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02-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 26
Post ID: 3815
Reply to: 3810
Beware of ticks bearing weapons!
The electricity was great today, the ribbons are dialed in at 2 uF and .2 mH, and I finally figured out and eliminated a phono hum that has plagued me since I moved into this house.

Naturally, I was a total vinyl slut all day.  It was the classic scene, dragging out all the chestnuts and all the marginally-recorded favorites, and everything sounded syupifyingly great.  These ribbons are the BOMB!  (I have to lump the ML2s in with the ribbons, and I will be posting related observations on that thread, too.)

One thing came up, however that I feel I should issue a warning about, namely: beware of dirty records if you use HE HF ribbons!

I mean, the same old "ticks" that used to merely annoy are now so sudden and truly savage that they are frightning!

Although ticks and pops are still rendered apart form the music, they are quite forceful, and they are perfectly incised, faster than but just as unexpected as a gunshot, right in the upper midrange.

It does not appear that any damage was done by these tiny, violent explosions apart from freaking me out; but who knows for sure?

Anyway, there you are.

Best regards,
Paul S
02-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 27
Post ID: 3818
Reply to: 3815
I am not kidding you….
It sounds like someone needs to attenuate his tweeter for a .5db -.75db down….


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 28
Post ID: 3819
Reply to: 3818
Drafting you
Quite likely, at least some of the time.

I'll just stay tuned while you locate the L-pad ;>Wink.  It's been years, but I think the ones from my 'stats are choke-based.

Nice to have options on a record-by-record, day-by-day basis, anyway, to keep the "disappearing" act going.

Best,
Paul
02-26-2007 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 29
Post ID: 3824
Reply to: 3809
Roundup: RAAL, “Water Drop”, Ribbons, Vitavox, generalizations.

I would like to pass some summarizing observations and some generalizations regarding the entire “Water Drop” project.

THE IDEA

The idea of trying to find a tweeter to compliment Macondo was a good idea. Many of you know that I was proudly declaring over the years that Macondo does not do a lot above 12.5kHz and I so no problem with it. Surely is sounded perfect fine but not because “12.5kHz was enough” as I thought but because I did not have a proper tweeter that would not screw Vitavox.  Sure, I used many tweeters and I always, acknowledging their benefits, was returning to the conclusion that with all Vitavox’s upper edge idiosyncrasies it sounds more musical without being contaminated by a bad tweeter. Now I understand that the tweeters that I used where the problem.

Then the idea of ribbons came to me.

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2974

The move to the ribbons was extremely productive direction to go and I pretty much realized that the ribbons “should do” since I tried the TAD PT-R9. The PT-R9 was wonderful but with 91dB sensitively what was the purpose!!? All that I needed since then was the PT-R9’s Sound with much thinner/lighter ribbon more optimized for HF and with 20dB more sensitivity.  Since I played with my filed-coli I learned how the amount of flux in the gap affect HF:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=1929#1929

For MF and LF the highest flux is not necessary a benefit but for HF it is the absolute key. So, I concluded that I need maximum flux/ highest frequency (highest possible amount of Teslas in the gap) and minimum moving mass. Tthe reach was on….

A SOLUTION

When I approached RAAL I had no expectations. What immediately pleased me was that the RAAL’s Alexander instantaneously understood exactly what I would like to accomplish. Te began to explain to me the details of my project as it was his own project as he was working on the details of my project for a while. It was educational and persuasive. Alex, proposed a number of different solutions how he could accomplish the targeted specifications. They vary in price and level of compromises. He also mentioned that there is another more expansive and less compromising way to do what I wanted if he goes for building a completely different magnetic circuit. I expressed an interest and he told that he know exactly how to calculate and to manufacture a “different” magnetic circuit assuring the minimums size, maximum cost-efficientcy, haveing  the maximum amount of Teslas in the gap, the most evenly distributed flux, the minimum stray magnetic leakage. He also named to me the ribbon thickness of a few ribbon manufactures that I knew off and told that he might use for this HF-Only project a way thinner ribbon then is being used for any typical ribbon tweeter. He also informed me how he can tune the back camber to optimize the frequencies where I need my tweeter to operate. With my BS-detector is fully activated at maximum sensitivity I did not detected in what Alex proposed any BS. He as well mentioned that he developed his own unique ways to hang ribbons and to damp ribbons that make according to him it makes lot of difference. Sure he assured me that he intends to fully employ his techniques on my tweeter if I wiling to go for it. Well, I sound very nice and very reasonable, although I never in my life ever heard any of RAALs’ ribbons. I needed to make a decision. I figured that since this project mostly about a magnetic circuit with a maximum amount of Teslas and since the Nicola Tesla was  a Serb  then I need to have a Serb engineer to do what his cousin started a hundred years ago. The pan was very much was intended and I turned a green light for the “no compromise tweeter”…

