Ribbons, how long do they last? - diyAudio
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Old 23rd December 2006, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default Ribbons, how long do they last?

Not my intention to troll or flame in anyway but I seem to remember magnapans, martin jordan etc need reconing after a while (sorry don't know the correct term).

Which made me wonder about ribbons.
How long do B&G Neo 3/8 ribbons last before they need to be replaced?
I play loud music LOUD.
Does this mean I have to replace the drivers even earlier?
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Old 25th December 2006, 05:20 PM   #2
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The "loudness" level of any dynamic driver can also be thought of as the "heat" level of the voice coil, or in this case the ribbon.

There is a finite amount of heat over short periods that a ribbon can withstand, and even more importantly for a planar that has a metalic element (ribbon) affixed with an adhesive - how much heat can the adhesive withstand. The adhesive usually gives up first, OR if it is "mylar" then the mylar (polyester film) may cut due to heat. If the adhesive gives up you see "bubbling" of the ribbon on the film. Maybe discoloration.

Different films have different max temps, and can shred.
The early, first, Maggies were made with wire not ribbon and they often shredded when played too loud, the wires acting like many "hot knives."

How much heat?
Consider that the efficiency of the driver is likely <0.5%, at best. That means that 99.5% of the power sent to the driver is turned in to heat.

The longer a driver is run at high levels the greater the accumulated heat load.

Stay within the mfrs max power ratings, with musical signals and you should be safe. If ur in a multiway system with a passive x-over figure in the power differential due to the level matching resistor or pad that is in place to see what the max amplifier power can be.

Another way to look at it is to simply not exceed the mfr's maximum SPL rating, measured at 1m, that's the same thing.

Don't clip the amp, that makes things worse.

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Old 26th December 2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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Thanks bear.
Very clear answer.

Rough idea;
bg neo 3
bg neo 8 (maybe 2)
8" woofer (maybe 2 or 4)
xo's 9000hz, 700hz.
OB

Should make me happy for a long time.
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