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New Event Opal Monitors - not your regular speakers
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
I haven't heard of any side-by-side comparisons yet. But going by this post below, the materials used in the old design were certainly pricier than the new design>>>

This was the first thing that came to my mind, too. Beryllium is quite expensive to handle and the prices for neodymium rose on and on during the last year. Therefore the use of an aluminium-magnesium alloy instead of beryllium and ferrite instead of neodymium seems like a cost cutting step. Unfortunately both expensive materials are said to be the best for high class speakers, so can I really be sure to get the same sound quality from of the cheaper parts?
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1202
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Well all I can say is the Focal Twin uses beryllium tweeters and sounds quite a bit bright and scratchy/coarse sounding in the upper mids.

While my Opals sounded clearer in the mids

There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benares View Post
This was the first thing that came to my mind, too. Beryllium is quite expensive to handle and the prices for neodymium rose on and on during the last year. Therefore the use of an aluminium-magnesium alloy instead of beryllium and ferrite instead of neodymium seems like a cost cutting step. Unfortunately both expensive materials are said to be the best for high class speakers, so can I really be sure to get the same sound quality from of the cheaper parts?
The original tweeter was supposedly made in or near Fukushima, but after the nuclear disaster there it seemed to axe that supplier.

It's quite possible that it's very hard to to manufacture (to a quality standard) a tweeter made of beryllium, especially since it can be so toxic. Perhaps there isn't another factory that can produce the type of beryllium tweeter that Opal designed, but with different materials they could either match or come close...who knows. The point I'm trying to make here is that the motivation for the tweeter redesign may not have been cost cutting but the nuclear disaster which cut off their original supplier.
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
Well all I can say is the Focal Twin uses beryllium tweeters and sounds quite a bit bright and scratchy/coarse sounding in the upper mids.

While my Opals sounded clearer in the mids

There is more than one way to skin a cat.
And while there are some generalizations that can be made regarding tweeter materials, it's not a catch all to compare tweeter material in one speaker brand as being the tone of the same material in another brand speaker.

I've heard harsh soft dome tweeters and smoother hard dome (metal) tweeters (the generalization is that those observations would be reversed).

So yeah, there are more than one way to skin a cat
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1205
Gear Head
 

You're right, the very same material can sound quite different in different speakers, I've heard that myself several times. What makes me think of possible sound differences in this case is not only the different tweeter material, but the different driver: ferrite does not have the same reputation as neodymium. Does anyone know, what makes the theoretical differencies between both? Isn't it the case that neodymium provides more magnetical energy resulting in a faster tweeter response?


Update: I recently received an answer from Rhode's/Event's support:

"I can confirm that the Opals are now manufactured with a aluminium-magnesium alloy tweeter with a ferrite magnet. The change was made for manufacturing reasons and not costs. The specification and performance of the Opal has not changed.

I would however recommend listening to a pair with these tweeters to confirm for yourself the quality of the product.


Kind Regards,


Andrew Taylor

Service Manager

RØDE Microphones / EVENT Electronics"


Does not really make me smarter. I guess I'll have to give it a listen, when the new model arrives here in Germany.
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benares View Post

Update: I recently received an answer from Rhode's/Event's support:

"I can confirm that the Opals are now manufactured with a aluminium-magnesium alloy tweeter with a ferrite magnet. The change was made for manufacturing reasons and not costs. The specification and performance of the Opal has not changed.

I would however recommend listening to a pair with these tweeters to confirm for yourself the quality of the product.
I normally refrain from commenting anything from other manufacturers, as we're pretty much all friends - but I must admit this is a bit troubling.

This is the 3rd time Opal changed their tune about the tweeters. it was fist announced with a pure Beryllium tweeter, then they change to a Beryllium-Copper (which had less than 10% Beryllium in it anyway) - and now they are going for an Al-Mg tweeter? (same material we use on CMS series) - believe me, there are VAST cost differences between the tweeter materials. To give you an idea - an SM6 tweeter (pure Beryllium) is 6 times more expensive to make than the CMS tweeter (Al-Mg) - and they are both made in France (so same cost of fabrication)

what about service? if they can't manufacture the old one anymore...