THE ANTICIPATION

It took something about 2-3 moths. I prepaid a half of the project cost upfront. Alex sent me the progress reports, design images, incremental photos, measurements and etc…. We exchange emails. We spoke on phone many times. Alex speaks perfect English and any time he or I need anything we just picked a phone and called. The enter experience was very positive and I had no doubt that Alex was serious to finish the project at max level of seriousness. There was only one caveat – I had no idea what kind Sound I will be getting out the tweeter when I will be done. Let me to explain. Over the years I have a number of different manufactures who agree to do for me custom jobs. Quite a number of these projects were not successful despite that the manufactures did the best job they know of.  The reasons why the projects went unsuccessful because the manufactures had no idea (or did not what to know) with what level of reference points they will be dealing with. I know! I know! it sounds like an ego trip into the depth of my arrogant narcissism but let go beyond it and to deal not with the simplistic accusations but with facts. The facts are piled up in my storage; represent the best efforts the some people spent but at the same time those “facts” are completely unusable from sonic point of view. I never blame the people who did the projects and I recognize the failures as the “casualties of being me”.  So, despite of very positive experiences with RAAL and knowing the Alex will do his best I had no idea what RAAL’s the best would mean in term of sound.

ARRIVING

All that I knew about RAAL was what I have see in their web site: “after 11 years of small, handmade quantities, the company have started a serial production…. extensive use of FEM analysis methods, complex acoustic measurement methods, laser and water-jet cutting, CNC machining…” etc, etc, etc….  I hardly took all of that seriously unit I actually received the tweeter. I’m a certified American White Trash I feel similar to the most of the American morons do: everything that is on East of New England is the “Edge of the Earth”. So, how big my surprise was when I unpacked the Tweeter and saw a perfectly manufactured and finished mashie-made product. The “Water Drops” looked no different as if they just jumped off a conveyer of “Booing Helicopters”. It was very pleasant to see the love and respect to own labor that Alex put into his RAALs….

SETTING UP

The setup of those drivers was a bitch. It took for me 3 days to figure out that that damn driver with for a first order need to invert the phase. After that everything was if not simple but none-problematic. The setup and arrangement of the driver’s crossover in context on Macondo is quite complicated and there are many variables that participate in the game. A couple weeks after staring using the Tweeter I still have many open options, I am not settled yet with my crossover solution.  However, it is a matter of minor tuning already. The import thing that I have witnessed that is few settings I have tried the driver demonstrate VERY competent results and my worries that in RAAL’s case the manufacturer’s ability would not much my anticipations was not warranted. So, in context of Macondo is easy to make the “Water Drop” to sound “good” but there is a lot of more then juts make it to “sound good”. So, I keep playing with my crossover arrangement; keep discovering new ways how the RAAL tweeter might interact with my MF channel.  It probably says more about my anal retentiveness then about the tweeter….. but I do not the write about the “Water Drop” but rather about my journey…
SOUND

At this point I have nothing to say about the tweeter’s sound. It did hit all my objectives and in some areas it surpassed them. Nicola Tesla might be proud… I got what I needed, even more, and since the “Water Drop” does what it should I do not see any positive or negative comments that I might pass about the tweeter sound. Stop typing and listen the Sound of the Room in which you are you’re now. Can you hear any high frequencies? I do not think so. The Water Dropped Macondo when it plays has ALSO NO HIGH FREQUENCIES, however if I had a virtual perfect equalizer then I would not feel that I need to add any high frequencies to the existing sound.

CONCEPT

The concept of complimenting a compression driver with good ribbon turned out to be a sensational success. You see, the compression drivers are like a diesel engine – they have no brain or sensibility – they hit a wall and keep running like nothing happen. When a compression driver has a dynamic stress it runs ahead like a wounded in ass animal, spiting all its dynamic craziness right in your face. If in a MF driver it is extremely beneficial but at HF it might be annoying. Here is where ribbons can help.

The ribbons have sound quality almost according a “logarithmic scale of quality” – a drop in frequency lead to un-proportional large sonic compression.  With lowering of frequency ribbon begin sucking all juice out of sound. However the closer ribbon goes to it max HF the less problem it has. I do not know what is the reason is but I feel that  it might be because a VC of compression driver is underhanded and at each single moment of the VC’s excursion the coil moves within completely homogeneous magnetic filed, with magnetic lines perfectly perpendicular to the VC. A ribbon, being placed in it magnetic filed, present a perfect transducer …. but only when  it is stationary. What a ribbon begins to radiate frequencies it swings and bends effectively removing itself form “the perfect spot” and begin to pick some “curved” magnetic lines. Sure, it is juts my hypnotizes and it might be a foolishness but it explains to me why a ribbon with frequency going down begin to compress. However, the ribbon higher frequencies equal fewer excursions and therefore more operation it is default “stationary”, underhanded state.

So, a ribbon is not a good MF driver but a perfect HF driver. It has some softness and that softness is a VERY wonderful compliment to the sonic brutal barbarianism of compression drivers. Combining a good compression driver (good luck to find one) with a good ribbon, using ribbon juts at very top might allow a very-fine-tine the final dynamic punch-line of playback, enabling a playback very convincingly and very accurately and very neutrally to play the harsh and cold brutality of London symphony and at the same time the satin lush of Philadelphia Orchestra.  I very strongly devise to anyone who uses compression drivers to look at the ribbon direction and the final strike of brash within a canvas of your playback sound.

