Lighter than air

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Lighter than air
Here's something crazy. The mass of the FR30 and FR20's tweeter and midrange diaphragms is less than the air being moved. Compare that with the heavier mass of even the world's best diamond-encrusted tweeter, and, at least for me, I experience a moment's pause. A pause for two reasons. First, I never thought about air having mass. Second, if all that's true, what does it mean for the sound of heavier-than-air tweeter and midrange technologies? Are their outputs colored by that extra mass? Of course, the aspen tweeters and midranges are not the only drivers that are lower in mass than the air they move. Most well designed planar or electrostatic drivers have extremely low mass diaphragms, some falling into the same category as the Chris Brunhaver-designed aspen drivers. I wonder how much of the natural, open, and uncolored upper-end extension of the aspen speakers is due to this head-scratching fact and how much is due to other factors like crossover design, etc. Even the very best exotic metal dome tweeters and midranges sound colored to me. After focusing the past 40 years of listening to the top end through low-mass planar and ribbon designs, I suppose I've answered my own question. Still, I wonder.
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Paul McGowan

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