Who is using Ribbons / Air Motion drivers for mains. Thoughts on dynamics and high output? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking into Questeds for my theater (LT-10s up front and LT-8s all around. I also am looking into Mark''s Seaton Catalysts. I have both speakers on site for voicing and listening tests.



The Seatons use a titanium compression driver and the Quested an Air Motion

Anyone have any thoughts on these types of speakers when it comes to home theater impact, overall sound. I have speakers that use compression drivers (SPL Runts) and in comparison, they sound a bit veiled compared to the airy ribbons. Any pluses and minuses from owners of any ribbon tweeter speakers?

Thanks

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post #2 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 10:41 AM
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I recently went from the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 W/NrT dome tweeters to the Sierra-2 which uses a custom designed RAAL ribbon tweeter and a new 6" SEAS woofer. They are extremely dynamic and can handle loads of power, and I have yet to hear them lose composure. They destroy any dome I've heard. The only air motion type tweeter I have heard was the ADAM X-Art folded ribbon type. Did not hear them side by side so I cannot comment on differences. The ADAM Columns cost around 8K I think, and the Sierra-2's are around $1,500/Pr.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 01:05 PM
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I like the ribbon tweeters in my Aurum Cantus Leisure 2SE (original U.S. version) speakers in my home theater.  They are capable of playing louder than I ever want, and are crystal clear sounding.  I also like the ribbons in my main 2 channel system; for that, I use Apogee Stage speakers.  I like ribbon speakers very much.  In my opinion, the biggest downside is that they tend to be expensive.  I have never heard anything that sounds more clear than good ribbon speakers.

 

I have not heard the specific speakers you are concerned with, and so I have no opinion on them in particular.  Since you have them on site, I recommend listening to them both on and off axis, to see what you think of them compared with other options for both optimum listening as well as other positions in the room.  And, of course, with dialog and with a variety of music.

 

Also, it is worth remembering that one is dealing with specific speakers, not generic types, and since any type can be made badly, one ought to always pay attention to the particular speakers in question and not judge them based on the type of drivers that are used.  I have heard some cheap ribbon speakers that I did not like.  Whether it was an issue with the drivers, the crossovers, or something else, I cannot say, as there was no proper testing of such issues.


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post #4 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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THe speakers are high quality and I like the sound but wondered if anything is given up in going with ribbons. I've been checking them on axis and off and will be A/B comparing them.

Thanks for the replies.

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

THe speakers are high quality and I like the sound but wondered if anything is given up in going with ribbons. I've been checking them on axis and off and will be A/B comparing them.

Thanks for the replies.

I haven't heard either but mhrischuk (@mhrischuk) owned Catalyst (12C’s) and recently replaced them with Legacy Audio speakers (ribbon). He did notice a difference but didn't expand on it much. Perhaps he would add some interesting perspective for this thread.

He is also testing out Triad Plats in the Triad thread.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 02:56 PM
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The only thing I would be mindfull of is that the vertical dispersion creates acceptable sound in all rows. I know you have a multi row theater and the only negative effects I've experienced with ribbons is the soundstage falling apart at different heights. Air motion and some of the other new iterations apparently have corrected some of this from what I have heard and admittedly I haven't tried them accept for a quick demo of the new Legacy's with Airmotion.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 03:01 PM
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I know of no problems with using ribbons.  Some common characteristics can be found in various articles, such as:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudspeaker#Ribbon_and_planar_magnetic_loudspeakers

 

 

About Air Motion speakers:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudspeaker#Heil_air_motion_transducers

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Motion_Transformer

 

 

About the "fragility" of ribbons, I have never blown one, or damaged one in any way.  With my Aurum Cantus speakers, the ribbon itself is a cheap fix, though the entire tweeter is expensive; compare:

 

http://www.parts-express.com/aurum-cantus-g2-replacement-ribbon--276-403

 

http://www.parts-express.com/aurum-cantus-g2-ribbon-tweeter--276-402

 

With that in mind, I have not been worried about damaging the ribbons, because it would be really cheap to fix, but I never have had any issues with any of the Aurum Cantus tweeters.

 

 

With my Apogee Stage speakers, which were made in 1991 (judging by the hand-written date inside the frames), I have had to re-tension the tweeters (they were sagging, though still sounded good).  Re-tensioning them is not difficult.  As I bought them used, I have no idea how they were treated before I got them.  Here is a link to information about these specific speakers:

 

http://www.apogeespeakers.com/stage.htm

 

The tweeter ribbon replacement instructions explain how to tension them:

 

http://www.apogeespeakers.com/manuals/stage_midtweeter_replacement.pdf

 

Mine do not have the center suspension shown in the instructions; they are suspended from each end only.  There are other differences as well, as mine have no velcro in the frames.  Perhaps the instructions were written for a later version of the speaker, but I do not know the details of all of the changes made to the speaker over the years (though I do know that the tweeter ribbon originally was with three aluminum strips on each side, and was changed, apparently by the time mine were made, to six strips on one side).

