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Metal or Paper?

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Acoustat

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I have read a few posts here on the forum referring to ML's new models featuring 'aluminium' coned woofers being 'faster' than the older models which used 'paper' cones. While I haven't actually heard any of the newer models yet myself, doesn't this viewpoint contradict popular opinion which suggests that paper cones being lighter than metal would give a 'faster' sound?

Curious to know thoughts from members that have experienced both types.

Thanks
 

twich54

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Nort really, it's like the analogy of kevlar vs. steel..... "pound for pound" stronger than steel. A paper cone in order to maintain stffness and rigidity must be treated which adds wt. With all the metal marix and other composites available today they are just lighter and stronger, thus faster with less "cone garbble".
 

Robin

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Interesting question...

Acoustat said:
I have read a few posts here on the forum referring to ML's new models featuring 'aluminium' coned woofers being 'faster' than the older models which used 'paper' cones. While I haven't actually heard any of the newer models yet myself, doesn't this viewpoint contradict popular opinion which suggests that paper cones being lighter than metal would give a 'faster' sound?

Curious to know thoughts from members that have experienced both types.

Thanks
Acoustat,

You've posed a very interesting question, especially when asked of the membership of this august and esteemed forum of ML ownwer... ;)

ML's ultimate - "Statement E2x", bass towers, all eight of the 12" cone drivers are paper, along with the Theater i, Cinema i, Prodigy, Odyssey, Script i.
ML's aluminum has cone speakers the Summit, Vantage, Prodigy, Ascent i, Aeon i, Clarity, Mosaic, Montage, Fresco, Voyage, Passage, as well as, all of ML's subwoofers. It makes it seems, that ML like both paper and aluminum too. The Prodigy even has one of each, with the Paper cone driver in the active position (Force forward).
It does seem that the ML has been moving toward the aluminum cone drivers more with their newest offerings especially.

As I'm sure all of you guys, own or have heard both of the above listed speakers in the ML line, as I have. My ML HT 'System #57' has paper and aluminum bass cone speakers, as most of your systems do too... I would have to say, if pressed, I would have to choose both Paper and Aluminum. They both provide sonic qualities, which are natural and impressive. Having said all of that, it doesn't deminish my love electrostatics, natually, but I love just 'Hybird' combination of both electrostatics and bass cone (paper or aluminum).
As I know you guys would agree, ML really imbodies the near perfect synergy of both speakers technologies with all of their wonderful hybird speakers... :D

Cheers

-Robin
 
M

mia

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Robin said:
Acoustat,

You've posed a very interesting question, especially when asked of the membership of this august and esteemed forum of ML ownwer... ;)

I would have to say, if pressed, I would have to choose both Paper and Aluminum. They both provide sonic qualities, which are natural and impressive. Having said all of that, it doesn't deminish my love electrostatics, As I know you guys would agree, ML really imbodies the near perfect synergy of both speakers technologies with all of their wonderful hybird speakers... :D

Cheers

-Robin
As I know you guys would agree... "Blah, blah, blah... the typical politically objective reponse with no point of view, but a reponse, to offer a response." Aint that just swell Wally?


Now to your question Acoustat:

The aluminum cone has a greater strength to weight ratio than polypropylene (plastic), paper or woven glass cones. Aluminum is the material of choice for making products where high tensile strength and low weight are essential. It is important for a cone to act like a piston through the operating range of the driver. Paper and plastic cones tend to flex or "break up" at low and high frequency extremes. This flexing results in nonlinear response (breakup and compression) whereas aluminum cone driver retains its pistonic motion through out the pass band even when driven to extremes.
 

Reverb

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mia said:
The aluminum cone has a greater strength to weight ratio than polypropylene (plastic), paper or woven glass cones. Aluminum is the material of choice for making products where high tensile strength and low weight are essential. It is important for a cone to act like a piston through the operating range of the driver. Paper and plastic cones tend to flex or "break up" at low and high frequency extremes. This flexing results in nonlinear response (breakup and compression) whereas aluminum cone driver retains its pistonic motion through out the pass band even when driven to extremes.

