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how many real world watts can a 20w ribbon tweeter take?

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Posted on February 20, 2017 at 20:59:01
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
i've never been able to find an answer to this question. i'm looking to build 95dB 8" celestion based two ways with ribbon/AMT/planar tweeters, but i also see that, especially with ribbons, good luck finding anything rated over 30w, but i've seen smaller fountek/aurum cantus tweeters in 100-200w rated speakers like the ones linked to below though i imagine the tweeters are padded down to match the woofer efficiency, so i don't believe the ratings directly apply to power ratings in a system, but continuous test tones. besides that, i've also seen compression drivers with similarly low ratings where it's expected that a PA speaker should at least handle 200w.

it seems like my "best option" is to just go with a more durable AMT and deal with a high 3,500Hz crossover right in the midrange where one doesn't want one if it can be avoided.

can anyone help clarify this. i'd like to find a 95dB+ ribbon that can be biamped at 2,000Hz and take at least "100 (system) watts" preferably with 3dB headroom as i'm building a high output system i'd like to be able to hit at least 115dB with. i seriously doubt everyone that owns speakers with ribbon tweeters is only feeding them 20 watts. i'm interested in the 30w rated fountek neoX3.0s. i want a system that can do cowbells with wide dispersion and without horn shriek/sizzle.

 

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The energy content of music in the treble is usually pretty low, posted on February 21, 2017 at 03:05:41
mhardy6647
Audiophile

Posts: 11176
Location: New England
Joined: October 12, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2016
an honest 20 W power handling capability is probably plenty for a high sensitivity driver unless you're filling an auditorium sized space or you plan to inflict hearing damage.

If you want mammoth power handling, do as the pros do and go to a good compression driver & horn loading. Arguably better (lower distortion) than ribbon or planar drivers, anyway.
all the best,
mrh

 

RE: The energy content of music in the treble is usually pretty low, posted on February 21, 2017 at 05:18:18
Bill Fitzmaurice
Industry Professional

Posts: 4518
Location: New England
Joined: October 20, 2002
+1. There's more than one way to rate a tweeter. One is the actual power that it will take, the other is the system power that it will be used in. Power density drops by 3dB with each octave increase in crossover frequency, so a tweeter rated at 20w actual may also be rated for 200w system. The only way to know for sure how a specific tweeter rating was arrived at is to contact the manufacturer, but it's a pretty safe bet that a tweeter isn't rated for 20w system power.

 

RE: how many real world watts can a 20w ribbon tweeter take?, posted on February 21, 2017 at 08:45:25
tomservo
Manufacturer

Posts: 6866
Joined: July 4, 2002
Remember that Watts are a measure of energy like 746 Watts equals a horsepower.
Loudspeaker watts are a term not directly tied to energy and a figure that is larger than the actual power in Watts, it is not Volt/Amps or Watts but a calculation based on a reference Voltage into a specific impedance.
Also music is a non-steady state signal where the peak levels can be 10, 100 or more times the average level one might measure with a Volt meter or sound level meter.

 

RE: horn tweeters, posted on February 21, 2017 at 11:33:33
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
nope! no way EVER! i'd go the multiple driver route before ever allowing honky shrieking horns into a system of mine. the same thing goes for evil distortion inducing ports. my whole reason for going with ribbons was to lower distortion as much as possible as well as get the fastest transients possible. as i mentioned too, some of the very same "pro" compression drivers you're talking about are rated as low as 15w too which most certainly is NOT going to be the rating of a speaker they're used in.

i'd rather go the "4 x dayton titanium domes" route to get the efficiency needed for my battery powered system. those sound pretty good without the aluminum signature of aluminum domes, but with better speed & transients than soft domes.

actually, it'd be better to go with the 95dB AMT i first considered as i think the daytons need higher crossover points too.

i'm not trying to fill a stadium, but it takes some SPL to rock a dance or tailgate party, or at least headroom to do it without distorting.

 

sadly, you can't contact fountek, posted on February 21, 2017 at 11:41:34
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
that was the first thing i attempted to do, but the email field on their "contact us" page is blank. apparently they don't want to be bothered with pesky questions like this that no-one seems to have the answer for.

i'm quite familiar with the 3dB rules as it relates to both watts and doubling drivers as well as the difference between RMS & continuous power, but none of those rules really have anything to do with the fact that tweeters can be used in systems rated at higher powers than they're rated, again, including those 15w rated compression drivers in no way intended to be used in PA speakers laughably rated 15w.

i wouldn't be so concerned were it not for the fact that ribbon tweeters are notoriously fragile.

 

RE: sadly, you can't contact fountek, posted on February 21, 2017 at 11:58:27
Bill Fitzmaurice
Industry Professional

Posts: 4518
Location: New England
Joined: October 20, 2002
>i'm quite familiar with the 3dB rules as it relates to both watts and doubling drivers

I'm not so sure that you do with respect to power density, which drops by 3dB with each octave increase in frequency. Thus the power required at 1kHz is halved at 2kHz, halved again at 4kHz, and so forth. That's why some tweeter ratings are so low. In a typical 100w system a tweeter crossed at 5kHz might only see 5 watts. But since some manufacturers don't specify exactly how their power ratings are arrived at it can be confusing.

