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Old 04-08-2015   #1
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Default Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Hey folks! Time once again for one of my utterly useless reviews.
Like always this is just a normal guy playing with some new toys and little in the way of any test equipment.

In this review I will be testing (playing with) the Dayton Audio AMT1-4 tweeter. It is a very nifty design that uses a pleated Kapton diaphragm immersed in a consistent magnetic field so that the pleats constrict and expand with the musical signal as opposed to a standard round voice coil moving a normal driver. Being that I am partial to ribbon tweeters I thought it prudent to give these a try. At $150 each they seem like they are worth the risk.

They will be playing along side of some Hertz ML1600 mids and I will be also testing them with the new Stereo Integrity TM65 mids when they arrive. Source unit is a Pioneer 80PRS and power comes from the 75 watt channels of a V1 JL Audio 450/4. Amp has been tested and shows to have closer to 100 watts. They reside in the factory tweeter locations of my 1996 Chevrolet Silverado that is heavily sound deadened.

So onward and upward! First thing you notice about these tweeters is their unusual appearance. Looks like some folded up cardboard shoved behind a grill.




Second thing you notice is just how large and heavy they are.




They are nearly 4" wide (3.75) but are fairly shallow. Still, they need some room to be mounted. Mounting of them is very critical as they (as I will learn) are VERY directional. They really need to be on axis to get the most out of them. They are not a simple slap in and turn on kind of speaker. Have to put some thought into it. Yes, I used the factory crappy locations BUT I spent several days making mounts for them to aim them as close to on axis as I can get. I am still 15* off axis on the driver side and while most drivers wouldn't care, these do.

Almost forgot! Specs! I know how much we all love numbers!
They are 4 ohm and rated for 40 watts RMS when played from 2500-30,000hz using a 12db slope at 2500hz. Sensitivity is rated at 93 db 1w/1m. Fs is 2566hz and they are just under an inch deep.
That 40 watts is under rated but make sure to use a minimum of 2500hz high pass. I think the 93 db rating may be a tad overzealous too.

Moving back to the tweeter we do see some more differences between them and a standard tweeter. On the back side there is a foam pad. Holding the tweeter up to the light shows that the tweeter is see through and it is a di-pole. Luckily this does not hinder the install and is less of a problem than I thought it may be.





I thought that since they were di-pole I would need to make an enclosure for them. This was not the case as an enclosure made them sound dead and not very inspiring. Leaving the back open to the door but isolated from the mid-bass has worked best.


I had ordered these with the intention of mounting them like this:




That gave a very tall but narrow sound field. Instead I mounted them vertically and set back from the opening a bit to allow me to aim them properly..... well as proper as the location allowed for anyway. LOL





Now that the amps were rewired with new RCAs and new 14 awg OFC speaker wire I was ready to get to tuning...... or so I thought. Turns out I lost the two channels on my amp that were delegated to tweeter duty. So an hour latter after some rewiring and installing some passive crossovers I was ready to rock and roll. I threw in some Blues Traveler in the CD player and spent several hours tuning. With a passive setup this was quite challenging. More so when you use the wrong dang crossover. This is why it is so important to make sure of your crossover before using it. Turns out the crossover was closer to 2000hz and I THINK maybe 6db slope. Couple that with 150 watts and a song from Purity Ring and the tweeters will pull an Elvis. "The tweeters have left the building."




Dayton was smart enough to make the tweeters somewhat rebuildable and a new diaphragm was ordered for under $100.

This time I waited until I installed the new amplifier to continue on with testing. Running the system full active now has allowed me to properly tune them in. Simply amazing what some proper slopes will do. I ended up using a 2500hz high pass with a 24db slope. They seem happy there and get impressively loud.


