ENIGMAcoustics Sopranino supertweeter | First measurements

11.09.2013..

Preamble

The Sopraninos are electrostatic supertweeters with a very amazing look. They can be inserted in a listening chain without any aesthetic compromise: just place them on the top of your loudspeakers, connect the cable and enjoy a frequency range never heard before!

An electrostatic, differently from a classic magneto dynamic driver, has a very light and not stiff membrane.

The designing principles of classic drivers and electrostatic drivers are poles apart: in a classic driver, if we take ad example a woofer, the movement of the cone is generated by the moving coil. In order to ensure that the coil could transmit the motion and the cone could move at the same way in every point, it's strictly necessary that the woofer is stiff. Same thing also for a dome tweeter, either in silk or metal.

The stiffness is a typical feature of:

  • the material (paper, propylene, aluminum, etc., they all have different stiffness)

  • the shape (the dome or cone shape increases the stiffness of the membranes)

Hence, a magneto dynamic driver will be always characterized by a stiff and quite heavy membrane. With high frequency solicitations, it loses some rigidity. The famous breakup is, in fact, the breaking of the rigidity of the membrane.

In an electrostatic driver, like an isodynamic one, as the air gap covers the entire area of the membrane, it's not necessary that this last one is stiff. Without this rigidity it's possible to use very thin an light materials - Mylar mainly - that are easily controllable by the powerful engine. The advantages are: the absence of breakup, the low distortion, the extension at ultrasonic frequencies and the great transient response, both in the attack and in the decay.

 

Measurements

In the underlying gallery, let us hand to some measurements. As pointed out in the abstract, these measurements are still partial, since my equipment does not allow us to go beyond 20 KHz. However, the manufacturer has provided us with impedance and frequency response graphs, which go up to 40 KHz. Graphs that we will further test with our associated Matrix lab.

 

Official technical specifications:

Nominal impedance: 4ohm

Frequency Response: (+/- 3 dB)8kHz – 50kHz

Sensitivity: (dB@1m/1W on axis) 86dB

Recommended Power: 50W

Crossover Frequency: 8/10/12kHz

Crossover Slope:12dB/Oct

Weight (Net/Box/Carton) 2.7/10.4/13.6 (Kg)

Dimensions: Speaker/Carton 181x193x207mm / 560x380x356mm (WxHxD)

Manufacturer: to ENIGMAcoustics website

Official price: 3,690.00 USD x pair

 

1 - As I usually do with a new driver or speaker, I always start by measuring the impedance.
Let us look at the three impedance curves at the changing of the crossover frequency:
Low - high-pass at 8 KHz (red curve)
Mid - high-pass at 10 KHz (blue curve)
High - high-pass at 12 KHz (fuchsia curve)
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by Salvatore Giannotti
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