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Old 6th October 2014, 02:50 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Default DIY Pro Ribbon Tweeter

I'm planning on building a PA line array using 10-inch drivers. I'd like to use some ribbons for the tweets and was wondering about the possibility of stacking commercial ribbons.

I'm considering the Dayton PHT1-6
Dayton Audio PHT1-6 Planar Horn Tweeter 6 Ohm

If I were to stack these 3-up, should I be concerned about comb filtering?

Apart from the above... would a do-it-yourselfer have everything needed to build a high sensitivity ribbon driver? Is this within our reach or should this be left to the commercial builder?
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Old 6th October 2014, 07:33 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
I've never seen that ribbon driver before. 105dB is impressive for the price! 3 should give you decent power handling. You'll need to figure out your wiring for an odd number, all 3 in parallel will give you only 2 Ohms.

I wouldn't be too concerned with comb filtering, as it's in the vertical where our ears are less sensitive. I'd be more concerned about the Xover point to the 10s. The tweeter's recommended Xover is 2800Hz, and a typical 10" driver narrows its dispersion to 90 degrees by or before 1700Hz.

You might have to consider either a smaller in-between driver (four 5" to 6" crossed at 600Hz?) or try crossfiring a pair of horizontal 10s at +/-90 degrees. For the 2nd, you'll end up with wide and unwieldy 4x10 box.

These ribbons might be better suited to a column array with a stack of small-format cones of 8" or less. You could improve the tweeter array's vertical cohesion by trimming away the mounting flanges so they can be arrayed closer together.
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Old 6th October 2014, 11:06 AM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rotterdam
Johnnyjo what`s your plan ? How many drivers on a row? Is it for listening at home?

About diy ribbons: I`ve seen pics, diy ribbon on a German side, ETF-festival c`nt remember the year of the festival. Google a little around.
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Old 6th October 2014, 01:46 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Actually what I'm doing is building a pair of BFM DR250's. The plans call for piezo's but I don't like the harshness. To keep up with the reversed horn-loaded 10-inch I'll need multiple ribbons with high sensitivity or one large powerful ribbon.

The PHT1-6 is in a horn giving it narrow dispersion. I thought about removing the horn but that may affect the sensitivity. Thoughts?
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Old 6th October 2014, 03:18 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
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Location: Rotterdam
johnnyjo. I would reccomand : Products_Fountek Electronics Co.,Ltd

Stay away from the PHT1-6.
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Old 6th October 2014, 03:27 PM   #6
srinath is offline srinath  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Default Ribbon array.

Its been done - Locally this pair was for sale. 2g for everything - I'd have just got the speakers - if he'd sell just those - except I wasn't intersted in a Home theater set of speakers. These are mids and highs only, and the sub handles the lows. If he had made em full range and a floor stander I'd all be over it.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ribbon_array1.jpg (23.3 KB, 249 views)
File Type: jpg Ribbon_array2.jpg (40.7 KB, 243 views)
File Type: jpg Ribbon_array3.jpg (42.9 KB, 244 views)
File Type: jpg Ribbon_array4.jpg (18.5 KB, 242 views)
File Type: jpg Ribbon_array5.jpg (33.2 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg Ribbon_array6.jpg (32.8 KB, 77 views)
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Old 6th October 2014, 06:14 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
OK, your 10 is horn-loaded, got it! I'm familiar with the DR250, I have an archived version of the plans. The ribbons would be coaxially centered, like in the link below off the BF website (DR200s with 2 Dayton ribbons each).

Unless you're an engineer, buying your ribbon drivers as opposed to DIY will make life much simpler & happier.... The off-axis SPL response of the PHT1-6 is typical & looks good, I wouldn't futz with the horn.

You're still going to have a problem with the Xover point. In Bill's DR designs, he crosses to the highs at 2kHz, so you're going to experience a narrowing of dispersion in the mids before the tweets kick in. You'll get holes in your off-axis response.