 

watts measure power; energy is the time integral of power, posted on February 21, 2017 at 14:45:21
mhardy6647
Audiophile

Posts: 11176
Location: New England
Joined: October 12, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2016
1 kilowatt-hour = 3600 Joules of energy
(I looked it up)

A tweeter that can handle 20 watts of power should be pretty suitable for 'most anything in a home setting.



all the best,
mrh

 

believe as you like (nt), posted on February 21, 2017 at 14:46:23
mhardy6647
Audiophile

Posts: 11176
Location: New England
Joined: October 12, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2016
if there were text here it would say -- compare distortion data for the two types of drivers.

:-)

all the best,
mrh

 

Beymas Take 160 watts..., posted on February 21, 2017 at 15:39:05
Sebrof
Audiophile

Posts: 567
Location: AusTX
Joined: July 12, 2002
...at your suggested crossover frequency.
But that's a whole lotta power for a tweeter.

A couple of weeks ago I got a pair of the Beymas (actually the TPL-150H that come with horns, although I seem to prefer them sans horn) and they are quite nice. Pricey, but I use them in a 2-way so they are more than just a tweeter.
(they replaced a pair of ESS Heil AMTs)

I run mine off a 3-watt SET amp, so I think they'll hold up ok ;)

 

you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 21, 2017 at 22:42:36
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016

there are several WELL KNOWN forms of distortion inherent in horn design. as mentioned, one is the "cupped hands" syndrome. horns are also prone to shriek, spit & sizzle. i've heard this any number of times on crappy club speakers.

i'm not going to go digging for my absolute sound magazine with the review of avagantgarde's zero 1, but YOU should read the review as it goes into detail about other forms of distortion horns can create eg. if there are imperfections in the throat of the horn. from what i do know of horns, waveguides are the least distorted type.

the article is very favorable in its review of zero 1s stating that they overcome most of the drawbacks of horns, including time alignment issues and the reviewer names it "the best" horn speaker ever, but STILL notes some siblance issues, which i've heard plenty of times with lousy club systems. i don't like ANYTHING about PA speakers, especially the sloppy loose bass and i don't care how much air they move.

you claim "technical superiority" of horns, as being a regular here, methinks you're biased in favor of "that sound" just as i'm biased towards the tight, controlled, imaging monster sound of acoustic suspension minimonitors which don't sound "big and impressive", but do sound "less distorted" especially in the lightning quick resonance free tight thumping bass.

i digress... horn tweeters have terrible specs! most drivers can't get it up over 18kHz! how on earth is that superior to a ribbon/AMT/planar that can do up to 40kHz or even more? then there's their lousy frequency responses. i couldn't even find curves for the 25-30w radian drivers i was going to bring up here, with one selling for a whopping $187, but take a look at all 4 of those LOUSY curves... down around 20dB @ 20kHz for ALL OF THEM, and i didn't cherry pick the results. i just used the first two graphs i could find in under 30w drivers (though i did ignore peavy as low end junk) and the two drivers on top are the two most expensive that PE sells with the first being a

$840 JBL 2446H http://www.parts-express.com/jbl-2446h-2-titanium-horn-driver-8-ohm-4-bolt--294-415

followed by a $300 Selenium D4400Ti to its right
http://www.parts-express.com/selenium-d4400ti-2-titanium-horn-driver-4-bolt--264-230

then a $120 RCF ND1411-M on the bottom left
http://www.parts-express.com/rcf-nd1411-m-1-neodymium-horn-driver--294-818

with a $100 dual horn PRV Audio WG2-230Ti on the bottom right
http://www.parts-express.com/prv-audio-wg2-230ti-two-d230ti-compression-drivers-line-array-waveguide-package--294-2847

not ONE of those response curves is even CLOSE to acceptable! there's an undeniable form of distortion right off the bat, and from what i've seen of compression driver response curves when i last looked at them years ago, they don't get any better. compression drivers have never heard of the +-3dB standard.

but hey, if YOU like 'em, that's your business.

BTW... i'd heard lascalas playing art of noise tracks i was familiar with in the 80s and wasn't impressed. sure, they sounded loud and dynamic, i'll concede that, but after hearing those and a bunch of other $1,000+ speakers at 4 different shops back in the day, THE moment i lost my mind listening to a system was a friend's home demo of his tiny little infinity reference minis with their grey styrofoam 3/4" tweeters and 4 1/2" poly woofers playing talking heads' more songs about buildings and food which i'd owned for years.

i couldn't believe it. that was the first time i ever heard pinpoint imaging. i could pick out every singer's & instrument's location. the treble was extended and clean and best of all, it was actually the BASS that blew me away! yes, it had no scale at all, but it was lightning quick and undistorted... no boom... no slop... no overhang... just *POP!* or as i call it now, "thump".

that sound is NOT for everyone's tastes and isn't even the most popular as most people seem to be OK with all the distortion that's evil and hideous to me that ports generate in the name of creating a big fake resonant "bluh", so you can keep your $8,000 lascala IIs, and i'll be happy enough with $250 NHT superzeros, even if they need tweeters that have more bite, like ribbons or AMTs. THAT's the sound that wows me, if not you. top to bottom speed & detail with as little distortion as possible is what floats my boat. to my ears, lascalas sound big & fake.

