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Supertweeter MK3The AudioSmile Supertweeter

The AudioSmile Supertweeter is been designed to supplement narrowing dispersion of existing speakers in the high frequency range. Handmade by the designer Simon Ashton, this unique supertweeter features two low distortion isoplanar ribbon units made from conductively etched lightweight film suspended between a neodymium push-pull magnet system. The each ribbon is at a 45-degree angle to the other, helping spread sound optimally into the room.

The Sound

AudioSmile supertweeters bring increased openness and vibrancy to recordings, making them feel more alive. Soundstage is extended in width and height, while vocals and instruments are bought in to the room.

Supertweeter MK3Speaker Matching

Every loudspeaker has different characteristics and every room has different acoustics. The AudioSmile Supertweeter has been designed to offer the greatest flexibility in settings and physical placement. The unique body shape allows this supertweeter to be placed either upright or laying down. The dual ribbons allow, if the user desires, to improve off-axis sound while minimally affecting on-axis balance. The setting controls provide 3 filter settings (14KHz, 16KHz &18KHz) and 6 volume increments. Integration of this supertweeter can be tuned to the finest degree.

Finish and Build

The body is a elegant frosted black acrylic with a chamfer around each inset ribbon element. The front and back are hand crafted from American Walnut or Birch ply wood.

Tweeter DispersionSupertweeters - How do they really work?

The supertweeter attracts some debate in audio circles about how it can possibly work - it's all above our hearing range 20Hz-20KHz, right?

The primary reason for hearing a change in sound when adding a supertweeter is that contrary to myth, most supertweeters produce output within our traditional hearing range at an audible level. This is because filters do not simply cut all sound below the set point, they apply a gradual reduction, still leaving much to be heard below 20KHz. Therefore it is not the supertweeter extension that matters, it is the quality of the sound reproduction at the top of the standard musical range.

Supertweeter MK3
My speakers extend to 20KHz, why do I need a supertweeter?

The majority of modern tweeters are capable of reproducing the full audible range, but only directly on-axis in front of the driver. At 5KHz a typical tweeter will have a wide dispersion pattern spreading sound in to all areas of the room, while at 15KHz the dispersion is much more narrow much like a direct beam from the tweeters center.

The result of this behaviour is less sound energy in the room at high frequencies than the  midrange. Our hearing averages all the sound in the room, so we hear an unbalanced reproduction lacking high frequency information needed for position localisation (soundstage and imaging).

It is easy understand why research shows listeners prefer a speaker system with an equal dispersion of sound across all frequency ranges, particularly matching the midrange and high frequencies. The purpose of a supertweeter is not to extend the high range above 20KHz, but to correct the narrowing dispersion beam of the main speaker. The AudioSmile supertweeter helps Supertweeter MK3do exactly that, creating an enhanced experience of spaciousness and soundstage.

Supertweeter MK3 Upgrade

The MK3 supertweeter has a totally new circuit design using low loss components to achieve a higher maximum sensitivity of 98dB and a smoother response, allowing matching with a greater variety of speakers and better integration.

MKII supertweeters can be upgraded to MK3 specification. Check out the Purchase page.

Supertweeter Position

Drivers: 2x Isoplanar Ribbon
Extension: 40KHz
Max. Sensitivity: 98dB
Distortion: ~0.4% (90dB 1m)
Size: 13cm x 7cm x 16cm (WHD)
14KHz, 16KHz, 18KHz filter and  6 position volume control
Connections: 2mm Banana plugs inset on rear face
Cables: Silicon cables made to length, pre-terminated on the ST end.