beryllium vs diamond

Hi guys, today's technology has brought us a new type of tweeter made of diamond or beryllium. Do you know what are the strengths and weaknesses of diamond vs beryllium? Which one is the more expensive? Has today's dome tweeter better resolving power than the venerable electrostat? Jim Thiel once said that dynamic designs will be getting better all the time and will probably surpass electrostatic designs.
Has today's dome tweeter better resolving power than the venerable electrostat?
IMO traditional stats' strength lay in the "mids" range (i.e. s/where within the critical range for our ears ~150-10kHz). Modern tweeters are usually hi-passed at 2-3kHz reaching supersonic extension thereafter (~100kHz for the Thiel& partner -- accuton -- "diamond")

As to which is better, be or ceramic... difficult to say, it depends on what you're looking for: both are low mass hi rigidity matls (good), the on/off axis resolution is helped (the dream), both (can) store a lot of energy (not so good), both are expensive (very bad:)).

What's the application you're looking at re these tweets?
To Gregm: I was just curious what is the general opinion of the people here at audiogon forum regarding those high-tech (and ultra expensive) tweeters. I know several very good (dynamic) speakers don't use Be or diamond tweeters. Sonus Faber Stradivarius Homage for example.
I prefer the Diamond tweeters if for no other reason that even if you managed to cut yourself on a broken diamond tweeter it would not try to kill you like a Beryllium tweeter will.

That stuff is toxic.
In theory, the "diamond" ceramic tweet "should" have better extension & resolution than the be. Sound propagation is extremely fast & distortion characteristics are, allegedly, benign. The accuton diamond has a very low res frequency @ ~900Hz, which is great. As to whether these qualities make a significant difference to the music/audio phile in the 20-100kHz range, is another question altogether -- it's basically a matter of implementation in a speaker system

Compatibility-wise, I would prefer the ceramic tweet to mate with a traditional wide-range low-mid/bass driver (say a Supravox 400exc), for an exquisite two-way speaker -- on paper. But, at $~6k/pair for the tweets and ~2k for the other drivers, it's a very expensive experiment!

Also, be is toxic as rp1 notes (although a Grande Utopia seems hardly a domestic hazard!).
For some interesting reading on a unique product using beryllium as the source material for a midrange/tweeter concentric driver (think highly evolved Tannoy), check out the TAD Model 1.

Ultra high-end, cutting edge stuff. The flagship Model 1 lists for $45K and has been met with RAVE reviews at all of the audio shows.

I'm not affiliated with them in any way. Just became aware of their products through meeting their Director of Product Development through an AudiogoN transaction.

Certainly the most unique cabinet and driver design I've seen in a LONG time. 50 layers of laminated 1" high quality birch. Pretty neat stuff.
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There have been older posts in other threads that compared BE dome tweeters to other types of dome tweeters. My general recollection is that BE dome tweeters are much stiffer and lighter than most other (if not all) types of dome tweeter materials on the market. Of course, I am not speaking about ribbons or stats.

That said, IMO, there is more to the "quals" of a dynamic "box" speaker than just the tweeter. In particular, the start/stop speed and resonance point of a dome tweeter are not the only specs that count.

As to BE being toxic, ... yes I have read the same thing, but I gather that BE toxicity has more to do with the manufacturing process when BE may be in an aerosol or particulate state. Once it's formed into a final dome shape and mounted in the tweeter housing, I surmise that it's pretty harmless in that inert state.

FWIW, my Paradigm Signature 8(v3) speakers use BE tweeters. So I have a little background here. As an additional FYI, Magico and Focal also use BE tweeters. But going to my point above about overall speaker "quals," Paradigm, Magico and Focals employ many different manufacturing and technology approaches that make them sound differently from each other.

Not much more to say about this very narrow question. In the end, its all about how a particular good quality speaker matches up with one's amp and how the over-all combo of everything sounds in the listener's room. It has taken me years of mixing and matching stuff and I'm still not done.

