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Discussion split from - Anyone making Apogee bass panels..
Discussion split from - Anyone making Apogee bass panels..
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Old 27th December 2020, 08:56 PM   #1
parker65310 is offline parker65310  United States
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Default Discussion split from - Anyone making Apogee bass panels..

All,

You should be buying the latest ribbons designed and manufactured by Graz in Australia. He bought all rights and designs from Apogee and spent a lot of money on cnc equipment and improvements since he started manufacturing everything you need since early 2000. Iím buying all new ribbons, socks, foam kit and ribbon wiring/clamp kit from him tomorrow. Heíll only send the bass panel to an authorized installer he trained. Too easy to screw up. Iím totally redoing my Duetta Signature Series IIs, including a new automotive grade paint job very soon. Note, Grazí website needs updating, but Graeme is very responsive. So are Rich at True Sound Works and Bill Thalmann at Music Technology. They are top notch. Links below.

Repairs / Apogeeribbons

Vintage Stereo & Turntable Repair | Music Technology Inc.

TRUE SOUND WORKS AUDIO, INC. - HOME
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Old 28th December 2020, 02:32 AM   #2
parker65310 is offline parker65310  United States
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I just read through all of the threads and realized my last post wasn’t likely helpful for your talking points here. Your posts did make me question even more, though, if I want Bill Thalmann to recap my crossovers. He and Graz recommend it, but I really hesitate since I love the way they sound across the spectrum today. I’ve got an email into Bill awaiting a response on which caps exactly he would use. Hopefully you all can then help me make a better decision. Thanks all!
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Old 28th December 2020, 07:54 PM   #3
tyu is online now tyu  United States
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HI....any crossover cap change well change the sound!....you better know it.......
Jason Bloom love these ribbons sound.
I have had minny pr of Apogges... in the last 30 years... made cap ,coil so called up greads... all ways went back... the stock just sound right....still have the Stages....
With new ribbons with stock crossovers should stay sweet sounding,but diff.....

Good luck...all just one mans finding
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Old 28th December 2020, 10:47 PM   #4
parker65310 is offline parker65310  United States
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Appreciate the input. Always a risk changing anything out, but I’ve to refurbish and upgrade the ribbons. Requirement of age. I think I’ll leave the caps alone at least for now. If it weren’t for the damn foam breaking down and UPS I could delay some, but cannot avoid the inevitable.
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Old 29th December 2020, 11:55 PM   #5
Atom666 is offline Atom666  Canada
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Graz didn't buy the designs he bought the name only. He now only sells bass diaphragms only to his authorized rebuilders. He clearly made the choice to aim for the high end of the market. There are other suppliers of
diaphragms and ribbons for Apogee speakers in Vietnam and Germany but you are on your own to install. I guess it depends how handy you are or how much money you want to throw at it.
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Old 1st January 2021, 08:08 PM   #6
Kornbread is offline Kornbread
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Wow, way interested as I have a pair of Cal Sigs sitting in the corner of the shed because one has a damaged bass panel. Should see the sparks fly when the bass lines hit. Jeez, couldn't jump out of the chair and reach the amp off button quick enough.

@avwerk, starting post #224 you were able to successfully remove some panels that had been professionally replaced but had lost tension. Was this from one of Graz's authorized rebuilders? I really love the Apogee sound but at the prices they desire for replacing and shipping, it's a no go for me. Yep, you can chastise me for being a poor slob who owns an expensive to maintain pair of speakers; it is what it is.

I also have to consider how much time/$ you have invested in manufacturing your panels. With the prices posted in #233 I have to wonder if it's more viable to simply order those?


