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  1. #1
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    Tweeter Time..............

    Good afternoon people. I have a question for you concerning tweeters. Could anybody here explain some of the advantages and disadvatages of the various types of tweeters used in loudspeaker designs? Are ribbon tweters better than soft dome types? Feel free to chime in and give us your thoughts. Thanks once again for your time.
    Phil
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  2. #2
    RGA
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    Well ribbons will be better to youif you like them better...

    I have heard pretty much every design over the last 15 years so it was to my very big surprise that my favorite speakers would emply a paper woofer (albeit a very good one) and a silk dome tweeter - a combination that has been popular among many for many years and to me (at least with the company making my speakers) one of the most musically natural sounding speakers I've heard.

    This article goes over a view of drivers but should not be taken as gospel as they are his opinion. http://ai.kaist.ac.kr/~suh/DIY/feedback.html

    I would say generally that my least favorite speakers over the years have used Metal dome tweeters whether it's the material or the consistant lack of integration with company's chosen drivers I don't know...they tend to either sound "out of step" or "spitty and tinny" The JM labs inverted dome design on their $22k Mezza Utopia worked reasonably well but $22k I balk at. I have not been overly thrilled with Ribbons or electrostats over the years. Some people love them though so definitely worth trying.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Well i am the oposite to RGA. If it doesnt have a ribbon, its not comming to my home :-)
    If you go into technical aspects of driver excursion, driver weight and driver motion control the ribbons and electrostatics are very hard to beat. But some like them, like me. Or some dont like them. Personal taste, i guess.

    -Flo
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  4. #4
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Well i am the oposite to RGA. If it doesnt have a ribbon, its not comming to my home :-)
    If you go into technical aspects of driver excursion, driver weight and driver motion control the ribbons and electrostatics are very hard to beat. But some like them, like me. Or some dont like them. Personal taste, i guess.

    -Flo
    Actually if you go into technical aspects you will find they each have advantages and disadvantages. But you never know until you listen.

  5. #5
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Do a search here and you'll find this has been run into the ground and usually erupts into a flame war. The last time I checked, you listened with your ears, not your eyes. Don't let preconceived notions, either yours or others, limit your ability to explore.

    The bottom line is that it depends on the application and how well the tweeter interacts with the overall design. I've heard hard dome, soft dome, ribbon, aluminum ribbon, and even plasma tweeters and they all have their merits. Listen to the entire speaker because there's a lot more at work than the individual drivers. Don't allow yourself to come to conclusions based on what you see instead of what you hear.

  6. #6
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    That's good advice above

    Until recently, I hated metal tweeters because most examples I heard were spitty, too harsh, over bright etc etc. I loved silk dome tweeters and I was convinced I would end up with such a speaker. But guess what? In the end, and to my great surprise, I fell in love with a speaker which has a metal dome, and I bought it. So approach the whole exercise with an open mind and listen, and listen and listen yet again.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Yep, it does not matter what the tweeter is made of. The overall design, and the sound you like is what counts.

    I've heard crappy ribbons, harsh silks, dark metals, and good paper cone tweeters so it's impossible to lump them all together just by the material or design.

    Personally the speakers I love the most (Paradigm Active 40's) have aluminum tweeters. I think they also have a rubber surround.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd have to echo that you need to listen to the speaker, instead of focusing on any one part. Rather than one aspect of any speaker...I think it's more important to look how the speaker implements the parts.

    Paper please, metal rules, buy kevlar, ribbons rule the roost...on and on. First off...don't fall under the notion that any speaker will perform good or bad because of a certain type of driver. Also, don't even think for a minute that all drivers using similar material are even remotely similar in performance, specification or sound. You can have both good and bad examples of drivers of any generic design or material.

    Take you time...go out and listen to differing examples of loudspeaker design. Build your opinion as you experience and as you learn. But never stop experiencing or learning. Because the driver type that you loathed today, may turn into lust tomorrow.

    have fun!

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  9. #9
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddeoowphil38
    Good afternoon people. I have a question for you concerning tweeters. Could anybody here explain some of the advantages and disadvatages of the various types of tweeters used in loudspeaker designs? Are ribbon tweters better than soft dome types?
    For me, the way in which the tweeter(s) are arrayed is equally important. I have yet to hear any single driver tweeter-based loudspeaker create a life-sized image. I greatly prefer line sources for image size and find favor with the better ribbons and full range electrostats. My experience suggests that the vastly reduced moving mass of them is audibly superior.

    rw

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    I feel the same way on that too. All my drivers are made from the same material and work under 90% same conditions. Which makes my speaker in my opinion one of the most neutral speakers avaliable.

    -Flo

    PS: The design is very important, but you can easily figure out to which drivers your most drawn too. For me, its ribbons.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  11. #11
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    From Websters:

    bi·as

    a. A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
    b. An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.

    Oddeo,

    Beware the power of preconceived notions. Your subconscious is more powerful than most would believe.

  12. #12
    Listener MikeyBC's Avatar
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    A speaker is only as good as its designer, both ribbons and dome tweeters can sound absolutley amazing if properly implemented within the overall design of the speaker.
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