Got neodymium?

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Neodymium is not particularly scarce, nor does China have a stranglehold on the supply.

The USA was supplying 34% of the world's neodymium consumption until very recently, when the mine was shut down because it was cheaper to buy from China.
Neodymium magnets are currently more expensive than ceramic. If anyone can arrive at neodymium magnet performance for ceramic 8 cost, we're winning. Also, China is mining new neodymium cheaper than anyone else can make new magnets out of barrels of old ones, because China isn't actually paying the productions costs. If anyone has a problem with that, that Might be politics. Anything about magnets is about audio.
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On reading the article, they haven't got the ferrite magnet to be as powerful as a neodymium magnet, they've redesigned the motor to work with a magnet that's 50% as strong.

The logical next step would be to use the new design with a neodymium magnet.
From a position of ignorance relative to the work actually done on the motor, I'll say that it's probably nothing new at all, a simple matter of optimizing for the characteristics of a particular magnet material. The interesting part, to anyone who might recognize it, is the advance of a low cost material with 5 times the energy of standard ceramic magnets. If they acheive 10x, well, I don't think I'd have to argue that would be something too.
The article that you have posted the link for contains words like "Japan under the thumb of China" because of rear earth mines in China. Sounds very emotional but not very technical. I never heard that for example Beyma says that Spain under the thumb of China.

When I was purchasing Fostex drivers recently the big ones FE206ES were made in China actually and do have huge ferrite magnets. And the small ones T500AMKII were made in Japan and do have AlNiCo :)
I can't really apologize for the journalism or even the attitudes of those on the development team. I don't find any of that very interesting anyway. I didn't have time to research it further, I just thought there might be a lot of people interested in some possible upcoming speaker technology. This whole forum isn't exactly about just waiting to be handed whatever finished products hit the market. Personally, I'm much more excited about things like this than endless debates and toil over stuff that probably doesn't even do anything.
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The interesting part, to anyone who might recognize it, is the advance of a low cost material with 5 times the energy of standard ceramic magnets.

My reading comprehension skills are admittedly lacking, but I can't see where in the article it says they've developed a new ferrite material ?

All I can see is a claim for a new motor design using standard ferrite magnets.
You got me there! Nothing wrong with your reading comprehension. Maybe I should have read at all. Yes, it appears there is nothing about a ferrite composition that races neodymium magnets, just a rearranging of a motor to use ferrite. Of course the world has been doing that for decades, and if it actually yielded a motor that didn't comparitively lose in weight and size, neodymium magnets probably would never have gotten so popular. Back to post #5, yes.
imho light weight and hi efficiency that both come from rear earth magnets are not so critical for nice sound. Let say Magneplanars are heavy and do need some real juice from amplifiers.

Computer hard drives might be another story where small form factor and low power consumption all together makes rear earth magnets mandatory.
I've long suspected that the raw mass of large ceramic magnet assemblies can have positive effects on sound especially in the midrange, but haven't been able to afford to proove it for myself. For high power woofers the weight savings can be a big deal. Neodymium flat out makes some tweeters possible.
Another thing to consider is neodymium based motor assemblies routinely have shorter iron path lengths and volumes, which could possibly have as much effect on sound as the response of the magnet material itself. I've been hoping to investigate the use of underhung coils with a high grade NdFeBr material as the pole faces. I'm sure that's been done already but I'm not aware of any affordable units to shop that are built that way.
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And neo magnets being smaller tend to not block the rear wave of the driver. Seas has done some cool stuff with this idea..

Fostex sells very expensive brass rings to mount their drivers in the front of a baffle, to increase the mass. Nice insight that ferrite, because of its mass, might have one advantage over neo.
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From a geological survey of India report in early 2000 there are proven (large) deposits of all the material components that go towards making of neo mags in India

we are yet to make neo mags here on our own , and import heavily , our 4 cos making ferrite mags for speakers have closed down about 4 years back due to traders dumping cheap lower quality imports (no guess where those are coming from)

in analogy we also have large titanium deposits , we make no finished titanium yet and are buying billions of dollars worth of submarines that too only 6 of them

we have one of the worlds largest deposits of thorium , indian scientists are about months away from making their own thorium power plants when our politicians have dumped a largely controversial uranium power generation policy , all uranium being controversial imports with equally controversial disposal

calcutta is the nearest port to our mining areas , all ships coming here have legitimate cargo for india , on the way out they overstay and load illegally mined rare earth materials and proceed for processing else where

the illegal mines have been set up removing peaceful tribals , to us they may be un-educated but they live off natural materials and give to nature more than take from it , whereas the illegal mines are not conforming any environmental , forest , labor health dept regs and are felling trees and destroying at will

our most educated prime minister till date has set up our uranium hungry power plants

most of our politicians are involved in kickbacks from illegal mining

we do not develop materials here as it will stop the bureaucrats from enjoying all types of pleasure when they visit other places to secure material import tie ups

we bought long range guns , howitzer type from europe , very good ones , but banned the very own supplier on whom our army depends on .
We then ran out of shells at the heat of a battle and since our politicos had banned the gun manufacturer did not have shells for the soldiers fighting terrorists

it goes on , & it sometimes gets funny

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