One of my pet and not favorite irks is my bloody room. Neither BE nor diamonds will fix that problem. Think DEQX.
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In a perfect world you probably want a pure pistonic driver that is ultra light to get the purest of sound that it's being fed. I'd like to introduce carbon fiber/balsaood drivers. They can be used for all the drivers. There are so many advantages to doing this. Technology has really helped this industry greatly. This new type of driver is very expensive and difficult to produce, however when implemented correctly you get what you expect and that is a seemless mix Of your drivers and when blended with a carbon cabinet the designer can really control resonance etc. it's so much more than just the materials. You still need great implementation.
CTsooner...that's what Vandersteen does.
,,,and that's why I'm selling my regular Treo's and getting the Quatro CT's as soon as I can afford them. As most know, I have travel a lot and I've listened to all the major and many of the minor speakers out there. That inlcudes teh 100k plus stuff like XLF's, Tidal, Magico, Dynaudio, Focal etc... For my ear, none give the clearity and the fabric of the mucic like the Vandy's do. Just my ear of course, however even the Vandy dealers who are selling other speakers as their 'front line' speakers will tell me often that they chose the clean sound of the 7's over the other speakers beccause they connect to them better, but that the other 'brands' sell better due to advertising and placement, plus the others have a much larger profit margin built in. We all know what hype does for out hobby. That's why we need to get out and listen more when we can, lol.
Cts, Magico's new diamond-coated Beryllium tweeter diaphragm by all reports is utterly natural and very smooth. The idea is to combine beryllium’s physical properties (closer to the theoretical ideal), yet without gaining the extra weight normally associated with diamond’s specific gravity. That may well be the ultimate dome tweeter material.

I am a Thiel fan 1st and foremost. One would be hard-pressed
to better the CS 2.7 or CS 3.7 loudspeaker.

I like piston drivers as well from above. Keep me posted &
Happy listening!
I got a beryllium tweeter right now. And... it's eye opening for sure.

Basically, you get super high damping/more accurate compared to lesser tweeters. BUT, due to lesser ringing of the metal, you get less (artificial) ambiance! And it can suck depending on your room/treatments.

It does sound a lot more real though.
I've heard some Be's and some diamonds that I have liked, but some I haven't. The Magico's I heard were much smoother on top than what I remember hearing last year. They just aren't my speaker as I can't emotionally connect. I've honestly tried as I was offered a pair for a rediculous price.

The one think I have liked about the Vandersteen 7's is what I stated above and that's the fact they can use the same carbon fiber in all their drivers so there is a coherent family sound that meshes really well. I am not saying it's the be all, end all by any means. In the end a great designer can build a nice sounding speaker with good quality drivers, but as we get better technolgy, the greats are upping their games and we all win. I personally don't love the idea of having Be in my home if I don't have to. I have MS and am very concerned about it even though I'm not touching the tweeters. I probably should say that as so many like those tweeters. Again, JMHO.
Cts, the Vandy 7 is a great sounding speaker given the right room and
accompanying equipment. And Vandersteen aren't standing still with
the release of the Vandy 7 Mk2 which by all reports is outstanding. I used
to own Marten Coltrane Alto's which used all-ceramic Accuton drivers top to
bottom, so I agree there are some advantages in using identical driver
materials. Interestingly, the Magico S7's use very similar materials in all
their drivers, incl: a diamond-coated beryllium tweeter (diamond being a
form of carbon), and hybrid carbon Nano-Tec/Nano-Graphene in the
midrange and bass drivers. From what i've read, the new drivers are a new
thing and breakthrough for Magico. Doubtless Magico want to stay ahead
of the game of manufacturers like Tidal, Wilson Benesch & Vandeesteen.
As you said, in the end the winners are we audiophiles.
The quality of the highs effect the midrange quite a bit....B&W's diamond tweeter in the 800 range allows for a more natural upper midrange, especially audible on strings.
Mel, I do like the new Magico's much better than before. No question for me. I have heard diamonds sound pretty good before too, but for some reason I have felt the carbon tweeters seem to be more natural. Again, just my ears.
Cts, I also aim for natural. Please refer to my post in the other thread. One can't forget that diamond is a form of carbon. And if you've read up on Magico's M Project, you would be aware that Magico made big strides forward with their latest MBD28 & MBD26 tweeters, and pioneering use of graphene in their midrange and bass drivers (which has resulted in cones which are 300% stiffer & 30% lighter than the previous generation). But the proof is in the pudding as they say & i'll be sure to post an update once my S7's are in situ!
What's happening is that like anything else the implementation of carbon or diamond is most important (like anything else). The true goal is true pistonic movement of the cone structure (that's the biggest part, but we all know there are so many other things they need like dissipation of back wave etc..). That's one place Richard Vandersteen has really worked on for years now. I think he was the pioneer of this. It's nice to see the other companies trying to accomplish the same. I would love to hear the new Magico's again, but I've just never been able to connect with them. I do like them MUCH better than the Wilsons, that's for sure. I have a very hard time connecting with most speakers. There are only a handful that I've been able to and most I can't afford, lol. I did like the new Proac D 30R's I heard, but for that price I still felt the Vandersteens were much cleaner, articulate with much more bass, lower bass and much tighter bass. The drum kit sounds like my old Gretch 6 ply's used to sound like. I'm actually very open minded as components sound differently all the time. Designers know what they are doing and they tune their gear to what they feel will sell best. Some of the old timers like Vandersteen and a few others will still turn their gear to what they feel is the most true to the music and not tip up the highs a spec or add some mid bass bloom. I really respect those designers a ton and thank them.
Cts, most impressive. From the sounds of things Vandersteen make the most natural sounding speakers bar none..
Mel, really? Bar none? Please show me where I've ever said bar none or anything remotely like that? I have always said we listen differently. You go on and on about telling me how great Magico's are and I've listened to them because you keep going on about them. Not for me, but as I've always said and just posted elsewhere on another thread you are also posting on, that they just aren't for me. I even said your Magico's are better for me, but they don't do it for me.
I've been nothing but civilized, kind and polite in my posts. I've never said that Vandersteens are for everyone. Nothing is mel.

