Not when the tweeters sound like butt! Case in point for me are the older Thiel speakers.
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I think that its because tweeters handle what we thought was the majority of the range. First off, I thought I could hear to 20k because I’m still young. Well I can barely hear to 15k; maybe I’m not so young anymore too thats a different conversation.
So yeah, if we think we can hear to 20k, and tweeters are crossed over at 3.5k then that’s 16.5k of a 20k range...
I think I understand where Erik is coming from. In terms of how much energy a loudspeaker puts out, typically relatively little is actually delivered by the tweeter. In terms of wattage, a typical tweeter might see 5% to 15% of the wattage that the amplifier puts our, right in the ballpark of what Erik said.
But imo the tweeter’s contribution to sound quality is disproportionately large relative to its contribution sound quantity.
My understanding, based on the research of psychoacoustician David Griesinger, is that the ear gets most of its information from sounds in the 700 Hz to 7 kHz region.
The middle of that region is about 2.2kHz, and the ear’s sensitivity peaks in the 3-4 kHz ballpark. So imo a lot of important stuff happens in the range that tweeters usually cover. Also there is typically a crossover somewhere in this general ballpark, and getting that crossover right matters more than which tweeter is used.
Personally I’m MUCH more interested in how well the midwoofer and tweeter work TOGETHER than in the solo performance of either. In other words, the overall system design is what matters... but system design doesn’t make for enticing ad copy like tweeter exotica does.
Imo, ime, ymmv, etc.
I agree with everything Duke said. Kind of to add to my original thesis, how many times have discussions about entirely different speakers been focused on their tweeters? Is it Be? Diamond? Ceramic? AMT?
It’s as if the tweeter itself defined the quality of the entire speaker, and goodness knows the cost on the high end can be exorbitant for such little devices!
The tweeter gives everything its definition, presence, air and dimensionality. Texture, tone, instrument voicing and placement are all defined by the tweeter. Maggie’s ribbon and B&W’s Diamonds excel in these areas...the tone deaf or the high frequency challenged need not agree. Worst tweeter designs I’ve heard are ribbons...sand paper comes to mind!
Nice job on the new tweeter thread. grin.
I cannot imagine ever leaving the sealed ribbon tweeters in my speakers. The degree of incredible resolution and detail with no pain is astounding. They are so much better in every way than the Esotar II tweeters were to my ears, and I'd loved the Esotar until then.
I want it all in a speaker but if the tweeter isn't detailed and listenable then the speaker is out. I tried so hard but B&W diamonds-ouch to my ears over the long listen. I did love my old Martin Logan SL3s for transparency but their high frequencies fell away quicker, and could bite with the wrong amp.
Personally I’m MUCH more interested in how well the midwoofer and tweeter work TOGETHER than in the solo performance of either.A+++. I heard another speaker designer put it this way. The tweeter illuminates the midrange. They must work correctly together. A pretty straightforward way to put it, but spot on IMO.
I can meet my goal with almost any good tweeters, or any relatively good speakers, but not with any room....😁
I can meet my goal with any relatively good amplifier or any good NOS dac, but not with a noisy electrical grid... 😁
The rest is interesting, but useless for my goal....
Sorry to spoil the thread.....
But i think any part of speakers count totally, assuming % to some part is like saying that man use only 10 % of his brain.... this is a populat saying that is not only false but non-sensical....Or like saying that some part of a car count for some % of the all working motor.... A working F1 motor depend of the millimeter adjusment of a single screw sometimes to win the race.....
A working design is not a sum of external parts associated with a %, a cooking recipe is tough.....What is the difference between a cooking recipe and a working design then ?
I prefer to reverse the saying, the most important audible part of a speaker design is the 5 % or 10% we can add, the more difficult part indeed ...
All that remind me of people speaking about frequencies, when they speak about their upgrade, more highs, more bass etc, warm sound, cold sound, etc; when what is important is timbre perception in audio...
By the way the contribution of tweeter to the musical instrument "natural" timbre perception is almost 100%...
