cone tweeters vs. dome tweeters

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan T, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    Hi, I currently own four 3-way tower speakers two of them are Kenwood jl-670 digital speakers and the other two are Sony ss-u521av they are in excellent condition and perform very well, each speaker has one 12" woofer, 4" midrange and 2" cone tweeter. The question I have is would it really be worth it to upgrade to speakers with dome tweeters. I have read many books on speakers and home theaters and they all say that dome tweeters are more efficient than cone tweeters but I could not really tell any differences when I compared them side by side. So if anybody could help me that would be great thanks.
    Ryan
     
  2. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    If i remember correctly dome tweeters are more common because they have a better dispersion pattern than cone tweeters, and are less prone to "beamming".
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Not only do domes have better dispersion, they tend to be made out of superior materials which are better at reproducing high frequencies while handling more power without distortion. The tweeter is the one thing that gives a speaker it's high frequency character, and is usually one of the things you will notice first. You will most certainly notice a difference between paper cone tweeters and any type of dome tweeter.
    I am partial to fabric soft domes (silk, in particular) because they sound very smooth without being harsh. Most manufacturers now seem to be moving to different types of metal or metal/ceramic hybrids and getting some good results. MB Quart has been making titanium dome tweeters for automotive applications for years, and they are some of the best tweeters I've heard.
    Even plastic dome tweeters sound better than paper cones to me.
    quote: What kind of source did you use to compare?[/quote]
    I agree here, as material and equipment used will affect the sound produced. Try to find some soft(er), high frequency material to compare.
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on September 13, 2001 at 05:32 PM]
     
  4. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    I do not know if or how well this would work,but you can try gettin 4 dome's at radio shack or somewhere that sells raw drivers and install them to see the difference.I would leave the cones mounted,just unhook them and secure the domes on top of the cabinets using blu tak or somthing so you can remove them...This is only for a test so you can see the difference.I would suspect it would be pretty cheap also.
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  5. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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  6. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    Well, the source I was using in my previous test is an onkyo analogue amp, I think that was one of the reasons why there was not much of a difference between the two speakers. After reading some of your replies I decided to run a different test with my new surround sound receiver that I recently purchased. I used one of the Kenwood Digital’s and a really nice EV speaker with a 2" soft dome tweeter, and boy was there a difference in clarity. The EV really stood out compared to the Kenwood. Thanks for you help. One other thing I would like to know is if there would be a way to effectively replace the cone tweeters with new dome tweeters provided I can find some tweeters with the right impedance and an SPL close enough to the original. The reason I ask is because I’m a high school student and do not have a lot of extra money to spend on a new set of tower speakers. Thanks again.
    Ryan
     
  7. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    The cone tweeters are all 8 ohms. So it should be a fairly easy switch them out if I can find some of the right size dome tweeters. Do you know what type of dome tweeter material is better to use like plastic, soft dome or titanium? My speaker books say that titanium can give you a harsh sound sometimes do you know if this is true or not? Also when I was taking apart my Kenwood’s I noticed that the midranges where not closed back and I thought that was wired considering my Sony’s and many other speakers I have taken apart all have closed back midranges. Do you know if open back mids are good or bad?
    Ryan
     
  8. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    The cross-overs in a speaker are designed for drivers with a given sensitivity, and may also compensate for non-linearities and driver roll-off.
    IOW, you can't replace an arbitrary 8ohm driver with another having the same impedance and expect it to work well.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    On a budget, fluid cooled mylar dome tweeters would be my choice, will do a good job, and should be easy to find.
    When you start getting into fabric, cost goes way up. Any type of metal will be even more, as well as the fact that they will not be readily available.
    For midranges, closed is better if you have a single chamber. That is, if the tower is a single enclosure that does not separate the low frequency driver from the mid and high drivers. This prevents the back wave of the low freq. driver from coloring the midrange. Tweeters tend to be less susceptible to this, but it will not hurt anything to have them separate from the low, not so much from the mid. I have a friend who used to design high end speakers, as well as doing a lot of research myself when I was building my own car audio speakers.
    Some feel that titanium and other metal tweeters can be harsh or overly bright, but I think it really depends on the design. Some will be more harsh than others. Most of the speakers I am impressed with these days (actually, most decent speakers) are now using some type of metal tweeter (including the ones I have at home). Soft domes are becoming less common, thought I feel they produce the smoothest highs.
    While Drew is correct, I have a feeling that the design of the crossover for this speaker is not exactly that high quality, judging by the paper tweeters. It should work without causing any problems for the time being.
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on September 14, 2001 at 10:12 AM]
     
  10. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    Well,there are a few things you could do to install new tweeters.I hope they fit in the same spot,which usually cone tweeters are larger that dome so that probably will not be the case.
    2.remove the cone,place a small board over the hole and caulk around it.then make the approiate sized hole for the new tweeter.
    3.You might also consider getting horn style tweeters,if you do that,chances are you might have to cut a little out of the box to make them fit.however,it you do that they will be flush fitted.
    keep us posted on the results.I had an old set of yamaha 3 way book shelfs and a pair of fisher tower 3 ways.well,the paper cones for the mid and tweeter suffered dry rot and the 8" in one of the yamaha's got punctured by my son.I put the mid and tweets from the yamaha into the fisher using the fisher crossover...very decent results.They are my bedroom speakers now.
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  11. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    Ryan,
    I don't know you.. but you sound pretty smart.
    I think you should keep the tweeters you have already in the speakers because...
    1. They're functioning, no use in swithcing 'em yet.
    2. They were made to function with the other two speakers in the box and you don't want to mix stuff up...
    Heed my advice!
    Cya [​IMG]
    Nathan
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  12. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    I think I will try to replace the old tweeters with new ones. The speakers look fairly new I’m guessing the Kenwood’s are about 3 to 4 years old and the Sony’s I’m not sure I have a friend who says that he saw a set of them for sale in a magazine so they could be newer than the Kenwood’s. I bought all four of them used so I’m not sure exactly how old they really are I should have asked the guy how old they where. The crossovers in all four of the speakers are pretty nice, so I don’t think I will have any trouble getting dome tweeters to perform well. One other thing I would like to know is if you think it will help if I install potentiometers with the new dome tweeters to limit there output in case there to bright? Thanks allot for all of you ideas and comments.
    Ryan
     

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