RATIONALIZATION

Was the “Water Drop” is justifiable driver? I when for highest sensitively and I know how sensitively “works” within the world of compression drivers.  RAAL’s Alex do not necessary believes that in high sensitively of ribbons there are any benefits. The  “Water Drop” does perform more interesting then very few other ribbons that I tried but I do not know if it is because the sensitivity or because many other factors. I burn 8dB in my Macondo in L-Pad, so 102db of sensitivity would be enough to EQ the level of the tweeter and MF channel.  Would the same driver with less flux and 102db of sensitive to sound the same? I do not know.  I still hope that in ribbons at more sensitivity output higher maximum dynamic range….

Alex said in one of his email:“As for Water Drop [sound], it's pretty much the same thing that I could say about it, but your way of expressing the events is much more poetic. It's not really a proprietary behavior of your tweeter only. All three production models that I make, express the same manners. Your tweeter is more specialized in HF and high efficiency, but I think it wouldn't loose any of it's behavior if I made it with wider ribbon.”

That indicates that he feels that what I like in my “Water Drop” is not the unique properly of my “Water Drop”  tweeter but rather a common characteristic if all his ribbons. It does hurt my ego as I would like to stupidly feel that my ribbon is  “the most ribboniest of all ribbons”. I have my suspicion that what Alex said is not exactly accurate as he I presumably did not use MF channels that go high and with no transient limitations. I feel that my pressure for narrowing ribbon, lightening the ribbon‘s mass, increasing flux, decreasing LF in tweeter do make sense. However, there is one thing that kind of saves Alex’s ass: so far he did not tell me anything the turned out to be a BS. So, with all my desire to disagree with him I would like to leave the subject of the “Water Drop” rationalization opened for future clarifications…

WORDS TO FOLLOWERS

If you use a compression driver and the driver does not sits in a foolishly-deep 150Hz horn and trying to shot all the way up then you are not a Moron and you might consider a ribbon. I still would advise for high sensitively and smaller moving mass but it all depends what kind MF driver you use and HOW you use it.  You might try ribbons tweeter from RAAL or for any other ribbon maker. I am not pushing the RAAL agenda. Forget any loyally or prejudices. Just honor what YOUR MF CHANNEL NEEDS and find a producer that serves YOUR benefits and benefits of your Sound. This is exactly how high-end should be. If you have a MF channel that dies at 6-7kHz (like some BMS or JBL drivers) then you need very different ribbons then the Water Drop. (I do not personally believe in those MF-able ribbons but it is your system not mine – do whatever serves your expectations). Alsom be advised that Ribbons are line source they propagate “further” then a point source of your compression driver. If you have a long and deep listening room, if your installation is across short wall and if your ribbons care a lot of MF then you might experiences some issues with sound balance at different distance

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2898

In my case when my ribbon is crossed relatively high I have no problems combining sound of line source with…. Well, my entire Macondo is in an away a line-sources as it’s tall, first order and use a heavy “channel penetration” (look for entire two pages of the thread)

 http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2750

Still if you have a lot of distance to cover, tend to listen from different distance and would like to cross too low into MF then put a motorized L-pad on your ribbon and a motion-detectors in your room. You can set 2-3 zones that would set 2-3 settings on your ribbon L-pad. The biggest question would be how you make your motion-detector do not react to your Cat if she decided to walk on her back paws. If you do not have a Cat then you do not need any tweeter and all that you need a gun. Buy a guy and then shoot yourself as your cat-less life should not be continued. If you insist to live then stop reading about the damn tweeters, run right now in a shelter for homeless Cats and bring to your life the nobler creature that ever blessed your listening room with her presence.
Another word of wisdoms, if you ribbon is over 105dB sensitive and is has “opened gap” (it is how all HF ribbons should be) then consider to negotiate with your ribbons maker an… insurance.  I have a number of “near death experiences” with my “Water Drop” and purely accidentally it survived so far. If you do move your systems around, or if you your still work on your playback, or if your tweeter will be at a location that is ease accessible then I do see a rational to pay a few dosen bucks per year to mange the risk that you will damage the driver.

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=3768

I went for ordering from RAAL one more identical tweeter, just to make sure that I have a spare “in case”, because I know that as sloppy as I am - I will screw up my current “Water Drop” eventually.
Another a VERY interesting observation to the smart Cats that use capable compression drivers and DSETs .  A properly performing and sounding HF ribbon would unload the HF stress from you MF compression driver and would allow you to play with loading. With Vitavox I have very good experiences by loading the output stage inhumanely, even as low as 200R. It is not how I will be operating my MF channel but with disconcern to HF it is possible to load MF with any harmonic stricture you wish …  it is a VERY powerful tool. For instance, now I would love to try the old metal-suspension cones in Vitavox or to try to balance the TAD 4001’s tackiness with ultra low plate loading. Or perhaps it would be fun to jack up the “speed” of JBL 375/2440 via loading…. Indeed a good tweet opens up some doors….

CONCLUSION

Think what frequency you need, think what horizontal dissipation you need and try good ribbons. There are a near a dozen of ribbon tweeters producers and some of them do more or less high sensitively ribbons. Interview them and see what they can do for you.  One thing that I should mention as a warning: I hate the ribbon’s tone. I mean as soon ribbon begin to operate in the region where sound demands any tonal qualities then ribbons begin to screw up. A ribbon has no tone and ribbon is disabled to reflect the colorful essence of tone. It has nothing to do with RAAL ribbons - it is what ALL ribbons do. The ribbons have tone of distill water and color of fresh show. It is great for HF nose but it deadly for musical nuances and for musical beauty. So, do not let ribbons to run very low and you will be on save side. If you feel that you need to go with your ribbon tweeter to the regions where sound begin to pick some tonal inflection then do yours a favor… do not lower a ribbon crossover point but change you MF driver….

