Best Tweeter Technology Floorstanding SPEAKERS

M

MervD

Enthusiast
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1
#1
In doing research into Loudspeakers, one very important question came to mind. Your input, as usual, would be greatly appreciated and welcomed. Speakers $10,000 and under

Of the following types of tweeter's which one is more sonically reliable:

Diamond
Beryllium
Ribbon
Silk
Titanium

I look forward, with anticipation, for your views on this sub ject
 
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TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Samurai
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1,171 14 4
#2
I'm not sure how to answer your specific question of which is 'more sonically reliable,' but all I can suggest is you go out and hear as many as possible.

Diamond (too expensive, and better used for blades) and Titanium(too expensive/difficult to manipulate) can be written off immediately. I have not yet heard Ribbon, but absolutely love Beryllium. And while I find Beryllium to be more accurate, a silk dome can be so sweet and gentle on the ears that it commands your attention if for not other reason than the complete lack of fatigue!
 
M

MervD

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#3
I'm not sure how to answer your specific question of which is 'more sonically reliable,' but all I can suggest is you go out and hear as many as possible.

Diamond (too expensive, and better used for blades) and Titanium(too expensive/difficult to manipulate) can be written off immediately. I have not yet heard Ribbon, but absolutely love Beryllium. And while I find Beryllium to be more accurate, a silk dome can be so sweet and gentle on the ears that it commands your attention if for not other reason than the complete lack of fatigue!
Thank you. I may have used the wrong term "sonically reliable" Maybe" best performing" would be a better way of conveying my humble request
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,424 10 2
#4
I'm not sure what you mean by "sonically reliable", so I'll take a guess. All of those types of tweeters you mentioned have been around long enough to be considered reliable in the sense that they work well and usually don't fail.

Of the types you listed, diamond, beryllium, silk, and titanium, all are really a single type – domed tweeters made with various materials, textile (silk) or metal alloys. (You didn't mention the most common metal tweeter dome, aluminum.) In fact the beryllium tweeters are really an alloy of aluminum containing a small percent beryllium. The so-called diamond tweeters are a metal alloy coated with a fine layer of diamond dust. Domed tweeters have been around since at least the 1970s and share the general structure of an aluminum voice coil attached to a small light-weight relatively stiff dome. The voice coil converts the electrical signal into mechanical vibration, and the dome moves the air.

And then there are ribbon tweeters. They are a significantly different technology that can, under the right circumstances, sound superior. In ribbons, the voice coil is a thin sheet or ribbon of aluminum that functions both as the voice coil and the air-moving surface. Ribbons are much lighter than dome-voice coil structures, and as a result, respond to signal much faster.

I can think of very good speakers that have both types of tweeters. Equally important is how well tweeters are integrated with woofers or mid range drivers by the crossover.

If I were spending what you propose for speakers, I'd look for speakers that use ribbon tweeters made by a company called RAAL. Those speaker companies would be Salk, Philharmonic Audio, and Ascend Acoustics. All of them are designed by people who understand crossover design for these types of tweeters.
 
markw

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,626 5 19
#5
If you haven't hears any planar speakers, you might want to give them a listen. Magnapan and Martin Logan come to mind.

You may never go back to monkey coffins again. :)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,491 6 2
#6
In fact the beryllium tweeters are really an alloy of aluminum containing a small percent beryllium. The so-called diamond tweeters are a metal alloy coated with a fine layer of diamond dust.
Where the heck did you get this information? Focal's and Revel's Be tweeter domes are pure Beryllium. They're not mostly aluminum. And B&W diamond tweeter domes are pure vapor-deposited diamond.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,424 10 2
#7
Some of my favorites I would suggest as floor standing speakers with RAAL ribbon tweeters in your general price range (I've heard all but the Sierra Tower):

Philharmonic 3 a truly excellent 3-way at a bargain price (said to be a "poor man's SoundScape 8, see below)

Salk Veracity HT2-TL an excellent MTM speaker

Salk Veracity ST almost identical to the HT2-TL with a slightly smaller footprint

Salk SoundScape 8 simply the best

In a lower price range are these:

Salk SongTower with optional ribbon tweeter

Salk SuperCharged SongTower

Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,424 10 2
#8
Where the heck did you get this information? Focal's and Revel's Be tweeter domes are pure Beryllium. They're not mostly aluminum. And B&W diamond tweeter domes are pure vapor-deposited diamond.
I'm not 100% certain, but pure unalloyed beryllium is said to be nearly impossible to work with. And vapor-deposited diamond has to be deposited on some surface. Yes, they are expensive materials, but I don't believe their sound qualities make them worth the price.

