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Old 10th November 2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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Default Super Tweeters

Hi,

I have a pair of Wharfedale Pacific EVO 30 speakers (Bi-Wireable, Nominal 6 Ohm Imp, 50 Hz 20 kHz, Sens 89 dB marketing figures, not measured by me) that Id like to add a pair of super tweeters to. Just to see what happens.

I am happy with the Wharfedales (at the moment) so changing them isnt a consideration at the moment but I do fantasize about owning a pair of Elac BS 243s

I have never heard super tweeters but I have absorbed alot of the conflicting data, science & opinions about whether they should /do work on the high frequency range or whether they affect the whole sound landscape including tightness of bass etc etc.

I can understand and believe the science and data which says our hearing stops at x000 Hz. Im 52 but only tested my hearing with an sine wave generator on an iPhone through headphones which came in at around 16k. So, a ST is apparently superfluous. But I can also believe the anecdotal impressions, unsupported by any numerical data whatsoever, which say they definitely do work - but not in every case - only in certain situations with certain speakers - for varying reasons which are (mostly) laudable. Is it harmonic interaction? Is it making up for an existing tweeter deficiency or complete lack of tweeter? Does the whole aural context affect our perception(s) and interpretation of music and frequency content (similar to sight - colour context and perception).

Or is it all of these?

Or is some form of synesthesia involved (so not everyone would be able to enjoy it) e.g. seeing or knowing I have the STs gives me an inner interaction of actual frequencies giving a perception of extended range and holography I cant honestly decide if Im joking here or not

So what do you do? . Except dip your toe in the water and try it for yourself.

You can see my speakers arent high end so I dont want to break the bank BUT I would like to try something which will give me a flavour of what super tweeters are about and whether they have any sonic value (to me and my system at least, although you wont have my system or ears to check). I could also try them on some full range speakers I have the drivers for (Fostex) but havent got round to making yet.

Does anyone have any thoughts about what I should try with the Wharfedales? Any other thoughts, data, opinions, suggestions, experiences and musings are welcome too.


Thanks and sorry for the lengthy question.
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:02 AM   #2
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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Hi

What is your budget? The cheapest ST that I can think of, is the LCY-K100 Ribbon Super Tweeter at Madisound. You will still need to build your own XO to suit your speakers, though.

Deon

PS. Yes, I do think a ST is a valuable addition to a speaker. IMHO it is worth it to go to all the trouble to design a proper XO.
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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Thanks Deon,

I haven't gone as far as deciding on a budget yet - but I usually have to wait a little while before my brain persuades my wallet "the price is reasonable". Your crossover comment is interesting, I can weild a soldering iron - built valve amps etc - but electronic design is a black art to me - I Googled the LCY-K100 and the spec looks impressive, I also found the following crossover design -http://www.tradeeasy.com/supplier/193121/selling-leads/1098428/sell-lcy-k100-suggested-crossover-b.html Have you seen it, used it or do you use a bespoke X-over?
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Old 10th November 2012, 12:16 PM   #4
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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I haven't actually used it, but it looks good. Of course the, IMHO, undisputed king of the hill ITO super tweeters is the RAAL tweeters, especially the amorphous core units, but they are pricey. Everyone that has used them have raved about them. XO design, not my forte, sorry.

Deon
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Old 10th November 2012, 12:23 PM   #5
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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small cheap fullrange placed on top playing upwards omni style
but might not be good enough for those fine looking Wharfedales
and could be more trouble than you expect
rather than a super tweeter my first first thought would go to a subwoofer
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Old 10th November 2012, 01:23 PM   #6
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinitus View Post
rather than a super tweeter my first first thought would go to a subwoofer
Especially if the goal is "tighter bass" . . .
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Old 10th November 2012, 01:51 PM   #7
jrenkin is offline jrenkin  United States
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I might suggest a simple experiment before buying. I am of mixed opinion, as a neurologist, I fully understand high frequency hearing loss, but also know that our perceptions exceed our conscious sometimes. So just because we can't "hear" something enough to acknowledge it doesn't mean it isn't "heard" and included in the massive interpolation our brain does in perceiving sound.
Any way, I haven't tried this my self, but if you can use a digital equalizer, just eliminate the 20KHz band entirely and see if it sounds different, you may also try the opposite and increase it, too. If you have no equalizer, you could put a small inductor in series with the highs of your speaker, say 0.05 mh, and see if that is noticeable.
I would argue that if you can't perceive changes trying this, then there is no point to trying a super tweeter and you can save your money. If you do notice a difference, I don't know if a super tweeter will be helpful or not, but at least you know you have some potential to perceive its impact.
I have a BIB with Fostex 208 sigma running full range without xo, with a fountek ribbon crossed 1st at 16000. It should go to 30khz or more they claim. All I know is I have hearing loss above 15khz and can tell that the tweeter helps, by it probably helps some within my hearing range and out o it, so not a rigid test.
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Old 10th November 2012, 01:54 PM   #8
jrenkin is offline jrenkin  United States
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Oops, can't edit on the phone, I meant that I would "argue if you CAN'T perceive a difference"...
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Old 10th November 2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for your comments, I should have mentioned that I have a sub woofer unit, didn't think, sorry.

Hi Tinitus, could you explain your thoughts (you won't insult my intelligence by going slowly ) "small cheap fullrange placed on top playing upwards omni style
but might not be good enough for those fine looking Wharfedales
and could be more trouble than you expect"

Are you saying that it may be hard to have a good match with the Wharfedales using anything? I thought the Wharfedales were regarded as ok(ish) but nothing special.
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Old 10th November 2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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Hi jrenkin, thank you for your input - blimey, this is where it really gets interesting, what happens inside the brain, and the internal modelling of the various data, and not just from ears. Our personal software and hardware, glitches and all. It's fascinating that, as a medical professional, you acknowledge that it's not all about ears. Although I am out of my depth on these matters, intuition leads me in your direction. I don't suppose you have the time to do a study and paper on it? Your suggestion with the inductor is interesting and should be an easy thing to try. If I wanted to try various inductors, do you know how I would calculate the various inductances? Also, should the inductor be cored or "air"
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