Rgs, 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
02-27-2007 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 30
Post ID: 3827
Reply to: 3782
The “Water Drop” and the “Bessel curve”…

Well it is quite amassing discovers not the fact itself, it is well known, but the amplitude with which the fact demonstrates itself.

I run the “Water Drop” at 12K second order but not against the tweeter transformer but against an 8R voltage divider. So the filter sees a more of less purely restive load (with a primary of the transformer kick in at 3.0H few octaves below). The filter does a Bessel curve and it sounds phenomenal but here is the catch… moving a cap or a coil out of calculation that makes a perfect Bessel Q, even within 10% do affect sound. Sure it is easy to re-align the driver, and I did it many times, but I never was able to get in the “off Bessel Q” the proper sound. Interesting that when the filter in the exact Bessel setting, then regardless off crossover point the driver demonstrate much less sensitivity to timing errors.  Furthermore… and this is truly astonishing: the driver in and out of Bessel curve has completely different integrateability with MF channel. Out of Bessel curve the driver should be dialed superbly precise and ½ db makes it “too hot” of “not hot enough”. When the filter is the Bessel curve then the volume control on the tweeter become WAY less critical and even adding 8dB (!!!!) on the tweets dos not sound irritating. It is truly amassing how sensitive this thing is….


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-01-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 31
Post ID: 3858
Reply to: 3809
The tweeter and Sound (#4) - the Water Droped Stokowski

I was listening light night the Charles Ives’ Fourth Symphony by the kids of American Symphony Orchestra and Members of Schola Cantorum under the baton of probably 180 years old Leopold Stokowski. Ives music is not exactly my cap of tea but I hardly can talk about music here but rather about the Stokowski interpretation. I seldom consider an atonal music as the “Pregnant Music”, sure there are exceptions but generally the atonal tone does not “get” me. However in case of Stokowski and the Ives’ Fourth Symphony the table was turned.

I took my Kostas Metaxas/Charles Kind re-made Stellavox and loaded it with Columbia reel. Well, Columbia is well know as the company that butchered zillion recordings with their Moronic recording practice but in case of this 1965 recording they did quite wonderful fine job… So, why I am telling this story in the thread dedicated to the RAAL “Water Drop” tweeter? Sure, because the tweeter made quite a difference and play its own role.

If you do not know this Ives work by Stokowski then you hardly undusted what I mean. It has big sound. Well, whatever Stokowski did has the BIG sound but in case of the Ives’ Fourth it is not juts a wall of BIG sound but as huge colossal wall of solidified sonic pressures that built a “super pressure” and this super pressure dominate mind with the force of the Tarkovsky’s or Paradzhanov's films…..

You might stay with your eyes closed, truing back to Sound and you always feel that that gigantic wall, almost the Pink Floydian Wall, that ornamented by the relief sculpture of sonic moaning and the supported by the Wagnerian-like pressure, is always there. That physical prentice of the Stokowski-built wall is so animated that you feel that you can extend your hand back and you fell the alive body of bubbling Sound…

Then you turn the “Water Drop” tweeter on….

The Wall trembles and collapse.  You stay with your eyes closed, truing back to Sound but now instead of the feeling the pressure from the Stokowski’ wall you feel that you are staying at the edge of Grand Canyon and juts a few feet behind you a huge, hundreds feet deep and a few miles wide, Earth Opening. Then the real “trip” starts… You make a step back, then one more and one more… but the Stokowski’s force holds you. You do not know if you are on earth yet or you are already are flying over the Grand Canyon. Whatever Stokowski’s does with his winds of Sound eliminate any your concerns, fears or worries about what might happen you and make you and all your awareness absolute and unconditional subordinate of Sound…

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
03-07-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 297
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 32
Post ID: 3936
Reply to: 3824
I'm thinking, I'm thinking!
Romy wrote: "Think what horizontal dissipation you need."

All the time, all the time!

clark
04-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 33
Post ID: 4259
Reply to: 3766
New blood for the “Water Drop” Tweeter.

Over the course of the last month we have a numerous communication with the RAAL’s Alex. With all my “accuracy” handling of the “Water Drop” tweeters I have eventually terminally damaged the ribbons on my left channel and I asked Alex to send me ribbon-replacement. It was very simple to replace the ribbons and the drivers as now are back to operation, However, the story had an interesting twist…

While we were discussing with Alex the replacement opportunities (the damn shipping cost 10 times more then the ribbons) Alex mentioned that he developed a method of manufacturing “different” types of ribbons. Alex claimed that those “other ribbons” have quite a unique sound and according to him the “other ribbons” have some advantages over his regular ribbons.