@lowmass, I hope you have continued your endeavors and wonder if you now have commercial offerings?
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Old 1st January 2021, 08:24 PM   #7
parker65310 is offline parker65310  United States
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I want mine redone properly and I’m in a financial position where I can pay to go the Graz route and an installer in Bill Thalmann @ Music Technology that has been working on Apogees for over 20 years. He also spent about 25 years as the lead designer and #3 in the company at Conrad-Johnson. I’ve experienced the magic when they are hooked up to proper components (BAT VK-600 with bat pack amp, BAT VK- 5i tube preamp in my system), interconnects (all Silnote Audio), speaker cables (Symo designed to Jason Blume’s specs specifically for the Duetta II Signature Series), tube DAC (MHDT Orchid), etc. There are few speakers as finicky as the Duettas when it comes to speaker cables. If not done right they will not sound good, often thin. When it all comes together it is a really special listening experience.
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Old 26th January 2021, 12:21 AM   #8
Grazinoz is offline Grazinoz  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atom666 View Post
Graz didn't buy the designs he bought the name only. He now only sells bass diaphragms only to his authorized rebuilders. He clearly made the choice to aim for the high end of the market. There are other suppliers of
diaphragms and ribbons for Apogee speakers in Vietnam and Germany but you are on your own to install. I guess it depends how handy you are or how much money you want to throw at it.
I was told this statement was made personally about me and like all online incorrect statements refutation needs to take place in order for rumors to be quelled.

Point by point;-

1"Graz didn't buy the designs he bought the name only. "

TRUTH - Nobody knows outside of my family what arrangements/transactions were made regarding original owners equipment/ip/designs - that has remaines a secret to this day. I will state I am in possession of the original corrugators (not in use) and the original technical drawings, obtained directly from an eminent original founder of Apogee Acoustics, and have the blessings of the original ip lawyers.

2) "He now only sells bass diaphragms only to his authorized rebuilders."

TRUTH - Yes this is true since January 2007. The original owners of Apogee speakers are generally of high/very high intelligence, capable people in their professional fields and beyond. However, we found that when they attempted bass replacement there was a high initial failure rate, at over 50% clearly wrong on installation - absolute fails. Later, as most of these diy repaired speakers have reached our Installers to be re-worked it is plain to see ALL seen (90%+) have a varying degree of failure of the diy installations. The trained Installers have a very high degree of success, and customer satisfaction.

3) "He clearly made the choice to aim for the high end of the market."

TRUTH - Apogee Acoustics was always the high end of the market, especially the full panel types. When new a pair of (fiberbord) Divas cost about as much as a Toyota Land Cruiser, in a world that previously had never seen the likes of Apogees! Initially I tried what I believed to be an ideal solution for all, and I was wrong. The choice was made for the good of the OWNERS, and the BRAND. And based on the assumption that owners would want their speakers to at least exceed their original specifications it makes sense that the procedures be uniform, taught to a team greater than the original repair network, and with the consideration that the tighter tolerance parts allow for better performance surely it seems logical that owners would want to access that? And for the brand - poor reworks using substandard parts make dreadful brand ambassadors.

4) " There are other suppliers of diaphragms and ribbons for Apogee speakers in Vietnam and Germany but you are on your own to install. I guess it depends how handy you are or how much money you want to throw at it"

TRUTH - what is made in these two places is not the same as each other, and certainly not realistically comparable to what is made here. The installation procedures originally taught, continually updated via our Installer network are based on enhanced versions of the original formula, and the parts we make are made from the tightest tolerance made to order exact alloy foils, specially treated single piece Kapton, reproductions of the original materials. These are milled and shaped on highly accurate CNC machines built in collaboration with the finest in the CNC business, custom, unique, purpose built and only used in our dedicated ribbon production line shop. Machines built for high volume accurate work, but only used for low volume Apogee brand work! Tooling custom designed and built for purpose. No comparison at any level.


For the BRAND to survive it needed to evolve and that is where our metal chassis modern Apogee's come in. Yes - they are dearer than the early fiberboard Apogee's (30-40 years ago!) but they are built to last, and exceed all specifications of all other Apogee's before whilst keeping the original concept alive. Such structures as the Duetta Advance 7 allowed for greater testing of all parameters of bass and MRTW ribbons to the extent that optimal specifications are obvious improvements over past incarnations - and the fruits of this flow down to the ribbons and panels used for restoration. The brand is harmed by diy attempts that do not represent it well, and our Installer team have had to rework several of the alt-part fitted speakers, though that story is rarely told...

