Tentative, an idea for a group game!

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I figured a good bit of fun would be to initiate an open-source DIY speaker, one where the project could be contributed to from all over the world, something worthwhile that many DIY enthusiasts could get involved in, with near assurance of a high quality, high end result. So here goes -

(Apogee Acoustics) “Perigee”* - OS1 DIY ribbon hybrid

(open source 1) Or something else if this doesn't float :)

OK. Something for almost everybody! For real.

The aim. To have a shared project of people building a 2 way* ribbon hybrid speaker that could out-perform many historical hybrids, with a first class Apogee Acoustics ribbon diaphragm that would be able to be built into a frame-magnet-array by savvy audio enthusiasts not afraid of a fair challenge. Nothing I haven't already seen in here, but with a twist to make the idea a little more attractive. Ideally the speaker would have some basic design elements that would be set for the purpose of group conformity – but after that artistic expression of the designer would be the main focus of where the project goes. Some may look at this as something to get a basic hybrid speaker together with, others may want to delve deeper. As you would be essentially building the magnet frame array for the MRTW yourselves there are options for overall design. However, I would suggest conformity in the frame-array dimensions as designed and use of the same type of magnet material and strength. This way – if you hit on a problem, group assistance is more likely. Crossovers are another area – of course these will change depending on efficiency, and how closely the ribbon's frame and magnet array conforms to group consensus – the more you keep the array standard and choice of driver the same, the better chances you could have to achieve a crossover that could be a genuine shared development for the group...

What I propose to make available is a unique to DIY forum group multi element ribbon, aluminium alloy and Kapton construction, terminated at both ends with a circuit board. The ribbon would be a new design, a modern day equivalent to the MRTW units found in the early Apogee Centaur and Stage speakers, capable of fine performance. A bit bigger though, not identical to the Apogee units. Classic Apogee+ quality. They would be supplied as pairs and with the tensioning instructions relevant to the design. The frame-magnet-array would be an achievable task for many, certainly a challenge, involved but not anywhere near as prone to failure as a panel bass renovation!

Essentially – the DIY person would have to build everything else. The actual ribbon Magnet array, speaker box/baffle front, crossover, driver choice, finish would all be part of the DIY challenge! Lots of places to impart design and personality. It would make sense to cone debate driver partner options in here (ideally) or on the Apogee Acoustics forum in the diy area. Choice of driver(s) would be important of course, remember this is DIY – so choosing a madly expensive cone set would limit the group size that would want to work with it! Being a maverick is fine but ultimately better results would come from a larger group. If there is enough interest in this perhaps group buys of magnets, or supply of metal work in local regional groups could be a good idea – not everybody has expensive equipment to machine metal, though some of you will own, or have access to such equipment.

The actual ribbon design. The unit would have a dc resistance in the 3-4 ohm range, something nice and easy to work with. Working length around 28-32” I would guess, though nothing set now as I can essentially make most anything here. Typically the ribbon would require block magnets about 20x25mm (3/4” x 1”), and with good quality modern ceramic would be in the 87-88db range. Bigger magnets, or stronger magnets = harder to work with, and more importantly unpredictable results vs a group project, so I would suggest not going there! Magnet costs are often in “flux” subject to change so hunt around! And I know neo's are trendy, but they throw a whole lot of other things into the equation, not such a good idea for everything...

My plan/aim is to cap the price of this specialised ribbon diaphragm, limited to $400 per pair (Feb 2016). Typical air mail costs for such a ribbon would be in the range of $50-70 insured air to most destinations worldwide, less if shared shipping. That's the MRTW diaphragms only – you would have to factor in cost of the ribbon magnet array, cones, wiring, crossover*, terminals and all other box work...

As mentioned, the frame and magnet array would be part of the DIY – plans would be issued here, but sourcing regular sized steel for the frame, frame ends, and ceramic magnets would be the task of the builder. Now here is where the project can get more exciting – I suggest not one but THREE camps for implementation!

The camps;-
  1. Flat baffle, rear box for cone(s), a sealed system, 2 way
  2. Flat baffle, rear box for cone(s), a reflex system, 2 way, bass tuned port
  3. Flat baffle, dipolar, cone array
So this is a tentative idea at present. Who wants to play?

Email me from the www.apogeeacoustics.com website to express interest. Numbers of people genuinely interested will dictate if this project flies – I believe it could be fun, and would be interested to see where it goes...

First up - What do you guys think?