So now that the hard part is over its time to start really playing with them.
I started off with Elton Johns "Levon". At the 30 second mark there is an acoustic guitar that comes in on the right channel. I have heard the guitar on other tweeters but it is very faint. This time I was in for a surprise as the guitarist sounded as if he were sitting on the dashboard. Very detailed to the point of hearing each pluck of the strings. Okay, this brought a huge smile to my face and got me amped up for the next 6 hours of critical listening.
Next I played Robert Plants "In The Mood". Its a nice airy track that has some sharp top hat played during the instrumental portion. With ribbon tweeters the top hat is really in your face but sounds unnatural. With soft domes you hear it but its not really alive. These tweeters split the difference. Its not in your face loud but it is very crisp and airy while sounding like an actual high hat.
I then switched over to Fleetwood Macs "You Make Loving Fun". I love Christy Macvees (sp?) voice and have grown up on this song. I have heard it on everything from a pair of $2 headphones to a pair of $50,000 Beta IRS V speakers. I can not tell you just how overjoyed I was hearing this song now. Enough that I played it 12 times. Her voice sounded so natural it almost made me weep. At the 2:22 mark there are a set of wooden blocks smacked together (I think that's what they are) that is usually there but not very apparent. These tweeters made sure you knew the instrument was there.
I ended up playing many more tracks from Fleetwood Mac using my digitally remastered disc set. I threw on "Cant Go Back" just because I know it has many background sounds that lesser systems cant duplicate correctly. I was not disappointed.
At this point I was completely immersed in the music and being that it had been a few hours I had also been progressively turning the system up. It wasn't until I was playing some music from Purity Ring that I realized just how loud it was. Playing "Odebear", that is excellent for destroying tweeters, I got out and walked across the street. Everything was still crystal clear and highly detailed. Very impressive for a tweeter that is by no means designed to be uber loud.



In closing I have to say these are the first tweeter I have used that sound like music. What I mean is that they sound like the musical instrument and not a speaker imitating a musical instrument. They are clear and airy while also being crisp but not in your face harsh. If you love soft domes, these are not for you. If you love hard domes but they seem harsh after long listening sessions than these are perfect.
They do have a few down sides though. They are large and they are very very directional. They need to be properly aimed and secured. They also need space in the rear to breath. That space needs to not be shared with any larger drivers as it will cause the Daytons to distort.

I was lucky enough to compare them back to back with Focal Utopia Be tweeters and PhD AF1.C tweeters and these are a clear winner. While I loved the Be tweeters they seem downright harsh in comparison.

I should also note that I do like my tweeters on the "hot" side. I like them a tad bright and with only a 2db gain at 12k and 20k they fit the bill just right for me.

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Old 04-08-2015   #2
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

The first time I heard the guitar in Levon it startled me to the point I flinched.It was like he was sitting in the passenger seat seat playing it.

I have mine mounted on the pillars at ear height on axis.They are crossed at 5k with a 24db/oct slope.Driven by a Mac MC431m they get about 130 RMS.

I can push these to the point of having the PG light flashing and they take it like "Grace under pressure".I dont baby them.I listen to a lot of stuff like Ozzy's "No more tears" at deafening volumes and have never had a problem with them.

After about 2 years of listening to these tweeters I am extremely happy with them.The only thing I would consider replacing them with is RAAL's.

But due to my budget that will never happen.

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Old 04-09-2015   #3
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Nice review. Very impressive they took down Utopia Be tweeters which are much more expensive. Wonder how they will match up with the si65s. Guess we will see shortly.
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Old 04-12-2015   #4
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATOMICTECH62 View Post
The first time I heard the guitar in Levon it startled me to the point I flinched.It was like he was sitting in the passenger seat seat playing it.

I have mine mounted on the pillars at ear height on axis.They are crossed at 5k with a 24db/oct slope.Driven by a Mac MC431m they get about 130 RMS.

I can push these to the point of having the PG light flashing and they take it like "Grace under pressure".I dont baby them.I listen to a lot of stuff like Ozzy's "No more tears" at deafening volumes and have never had a problem with them.

After about 2 years of listening to these tweeters I am extremely happy with them.The only thing I would consider replacing them with is RAAL's.

