Regarding supertweeters

in my ears theres no doubt the supertweeters are worth the money(from what ive heard in some systems). but,- theyre supposed to take over for the standard tweeter where it cant go higher. what if the cd player and amplifier cant produce the over 20000hrtz "normal" range? ive only seen some cd players do this, where it says from 15-100000hrtz or so. my cd player and amp says 20-20000. does that mean a supertweeter will not do any good in my system?

Showing 1 response by zaikesman

I'll admit I haven't investigated this subject from auditioning, but I'm skeptical about the trend for a few reasons:

>I know I can't hear anything above 20Khz, nor very much for maybe a 1/4 of an octave below that too. This doesn't mean that nobody can, but among audiophiles, who mostly tend to be middle-aged males, I don't think this limitation is uncommon.

>Even with LP's or hi-rez digital media, most of what's up above 20KHz is likely to consist of a high percentage of noise in my view.

>Most of the so-called supertweeter designs I've seen are dynamic domes with diameters on the order of 3/4". Therefore, by the time they're actually reproducing frequencies much above the range of standard tweeters, they will have become highly directional (beaming in their dispersive nature), as attested to by Eldartford's stat about the wavelength at 20KHz already being less than 3/4". Combined with the high degree of absorption at these frequencies likely to be encountered in the home listening environment, unless they're aimed right at the listener's ears, supertweeters won't contribute much to a speaker's power response as perceived at the listening position.

>My hunch is that what most people must hear with supertweeters is reinforcement of a speaker's 10-20KHz octave power response, since all of them seem to roll-in well within the regular tweeter's nominal passband. This may not be a bad thing, since many standard tweeters are rolling-off their power responses (becoming directional) in that range, but hearing such an effect hardly qualifies as proof of the ultrasonic rationale used to market supertweeters.

>I think the primary reason why extended ultrasonic response in a tweeter ("super" or not) should be viewed as desirable is because it implies A) more linear power response within the conventional audioband, and B) that the inevitable resonant peak is moved out farther beyond the audioband, where it's less likely to be excited by MC cartridges or hi-rez digital media (something which might cause audible intermodulation distortion back down into the audioband).