Tweeter type and brightness

I presently own Martin Logan Odysseys that I purchased new in 2005. I've enjoyed them very much but I'm having to replace the power supply board in one of them as I did in the other one about 5 yrs ago and I'm thinking that it may be time to look into speakers using more recent technology.

I auditioned several new sets at Sound Advice including the Monitor Audio silver 2, 6, 8 and 10 plus a small pair of ML's. I thought all of them were very good. Additionally, I bought a pair of Jamo Concert Eights several months ago that were fantastic for my type music which is mostly solo guitar. I regret selling them but at least I learned how good quality bookshelf speakers can be.

Anyway, I've read in several posts that metal dome tweeters have a tendency toward exaggerated or tinny brightness which can be very uncomfortable for me because of a hearing issue that I have. I want to avoid this and am asking for advice regarding this experience of others and what tweeter construction, if any, is generally best to avoid what I call screechiness.

I've been told that the technologies that best avoid this are ribbon tweeters or domes of some softer material than the various metals used in many of them. In one of the forums here on Audiogon this subject was discussed in some detail and at least several participants seemed to minimize the relationship between tweeter design and this problem. They suggested that more likely potential causes would be such things as room acoustics, interconnect quality, rake, crossover problems, etc.

I agree that each of these considerations could lend to the issue but I'm looking for a good starting point to at least minimize the contribution of the speaker design to this problem.

I've heard the gold series Monitor Audio speakers which do incorporate ribbons and they seem to work perfectly with my music but they, like the larger new ESL's are substantially outside my current budget limits. I'm currently using some borrowed temporary speakers while I'm waiting for the new circuit board so I can sell my Odysseys. In the meantime I would appreciate any advice I could use to help with an approach to selecting a speaker best suited to my needs. My upstream equipment includes Shanling solid state CD player, CAL DAC and Rogue Audio Sphinx 100W hybrid amp.
Interesting article, but of course it is marketing and not sure I'm buying the value of the pitch completely.

THere is no distinction between the hearing of young and old, which is generally considered to not be the same in regards to hearing high frequencies. I suppose the target demographic ain't the young folk. :^)
It is not difficult to overlook the few paragraphs donated to what this man's company produces and how there, they all like the results of engineering and design that far exceed the 20kHz bandwidth.

He presents the findings of many other scientists of why extra-wide bandwidth and low phase-shift reproduction are important. These are facts and science evidence of which any advanced audiophile should at least be made aware.

Such as the concept of a coherent cylinder of radiation from original OHM speakers is a useful concept to know and more fun to hear.

Definitely no BS in this article.


The link I posted above once again failed to function just now as I tried it. However, I did finally find the issue with my typing, so once again: Enjoy the Music Article

In previous forums I've commented on my hearing issues and questioned whether a good equalizer would help with my sensitivity to upper frequencies. Although I didn't comment on it, though, I've always felt that frequencies beyond audible range added, through some mechanics of harmonics I guess, to what I believe is referred to as timbre. I still think that to be the case so using an equalizer to merely minimize the offending frequencies would also diminish overall sound quality through elimination of frequencies beyond audible limits. For that reason I've abandoned this approach. The article referred to by Royj, (the world above 20kHz) even though I had difficulty understanding much of it, seems to address what I'm referring to.

All of that being said, although I will look into issues that relate to my CD player and DAC as suggested by Mapman, I'm still concentrating on tweeter choices as at least one element toward potential improvement. I didn't have the problems I've discussed when I was using Magnepan or Focal speakers but, then, that was when my hearing was 15+ years younger. BTW, I borrowed a pair of small inexpensive floor standing Infinity speakers for temporary use while my Odysseys are out of commission. Although overall sound quality is only O.K., they are quite easy to listen to with very little high frequency harshness, and the reproduction of violin and cello is quite realistic and pleasing.

My current thinking, based on my internet research, is that most quality tweeters are capable well above 20kHz regardless of design so there remains the question of why some speakers (and maybe it's not the tweeters at all) sound harsh in the upper frequencies.

A speaker's frequency response in the presence range can contribute to brightness and fatigue. Two soft-dome speakers that I've owned (and that are widely referred to as warm) I found very fatiguing in the treble and soon sold: the Spendor S3/5 (check out the Stereophile response graph), and though these were much more enjoyable, the Dynaudio Focus 110. You might look for a speaker with the "Gundry dip" in the presence range.

My two favorite speakers I've owned both have metal tweeters and zero listening fatigue: Vandersteen 2CE Sig II and Vandie 1Ci, which I'm happily listening to right now.