Functionally, they are still domes. And I can think of numerous very good sounding dome tweets made with aluminum or silk domes. We can argue over the nature of the materials used, but I'll stand by my opinions about the superior sound of ribbon tweeters vs. these various domes.

For reasons I don't know, titanium seems to be used in fewer tweeters than aluminum.
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,491 6 2
#9
I'm not 100% certain, but pure unalloyed beryllium is said to be nearly impossible to work with. And vapor-deposited diamond has to be deposited on some surface.
All I can say is that this contradicts printed public claims made by Focal and Revel that their domes are "pure beryllium. See this link:

http://www.revelspeakers.com/tl_fil...ies Brochure (Rhythm2 Subwoofer) CES-2013.pdf

And here's a link to B&W's description of how they make the diamond domes:

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Discover/Discover/Technologies/Diamond_Tweeters.html
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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4,355 22 9
#10
I'm not 100% certain, but pure unalloyed beryllium is said to be nearly impossible to work with. And vapor-deposited diamond has to be deposited on some surface. Yes, they are expensive materials, but I don't believe their sound qualities make them worth the price.

Functionally, they are still domes. And I can think of numerous very good sounding dome tweets made with aluminum or silk domes. We can argue over the nature of the materials used, but I'll stand by my opinions about the superior sound of ribbon tweeters vs. these various domes.

For reasons I don't know, titanium seems to be used in fewer tweeters than aluminum.
It is a very difficult material to work with and it's an uber expensive process too. This is why speakers that employ 100% true beryllium drivers are often very pricey. The BE tweeter RBH uses in their Status line costs $500/ea! Is it worth it? Well, on paper I don't see much of an improvement over the equivalent silk dome but it sounds like butter! Compared to most metal domes that have prominent break up modes still within the audio band, BE pushes that break up mode beyond audibility so you get all of the advantages that a metal dome offers without the nasty oil can resonance and audible breakup modes. Worth it depends on perspective!
 
M

MervD

Enthusiast
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1
#11
Thank you all for your input. This will provide me with somewhat more understanding that I have obtained through journals and reviews.

Appreciative as always
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Warlord
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2,698 9 4
#12
Since Dennis isn't using Be tweeters, I guess he could call the new model 'I can't believe it's not butter'.
 
agarwalro

agarwalro

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,320 3 1
#14
If you haven't hears any planar speakers, you might want to give them a listen. Magnapan and Martin Logan come to mind.

You may never go back to monkey coffins again. :)
In this presentation, Dr. Toole calls this a large electrostat with a woofer at the bottom. Looks like if someone hears that speaker, one may never go back to electrostats. :D.

"Truly horrible speaker..." - Dr. Toole.

Watch starting 1:03:30
 

Attachments

M

MervD

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#16
I'm not sure what you mean by "sonically reliable", so I'll take a guess. All of those types of tweeters you mentioned have been around long enough to be considered reliable in the sense that they work well and usually don't fail.

Of the types you listed, diamond, beryllium, silk, and titanium, all are really a single type – domed tweeters made with various materials, textile (silk) or metal alloys. (You didn't mention the most common metal tweeter dome, aluminum.) In fact the beryllium tweeters are really an alloy of aluminum containing a small percent beryllium. The so-called diamond tweeters are a metal alloy coated with a fine layer of diamond dust. Domed tweeters have been around since at least the 1970s and share the general structure of an aluminum voice coil attached to a small light-weight relatively stiff dome. The voice coil converts the electrical signal into mechanical vibration, and the dome moves the air.

And then there are ribbon tweeters. They are a significantly different technology that can, under the right circumstances, sound superior. In ribbons, the voice coil is a thin sheet or ribbon of aluminum that functions both as the voice coil and the air-moving surface. Ribbons are much lighter than dome-voice coil structures, and as a result, respond to signal much faster.

I can think of very good speakers that have both types of tweeters. Equally important is how well tweeters are integrated with woofers or mid range drivers by the crossover.

If I were spending what you propose for speakers, I'd look for speakers that use ribbon tweeters made by a company called RAAL. Those speaker companies would be Salk, Philharmonic Audio, and Ascend Acoustics. All of them are designed by people who understand crossover design for these types of tweeters.

I'm not 100% certain, but pure unalloyed beryllium is said to be nearly impossible to work with. And vapor-deposited diamond has to be deposited on some surface. Yes, they are expensive materials, but I don't believe their sound qualities make them worth the price.