 

sub 30 watt compression drivers, posted on February 21, 2017 at 22:52:13
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
i don't know where i saw the 15w compression driver, but i did find a bunch rated 25-30w at PE

RCF ND1411-M (25w $120)
http://www.parts-express.com/rcf-nd1411-m-1-neodymium-horn-driver--294-818

Radian 450PB-8 (25w $140)
http://www.parts-express.com/radian-450pb-8-1-aluminum-horn-driver-8-ohm-2-bolt--294-700

Radian 475PB-8 (35w $187!!!)
http://www.parts-express.com/radian-475pb-8-1-aluminum-horn-driver-8-ohm-2-3-bolt--294-702

Peavey RX14 (30w $54)
http://www.parts-express.com/peavey-rx14-compression-driver--294-3236
&
PRV Audio WG2-230Ti dual horn (30w $100)
http://www.parts-express.com/prv-audio-wg2-230ti-two-d230ti-compression-drivers-line-array-waveguide-package--294-2847

so even compression drivers designed for PA use (i still say ANY PA speaker should be able to handle at least 200w minimum) can have ridiculously low rated power. there has to be a formula that converts a tweeter's RMS to "real world use wattage". i can't believe any compression driver is intended for a 35w rated speaker. a home speaker? OK

 

RE: exponential power ratings, posted on February 21, 2017 at 23:07:39
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
no, i'm not familiar with any specific formula that relates to power and frequency, but i always believed that bass requires more power, until i "unlearned it" in some article, possibly about bi-amping that DEMANDED tweeters get the same wattage as woofers assuming the same efficiency.

since then, i've treated THAT as "gospel".

looking at the same issue from a different perspective, i agree that seems bunk as woofers not only have to move a much larger surface area, but also at much greater excursions which clearly requires much more energy where tweeters move tiny amounts of air at imperceptible excursions... the physics behind the math you quote so to speak. (pun intended)

i should have trusted my intuition and NOT the magazine author that polluted my head with bad info. i've seen authors talk idiotic junk before. one, complaining about some issue regarding electrostats, thought it would be "a good idea" to put mids on both sides of a tweeter to improve imaging like an MTM, but the idiot didn't take into account that the only reason MTMs work is because they equally divide the planes of the ears which are on the same horizontal plane & NOT on the same vertical plane as would be needed to time align horizontally.

don't get me started on the popular science EDITOR who couldn't figure out why shower curtains bow inwards against the force of the water. apparently, he never heard of convection. LOL

anyways, thanks for breaking this bad bit of misinformation i got suckered into adopting for so many years even though it sounded wrong. the greater the mass moved and distance covered, the more ergs are needed. DUH! although... higher frequencies must get credited for their "extra reps" in the whole "conservation of energy" thing.

let's see... 40,000 (forwards AND backwards) x .000001mm x .05g = i'm not running the numbers

 

RE: The energy content of music in the treble is usually pretty low, posted on February 22, 2017 at 02:38:41
freddyi
Audiophile

Posts: 3125
Joined: December 6, 2001
seems like my cone tweeters, (knockoffs of the old CTS) run out of steam and sound "crunchy" on drum recordings pretty fast. Those old 7-slit "Pioneer" K12s with the right speaker play pretty well despite the distributed slit getting wonky with sinewave in the fb region. I use K-tubes with modest 1 inch format compression drivers for treble and not cone tweeters.
Karlson Evangelist

 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 22, 2017 at 08:50:14
Hornlover
Manufacturer

Posts: 2095
Joined: March 8, 2002
Dont hold anything back. Tell us how you really feel.

 

RE: sub 30 watt compression drivers, posted on February 22, 2017 at 08:58:34
Hornlover
Manufacturer

Posts: 2095
Joined: March 8, 2002
Different manufacturers use different ways of rating the power handling of the drivers. It used to be honest manufacturers used sine wave power ratings. If you look at older driver specs from companies like Altec or EV, the power ratings seem low by today's inflated numbers. You would typically see woofers rated at 20-50 watts, and tweeters rated at 5 watts or so. They were using sine wave power ratings, which gave you a better idea of how much power a driver would handle. Today, most drivers are rated with 'equivalent music power', what ever that is. What they are really saying is the tweeter can handle the power in its part of the spectrum, using the recommended crossover point and slope, when a loudspeaker system is fed with and amplifier of XX power. It really doesn't give you a real idea of the power dissipation capability of the voice coil assembly. Do you really think that dome tweeter will handle 50 watts? Not on your life. Or that woofer will handle 200 watts? Nope. A return to sine wave power ratings would be nice.

 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 22, 2017 at 09:30:54
Coner
Audiophile

Posts: 1846
Location: S.W. Washington state, USA
Joined: November 17, 2001
"Crappy club loudspeakers"....well sure they sound like crap, and driven
with crap amps. Don't compare that to audiophile horns, night and day difference.

LaScala is not an audiophile speaker either. More PA parts there.
And you can hear up to 40Khz?. Amazing.

 

115 db - sorry that is going to need a horn., posted on February 22, 2017 at 12:26:33
Edp
Audiophile

Posts: 3966
Joined: September 23, 1999
Don't think you will find a single 4 or 5 inch ribbon at 2000 hz that will put out that level of output without some horn loading.

Or at least have a good number of replacement elements on hand.

Also I could recommend some reading by John Eargle that might widen your knowledge of horn, horn geometry and distortion. Like most things in audio , its not there is a superior topology , but superior implementation of a topology.