The Humble Piezo: Its notorious harshness is tamed with a proper Xover and a tightly-knit array. Building the array is a PITA & it does need a bit of EQ, but the end result is crisp, clear highs & an incredible impulse response (not unlike a ribbon).

Tomatamot: What's wrong with the PHT1-6? Do you have any direct experience with this driver? I know, some Dayton stuff is complete ka-ka, but some is a decent quality budget option. - View topic - My DR200s
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Old 6th October 2014, 07:46 PM   #8
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Tennessee
I haven't used the Dayton Audio PHT1-6 Planar Horn Tweeter so I don't know about sound quality of these units. But I have used both planar magnetic and ribbon tweeters in numerous line array designs so I'll comment from that perspective.

These planar tweeter offer high sensitivity (105 dB) and 80 watts power handling so they can satisfy reasonable PA line array applications. These planar and similar ribbon tweeters have similar sound dispersion pattern so they can be successfully arrayed with good results. The horizontal dispersion of these tweeters is established by the 60 degrees horn loading inherent within the design. While not mentioned in the Parts Express specs on these units, the vertical dispersion of these units is essentially limited by their height (or length of them stacked in an array). In contrast to cone drivers, a slot driver like these will have a vertical dispersion across frequency that trends toward the height (length) of the stacked drivers. Thus their radiated sound patterns do not overlap across the entire frequency range. The good news from this performance is that the lack of vertical sound overlap will not create combing effects for the vertical plane. I explain this effect in my white paper at:

I typically use planar or ribbon drivers like these in vertical stacks of 4 or more units per side. A stack of 4 can be connected in parallel/series so that it yields a resultant impedance which is the same as the impedance of a single unit (6 ohms in this case).

The recommended crossover for these units is 2800 Hz which is a bit higher than for the DR250 (2000 Hz) so you will have to discern if that is an impact on your plans.


Last edited by Jim Griffin; 6th October 2014 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 7th October 2014, 09:44 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Well guys I'm still considering my options.

@Cupp Joe thanks for your input. I realize the piezos are part of the DR250 plans. However, Iíve read several reviews and the majority comment about the harshness of the piezos. Maybe theyíre not running the xover correctly. Regarding the link you provided to the DR200ís, that particular builder explained in a different post that piezos have manufacturing defects - there are inconsistencies and donít always sound as they should. Which is why he went ribbon.

@Jim thanks for your input. I read your paper and didnít really understand everything (hehe) but did learn a few things.

Other Issues Ė TheDR250 cabinet height is about 20 inches. This limits me to only stacking about 3 of these ribbons. And as Joe mentioned, wiring these in parallel will give me 2 ohms. Will I need an amp that can drive a 2 ohm load?

Idea Ė instead of stacking 3 how about cross-firing 6 ribbons? Now thatís a lot of ribbons!

The crossover at 2Khz is a concern. I would probably need to find a different ribbon. Also looked at the Dayton PT2C-8 but it looks like that wonít work any better. Any other suggestions?
Dayton Audio PT2C-8 Planar Tweeter
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Old 8th October 2014, 06:06 AM   #10
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
The Goldwood piezos definitely have QC challenges. The CTS (formerly Motorola) piezos are higher quality, but the prices are quite prohibitive. The new kid on the block is GRS, boasting a larger diaphragm than the other 2. Maybe they're a little better...?

The other problem with the DR line is how little depth of space is available to mount a HF section. Ribbons & piezos already barely fit. A rare find would be some used Stage Accompany SA8535 ribbon drivers. They can cross as low as 1kHz comfortably. The only other SR-type ribbon is from Alcons Audio.

Personally, I wouldn't drive a delicate ribbon tweeter (array) at 2 Ohms. If you crossfire 2 tweeter banks, at least you can wire in series/parallel for a higher impedence, then attenuate the excess SPL for even more protection.
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