Who is using Ribbon Speakers besides Tom Vodhanel?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Arthur S, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    About the best speaker I ever heard was a ribbon speaker made by Apogee. Apogee is gone but I will never forget their sound.

    Not long ago, Ron S of SVS said that his partner, Tom Vodhanel was using ribbon speakers. Apparently I am not the only one who likes the sound of ribbons. I don't know if Tom's are dipoles like the Apogees or forward radiators like Newform.

    Since Tom is using ribbons, perhaps he and Ron will consider them for a high end full range design next year.
     
  2. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    I don't just like the sound of ribbon speakers (well, in my case 'quasi-ribbon'), they have ruined me for all box speakers I think. I have Magnepan MMGs and even though they are inexpensive, I would still take them over just about any box speaker. I've never heard the Newforms, but they are supposed to be a very nice ribbon hybrid. My dealer was telling me how Maggies have come a long way over the past decade with regard to competing against boxes in terms of dynamics. When I used to own Paradigm studios, used to be I could find qualities in other speakers when I went to audition different lines. When I went the other day, the Energy Veritas line - which I used to absolutely love - still sounded good, but not at the expense of my MMGs. The new Paradigm Signatures sounded really good, too......but again, I wouldn't trade. Actually, that's not true. I'd trade for the Sigs, sell them, and then get bigger Maggies [​IMG]

    This sounds like a silly example, but if you had been here you'd know what I mean... The other night I watched 'After the Sunset'. There is a scene where Brosnan and Harrelson are on a boat, and you can hear both the water and the waves splashing up against the side of it. My brother, who is much more into video than he is audio, looked at me and said it sounded like the room was the boat. In fact, the realism of the sound actually made it FEEL like we were in the boat. This kind of realism is why I love the Maggies for HT, not just music.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Alan

    So you are smitten with ribbons even though you are using the entry level Maggies. The dipole design probably adds some spaciousness to the sound to give you that "room was the boat" sound.

    John

    Thanks for the URLs. One of the things about the Apogee ribbons was that they were full range, and full size.

    The one I had my eye on was called the Studio Grand. The Ribbon Array is 55 inches tall and 29 inches wide. It was designed to sit on a matching subwoofer module 17 inches tall, 29 inches wide and 25 inches deep. All together a rather imposing sight. All for the low, low price of $13,000 a pair.

    I guess if I wanted to shell out the money, the next closest things would be the Martin-Logan electrostatics or the large Maggies.

    Just one of those eye opening moments. When Tom V becomes a seriously prosperous business man, he gets ribbons.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  6. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Arthur:
    Yep, quite smitten with them. I recently spent some time with the larger Maggies (1.6, 3.6) and they were spectacular. They have it all over the MMGs, but for $500 you get a nice slice of the Maggie sound. I honestly didn't expect to still have the MMGs in my system this long (6 months). It was meant to be more of a 'hey, I don't have much money, let's try these out until I can afford those Paradigm Signatures!" They completely caught me off-guard, and now I'm hooked. The main drawbacks to the Maggies are their need for space and their need for an ample amt of clean power. If these two things aren't an issue, I think most folks would have a hard time getting this quality of sound out of $500. They are very engaging speakers, to say the least.

    The only time I heard the Martin Logans was about two years ago at a local dealer. I believe they were the Aeons; they had just gotten them in. I don't put a lot of stock in the demo, because I think they had only a few hours of break-in on them. They were playing 'Pearl Harbor' in a full 5.1 ML set-up. I found them to be quite harsh, but like I said, I think that may be because they were just out of the box. One thing is for sure, though - they look very nice [​IMG]
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I was just thinking. It can be pretty difficult to get a flat frequency response from a large planar dipole because of cancellation effects. But now we have $400 receivers with auto room EQ. Add a decent power amp and you can probably achieve quite a nice plot for a reasonable amount of $$$.

    Alan

    People fall in love with Maggies, often for life. It is nice to see someone so clearly enjoying the hell out of his speakers. Seems you are destined for 1.6's.
     
  8. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Arthur:

    Oddly enough, I don't think I'd have ever gone with them if Magnepan didn't have the MMG program where you can try them out for 60 days. I would be willing to bet that most people who are more into HT than they are music (such as myself) would not be all that impressed with a dealer demo. These speakers actually taught me a lesson when it comes to movies.

    Even though I often watch the 'popcorn' flicks that have lots of explosions,special effects, and massive SPLs, those are not the aspects of the movie I'm most impressed by. One of the main reasons I always bought Paradigm speakers was because they had the rep of being very good HT speakers that were also good with music. Because of that, I bought the biggest Paradigms I could find at the time (the studio/100s), combined them with an SVS, and thought I was in audio nirvana. Now granted, I loved that set-up and was heartbroken when I had to get rid of it. But what these little Maggies taught me was the difference between watching the movie and being a part of it. It's like you're watching things happen live, if that makes any sense. I think it takes spending some time with them in your listening environment before you can really experience this.

    I don't really want speakers to knock me out of the chair (that's what SVS is for [​IMG] ). I want to hear crystal clear dialogue, detail, ambience, etc. I want to be sucked right into the movie as if I were part of it. It's kind of funny, cause just like SVS taught me how much low frequency stuff was in these films that I wasn't even hearing, the Maggies have shown me how much more alive these films really are and how many layers of detail are under the surface. It's pretty cool, man [​IMG]
     
  9. Eric:F

    Eric:F Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim Salk uses AC ribbons in his HTS series.
    i have the MTMs for our fronts and the dispersion seems wider than other ribbons i've heard.
    once you've heard good ribbons it's hard to go back to domes.
    check out reviews of Jim's designs at audioreview.com.
    best,
    eric
     
  10. PeteZ

    PeteZ Extra

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    I learned about the quality of ribbon tweeters a long time ago when I purchased my first "good speakers". They were DBX speakers that I paid $300 for. At the time, that was a lot of money for me. They were humungous, with ribbons and a top-firing tweeter and small mid. For an inexpensive speaker, they had the sweetest highs of any speaker I have owned since. I have been searching for that sweet sound ever since, in a speaker I can afford. I currently have Infinity reference speakers.
     

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