Ok, I might be a little biased

Cheers!
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FocalPro View Post
To give you an idea - an SM6 tweeter (pure Beryllium) is 6 times more expensive to make than the CMS tweeter (Al-Mg) - and they are both made in France (so same cost of fabrication)
How specialized, from a manufacturing point, do you have to be, to build a high end Beryllium tweeter?

Being that Opal lost their Japanese manufacture to Fukushima, how hard/easy would it be for them to get another manufacture to retool for their Beryllium tweet vs doing a Al-Mg design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FocalPro View Post
what about service? if they can't manufacture the old one anymore...
Ok, I hadn't thought of that, being I have the older Beryllium design . Guess I have to be careful. In fact, I think I might even contact Event and ask them!
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
How specialized, from a manufacturing point, do you have to be, to build a high end Beryllium tweeter?

Being that Opal lost their Japanese manufacture to Fukushima, how hard/easy would it be for them to get another manufacture to retool for their Beryllium tweet vs doing a Al-Mg design?



Ok, I hadn't thought of that, being I have the older Beryllium design . Guess I have to be careful. In fact, I think I might even contact Event and ask them!
Well, that depends. given that they were probably not buying raw metal and forming tweeter themselves (in which case they would still be able to make them) - they were probably buying pre-made Beryllium-Copper domes from Materion (pretty much the only company left in the world to sell Beryllium based products - it's based in the US btw) - in which case, assembling a tweeter is pretty much the same price and only the raw materials would vary.

We're buying raw Beryllium sheets and forming them in-house.

In defense to Event though, if they were buying Beryllium-Copper domes before and could not decide exactly what they wanted (size, weight, etc), vs. forming their own Aluminium-Magnesium domes - it's probably a good idea to switch to something you can actually control 100%.

and, to be honest - Aluminium-Magnesium probably outperforms Beryllium-copper, (just looking at the color, you could tell it was mostly Copper and very few Beryllium). Copper is not exacty light...or rigid. that's why you use it in conjunction with Beryllium (to make it lighter and more rigid)
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FocalPro View Post
In defense to Event though, if they were buying Beryllium-Copper domes before and could not decide exactly what they wanted (size, weight, etc), vs. forming their own Aluminium-Magnesium domes - it's probably a good idea to switch to something you can actually control 100%.
The reason I ask is that the shortage of Opal speakers was blamed on the tweeters (or a component of the tweeter) being source from Japan/Fukushima.

So that it might of been a sourcing issue not a control issue.

But now that I put a little more thought into it, perhaps Event had already redesigned the tweeter to the Al-Mg material before the Fukushima event. I might be incorrectly assuming that the Beryllium tweeter was being sourced from there.

Though the timing was pretty spot on for my assumption.
Old 22nd December 2011
  #1210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FocalPro View Post
Well, that depends. given that they were probably not buying raw metal and forming tweeter themselves (in which case they would still be able to make them) - they were probably buying pre-made Beryllium-Copper domes from Materion (pretty much the only company left in the world to sell Beryllium based products - it's based in the US btw) - in which case, assembling a tweeter is pretty much the same price and only the raw materials would vary.
Is the toxicity of Beryllium a non-issue at that point? If not, could it be the case there are few manufactures that are willing to deal with that material due to the toxicity?
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1211
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Focalpro - From a professional speaker designer standpoint.... What are the general differences between The Beryllium/Copper style tweeters and the Aluminium/Magnesium ones? I know you said price but I want to know how they compare sonically? The pros/cons etc
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1212
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goldencd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FocalPro View Post
Well, that depends. given that they were probably not buying raw metal and forming tweeter themselves (in which case they would still be able to make them) - they were probably buying pre-made Beryllium-Copper domes from Materion (pretty much the only company left in the world to sell Beryllium based products - it's based in the US btw) - in which case, assembling a tweeter is pretty much the same price and only the raw materials would vary.

We're buying raw Beryllium sheets and forming them in-house.

In defense to Event though, if they were buying Beryllium-Copper domes before and could not decide exactly what they wanted (size, weight, etc), vs. forming their own Aluminium-Magnesium domes - it's probably a good idea to switch to something you can actually control 100%.

and, to be honest - Aluminium-Magnesium probably outperforms Beryllium-copper, (just looking at the color, you could tell it was mostly Copper and very few Beryllium). Copper is not exacty light...or rigid. that's why you use it in conjunction with Beryllium (to make it lighter and more rigid)
Dude... super unprofessional to comment and subversively big up your own methods and craftsmanship at the same time. Especially when people on this thread directly compare the twins to the opals and most of the time choose the Opal.

