There’s an incredibly fine balancing act at play when it comes to the top end of a system. Too much and it sounds bright, too little, and the opposite.
What many of us are hoping for is to not hear the drivers at all. We don’t want to say “oh, the tweeter sounds great”. What we’re banking on is saying something more like “that cymbal has just the right amount of sheen to it.”
Perfect performance from a tweeter is rare.
For many years (and still to this day), some of the biggest loudspeaker manufacturers added a bit of tizz or sparkle to their speaker’s top end. Why? Because they stand out from a crowded field of speakers when auditioned at a dealer’s showroom. As audiophiles, we might think all dealers take the time for a single speaker demo while forgetting how the rest of the world is shown speakers: through a switch box, the salesperson can click through to quickly see which one sounds best.
Once we get home that standout pair of speakers with the added pinch of sparkle, we soon find ourselves getting fatigued by the over-emphasized top end.
When there’s time to get to know our speakers the one thing we want to focus on is not hearing the drivers.
All we’re interested in hearing is the music.