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Introduction  •  Dave the Observer  •  The Tweeter  •  The Port  •  An Engineering Challenge  •  Specifications

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Alexandria XLF

Developing the Convergent Synergy Tweeter

Tweeter technology evolved in the first decade of the new century, with new designs using exotic materials such as diamond and beryllium. Proponents of these designs extolled their ultra-wide bandwidth, in some cases extending to beyond 50 kHz. The engineering rationale was that pushing the tweeter's resonant frequency (or break-up mode) well above the audible spectrum would produce greater linearity within the audible range.

Dave Wilson and his engineering team began a three-year process of testing and evaluating new designs coming on the market. To match the demands of its standard-setting midrange, Wilson had already redesigned its titanium tweeter with great gains made in lowering the high-frequency noise floor. This was achieved primarily through enhanced control of back-wave reflections. At the same time, work on an all-new design began, borne of the desire to follow any path that would potentially lead to technologies that enhanced the consanguinity of Dave's speakers to the live event.

Their testing quickly revealed that tweeters able to play to 50kHz frequently did so by lowering the mass of their drivers. This, in turn, imposed at least two limitations on their performance. They failed to achieve the dynamic contrast required of a Wilson loudspeaker. Second, they couldn't play low enough to cross over at the 1.2 kHz point demanded by the Wilson midrange driver. Most interestingly, none of the new exotic designs matched the dynamic contrast and harmonic expression of Wilson's existing titanium design.

Speaker Drivers Dave's frustration with off-the-shelf units led to the decision to design his own tweeter. The result of that effort is the Convergent Synergy tweeter. It maintains all the strengths of the existing Wilson driver: great dynamic contrast, harmonic expression, exceptional power handling, and low distortion. The Convergent Synergy is much flatter in its frequency response and has exemplary off-axis dispersion characteristics. With somewhat lower moving mass, it adds frequency extension to 33 kHz. As the name implies, these qualities converge with the advantages of the ultra-wide-bandwidth designs, with none of their sonic or technical disadvantages. It is an extremely synergistic companion to the Wilson midrange driver.

Dave said about the Alexandria XLF project: "If there was going to be any improvement, it had to come at no compromise to any other performance area." The Convergent Synergy tweeter is a tangible result of that dictum, and an important part of the XLF's audible advance toward the ideal.

Mid-Rang Driver