Isn't it enough that the twins outsell the Opals 10 to 1 or something stupid like that....?
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1213
Gear Head
 

Very interesting discussion here! I don't mind having a representative from a manufacturer here, though he always walks on thin ice when commenting on competitors (by the way I never understood the permanent comparisons and rivalry between Focal- and Opal-users in this forum - Opals and Twins sound so totally different, they stand for two completely different sound philosophies)


Quote:
Originally Posted by msm07 View Post
Focalpro - From a professional speaker designer standpoint.... What are the general differences between The Beryllium/Copper style tweeters and the Aluminium/Magnesium ones? I know you said price but I want to know how they compare sonically? The pros/cons etc

I also would like to know, though I doubt we'll get an answer here for Focal isn't a specialist in the use of these alloys (only in pure beryllium). But like FocalPro I also wondered about Event's use of copper for tweeters - it isn't known for its suitability in speaker design and I don't know of any other company who uses it for tweeters. It is neither light nor hard, it is not even cheap any more (though it's a lot cheaper and easier to handle than beryllium).



@Fleaman: Where did you get the information of a shortage of the Opal-tweeters as a result of the Fukushima-incident?


However, I cannot follow Event's explanation of the tweeter change only because of manufacturing reasons and not because of costs. Everyone with a little knowledge in speaker manufacturing knows that beryllium belongs to the most expensive and most suitable materials for high class tweeters. Even if I put this by side, I can't believe that the Opal's sound should not have changed. It must not necessarily have gotten worse, but in every case it must be different. Different materials combined with different drivers must deliver a different sound.


Unfortunately I and every other potential Opal buyer are stuck between a rock and a hard place now - if I decide to wait for the new model to arrive and give it a listen and finally decide that the old version sounded better, I risk to not get the old one for it might be out of stock then.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benares View Post
You're right, the very same material can sound quite different in different speakers, I've heard that myself several times. What makes me think of possible sound differences in this case is not only the different tweeter material, but the different driver: ferrite does not have the same reputation as neodymium. Does anyone know, what makes the theoretical differencies between both? Isn't it the case that neodymium provides more magnetical energy resulting in a faster tweeter response?


Update: I recently received an answer from Rhode's/Event's support:

"I can confirm that the Opals are now manufactured with a aluminium-magnesium alloy tweeter with a ferrite magnet. The change was made for manufacturing reasons and not costs. The specification and performance of the Opal has not changed.

I would however recommend listening to a pair with these tweeters to confirm for yourself the quality of the product.


Kind Regards,


Andrew Taylor

Service Manager

RØDE Microphones / EVENT Electronics"


Does not really make me smarter. I guess I'll have to give it a listen, when the new model arrives here in Germany.
I believe there is someone here who had an older Event Opal, and had it updated to current spec by Event, by the designer himself

So maybe he can shed light into any differences if any?
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1215
Gear Head
 

I remember this post. Wasn't it an update from the very first version (the one with the hiss) to the previous one (without hiss, but with the beryllium-copper tweeter)?
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1216
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I had the first model and it was updated last month by Marcelo himself.

Here is what I know. They sound different. How much so? Marginally. The highs are not quite as high or "shimmery" which I know is kind of a subjective term.

I do not mind the change. My mixes are still translating really well. I still do not get fatigued. The stereo field is still huge. The speakers are still detailed. They just seem a touch darker overall. Not mackie 824 darkand not muddy, jut a little more subdued on the top end. I have emailed Marcelo for his thoughts. If I hear back I will post.

Bottom line is: I am not mad at the update and still prefer these over every speaker that I have had in my room.

Hope that helps.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldencd View Post
I had the first model and it was updated last month by Marcelo himself.

Here is what I know. They sound different. How much so? Marginally. The highs are not quite as high or "shimmery" which I know is kind of a subjective term.

I do not mind the change. My mixes are still translating really well. I still do not get fatigued. The stereo field is still huge. The speakers are still detailed. They just seem a touch darker overall. Not mackie 824 darkand not muddy, jut a little more subdued on the top end. I have emailed Marcelo for his thoughts. If I hear back I will post.