 

RE: how many real world watts can a 20w ribbon tweeter take?, posted on February 22, 2017 at 15:51:19
thetubeguy1954
Audiophile

Posts: 5736
Location: Orlando, Fla
Joined: January 7, 2001
Hi Thump!

Check out Vapor Audio's Arcus speakers. They use the wonderful Beyma AMT drivers and they might just give you some ideas and/or answer some questions for your own speaker project. The Beyma TPL-150 AMT drivers I'm suggesting to you, are 102 dB sensitive and have quite a following! Here's some of their specs taken from Beyma's website.

Nominal impedance: 8 Ohm

Power capacity 80 W AES above 1 kHz

Program power 160 W above 1 kHz

Sensitivity 102 dB 1 W @ 1 m

Frequency range 700-23000 Hz

You can read more about them at the link below...

https://www.beyma.com/products/diapharagmtweeters/1TPL15H8

I hope this helps you with your speaker project in some small way.



Thetubeguy1954 (Tom Scata)

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society
Full-range/Wide-range Drivers --- Front & Back-Loaded Horns --- High Sensitivity Speakers


 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 22, 2017 at 23:20:28
hollowboy
Audiophile

Posts: 185
Location: Melbourne
Joined: June 26, 2007
On-topic: the Beyma TPL drivers might be good for you. Ribbon-like but more robust. They go loud. Not cheap.

Off topic: If those 'infinity reference minis' and 'pinpoint imaging' are your thing, maybe look at a single driver forum for ideas. Something like a pair of Visaton B 80 with sealed subs might be more your cup of tea. That would image like a thing that images really well.

HF hearing: "down around 20dB @ 20kHz for ALL OF THEM"
This doesn't matter at all. Since you were already an adult in the 80s, you simply cannot hear 20kHz now. I'm slightly younger and my hearing tests as normal-to-good for my age, but it is essentially gone above 15kHz.

Try it for yourself - go to http://www.audiocheck.net/audiofrequencysignalgenerator_sweep.php

Make a 10 second swept tone from 20kHz-18kHz. Play it, and crank the volume until you can clearly hear the HF tone.
Can you hear the tone right from the beginning? If not, you can't hear to 20kHz.
Can you hear the tone at all? If not, you can't hear to 18kHz. Try again, but with a swept tone from 18-16kHz. Still no luck? Keep going until you find the range where your hearing clearly switches on.

For me, this is in the 16kHz-14kHz range.

That's sweep [A]

Now make a 10 second swept tone from 1kHz-8kHz. That's sweep [B]

If I play [A] loud enough to hear it CLEARLY, then play [B] at the same level, [B] will be stunningly loud. This should show you that your hearing at that upper threshold is MUCH less sensitive than in the midband. Blame age (and gender), not Talking Heads. Every hour wounds; the final hour kills.

...so I don't care whether my speakers go >15kHz on a test or spec sheet, since I cannot actually detect those tones via my aging faceholes.

About horns:

I also dislike most PA treble, but I like horns at home.

You picked bad examples. The most $ drivers are 2" drivers, which (in general) are bad as tweeters. They usually get used in 3 or 4 way systems. Dual horns and diffraction slots are PA hacks that don't get used at home.

e.g. the JBL 2446H is expensive, but for hifi, you'd only use it from 1-5kHz (or 800Hz to 4kHz, or some similarly narrow range).
Also, you wouldn't use it on the horn that plot was measured on: the 2380A is a PA horn (only). It has a diffraction slot, which sacrifices sound quality to get wider audience coverage.

Instead look at the specs of a good 1". I'd suggest a non-titanium one, such as the FaitalPRO HF10RT. Ignore the part >15kHz (or wherever your hearing fails).

 

RE: how many real world watts can a 20w ribbon tweeter take?, posted on February 23, 2017 at 14:26:49
ozzyboy
Audiophile

Posts: 281
Joined: April 4, 2002
Try the Aurum Cantus G-1.It is rated at 100 watts RMS 8 ohm, 102db.
That's the one I am using crossing it over at 2000hz 12db to a Aurum Cantus Midwoofer.


Parts Express sells them for about $300 each.

 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 24, 2017 at 16:09:27
tomservo
Manufacturer

Posts: 6866
Joined: July 4, 2002
Not sure where to begin, there are several misunderstandings here.
First, "non-flat" amplitude response is not distortion, it is non-flat amplitude response.

Distortion in the first order is sound the speaker adds not present in the input signal and normally 2,3,4, 5 etc times the input frequency and is caused by non-linearity.

A horns response is governed by the drivers acoustic power response AND it's directivity both are a function of frequency.

Due to issues I outlined in the loudspeaker chapter in "Handbook for Sound Engineers 5th edition" horn drivers do not have a flat power response and can only measure flat driven directly when on a horn who's radiation pattern narrows with increasing frequency.

For a horn that has the same pattern angles up high, a CD or EQ slope is applied yielding flat response and at the same time as correcting the amplitude, it also corrects the phase being a mostly minimum phase device.

Another issue with horns is they are too large to coherently combine with the lower device and I have only found one approach in 20+ years that allows making a multidriver / multi way horn radiate as if it only had one driver and no crossover phase shift.
When you do that, there is no cupped hand horn sound at all.
Best,
Tom

 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 24, 2017 at 21:37:01
Inmate51
Audiophile

Posts: 8747
Joined: July 6, 2005
"First, "non-flat" amplitude response is not distortion, it is non-flat amplitude response."

