ribbons vs domes and sibilance

I came upon a thread from the DiyAudio site titled "Can you have sparkling treble but without sibilance?" from 2011. The discussion is very technical and as such, completely over my head but one participant asserted that ribbons are far less prone to sibilance than domes. 

Here's an excerpt for the technically minded: :

... the middle of the dome basically flops about doing it's own thing at high frequencies as it's only very loosely coupled to the edge because of it's own less than infinite stiffness. Thus any distortion or resonances that occur due to the middle of the dome bending and moving in non-piston ways are not reflected back to the amplifier via back EMF... when the ribbon is only 8mm wide compared to a 25mm dome, there is far less narrowing of dispersion with increasing frequency than a dome. The directivity control is achieved with a wave-guide instead. This is why a wave-guide loaded ribbon can achieve an almost constant 90 degree horizontal dispersion from 2Khz right up to 20Khz - the ribbon element itself is far less directional horizontally at high frequencies than a dome, with the wave-guide then adding in a constant directivity control.

I'm wondering whether any forum members have compared speakers with domes and ribbons in regard to sibilance and arrived at any conclusions. 


...and far too often I’ve read or watched a review of gear that sounded promising only to be disappointed at the end by the disclosure that the product is "somewhat forward". This seems to be a very common refrain, these days. Do most people simply prefer overtly bright sound?

I think many audiophiles do, especially the ones who aren’t into truly acoustic (unamplified) music. Often sound-reinforcement systems are ear-splittingly bright, and that can seem normal to some.

Another issue is that many hi-fi speakers have a rise in response in the sibilance range. (Just look at the measurements in Stereophile or Soundstage.) That treble excess can be perceived as more detail (well, in a sense it IS more detail), but the joy of that detail can be killed when the excess begins to irritate.

Finally, I suspect that sort of exaggerated detail is useful in selling speakers, because it makes them more impressive. (Many reviews say something like, "I heard things I never heard before in this recording"?) It’s long after the credit card has been charged that the peaky treble starts to rub the buyer the wrong way.


Good info can be tough to come by, so we often end up going our own way, which in the end can be a blessing, but is really tough to those starting out.

Yes, in the end we each have to figure out what we like. I envy those who can base buying decisions solely on specs. I try not to buy anything I cannot hear at home and return if necessary but I've found I can still make mistakes, even with home demos. A certain amount of trial and error appears to be unavoidable. 


  The sound of this pair blew me away.  I heard clarity and detail in my CDs like I had never heard my CDs before. 

I had this experience with more modest gear. The jump in resolution was very significant and it took me a good 6 months before I noticed I didn't really feel much like listening to my system. 


Another issue is that many hi-fi speakers have a rise in response in the sibilance range. 

I'll definitely pay more attention to such specs in future. 

I listen to many quality speakers through many audio get togethers I think 

the latest Borresen X or Z series speakers have a Exceptional ribbon extremely light and fast ,and being in a wave guide it is far faster,better sound staging 

and exceptional detail. And it sounds more smooth then razor sharp like many Beryllium or diamond types .I think their X series is a excellent value 

and their Danish Audio group is on to something in electronics with reducing noise

ine being their multiples of Tesla coils . My brother has some of their products .


While each driver has characteristics, so to does the equipment.  Poor power supply transformers can cause a variety of issues.