Curious - Graz
Selling/promoting existing products.....in the guise of a DIY effort.
As I said previously Graz, there's a separate area of this forum for commercial vendors. You should register yourself as such with forum adminstrators and then place an advertisement there and link to it from this thread.


Once that's done, I think your DIY "game" is perfectly appropriate.

Selling/promoting existing products.....in the guise of a DIY effort.


Just to be real clear - at this stage there is no "product" - just an idea I had to see and be part of a creativity group. No vast warehouse overstocked with "type abc ribbons" that just have to be fire-sold! No pencilled in production schedule! Zero product, zero stock - just the "scintilla" of an idea. No more.

This idea, currently only exists only in thought and screen text form in the minds of the curious!

Interested parties could shape the idea as mentioned, then see where it goes, if anywhere...

I figured a few people had made or considered making a hybrid project. But a hurdle would be the actual ribbon unit, a lot of work they knew they could do to good effect, held back by a part that would pull the quality down. I have walked the walk from diy production of membranes to a full-on sota dedicated cnc facility, and have experienced the difference it can make. My first thought on this was about a year ago, "what if". how far could it be taken as a concept by a group?

That's the thing - as I work in audio full time it seems many think I shouldn't play in audio. Well, I still have plenty of play in me yet as I approach 50 :D


(in the frame as a capitalist pig)

Further thoughts - perhaps I should have two "personalities" here - one under "Apogee" the other as me, Graz (in oz)...
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Joined 2014
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Depends what you want. I'm an oddball and want a MRTW I can push as low as possible. If a 26" can get to 400Hz in smaller rooms, then maybe a 30" can go a bit further. I realise I may be in a small group with this desire.

Then add Neos for efficiency. over 90dB/2.83v and 150Hz-20kHz would be my perfect DIY ribbon unit if it were possible. But that's just me and I doubt there are that many who want to do it that way.

I only know what I want, would be interesting to hear what others want :)
The neo's are good drivers.......but availability now? Anyway, those aren't sourced from Graz. :)

I'm not sure how this is "zero product, zero stock." We're basically talking about a 26-6 driver for Stage (or similar) usage, yes? Those have been in your product line-up for quite awhile and show up there still. $365.00/pr.
Repairs / Apogeeribbons
Maybe not exactly the same, but an easy derivative to fabricate and sell for nice money to DIY'ers.

40"...40-5 KLM5 tight tolerance version of original part with gold plated end circuit boards, WBT soldered joints and kapton protected clamp areas $405.00 + shiping
26"..... 26-6 KLM5 tight tolerance version of original part with gold plated end circuit boards, WBT soldered joints and kapton protected clamp areas $365.00

early 3+3 circuit boarded versions available at the same price, made to order).....

What this one...3foil runs up front an 3 foil runs up the back...will this work in my older Stages?

So.. anyone....can buy these ribbons........from you....
just diy magnets...medal work....... these been for sale for years right?.......

But now your going to make New,er better than your other 30" ribbon..for $400+shiping..
Older Stages MTR ribbons are 30"... it the longer ribbon setup...diff from the minor MTR ribbon.....but both only have ribbon ouput 24".... what apogee did with there later Stages an Slants.... 26"MTR.... added, as anyone can... more magnets to the medal work top an bottem...... an add the support to the back of the ribbon...then its output was 26"... still room to get more output there...right
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This is a strange situation here. One where I am yet again being probed and attacked over Apogee matters, same angle, similar lines...

All right, for the umpteenth time I will bite, yawn.

Apogee. This is my full time work, making new speakers for clients, and keeping the legacy brand alive with subsidised product. Yes, subsidised - for the good of the brand. Same prices for ages! With money worth a lot less than when I took the brand on, materials, shipping and tax a lot dearer.

26-6 etc. These are Apogee ribbons, constructed in ways to seamlessly integrate with the classic Apogee speakers and eliminate any production weaknesses through accuracy and superior materials. The various constructions are good for their purpose, and I make them to keep the Apogee brand alive. Now - enough about work, I do not want to speak about Apogee all through this project, please...

