You are here

Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Jez Corbett » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:51 pm

I have a pair of moderately expensive studio speakers that are overdue tweeter replacement.

Looking online for replacements has come up with some ... interesting information. Apparently the drivers themselves are not made by the speaker manufactuers themselves, but bought in by them. Is this fairly common? Just that replacement drivers claiming to be the same are a quarter of the price that I am being quoted by the speaker manufacturer themselves.
User avatar
Jez Corbett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland
http://www.jeremycorbett.co.uk

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:08 pm

The ones the manufacturer sells will, for decent monitors at least, have been matched and fall within a tighter tolerance than the generics. Say impedances matched and to spec to within a couple of percent. That takes time and effort so they can justify a higher price for that reason.

Curious what you are hearing that suggests the tweeters are shot? My limited experience is that either they are working fine or are dead or making noises that render them unusable.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9917
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:11 pm

Hi Jez!

It could be that the parameter spread on the tweeters from manufacturers is too wide, so loudspeaker manufacturers buy a load in and then match up closely into pairs, so their products have tighter performance.

So, you COULD buy a couple of drivers and hope for the best which could be quite adequate, especially if you're replacing tweeters that NEED replacing anyway).

On the other hand, you might save some money but end up with slightly degraded stereo imaging.

EDIT: Sam Spoons is good, and types faster than me!! :madas: :mrgreen:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14054
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:12 pm

Possibly a first :thumbup:
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9917
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Wonks » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:03 pm

Sam just employs a larger infinite number of monkeys to type for him. :D
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8944
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:15 pm

Jez Corbett wrote:Apparently the drivers themselves are not made by the speaker manufactuers themselves, but bought in by them. Is this fairly common?

Yes. Very few finished loudspeaker makers build their own tweeters. It's very difficult to do well, and there are plenty of very good tweeters available from reputable and reliable specialist manufacturers.

Just that replacement drivers claiming to be the same are a quarter of the price that I am being quoted by the speaker manufacturer themselves.

That's a big difference, and I can see why you're asking questions! Obviously there'll be some markup and extra carriage costs involved if buying from the end box maker, but also -- if we're talking about high quality speakers -- some costs associated with testing and matching new units and record-keeping of the original components to ensure the new tweeter has the same sensitivity and response as the original, and thus maintains the overall speaker's accuracy.

The fact is that any electro acoustic device will have a spread of parameter tolerances, and so the better speaker-makers test and match bought-in drivers into pairs, and then tweak the crossovers to suit those specific tweeters in order to achieve tight tolerances across all speakers of the same type. The better the speaker box maker, the tighter the tolerances they work to.

As Martin says, the most obvious effect of unmatched tweeters will be degraded stereo imaging, a possibly overly bright or dull high end, and perhaps some unevenness through the crossover region.y
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24109
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby James Perrett » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:21 pm

Jez Corbett wrote:I have a pair of moderately expensive studio speakers that are overdue tweeter replacement.

Are you sure about the need to replace them? Most tweeters that I've used don't seem to degrade over time unless abused.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8278
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby ef37a » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:29 am

I also agree that tweeters do not need periodic replacement, in fact speakers as a whole do not degrade over decades unless abused (yes, I know about foam surrounds but that was just poor materials choice) .

If one or both tweeters are shot, open circuit or making nasty noises, find out why! You might have a pulse of HF coming out of the AI, if you have an OR machine could be "tape screech". Could be a leaky or short capacitor in the speaker. They do NOT last forever!

My thought would be that monitors are there to tell you the truth and if it is going to cost you extra to have the exact replacement drivers pay it. Otherwise you will forever think, "is that the "mix" or those unmatched tweeters?"

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10524
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Jez Corbett » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:42 pm

Thanks for the replies all, perhaps it was salesmanship on the part of the speaker manufacturer about replacing them.

I called them as one of the tweeters was cutting in and out and wanted advice, and they said if I've had them for 13 years they are long overdue a replacement. I don't want to name names right now but I was under the impression this manufacturer was a highly trusted name in the field of speakers, I'm a little concerned that when calling asking for technical support I may have in fact got a pushy salesman.

I actually just want to check the wiring in them, but even after removing the screws, still can't work out how to take the damn things out.
User avatar
Jez Corbett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland
http://www.jeremycorbett.co.uk

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:20 pm

The tweeters may be bedded on some sealing compound. A little gentle leverage might reveal whether or not.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24109
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby blinddrew » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:38 pm

Or, if you can get access from the rear, a gentle drift from behind with a soft-ended rod of some kind (if you're worried about damaging the surrounds with a lever).


Wow. Full on Blue Screen of Death (TM) crash whilst typing this note. Not had one of them in years.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7694
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby ef37a » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:18 am

There is often only one way into a speaker, through the drive units so you might have to remove the woofer as well to get behind the tweeter.

I can understand you wanting to keep the maker's name out of things but it does make it hard to visualize your problems!

Manufactures seem to fall into two camps these days. "Old School" will give you schematics and make spares readily available and be ready with help and advice. They also assume their customers have a few brain cellls!

The other group, sadly the vast majority, tend to have customer service run by a chit of a girl(or boy!! PC see!) who will just toe the party line and tell you nothing. These companies are also scared witless of Uli Behringer cloning their kit. The fact that Bh's are SO rich they can just buy anything and reverse engineer it does not seem to occur to them so, as usual it is we, the customer that gets the hassle.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10524
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby James Perrett » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:38 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Jez Corbett wrote:I have a pair of moderately expensive studio speakers that are overdue tweeter replacement.

Are you sure about the need to replace them? Most tweeters that I've used don't seem to degrade over time unless abused.

As a followup, I realise that the speakers that I use are fairly old and designed before the days of Ferrofluid. If your tweeters use Ferrofluid then there is a chance that the fluid could have dried up although the only lifetime figure I've found so far is from KEF who suggest that the fluid should last 20-25 years so 13 years seems unusually short.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8278
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Replacing Tweeters - Official vs 3rd Party

Postby Jez Corbett » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:23 pm

Hey, Merry Post Christmas everyone!

I didn't want to name names too much as I didn't want to shame a brand I believe to be respected, but I shall give a subtle clue that their name begins with 'P', has a 'M' in the middle, and a 'C' at the end. The model name has a 'T' at the start, a 'B' in the middle, and a '2' at the end ;)
User avatar
Jez Corbett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland
http://www.jeremycorbett.co.uk


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users