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Old 16th May 2017, 12:20 AM   #21
urmom is offline urmom  United States
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Can you give me a ballpark range of current required to get sufficient SPL out of ribbon headphones? I'm going to slap together a dedicated amp for the experimenting but I don't know what kind of current headroom I need.
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Old 16th May 2017, 12:26 AM   #22
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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for a ribbon transducer physics demo I just used a audio power amp we had - use a 4-8 Ohm power R to prevent sort circuiting the output

you can look up ampacity of wire - ribbon will have more surface area and could handle a little more than same cross section round wire
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Old 16th May 2017, 01:00 AM   #23
urmom is offline urmom  United States
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I don't own a voltage amplifier capable of delivering that kind of power so I'm just going to build a current source amplifier but it's crucial for me to know how much current I'm going to be dealing with.
I assume that a ribbon could handle quite a bit of current at the expected voltages but if I can avoid building an amp capable of delivering amps of current it would make things a lot simpler and better performing.
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Old 16th May 2017, 11:35 AM   #24
lowmass is offline lowmass  United States
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one amp peak would get quite loud. not sure exactly how loud but more than enough to test
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Old 16th May 2017, 02:32 PM   #25
urmom is offline urmom  United States
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Would that be per ribbon? If I had a four 0.5'' ribbon configuration like I showed on the first page each ribbon would only receive 250ma @ 1amp peak.
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Old 16th May 2017, 02:52 PM   #26
lowmass is offline lowmass  United States
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it should still be the same. each ribbon moving less but together moving as much air total.

My question would be why 4 ribbons? For a headphone I see no reason.

Last edited by lowmass; 16th May 2017 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 16th May 2017, 04:25 PM   #27
urmom is offline urmom  United States
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I figure more ribbon equals more low frequency response. With 4 ribbons it would be 4''x 4'' which seems to be an okay size for a driver.

Last edited by urmom; 16th May 2017 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 16th May 2017, 04:45 PM   #28
lowmass is offline lowmass  United States
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I have built multi ribbon designs like what you propose. There were issues that im not sure I understand fully.
For one each ribbon has its gap on each side. There seems to be loss of low freq coupling with ribbons that are small width wise ( about 1/2 inch or less). I believe this issue has to do with the ratio of gap area to ribbon area.
another issue is having ribbons next to each other that are not all moving as one. Again softening dynamics and a loss of low freq power. I found planer magnetics and single ribbon designs to have much better dynamics.

In the end you are talking about building sound pressure at a very close distance to ear. Even a single small ribbon can do this easily. AND heres one that some may not like. I would move twards ribbons wider than 1/2 in. More like 3/4 inch or even 1 inch. This to increase the proportion of gap area to ribbon area. The distortions that can come from a non uniform field strength are not as bad as most believe and with a bit deeper and thicker magnet can be overcome enough.
The issue with all this is weight. The headphones can become heavy.

From there I would get to work on a ribbon element that does what u want. Many will say the simple FO (foil only) ribbon with some pleets is good and they can be BUT there are an infinite number of variations you can design into that element. FO, foil of different thicknes, different pleet sizes/shapes, no pleet at all with some strange suspension at the ends, embossed foil, foil/adhesive/film, many variations on the film and adhesive types /thicknesses, etc etc

Bottom line is the standard pleeted foil is easy to do and gets good sound BUT with some work it can be better.

Last edited by lowmass; 16th May 2017 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 16th May 2017, 05:29 PM   #29
urmom is offline urmom  United States
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I can make the gap between the ribbon and the magnet 0.0001 millimeters in CAD design if I want, the limit being manufacturing accuracy and the ribbon needs to be precisely cut.
What kind of gap did you have in your design?

The issue of ribbons not moving as one is troubling, what could cause this? Unequal strength between magnets? Variations in corrugation?
If the ribbons are cut equally and placed within a geometrically symmetric structure then what could cause variation?
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Old 16th May 2017, 07:33 PM   #30
lowmass is offline lowmass  United States
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Theres a world of difference between CAD land and the real world

Can a system be developed that can cut the foil that accurately?
Can u actually assemble such a thing?
Is it really necessary?

Real hands on development work will educate. Often finding out that our presumptions of technical "correctness" are well past the point of diminished returns or even just plain wrong.

Im hardly the last word on ribbons so far be it from me to discourage someone from their own potential discoveries. I have found multi small ribbons to not be worth it but who knows that you may find different.

I have tryed gaps from about .1mm to 5mm on ribbons from 1/4 inch wide to 2 inches wide. Below about .1 mm it seems theres no advantage and sorry for this ( cant give away all info ) but in some designs the wider gaps will perform technically better ( however not necessarily better to the ears)

No ribbon is exactly the same as the next and no installation has exactly the same tensions and no two magnets are exactly same and etc etc etc
The very light moving mass is susceptible to everything. Im not totally sure but taking a multi ribbon array down much below the mid range seems to end up with ribbons all not moving as one. The midrange can be quite good but between about 80 and 400 hz there can be trouble. It will make a nice sound and may seem ok but when you go back to a single well behaved ribbon you hear the difference.
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