Why aren't there any great cone tweeters?

...or are there?

I've been wondering for some time now why nobody designs high performing cone tweeters. Sure back in the day the dome could sound more detailed or delicate or whatever. But by now I'd think some damn good cone tweeters (or mid-tweeters more to the point) could be designed, allowing a lower crossover compared to domes. Mostly what I've noticed is "full range" mini drivers with quite low sensitivity, no doubt due to trying to output "bass."
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A dome is quite likely stiffer than a cone of the same diameter and material thickness. As a result, the dome's breakup modes can probably be pushed higher up in frequency. It's also convenient to have the voice-coil former mounted to the periphery of the dome. If a cone was used, the termination at the apex would be an awkward region from a mechanical point of view.
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Ditto on the phenolic ring tweeter. It was used by lots of candies in the 70s and 80s. They weren’t great but better than the other cone tweeters until the Peerless KO10DT became the darling of the tweeter ball. cones were larger in diameter causing beaming if they even got high enough to beam! They didn’t go low enough because of the rigid suspension and not high enough because of many factors. They pretty much sucked! The crossovers used didn’t help either!
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These 5" Plessey tweeters were state of the art in 1970s NZ, got a pair if anyone wants them.....
I'm sure cones would be used if anyone made good ones anymore, but when domes came out they were so superior they effectivly killed off cones except for low budget manufacturers


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For the last decades, loudspeaker designers know that dispersion pattern vs frequency is important, which is a weak point of cone tweeters. If you want to know more, you can read more about it in the book "Sound Reproduction" by Floyd Toole.
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I think a cone tweeters typically narrower dispersion pattern can be viewed as a strength. I believe that the transition from relatively large woofer to relatively small tweeter creates a discontinuity in the dispersion pattern. The larger cone type tweeter potentially creates a smoother transition from the woofers narrowing dispersion pattern to the tweeter. To me, this outweighs any advantage of wider dispersion at high frequencies.

It may also be possible that the cone tweeter's center becomes decoupled from the edges at higher frequencies. This would potentially create a tweeter with a somewhat more constant dispersion angle. That seems like a good quality to me.
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The Advent "fried egg" cone tweeter was an attempt to meld the dome and the cone tweeter designs, with decent results.

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There are four cone tweeters currently on the market that I am aware of. Based strictly on price, none of them appear to be high end.

1. Goldwood GT-25. This one sounds very nice to me, especially at higher frequencies. Good reviews.

2. GRS PRT-8 (phenolic ring tweeter replacement). These seem to be very well liked, based on the reviews. Large magnet and reasonably low Fs.

3. Visaton TW 6 NG. This one sounds very good to me also, nice and bright.

4. Visaton TW 70. Very smooth sounding to my ears.

In my opinion, any one of these could be considered "great" in the right application. YMMV.
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I'm surprised cone tweeters aren't more popular. Sure, you could talk about breakup and lobing, but when you listen to a good pair you might just find a place for them.
In certain applications they are very valid and quite useful.

So much so for me that I actually made my own, go figure.

I make MI amplifiers, speakers and cabinets, and here:

* they reach low, they can be crossed over down to 1500Z (try that with most domes, except maybe some $350 Focal dome o something)

* they handle honest 25/30W RMS.
Translate that to 350W RMS cabinets.

If biamped, can safely be used with a 40/50W RMS amp (LM3886?), because constant clipping at Bass frequencies is common (DJ/PA use); constant clipping at HF? not that much (it sounds F-ugly).

* MI and PA cabinets want to push sound straight ahead, where the Audinece is, so lobing is not a big deal and narrowing/focusing even less.
In fact, it´s a bonus ;)

* mine are LOUD, I used a strong motor (for a cone Tweeter) to achieve that: 76mm by 10mm magnets (twice as usual weight), 19mm high power voice coils, 6mm high gap.



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