Metal Dome tweeters?

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  • Brian Bunge
    Super Senior Member
    • Nov 2001
    • 1389

    Metal Dome tweeters?

    I guess this is really a question for Thomas or Jon but everyone else feel free to join in.

    OK, my question is this, are there any good quality metal dome tweeters (aluminum, titanium, etc.) that you guys would recommend? My only real experience with them has been the MB Quart tweeters used in car audio but I've always loved the sound. I like my cymbals to sound like cymbals. And frankly, while all the fancy shmancy audiophile speakers are amazing to listen to, I really like to rock.

    I'm interested in building my own speakers now that I might actually be able to do my own measurements and want to start with a good quality tweeter. I've heard good things about the Vifa metal domes but really don't know what else is out there.

    Also, something that's easy to work with would be good since I'm not anywhere near Poobah status yet!

    Brian
  • ThomasW
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 10933

    #2
    The current poobah 'approved' metal dome is the Scan-Speak D2904/9800 8O

    We'll be cranking out a new M8aMKV and a Arvo 'Ulta' using this tweeter. It's the only metal dome that can be XO'ed as low as the Vifa XT25




    theAudioWorx
    Klone-Audio

    IB subwoofer FAQ page


    "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Comment

    • RAW
      Junior Member
      • Apr 2003
      • 23

      #3
      Brian I have used the D25 and D26 SG with happy customers each time.
      I too think the metal sounds better on metels.
      Like in the Matrix when he walks in the tower entry and all the shells falling on the floor they ring and ring very detailed.
      In the Soft domes I have listened to you just loose that bit of upper octave brightness you and I like.
      Another is the LPG 26 is to be a good one as well.I have not used it.

      Al




      3" never too small
      Got love exotic veneer !

      Comment

      • Brian Bunge
        Super Senior Member
        • Nov 2001
        • 1389

        #4
        Thomas,

        Holy Schnikeys! Even with my PE discount that bad boy is over $150! Any recommendations for someone a little more budget minded? Like say under $50?

        Al,

        The D25 may have to suffice. I'm certainly not able to spend $150+ on Thomas' recommendation right now. Hell, for the price I'm tempted to try out the PE metal dome tweeter but it appears to have a nasty resonance peak around 15KHz.

        Brian

        Comment

        • ThomasW
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 10933

          #5
          Brian

          Next more 'reasonable' choice is of course the Focal TC120, XO'ed at 1.5K with one of Jon's elliptical filter designs.




          theAudioWorx
          Klone-Audio

          IB subwoofer FAQ page


          "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

          Comment

          • Hank
            Super Senior Member
            • Jul 2002
            • 1345

            #6
            Brian, I thought I taught you some class when you came to Austin :roll:
            Well, Mr. Metallica, the Focal is the one that came to mind as being a possibility. That series has been around quite a while and has undergone quite a bit of development. At your advancing age, are you sure you can hear past 16kHz? (Don't go comparing ages, now.)

            Comment

            • Brian Bunge
              Super Senior Member
              • Nov 2001
              • 1389

              #7
              Hank,

              I'm like school on Saturday: No Class! :LOL:

              Actually, last time I checked with a test disk I pretty much didn't hear anything past 17KHz. But I think the difference I hear in most tweeters is possibly some tonality. If you look at the response graph for Danny's tweeters they're flat all the way out to 20KHz but they're not quite as crisp sounding as my Quart tweets. They're very close though. I was surprised when listening to the A/V-2's and a pair of Paradigm Studio 100's in the same room that the difference in sound wasn't huge. The 100's obviously went lower and had slightly crisper highs but overall they sounded very similar for such different designs.

              BTW, while we're talking about differences in tweeters, what is the range of the audible spectrum that is usually emphasized when most people consider a speaker to be bright? My thinking is that it's around 10KHz but I could be way off base.

              Hell, maybe I just need to build the M8a/Vifa combo and be done with it! Didn't you guys design an MTM version as well? IIRC, it was sealed but I think I'd prefer ported.

              Anyway, as I said before, all of the airy highs and pinpoint imaging etc. are all nice, but at the end of the day it's about dynamics for me. So I think I'd prefer a very dynamic tower but line arrays are out of the question for now.

              Brian

              Comment

              • JonMarsh
                Mad Max Moderator
                • Aug 2000
                • 15315

                #8
                Well, Thomas spilled the beans quite adequately.

                Since the MB tweeters are off the market, there isn't a "great" budget metal tweeter I'm enthused about. Because of my preference to crossover from a midbass before you get into the first cone mode, this usually dictates lowish crossover points. The TC120 Focal is OK from 2.5 kHz with a 4th order L-R, and 1.5-1.8 kHz with an 8th order elliptic emulating an 8th order L-R.

