Silk dome Tweeters v. Titanium Tweeters(Soft v. hard-detailed?)

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by HTHOLIC, May 8, 2006.

  1. HTHOLIC Audioholic

    HTHOLIC
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    After looking at the SBS-01 speaker system reviews on Audioholics and Home Theater-Secrets of Fidelity, I had a great question in Mind.

    Which is more preferred, a soft silk based tweeter that is normally preferred for movies and certain music or a titanium tweeter that sounds detailed on music such as heavy metal , rock, and in which certian instruments sound detailed.

    There are disadvantages to silk-based tweeters in that they break up at loud volumes, as Secrets of Home Theater and Fidelity has reported.

    This should be an interesting debate. It would ge helpful if Tom Andry would chime in, becaue he reviewed the SBS-01 and said that their was softeness(is this softness caused by the silk tweeter), note some RBH sound speakers I think have silk tweeters.
  2. Hi Ho Audioholic Samurai

    Hi Ho
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    It's really personal preference. Both types can sound good. Personally, I prefer soft dome tweeters and that is what I used in my DIY speaker project. On the other hand, the speakers in my vehicles have metal dome tweeters and they don't sound half bad. I have not experienced any "break-up" playing my speakers at very high volume, though that depends on the driver itself.

    A poorly designed metal dome tweeter can sound bad, harsh and shrill. The same can be said for silk dome tweeters. I don't think a blanket statement can be made about which design is best. There are too many variables.
  3. GregBe Audioholic

    GregBe
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    In my opinion, it is not so much the material of the tweeter, but the entire design of the speaker. I recently went from a soft dome of M&K to a metal dome of Monitor Audio. The M&K's were brighter and the MA's are smoother on the top end. This is contrary to everything I have heard about the differences between soft domes and metal domes.
  4. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    It is all in the implementation of the speaker and the tweeter in particular. I prefer soft dome tweeters also. Like HiHo said, it is a particular driver AND the crossover design that are the main factors there, though it wouldn't surprise me if a metal dome could take more power in general. That does not mean a soft dome won't give you ref levels or better. My GRs use soft domes and they can take plenty of power. I also have my 902s, which use an aluminum midbass and an aluminum tweeter, and they are about as neutral as they come. The highs are not as smooth as a soft dome, but they are definitley not bright either.
  5. Tex-amp Senior Audioholic

    Tex-amp
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    Different materials in soft domes have different charateristics. Silk has different characteristics than other fabrics used in soft domes. I wouldn't use the terms silk and soft dome as inter-changeable.
  6. Hi Ho Audioholic Samurai

    Hi Ho
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    That is also true. My speakers have silk dome tweeters and while they are soft dome, I'm sure there are differences between fabrics.

    J_Garcia pointed out the crossover. That has a very big impact as well. A poorly designed crossover can create harshness or many other problems regardless of the tweeter.
  7. HTHOLIC Audioholic

    HTHOLIC
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    kind like the svs-01 v. axiom debate

    In Tom Andry's review he had a personal preference for the axiom.

    Another great question is an amplifier or a reciever may not be neutral.
    Somewhere, somebody reviewing an amplifier- I guess I can get the link, there are many on the internet-said that certain amplifers won't work good with bright speakers.

    Granted I just read on the read that someone's client returned their whole axiom setup.

    I guess personal preferences do play a role?, but I wanted to know the advantages to disadvantages of silk v. titanium tweeters, and what does soft dome do actually?
  8. deftech Junior Audioholic

    deftech
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    I have definitive technology speakers in my system with a total of 11 tweeters. They use a combination of metal and silk. They are metal in the center with silk around the edge. To me they sound fast but not harsh at all.
  9. Tom Andry Speaker of the House

    Tom Andry
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    I think the cliff-notes should be - it is not the material that makes the difference as much as the design and implementation. Different materials have different strengths and weaknesses, and manufacturers balance all these trying to come up with the very best speaker they can at the price point they wish to achieve. Compromises are common. I don't think you can look at a material and say definitively - "Oh, that is a soft dome tweeter so it will sound..." without looking at the rest of the design. It is far too easy to get hung up on one particular aspect of a speaker to the exclusion of all others. To do so, in my opinion, is folly and will surely lead to erroneous conclusions.

    It's important to note that my reference speakers are Axioms and that sways my perception. The Axioms are also quite a bit more expensive the the SVS speakers. Listening tests are always subjective. That was my first really in depth experience with soft domed tweeters and I attributed the differences to that. It may very well be true that the crossover, cabinet size, room interactions, or something else had more effect than the material used in the tweeter. Regardless, the SVS SB-01 speakers are very very good and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
  10. Buckeye_Nut Audioholic Field Marshall

    Buckeye_Nut
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    Bahhhhhhh humbug.....
    You want neither.
    It's all about the HORNs baby!!!
    ;)

    View attachment 3074
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  11. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Horns are for people who are going deaf...:D

    I'm used to soft domes and I still felt the SBS-01s were a little laid back. I'd like to hear them with a lot more power though, so I can really hear what it seems like they are capable of.
  12. Buckeye_Nut Audioholic Field Marshall

    Buckeye_Nut
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    Huh?

    Can you speak up?
  13. HTHOLIC Audioholic

    HTHOLIC
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    Horn speakers?

    What type of setup do you have, and how much would a good pair of horn speakers cost?
  14. Buckeyefan 1 Audioholic Ninja

    Buckeyefan 1
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    Most of your studio monitors have some type of dome tweeter - be it titanium or silk dome. These speakers are normally large bookshelves that run $1000 to $2000+ a pair. Horn type tweeters are more popular for power handling and cutting through crowd noise. That doens't mean you can't get a great sounding horn speaker. Klipsch has made a living selling horn style drivers, and have a great following.
  15. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

    Pyrrho
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    Since someone has brought up horn tweeters, I may as well mention that there are other types of tweeters. My favorite type of tweeter is a ribbon tweeter.

    Of course, as has been said several times by others above, there is much more to a speaker than just the material used for the diaphragm. I have heard some old cone tweeters that have sounded better than some cheap dome tweeters. Really, you should buy based upon sound, not upon materials or types. A well made tweeter of any type will sound better than a poorly made tweeter of any type.
  16. JonBaker99 Audioholic

    JonBaker99
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    Horns...bleh. Horns are great if you want to spend $3000 to make your home sound like a stripclub. Oh and BTW...thats not a horn. This is a horn: :D horn.jpg

    Seriously though, saying that one type of tweeter vs. another will sound better is always going to depend on how it is implemented. Ignore the specs and listen for yourself. That is the only way of knowing.

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