This new ribbons (let for a sake of conventions call them RAAL+) are made from the same ultra thin aluminum but this aluminum spent 72 hours being bombarded with neutrons from uranium-238 oxide in the labs of Dmitrovgrad’s Institute of Atomic Reactors. As the result, the aluminum electrons develop a fear of radiation poisoning and each time when current flows over ribbon producing HF the electrons are panicking  and do their job presuming that it was the last day in this lives….

OK, it was not exactly true description of the RAAL+ technology. The truth is that Alex would like too keep his RAAL+ technology proprietary and I am under undisclosure pledge. However, he sent me the original ribbons that I had before and in addition to them his RAAL+ ribbons (both ribbons are interchangeable in my application). I did try those new RAAL+ ribbons and I can concur that the RAAL+ is a next step into the “ribbonisation”.

The most distinct difference between the “true ribbons” and other tweeter is relative speed projected to HF noise (or it’s lack). No mater how low noise of the originals Water Drop drivers the “noise” of the “Water Drop” tweeter armed with RAAL+ ribbons even lower. It is not even about the noise but more about some strange own intelligence that RAAL+ ribbons demonstrate. The RAAL+ ribbons sound like they have some maturity and integrity with themselves and they do not produce HF when it is un-real-necessary. The “regular” RAAL ribbons sound like a young drummer-prodigy, where the drummer is willing to demonstrate by his each strike his undeniable technical superiority and performing supremacy. However, the RAAL+ ribbons sound more like the same drummer in 30 years – he has all the same techniques and performing capacity only now he does not need to prove anything to himself and to others and he knows how to play better then anyone else without striking the drums too frequently. It is like listening Joe Morello’s play after visiting a contemporary festival of young drummers….

Anyhow, the RAAL+ are defiantly a next level up into my HF journey. Now, I have a pile of regulars RAAL ribbons…. I wonder where I can I get a half-pounds of  depleted uranium to convert them into the RAAL+'s  ribbons… :-)

Rgs,
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
04-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 34
Post ID: 4264
Reply to: 4259
The tweeter project is over.
And eventually to finish up with my tweeter saga I got today my new arm for the “Water Drop”.… Now the project is officially over.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 35
Post ID: 4269
Reply to: 4259
A very special/specialized design
Alex obviously knows a whole lot about ribbons, and I like his approach, too.  So I wonder how his 70-10 stock model sounds at 2k Hz, which it is rated for and so designed to do.  I really wonder if this ribbon might be an exception the ">8k Rule".

I have noticed in my own experiments that the lighter the "naked" ribbon, the better the HF, other factors being equal, and RAALS ribbons are astoundingly light!  Not to push Alex's observations aside, but my own recent experiments also indicate that (as Romy has said), other factors being equal, additional magnet strength (efficiency) audibly helps rendered HF.  Also, RAAL's ribbons are "flat" as opposed to "pleated", and I believe this is also an audible advantage at HF.

It may be that Alex/RAAL is the only person/company offering the optimal HF-only ribbon.  I know of no one else who offers uncoated, flat, narrow, HE ribbons, let alone anything so damn thin.  The freaking thing is virtually mass-less!

Best regards,
Paul S
05-05-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 36
Post ID: 4357
Reply to: 3766
The tweeter hidden problems: very interesting.
I had today a conversation with RAAL’s Alex and he pinched to me a very interesting idea. He feels that I attenuate the outpit of my “Water Drop” too much. I have no doubts that I attenuate it as much as necessary and Alex proposed that I do too much attenuation because some unknown to me HF anomalies. What Alex proposes is that those anomalies (coming from amps, cables, alignments of from whatever) force me to attenuate my tweeter for 5-6dB more then he would expect… I have to say it is very interesting idea and from my point of view it is very cogent thinking… I have to investigate it further…

Rgs, 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
05-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Gregm
Greece
Posts 91
Joined on 02-16-2005

Post #: 37
Post ID: 4359
Reply to: 4357
Tweeter too low, mid too hot...
 Romy the Cat wrote:
I had today a conversation with RAAL’s Alex and he pinched to me a very interesting idea. He feels that I attenuate the outpit of my “Water Drop” too much. I have no doubts that I attenuate it as much as necessary and Alex proposed that I do too much attenuation because some unknown to me HF anomalies.
Is there any external indication of the tweet being too attenuated? (say, the tweet is @100dB and the next driver is operating @103).
If this were the case, and Alex is right, you are now sacrificing some homogeneity in exchange for less annoyance fm these "pbs". We all have pbs, the pb is when these reach the threshold of definitively impairing our reproduction. Do you detect such pbs?
Cheers
05-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 38
Post ID: 4361
Reply to: 4357
It's all relative
Romy, I am on the verge of an L-pad for my HF ribbons, but in my case I believe it is mostly the MC cartridge response I am wanting to offset, on a case by case basis.

Also, this would allow me to adapt HF to recordings, since there are some things I just don't want to hear so loudly.

Lastly, I have noticed more with the latest nominally-HE ribbons that they can outstrip the range just under them in some situations.

While Alex has raised some interesting points worht further investigation, I imagine I will still try an HF L-pad for the reasons I have cited.

I don't know about the working response of the RAAL ribbons you have, but most ribbons I have checked are so non-linear that you can't get a flat full octave out of them, and tyupical peaks and troughs can exacerbate MC response peaks and troughs and/or digital noise spikes.