                The ScanSpeak goes low, has a very linear motor, and isn't cheap. My labor isn't cheap either, so why build a speaker with a 2nd rate tweeter, when for an "adder" equivalent to the price for dinner for two at good restaurant, I can have something fairly first rate (BTW, if someone asked me my recommendation for a soft dome tweeter, it would be the Millenium Excel from Seas- about the same money). I build systems to be used for years- note- I think the Scanspeak is a better all around tweeter than the Accuton C23/6, which I've also used, and which is about $175 each.

                Now, if you want a "cheap" tweeter, in metal, and you have a midrange/midbass which can tolerate a higher crossover point, you could try the Seas H1147, for example, which is sort of an improved H883. But you have to use a crossover point of 3 kHz or above, with steep slopes. Better suited to work with a dome mid than a cone driver, if you want to stay within the pistonic range of the cone. And there's no comparing the sound of the TC120 against the Seas aluminum domes (well, there is, we've done it, rather prefer the Focal- I think the TC120 is the best sub $100 tweeter available, but it's mercilessly revealing of mediocre solid state electronics and sources).

                If I was going to crossover in the 2200-2500 range with steep slopes, I'd also consider an Arum Cantus G2 ribbon (former called ESG2). I may use the round plate version in the SLAMM upgrade. It's an intriguing thought...

                ~Jon




                Earth First!
                _______________________________
                We'll screw up the other planets later....
                the AudioWorx
                Natalie P
                M8ta
                Modula Neo DCC
                Modula MT XE
                Modula Xtreme
                Isiris
                Wavecor Ardent

                SMJ
                Minerva Monitor
                Calliope
                Ardent D

                In Development...
                Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                Obi-Wan
                Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                Modula PWB
                Calliope CC Supreme
                Natalie P Ultra
                Natalie P Supreme
                Janus BP1 Sub


                Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                Comment

                • Brian Bunge
                  Super Senior Member
                  • Nov 2001
                  • 1389

                  #9
                  OK Jon,

                  So assuming I don't want to spend quite that much for a metal dome tweeter, what do you say to a ported MTM version of the M8a/Vifa XT combo? If we go for the same alignment as your towers I'd need roughly a 128L enclosure, which is a bit on the largish side.

                  Would I be better off with just a TM vented version and then cross over to my Tumult somewhere between 40-60Hz or do the MTM sealed enclosure with the same XO point?

                  Brian

                  Comment

                  • Dennis H
                    Ultra Senior Member
                    • Aug 2002
                    • 3798

                    #10
                    If I was going to crossover in the 2200-2500 range with steep slopes, I'd also consider an Arum Cantus G2 ribbon (former called ESG2).
                    Jon, what's your first choice for a mid to cross around there?

                    Comment

                    • ThomasW
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 10933

                      #11
                      Dennis

                      The midrange of choice used to be the 2"MB Quart, unfortunately it too is discontinued. Not sure what to use now.....

                      Brian

                      This is a righteous sounding system: Tibor's sealed MTM's


                      If I had need for a relatively small footprint minitower I'd whip up a pair of these in a heartbeat.




                      theAudioWorx
                      Klone-Audio

                      IB subwoofer FAQ page


                      "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                      Comment

                      • Dennis H
                        Ultra Senior Member
                        • Aug 2002
                        • 3798

                        #12
                        About "bright".....

                        Gordon Holt's audio glossary: http://www.stereophile.com/fullarchives.cgi?50

                        bright, brilliant
                        The most often misused terms in audio, these describe the degree to which reproduced sound has a hard, crisp edge to it. Brightness relates to the energy content in the 4kHz-8kHz band. It is not related to output in the extreme-high-frequency range. All live sound has brightness; it is a problem only when it is excessive.
                        Also note that, according to Holt, "bright" is not the opposite of "warm," although many people use them that way.

                        dark
                        A warm, mellow, excessively rich quality in reproduced sound. The audible effect of a frequency response which is clockwise-tilted across the entire range, so that output diminishes with increasing frequency. Compare "light."

                        warm
                        The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.

