I would suggest the Vifa XT25TG30 ring radiator!
You can get this at Solen or other speaker parts dealers
in the US.
You can get this at Solen or other speaker parts dealers
in the US.
There is no such thing as "best sounding" dome tweeter. It depends on what you want to do re design and what woofer/mid you pair it with and lastly, your taste. I have liked Scan Speak and Hiqphon. They each have several models and can be checked out at Madisound and Zalytron respectively.
Make sure you make a good match with your other driver(s) and a good decision re crossover design. Your question sounds like you want to pick out a tweeter alone as if it were going to play a tune by itself and that approach to driver selection is almost doomed to failure.
Might be good for you to look at the Madisound.com speaker building forum and check out what folks are matching over there. If this is your first diy speaker, and you want real good results(your not doing this as primarily a learning experience) you might consider copying an existing speaker design.
John K, Dave Ellis, Dennis Murphy and others all have well documented good sounding stuff over there.
Also, take a look at the Loudspeaker Driver Selection Guide (LDSG) website at www.snippets.org/ldsg/intro.php3 if you have not done so already.
If you know all this sorry for the lecture.
If I was going for the best, I'd get the Accuton D20-6. The diaphram is made of diamond. Claimed frequency response to 100K. Avalon uses it in the latest version of their Eidolon speaker (the Eidolon Diamond). They are available from Madisound.
Oh, there is one little problem. They sell for $2800.00 EACH. :-(
When you say dome do you mean both inverted and "regular." The Accuton's and Focals are inverted. What always confuses me a little is the disparity in pricing and how people talk about them. The Morel MDT-33 is only $120 and the Hiquphon's are only $90 but then the others jump to $200 for the Scan-speak revelator and some of Focal's. I don't know which one is better though. I've heard others say the Vifa ring radiator (at less than $100?) is good, but that the Scan-speak ring-radiator isn't that great??? (and several times the price). But the Morel is a good one. I only think the real differences kick in, where what's the best here isn't the best there is if you are crossing over really low, say 2,000hz. And then of course the 3/4" domes will have better off-axis response and freq. increases. The 3/4 are more suited for higher xover points where you can reap the benefits of good off axis, but if the xover is low then its back to the 1", especially if you're going to play loud. I think VMPS stated they feel one of the Focal tweets is the best in the electrodynamic transducer area. I'll leave that diamond Accuton alone.
My opinion is that you have to make a desicion on what type of speaker you are going to design. High spl, or simple 6db phase coherent, or a simple two way, the more speakers the more hassle in cabnet and crossover, plus trying to match the voicing of the drivers, kevlar, carbon fiber (notch filters up the wazzoo),aerogel, paper. I have been around a few home brews and I have some opinions. I think for High spl and wide sound stage you cannot beat the Focal ti-120tdx5 it's about $79,
however it has to be crossed over rather high and steep, at least 12db at 3500 (maybe 3000). Dynaudio makes great stuff but I don't think they sell to the public anymore. The morel MDT33 is nice but I am not in love with it. Ribbon tweeters can be amazing but integrating them with the midrange can be interesting especially in a two way design they are so fast and the midbass driver is usually pushed to extremes due to low frequency reproduction. I don't know, but take your time and research, research, research.
I am going to cause mass chaos now... have you ever considered a full range driver like the fostex Fe208sigma with a high spl 15" woofer covering maybe 50-500hz. There are some nice fulls on the market today.
There is one dome tweeter in this world that is completly over the top. It is the new Professional line Vifa Ring radiator with a housing machined from solid aluminum and triple tetraheron rear absorption chambers, manufactured with the best materials that Vifa could think of, and manufactured to the tightest tolerances that make their other top tweeters look like a joke.
With the above in mind, I THINK THAT THIS IS CURRENTLY THE BEST DOME TWEETER IN THE WORLD. It is built to such exacting standards that Vifa rejected virtually the entire first production run because of slight variences that they were trying to perfect.
It was recently tested by a speaker designer in europe and he declared it the fastest least colored tweeter he had ever heard (AND HE'S TRIED EVERYTHING!), and he said it was the first dome tweeter that had the speed of a ribbon, but with much better dispersion and dampening charactaristics i.e. the best of BOTH designs!
Now here's the kicker, the retail cost for these unique professional Vifa ring radiators are $1000.00 for a pair. For this price, it better be the best!
The standard Vifa ring radiator has an inherent resonance that keeps me from putting it anywhere near "the best tweeter" list.
If I had to pick a reaonably priced tweeter, that comes damn close to the best of the best domes (which in my opinion is the $1000.00 special pro version of the Ring radiator, that is WAY different from the standard version) I'd pick the Hiquphon dome without ferofluid. This dome is in my Avinci 1 speakers, and it's crushed every dome speaker that we've ever compared it to. It's so smoooooth and transparent sounding, that other dome tweeters sound crude, slow and disconected in comparison.
Ehider where can i take a look at these 3 tweeters..the vifa tweeter i saw had like a pointed siler tip on the tweet..looked like a very unusual design.....so your best pick is the HIQUPHON...i would love to A/B the hiq with the philips isodynamic RT8 "ribbon"..RT8's sell for $275/pr...how much are the HIQ?
Well if you have not already purchased a set. Perhaps my two cents can be of help. I have worked with some of very finest loudspeaker designers over the last 15 years or so. And they all chant the same prayer about dome tweeters. Now before I go on I must agree you need to first figure out your xover point and decide if your going to use it in a two way vs a three way. Why? because the chant I am referring to is that they all prefer a smaller 19mm or 3/4" dome vs the larger models, why? Because of dispersion all large dome tweeters beam as they go higher in frequency whereas the smaller siblings offer significantly better imaging!!! Now, whats the trade off, there always is, in this case typically its the fs of the tweeter larger 25-32mm tweets go lower hence potentially make easier xovers with midbass drivers. They also handle more power. So, how do you deal with issue, simple. Use a wave guide (not a horn but a shallow variation) a wave guide will need some mathamatics in order to optimize but its fairly simple. You can also buy them from MCM or Parts express or mill them right into your baffle. So what does it do? it lowers the resonance point of the tweeter and increases its sensitivity so now you can use them in a two way without having to worry so much about ragged response curves of the woofers. In a three way you can get increased SPL and better loading. Now which ones to buy, hmmm that depends on a few things mostly money, there are lots of great tweeters. My fave is Hiquphon, or if you can find real Dynaudio D21's, as well as others. If you want to experiment with waveguide Peerless of India makes on but its 26mm but still works much better then typical 25mm+ tweets due to the waveguide but I have not seen them for sale you will need to search for themhttp://www.peerlessaudio.com/products_details.asp?id=50. As well the other is SEAS new DXT based 25mm. But I firmly believe a 3/4" in a suitable waveguide would do much better. Hope this helps.