I don't think, that there is a "thing", called BETTER, between "metal", or "fabric", or "kevlar" or....? Most manufacturers experiment, with different parts and drivers, and tweeters, So, they may try one year, with metal dome and another with Kevlar or vice versa! Don't forget, it is NOT a rule, that the best of the parts will make, one component to sound good! So nobody, short of the manufacturers, shouldn't "judge" one or another, just on basis of material one part is made of!
My experience has proven more often then not that metal dome sounds great at reproducing cymbols, bells etc. but silk dome is better with the human voice and is less likely to accentuate sibilance. Since most music comes from CD players and they have a brittle sound already, silk domes and tubes help the sound more natural. You will give up some of the sizzle so personal taste rules as always.
I think that one thing we often disregard is what's behind the tweeter. By that I mean the crossover and wire. That being said, I tend to prefer the sound of a good fabric dome tweeter. Most of my favorite speakers use fabric domes. Then again, two speakers I really like, Triangle and Vandersteen use metal domes, so there you go. But it's tough to find fault with the tweeters from Dynaudio, Morel, Scan Speak, and Vifa. I feel soft domes don't drive most to complain of brightness. And they allow me to use silver wire, and highlight its strengths.
At this year's CES, quite a few of the manufactuers of ultra high end, standard tweeter speaker configurations seemed to have had one thing in common..the use of the Vifa Revelator. This dome is not metal, nor an exotic ribbon, yet it is the current benchmark by these companies for their flagship models. Also silk dome tweeters from companies like Vifa and Morel are prefered by all of my audiophile buddies that design, or consult on speaker designs. Beware though! What is true today, could change tommorrow!..(10 years ago, metal domes were all the rage)
Does anyone have any experience with the Focal titanium tweeters?
I absolutely HATE the Focal tweeters. Be they Ti, TiO2, or Kevlar. To me, they are the most irritating things I have EVER listened to. They even make EL34 based tube amps shrill to my ears(and THAT is an accomplishment!). Of course, others like them. Just look at the highly regarded speakers that use them. And before anyone says I am anti-Focal, I LOVE their mids, woofers, and accessories(caps, connectors, wire, etc.).
I concur with Trelja on Focal. My opinion is, that it doesn't matter how any of us feel on this, it's how Bohemian feels, after he learns to listen for himself.
Having said the above, I'll step back from it somewhat to clarify my own expereinces and thoughts......For one thing, the Revelator is a Scanspeak, not a Vifa. I own a pair, and feel that they have the best combination of speed, smoothness, and dynamic contrast. That said, the Morel MDT 33 is nearly as good overall, is more dynamic (much stronger motor with only a tad more mms)), and costs much less (I own a pair of those too). And having said that, the Vifa top of the line (used in the large Sony audiophile series, and by Joseph Audio for a time), are an extremely good value, as well...................For me to personally compare the Revelators with, say, the Focal tweeters in the Watt Puppy 5.1 that I heard: I would say that the Focals sound like a sparklingly fast/detailed metal dome tweeter that can smooth out somewhat, at longer listening distances...and the Revelator sounds like no tweeter at all. Sounds like the best full range esl panels, but without the plastic overhang evident in the decay of fast transients that cannot be avoided with any esl panel IMHO, WHEN played at louder levels. A full range esl would likely have the edge over any dome speaker at very quiet levels, but with the Revelator, that edge could be so small that you'd never miss it, IMHO. That is, IF you have a room that is acoustically treated correctly. If you don't, it matters much less what type of speaker you choose, IMO, since you won't be getting the most out of it anyway.
Excellent points Carl. My favorite tweeters mirror yours. ScanSpeak(esp. Revelator), Dynaudio, Morel, Seas, and Vifa. Most of Morel products are replicas of Dynaudio, but with much lower prices.
I own speakers that utilize(modified) Focal kevlar tweeter! And i found no evidence of , complaints, mentioned above! However, the company that build this speaker, no longer uses this teeeter model., but, the "Relevator" 9300! The users found this tweeter to be somewhat "thinner" sounding, and is suggested to be "toned" down, by additional resistor of aprox. 1/2 ohm! The extended highs, of the Relavator, you'll find, it is not the greatest thing, in conjugtion with some amps. Also, my favorite speakers from Tyler Acoustics (which i think are as good as Proac's, or better)exusively uses the "Relevators"! In addition, what tweeter B@W uses? Metal, of course!
Trelja, i forgot to ask you! Do you have Stereophile vol.18 no12? I am interested in the article about Discovery 123 cable. Thanks! Cmandantemarcos@hotmail.com
i've heard both dynaudio tweeters, & scan-speak tweeters, & think they can make exceptional sound. that said, i also love the focal titanium inwerted-dome tweeters in my current meret re's. i've never heard any shrill irritating sound from these speakers. i also like the sound of jm-lab's spendy utopia-series speakers, which use iterations of these drivers. no shrill irritating noises here either, imho. i guess a lot of it has to do w/the designer's implementation, and the rest of a system's electronics. regards, doug
Carl, thanks for the correction on my Revelator comment. These are made by Scanspeak, not Vifa. My audiophile speaker designers buddies are also very fond of the Morel MDT33. It is hard to believe that there is actually a concensous, in regard to who makes "good" tweeters.
You're welcome. I think the MDT 33 is the most underrated dome tweeter in the industry. I compared it directly with the Dynaudio Esotar T330D, and feel that the Morel is better in some ways, is smoother, where the Esotar had a "steely" quality that turned aggressive at higher playback. It was of course a tad more dynamic, but in light of the fact that it didn't seem better overall to the MDT-33, I feel it represents a poor value (since it costs vastly more than the MDT-33). However, I do like the Esotar M560D dome midrange very much, and will be using mine with the MDT-33 in a 3 1/2 way project.
Eldragon, sorry, but I do not have that issue. I only have the January issue of that year. But, if you ever need an issue, be sure to check with me. My collection is a bit sparse from 1995 - 1998(I have "here and there" issues). But, I picked my subscription back up in 1999. Hate the way they sometimes fail to send an issue. HAVE to keep a subscription as long I am keeping up with the hobby. Despite what many say, it is a must read. Introducing me to many brands, perspectives, products. And at $12, how can I get hurt? Jonathan Scull SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yes indeed on the J10 thing, he needs to go back to wine tasting...Or maybe he could write for Cosmopolitan.
Thanks Trelja!I'll give Discovery a try anyway. You guys are right, but for the $ it is worth it! However, i also enjoy (at the local bookstore) the Inner Ear (Canadian) and British HiFi, beautifuly done, pricey mag.
I enjoy those too, and I love the way TIER doesn't do reviews with only one reviewer, they ALL listen to the product being tried. I'm about to try Discovery Essence, I'll e-mail you my thoughts when I finish trying it, of you're interested.
Sure, Carl! However, Discovery 123, is one "level" lower than the "essence". But, something to think about it in the future!