 

I sometimes play the Apogee speakers quite loud, which are in my living room, so that I can hear them when I am in my kitchen, loud enough to hear over the sounds of cooking.  It is louder than I would want to hear them in the living room.  I have never had any damage to any driver from this.

 

 

As far as that goes, I have never blown any type of tweeter or speaker from anything I have done, though I did have an amplifier failure that destroyed a woofer once (which was an ordinary cone woofer which I had rebuilt).

 

 

So, although people say that ribbons are fragile (see my first link above), I think that if one uses common sense and tolerable judgment, it is a non-issue with a well-made ribbon.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 03:02 PM
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Emotiva are using them in a their Airmotiv and Stealth 6 and 8's.
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/speakers

I have a pair of the Stealth 8's and just love them, I also have a pair of the Adam A3's

Sunfire Theater Grand IV, Emotiva Stealth 8, Adam powered monitors, Epik sub, Oppo DVD, Parts Express 15 sub kit, Epson projector...
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 03:11 PM
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Jack D...I was only speaking of my experience with the last model of the Legacy's...I could move up or down at reasonably close distances the stage would collapse moving my head up or down
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

Jack D...I was only speaking of my experience with the last model of the Legacy's...I could move up or down at reasonably close distances the stage would collapse moving my head up or down

 

Perhaps I should have quoted the message to which I was responding; it was post number 4 to which my post was directed, though by the time I finished writing it, there were a couple of posts between it and mine, with your post immediately prior to mine.

 

Yes, you are correct, that the dispersion pattern with a ribbon is typically different from other drivers.  How different depends on the ribbon, whether it is horn loaded, etc.  But often the vertical dispersion is not wide.  This is both a virtue and a vice; a vice in the case of moving out of the area of best sound (as you describe), but it also means that one does not tend to get so many unwanted reflections off the floor and ceiling (because the vertical dispersion is not wide).  So the cause of the vice you mention is also the cause of a virtue of ribbon drivers.  Or to put this another way, whether this is a virtue or a vice depends on the particular situation, how it is located relative to the listening spot, the particular ribbon (as some ribbons are quite tall, which have a wider vertical space directly in front of them), etc.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

Perhaps I should have quoted the message to which I was responding; it was post number 4 to which my post was directed, though by the time I finished writing it, there were a couple of posts between it and mine, with your post immediately prior to mine.

Yes, you are correct, that the dispersion pattern with a ribbon is typically different from other drivers.  How different depends on the ribbon, whether it is horn loaded, etc.  But often the vertical dispersion is not wide.  This is both a virtue and a vice; a vice in the case of moving out of the area of best sound (as you describe), but it also means that one does not tend to get so many unwanted reflections off the floor and ceiling (because the vertical dispersion is not wide).  So the cause of the vice you mention is also the cause of a virtue of ribbon drivers.  Or to put this another way, whether this is a virtue or a vice depends on the particular situation, how it is located relative to the listening spot, the particular ribbon (as some ribbons are quite tall, which have a wider vertical space directly in front of them), etc.

Very good point. I have to say that I think this issue is all but eliminated with the air motion I heard...If two or three rows with no more than a few feet of height difference and adequate listening distance relative to each row, I think they could work really well. I experimented in the shop with the legacy models and the above theory and it seemed dine, though I wouldn't financially commit without trying it in the room in question.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-18-2014, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's my TRIAL set up.

Seaton Catalyst at center
2 Quested LT-8s (ribbons) at side-front position
My SPL Runts behind screen as L and R speakers.

With my Trinnov MC I can listen to the LT-8s in stereo, my Runts in stereo, and a mono signal to the Seaton..

I'm planning on checking dynamics and voicing them post-Trinnov room correction.

All with a water issue that overtook my theater!

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post #13 of 14 Old 05-20-2014, 12:48 PM
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So how was your final opinion on the questeds?

How did they conpare to other speakers you have owned?

Do the amt tweeters integrate well with the relatively large 10" woofers, which i guess would be the one theoretical issue in such a design?

Hope you could sort your cinema water damage.
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-08-2014, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamburgCity View Post
So how was your final opinion on the questeds?

How did they conpare to other speakers you have owned?

Do the amt tweeters integrate well with the relatively large 10" woofers, which i guess would be the one theoretical issue in such a design?
Well, all is in and am using AURO 3D upmixing for my 13.6 system. The AMT / Ribbons has the sensitivity that rivals compression drivers (and, thus, the output) but an more air and a sweeter tip top. They are fantastic!

The only downside I've encountered is the lack of vertical dispersion. If you stand up or are well above the vertical spread of the AMT, you lose some high frequencies. I rarely stand during movies ... so, small issue for me!

Highly recommended!



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There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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