Even if the tweeter contribute to some smaller part of the frequencies scale....
I am not a speaker designer tough.....😊 My opinion is only that an opinion....
In fact to be respectful to the OP i have absolutely no clue about the fact that we speak too much about tweeters or not....I dont even understand the opening paragraph, except the fact this is a speaker designer who said it....Anyway what this means?
Too much marketing around tweeters ?
Then it is like saying we speak too much about enclosure, because some marketing designer insist on it....
The more i write the more i realize that i dont understand.... I will mute myself.....
I’m with @audiokinesis on this one. Listen to a small jazz combo from up close (well ... wait until after the apocalypse). Pay attention to the cymbals and then go back to your hi-fi system.
99% of the tweeters out there (many of them in "aspirational" speaker designs) make a cymbal sound like uncorrelated noise.
It’s not only about triangles and cymbals however. These upper frequencies build the harmonic structure in other instruments, by (a) being low in distortion and (b) integrating well with the midrange. When you hear a gorgeous cello, it’s because of the upper frequencies being done right.
... Thom @ Galibier Design
Cymbal and vibraphone notes decays and "auras" are a revelatory and unforgiven fact about all the audio system and his mechanical,electrical and acoustical embeddings not only tweeters....
But NO natural instrumental timbre experience is possible with "tweeters" done wrong or not enough refined even on the other end with a well embedded and a well chosen audio system....
«Why do you perceive me so bad? It is your spectral envelope my dear»-Groucho Marx
Your point on overtones, i.e. harmonic reflections of base notes is fundamental for not only defining timbre but also location in the soundstage. To wit: look at the astounding effect of supertweeters such as Murata or Townshend on the overall perception of bass (!) and soundstage.
kingharold is correct. Music is in octaves. If one considers the 3.5 kHz crossover, in a two-way system, the woofer then covers 7-1/2 octaves! If there is a midrange speaker crossing over from a woofer at say 250 Hz, the woofer then covers about 4 octaves, while the midrange covers about 3.5 octaves before crossing over at 3.5 kHz.
As audiokinesis posts, the ear is most sensitive over 700 to 7000Hz range, with the most sensitive in the ~1-3 kHz zone. It then makes sense to have a very good midrange speaker crossed over below 500 Hz and maybe above 8 kHz, ballpark frequencies, so that the most sensitive hearing range has no crossovers at all, so no large phase transitions over that range.
This is a design problem with compromises galore.
my point was never that we should ignore the high frequencies, but that we talk about tweeters like they are the whole speaker.
Speaking of using a 3 way, I have to say I'm really intrigued by the idea of a woofer-assisted wide band. It's almost like a full-range, with a woofer added. Could be pretty interesting, but like Duke, I don't find crossovers to be nearly the villains they are made out to be.
Something noticed about my AMT's is that 'played ' without a bass speaker of any size sounds like strangling a small animal...and they go down to +/- 500hz.....
Matching the 'speed' of an AMT (or a ribbon, small planars, and the like) almost requires crossing over to a smaller woofer properly. Hand over the sub-150hz and below to a decent sized sub to 'move' substantial amounts of air about....
I've found that adding a smaller (and lighter) Walsh to my larger ones makes a substantial difference to their response and to the general perceived 'air' from them. 'Uncoupling' the 'top' fq radiator and using a smaller voice coil (contrary to the design of the F's and A's of the past) may be heresy but it does seem to work well.
(I'm not using a typical 'enclosure' with the larger Walsh unlike Ohms', new or old. Just a sealed tube; think 'acoustic suspension', to damp excursion...).
The Tweet Matters, basically. But what's 'below' completes the 'image'. ;)
Matching the 'speed' of an AMT (or a ribbon, small planars, and the like) almost requires crossing over to a smaller woofer properly.I have Mark & Daniels first iteration of their Ruby loudspeakers and this is basically what they did. Their AMT tweeter covers 900Hz on up and their 5" woofer handles the rest down to 45Hz. Terribly inefficient little beasts (82.5dB/2.83V/1m) but they sound fantastic driven properly.