Lets not forget carbon fiber cones are staring to appear also. Carbon fiber made right is as rigid as aluminum and lighter, but the coast to produce carbon fiber anything is high.
 
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roberto

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Robin said:
mia,

I take the gravest possible exception to your, totally uncalled for comments to me, "typical politically objective reponse with no point of view, but a response, to offer a response." Excuse me! Where do you come off, as judge and jury about how I respond or not respond... I believe, I stated my opinion / position very clearly, "I perfer both, Paper and Aluminum cones have excellent sonic qualities". You are way out-of-line here, mia.

And by-the-way, I totally disagree with your unspupported opinion in your post, but you are intitled to your deluded opinions without negative comment from others, as you have chosen to do to me, here today... I really do not appreciate your tright, flippent and unconstructive comments directed at me and my opinions.


Tom,

I am sorry for sounding off, at mia, but 'mia' has made me lose my temper... You can erase this post if you want to. Maybe, I should resign from the ML Club.

I apologize, if I offended you mia...

-Robin
Hola Robin. Don´t take that too personal. We have here at the forum, all kinds of people. All I can say is that your response and your help here at the forum is highly appreciated. On the other hand, it is nice to have a girl with us! (with all respect) that truly loves the sound of ML. You are a very nice and sensible girl. Besides, you are an artist!!! and most of us, those that can can play a musical instrument, is better for us to understand the truly sound of ML as you do! Also, I agreed with you. Some of us, still like the warm sound of the paper cone, as others can play very loud, like the aluminum cones, without breaking the sound. Metal sounds like it: metal. But this does not means that the aluminum cones are not clean. So you are right when you say that both have their benefits. The new materials, and the research and developing new materials is the goal to improove the sound quality of our speakers. Today is aluminum, tomorrow could be titanium...who knows. The titanium is lighter than aluminum, and yes, it is expensive. But also, our goods are not cheap! and deserves the best that the technology in our days can provide for the search of the best of the best! Happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 
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Acoustat

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Thanks to all for your replies.

Robin, I appreciate your response, and am intrigued by your comments about the Prodigy using both paper and aluminium drivers. It would be interesting to know what ML's rationale was for using a both materials together in the one model.

Ps. Robin, please don't consider resigning from the ML Club. You've contributed a great deal to the discussions here, and would be dissapointing to lose your valuable input and perspective.
 

twich54

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Paper vs. other materials

First and foremost it's NOT just paper. It is either treated or coated in some way. A paper only cone will NEVER sound correct when compared to current technologies. I would shocked if any mfg is using paper only in their design, that went out in the previous century !

Take a look at B&W, they employ a composite hard foam / carbon fiber sandwhich design in the bass driver and use kevlar in the mid driver, and use industrial diamonds in their high end tweeter rigs, cool stuff.

And by the way Robin, hang in their, don't let another one of those "audiophile geeks" get the better of you !!!!!!!!
 

Zorro

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I like Robin's response to the original question. It looks like she has done her research on the entire ML product range to know the woofer types used in each speaker.

... or maybe I'm just biased... after all, when I checked her profile, it seems that we have the same birthday :)

My response? Hey, I don't pretend to be an expert on whether we should use an aluminum, paper, titanium or unobtanium woofer for the best integration. Just let the ML pple do their (great) job while we make our own choices. I like the Aeon i's (aluminum) bass integration, while I feel the Ascent i (aluminum) as well as the Odyssey (paper & paper) provide a far more satisfying level of bass definition & impact, while not being descernibly slower. Have yet to fully evaluate the Summits, but it will happen soon.

Irrespective of material, one thing is for sure: ML bass integration has progressed significantly, regardless of material used. For example, comparing the Aerius i with the Aeon i, apparent bass speed, pitch & definition have improved tremendously, with reduced lower midrange upper bass congestion.

