One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker - Page 8 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #71 of 362 Old 02-11-12, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

In reading on a different forum, I came across a post from David Fabrikant at Ascend Acoustics explaining how a ribbon tweeter works. I found it very informative so I thought I would post it here:

A true ribbon tweeter consists of (3) major components. The diaphragm (aluminum with the RAAL’s) the magnets (neodymium) and the transformer.

A true ribbon tweeter is designed such that a very thin conductive material is suspended between extremely powerful magnets. A current is applied directly to the diaphragm itself, thus reacting with the strong magnetic field generated by the magnets resulting in the diaphragm itself moving forward and back generating sound waves.

Unlike a dome or planar magnetic tweeter, a true ribbon does not have a voice coil – thus eliminating a very large amount of moving mass which accounts for the incredible transient accuracy which is clearly audible. Sounds simple, right? The lack of a voice coil creates a problem however....

Since voltage is applied directly across the diaphragm itself (the “ribbon”) and since the ribbon is highly conductive (extremely low resistance), your amplifier is going to see a load that may be as low as 1/10th of an ohm and it is either going to enter protection mode or fail almost instantly. To solve the problem, an impedance matching transformer must be used to keep the amplifier output power (wattage) the same while converting current delivery and, subsequently, voltage to usable levels.

The transformer design in a true ribbon tweeter is critical to performance as all transformers are subject to various losses, MUCH more so than capacitors, resistors and inductors. Keep in mind that the signal being sent to the ribbon is first traveling through the transformer and being “transformed”…

I won’t get into complex transformer design but a transformer consists of a core (typically metal) with one set of windings on one side of the core (primary) and another set of windings on the other (secondary). Current flows through the primary windings, creating a magnetic field in the core. This magnetic field then releases into the secondary windings creating a current which is directly proportional to the ratio of the # of windings in the secondary coil compared to the primary, and the process continues generating a "transformed" current flow.

The transformer core material has a significant influence on the performance of the transformer as it is continually subject to magnetic polarization. Ferrite cores are typical and are of very high quality, however, Amorphous metal cores are more efficient and can magnetize and then demagnetize faster and with less losses compared to ferrite cores.

Evidence of this will not show up on frequency domain measurements but are indeed evident in time domain measurements.

I have taken comparative measurements between the AM core units and the ferrite core units and the differences are noticeable. As far as actually hearing a difference between the two, there were times when I thought I heard subtle differences in micro-dynamics and yet other times I could not tell them apart. However, these are with my ears and we all detect sounds differently.

That said, it is in my professional opinion that if going with a RAAL ribbon, the AM core option is much more important to overall performance than choosing exotic crossover capacitors, silver solder, magic stones and various other “audiophile” tweaks. Performance differences are measurable; therefore they can certainly be audible and AM core transformers are the choice when designing a high performance transformer (less losses.) Since many of you are already considering what is, perhaps, the best ribbon tweeter available, it certainly makes sense to go with the higher performance transformer option.

If interested, a simple Google search on Amorphous metal or even Amorphous core transformers will provide more detailed information.


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post #72 of 362 Old 02-17-12, 09:12 AM
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

I look forward to having you attend the GTG in April!


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post #73 of 362 Old 02-17-12, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

I am really looking forward to that as well Brandon - it is such a great opportunity to meet people as well as being able to listen to so many great speaker choices. Being able to potentially meet Dennis and Jim are icing on the cake!

I just need to make sure I get myself down to University Audio to listen to the other two speakers so I have an more of an inkling of what I really want from a speaker.


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post #74 of 362 Old 02-18-12, 07:05 AM
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

I picked up a pair of GoldenEar II's. After the dealer moved them around for me, let me play with the bass and with my music I bought them, of course the speakers had about 150hours on them. So far so good.
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post #75 of 362 Old 02-18-12, 12:31 PM
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

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I picked up a pair of GoldenEar II's.
The Triton II or the TritonCinema Two?

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #76 of 362 Old 02-18-12, 12:37 PM
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

ALMFamily, I'd like to share my favorite article about RAAL.

http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur...rbia/raal.html

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #77 of 362 Old 02-18-12, 12:44 PM
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

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I picked up a pair of GoldenEar II's. After the dealer moved them around for me, let me play with the bass and with my music I bought them, of course the speakers had about 150hours on them. So far so good.
pxj, did you also get the Supersat 50c for the center and the Supersats for surrounds? if yes, let us know your impressions of how the Goldenear performs with movies. My concern is the Center speaker and dialogue.
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post #78 of 362 Old 02-19-12, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

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I picked up a pair of GoldenEar II's. After the dealer moved them around for me, let me play with the bass and with my music I bought them, of course the speakers had about 150hours on them. So far so good.
Definitely would love to hear more of your impressions!

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ALMFamily, I'd like to share my favorite article about RAAL.

http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur...rbia/raal.html
Thanks for the link - what a great read! Those Eternitys look simply AMAZING.


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post #79 of 362 Old 02-22-12, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

Just an update - been going gung-ho on the HT room so I have not done any new research in the last couple weeks. Hopefully, I will get a chance to look at the 3 speakers mentioned in a previous post and get to UA in the next few days and keep the journey alive!


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post #80 of 362 Old 02-24-12, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: One Newb's journey to find his "perfect" speaker

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ALMFamily,
I'm reading this thread with a lot of interest. I'm in a similar situation as I beginning to plan for my next Home Theater.
I'm planning for a 5.1 system and have approximately the same budget as you, although I will need to upgrade my subwoofer.
My usage of the system is similar to you with a little less music (95% movies, sports, TV and 5% for music)
I'm also operating under the assumption that a great speaker for music will be great for movies.
I know you can't demo all speakers, however, a few brands/names that I did not see on your list and would enjoy to see your opinions are:
- Aperion Verus Towers (ID Retailer)
- JTR Speakers (either Triple 8s or Triple 12s) - Getting rave reviews across forums for playing with movies
- Def. Tech. Mythos ST(S)s and/or BiPolar Speakers (BP8080ST) - Typically easy to demo at box stores such as Best Buy

One question, how to you plan to incorporate the ID brands into your journey (Salk, Ascend, Philharmonic)? Do you plan to arrange trial periods in your home for demo and then ship back the speakers?

I took the course of running out and demoing speakers without much thought to how to compare. I really look forward to your reviews and will follow along. Thanks for what you're doing.
Regards,
Robert
Robert,

My apologies for not getting to this sooner. Thanks again for your speaker suggestions! As far as the 3 speakers you mentioned:

Aperion Verus - I have several ID brands on my list already and with my ability to attend the GTG in April, I feel that I will be able to get a large sampling of ID speakers there. Also, I am pretty certain that the SVS MTS-02 speakers will be one that I want to audition as I have heard nothing but glowing praise. Long Story short - I can probably only accomodate a few ID brands and probably have that many or more already.

JTR Speakers - As with the Aperion, these appear to be ID. Also, (and correct me if I am wrong) it appears that these speakers are as sensitive or more sensitive than Klipsch speakers are. I did have the opportunity to get a short listen to the RF-62s and just felt - for lack of a better choice of words - there was too much treble for my tastes. If my understanding is correct, a higher sensitivity speaker is not only easier to drive, they tend to have a higher treble (bright?) sound. I figure if the Klipsch did not appeal, these probably would not either.

Def Tech Mythos - this is the one I want to get out to see and get a quick listen to so I can make a decision whether or not to spend more time with it - I just have not made it to the Magnolia location yet.

I need to update my speaker list as the GTG has a couple speakers I have not included - I will get that update done and re-post the revised list in the next couple days.

Cheers!


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