Sorry that I've touched a nerve here. That's never been my intention. I don't have filters and that's polarizing, but I can't help it as I do have cognitive issues with MS, so I post what's in my head. You aren' the first person I've polarize and you won't be the last. Sorry though as my intent is to have fun and share.
Cts, I should talk much less about Magico, perhaps less about Vandersteen also. I still plan to listen to some Vandy's so I can see evaluate their strengths. Richard Vandersteen is an interesting guy, so i'm sure they wouldn't fail to impress.
Mel, I really am happy that you love your Magico's. I really am. I'm not trying to change your mind. Never have been and never will.

On to the thread which is good. Like anything else it's implementation. Most I know have loved carbon drivers in some form. Many love diamond or BE drivers. I do think that materials have specific sounds, however we've all heard various materials that we say we don't like but when implemented properly, can sound very good.
Cts, no foul. You're one of the good guys on here & a knowledgeable chap.

I think what you described sounds like fine dining. Something about the art of combining all those elements into a good dish ;)
mel, thanks. I think you get me a bit. I come off as a prick at time possibly. I know what I personally enjoy and what I don't. Funny as cooking is another hobby of mine and you nailed it. Heck, I speak with a few of the very well known posters on here and we all have similar ears, but not quite the same. It's fun to go listen to their systems or have them come listen to mine. It's rare that we ever get anyone to agree on everything. That's part of the fun.
What about speaker drivers made out of Zylon?.. that is said to be better than Beryllium or Diamond.. {Sound Wise}!!

Your be hearing more about this next year sometime!..
Hifi, who said that? From what I can see only a couple of manufacturers
are using that material in the car audio industry. Secondly, Zylon has been
around since the 80's. If it is so good, why aren't any high end speaker
manufacturers using that material 30 years later? Also can you comment
on the specific weight, strength & gravity of Zylon vs Diamond, beryllium &
diamond-coated beryllium?

I can say Magico's new hybrid Nano-Graphene/carbon Nano-tec
diaphragms are almost 30% light and 300% stiffer than the previous
generation. So that company are not standing still.
Melbguy1, Yamaha is saying this and everybody will find out when they bring their new Yamaha NS 5000's on the market at the end of July, 2016!.. I can't wait until some of the "magazine reviewers" review these speakers!!..

Here's some pictures of the inside of these can ENLARGE these PICTURES below also so you get a closer look!..

These speakers will cost around $12K U.S.A. and all three speaker drivers are made of Zylon too!..
Yamaha is not high end.
Melbguy1, The "working man" will disagree with that statement ABOVE!..
I think the new ribbontweeter of the outcomming Monitor Audio Platinum will outperfrom both. I can explain why.

The new ribbontweeter is bigger and wider. First of all it is opener than both the diamond and beryllium tweeter. I compared the Platinum with the diamond D2 and the stage of the Platinum is wider and deeper. Beside this the individual focus of voices and instruments is sharper.

The new one will have a lot more authority than the Platinum at this moment. We do a lot of research these days in sound&vision.

With the ribbontweeter you can create a holographic stage to die for. This is not possible with both of these tweeters. The stage is not only deeper and wider, but it can even create more space in front of the speakers.

I give an example: Miles Davis/Kinf of Blue. The piano on the right site owns the shape of a piano. The same about the drums on the right. It plays fully free beside and in front of the speakers. Also the presentation of the height of the cymbals is more impressive.
Everything Yamaha makes is not high end BUT Yamaha does make high end gear.
Audio is all about comparing and shootout. I will ask for a shootout in the beginning of 2016. I will invite B&W and Focal. I hope they will accept the invitation.
Bo, you should get the Magico's and Vandersteens in that shootout. Carbon needs to be in this discussion. Again, we all know it's not totally about the material, it's about the implementation AND material. Carbon is very special in audio right now and depending on WHICH carbon fiber you are using, you will hear something different. There are so many new technologies that designers can use these days, that they are really making huge strides. Probably more than at any other time in audio history. Most older speaker technologies just don't sound as good as the new ones implemented properly. Regardless of WHAT type of sound we each like, all of us seem to love our newer speakers made from diamond, beryllium or carbon fiber. Someone moved the cheese and the landscape is changing with it.
Another example: Many highend speakers use Thiel&Partner ceramic units. I sold Avalon for over 6 years if time, even to some of my best friends.

