Following up on Stew's question with a little twist. How does the Raal 140 differ from the Raal ribbon tweeter that you folks decided to use in the ongoing speaker series? What might I hear differently and what does the new ribbon tweeter do better? Or worse? Thanks, Dave
Comparing tweeters, especially two RAAL tweeters, is highly subjective. But I will try and provide a sense of the differences.
Before I begin, however, I would like to point out that the G2 and LCY tweeters are both very good and we still regard them highly. Also note, here, that what we are talking about is rather subtle. The differences between these tweeters is less than the differences between traditional dome tweeters and ribbons. That said, no driver is perfect, so here is how I would compare the differences between the G2/LCY tweeters and the RAAL tweeters.
First, when comparing either RAAL model (the 140-15D and our custom RAAL) with the LCY or G2, your initial impression may be that something is missing. With the G2 or the LCY, you get a sense of extreme transparency. I recall the first time I heard the G2, I said "wow!" With the RAAL, that "wow" factor is not as prevalent. But the more you listen, the more you realize that all the top end musical detail is there in spades. There is nothing missing and they are extremely transparent.
With the G2 and LCY, you hear slightly more energy in the 8Khz - 10 Khz range ("ssssssssssssssss"). That energy provides a sense of top end air and detail. You do not get that same sense with RAAL tweeters, although all the musical detail is there.
With the RAAL tweeters, their strength is not in what you hear, but what you don't hear. You don't hear what you shouldn't hear. (You do hear what you should hear.) They completely get out of the way of the music and let it all shine through. And they do so without calling attention to themselves. All you hear is very smooth and accurate top end detail - nothing more, nothing less.
As indicated above, your first impression may be that something is missing (compared to the LCY or G2). But as you listen more, you gain an appreciation for lower levels of distortion (the slight distortion that contributes to the sound of the LCY or G2). You soon realize that the RAAL is a smoother, more accurate and lower distortion tweeter. It is simply more refined.
As to the various RAAL tweeters, both the 140-15D and our custom RAAL can be crossed relatively low (lower than the 70-10D). On axis, they sound pretty much the same. The main difference is in the area of vertical dispersion. Due to the shorter ribbon element, the dispersion of our custom RAAL tweeter is superior. For many applications, the 140 is just fine. But the custom RAAL is superior in this area and that is why we chose to use it exclusively.
I hope this helps.