I understand what you mean, but that is incorrect.

A deviation from the input signal is, by definition, distortion.

:)

 

telling what i really feel, posted on February 25, 2017 at 01:57:33
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
BUT, a lot of it IS subjective... not so much the FACT that port resonance is a form of distortion BY DESIGN which drives port lovers nuts when you point it out no matter how many sources you cite that note all of the" lack of woofer control, overhang, phase distortion, one not bass, RESONANCE, and port chuffing etc. issues that have been well known for half a century. they refuse to hear it and attack en mass in defense of their BIG LIE. standing up to hoardes of such trolls got me banned at one site.

in telling how i really feel, you will note, i freely admit my personal biases towards a sound that is fast and as resonance free as possible. i LOVED the sound of a pair of maggie MG12s driven by a tube amp for their unbelievable transient speed, ESPECIALLY in what i consider to be their "best bass ever" that thwacks like nothing can on drums, but was really put off by the tinfoil pinging sound of the full sized first pair of maggies i heard as well as being driven out of the room by an obscenely spitty/resonant pair of large maggies.

it drives me nuts that companies DELIBERATELY make lousy "acoustic suspension" speakers under $1,000. NHT superzeros are nice, but their soft dome tweeters suck on cowbells, while the energy RC10s i owned had excellent drivers that ran circles around zeros with better speed, detail and top to bottom extension, but that suffered from unbearable cabinet resonances when you put their port plugs in forcing owners to chose which form of resonant distortion is least objectionable.

yes, i have my biases, BUT i don't try to impose them on others and really don't like it when others, especially uppity port lovers when it comes to audio, try to impose theirs on me and have the nerve to tell me what not to do in MY SYSTEM.

having had the same argument 100 times with blockheads who CLAIM physics ignoring "superior fidelity" which is BASED on distortion, who get an attitude about it, and who refuse to accept ANY facts from reputable sources, including numerous speaker manufacturers without EVER bringing a drop of PROOF behind their misguided ramblings with insufferable attitudes has put a chip on my shoulder as i just can't abide by blatant denial of facts.

FACT: acoustic suspension speakers are less efficient and extended than bass reflex. i can live with that when that's what it takes to get the least distorted tight thumping bass possible. at least i freely admit the limitations inherent in my choice of sound where port lovers seem to be totally lacking a similar intellectual honesty with a confirmation bias AGAINST learning any of the science.

i learned the science AFTER i found what i did like as i wanted to know WHY big ported speakers sound so fake and bloated TO ME while cheap little sealed ones sounded so much less distorted. i also learned about moving mass and how that too is an enemy of transients.

when it comes to horn tweeters, YES my knowledge isn't as extensive as it's never been a subject of interest to me as my ears have always told me they sound spitty and shrieky just as ports sound sluggish and boomy.

i would bet a nickel, merely based on my understanding of physics, that a quality ribbon will walk all over ANY compression driver in a horn in a waterfall plot simply because they're based on reflections which delay & blur sound vs. a direct radiating ribbon/AMT/planar which tends to have much higher extension. THAT alone, really, should be telling. compression drivers can't do over 18kHz because they're too massive to be able to move that fast. i'd bet another nickel on that.

that reminds me of another debate i got into with someone who lost their freakin' mind trying to separate extension from transient speed and ignore the effects of mass on both. to SOME EXTENT, yeah, i imagine you can overcome the mass issue with stronger magnetic fields, but there's a REASON why soft domes only rated to 22kHz on a good day can't do cowbells like a ribbon rated to 40kHz... moving mass, and the extension limits, or limitations, are both related to the same issue... how fast the driver is capable of moving.

as to cone tweeters... who would ever use THOSE in any serious system? i've always considered them a cheap joke.

 

behold, a Raal ribbon DESTROYS a resonant B&C horn, posted on February 25, 2017 at 02:49:03
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016

as i was saying in my previous comment, i bet a nickel against the member who CLAIMED horns are lower distortion than ribbons (really?! they why don't 99.9% of speaker manufacturers use horns?) that horns would have resonance issues related to the reflections inherent in horns, and a little bit of research bore that out as seen in the illustration above. i used the B&C waterfall plot because it was the first one i could find. i'm sure if i dug some more, i'd get similar or even worse results from larger horns.

just LOOK as those two waterfall plots! it's not even close! virtually ALL of the raal's resonances are over before even .2 millisecons (it looks closer to .1ms) while the B&C horn's full frequency resonances are still going strong at .7ms with a resonance around 700Hz extending out to about a FULL 3ms and a hideous resonance around 17kHz that extends a full 4.7ms!

so, that right there DESTROYS unequivocally ANY claims that horns are "less distorted" where the raal is something like 8 times faster in JUST the broadband resonances and about 40 times faster when you look at the peak resonance.

i'm glad to see that the physics in my head exactly matches my predictions DESPITE being told i'm full of crap. anyone that could look at those two plots and claim the horn beats the ribbon absolutely can't read a waterfall correctly.

in case anyone would DARE claim i faked the results, here's links to the original sources...