These speakers have in common that they often can create a wide and deep stage. But......when you listen to intimate acoustic concerts in real you will hear how small voices and instruments are in proportion. I call it intimate sound.

When you play this kind of music on speakers with Thiel&Partner units you will hear that instruments and voices become bigger than in real.

The other thing you often audition is that with a cello or double bass it colours it a little. I call this: a mjeah. It makes these instruments sounds thicker.

In the beginning of this year we visited an audio show and many new speakers overthere used paper. I thought; What the F....It reminds me of audio when I started in 1998.

The demos were so poor, these days we have much better materials. I also don't understand why B&W is using paper in some of their speakers these days.

Compared to 1998 when I started in audio, the quality of materials has improved a lot. Often they still use older materials.
Schubert,,These Yamaha NS-5000's sound D$MN G$$D!...even through headphones!! Even on YouTube!! Sounds like High-End to my ears!! @@@@ @@@@@

And they have even more YouTube Videos on these All New Yamaha NS-5000's !...Man..I love this hobby!! Thank You Yamaha!!
I so enjoy "the older material" Skaaning midrange drivers used in my loudspeakers. I suspect (with tongue firmly in cheek) the implementation must overcome their polypropylene pedigree.

Keeping to topic, my loudspeakers implement Accuton diamond tweeters (BD30). Years back I owned loudspeakers using the Accuton BD20. To me, the Accuton diamond membrane sonic character doesn't stand out in the sense of immediately calling attention to itself in a "oh, wow!" kind of way. Given the cost, my initial expectation was that it would. It's positive attributes are, really, quite subtle. It is as if the treble content of music simply flows. Complex treble content from multiple instruments retains the separateness of the individual instruments to an extent I've not heard with ceramic, ribbon, or soft dome tweeters. Clarity of ceramic and ribbons, but with an ease that is hard to describe.

I've never heard loudspeakers with beryllium tweeters, so cannot offer an opinion on similarities/differences versus diamond membrane.
My brothers now retired Bozak B313's had dual paper tweeters strapped over the 12" woofers...they were sweet and sexy and full of realistic treble. Application and execution matter more, plus they had massive magnet structures behind them. The crossover was all discrete components and weighed about 15lbs.
I love the Be drivers in the Paradigm sig s8 v2 but I kind of want to move away from it since I worry if it blows 1 day the Be will become a dust in the air.

Anyone like tweeters other than Be or ribbons ?
When tweeters “blow”, its their voice coil that fries to an open circuit. Never seen any tweeter explode. 
When tweeters “blow”, its their voice coil that fries to an open circuit. Never seen any tweeter diaphragm explode. 
Smod, if you read this thread fully, we are taking bout a few other materials.  I have personally enjoyed the Vandersteen Quatro CT's for awhile now.  As we have mentioned, it's all about implementation.  A great designer can get any of these to sound decent, but for me, nothing has beaten the Vandersteen Carbon drivers yet.  I love Tidal, Rockport and many others, so it's not me just being a fan boy.  I'm not a Wilson or Magico or B&W fan.  It's often the way they voice them.  Too forward or too laid back are sounds I can't fall for.  This is just me and what I love.  I need micro and macro detail. It's where the emotion is.  Too many speakers are fast and revealing, but can be fatiguing if not don't correctly. 

All designers have to make compromises, regardless of cost.  That goes for the half million dollar speakers that are out there.  Too many get wrapped up in 'what is the best material etc..', but there isn't any.  It's what certain designers have chosen to achieve what they want.  We all have favorite designers who's products we usually love.
Beryllium is now being used for midrange drivers. 
beryllium vs diamond

I don’t want to burst everyone’s Beryllium/Diamond bubble
These are just "dust coatings" adhered over the top of main diaphragm (usually polyprop) to aid in stiffening, trouble is they add mass to it also. I found this out when I saw a scratch on the Beryllium and saw milky clear plastic underneath on a pair of Yamaha 1000X

The only one I know of that used pure Beryillium forged/spun cones was one Yamaha speaker, the impossible to find
All the other Yamaha’s were Beryllium deposited on polypropylene diaphragms.

Cheers George
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@ctsooner  those carbon tweeters on the Vandys look extremely appealing. You make it sound like they have the detail of a magico but the ease of a Wilson ?
@elizabeth I really want to hear magnepans. Any recommendation for a specific model? This is for small to moderate size rooms.
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Show the links then seeing your soooo animated about it.
I was more referring to Yamaha anyway, many models 1000 1000m 1000x 2000  2000x were a hoax saying they were Beryllium, when they were just vapour deposited coatings over plastic domes.