diamond dust from cutting quality diamonds
45 responses Add your response
The diamond tweeters are definetly usually synthetic man made diamond. This is not a problem as we are not buying jewels, but buying the physical properties of diamond. The idea of using synthetic diamond is to use an extremely stiff material so that the resonance/breakup frequency is raised up higher than human hearing. I believe the breakup frequency of diamond is around 70khz. I think beryllium could be around 40-45khz. With metal dome tweeters, the breakup is very low, sometimes as low as 22khz. This is why metal dome can sound harsh/bright.
@soundsrealaudio they’re not real diamonds. diamond tweeters are made of synthetic diamonds that are vaporized on a silicon mould. it’s a vapour depositing process. after the diamond cone is properly hardened, the silicon mould is melted with heat. those are very thin cones and it would be impossible to cut real diamonds like that. as has been previously mentioned, the breakup frequency is pretty high (hence the lower distortions), but a diamond cone has more mass than beryllium and needs a stronger suspension. it means that it probably needs more power and wont’t play lower frequencies as easily as beryllium does.
The idea of using synthetic diamond is to use an extremely stiff material so that the resonance/breakup frequency is raised up higher than human hearing. I believe the breakup frequency of diamond is around 70khz. I think beryllium could be around 40-45khz. With metal dome tweeters, the breakup is very low, sometimes as low as 22khz. This is why metal dome can sound harsh/bright.
Which is irrelevant, because no one (especially the average 50+ year old audiophile), can hear above 20 kHz. This is why many flagship speakers, some costing 10s of thousands still use basic aluminum domes.
I have never heard any improvement in sound. I much prefer a nice soft dome tweeter. I may be old but those tweets that go way up in the frequency range make me edgy and nervous. I think it is the distortion or break up at " inaudible frequencies " really can be perceived. Those people who's hearing was destroyed at the Cuban embassy couldn't hear any high frequencies.
But what do I know
I have never heard any improvement in sound. I much prefer a nice soft dome tweeter. I may be old but those tweets that go way up in the frequency range make me edgy and nervous. I think it is the distortion or break up at " inaudible frequencies " really can be perceived.
I've heard a few soft domes that sound bright and edgy (for example, some from Polk) and metal domes that are smoother than a typical silk dome. Some high-end soft domes break up under 20 kHz. Why do they not sound edgy? Because it's all in the quality of the parts and implementation. I think many mistake upper midrange distortion as tweeter breakup.
I fully agree with you but I see where this is going... Well, there are many non-diamond speakers out there as expensive (or more expensive) than their diamond competitors. Manufacturers are always looking for improvements and pushing each other. Call
it hype if you will, but my ears never heard as good speakers as we have nowadays (diamond or not) and the best ones are unfortunately big, heavy and quite expensive, regardless of the material used for their drivers. Such is life...
Sure, there have been advancements in some areas. IMO, the greatest gains have been in small, budget speaker performance. It's easy to make a large, heavy, cost-no-object speaker sound great. It doesn't have to push the boundaries of physics.
The best speakers I've heard to date don't use any esoteric materials or cabinets. In fact, they're simply updates of 30+ year old designs. For example, Stirling Broadcast's LS3/6. They use a plastic dome super tweeter with a published frequency roll-off point of 17kHz. Many audiophiles would see that number and immediately dismiss the speaker as inferior. They'd assume these speakers lack detail or "air" compared to those equipped with a diamond or beryllium tweeter. Yet, IME, these speakers have greater resolution and detail than the B&W Diamond series and other highly regarded brands.
Breakup is important. You don’t want to drive a transducer close to or beyond breakup. This is something the designer must take into account.
The key to soft domes is that they are intrinsically damped - doped fabric! This is the key! It means that the dome adds minimal coloration to the music. This is why they are so revealing - you hear the detailed music after a transient rather than the cone vibrations after a transient. Some folks are more critical listeners than others, so not everyone will appreciate this. You can see this on a waterfall plot, the excel millenium fabric dome tweeter has the cleanest waterfall plot I have ever seen. Some metal or rigid domes come close but the extra frequency extension of rigid domes is totally at the expense of clarity where it is more important - at upper mid range frequencies.