Play - the topic of this thread. I believe a new ribbon design with some shared attributes of the classic Apogee designs, made accurately, made to an excellent target resistance that can mesh well with standard typical efficiency drivers, be able to go a little lower or louder than the Stages' 26-6, presenting a more friendly resistance would be ideal. Bill nailed it above. Something the DIY person can get magnets for cheaply, work with pleasantly, not loose money in the event of errors, and have a group conformity high enough to be able to work as a group. That's my idea. To see how creative we can get on a shared project. If that means the ribbon has similarities with other things I have made or make now that would be good wouldn't it? A chance to make something unique to this forum, this project, with hindsight. A person seeing this might think this is the opportunity to be heard, have some input and access something as a group that would be worth achieving, and they would be right. Or get lost on the usual bitching and politics that appeal to the minority...



WrineX. A shorter ribbon can be had off the shelf readily as a made unit from several manufacturers. Being shorter, smaller there are trade-off's with absolute volume, and band width (low). Less useful as a dipole. There are other aspects to ribbon design I would not like to get into really, but essentially, it's been done before and available now. Save on neo costs (several times the difference of a long/short ribbon difference), buy ceramic, still get in the 87-88dB range, and get a longer line source!

On costs. My plan is for people to make speakers that bat well against finished product in the in the $15k league. That will involve quality parts. There are other projects for other investments, and when discussing short ribbons vs long ones, for a start that would involve another project. Perhaps later, if the politics don't run me out of here (as intended).

TYU. The early Stage 3+3 MRTW's sometimes caught fire, and had many other drawbacks! Not a good construction. The 26-6 was a good match for the Stage. Early Apogee models used different size ribbons to what I propose. I figure something in the around 30" range would be ideal, and yield some good numbers...

Davey. I dare you to do better, in the audio camp, contributing some of your knowledge positively. I dare you :D Getting magnets locally makes most sense of course, if I really were a capitalist pig I would be trying to sell magnets, I allways keep enough magnets of all kinds here to warp space!!

Suggestion henceforth for this thread. Leave the politics to cable tv, talk engineering options in here :)

Take care - Graz
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You dare me to do better than, what? I was advocating for, and supporting, DIY efforts LONG before you were dude. My efforts in this direction were part of the reason you ran me out of the old Apogee forum. Revisionist history doesn't become you Graz.
I supplied numerous Apogee owners with circuit designs and did partial builds of active crossovers for those that needed help with the more technical aspects.....and various other support. Without charge in most cases. (I shouldn't need to remind you of that.)
Lately I've been fully involved with one of the most established speaker system designers in the world......also pushing DIY aggressively in that endeavor. If you're ignorant of my efforts, that's not my fault.

I think you're the one that needs to be dared, not me. :)

For this particular project, I suggest you seed (free of charge) a few pairs of these ribbons to a couple capable/interested DIY builders (you can decide who) to get the ball rolling and foster interest. There are a number of interested members on this forum who have the capability to turn them into a neat hybrid result. If the projects turn out well, I can guarantee interest in your products and fabrication skills will increase.

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Joined 2004
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.....I got my Stages off CL..... 5th pr for $400... CL my minors were $250.....CL Caliper Sig...$300...there..36" MTR...like new......bass needs retuning...but looks good an no buzz....
good luck on your Diy ribbon speakers.....but I well have to save my money to get the stock type MTR replaments...when needed.....for my OLD Apogee...
thanks for any input on getting better sound out of any ribbons type speakers... from anyone......
Joined 2014
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Shame this has died out. I was hoping for some discussion on this. And for those of us who can't make ribbons the hard part being available would have been a boon.

FWIW having thought about going OB on the centaur minors for a while I'm going to hold off on that for a year or so as littlest one is limiting my playtime and the risk of messing up the speakers or finding the room just doesn't work well with OB is too high.

BUT... I am still left with a conundrum. Where you have a 26" ribbon that transitions to a 7" woofer, what does that do to the wavefront at the listener. You effectively have a line to point source transition albeit the ribbon isn't long enough to be a true line source. Apogee used 2 woofers in the Cepheus which I always assumed was to do with that.

Short of building a research speaker to measure, not sure what to do. And as don't want to decommission my best speakers for long could really use an extra MTW. (there's a hole in my bucket). :)
I well say in a 18'X25'X14'room...with just me an my chair...the stock Minors with out stands....an there input post cover port open...I like a lot...ezey to go back an fourth...setup 12' apart.....give me a 6' tall ...Vary 3D wall to wall image-stage......I like them in some ways better than the Stages....
So I now think it like the Acoustats an other panel types ....these type of drivers...can put out so much image-sound..low thd...... in a small room..... can sound like theres room for improvement........but.....it not ezey but the room can make or brake.. the sound....50% or more.......
all one mans finding.....good luck
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