I have thought idly of tailoring HF output curve to the ribbon at line or amp level, like a sort of ribbon-specific HF RIAA, but the chances of me doing this are not good at this point.

One thing I just thought of: If you are using any "coated" wire cables, such as silver plated copper, etc., these can cause wild anomolies in HF via a good naked ribbon.  Who knows why?

Best regards,
Paul S
05-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 39
Post ID: 4363
Reply to: 4361
No silver, no balancing problems by other components.
 Paul S wrote:
Romy, I am on the verge of an L-pad for my HF ribbons, but in my case I believe it is mostly the MC cartridge response I am wanting to offset, on a case by case basis.
Hm, this it VERY bad. Fix you cartridge setup, it's setting, loading or the phonostage and do not cure it with tweeters padding. Each component should be independently neutral.
 Paul S wrote:
One thing I just thought of: If you are using any "coated" wire cables, such as silver plated copper, etc., these can cause wild anomolies in HF via a good naked ribbon.
Paul, you read my site long enough to know that do not allow any silver in my listening room.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 40
Post ID: 4364
Reply to: 4363
Cartridge loading and tuning for ribbons
Good advice, to be sure.

I have chosen the most "neutral", "tape-like" MC I have found, but of course it remains a phono cartridge/transducer...  Meanwhile, I just checked VTF on a hunch and was annoyed to find that at some point I had left a set-screw un-cinched and the VTF was running light.  Re-setting this to max worked wonders, as you might expect. (what a dope...)

Phono stage is new (an Arthur Loesch variant, but not Thorsten's), and there remains work to be done, mostly getting overall balance right.  I will not add a ribbon L-pad until this is done.

Based on previous trials, I have avoided putting resistors on my new ribbons so far.  Finding decent caps and coils has been enough of a problem already, since everything comes through so clearly.  Maybe a variable inductor...  probably hear the wiper...  Any ideas?

I was thinking of and dreading futzing with incoming/RIAA cartridge signal, but then I realized that output RC changes alone might do it, and that is simple enough (just time consuming and expensive).  Have you tried those Ice Cubes in phono RC out, at ~ 4 uF?  The exotic stuff can have extremely "nice" areas but typically some discontinuity.  I am so close...

I did not mean to insult you, Romy.  The "coated wire" reference was as much for others as for you. Lord knows what people are into these days...

Best rgards,
Paul S
05-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 41
Post ID: 4365
Reply to: 4364
Do not repeat my mistakes and let keep the cartridges out of it.

 Paul S wrote:
Based on previous trials, I have avoided putting resistors on my new ribbons so far.  Finding decent caps and coils has been enough of a problem already, since everything comes through so clearly.  Maybe a variable inductor...  probably hear the wiper...  Any ideas?

Specialty for the “Water Drop” Alex designed a very slick coil with variables indictor. Interesting that the way he did the coil was so cool that it even theoretically was not different then a fixed inductor. However, be advised that you might not use it “in fly” as change of inductance affects time aliment.

Do not repeat my stupid mistakes:

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2790




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-19-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 42
Post ID: 4429
Reply to: 4365
Hi/lo ambience corollary
Sometimes it can take a while for the other shoe to drop.

I knew I had bass and balance issues with my phonostage.  I recently added some capacitance to the output cap, and that did the trick for the ribbon level.

Going back to the earlier discussion of the ribbon's role in making bass more fulland articuate, here is the not-necessarily-logical corollary: better bass making more-correct bass ambience, which somehow "combines" or "blends" with the ribbon's output to drastically improve overall ambience and in so doing it also "lowers" the perceived HF output level from the ribbon.

Today I played a crappy (1977) pressing of the Budapest Quartet playing Beethoven's Late Quartets (1952), and for the first time with these discs I could comfortably follow the melody as it was handed off from voice to voice.  Limited ambience in this pressing, but some, anyway, and more importantly I enjoyed the great ensemble playing, and some of the fabled Strad tone, to boot.

Better recordings better illustrated the hi/lo corolary and correct  ambience, including well-done reverb on some jazz solos.  Some poorly over-dubbed records I tried that used to sound merely hyped are now unbearable, not just because of "too much HF", but rather because they are exposed for just what they are, and the ridiculous, out-of-perspective/balance added "mix" is just too much to take, rendered literally.

Basically, if any or all of the recording is processed aside and/or tipped up, then it sounds like that.  So far, it's mostly pop songs that are out, so no big loss.

So, no big hurry for the L-pad now, and no further phono funny business is required.

Best regards,
Paul S
05-20-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
cdwitmer
Posts 5
Joined on 05-20-2007

Post #: 43
Post ID: 4430
Reply to: 4365
Just curious to know if a field coil ribbon tweeter could be practical
I'm probably revealing my ignorance by even asking this, but I'm curious to know if a field coil ribbon tweeter could be practical. It occurs to me that if one could be made, it would be a lot safer since it wouldn't be a black hole for magnetic objects -- at least when the power is turned off . . .

