I think I have too much time on my hands or use my time in highly stupid fashion but I decided to do today the experiment about witch I was thinking for a while. The experiment was “methodology clean” and lead me to quite interesting discoveries. Since you follow my blog and have as much time on your hands I think it is very much worth to share my observations with public. Also, leaving all foolishness aside, if the subject of this blog and your interests is hard pushing an envelop of advanced audio methods and evolved music reproduction techniques then read on.
I hate tweeters and I hate HOW Hi-Fi reproduce high frequency. There was literary a hand full moments within my audio experiences when I heard produced HF that I liked.
1) A few years ago I heard Grand Utopia (old one, not today’s Be crappy version) driven by some huge German-made PP tube amp. The sound was typical Grand Utopians… with obnoxious laser-like HF. However when I got myself in the very precise distance from the speaker then it was it. Grand Utopia is freaky speaker and knowing how to deal with it I was literally moving inch by inch from 25-20 feet and somewhere when I hit the correct distance then… the tweeter suddenly despair and the HF where execrably how they should be: not auditable and non-existing but hypnotizably non-existing
2) Last year I was listening Wilson Alexandria with Spectral 360 SS PP. I would not comment on the general Sound but HF were incorrect. However, when I was walking out of the room, somewhere near the door it suddenly hit me. In this, many feet away from listing position spot the Alexandria’s HF suddenly collapsed and the effect of the phenomenal HF calmness come to the existence.
3) A few ears ago in a used LF shop there was some very crappy no-name 30 years old dirty bookshelf speaker that was sitting on the top shelf of the store. The speaker was driven by a consumer receiver. The HF were so spectacular (from any place of the store) that it was not even funny. I asked a clerk to play an opera peace that I picked from the shelf and it was literally like nothing else.
4) In June-July 2000, in my own listening room, my speaker (I do not remember which tweeters I used at that time as I changed them monthly) were driven by Lamms ML2 and during the typical movement experiments my speakers hit the DPoLS. During those few weeks that HF were absolutely incomparable with anything I ever hear in audio. It is absolutely imposable to convey to anybody who is not familiar with the effect.
5) The Celestion SL-600 with copper tweeters and driven by Lamm M1.1 amplifiers. The Celestion copper tweeters are class of their own and there is nothing like they if the amplification is correct. I know, Lamm quite suffers from quite harsh and quite deserved criticism on my site but let pay dues when it is needed: what Lamm M1.1 does compare to other amps when it drives Celestion SL-600 is nothing less then deserving heights respect.
It was it. Any other listening of a playback I ever did annoyed me with HF tremendously. Still, there is a tweeter that always annoyed me lees then any other: it was Electro-Voice T350. It’s phenolic diaphragm sound VERY different from ANY other tweeter I heard. I use this tweeter for 4-5 years and I always suspected that I do not use it properly. I do not let T350 “to sound” but rather inject T350 at the strategic minus 8dB at ~13kHz -15kHz to cure some issues of my midrange Vitavox S2 driver. It did the necessary touch and it was acceptable, at least not too compliable (when electivity is right). However, today I took a single Celestion copper tweeters, placed it atop of Macondo, connected it via Dominus to Lamm M1.1, EQed the volumes and listen the Macondo powered by the Celestion’s copper. What can I say? It gave me sense of new direction. Nope. The Celestion’s copper was not better, in fact it was harder then T350 but …
You see the Electro-Voice T350 is a MF driver. I meant to be used from 3500Kz and it has very flat and very fat MF. It is not good quality of MF but it is there. The first order was not juts able to kill and made me use the “injection method”. I set the T350 with sharper filter and it did quite deferent result. Somewhere at 2rd -3rd order the T350 enters the performing domain of Celestion’s copper but it has very soft stress and very “yellow” HF tone. Mixing with Vitavox S2 it has different result then it use to be but still it has very elegant, very sophisticated and very-very-very-very none-twittery sound. I do not know in witch setting I end up but the facts remain the very same: there was no other known to me driver that has comparable to T350 ability for sound reproduction. The Celestion’s copper might be very much close but with 82dB sensitively and heavy impedance EQing it might be a problem. You see, to drive the Celestion’s copper you need a >100W PP but the push-pull have inherent issues at HF (die to the transition line asymmetry of push and pull, not to mention if they use feedback).
So, Electro-Voice T350 is potential “the only correct none-metallic HF”, 110dB sensitively and 120 degree deception. Thanks to my public blabbering the prices of the used T350 jumped from $300 to $1000. Good for you. I think it is still much cheaper then many other tweeter and much more interesting sounding. Dose it has anything to do with advanced audio methods and evolved music reproduction techniques?
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche