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18 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

Dome tweeter or ribbon, which is better and why?😁

 

Then again ... you have metal dome vs. 'soft' dome tweeters!  :)  Entirely different sound.

 

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I think a lot of the sound of a tweeter is down to implementation. I've heard really good and bad silk, metal and ribbon tweeters. Things like the distortion signature and off axis directivity are all factors that are going to be determined by the shape of the tweeter face plate, driver stiffness, resonances and voice coil/ magnet optimisation (in conventional drivers).

Having said that, it has been my experience that ribbon tweeters do tend to have a larger degree of 2nd order distortion. Not to say all ribbon tweeters will have that characteristic but i've heard some expensive examples of ribbon tweeters and seen their distortion spectrum and that seems to be the case. Whether you like that sound is purely a personal thing. I don't like it personally. In the 3 ways that I last designed I used a SEAS Aluminium Alloy dome tweeter which implements a soft ring between the voice coil and the dome to dampen ringing. It also has a low distortion profile, good power handling and controlled off axis response so I really enjoy it's sound.

 

Edited by Deepthought
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1 hour ago, andyr said:

 

Then again ... you have metal dome vs. 'soft' dome tweeters!  :)  Entirely different sound.

 

We had good discussion about this some years ago and generally concluded it doesn’t matter on the material used, more the implementation 

 

 

Edited by Al.M
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38 minutes ago, Deepthought said:

I think a lot of the sound of a tweeter is down to implementation. I've heard really good and bad silk, metal and ribbon tweeters. Things like the distortion signature and off axis directivity are all factors that are going to be determined by the shape of the tweeter face plate, driver stiffness, resonances and voice coil/ magnet optimisation (in conventional drivers).

Having said that, it has been my experience that ribbon tweeters do tend to have a larger degree of 2nd order distortion. Not to say all ribbon tweeters will have that characteristic but i've heard some expensive examples of ribbon tweeters and seen their distortion spectrum and that seems to be the case. Whether you like that sound is purely a personal thing. I don't like it personally. In the 3 ways that I last designed I used a SEAS Aluminium Alloy dome tweeter which implements a soft ring between the voice coil and the dome to dampen ringing. It also has a low distortion profile, good power handling and controlled off axis response so I really enjoy it's sound.

 

Have you ever listened to a Maggie "true-ribbon" tweeter, Dt?  (About 1.5m long.)

 

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12 hours ago, Al.M said:

We had good discussion about this some years ago and generally concluded it doesn’t matter on the material used, more the implementation 

 

 


 

im gonna go through that thread when I have time.  The reason I asked is that one of your speakers that you have comes in 2 version, dome or Ribbon.

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11 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Have you ever listened to a Maggie "true-ribbon" tweeter, Dt?  (About 1.5m long.)

 


I have 1.8m long ribbons, unfortunately they were destroyed on the bosses 50th.  The Magtech took them out so I need to look for an alternative.   Love those ribbons, but it’s time to move on.

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58 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

I have 1.8m long ribbons, unfortunately they were destroyed on the bosses 50th.  The Magtech took them out so I need to look for an alternative.   Love those ribbons, but it’s time to move on.

 

Ouch!!  :(

 

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1 hour ago, Deepthought said:

No, I haven't - looks like it has a predominately 3rd order distortion profile at higher SPL- https://www.stereophile.com/content/magnepan-mg26r-loudspeaker-measurements

 

Aah, the MG 2.6 - came out in '90 and they are difficult to find.  It was a 2-way so the ribbon was a. shorter and b. crossed over much lower than the 3-series ribbon.  (So it was made from slightly thicker aluminium foil, to allow it to go lower.)

 

It would be interesting to find a similar Stereophile review for the 3-series - so IIIa, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6 & 3.7.

 

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It depends on so many things. A dome tweeter is much more robust and versatile and will suit a lot more designs. You can get good silk domes for peanuts and they sound very good. You can get them to work in simple two way designs and please most people. In budget designs, they might be the only choice.