But due to my budget that will never happen.
They are quite nice. I think they are best suited for a 3-way system so that you can set them to a higher high pass frequency. Shaving another octave off them I would feel just fine doubling the power I currently send to them. With 75 watts feeding them my ears give up long before they do. The more I play with them the more I am enjoying them and discovering parts of music I had all but forgotten about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteL02 View Post
Nice review. Very impressive they took down Utopia Be tweeters which are much more expensive. Wonder how they will match up with the si65s. Guess we will see shortly.
Take down is a bit strong. The Be is a wonderful tweeter and sounds spectacular but by comparison it is a bit hotter. Its easy enough to tune out but you end up losing a tad of sparkle in some songs. Generally you wouldnt notice it unless you played them back to back with a higher end ribbon tweeter or an AMT.

I plan on ordering their smaller one that looks like a PP copy just so I can give people an idea of how the much cheaper brother sounds.

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Old 04-12-2015   #5
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Shhh...quit telling people about the AMTs.
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Old 04-12-2015   #6
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserSVT View Post
Couple that with 150 watts and a song from Purity Ring and the tweeters will pull an Elvis. "The tweeters have left the building."
purity ring is awesome. very very different and unique. and yes, their music is very dynamic and will do some work on equipment

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Old 04-12-2015   #7
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

I have used their music to destroy a couple tweeters. LOL

Every one in this group except the Illusion was killed with Purity Ring.


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Old 04-12-2015   #8
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

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Originally Posted by LaserSVT View Post
I have used their music to destroy a couple tweeters. LOL

Every one in this group except the Illusion was killed with Purity Ring.

that might actually be a problem lol

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Old 04-12-2015   #9
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Well the TBI I was trying to blow. Took just over 100 watts. The Boston was due to age. The Focal was due to a friend using the car and turning it up well past what i told him he could and he also maxed out the ESP-2 gain. The AMT was my own mess up as outlined earlier. The Illusion never got to play purity ring as it can not handle the power when the stereo is off.

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Old 04-14-2015   #10
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserSVT View Post
The Illusion never got to play purity ring as it can not handle the power when the stereo is off.
What exactly does that mean?


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Old 04-14-2015   #11
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

I guess I'll have to replay Purity Ring on the ride home later. I don't remember them being particularly demanding. It must come from their witch-house influence, although I always saw them as being more synthpop. Some witch house songs are ridiculous, like Salem - King Night. My Blacks handle it just fine though ...hope my Flax 3-ways will too, even though it's not exactly my go-to genre.

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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

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Originally Posted by rton20s View Post
What exactly does that mean?

That they are delicate.
I didnt really discover Purity Ring until after the whole Illusion fiasco though. Shame because the Illusion tweeters, when working, are some of my all time favorite sounding tweeters.




As for Purity Ring, Finershine and Odebear have some pretty intense output in the 3-8k and 12-16k range and if you run your tweeters at a lower crossover point like these allow than its a bit easier to hurt them. Again, if crossed over at 4-5k then its not an issue for the tweeters. For me in this install the lower tweeter crossover allowed me to raise the soundstage to an acceptable level.

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Old 04-15-2015   #13
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Default

Did you hear their new album?

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Old 04-15-2015   #14
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserSVT View Post
That they are delicate.
I didnt really discover Purity Ring until after the whole Illusion fiasco though. Shame because the Illusion tweeters, when working, are some of my all time favorite sounding tweeters.




As for Purity Ring, Finershine and Odebear have some pretty intense output in the 3-8k and 12-16k range and if you run your tweeters at a lower crossover point like these allow than its a bit easier to hurt them. Again, if crossed over at 4-5k then its not an issue for the tweeters. For me in this install the lower tweeter crossover allowed me to raise the soundstage to an acceptable level.
Interesting. I haven't noticed my Illusion tweeters as being delicate. At least, not on the rated 155w available from the KS900.6. Then again, I haven't played Purity Ring on them. Perhaps I will give it a go once I get the system dialed back in.


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Old 04-15-2015   #15
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkizeR View Post
Did you hear their new album?
I have only heard a few song of theirs. Don't know if its new or old but I will check now. Its not something I listen to often but do like it for testing speakers.

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Old 04-30-2015   #16
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

I am including this update from the SI thread as it also pertains to these tweeters. They continue to impress and I have really been pushing them with the new SI mids. They stay so clear and detailed at ludicrous volumes. Love them.