Last word - a timely comparison. I have a regular Subaru Forester, owned since 2008. 13 years old, hardly high end -all funds go into Apogee!! And this Subaru requires a complete engine recondition due to a common piston ring fault. Four cylinders of rings, and a replacement cost a little over a Duetta ribbon replacement through a trained installer. Half the time involved to do the Subaru over the Duetta. 1/50th the material/part cost over the Duetta, common parts. And 3000 people in Australia alone that can do the Subaru work. I won't be attacking the person who will do this for me despite the costarts-requirememt ratio. And I will not learn and risk failing at the task myself.

Graz out
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Old 26th January 2021, 10:09 PM   #9
Atom666 is offline Atom666  Canada
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Graz
Truth: This is DIY Audio, place where people come to learn and share their DIY experiences. The Apogee users group website that you took over used to be the place to go for Apogee DIY discussions, but not anymore.

Truth: I mentioned companies that can supply Bass diaphragms and other Apogee parts to help the DIY community. I don't understand your objections since you left the DIY market and you don't sell the bass diaphragms. Your response, obfuscation, deflection and hypothetical comparisons. Other companies have come to fill the void you left. If their products don't work the market will decide.

Truth: You may be Apogee in name but you are not the Apogee that used to exist. They wanted to sell as many speakers as possible at a reasonable price. The Diva cost $7500.00 in 1988, the price in 2020 with inflation should be approx $17000.00 in 2021 dollars $7,500 in 1988 → 2021 | Inflation Calculator
Your newest Diva is >100K , mind you with all the new Audiophile buzzwords like neodymium ,aluminum, proprietary, bespoke, yada yada.....
Sounds great, like a super high end product but I wont be in the lineup to get a pair. I'll take an older pair of Divas, rebuild them and get 90% of the performance and enjoy the DIY experience.

Truth: You are preaching to the wrong crowd.
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Old 27th January 2021, 03:06 AM   #10
Grazinoz is offline Grazinoz  Australia
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When we were supplying to the diy market our MR/TW results were generally very good, bass dire. And people would call at all times, day night "well now you are awake perhaps you can help me solve this", angry they had failed the installation, angry I had not put them off at the task, angry at themselves and taking it out on me. The parts have been subsidised heavily since 2007, and way below wholesale formula for hifi spares since the start.

Installers. What they do for the price they charge is amazing, true high end bargains. As for a "void in parts supply" those willing to take the plunge were thankfully few. You would be surprised how many diy repair "second/third" attempts I subsidised. And as mentioned, over 90% of those speakers have been seen by Installers since and been clear fails. And we get to replace those filled with the fake material parts too. If you care about sound get a trained professional to do it, with the right parts, on time. The old owners of Apogee had the same system, what we have now is more stringent.

Former Apogee. I have the sales figures - you would be surprised how few really sold. Don't forget they went down for high 7 figures in 1998/9, and at that time SRA's (Duetta) were being sold for $15-17k - not high enough in profit or sales to continue. FR's were made to order during the 90's as one offs for more than twice that directly. And all of the original speakers were made from fiber-board or chip board. What we make here now you have not heard, and they are all made using a solid metal chassis and tuning sections, no fiber-board. Joints formerly brad nailed with caulk are now cnc drilled, tapped, bolted, thread locked, and face glued with a 0.2mm bond line. No comparisons structurally, typically 700-1100% more rigidity and deflection improvement. No comparisons on build time, considerably longer for discerning clients.

DIY - happy to work with diy people on mrtw's, 21 years in we have a very high success rate for diy MRTW's.

Money. Last place. Real inflation differs from the calculators there to placate those who would believe them. And the last pairs of classic Apogee's were sold 23 years ago.
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