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Thread: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

  1. #1
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    Exclamation RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    I was wondering what Dave's rationale was choosing the RAAL ribbon for the Towers versus a Beryllium dome tweeter, such as the one that Paradigm uses. Just curious if it was solely to compete with the Salk Songtowers or if there were some sound acoustic benefits to the RAAL. Anyway, I will sit back and hear what everyone has to say

  2. #2
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    My guess would be that the term 'ribbon' has become quite popular in the last few years and imho 'Beryllium' doesn't have the same aura. So speaking strictly marketing-wise, ribbon is a better choice. And I think what spawned the RAAL tower was actually a customer asking if it was possible to have a ribbon tower... Maybe if you ask for a Beryllium dome you might get one

    There's also a few diamond tweeters out there, which are supposed to surpass pretty much anything; (ex: http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Jenzen-D.htm) can be purchased for a paltry 1999$ per tweeter... Acuton has one too, 2999$, there's also ceramic, titanium, magnesium, etc., to choose from, though as Beryllium, they're quite expensive...

    But before the RAAL towers, Ascend has always used soft dome tweeters... Never a metal tweeter! So Beryllium would go against the tendency, even the NrT was a soft Dome...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    I remember Dave said he did a few test with some tweeter that he was considering, and found that the raal to exceptional and measurement extremely well. There may be tweeter that are even better then raal, but i dont think 700 will get you anything comparable. I think SS came out with a be tweet but is like 500+ a pop.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    I was wondering about the differences between the RAAL and a Beryllium dome tweeter as well. Specifically, the Focal Beryllium inverted dome unit. I've always had domes and am not accustomed to ribbons though I have heard a few in showrooms.

    As others who have heard the RAALs have said, you get more detail than the NrT yet the sound is always smooth. Difficult to convey in words. Super thin ribbon material and lightning fast response.
    Ed

  5. #5
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    I hope dave will read this and chime in to give us a definitive answer

  6. #6
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    Have you read Dave's measurements and commentary on the RAAL?

    http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...on%20Tower.pdf
    -curtis

  7. #7
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    From what I know about Dave, he doesn't design loudspeakers and select components based on market trends or to compete directly with other models. There are plenty of other companies that do that. Rather, it seems he forges his own path and builds a loudspeaker around his experience, philosophy, and desired performance parameters. He's mentioned that several designs have been canned due to unexpectedly subpar performance. I remember the whole R&D with Ascend brand subwoofers. He poured an enormous amount of his energy into designing one that met his exacting standards. When he found out about Brian/Rythmik, he realized he'd be reinventing the wheel.

    Ribbons do have known advantages over other type of designs. Likewise, the RAAL ribbon he selected has extraordinary accuracy, polar response, energy dissipation, and off-axis response. It's not about marketing, it's about performance.

    One of the reasons that beryllium is not found in most loudspeakers is because it is very expensive. From what I've read, it does offer performance advantages due to low weight and high strength. However, just because it's expensive doesn't necessarily make it the best.

    My $0.02.
    Last edited by Dark Ranger; 08-08-2012 at 11:35 AM.
    -Jacob

  8. #8
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    Also, remember that the tweeter in the Paradigm is proprietary. It is not something that can be purchased and used cost effectively by another company.

    What tweeters using exotic materials are available "off the shelf", and how do they measure?
    Last edited by curtis; 08-08-2012 at 12:52 PM.
    -curtis

  9. #9
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    Quote Originally Posted by curtis View Post
    Have you read Dave's measurements and commentary on the RAAL?

    http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...on%20Tower.pdf
    Fascinating! I like the way Dave explains the results instead of just showing the graphs. I never thought of the importance of decay being consistant across the frequency range, but it sure makes sense.

    I wonder how the EMIT tweeters in my old Infinity Qe speakers compare? They are still in good shape and sound nice. They tend to run out of gas pretty quick. I never pushed them, that's why the tweeters aren't fried!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: RAAL vs. Beryllium Dome

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Ranger View Post

    Ribbons do have known advantages over other type of designs. Likewise, the RAAL ribbon he selected has extraordinary accuracy, polar response, energy dissipation, and off-axis response. It's not about marketing, it's about performance..
    btw, just to be clear.. I wasn't implying it was a marketing decision... Merely that their recent popularity probably influenced customer to ask for ribbon tweeter, which could have also influenced the decision to research & implement it.. (performance of course being critical & key factor)

    Guess what I was trying to say in last post is that there are a lot of options... So why ask for Be in particular? Think critical is: 1) price/performance ratio 2) off axis performance (and sensitivity, FR, etc.). Is Be that much better than NrT to warrant few hundreds extra? What are the advantages of be tweet over soft dome for instance?
    Last edited by GirgleMirt; 08-08-2012 at 06:04 PM.

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