Chris
05-20-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 44
Post ID: 4431
Reply to: 4430
I see not needs for electromagnet in tweeters.

 cdwitmer wrote:
I'm probably revealing my ignorance by even asking this, but I'm curious to know if a field coil ribbon tweeter could be practical. It occurs to me that if one could be made, it would be a lot safer since it wouldn't be a black hole for magnetic objects -- at least when the power is turned off
Yes, Chris, there was Decca driver that had a ribbon, a small quite very dad horn and electromagnet. When we shaped the idea of the “Water Drop” the electromagnet was under discussion. There was quite number of very seductive for Alex marketing circumstances to introduce the field-coil to the Water Drop. This tweeter could be made with much more obnoxious magnetizing winding considering that the driver will be in much more relaxed thermal condition then a compression driver and cooling of the this type of tweeter would be way less imperative sine the transducer in a wide open gap. I also noted to Alex that considering the contemporary overfed hype regarding the electromagnetic idea he would most likely will generals some buzz among audio hoodlums who would see the electromagnetic 109db-sensitive ribbon will be drooling from groundless anticipation and self-instigated eagerness. Could you imagine that wonderful opportunity for off these marketing idiots to compose their BS claming that RAAL sound different because they use electromagnets!!! Anyhow the electromagnetic version of “Water Drop” would be also easier to make….

I proposed the electromagnetic as an option purely for Alex’s benefits, but I personally with my objectives did not have a strong desire to go there. If you read my examination about the electromagnet-converted Vitavox S2 driver

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/LatestPosts.aspx?ThreadID=1929

then you would know that I am a not such a huge and undutiful supporter of the field-coil idea. I am not saying that electromagnet is bad but it is as good as anything else: has own merits and own problems. The field-coil, if to drive it very hot and dissipating a lot of stray flux, might give extra 2dB to the “Water Drop” but it is absolutely unnecessary as my Macondo’s horns channels are calibrated for 109dB, and the 109dB is exactly what the “Water Drop” does. Also, do not forget that the “Water Drop” is line source and working with point source (horns) it has already a few decibels advantage at listening position. It should be also considered that to make the critical core size for the field-coil the “Water Drop” back should be much larger and I meant to keep the water drop shape as small as possible in order to minimize diffractions, the  bouncing back etc, and make the tweeter as much as possible optimum for the HF-type-only tweeter. Furthermore, with more (unnecessary) magnetic force we would not be able to make the cheeks of the gap as they are as we would need to change the entire magnetic shape of the tweeter. The tips of the cheeks are currently completely saturated and we would need to make them bigger… that would not be optimum for the given narrow gap of the small ribbon.  So, we went with perm neodymium magnet, conceding also the fact the Alex had practical knowledge what would be best magnetic force in the gap vs. the worthless stay filed and considering that the force of neodymium perfectly fulfill our objectives.

I am very much not saying that electromagnet tweeter would be a bad idea, we juts decided to do what we know already know and go to the direction where Alex has proven and predictable relationship between actions and the actual sonic result of the actions. You see, above 12.5K there is no sound in a normal science but rather a stream of noises that are should be viewed differently then sound. With the introduction of the new type of ribbons in “Water Drop”:

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=4259

we got that “crispy softness” that makes me see no needs to think about other magnets. Still, the only direction that I would like to explore is to try making ribbons to go all the way up in dynamic range like the compression drivers do but it has nothing to do with magnet. Currently Alex is working on a new type of transformer that I presume might be able to deliver what I expect. I will report it is it. So, the need for electromagnet tweeter is not on my radars. I feel that is a lot of other prominent things that should be taken care in a HF-only tweeter that I feel might make the type of the magnet to have very secondary meaning. Anyhow, if I had a second change to do the “Water Drop” again with an objection for a different magnet then, considering what I know about HF and magnets, I would go for Alnico magnets but not for the electromagnets.

Rgs,
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
06-07-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 45
Post ID: 4564
Reply to: 4357
So, it was the damn Electricity…

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I had today a conversation with RAAL’s Alex and he pinched to me a very interesting idea. He feels that I attenuate the outpit of my “Water Drop” too much. I have no doubts that I attenuate it as much as necessary and Alex proposed that I do too much attenuation because some unknown to me HF anomalies. What Alex proposes is that those anomalies (coming from amps, cables, alignments of from whatever) force me to attenuate my tweeter for 5-6dB more then he would expect… I have to say it is very interesting idea and from my point of view it is very cogent thinking… I have to investigate it further…

... and from  http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=4563

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Got today home, turned the playback on and realized the electricity got better. Not as god as it should be but much better. At lest each ambient sting instrument did not surround surrounded with a cloud of white noise and the woodwinds do not sound like coppers - is huge freaking accomplishment!!!

Also, did I mention that today I was able to run the Water Drop not at minus 9dB as at the time of bad electricity but flat at 0dB? I did not experience a lot of discomfort. I think it was it. I have the same experiences in the beginning when I got the Water Drop (it was winter).

Let see what this will lead me to…

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=4480

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
06-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 46
Post ID: 4614
Reply to: 4564
Yep, yup, ditto
I should have said earlier that I have noticed the same thing, although I don't think I'm talking any 9 dB, here.

For me, bad electricity not only makes for crappy, non-musical MF sounds but it also makes actual "sounds" come from the normally-"silent" ribbons, and it is barely tolerable.  There is danger that a poorly-recorded drum kit could drive an otherwise-affable guy up a bell tower with a high-powered rifle.

