At Vivid Audio we believe in using pistonic drivers for every part of the spectrum because we have found, though experience and experiment, that no matter how well controlled it may be, cone breakup is always audible as a colouration of the sound.
There may well be times when that colouration produces a pleasant effect but we feel that effects should be included by the artist in the recording and not be added later during the reproduction. To this end, all Vivid diaphragms have been optimised using computer-aided finite element analysis to give the highest possible first break-up frequencies. In the case of the mid bass C125 cone diaphragm, this process yielded a solution with an unusually shaped central dome which is not so much a dust cap as an integral structural element.
In the more critical dome diaphragms of the mid-range D50 and D26 HF driver, there were two phases of improvement to the standard metal dome. Using a ring of high modulus carbon fibre around the edge of an ordinary spherical aluminium dome was an idea hit upon twenty years ago by designer Laurence Dickie. The effect is to push up the first break-up frequency by an appreciable factor and this simple trick has since been exploited by a small number of manufacturers but Vivid Audio have taken the process to the next stage and re-optimised the profile to extract the maximum benefit from this technique. The solution takes the form of a rotated catenary, familiar as the natural form taken by a chain suspended at both ends, and yielded first break-up modes almost one octave higher than previously achieved using a simple spherical aluminium shell.
All diaphragms are made of anodised aluminium alloy which represents the best combination of stiffness and density when compared to titanium and magnesium, and we feel an optimum price/performance factor when compared to more exotic elements.