B&C DE980TN-8
http://www.audioxpress.com/article/test-bench-b-c-de980tn-8-compression-driver

Raal 70-10 (i couldn't find any fountek plots)
http://www.raalribbon.com/products_flatfoil_70-10.htm

now if ONLY someone would do a freakin' waterfall plot for the same woofer in both sealed and ported boxes (why hasn't anyone done this?!!!), then i'd have equally compelling evidence that proves what hideous slop ports do to transients, not that port trolls would ever accept THAT evidence either.

 

RE: behold, a Raal ribbon DESTROYS a resonant B&C horn, posted on February 25, 2017 at 04:57:49
tomservo
Manufacturer

Posts: 6866
Joined: July 4, 2002
Could you zoom in on the ribbon measurement so one can see the dB scale on the left hand side, that would allow a comparison of the plots.
Fwiw, normally the 980 would be eq'd to flat on what ever horn it was used on, not used "raw".

 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on February 25, 2017 at 05:02:26
tomservo
Manufacturer

Posts: 6866
Joined: July 4, 2002
My point is / was that the normal operation corrects the magnitude response which IS what gives the horn a "cupped hands" sound.

Yes there are other kinds of distortion too but they are all related to alterations of the input signal which can't be corrected while the mag response is easily corrected as it is mostly minimum phase and like i said the magnitude response is a product of the drivers power response and the horns directivity.

 

RE: behold, a Raal ribbon DESTROYS a resonant B&C horn, posted on February 26, 2017 at 07:11:32
Scholl
Distributor or Rep

Posts: 1088
Joined: March 8, 2001
The RAAL is a special device that few people would dispute that its one of the best in it's useable range.

Now take any other ten ribbons costing under $200.00 and compare them to ten horn and drivers in the same price range.

I'll skip to the results...the horns\drivers will show lower THD below 5Khz some of the ribbons will show lower THD above 5Khz. Both device types tend to have much lower odd order distortion, a very desirable characteristic.

Nothing really to argue about. Use them both for their advantages.

 

Are you here to ask for help or to argue?, posted on February 27, 2017 at 10:17:41
Edp
Audiophile

Posts: 3966
Joined: September 23, 1999
Uncertain what you are trying to achieve, it appeared you wanted advice on high efficiency setup, but seem more interested not in the help but in confrontation.

To come to a Hi Eff forum and proclaim that what 80% of the users on the forum have is "wrong and don't they know any better" is much like going to a Chevy forum and telling everybody that Ford is the only answer.

I'd suggest that you could learn a lot from the experts on this forum as some actually "did write the book" on horn design and measurements.

The good news , that unlike many other forums, the Hi Eff has some well mannered and patient elders who can calmly explain why some of your hypotheses have flaws and how to understand what would be needed to refine your hypotheses.

Or you could continue on your present path and ultimately be ignored instead of helped.

 

RE: behold, a Raal ribbon DESTROYS a resonant B&C horn, posted on March 6, 2017 at 21:52:55
hollowboy
Audiophile

Posts: 185
Location: Melbourne
Joined: June 26, 2007
"just LOOK as those two waterfall plots! it's not even close!"

2-4kHz, the horn produces 108dB.
2-4kHz, the RAAL produces 87-90dB.

To properly compare them, you'd have to give the RAAL 100x as much power as the B&C.

The B&C waterfall plot has a 30dB vertical axis.
Over 2-4kHz, the B&C covers almost the whole vertical axis
The RAAL waterfall plot covers only 26dB.
Over 2-4kHz, the RAAL covers 2/3 of this; about 16dB.

The B&C plot therefore gives about 12dB more detail.

To properly compare them, you'd have to ignore the bottom 12dB of the B&C plot.

So yes "it's not even close"

"a resonance around 700Hz"

That's below the horn's cut off frequency. That's much lower than the RAAL can play.

"and a hideous resonance around 17kHz"

You are too old to hear 17kHz.

 

RE: Are you here to ask for help or to argue?, posted on March 10, 2017 at 16:44:41
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
i seem to remember starting this thread with a question about RIBBONS, NOT horns

as to arguing, there is no arguing, the waterfall plot CLEARLY shows that horn tweeters are resonant, waterfailing (hahaha) abominations. if you don't want to accept that i'm looking for a ribbon/planar/AMT solution, then it's YOU who's bringing the argument, and YES, i'd rather you take that crap somewhere else and tell it to someone who hasn't CLEARLY STATED they have no interest in horns.

you are just like all those annoying distorted ported lovers who troll every thread i make talking about my SEALED system when i never asked for their input or trying to impose their tastes on me.

if all you're here to do is promote horns, you are wasting my time.

don't worry, i'll steer clear of YOUR horn loving threads,UNLESS someone asking what sounds best. to my ears, waterfall blurring resonances whether they be from a port or a horn are an unholy abomination.

i don't recall needing your permission to hold those priorities.

now go troll someone else

 

RE: And you can hear up to 40Khz?. Amazing. , posted on March 10, 2017 at 17:14:31
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
well wise guy... i CAN tell you i USED TO be able to hear well over 20kHz as the "pigeon chaser" ultrasonic tweeter at a downtown bus stop used to cause me a high pitch stabbing pain i never was able to figure out until seeing the tweeter rotating in the rafter over my head. if anyone else was hearing it, they weren't cringing like me.

a woman i used to ride the bus with couldn't hear it and argued that i was imagining things UNTIL i turned my back on the tweeter, that took a minute or more to make it's circuit, and called out when i started hearing it, and then 5-10 seconds later said "now" when it had gotten unbearable and was about 20-30 degrees off axis.

that's not even the issue! extension to 40kHz is indicator of transient speed capability. you do understand basic physics don't you? the more massive an object is, the harder it it is to move AND the slower it will move for the same input in energy. that's why, despite the arguments of a thick headed former friend, a tiny flea actually pulls more Gs than a giant NASA rocket.

if an object can easily moved at 40kHz, then 20kHz is no problem, as it has a superior power to mass ratio. THAT's why the RAAL ribbon has the absolute closest to a brick wall waterfall plot out of ANY speaker i've ever seen. start on a dime... stop on a dime... 40kHz? no problem.