                        Comment

                        • JonMarsh
                          Mad Max Moderator
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 15315

                          #13
                          Re the MTM concept, the ta tower version is "optimum" for bass extension- but you're right, just doubling it would be pretty large. OTOH, doubling the M8 enclosure, which would result in ~85-90 L, isn't so bad - but the low bass shelves down a little bit, and is tuned to 32 Hz, not in the 20's. I'd consider going that route, with a sub crossed in at 60-75 Hz, if cabinet size is a factor. Power handling is very good, what with dual 8's and the ported configuration. You still need the "mains" to hold up well down to 40 Hz, which certainly isn't a problem- however, if you go sealed, you need to pick the volume and Fb so the Q will hold up the low end- so they won't be overdamped (if in too large a box) they'll tend to have a shallow roll off starting at 100 Hz otherwise. Now, you can compensate a bit by room placement (to lift the sub 100 Hz mid bass), and if you want the speakers closer to the wall, then the sealed may be the way to go. You can try both- you can always stuff the port. With a 75Hz crossover, it wouldn't be too critical, but for 75 Hz, you really want a sub driver that holds up pretty flat to 125- most don't, unless you EQ them. I'd be inclined to go sealed and experiment with room placement. The AudioXpress article on the M8 8" two way goes into this topic somewhat in the first section, it might be helpful.

                          Remember, my M8ta is ultimately intended for my bedroom system, running full range without a sub, but at relatively moderate levels. It's a reasonble tradeoff for that, apart from the hideous amount of labor it takes to build!



                          Re mids, it depends on what you mean.... if it's "midwoofer" you have in mind, I still don't think there's anything better than the Seas W18 7" Excel. They go as high without breakup modes as most 5" drivers, but without the efficiency, Sd, and Xmax penalty. Their only drawback is the price. Which is why I've been a dabbler with HiVi drivers. Since the cast frame version M6a isn't available through PE now, I'll probably bite the bullet and go with the Excels for the SLAMM upgrade. (these are my "party" speakers

                          For dome mids, the Accuton C44 is pretty nice, other than somewhat lower efficiency then I'd like. Again, price is a problem.

                          I'm not really in favor of conventional three way systems, with a mid cut in somewhere in the 400-800 Hz region. I've built quite a few, but the crossovers are quite a bear to develope and build, and getting voice really right is pretty tough. I've come to like three way configurations more like the Wilson speakers, which are more like high performance two ways (optimized more towards the midrange with a "wide band sub". The Watt Puppy combo, the Sophia, and the X1 SLAMM all epitmize this approach. These all use an aymmetrical crossover for the woofer to midwoofer transistion, acoutical third order high pass, to first order low pass, and the low woofer is used to provide baffle step compensation for the midwoofer.




                          Earth First!
                          _______________________________
                          We'll screw up the other planets later....
                          the AudioWorx
                          Natalie P
                          M8ta
                          Modula Neo DCC
                          Modula MT XE
                          Modula Xtreme
                          Isiris
                          Wavecor Ardent

                          SMJ
                          Minerva Monitor
                          Calliope
                          Ardent D

                          In Development...
                          Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                          Obi-Wan
                          Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                          Modula PWB
                          Calliope CC Supreme
                          Natalie P Ultra
                          Natalie P Supreme
                          Janus BP1 Sub


                          Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                          Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                          Comment

                          • Brian Bunge
                            Super Senior Member
                            • Nov 2001
                            • 1389

                            #14
                            Thomas,

                            Can you give me specifics on these; dimensions, alignment, etc.? If this is some of the stuff that can't be posted openly due to the AudioXpress article feel free to email me at bbunge@bellsouth.net.

                            Thanks,

                            Brian

                            Comment

                            • JonMarsh
                              Mad Max Moderator
                              • Aug 2000
                              • 15315

                              #15
                              There shouldn't be any problem with Tom providing the info on Tibor's system, considering all the differences- he just may have a little delay laying his hands on it, with all the remodeling work he's been doing this year!

                              :-y




                              Earth First!
                              _______________________________
                              We'll screw up the other planets later....
                              the AudioWorx
                              Natalie P
                              M8ta
                              Modula Neo DCC
                              Modula MT XE
                              Modula Xtreme
                              Isiris
                              Wavecor Ardent

                              SMJ
                              Minerva Monitor
                              Calliope
                              Ardent D

                              In Development...
                              Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                              Obi-Wan
                              Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                              Modula PWB
                              Calliope CC Supreme
                              Natalie P Ultra
                              Natalie P Supreme
                              Janus BP1 Sub


                              Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                              Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                              Comment

                              • Brian Bunge
                                Super Senior Member
                                • Nov 2001
                                • 1389

                                #16
                                John,

                                Looks like we replied at the same time. So it sounds like for my situation sealed would probably be the way to go. Anything I build will have the back of the enclosure within 12-18" from the back wall so I think sealed is probably best. from what you're saying. I really like good midbass punch so dual M8a's sealed might be for me. I've got a big living room (cathedral ceiling and very open floor plan) so midbass really gets sucked up compared to the same speakers in a room with 8' ceilings.