A breakup node that is outside the audible band will impact the audible band by IM distortion. Using red book, most metal domes will have a breakup above the FR range. Analog and true hires recordings can have energy that may cause the driver distort. Typically, these ranges are lower in level and thus the IM distortion will be accordingly lower. The use of exotic materials is one way to push the breakup out the range of most content. Another is engineering design, which can take a material quite a far with shape, variable thickness and stiffness, and other design features.
Soft domes will breakup quite a bit earlier, and the exact degree will vary based on the doping materials. The distortion will be more benign due to the internal damping properties. Other distortions are more present with soft domes as compared to other more rigid domes, but the internal damping does help to keep the issues generally benign. You don't have this kind of forgiveness in most rigid domes.
The exotic material choices is an effort to get a more ideal driver. Still, its only a single piece, or a single chapter, in describing a drivers performance.
As I have mentioned, material is one thing, Motor, suspension and cavity behind the dome is another.
While diamond tweeters can be among the very best, they can also be incredibly mediocre. Same for Be, and AMT, dome's and rings.
It's also a bit of a shame tweeters cost as much as they do. They take a disproportionate amount of money and attention I think.
I don’t really care how my Usher diamond tweeters are made, I do know they sound much better than the prior beryllium tweeters or the silk dome tweeters Usher used to use. I still own some old Usher speakers for my secondary systems and the silk domes are nice sounding but my new ushers with diamond tweeters are the best
Is an interesting comparison as to which method of damping produces the best result in dealing with certain distortions, high damping or internal damping. High damping meaning the ability to resist distortions due to increased rigidity or internal damping so that distortions are instead dissipated via friction in the fabric and doping material.
With a very rigid dome, even energy going back into the cavity behind the dome requires damping as the dome will be impacted by return energy. Fabric domes will be affected as well, but will further dissipate this energy as it propagates through. While its important to either side, its less of an issue for soft domes. This doesn't imply one being clearly superior, just that an engineer has different set of issue priorities based on material selection. But I do feel that fabric domes can be more forgiving in designs with the understanding that your accepting certain performance limitations.
As for the dispositions of sound quality based on given material, its being given more weight then it should by many. We see many different designs show considerable ranges performance with very similar raw materials. The extra effort in thought and engineering really make all the difference. The engineers experience with certain materials can allow them to achieve more due to better understanding of material properties and solutions.
Warning: Diamond tweeters can be the worst engagement token ever…regardless of how well your fiancé tolerates your audio hobby you can get those utterly misunderstood, and you look like a jerk on the Jumbotron. I also agree that the diamond coated/berellium/titanium/soft dome/hard dome/thunderdome/folded foil/air transformer/blow torch vapor/plasma flame gas bag hype of tweeter material is meaningless except for what a speaker designer does with these things…I've heard vintage soft domes sound absolutely crystal clear and metal domes sound "meh" and dull…I do like screened ones that resist poking by drunk partiers, or deep horns that resist everything but maniacally sprayed champagne.
I took your advice and purchased a pair of zircon-encrusted tweezers. Hard to find but finally found a jeweler here locally and he actually had to make a pair for me. So after I removed a few annoying nose hairs I finally got to those "diamond" tweeters. Those little buggers are really small. I think I got just one zircon/diamond and headed back to the jeweler. Kind of a long story but I had meet a young lady, well we haven't meet in person. We communicated on line, she clearly loves me and wants to marry so my jeweler is going mount that zircon/diamond in what he describes as a lovely ring, the jewelers words, for my future bride. Not sure why all those young Russian woman like me so much.
Will let you know regarding future developments.
Soundsrealaudio “Are my " diamond " tweeters really diamond?”
soundsrealaudio “So who gives a crap what the tweeter is coated with.....how does it sound? Natural, bright,?”
ummm, I thought you gave a crap and that’s why you asked, and thats why you paid more for diamond tweeters.
Wolfgarcia... “diamond coated/berellium/titanium/soft dome/hard dome”
Soundrealaudio “I think bit coins would make a better tweeter the all the crap listed about by the wolf man.”
Which ones are crap? diamond (like what you just spent all kinds of extra money on), beryllium, titanium, soft domes? And you are proposing that bit coins probably sound better?
Thank you for your thoughtful response...if you send me several bitcoins I believe I have found a way to convert them into something very valuable. Like most speaker designers I have my shop in my garage/manufacturing facility, I am convinced I can make a better speaker then most manufactures...my wife thinks I am crazy, but most people consider me a genius,,,not always stable..