THAT's also why, even though they sound smooth and easy on the ears, MANY (especially the ones in NHT superzeros) soft dome tweeters suck so bad at reproducing cowbells even with an "above 20kHz 25kHz claimed extension". they just can't do metallic percussion. PERIOD! a good aluminum or titanium dome? much better, but i'd bet $1 a RAAL ribbon would really snap harder and faster. the pseudo ribbons in a large pair of maggies (which had serious resonance SQ & possibly amp matching issues) were painful to listen to at volume when the clocks chimed on my harvest dark side of the moon CD at volume. it felt like getting shot in the ears.

so yes... 40kHz DOES make a difference. it's an indication of just how effortless changes in direction are for a driver. that's one of the reasons (besides wavelengths... i'm fairly well versed in the science) tweeters are smaller than woofers. it's harder to make higher masses move quickly AND precisely as once in motion, they're 2x harder to change the direction of, or as newton, i believe, put it, an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force.

tweeters that can't even do 20kHz (most compression drivers) are simply too massive to vibrate any faster. simple physics kids. they're like massive 1970s all steel 4 doors whereas a tweeter that can do 40kHz is like a carbon fiber 12 cyclinder ferrari... lighter & more powerful. (power to weight ratio as it's known in drag racing circles) actually, a crotch rocket would have been an even better example as they have even greater power to weight ratios despite their much smaller motors.

i've had this very same extension argument, just as i've had the SAME freakin' argument about the well known MULTIPLE forms of resonant DISTORTION inherent in bass reflex 100 times, about tweeters and the science behind extension and expect it will AGAIN fall on confirmation biased deaf ears that, pun intended, don't want to hear it because their EMOTIONAL response to a sound they find pleasing is more important than the science behind it.

the only kind of tweeter i'm aware of that has an even better power to weight ration that stratosphere reaching ribbons of all types is an argon gas powered plasma tweeter which is extremely impractical and not very efficient. the next best thing is good enough for me.

you're entitled to like whatever you like, but don't attempt to try and force it down my throat, which is ironic as only horns have throats.

 

RE: you've never heard of "cupped hands" distortion?, posted on March 10, 2017 at 17:41:32
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
THANK YOU!

ugh! people and their misguided attempts at quibbling with semantics

ANYTHING that changes an original waveform in any way is a form of distortion and, according to the laws of thermodynamics, any attempt (maybe short of direct nerve induction) to reproduce a sound wave will inherently be distorted, simply by SOME energy being converted to heat. the only thing that can be done is to try an minimize distortion as much as possible, BUT that often means little in the audio world where a majority PREFER distortion (that's right, i'm talking about you 90% of bass reflex lovers and your intentional "one note bass" aka TUNED FREQUENCY RESONANCE, phase distortion, timing delays, overhang, port chuffing & loss of woofer control etc.) along with bottleheads who find the warm fuzzy distortions of tube gear comforting.

even as a fan of "minimize all distortion... especially in the time & resonances domain" clinical sound school, still accept that you can get too much of a good thing (resolution) and that it can get too dry and sterile and require some sacrifice of accuracy to lower listening fatigue.

i'm just glad someone else pointed out the "don't look here, there's nothing to see here, nope... no distortion *whistle whistle whistle*" equivocation. there's more to distortion than THD and what *cringe* julian "if it measures well, it sounds well" hirsch has to say.

it gets frustrating trying to hold a discussion with people who "think emotionally" (i'm "afflicted" with a rare logic first, your feelings are irrelevant, personality type) and confuse what "sounds best" to them as being the least distorted.

back to my slight against bass reflex, as an acoustic suspension fan, i love the tight minimally distorted sound of preferable smaller & faster woofers snapping quick and resonance free, BUT, if i truly AM going to be objective, have to admit that even my preferred sound has an inherent form of distortion... namely, decreased bass extension which IS a distortion of the frequency spectrum.

ahhh... the truth... it will set you free and can be quite liberating when you stop thinking with your feelings and start embracing reality. i know... it sounds scary... doesn't it? LOL

 

RE: Are you here to ask for help or to argue?, posted on March 10, 2017 at 23:17:21
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
i came here to ask what the ACTUAL power rating of the ribbon i wanted to use was, didn't get an answer, and instead got a bunch of trolls trying to impose their tastes on me.

yeah... if you can't answer my question, it's better you DO ignore me and not waste my time defending MY PREFERENCES from your UNSOLICITED trolling

keep your lousy horns to yourself. i don't recall asking about them to begin with BTW and it is YOU arguing with ME!

this is MY FREAKIN' THREAD, IT ISN'T ABOUT HORNS, DEAL WITH IT!!!

you don't want to help with the ACTUAL question i asked, you aren't freakin' helping... ARE YOU?!!!

yep... i just checked... the EXACT TITLE of this thread is
how many real world watts can a 20w ribbon tweeter take?

where the eff do you see ANYTHING that gives you the idea that i was asking for your 2 cents about HORNS TROLL? if you can't talk about HIGH EFFICIENCY RIBBONS then you have no business here.

