ScanSpeak Textile Dome vs Beryllium Dome!

May 6, 2012 Posted by gornir

 

What are the similarities and differences the between the ScanSpeak D3004/660000 1” Textile dome versus the D3004/664000 1” Beryllium dome, besides the price tag?

 

Left: The ScanSpeak D3004/660000 1” Textile dome.
Right: The ScanSpeak D3004/664000 1” Beryllium dome.

 

In this blog post I will try to sort out my findings in the subject! :-)

For a complete set of measurements see:

ScanSpeak D3004/660000

ScanSpeak D3004/664000

 

Impedance:

 


Blue = The ScanSpeak D3004/664000 1” Beryllium dome.

Green = The ScanSpeak D3004/660000 1” Textile dome.

 

Frequency:

 

Normalized, Tweeter On-axis (0deg) 1m measurement:

Red = The ScanSpeak D3004/664000 1” Beryllium dome.

Blue = The ScanSpeak D3004/660000 1” Textile dome.

The frequency dip at 3.5kHz is caused by baffle diffraction and is evened out with increased off-axis angle.

Conclusion:

 

Similarities:

  • They have the same die-cast rubber painted aluminium faceplate.
  • They appear to share the same AirCirc motor system with 6 Neodymium magnet slugs.
  • They have the same voice-coil and effective cone area.
  • They have the same resonance frequency and DC resistance.
  • They have almost the same frequency response up to 13kHz.
  • They have the same frequency level at 30kHz.

 

Differences:

  • The D3004/664000 tweeter dome diaphragm is made of 99% Beryllium, versus the D3004/660000 is made of a Textile dome diaphragm.
  • The Beryllium tweeter costs roughly 2 ½ times more than the Textile tweeter.
  • The Beryllium tweeter has about 0.5dB lower sensitivity and slightly higher impedance than the Textile tweeter.
  • The Beryllium tweeter has a sharper and higher impedance peak at the driver resonance frequency.
  • The Beryllium tweeter has a small frequency dip centered at 8.5kHz that might be caused by the metal protective grill.
  • The Beryllium tweeter has a downwards sloping frequency response from 13kHz.
  • The Textile dome tweeter has an upwards rising frequency response from 13kHz.
  • The Textile dome tweeter has about 7dB higher output at 20kHz.
  • The Beryllium tweeter has lower distortion throughout the driver unit usable frequency range, compared to the Textile tweeter.
  • Beryllium is highly toxic and should be handled with care if it breaks.

 

 The question is:

  1. Are they interchangeable with each other in the same loudspeaker design?
  2. Which one has the best overall performance?
  3. Which one has the best price/performance ratio?
  4. Do they sound the same?
  5. Which one sounds the best?

 

The answer is:

 

  1. Basically YES, but minor adjustments might be required for perfection.
  2. The Beryllium tweeter has slightly better distortion figures otherwise they both have “top notch” performance.
  3. My personal opinion is that the Textile dome has better price/performance ratio, due to significant lower cost.
  4. NO, in my opinion they don’t sound the same. The Beryllium tweeter sound to my ears a bit more neutral in the character than the Textile dome tweeter, which in turn has a bit more “airy” character. I know that it’s a vague description, but they both share the same qualities and the differences aren’t huge.
  5. At this point I can’t really say which one that sounds the best. I would say it’s more of a personal taste, metal versus soft dome tweeter. I personally isn’t a huge fan of hard dome tweeters, but the ScanSpeak Beryllium dome tweeter is definitely the best one I’ve so far have listened to.  The Beryllium tweeter is a bit more analytic in its character than the Textile dome, which in turn is a bit more forgiving sounding on the less good recorded albums. This might change over time because the Beryllium tweeter seems to need some significant time to burn-in, compared to the Textile tweeter. Out of the box the Beryllium doesn’t sound impressive at all, but after about 24 hours they start to loosen up and deliver nice performance and my guess is that they over time will continue to improve.

 

Both these tweeters are world-class performers. If you want the “top of the line”, something exotic and isn’t cost-sensitive, go for the Beryllium. If you don’t like hard domes or have a limited budget, go for the Textile version.

Over and out…. ;-)

/Göran

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