Bottom line is: I am not mad at the update and still prefer these over every speaker that I have had in my room.

Hope that helps.
The update had something to do with the amp and perhaps the crossovers. There was no mention of tweeter changes in the 'updates'.

If in fact the tweeter change had to do with sourcing issues, there would be no reason to change good tweeters in the update process of your speakers.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benares View Post
@Fleaman: Where did you get the information of a shortage of the Opal-tweeters as a result of the Fukushima-incident?
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6836965-post1054.html

I've read it elsewhere too, just can't remember where.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
The update had something to do with the amp and perhaps the crossovers. There was no mention of tweeter changes in the 'updates'.

If in fact the tweeter change had to do with sourcing issues, there would be no reason to change good tweeters in the update process of your speakers.
Not in my case.

I blew one of my tweeters. Marcelo UPGRADED the whole system for FREE. PCB, Protection, woofer, amp circuit, Tweeters, PSU and Harness. The whole nine.

the only thing he didn't replace what the case. Weirdly puts me in a unique position to make a well informed comment on this exact debate.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldencd View Post
Not in my case.

I blew one of my tweeters. Marcelo UPGRADED the whole system for FREE. PCB, Protection, woofer, amp circuit, Tweeters, PSU and Harness. The whole nine.
That's why I said "there would be no reason to change good tweeters".

If in fact you had the Beryllium tweets, and they are no more, they probably had no choice but to replace both of the Al-Mg design.

So it looks like you are in that weird position of having both tweets!
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
That's why I said "there would be no reason to change good tweeters".

If in fact you had the Beryllium tweets, and they are no more, they probably had no choice but to replace both of the Al-Mg design.

So it looks like you are in that weird position of having both tweets!
They replaced the bad one and the good one so that they would match... both speakers were sent in.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldencd View Post
Bottom line is: I am not mad at the update and still prefer these over every speaker that I have had in my room.

Hope that helps.
Maybe not 'mad', but would you have preferred the older version sound?
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldencd View Post
They replaced the bad one and the good one so that they would match... both speakers were sent in.
Yes, that is what I said/meant.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Maybe not 'mad', but would you have preferred the older version sound?
This is a cop out for sure... but It is 50/50. If i was working harder to get mixes right even if I liked the new sound better, I would prefer the old ones. But to me the important part is everything still translates. So really, i think the y both sound great and the results are the same... so i truly don't care beyond curiosity as to the real reason for the switch.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldencd View Post
I blew one of my tweeters.
Do you know how this might of happened? Meaning, randomly or were they being pushed? Accidental feedback, etc?

Being i have the Beryllium design, I'm wondering what I need to be cautious about....if you have any tips?
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1226
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Just happened. Not sure why. I wasn't pushing them hard at all. Turned my volume up a few db and pop. The left tweeter blew. Maybe I have power issues and the protection circuit on the first revision wasn't as good? Or maybe it was just a random thing? Wish I could tell you more
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1227
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I don't think you have to look out for anything in particular.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #1228
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Thanks!

I have the Beryllium tweets, but the newer design (everything else), so hopefully part of the updated design benefits tweeter protection.
Old 24th December 2011
  #1229
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Well I can say that my Opals were part of the new batch.

My shop said they didn't have stock for a while because they Event couldn't get hold of any tweeters due the situation in Japan.
They do build them here in my city after all
Old 24th December 2011
  #1230
Gear Head
 

@goldencd: Thanks a lot for your evaluation. Seems like the update isn't too bad. After all it seems to be a matter of personal taste which tweeter one prefers - the old or the new one.

I think two facts are clear: First, the sound of both tweeter models cannot be exactly the same due to different materials and drivers. Second, Event can't afford to change the Opal's sound too much by using the new tweeter, otherwise customers would complain.


What is interesting about the beryllium tweeter is, that I also heard of quality issues. The shop here in Germany, where I listened to the Opal, had several returns due to blown tweeters. When I wondered how this could happen with a speaker especially designed for high volumes, the salesperson couldn't explain it himself, stating that none of these cases was due to cranking the speakers. Apparently there were some problems with the tweeters durabillity which could also be a reason for the change to a new design. The old tweeters might not only have been expensive for Event due to high costs for materials and production, but also due to repair costs.


Merry x-mas to ya all!
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