                                Dammit, I wish I knew where my next issue was. I may have to call and see if I've expired!

                                Brian

                                Comment

                                • Mark K
                                  Senior Member
                                  • Feb 2002
                                  • 388

                                  #17
                                  Jon,

                                  How do you think the Hales metal dome compares with the SS9800?
                                  www.audioheuristics.org

                                  Comment

                                  • JonMarsh
                                    Mad Max Moderator
                                    • Aug 2000
                                    • 15315

                                    #18
                                    If you put some Dr. Scholls Lambs wool padding in the pole piece vent and rear chamber, I think the Hales is quite good in comparison- especially considering the price. Without the lambs wool, it's a little rough in the 2-4 kHz area.

                                    Don't worry, I have a long and troubled history of tinkering with dome tweeters and mids... since the 80's- this aberration is nothing new.

                                    ~Jon




                                    Earth First!
                                    _______________________________
                                    We'll screw up the other planets later....
                                    the AudioWorx
                                    Natalie P
                                    M8ta
                                    Modula Neo DCC
                                    Modula MT XE
                                    Modula Xtreme
                                    Isiris
                                    Wavecor Ardent

                                    SMJ
                                    Minerva Monitor
                                    Calliope
                                    Ardent D

                                    In Development...
                                    Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                                    Obi-Wan
                                    Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                                    Modula PWB
                                    Calliope CC Supreme
                                    Natalie P Ultra
                                    Natalie P Supreme
                                    Janus BP1 Sub


                                    Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                                    Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                                    Comment

                                    • ThomasW
                                      Moderator Emeritus
                                      • Aug 2000
                                      • 10933

                                      #19
                                      Brian

                                      We started building Tibor's 16 months ago and they were designed on a napkin to satisify the requirements of the WAF. The napkin is long lost.

                                      Next time I talk to him I'll have him get the outside dimensions. All the lumber is 1.5" thick except for the plinth which is 3 layers of 3/4" MDF.

                                      Front baffle driver layout is the same as for the Arvo Pärt baffle

                                      They were designed to place the tweeter at ear height (when seated) with the speaker being slightly tipped back.

                                      The XO's are HERE

                                      More pictures are HERE




                                      theAudioWorx
                                      Klone-Audio

                                      IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                      "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                      Comment

                                      • Brian Bunge
                                        Super Senior Member
                                        • Nov 2001
                                        • 1389

                                        #20
                                        Thanks Thomas.

                                        It looks like from the pictures that the baffle width is around 12". Is that about right? I assume height and depth aren't really big issues as long as you have the right internal airspace for the Q you want, right?

                                        Comment

                                        • Dennis H
                                          Ultra Senior Member
                                          • Aug 2002
                                          • 3798

                                          #21
                                          Thanks, Thomas. The schematics are a bit confusing. Am I correct that in the terminal blocks (j2, j3 and j4), the lines connecting, for example 1a, 2a, 3a and 4a do not represent circuit connections and those 4 connections are isolated from each other? Okay, yeah, now that I look closer, those lines are a slightly different color. I just want to make sure I understand what I'm looking at.

                                          Comment

                                          • ThomasW
                                            Moderator Emeritus
                                            • Aug 2000
                                            • 10933

                                            #22
                                            Brian

                                            We may didn't target any certain "Q". The box was just dimensioned to have the proper width. Then the depth was adjusted maximize the box size for the needed height. It was just big enough for the XO components to fit between the plinth and the lower woofer.

                                            You can use any height and depth you want to get your desired tuning. For Tibor's he needed the smallest box possible so as to make his wife happy.

                                            Dennis

                                            Look at the assembled XO pics HERE
                                            Note that there are wiring errors elsewhere in these units which is why I didn't show them before, but the terminal blocks are wired correctly




                                            theAudioWorx
                                            Klone-Audio

                                            IB subwoofer FAQ page


                                            "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                                            Comment

                                            • Brian Bunge
                                              Super Senior Member
                                              • Nov 2001
                                              • 1389

                                              #23
                                              Thomas,

                                              OK, thanks. Height and depth won't be issues for me but width may be. I guess it shouldn't because my current "stereo" subs are 15" wide with my monitors sitting on top, but I'm thinking 10-12" will probably be my max width.

                                              Brian

                                              Comment

                                              • Dennis H
                                                Ultra Senior Member
                                                • Aug 2002
                                                • 3798

                                                #24
                                                Thanks Thomas. I took the liberty of cleaning up one of the connector blocks in Paintshop so nobody else (besides me ) gets confused.

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