 

RE: cupped hands distortion, posted on March 10, 2017 at 23:26:18
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
My view of a horn system's strengths and weaknesses has not changed much since the Trio Compact days. Oh, I've certainly heard great-sounding horn systems at various trade shows, including several in Munich just a few months ago. (And once again I'm not denying the unique virtues of horn-loaded drivers.) But I've also invariably heard traces of the "cupped hands" colorations and driver-to-driver incoherence that eventually wore me down and out when I owned the original Avantgardes. (I guess I should also note that because of the various phase, time, and frequency-response issues I've already mentioned and the sheer aggregate size of their wavelaunch, horn loudspeakers don't image with great precision— nor, since they don't disperse their sound hemispherically the way point-source direct-radiators do, do they typically soundstage "outside the box." Although the severity of these problems depends on the design of the horn and the level it is played at, certain horns can be as much the poster children for "six-foot-wide" voices and violins and guitars as vintage planars were.

Jonathan Valin (who has a LOT more experience with horns than i ever will, and, unlike me, he actually LIKES THEM)

again... i still don't see how this ENTIRE effing thread has been HIJACKED with talk about horns when i asked about RIBBON TWEETERS! (which, BTW, at 95dB or more also happen to be HIGH EFFICIENCY, and this isn't the "if you don't like horn tweeters, you suck STFU forum, is it?)

 

RE: cupped hands distortion, posted on March 10, 2017 at 23:27:56
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
My view of a horn system's strengths and weaknesses has not changed much since the Trio Compact days. Oh, I've certainly heard great-sounding horn systems at various trade shows, including several in Munich just a few months ago. (And once again I'm not denying the unique virtues of horn-loaded drivers.) But I've also invariably heard traces of the "cupped hands" colorations and driver-to-driver incoherence that eventually wore me down and out when I owned the original Avantgardes. (I guess I should also note that because of the various phase, time, and frequency-response issues I've already mentioned and the sheer aggregate size of their wavelaunch, horn loudspeakers don't image with great precision— nor, since they don't disperse their sound hemispherically the way point-source direct-radiators do, do they typically soundstage "outside the box." Although the severity of these problems depends on the design of the horn and the level it is played at, certain horns can be as much the poster children for "six-foot-wide" voices and violins and guitars as vintage planars were.

Jonathan Valin (who has a LOT more experience with horns than i ever will, and, unlike me, he actually LIKES THEM)

again... i still don't see how this ENTIRE effing thread has been HIJACKED with talk about horns when i asked about RIBBON TWEETERS! (which, BTW, at 95dB or more also happen to be HIGH EFFICIENCY, and this isn't the "if you don't like horn tweeters, you suck STFU forum, is it?)

 

if you can't talk about RIBBONS, why are you here?!, posted on March 10, 2017 at 23:36:38
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Joined: April 19, 2016
the TITLE of my thread is asking SPECIFICALLY about RIBBONS, and i'm getting sick and effing tired of you horn loving TROLLS spamming it up.

if you can't stay on topic GET LOST! find someone else to preach to! i didn't come here to be converted, i didn't come here to argue with ALL OF YOU TROLLS and i'm officially sick and effing tired of it!

if you have NOTHING to add about RIBBONS (which at 95dB or more ARE high efficiency in case you can't do math) then don't waste my mothereffing time and try to turn YOUR shee against me when my effing TOPIC says "keep your talk of horns crap to yourself!)

this is MY TOPIC, NOT YOURS! DEAL WITH IT OR GET THE EFF OUT!!!

go talk about horns in YOUR topics you don't have to worry about me showing up in.

unless i missed it, about 0% of you have been helpful and the rest of you have been insufferable UNINVITED BY TOPIC trolls. i didn't ASK you about horns, i don't recall needing your permission to chose ribbon/planar/AMT tech and i've had it with your snooty crap about it.

now stop spamming my thread up with your off topic condescension. YOU trolls really need to check yourselves and i don't care how many of you there are either. this is not a discussion about horns. deal with it.

 

May I suggest de-caff., posted on March 20, 2017 at 12:11:26
Edp
Audiophile

Posts: 3966
Joined: September 23, 1999
Because it appears clear you are wound tight.

 

RE: how many real world watts can a 20w ribbon tweeter take?, posted on March 21, 2017 at 08:46:52
Inmate51
Audiophile

Posts: 8747
Joined: July 6, 2005
I've looked at this thread a few times, and watched it devolve. It's actually kind of amusing.

"i came here to ask what the ACTUAL power rating of the ribbon i wanted to use was"

Three things:

1. Get an understanding of power ratings: Peak, RMS, "music program", etc. You can get a good understanding from good sources by just Googling the topic.

2. Get an understanding of musical waveforms and frequency content. Again, Google is your friend.

3. Since you want to design/build your own speakers, get these two books:

"Loudspeaker Design Cookbook" by Vance Dickerson.
"Music, Physics and Engineering" by Harry Olson.

Continue from there.

:)

 

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