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Super Tweeter emulation via DSP


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The June 2014 issue of Stereophile includes John Atkinson's review of the ENIGMAcoustics supertweeter. The frequency response graph shows a 6dB peak at 20kHz in the combined response of the full range loudspeaker and the supertweeter in the first of two setups auditioned by JA.

 

This gave me the idea of emulating a supertweeter at no expense using the parametric EQ built into my Metric Halo DAC. I set it to +6dB at 19kHz with BW=0.3 (Q=3 approx.). I cannot hear sine waves above 14 KHz or so. Nevertheless, on the one album with which I tried it so far, I believe I heard a slight improvement in smoothness and clarity (i.e., reduction in roughness) of upper midrange and treble tones well below the range being boosted.

 

My audition was track 1 of the new album of Strauss lieder by baritone Thomas Hampson. I think it's a good test because Hampson produces an unusually large amount of high order overtones when he sings loudly. (Not just an artifact of the recording; I feel he sounds that way live.)

 

The Strauss album is a 24/96 download. I would not recommend attempting to boost 18kHz or above on a 44.1 or 48 KHz track because it's too close to the Nyquist frequency, hence would increase aliasing distortion.

 

I'd be interested to hear whether anyone else hears any benefit to a similar boost in the extreme treble.

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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The June 2014 issue of Stereophile includes John Atkinson's review of the ENIGMAcoustics supertweeter. The frequency response graph shows a 6dB peak at 20kHz in the combined response of the full range loudspeaker and the supertweeter in the first of two setups auditioned by JA.

 

This gave me the idea of emulating a supertweeter at no expense using the parametric EQ built into my Metric Halo DAC. I set it to +6dB at 19kHz with BW=0.3 (Q=3 approx.). I cannot hear sine waves above 14 KHz or so. Nevertheless, on the one album with which I tried it so far, I believe I heard a slight improvement in smoothness and clarity (i.e., reduction in roughness) of upper midrange and treble tones well below the range being boosted.

 

My audition was track 1 of the new album of Strauss lieder by baritone Thomas Hampson. I think it's a good test because Hampson produces an unusually large amount of high order overtones when he sings loudly. (Not just an artifact of the recording; I feel he sounds that way live.)

 

The Strauss album is a 24/96 download. I would not recommend attempting to boost 18kHz or above on a 44.1 or 48 KHz track because it's too close to the Nyquist frequency, hence would increase aliasing distortion.

 

I'd be interested to hear whether anyone else hears any benefit to a similar boost in the extreme treble.

 

I've been doing this with my headphones for some time - I believe it adds "sparkle" to the very extreme treble, which I like. Supposedly, I can only hear up to about 18kHz, but a nice rise from about 16kHz up to 20kHz (+4dB) is pleasant to me.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

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  • 1 month later...
I fried all drivers in a cm9 once. B&W replaced everything for free. It wasn't my fault. The amp manufacturer "forgot" to install protection circuit in the left channel.

So I guess it wasn't B&W's fault either so they were going above and beyond in replacing everything under warranty :-)

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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...I set it to +6dB at 19kHz with BW=0.3 (Q=3 approx.)...

 

Hi Bob,

 

I believe a bandwidth of 0.3 octaves is closer to a Q factor of 4.8.

In my opinion, that's a rather high Q (or narrow bandwidth) for the type of EQ you are talking about.

 

For a task of this nature, I'd suggest a completely different tack: Rather than imitating the graph in Stereophile (which after all, is for another setup, with other speakers in a different room), try a turnover frequency as high as the EQ will go and a bandwidth of 2 full octaves (Q= 0.66). You may find you get a *more* pronounced effect while using *less* EQ (i.e., less boost), with the added benefit that it will do a better job of "disappearing" (i.e., it won't sound "EQ'd").

With the wider bandwidth, you may well find that instead of 6 db, you get quite a pronounced effect with less than 1 dB.

 

Aside from that, one thing to consider is that the added bandwidth provided by a supertweeter is not the same as boosting the high treble of an existing tweeter. The latter is sure to bring an increase in harmonic distortion too. Anyway, if transient response (not to mention transparance) is the goal, I would suggest avoiding high Q EQ.

 

Outside of all this, that Metric Halo EQ, properly used, can be superb at "getting out of the way". I've heard it make some very expensive equalizers (both hardware and software) sound broken by comparison.

 

Have fun!

 

Best regards,

Barry

Soundkeeper Recordings

The Soundkeeper | Audio, Music, Recording, Playback

Barry Diament Audio

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