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Adding Super tweeters?

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Hi

I am currently using Kef reference 104/2 speakers.

I recently rebuilt the tweeters with new ferrofluid and I like what the Kef's do. I have recently seen a pair of super tweeters for sale and it made me wonder if they could add something to improve the sound quality and presentation of my system.

In your opinion would they make an improvement or not?

And

Would super tweeters add to the load on the amplifier?

Thanks

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I would be surprised if they made a large contribution to an improved sound quality personally but I know some people who swear by the impact they make. As always, try before you buy unless the price is right.

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As to making an improvement, my opinion is no, they wouldn't. The 104.2 have a particularly flat frequency response, within 3dB right up to 20kHz, so they have no need of any help at HF.  If you want more treble, just turn the treble tone control up a bit.  It won't be accurate, but you might like it.

Most Super-tweeters aren't that at all, as the crossover they have brings them in far too low, well under 20kHz, sometimes as low as 10kHz....if they didn't, you wouldn't hear them operating, so wouldn't know they were working....

As to amplifier loading, yes, they will load the amplifier at HF, as above their crossover point, their impedance will be in parallel with the main loudspeaker's. In the case of the 104.2, this is a restive 4 ohms, so you may end up with a fairly severe load depending on what the impedance of the super-tweeter actually is.

Considering how few of us can hear past 15kHz, let alone 20kHz, given our age, I find the whole question of add-on super tweeters a nonsense. Perhaps, if one is 18, hasn't abused one's hearing by too many loud gigs and is listening exclusively to unprocessed 96k sampling material, then perhaps, just maybe, a super tweeter makes sense.  

S.

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I have used three types of supertweeter over the years, and have one on order from audiosmile (a unique design I recomend heartily)  when matched well the effect can be startlingly good, esp in conjunction with a sub. Not only does treble benefit the bass seems to gain in definition. Music seems more coherent. 

 Do you want extension or soundstage and atmosphere,  ie, mu rata sounds very different to Townsend. Try and find one of the ones that allows level and cutoff tweaking. 

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That Audiosmile design looks interesting, I may buy another pair of the cheap planars I'm using.  I have set my crossover at 40kHz, but can switch it down to 32 or 26kHz.  And I am using 66 ohms of resistance at the moment, which, rather like a good subwoofer (or so I am told!) means the super tweeter is only noticed when it is disconnected.  The high crossover point gives a rising response all the way up to 40kHz plus, and very little in the "audible" range.  But the effect is definitely beneficial, especially as my room is over-damped at the moment.  Cost me about £30 total so far. :D

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So what is the effect on the HF response between, say, 10kHz and 20kHz? The crossover point may be 40kHz, but if it's only 6dB/octave,and the sensitivity is higher than the main loudspeakers, that'll still give a significant extra level in the audible band.

Quite regardless of age or hearing deficiencies, if you can hear a supertweeter, then it's doing something in the audible band, and is that desirable given that the loudspeakers it's being used with should be flat in the audible band.

Why not just turn the treble tone control up a bit if you want more HF?

S. 

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Just now, awkwardbydesign said:

Silly Serge.

Why? 

:dunno:

S.

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Super Wammer

My fostex t90a supertweeters operate from 7.5k upwards so you can definitely hear them and I feel they do add a level of air and crispness to my setup 

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Serge is wrong and right (yes its possible).

If I had flat hearing, then I agree, adding a ST would be utter nonsense. Trouble is, I do not.

I have mapped my hearing and my room and know exactly what is going on. As a result of this, I researched this topic extensively to discover that the subject has advocates and detractors. Purists say (myself included) that if you can here the difference and are over 40, then the XOver frequency is clearly too low. The other issue to decide upon is the type of crossover and it's order (2nd 3rd Linkwitz, Butterworth etc) as this affects phase and slope of filter.

Despite all that... I have added (optional) ST's to my speakers but opted for pretty straightforward neodynium, 4ohm, up to 25khz titanium dome tweeters (surprisingly low cost) and a gentle slope but set quite high - 14khz IIRC. I'm now of an age (50) to admit my hearing is rolling off, so the addition of a ST has restored at least some of the sparkle I recall from earlier years. Furthermore I have asked other, younger hifi enthusiasts if the HF is too acidic / brash  / harsh etc and concensus is that the effect is mild.

By the way, I have KEF Reference 105/3's with a set of (recently supplied) hand-matched by KEFupgraded tweeters and if I wish to listen "au-naturel" I simply unplug them from the speaker inputs.  

Summary.

  • They may not be pure / HiFi
  • My ears are not pure... nor is my room...nor my brain.
  • But my enjoyment is substantially positive 

Footnote:- I do not have these ST's firing directly at me - after great experimentation, I have them rear firing, angled. I'm sure the phase relationship to the main HF unit is all over the map. However, the last concert I went to (Julia Fordham, one week ago) had sound coming from all over the place so not sure phase relationship differentiation is always so critical

Edited by Clubsport911
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1 hour ago, awkwardbydesign said:

Tone controls?  On a DHT pre? :doh:  Apart from the fact that tone controls almost never just work above 10kHz.  As you well know.

Depends on the tone controls. A decent parametric EQ used as a tone control works wonders.

As to a DHT pre, :doh: 

why?

S

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I had a set of Tannoy TD12s which had the Tannoy supertweeter on top. It came in at 14kHz. I taped a small piece of card to the top of the tweeter housing and folded it over. When the card was in front of the tweeter I found the 3D imaging was impacted and oddly enough the bass did not sound as natural as though it was robbed of harmonics. Of course it should have no effect.

I saw an interesting article on sound and age. There is no doubt that when audio tests are done on older men it shows that they lose their sensitivity to high frequencies.. But once the levels become loud enough they can still hear a lot of high frequencies. The article implied that the sensitivity to low levels of HF has gone but once over a threshold then the HF frequencies can be heard. This may explain why a lot of older guys can still hear high frequencies. Or am I believing in wishful thinking?

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