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In the Forum: Horn-Loaded Speakers
In the Thread: Tweeter for Vitavox S2. High-sensitively ribbons?
Post Subject: Tweeter for Vitavox S2. High-sensitively ribbons?Posted by Romy the Cat on: 10/19/2006

There are many threads on my site where I covered the subjects of Tweeter for my Macondo and particularly the moment of integration the tweeters with Vitavox S2 compression driver. Since a few months ago I altered my idea to use the EV T-350 tweeter as the “HF contra-resonator” and decided to use a tweeter that actually embraces the S2’s idiosyncrasy I have been looking for different tweeters inspirations.

After the new unsuccessful experiments I have yesterday first sign of a “might be” right direction. Bud Purvine of O-Netics in Everett, Washington sent me to experiment his modified version of Linaeum tweeter. They are very strange linear voice coil tweeter loaded in some kind of soft walls, plastic cylindrical horns. From any rational perspective it is very strange tweeter. Furthermore Bud climes that the tweeter sound like crap but he has know-how how applying his Pattern Methodology he could make this tweeter to sound very different. The Linaeum tweeters that I got from him were already “processed” by his inventions and I spent a couple days to listen them. I put two tweeters together, making them 12R and drove it at 12.5kHz crossover point.

The sound that I heard was very familiar to me – it was the crappy sound of SET driving a low sensitively load. I have observing this effect for years (in my own and in others systems) driving different low sensitively speakers with low powers SET amplifiers. If at MF and LF it juts do not sound good or clipping then at HF something even worst happen. Any SET loaded into a low sensitively tweeter sound limp, flaccid and feeble. It sounds insipid. It feels like a live subject in a state of extreme decomposition. It is syntactic. It is extremely unpleasant and it always screams to me about own ugliness… (Now you know how 90% of HF SET out there sounds to me considering that people drive with them 90dB sensitive speakers). In fact I would like to tell you something else that no one told you. A SET driving low sensitively tweeter destroys the tweeter. Do not ask me why, I do not know why but I have seen it again and again: a tweeter that sounds perfectly fine with high power amp, after being driven for a few weeks by a low poser SET, then sound worse when it switched back to the high power amps. Do not expect from me explanations of these phenomena… To me, it is a Bermuda Triangle of SET-tweeter integration…

Anyhow, recognizing that crappy sound that I got from Linaeum and Melquiades I have to admit that I did detected some promising things: sort of softness but the different kind of softness that my phenolic diaphragms did in EV T350. Then live-saver came… I put form my storage my Lamm M1.1; it is 110W, Class A that did so well on 72dB sensitive Celestion SL600. When I connected the 110W Lamm to drive the Linaeum tweeters and properly equalized them then I was very surprise how Linaeum sounded. It was insultingly clean and elegant with no typical “tweeters chic”. The most surprising that it was a superbly match for Vitavox S2. I usually put my ear next to the exit of S2’s horn and position it that S2 and a tweeter has the same output. In the best scenarios I sound not distinct the sound of the drivers… and it was a one the best matches that I had so far. I measured the 88 db sensitive Linaeum and frankly it did not measure well. Also the HF sweep sound on this tweeter horrible – with many strange resonances and “wowy” afternoons. However it sounded in musical material unbelievably interesting!

OK, where it leads me? Defiantly am not wiling to use 100W Lamms to drive the tweeters (!), It would be possible to put a dozen of so of the Linaeum tweeters in series making the combined impedance of 60R-70R, organize them in a line array, and drive it with OTL – I still mildly contemplate it… But while I’m contemplating it one word buzzes my awareness: the ribbons. The Linaeum tweeters are not ribbons but the have the “ribbonfish” waveguides and sound almost like ribbons. I know how ribbons sound, and I never was a big fun of them, but people hardly use then above 12khz, not to mention to combine them with S2 driver (that do all necessary transient magic at MF – the thighs that ribbons lack at upper MF)…

So I wonder is any sensitively ribbons are available. There was a number of horn loaded ribbons: Decca did them, Scandinavians and Bulgarians did them but I do not see reasons to load ribbons into horn as I am looking at the above 12kHz range where horn are worthless and create more problems then solutions. So, why juts do not put bigger damn mangers and make ribbons more sensitive? So, I am looking for alnico or neodymium powered ribbons tweeters, or ribbons assembly tweeters with sensitively of around 100db. If I pile up more of ribbons then I might get up to 110dB… I do not ask how they sound – I let you know how they sound. Any contestants?

Romy the caT

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