Drawing an analogy from racing cars or the usage of computers or an artist's use of different types of paints or painting surface: sometimes it's not about the hardware or the software, it's about "human-ware". Let's give credit to the ML folks (as well as other competent speaker/equipment designers) for being able to creatively blend a variety of materials to produce such wonderful end-results.
 
D

dyazdani

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mia said:
As I know you guys would agree... "Blah, blah, blah... the typical politically objective reponse with no point of view, but a reponse, to offer a response." Aint that just swell Wally?
First, an uncalled-for response to a long time member. Enough said there.


mia said:
Now to your question Acoustat:

The aluminum cone has a greater strength to weight ratio than polypropylene (plastic), paper or woven glass cones. Aluminum is the material of choice for making products where high tensile strength and low weight are essential. It is important for a cone to act like a piston through the operating range of the driver. Paper and plastic cones tend to flex or "break up" at low and high frequency extremes. This flexing results in nonlinear response (breakup and compression) whereas aluminum cone driver retains its pistonic motion through out the pass band even when driven to extremes.
I'm not sure how tensile strength comes into play with speaker drivers? We're not trying to fracture them are we? Since the flexing is the issue, I would have addressed Young's modulus instead as it is elastic deformation and not plastic deformation we are concerned with.

In either case (paper/poly/composite vs. metal) there are many high end manufacturers (like B&W already mentioned) that do not use metal. There are great speakers using both materials and I'm not sure that driver construction alone can be held responsible for any generality of sound (faster/slower/tighter, etc).
 

SugarMedia

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dyazdani said:
to a long time member.
Long time member, or a member that posts more frequently?? May vs. Feb.

Anyway, I thought dearest Robin was a man? Now, I'm reminded of that Saturday Night Live skit with Pat. Is Pat a boy or a girl?

Okay... enough drama my audiophile queens <sigh>

Aluminum has many benefits... a few being:

• cone is rigid for low distortion
• cone is light for fast transient response
• won’t degrade over time
• virtually immune to harsh environments
• metal acts as (another) heat sink for the voice coil, which increases power handling.

Every speaker manufacture is going to argue ( http://tinyurl.com/da4zw ) that theirs is the best, just the same as all the speaker wire manufacturers argue they have the best, most transparent wire.

I'm quite sure ML knows more than all of us combined and they chose what they did on many different levels, ie., price, new tech & trends, and what sounded best in the lab.

Next.
 
D

dyazdani

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SugarMedia said:
Long time member, or a member that posts more frequently?? May vs. Feb.


Aluminum has many benefits... a few being:

• cone is rigid for low distortion
• cone is light for fast transient response
• won’t degrade over time
• virtually immune to harsh environments
• metal acts as (another) heat sink for the voice coil, which increases power handling.
Pointing out the commitment to be a member of the forum more than length of time.

Anyway, no argument from me on the advantages. The overall results are hit and miss, goes back to what you said about the individual manufacturers and their opinions/test data and so forth.
 

jjqiv

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Acoustat said:
I have read a few posts here on the forum referring to ML's new models featuring 'aluminium' coned woofers being 'faster' than the older models which used 'paper' cones. While I haven't actually heard any of the newer models yet myself, doesn't this viewpoint contradict popular opinion which suggests that paper cones being lighter than metal would give a 'faster' sound?

Curious to know thoughts from members that have experienced both types.

Thanks
Upstream Oil in PAPER caps or thin film METAL resistors will likely have a bigger impact on the sound than metal or paper woofer cones. ;)
 

TomDac

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SugarMedia said:
Anyway, I thought dearest Robin was a man? Now, I'm reminded of that Saturday Night Live skit with Pat. Is Pat a boy or a girl?

Okay... enough drama my audiophile queens <SIGH>
:D Yeah, I thought the same too, but I think our Robin is a female, which is very cool.

No more drama indeed..
 

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