Functionally, they are still domes. And I can think of numerous very good sounding dome tweets made with aluminum or silk domes. We can argue over the nature of the materials used, but I'll stand by my opinions about the superior sound of ribbon tweeters vs. these various domes.

For reasons I don't know, titanium seems to be used in fewer tweeters than aluminum.
Thank you for taking the time to broaden my knowledge on tweeters with the in depth response. Gratitude

I investigated the SoundScape 8 that employs the RAAL ribbon tweeter and was impressed with my findings . However, they appear to be a hard load to drive and was wondering if my Krell S550i @ 275 w/ch would be able to draw out all the musicality of the speaker in question
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,483 22 4
#17
In fact the beryllium tweeters are really an alloy of aluminum containing a small percent beryllium.

And then there are ribbon tweeters. They are a significantly different technology that can, under the right circumstances, sound superior.
Here is a somewhat comprehensive discussion of Be diaphragms and the deception some manufacturers use with their alloys (it is a 17 page pdf download):

www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=40060

He makes a rather simple point along the way about true Be products vs products that claim Be, but only actually use a small percentage of Be:
What fascinates me is that just about all the true “Beryllium” loudspeakers are classics and/or reference systems. These include the Yamaha’s, the TAD’s, the Focal Utopia’s, the REVEL Utlima2’s, the Paradigm Signature Series, and the JBL K2 loudspeakers.
See the Material Properties chart at the top of page 6. Bogusium and Deceptium are nicknames for the materials you refer to. AlBeMet 140 is 40% Be with 60% Al and what KRK (who appears to be ethical) calls their alloy.

I'm not sure I can buy that a well designed ribbon sounds superior to a good Be. After listening to my Focal Solo6 Be speakers, Dennis Murphy told me it had the same sound signature as the RAAL tweeter. I don't think he would hear that from a low percentage Be tweeter. As a matter of fact he suspected low Be content in one of the "Be" tweeters he had evaluated which was a poor performer.
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,424 10 2
#18
I investigated the SoundScape 8 that employs the RAAL ribbon tweeter and was impressed with my findings . However, they appear to be a hard load to drive and was wondering if my Krell S550i @ 275 w/ch would be able to draw out all the musicality of the speaker in question
The SS8 speakers are rated by Salk as 4 ohm and he recommends amps from 100 to 250 w/c. Your S550i, rated at 200 w/c at 8 ohms and 400 w/c at 4 ohms, should drive those speakers without any trouble.

I've heard them driven by 125 w/c amps, without an apparent problem. I've also heard them driven by larger amps with as much as 300 w/c. They easily handle high power, but they don't require it.

What do you see that makes you think they are a difficult load?

If you are interested, you might phone or email Jim Salk and ask this same question.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,424 10 2
#19
I read that lengthy pdf download. I'm not sure I can come up with any clear conclusions from it, other than one needs a lawyer and possibly a metallurgist to fully understand it.

The author clearly described the percent composition of all the various beryllium alloys that he dismissed as counterfeits or "placeboes", such as the copper beryllium alloy, that was 98% copper and 2% beryllium.

But when it came to the beryllium that he approved of (supplied as a foil by Brush Wellman),he was vague. He described it as "pure" or "acoustic grade" beryllium without mentioning its composition. Was it 100% beryllium? He never provided that info.

More importantly, what is the acoustic performance of these various dome materials? To be fair, the author did dwell on this. I think the take home lesson is, not what are the compositions of these domes, but how well do these materials perform when incorporated into a tweeter. And that answer is more complex to understand than "how pure is the beryllium in the dome"?

I'm not sure I can buy that a well designed ribbon sounds superior to a good Be. After listening to my Focal Solo6 Be speakers, Dennis Murphy told me it had the same sound signature as the RAAL tweeter. I don't think he would hear that from a low percentage Be tweeter. As a matter of fact he suspected low Be content in one of the "Be" tweeters he had evaluated which was a poor performer.
This gets to my point about acoustic performance as opposed to metal alloy composition. I already stated my opinion about what I preferred earlier in this thread. And I meant it clearly as one listener's opinion. Your opinion is equally valid and appreciated as such.

All of these various newer tweeter designs seem to translate lighter mass into lower distortion. This may be more important in the high mid range (about 2 to 4 kHz) than in the the high treble frequencies (about 6 kHz and higher) where dome breakup first begins to appear in some domes.

And finally, what is the cost of these various new tweeter designs?
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,483 22 4
#20
The attachment was specifically regarding this statement:

In fact the beryllium tweeters are really an alloy of aluminum containing a small percent beryllium.
Are you saying that you still are willing to present this statement as certain fact?
 

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