. You get ZERO listening fatigue but at the same time a beautiful airy sound.

The Fostex look perfect, although I'm having trouble finding somewhere that will sell them in the UK at a reasonable price. I'll have a hunt on ebay.

I thought of something that could have contributed to the problem. This amplifier makes a HORRIFIC sound when you turn it off. It does one big pop, and then lots of smaller pops tapering off into a final distorted squelch. I never really thought about it (stupidly) but that cant be good for my speakers! Could it be that this was what fried my tweeter? The noise does seem exaggerated on that side.
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Old 24th February 2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Yes, nowadays new amps have disconnecting relays that may help (and they don't make pops).
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Old 24th February 2012, 03:49 PM   #5
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi, checkout ipl acoustics for reasonably priced ribbons, rgds, sreten.
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There is nothing so practical as a really good theory - Ludwig Boltzmann
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Old 26th February 2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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Wicked site. Do you know what kind of power rating I should be looking at? I don't have the original spec for tweeter power. The whole speakers are rated at 100watts RMS.
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Old 26th February 2012, 02:13 PM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Treble filter is 1st order @ 7KHz so around 10W+ for 100W programme.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 1st March 2012, 12:11 AM   #8
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Smile Leak 3090 Tweeters

I also have a pair of Leak 3090s; fortunately my tweeters are OK at present. The Leak Isodynamic tweeters are not ribbon tweeters as such; they are moving coil drivers. The flat voice coil is etched onto a 25 micron diaphragm. These were patented by Leak; the idea was later taken up by a few other manufacturers ie EMIT for some NEAT models, but these were circular. It has seen a bit of a revival recently.


The Leak design gives a very smooth response (as resonances are well below the operating range) together with good dispersion due to it’s vertical slit . These superseded a mylar dome tweeter used in the previous 2075 models. Even some modern domes can sound ‘peaky’ & beam noticeably in comparison.


These speakers have a high efficiency, but they just don’t work with amplifiers with small power supplies; the 4 way crossover is complex & the inductor feeding the 15” bass driver looks bigger than some transformers...I am using a 300+300W Bryston 4BSST power amp which not only grips these spkrs but also can play them very, very quietly. Tweeters can easily be blown by clipping a low power amp whereby square waves feed full power high frequency distortion into the tweeters.


Wilmslow Audio sell a Fostex ribbon tweeter (93dB, 80W) which is £105 each. Integrating ribbon tweeters with moving coil drivers is notoriously difficult & I would go for a dome/inverted dome, that fits physically but also has an extended response up to ~ 40kHz. This would help with the smoothness as well as bringing rewards with newer SACD/DVDA, hi res streaming formats.


These speakers were originally expensive as were the drive units (I believe that replacement Leak tweeters were ~ £70 more than 20 years ago), so I can understand your disappointment with the Monacor ribbons. Unfortunately this means that replacements need to be very carefully considered & I believe that it is well worth fitting high quality tweeters to these unique spkrs.

Dougal
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Old 1st March 2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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Hi, I have checked the details of your replacement Monacor tweeter & this has a claimed efficiency of 98dB this is very high; if you are not getting much output then there could be another problem:

1. I had a problem with the attenuator pots being intermittent; spraying De-oxit anti-oxidant in them cured the problem resulting in more output (WD40 would probably be as good). DO NOT spray anything containing corrosives/solvents anywhere near the polystyrene drivers as they will MELT ! Exercising (turning the knobs) the pots regularly makes a big difference.

2. Capacitors age & may fail; I have considered replacing all of mine but it is quite a big job as there are several. I would like to replace them all with non-polarised types but the correct values are not all available. Capacitors deteriorate faster in hot environments, can be damaged by high voltage spikes & ultimately may leak DC or go open cct. But they can sometimes recover from spike damage.

3. The most likely cause of your failure is indeed as you suspect the noises your amp makes on switch on/off. I have witnessed a hi-fi dealer destroy a customer's tweeters by connecting/disconnecting cables with everything powered up - there was a loud fizzing pop & the result was burnt out tweeters (in a pair of £4.5K floor standers).

Sounds like a daft question but have you checked your original tweeter for being open cct with a meter ?

Cheers, Dougal
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Old 26th August 2012, 01:08 AM   #10
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Hello all!

I completely forgot about this post. I was searching around for a more suitable amp for my speakers now that I have a bit of cash and thought I'd look on here!

Just to update you on my tweeter issues, I think much of the problem was due to the tweeters being only a few days old. I gave them a good running in and after a while the distortion disappeared and they became much smoother and less harsh. I couldn't be happier! I'm sure they could be improved with a higher frequency response but in searching for a new amp I've found most amps are only 20-20 anyway.

Dougallh, I'm very jealous of your working tweeters (and killer amp, I bet yours sound amazing!). It's good to know someone else is rocking the LEAKS. I wonder if you might be able to suggest a power amp that might be more within my price range? (£200-300) When I'm rich and famous I'll spend some money restoring the crossovers and parts but for now I just cant afford it and I wouldn't trust someone to do it on the cheap!

All the best,
L
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