Corona Plasma Tweeter!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MC Rag, Oct 13, 2014.

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  1. MC Rag

    MC Rag Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Never heard of this technology before, it's pretty Sci-Fi:

    The Lansche "Corona Plasma Tweeter" has no physical diaphragm at all. Instead, a high-voltage arc is established between a small circular electrode within the tweeter's combustion chamber and another circular electrode outside the chamber. In a process called corona discharge, the arc ionizes the air within the chamber, forming a gas called a plasma (as seen in the photo at the top of this blog), which responds to the musical signal modulating the arc current. This causes nearby air molecules to vibrate in response, much like lightning causes thunder. The tweeter has virtually zero mass and can easily reproduce extremely high frequencies with no resonances, break-up modes, or other bugaboos that can plague conventional tweeters.

    Unfortunately the cheapest Lansche speakers it's found in cost $25,000 but they can apparently produce up to 150kHz!

    Mister Charlie likes this.
  2. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Question is, how does it sound?

    150K? LOL. The 50khz high end of the beryllium ribbon tweeters in my Pioneer Speakers is overkill already. For some reason I'm thinking a major headache will result from using these, or a lot of dogs and bats may come around, confused however.

    Didn't leaf tweeters go to 150K, many years ago too? Also....

    American physicist Dr. Alan E. Hill introduces the Plasmatronic loudspeaker featuring a helium-plasma tweeter. This tweeter essentially has no moving mass, which yields virtually unlimited high-frequency response out to radio frequencies. It employs helium to avoid creating poisonous ozone. He files for a U.S. Patent and will receive No. 4,219,705 in 1980.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
    MC Rag likes this.
  3. dividebytube

    dividebytube Forum Resident

    Grand Rapids, MI
    indy mike likes this.
  4. MC Rag

    MC Rag Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You're right it does seem to be pretty old technology. Lansche do seem to have mated the Corona Plasma tweeter with some other pretty impressive drivers (a 20 inch horn & a 18 inch woofer) in their Cubus speakers:

    Mister Charlie likes this.
  5. DPM

    DPM Senior Member

    Nevada, USA
    Last year, I heard Lansche's top of the line loudspeaker system at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. This year they were showing a less expensive pair. In both cases the plasma tweeter was the best treble reproduction ever to grace these ears. It sounds quite natural.
  6. This is very old tech, actually!

    The fact you need a helium canister is kind of a turn off. I bet that if there was a safe way to do it using plain old air, it would be in wider use.

    Sony came out with a full range plasma speaker a while back, I believe. I'll try to scrounge up more information on it.
  7. OK, looked it up and I was wrong--the Sony Sountina doesn't employ plasma tweeter technology. It uses something called a glass tube tweeter instead. Never took off. Pretty expensive.
  8. Always wanted to try this. Plasma technology is zero mass! One of the Phd R&D guys at Harman swears buy it.
  9. DaveC113

    DaveC113 Forum Resident

    Front Range CO
    Plasma tweeters sound great. Vaughn also uses one, I think it's a vintage unit that's been reconditioned.
  10. G E

    G E Senior Member

    I heard some Lansch speakers at an Atlanta exposition a few years back. I thought they had the best sound at the show. They are expensive though
  11. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Don't these things throw off a ton of ozone? Magnat made a cool plasma speaker back in the '70s, but you could fry your lungs with it...

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