We present measurements of the energy resolution of improved single-photon imaging x-ray spectrometers based on superconducting tunnel junctions. The devices have a Ta film absorber with an Al/AlOx/Al tunnel junction on each end. Recent device designs optimized for better quasiparticle cooling in the Al trap obtain an energy resolution of 13 eV full width at half maximum for a photon energy E=5.9 keV, an improvement of a factor of two over earlier devices. We also determined that the niobium contact used in previous devices degraded the energy resolution in the center section of the absorber. With a different contact configuration, we have eliminated this spatial broadening. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.