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NAMM Show Report

Ribbon Tweeter

A type of loudspeaker driver intended to produce high frequencies, typically those above 2,000Hz. Ribbon tweeters are based around a thin, lightweight diaphragm or ribbon of metal or metal-coated material that is free to move within a magnetic field. The magnetism in the diaphragm varies with the audio signal, moving the ribbon against the fixed magnetic field, creating sound waves in the air. Ribbons are capable of extended high-frequency production, but have traditionally been unable to output high sound pressure levels, though this has changed with modern designs, which are capable of high output.

Ribbon tweeters work well in line arrays because of their directional or dispersion characteristics, which allows them to be stacked for higher output. Many newer ribbon tweeters use a “push-pull” design, with neodymium magnets mounted to the sides of the ribbon; this has reduced distortion levels and increased accuracy and output over older “push” or “single-ended” designs wth magnets mounted behind the ribbon.

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