Rectilinear 3 driver replacement

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Soggy, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Soggy

    Soggy New Member

    Has anyone out there replaced the tweeters or supertweeters in Rectilinear 3s?

    I sometimes wonder (and I've seen posts from others) if replacing the Peerless cone tweeters with more modern soft dome tweeters would give a better sound or spatial soundstage.

    The Rectilinear 5 seems similar to the Rectilinear 3 in many ways but with newer style drivers. One possibility that comes to mind would be to replace the Rec 3 tweeters with those used in the Rec 5 or in the Dahlquist DQ-10s.
    Or simply with newer Philips soft dome tweeters.

    Has anyone tried anything along these lines?


  2. dnewma04

    dnewma04 The Healer Super Mod Subscriber

    The old peerless cone tweeters were about as good as it got for the format with good extension and even pretty decent off axis response that gently rolled off, not nearly as beamy as some cones. If you like what you hear, I don't know that you'd be happy with the results if you swapped the tweeters out. If you are thinking you are missing some freq extension and don't mind tearing them up a bit, it never hurts to play around.
  3. Soggy

    Soggy New Member

    I always assumed that the smaller Peerless tweeters in Rec IIIs are the supertweeters.
    But I just read a posting in an epinions consumer site that described the larger tweeters as the supertweeters.

    Anyone know which is which?

  4. Knight Hawk

    Knight Hawk New Member

    Windy City area
    I've owned a pair of these venerable speakers since 1970. According to the official replacement driver list the smaller, i.e. 2 inch driver is the "super tweeter". See list here:

    I also ran across someone else asking whether replacing the tweeters with updated ones was a good idea. The general consensus was "no". The Rec III's are a very well engineered system, especially for that era. The drivers and crossover are accurately balanced, and attempting to "improve" performance with different drivers would most likely just end up unbalancing them.

    The paper cone tweeters used in the Rec III (there are 2 x 2 in. and 2 x 2.5 in. in each cabinet.), are actually quite excellent. However, it seems that they tend to suddenly die over time, and the musical overtones would then tend to be less balanced. I lost a couple tweets on my pair of IIIs, but I'm no longer able to hear as well in the extended high frequencies, so I don't seem to notice it. Indeed, to my ears, these old boxes still sound remarkably accurate in the high end. Nevertheless, I've been looking around for replacement drivers. Can anyone help me?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  5. stickman

    stickman Super Member

    Los Angeles
    The Rec III's are known for being non-fatiguing for extended listening periods and the Peerless cone tweeters are the primary reason why. They lack the peaks and resonances (both in the audible and above audibility frequency ranges) found in most tweeters and especially dome tweeters of all types. If you wanted a little more zing on the very high end I would consider just adding some stand alone super tweeters on top like the venerable Foster/Fostex conical horn loaded units sold for years by Radio Shack, but you will need a potentiometer to adjust the relative volume level.

    I owned some Rectilinear 5A's and the first generation Philips polycarbonate hard dome tweeters they used were painfully peaky! That is definitely NOT something to consider!

    PS - Since many speaker builders used the Peerless cone tweeters back during the 1970's, used units appear quite frequently on Fleabay. To find them though you need to do a general search, such as for "Vintage Tweeters" and spot them by appearance. Just make sure you get units with the proper ohm rating. I have some Tandberg speaker Peerless cone tweets that are rated at 3.2 ohms!
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  6. Soundminded

    Soundminded Well-Known Member

    I only heard Rectilinear III a few times and thought it was an excellent speaker. One of the magazines compared it to the Quad electrostatics and said it sounded the same except it had better bass. Rectilinear III was featured as the speakers in an article in one of the hobbyist electronics magazines, might have been Popular Electronics in "The Stereo System I Wish I Owned."

    Rectilinear V was an altogether different animal. It was designed by Dick Shahanian and frankly I don't think it was a very good speaker system. It used a Phillips tweeter crossed over at some high frequency like 11 Khz. He thought that was very clever. I only heard it once at a trade show in NYC. It was being driven by a Dynaco Stereo 400 and the sound was badly distorted. I didn't like it. His clever idea of time alignment, all the rage in the mid 1970s when it was introduced was to tilt the speaker back 4 degrees. Big deal.

Share This Page