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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 20th September 2004, 08:02 PM   #1
tbright is offline tbright  United States
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Default Tweeter Characteristics

I'd like to different thoughts on the different type os tweeters out there...specifically the types listes at partsexpress. (cone, textile, metal, poly, planar, ribbon)

Textile Dome seems to be the most common. What are your favorites? What's a good bet for "Smooth" highs VS "Crisp" highs??
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Old 21st September 2004, 05:16 AM   #2
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Ahhh, smooth vs crisp you say? Dunno about crisp, that probably means that the tweeter becomes very directional and probably has some resonances and increased sensitivity above ~8kHz. That sort of thing adds sibilance, and locks your listening position into a sssmall sssweet ssspot. It may sound interesting, pleasantly nice even, but not hifi.

I think most soft dome (textile, silk, fabric, plastic foil....) tweeters are fundamentally flawed just because they are soft. The speed of sound in these materials just isn't fast enough for the whole dome to move as one piece, even at the bottom of its frequency range. After the voice-coil produces some vibrations, these designs rely purely on mechanical means to absorb unwanted resonances. For the dome to vibrate as one piece, the tweeters have to be made of an extremely stiff material such as aluminium, titanium or ceramic. This doesn't mean that aluminium tweeters will automatically be better than fabric tweeters.

Check out www.visaton.com or www.solen.ca for Visaton tweeters, or www.madisound.com or www.zalytron.com for Accuton ceramic tweeters.... At www.accuton.com note the smoothness of their unsmoothed f.r. plots: that's what "smooth" means. They're expensive, and you probably can't get most of this stuff from Partsexpress. But at lower prices, the price is probably a good guide to quality when comparing soft domes with hard domes.

Things to remember: tweeters are just like other speakers in that they produce a back-wave that needs to be absorbed in its own miniature "chamber". Otherwise you can expect nasty resonances. Regardless of the dome material, try to choose a chambered tweeter.
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Old 21st September 2004, 07:07 PM   #3
tbright is offline tbright  United States
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Default Those damn response graphs.

If the characteristics of a tweeter can be summed up in a response graph- as can other speaker's responses- and this in turn tells how the overall speaker will sound (ie crisp vs smoooth highs and tight bass vs boomy bass)...Why aren't there any measurements to quantify the other jargon that's used so much in audiophile-speak?

I guess as a newbie I'm starting to understand the technical side (like xovers and response graphs) of what gives a speaker a flavor (warm, crisp, or clear.etc.) but how do you define "Depth" and how do you design speakers with a good "soundstage". Or are these other things just accomplished through a good setup in a room?


On a tangent...I understand that audiophiles abhor the use of EQ's and like listening to everything as natural/flat as they can. But when speakers and amps, etc can have some of their own flavor/cloring, and people pick these components based on the flavor/color they like.......why don't they just use an EQ and flavor it that way?

Kinda like buying Frosted Flakes instead of Corn Flakes and adding the sugar yourself?

I dunnno. You guys tell me.
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Old 22nd September 2004, 05:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Those damn response graphs.

Quote:
Originally posted by tbright
...I guess as a newbie I'm starting to understand the technical side (like xovers and response graphs) of what gives a speaker a flavor (warm, crisp, or clear.etc.) but how do you define "Depth" and how do you design speakers with a good "soundstage"....
First you start by trying to describe those things as something more tangible. I don't really know what either "depth" or "soundstage" means, but if someone described some specifics about those things, then I'd at least know what they're talking about. A good place to learn would be to use some software like Sound Forge or something like that and do a lot of experimentation with audio files. It's important to get a feel for what various frequencies actually sound like, and what part they play in the sound quality in music. The same goes for time delays and various stereo effects. Otherwise you'll always be using the same meaningless terms that hifi reviewers use. AFAICT, soundstage is some obscure term used by over-imaginative people who get spooked by phantom sounds every time there is a bit of phase delay between 2 channels in a recording. Somehow it's meant to be different from "imaging"
CM
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Old 22nd September 2004, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Those damn response graphs.

Quote:
Originally posted by tbright
On a tangent...I understand that audiophiles abhor the use of EQ's and like listening to everything as natural/flat as they can. But when speakers and amps, etc can have some of their own flavor/cloring, and people pick these components based on the flavor/color they like.......why don't they just use an EQ and flavor it that way?
EQ's are not a bad thing. An audiophile is most happy building a speaker that doesn't require one. Kind of like having an engine that doesn't require a turbo, as it's strong enough without. Kind of a purest thing.

EQ's are a necessity when you are using PA equipment, simply to deal with the differing acoustical colourings of the environment.

My thought? If you like the effect of one, then use it. It's a cheap way of making an OK sytem sound better. I don't have an EQ on my house system but I wouldn't leave home with my PA gear without one.

As far as tweeters go, you really ought to listen to some side by side and decide what your ear likes to listen to. Me? I like a great big cowbell horn and a compression driver with a woofer sized magnet to belt out my high end. Mind you, that's not surprising, I drive a truck.

If you drive a sports car then consider a ribbon
If you drive a family sedan or mini-van, consider a dome or cone
If you drive a Hyundai, try a piezo

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