Well as the continual adjusting is happening the speakers have me tickled pink. I removed the ESP-2 as I no longer need it.
I have changed slopes around a bit and stopped using the Pioneers TA since I can attenuate each speaker independently anyway as well as adjust the EQ (still want a P99 though). Moving the mids to an 80hz HP with an 18db slope has given me the exact sound I wanted. Subwoofers take over at 80hz as well with a 30db slope. I let the mids play to 2.5k with a 12db slope and the AMTs are high passed at 3.15k with a 12 db slope.
This has given me a nice balanced sound at nearly all levels. Its nice not constantly changing the bass boost when going from low to high volumes.

I am very pleased with this combination. I believe its a keeper. Just need to sound deaden the rest of the floor, do the roof, swap in a P99 and then find someone that can fibreglass me some a-pillars to put the AMTs on axis. I find myself leaning forward to put myself on axis just because there is so much more detail hiding there. LOL

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Old 04-30-2015   #17
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Will you demo it for me if I come by your shop?
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Old 04-30-2015   #18
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

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Originally Posted by thehatedguy View Post
Shhh...quit telling people about the AMTs.
I'll probably never run a dome again if I can help it

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Old 05-01-2015   #19
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

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Originally Posted by CDT FAN View Post
Will you demo it for me if I come by your shop?
Any time. I love playing it for people. I also like it when people who are into SQ listen to it to help try and dial it in more. Extra ears sometimes help.

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Old 05-31-2015   #20
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Thanks for the review. I think I'll try these even lower profile versions in my 3-way:

Dayton Audio PTMini-6 Planar Tweeter 6 Ohm

These would be really easy to integrate into my a-pillars above the mids. I'm looking forward to playing around with them. They should be much easier to fit than the morel supremos that I've been trying to figure out how to shoehorn into the sails.

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Old 06-03-2015   #21
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Update time!

I love and hate these tweeters. They take quite a bit to dial in but when you get them there they are just spectacular. Problem is they were never ment for car audio so if you dont sit right or someone else is in the car the sound profile changes in a big way.
They also do not like temperature fluctuations. I have 4 EQ curves for different times of day/temperature changes. And we are talking 8db swings in some frequencies.

Granted if they were mounted in the pillars this would alleviate the staging issues for the most part but it would only enhance the temp issues as they would be exposed to direct sunlight.

So to make an adjustment on my review, I would only recommend these if you can get near perfect on axis and if you live somewhere that does not have large temp/humidity fluctuations.

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Old 06-03-2015   #22
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Great to know all that…thanks for the update!!!
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Old 07-27-2015   #23
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

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Originally Posted by Hoptologist View Post
I guess I'll have to replay Purity Ring on the ride home later. I don't remember them being particularly demanding. It must come from their witch-house influence, although I always saw them as being more synthpop. Some witch house songs are ridiculous, like Salem - King Night. My Blacks handle it just fine though ...hope my Flax 3-ways will too, even though it's not exactly my go-to genre.
Weird to hear these names on the forum. Thought I was the only one that listened to this stuff. Saw Sal3m in Portland a few years back, that was a fun show.


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Old 07-27-2015   #24
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Default Re: Average Joe Review: Dayton Audio AMT1-4 Tweeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly SQ View Post
I'll probably never run a dome again if I can help it
ribbons sound the way they do because of their directivity pattern.

Harman has written some papers about this, basically people prefer loudspeakers with wide horizontal directivity and narrow vertical directivity.

Ribbons generally achieve this goal, particularly if they're tall and narrow.

On the downside, their distortion performance is generally terrible, as the measurements at zaphaudio show.

Then again, distortion sounds kinda good and a lot of people prefer it. This will be particularly noticeable on the music mentioned in this thread (Purity Ring) where there's a lot of distortion in the mix already.

Having said all that, if you have the space, waveguides are the gold standard when it comes to directivity control. IE, put a compression driver or a dome on a waveguide and you can get equal or better performance than a ribbon.



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