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Here's how to make these puppies work for you
on November 11, 2010
These are basically the poor man's high performance tweeters. They are designed with very high efficiency/sensitivity so that a professional installer can match it to any number of systems with varying SPLs. But the noobs are going to complain that it's too harsh, or too loud or sounds like tin, etc. If these tweeters are kept at three-quarter to half-power, depending on the system, they play beautifully.
But they need an additional series capacitor and possibly a series resistor for SPL matching to embarrass your rich audiophile friends. These tweeters just need an external metalized film capacitor of 1uF (microfarad), 1.5uF or 2uF depending on listening preferences. The 1uf will give it a smoother response. Do not not use electrolytic caps to avoid distortion (sound coloration). These tweeters may be too loud to match the low sensitivity of certain speaker systems, so they may need to be attenuated with a 10Watt non-inductive(for audio) 2-ohm resistor or a 4-ohm, maybe higher. Or buy a set of 2-ohm resistors and keep adding them in series to the tweeter until you get the desired decibel levels.
But hey, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Some people want everything served on a platter, so they should go and spend $50 to $300 on a pair of preconfigured-to-someone-else's-preference tweeters, instead. But if you buy tweeters that cost a little over thirteen dollars, be prepared to put some creative work into them.
Some people's ears cannot adjust to high levels of treble, especially mid-highs (roughly 5Khz to 10KHz), and they don't hear intricate details at high decibels, they hear very harsh tones instead. The solution is putting a disk shaped 3M double-sided foam tape (the gray colored one used for outdoors to adhere moldings to cars; found in hardware stores and automotive paint supplies) on the center of the tweeter. Only foam will prevent coloration. Simply cut the tape into various diameters and try each one out. The larger the disk diameter covering the center of the tweeter, the more mid frequencies it will cut. It will also reduce axial anomalies that produce harmonic distortion and attenuate the tweeter's SPL if the disk is large enough. And as for the other side of the double sided tape, adhere a plastic disk made from a semi-soft plastic like ABS (do not use metal) to cover the adhesive.
I should mention that I did use an oscilloscope listening in to the tweeters with a calibrated microphone and sine waves picked up are nice and clean with the peaks very close to 90-degrees and without ghosting. (The closer the output resembles a sinewave, the less distortion a tweeter (or speaker) produces.)
I laugh as my buddies have spent thousands on their systems. Mine sounds many times better, cleaner, with a truly flat natural sounding response, has midbass and midrange so tight people look to the sides to see what hit them, and the mid-highs and highs are so crisp they pop out like Chinese firecrackers. And yet, it's made out of cheap generic crap components and my friends hate me for it (and now want my advice--figures).
But a tweeter won't solve all problems. You gotta have a midbass and midrange to truly have a professional sounding system. If you spend $150 on a pair of 6.5 inch speakers, you're doing it wrong. Buy some $10 midrange (with a matching crossover) and an $25 aluminun cone speaker for midbass (Dayton makes them). Learn concepts about crossovers networks and how their outputs in phase on diy sites, add some good subs and you'll have a system that plays anything without setting your wallet on fire. Yes, crossovers are vital, but used improperly they can throw speakers out of phase which produces ghosting and unbelievable distortion. This is key the area that most people ignore, and it's what actually either makes the high end system for less or breaks it. Some will tell you it's negligible, but an oscilloscope doesn't lie when it shows ghosting effect. Think of sound as a fluid moving in a current, not as air. Regarding phase angles, all fluid currents must flow at the same time (in phase) or they will compete/collide with each other, adding unwanted effects and force cancellations. Also, find a way to install a mono center speaker on the center console of you car or dash. And for God's sakes, unless you're powering subwoofers, use a Class-B amp with discrete components and an internal feedback. Quit pissing around with those "pretty" looking amps and always question how they are made internally. Don't use an EQ to boost treble, it causes harmonic distortion and noise. Add additional tweeters (or midranges/mid-tweeters) and an L-pad to control their decibel boost levels to match your taste. Buy a $50 Behringer ECM8000 mic with an XLR to USB adapter and hook it to your laptop and download a free copy of RealRTA to see what sounds/tones your system is missing.
BTW, you can't have clean midrange and midbass from one driver. It will always exceed the Xmax of the driver, adding all kinds of filthy distortion. Stop it, just stop it, you unclean, air pumping, noise making noob. No, not you. You know better than that.
Good luck, people. Hope this helps.