If my wife or daughter are around when the bad HF happens, they hound me until I turn it off!

I imagine your cat flees the scene, too, or shreds your furniture in reprisal.

When electricity is good, ribbon level is fine.

I still have not done the vari-choke, so HF/system is still held hostage by SDG&E, sweaty neighbors...

Best regards,
Paul Ss
09-13-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 47
Post ID: 5293
Reply to: 3824
The Water Drop's Second breathing + New Super Milq


Over the course of the last year I have been gently harassing my transformers-savvy surrounding trying to evangelize them into amorphous core. They stubbornly and perhaps stupidly resist. Some of them not… 

During the last few months I was talking with a number or people with objective to have the HF channel of my 6-chennal Super Milq to drive RAAL’s “Water Drop” directly. The requirement was to use amorphous transformer. Two people bid for the job but after a conversation with Alex, (the RAAL guy who made the “Water Drop”) I gave him the project as I fell that he has better experience with the Ribbon’s needs then any other person I know. I got the new transformers a week ago from Alex and put them today into the play.

Lately I spent a LOT of efforts with finding a right solution for high-pass filtering for my HF and MF channel and nothing give me the sound that I found acceptable. That why I did not put the WD into the game right the way – was waiting for the right crossover solution for HF channel.  However, yesterday I have found a VERY good sounding solution using RL filter in MF channel (superbly!!!)  and an air capacitor on the “Water Drop”, both of course at line level.

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=5288

I deseeded do not go for RL filter in tweeter channel as it would even further increase the restive chain in the driver’s grid. I would like to keep it relatively high as the 6E6P is VERY fast tube but still I would like do not go too for too high resistance. Also, the air cap demonstrated phenomenal sound at HF, so I let it be. Then there were a lot of efforts with shielding, assembling, calibrating and… now the 6E6P with 30mA on plate drivers directly the “Water Drop” via 175:1, amorphous torpid, foil-to-wire.  (The transformer sits on the tweeter side and connected via cable caring plate voltage – I use regular hoop up wire at this moment)

I do not know where Sound was loosing before: in filtering capacitors, in time anomalies of the high order (second) filter, in slow transformer core, in the unnecessary double transforming, in the unnecessary double staging, or whatever. I know that the new result is the order of magnitude more interesting. I did not integrate the Water Drop yet properly but the preliminary sound is kind of scarely good.

Rgs, 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
09-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 48
Post ID: 5295
Reply to: 5293
Time and resistance?
As a certified non-expert I wonder about 1st order XO with the tweeter, because of the phase issue.  Probably stupid, but I always figured that at 180 degrees you could just switch the wires...

But I have not tried 1st order on a ribbon for a long time.  I have tried the 3rd order that everyone recommends fairly recently, however, and it was bad in my system.

Do I remember reading somewhere on your site that you pretty much dismissed the "90 degree" issue, at least for LF?

If DCR is the main concern with 2nd order, you can get a small value coil like that made of thick wire that has pretty low R, down to .02 Ohms.

The air cap sounds interesting.  I guess the ribbon would be the right place to start...

Anyway, you're making me re-think my own x-overs, especially the MF, where I am also stuck with a Zobel to counteract the notch filters.

Best,
Paul S
09-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 49
Post ID: 5296
Reply to: 5295
It’s impossible to have 1st order with ribbons at speaker level

 Paul S wrote:
As a certified non-expert I wonder about 1st order XO with the tweeter, because of the phase issue.  Probably stupid, but I always figured that at 180 degrees you could just switch the wires... Do I remember reading somewhere on your site that you pretty much dismissed the "90 degree" issue, at least for LF?

Do not think about amount of degrees what you think about crossovers – it is very deceptive thing and I never take under consideration. Think about synchronization of MF an HF channels in the SAME period and do not worry about degrees.

 Paul S wrote:
But I have not tried 1st order on a ribbon for a long time.  I have tried the 3rd order that everyone recommends fairly recently, however, and it was bad in my system.
I do not think it is possible to write a pure first order at speaker level with ribbons as you will always have the inductance of the Ribbon transformer. Evan the inductance kicks in a few octaves form the crossover point it still forces to tweeter to invert phase. I would never believe that it might be the case and when I got my WD I refused to do it and was bitching to Alex that his tweeter was sounding like crap. So, with ribbon filtered at speaker level you might have the first order’s harmonics but it will have the second order phase twisting

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
09-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 50
Post ID: 5301
Reply to: 5293
The wonderful opportunity of the first order and...
... and nothing as a result. After testing, measuring and the most important listening the new Water Drop integrated with the rest Macondo I summized that I would need to go still for a second order on my tweeter. It is kind of not what I hoped. I did not like how the Water Drop sound stand alone with a first order before but I do like quite a lot how the first ordered of the “new” Water Drop sounds with a single stage, driven from plate with own amorphous and with air cap as a filter – truly truly truly remarkable sound. However, combined with S2 driver the Water Drop take too much to itself what should not be taken and therefore it needed to be rolled off shaper. So, it will be a second order 365pF and 440mH or 12.5K 12 dB per octave – pretty much what it used it be. Well, the fantasies about the first order turned out were too idealistic….

Rgs, 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
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