I used to have a pair of Vapor Breeze speakers. The amorphous core Raal was stunning!!!!
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I think the beryllium tweeter is nice as I had owned a pair of Paradigm Signature S2's V3 but found them too bright at loud levels. Sometimes harsh sounding. I was even running them with a hybrid tube integrated which smoothened things out a little but still not to my liking. Not for everyone. I switched to custom horns( Casta Acoustics model D8's). Love them. No harshness. Extremely clean, phase coherent, smooth midrange dynamic and fast.
I own Paradigm Signature 8s (v3). Yes ... they can sound bright, but I wonder how much is the fault of the source material. I say this because my new "tweak," a DEQX PreMATE tamed my S8s. They are now more time coherent and room EQ'd. Even still, some source material is "bright'ish" to me. I attribute this more to the source material than the Be tweeters. Presumably, as a result of the DEQX adjustments, my speakers should have a pretty flat FR.
I own a pair of the Signature S6 v2. I never noticed them to be bright until I moved, and got an Emotiva pre to go with the Emotiva amp. It became harsh! I found, after 2 years of experimenting in which I finally started buying used speakers to get an idea of what's out there. I found that Paradigm is much closer to neutral than many others. I also found out that everything matters.
Speaker cable matters a lot at this level of quality, as do interconnects. I got all solid core, and it is much nicer/cleaner than fine strand. The difference here to my speaker cables was immediate and not subtle. It wasn't that I could tell that something was wrong and went on a cable search. I just experimented and discovered how good solid core is.
Same with interconnects. I ended up with solid core copper plated with silver by Morrow Audio. I can recommend without reservation. Imaging like crazy and a 3D soundstage I never knew my music had. My cables are MA3, and the speaker cable is Audioquest Type 4.
The other thing I did was replace the Emotiva entry level crap. Parasound Halo components, designed by the audio legend John Curl. the A21 and the P7 made my sound to the warm side of neutral. The mid range frequencies are amazing, vocals are jaw dropping with well engineered music.
Some people may be sensitive to higher frequencies, and want the highs drastically reduced. Most speakers out there will not work for them. BTW, I am not connected whatsoever to any of the brands I mentioned, they just really work well in my system.
The baffles are all overly small and require BSC to compensate but sometimes the BSC is omitted and manufacturers rely on owners care with placement close to room boundary. Toss in many require powerful amplification and its subsequent thermal compression leads to a hard sound. Its not the BE its the total design its used in that causes issues. If baffles slim or its a monitor its going to have issues.Today quality of sound in most loudspeakers are compromised by market expectations that small is good. And how many fit on standard shipping pallets is more of a design concern than sound quality.
Melbguy, interesting you mentioned those when you did. A pair came up for sale local but the reviews I pulled up said they were the best speaker, or the worst, depending on the recorded material and music...
Runnin, good to see that you found a synergy in your system. When I got the Sig 2's I had already dialed in a nice synergy with the rest of my setup so I never experienced the overly bright sound that Bifwayne and Bacardi are experiencing at times. My sig 2's sounded sooo good, to me, and I don't like really bright sounding systems.
Toddnkaya, I love Vapor speakers...Amazing!
I think I will eventually try some Decappos or get another pair of Sig 2's once I climb higher up the ladder. I was just trying to figure out some more reasonable priced speakers that have that delicate and airy treble that my Sig 2's gave me. I agree with Runnin when he says that the vocals are just awesome!
01-09-15: RebbiAlthough the classic Yamaha speakers I mentioned are capable of terrific sound paired with smooth, tube-like or tubed amps they might prove a bit bright paired with some ss amps and front ends. Having spent the afternoon researching good value BE speakers, i'm in agreeance with Rebbi on this one, the Reference 3A MM De Capo BE monitors are a steal. You could pick up a mint near new pair 2nd hand within your price range. Their already good bass can be augmented by investing in a good pair of stands such as Sound Anchors or Taoc. And their high efficiency means you can also use a wide range of tube amps including SET's. I might even pick up a pair one day for a desktop setup in my study. Count me impressed!
B limo, If you are prepared to look beyond BE dome tweeters, I would also consider a 2nd hand pair of Penaudio Cenya monitors which sound natural, resolving and musical. They also happen to look beautiful. Their size is also suitable for high end desktop setups. I've got my eye on a pair of Cenya Signatures. The Cenya Sig's are more comparable in size to the Ref 3A Dulcets, therefore giving you the flexibility to switch between your desktop setup and a pair of stands which could be fun!
The beryllium tweeter on the DeCapo is well implemented, no brightness or harshness but they were a bit bright when I first heard them and when I got them home. It was my impression at the time that it was a break-in issue and this has turned out to be true. What is noteworthy is that these speakers will reveal issues with recordings that are closely miked and exacerbate that fact. Not that they are intrinsically bright but some instruments, like flute or even piano at certain frequencies can sound peaky on such recordings. But no brightness and praise NO harshness whatsoever. I agree with Rebbi, they are just wonderful communicators with zero fatigue factor which would indicate in itself that the tweeter is doing it's job.