 

A ribbon requires steeper crossovers and higher crossover points, which excludes many of them in 2 way designs, where the mid and tweeter might fight over a non-workable crossover point. The mid is pushing for a low crossover to avoid breakup, the ribbon is pushing for a higher crossover than is workable. Hence a lot of ribbons are seen in 3 way designs with smaller mid or dome mids. So now you're dealing with a more complex design. If done well, a ribbon can excel at detail and finesse but if done poorly they can also sound harsh and strained.

So really what you have to do is think of the entire system. Where you use a ribbon, often its limitations will dictate many of the other design decisions.

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compression driver in a modern horn. imho and ime, this combination will give you the most realistic presentation of instruments sound and scale.

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I read somewhere that us old guys like cone tweeters. Maybe because we can't hear above 14k hz. I find some truth to this. I replaced the woofers in my sister's Bose 301s. These were the originals with 3" cone tweeters. They are crossed over around 1.5k and sound really great. I'm playing around with some Realistic 2.5" cones. They have a large chamber behind the cone for low fs. No actual specs but with the included 16uf cap they are rated 700-20k hz. They are sounding pretty good with a 10uf poly cap with a 10" woofer. I plan to install the tweeters and sell the pair. I have a pair of JPWs that are superior but I just like fiddling with speakers.

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On 23/6/2022 at 6:48 PM, Addicted to music said:

Dome tweeter or ribbon

 

In most cases, the biggest difference is the shape.... with a ribbon being (often much) taller.     This sets the radiation pattern of the sound waves (assuming there is no "waveguide" around the ribbon) ... which is the biggest effect on sound, vs swapping the ribbon out for a dome, and leaving everything else similar in the design.

 

 

It is often said (hypothesised?!) that "ribbons are very low mass and so this makes them sound awesome"    This is flawed from a two difference angles.

 

Firstly.....  a re-hash of the discussion you often get for bass drivers.   Heavy drivers don't sound slow.... the analogies with inertia, and 'response' and whatever, that says that light drivers "move fast" are just wrong.     A lighter driver might be able to (probably can) play higher frequencies louder than a heavier driver....  but that is it.     Domes are available which extend well above 20Khz ... and response of ribbons isn't very good above 20Khz anyways..... even before we get to the reality that > 20Khz isn't audible.

 

Secondly.....  it is often a mistake to consider the ribbon is lighter.   As an example:

 

A typical 1" dome tweeter, with an MMS (mass including air load) of 180 milligrams....  with a radiating area of 7cm^2

 

A ribbon tweeter with equivalent radiating area.   The Foundtek Neo 3" ribbon....  has a radiating area of 4.8cm^2 (closest I could find)....  it has a mass NOT including air load of 18 milligrams.

 

The air load on the driver is estimated by  Mmr in grams = 0.575 * (radiating area in m)1.5

Which is 191 milligrams.

 

So the mass (including air load) of the ribbon is 209 milligrams.    Heavier than the dome tweeter (180 milligrams) ..... but the ribbon is smaller.

 

On 23/6/2022 at 6:48 PM, Addicted to music said:

which is better and why?😁

 

Just different.

 

 

As Paul said, it's hard to find a ribbon which has enough excursion to work in a two way speaker (eg. crossover < 2khz) .....  and the lack of symmetry of most ribbons can make the design hard.

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On 24/6/2022 at 12:37 PM, henry218 said:

compression driver in a modern horn. imho and ime, this combination will give you the most realistic presentation of instruments sound and scale.

Yes.

 

Assuming we don't need the SPL vs distortion of the compression driver ..... then other tweeters on a horn, can do the same.   It's narrower and more controlled frequency response, which is the main benefit (as opposed to the high efficiency - unless that's needed, of course).

 

 

I have lots of prototype (plastic and wood) horns for dome tweeters .... but they are a pain to mount, and the throat dimensions are very critical for the >> 10Khz response.   More manufacturers should make them ... and the ones who do, should make the horns larger.

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