Announcement

Collapse

HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions, especially in the Subjective Soundings area, and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
See more
See less

Ribbon tweeters: Pros and Cons

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ribbon tweeters: Pros and Cons

    I note that recently there have been a number of speakers with ribbon tweeters introduced by reputable UK companies e.g. Quad Z series, Proac Response D48R, Monitor Audio PL300II. Is this just a fashion or have some of the known problems with ribbon tweeters been solved (uneven frequency response, difficulty of integration with conventional mid-range drivers) by applying modern computer-based design methods?

    In principle a ribbon tweeter can provide a more extended frequency response and potentially better transient response.

    Is there any likelihood of Harbeth introducing a speaker with a ribbon tweeter?

  • #2
    A couple of months since I posted this but no response?

    I've found another UK manufacturer that's using a planar magnetic ribbon for its tweeter: NEAT IOTA etc. The only limitation given in the review I read (Stereophile, including measurements) was the small lateral dispersion available, +/- 5deg.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davidlovel View Post
      A couple of months since I posted this but no response?

      I've found another UK manufacturer that's using a planar magnetic ribbon for its tweeter: NEAT IOTA etc. The only limitation given in the review I read (Stereophile, including measurements) was the small lateral dispersion available, +/- 5deg.
      With a conventional round tweeter, we can expect sound adiated in 180 degrees from its diaphragm, much as acoustic instruments would. If the tweeter is a vertical strip, we can expect a very different radiation pattern.

      It's likely then that the interaction of the source sound wave and the room will give a different, possibly very different sonic experience, one sounding more natural and familiar to a listener accustomed to the sound of acoustic instruments, live.

      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by davidlovel View Post
        In principle a ribbon tweeter can provide a more extended frequency response and potentially better transient response.
        The on-axis frequency response curve of a typical ribbon tweeter appears to be quite similar in extent to that of a typical dome tweeter. However, many ribbon tweeters based on the EMIT design have a characteristic rising top-end, which is often left untamed. This might lend a perceived "openness" and "crispness" to the sound quality, interpreted by some listeners/reviewers as "better transient response". Depending on which side of the high-fidelity fence that one sits, that characteristic behaviour may be a good thing or it may be a bad thing.

        In a loudspeaker driver that is behaving linearly, the transient response is inextricably linked to the frequency response. The ribbon tweeter may have a somewhat more extended high-frequency response, hence it has a better transient response. Ribbon tweeters do seem to have more peaks and dips in their frequency response curve, though, and so these will colour the sound quality compared to the more flat behaviour of a dome tweeter.

        In a typical application, a ribbon tweeter is also usually taller in size than it is wide, in a ratio in the range 2:1 to 3:1. As a result, its vertical dispersion will be characterised by a strong frontal lobe and then a number of side lobes on either side. This can be beneficial in a recording studio near-field listening environment, as the intensity of the sound reflection from the table or mixing console upon which the loudspeaker sits will be reduced.

        Of course, the ribbon tweeter has a visual cachet, as it looks "different" to the standard dome tweeter offerings.That may be a good enough reason for it to be used by some manufacturers, irrespective of its quantitative and qualitative performance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
          With a conventional round tweeter, we can expect sound adiated in 180 degrees from its diaphragm, much as acoustic instruments would. If the tweeter is a vertical strip, we can expect a very different radiation pattern.

          It's likely then that the interaction of the source sound wave and the room will give a different, possibly very different sonic experience, one sounding more natural and familiar to a listener accustomed to the sound of acoustic instruments, live.
          An interesting perspective Alan (pun intended). I'm now even more intrigued with the possibility I raised in the original post. For example could a version of the SHL5+ be produced with the tweeter and super tweeter replaced by a single vertical ribbon tweeter - there appears to be enough real estate on the front to do this? Given your track record for brilliant integration of drivers in the current Harbeth range, I'm sure you could do this with a ribbon tweeter and the existing radial 2 mid/bass driver. I guess it would be a commercial risk to sales of the existing SHL5+ so what about a parallel product (SHL5+R perhaps) to test the waters?

          Comment

          Working...
          X