@Tubegroover ... I agree and said pretty much the same above. Some of the source material is simply horrible and a good system may reveal those deficiencies as tonal harshness.
As I said above, I'm pretty sure my rig is capable of generating a reasonably flat, reasonably time coherent FR with low distortion, as corrected by my DEQX PreMATE. So ... by process of elimination, I think it is a fair inference that any perceived tonal harshness is not caused by my speakers' BE tweeters but is attributable to the source material.
Yes Bifwynne, I totally agree. Unfortunately often times the victim is not the real culprit. I have read comments that the new DeCapo is bright and/or harsh. Nothing could be further from the truth in this case. Often times, I believe folks will shoot the messenger at the expense of underlying conditions that are overlooked. My prejudices concerning metal tweeters in general, based on previous listening impressions, one of which I briefly owned, have been squashed by what I'm hearing, the reason for my commenting on this thread. The resolution and sense that I am hearing all the details and nuances of the recording are all laid out without compromising the musical message in any way. What is more remarkable, at least to me, is that I have come to a greater appreciation of the musical content of poorly recorded material without the typical audiophile impulse to dissect what I am hearing. This in itself is a big deal.
01-10-15: JohnkYes, that's true John. But a speaker's sensitivity is only part of the story. John Atkinson provided this neat summation in his Stereophile review of the original De Capo's -
"The MM de Capo i's voltage sensitivity was above average, at an estimated 91dB(B)/2.83V/m, which is slightly but inconsequentially less than specified. Its impedance (fig.1) was reasonably benign, dropping below 6 ohms only in the lower midrange and the high treble. (The speaker is thus both sensitive and efficient.) The minimum value was 5.1 ohms at 10kHz, and the electrical phase angle was generally mild."
01-09-15: RunninI also owned a full loom of solid core cables (Acoustic Revive) which use extremely pure oval-shaped copper conductors instead of plated copper. Using solid core conductors is one way to address skin effect amongst other design challenges, but there are other solutions which have equal merit.
I currently use Jorma Prime & Statement cables which use many extremely thin and extremely pure copper conductors wound exactly in parallel with ceramic glass fibres around a ceramic glass fibre core to form a tube, together with other natural materials like walnut. Jorma experimented with many other materials as well as copper alloys, but found copper delivers the most neutral, transparent, and natural musical signal.
Mind you what what Jorma or I might find sounds good may not be your cup of tea or suit your system. That's why there are a million cables out there to choose from!
92db is not high efficiency
Depends on how you define it, but for most anything above 90db is easy to drive. If you are talking about bizarre Omegas and strange speakers that are 100-110 db and thrive on little teeny 3 watt flea amps then yes, 92db is not high efficiency. But for most normal people 92db is.
Acurus Hofmans Iron Law and it offers you any two of the following: small cabinet size, deep bass and high sensitivity. No Omegas exist as you discribe and your idea that it depends how you define it is very wrong. Also would seem you feel that only adnormal people understand loudspeakers and with that I slightly agree.Normal people don't need science or physics interfering with what they feel is right.
Back on topic, I'm not actually looking to purchase anything right now, just adding ideas to the data base. For some reason I seem to really enjoy smaller speakers maybe because my listening rooms are on the smaller side.
Those Penn Audio's look nice! I really love Seas Excel drivers. I had a pair of Jamo Concert 8's and really enjoyed them.
Mainly, I was just curious as to what other speakers use beryllium tweeters...
Beryllium, as I understand it, is the second lightest metal we have, its very brittle (stiff) and I was thinking that it is probably one of the best materials, from an engineering standpoint, to make tweeters out of. I guess it must be expensive also because of how rare it is, so I figure if a manufacturer is using it for the dome then the rest of the parts making up the tweeter are of high quality also.
I used to be a hater of metal dome tweeters but I guess it's more about how it is implemented, what the corresponding parts are and the flavor of your associated equipment.
"I own Paradigm Signature 8s (v3). Yes ... they can sound bright, but I wonder how much is the fault of the source material."
That statement is probably correct.
You need to have components that filter the AC better. Very few manufacturers do this. I build my own components and hardness can come from tube voltage (driving the tubes to hard) and AC noise. I filter AC noise with capacitors and chokes. My power supply is probably costs more than your preamp. That is probably what you are hearing when you think things are bright sounding.
IMO Happy Listening.
About a year ago, when the BE tweeters first appeared in the Reference 3A lineup, I wrote to Tash Goka, head of Reference 3A, about upgrading my De Capo's to the new tweeter, and questioned him about the reputation of metal dome tweeters for harshness. Here's what he wrote back:
"Opinions about the "harsh sound" metal domes propagates may generally be true although some loudspeakers have used them successfully in the past.
They were usually made with aluminum, magnesium or titanium, etc...
This ringing metallic sound was also our finding whenever we have tried them for a project.
Metallurgy of Beryllium is different however. It is significantly lighter, stronger and definitely more inert. Sonically it is very bwell balanced, detailed, and spacious due to extended higher frequencies well in to 40 kHz range."