Gold Ribbon Concepts - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-24-2007, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's some ancient history about my speakers.

I bought the drivers from Gold Ribbon Concepts in Iowa about 20 years ago. A local cabinet maker built the cabinets in accordance with the plans provided by the system designers. They are constructed from high density particle board and are about six feet tall with a trapezoidal cross section that contains a rear vented folded transmission line.

The ribbon driver is about 40 inches long. It consists of a stretched gold plated mylar film element that is supported between rows of powerful magnets. There is a simple crossover at 300 Hz.

The bass drivers are two Focal eight inch cones also crossed over at 300 Hz. These drivers were designed to complement the efficiency of the ribbon driver. They have a hole in the magnet to allow air to flow freely behind the cones. They are loaded by the folded transmission which is filled with pillow stuffing to increase its effective length.

The designer (Alan?) claimed the ribbon driver is resonance free with accurate phase response throughout its 300 Hz to ultrasonic range. He used an instrument that excited the driver with a short burst of energy to measure its response using mathematical transform methods. But, everyone who listened agreed the ribbon driver exhibited a mid-range peak and sounded much too bright. A more conventual sweep test verified a peak at 8 KHz. I designed a simple resistive loaded parallel LC trap to attenuate the resonance. A friend, who talked regularly with Alan, convinced him to do the sweep test. The final crossover design included a midrange trap.

Overall, the speakers sound rather nice, The bass is somewhat mushy but not lacking in intensity. Trebles are delicate but the midrange is still a little too bright and revealing of digital artifacts when playing CD's. I almost always use my Haffler XL-280 for everyday listening but I believe my Velleman tube amplifier tames this effect somewhat. Vinyl, through my Sonographe SC-1 sounds much better.

There were reports of a major problem with the ribbons. The mylar diaphragm can strike the magnets which obviously results in a distressing tinny sound. I have just recently begun to hear some intermittent mechanical noises from my speaker system.

I just visited a 'high end' shop where I auditioned Magnepans, Martin Logans and several other brands new to me. Maybe my hearing is failing, but I believe my old speakers can still hold their own against anything I heard there.

--- CHAS

If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-24-2007, 11:07 PM
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I remember hearing the Gold Ribbon Concepts speakers in Coralville, Iowa, many years back. I generally liked what I heard, but I did have worries about reliability and cost. I'm glad you're still enjoying yours.

I came across a set of the Gold Ribbon speakers a couple months ago in a storage room at Reference Audio-Video in Coralville. I'm not sure why they had them (or even if they were working), but it was fun to see some speakers from the "good old days."

SDL
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-25-2007, 08:36 AM
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"I just visited a 'high end' shop where I auditioned Magnepans, Martin Logans and several other brands new to me. Maybe my hearing is failing, but I believe my old speakers can still hold their own against anything I heard there. "


No doubt, there's nothing much happened since you got your speakers. Especially as you listened to Magnepans which I consider mediocre and kind'a Bose for audiophiles.

If your ribbons ever give up the ghost you might consider the B&G planar magnetic drivers which come in arrays up to 70" in length.
A pal uses the 70" arrays and they sound very, VERY good. They're available from Parts Express.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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Came across this old thread via our friend Google. Thought others might and to comment.

I own both the B-G and the Gold Ribbon Concepts. Well, no comparison. B-G is more economical and is replaceable. GRC trumps all. I have 10 units of the GRC's in open baffle and monopole. I have yet to hear something better, but the monopole in a series (2 drivers) hookup was a no-holds barred design. Tried parallel too, just as good. Yes, a little bright, the ear gets used to it. The system is quad-amplified and I use them from 400 Hz up to wherever. The imagining is breathtaking and the GRCs can be used as analytical equipment as it reveals equipment and cabling deficiencies rather starkly. Great for DIY audio designers like me. Just thought I'd put a plug in for the finest drivers I have heard. Still looking for something better, perhaps plasma, but need a wider bandwidth. Cheers!
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-24-2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kelpf View Post
Came across this old thread via our friend Google. Thought others might and to comment.<br><br>
I own both the B-G and the Gold Ribbon Concepts. Well, no comparison. B-G is more economical and is replaceable. GRC trumps all. I have 10 units of the GRC's in open baffle and monopole. I have yet to hear something better, but the monopole in a series (2 drivers) hookup was a no-holds barred design. Tried parallel too, just as good. Yes, a little bright, the ear gets used to it. The system is quad-amplified and I use them from 400 Hz up to wherever. The imagining is breathtaking and the GRCs can be used as analytical equipment as it reveals equipment and cabling deficiencies rather starkly. Great for DIY audio designers like me. Just thought I'd put a plug in for the finest drivers I have heard. Still looking for something better, perhaps plasma, but need a wider bandwidth. Cheers!
Hello, I just came across this. Been a long time since I was back in the states.

I was the president and CEO of Gold Ribbon Concepts in Iowa City Iowa.

I have been living in Peru for the past 23 years.

If you are interested in the real story and materials I will be happy to pass them on.

If you have a pair of our earliest mistakes of vapor deposition on mylar, then you are not hearing the massive upgrade which happened when they finally release .5 kapton for our substrate.

Cheers,

Stephen Spencer

you may contact me via whats app 51993697110 or facebook.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-24-2014, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SDL View Post
I remember hearing the Gold Ribbon Concepts speakers in Coralville, Iowa, many years back. I generally liked what I heard, but I did have worries about reliability and cost. I'm glad you're still enjoying yours.<br><br>
I came across a set of the Gold Ribbon speakers a couple months ago in a storage room at Reference Audio-Video in Coralville. I'm not sure why they had them (or even if they were working), but it was fun to see some speakers from the "good old days."<br><br>
SDL
Hi.

If you wish a bit of the real history and engineering it took to manufacture the Gold Ribbons with vapor deposited laboratory gold in a chamber pumped down to 10 to negative 8 Torres, I will share some fascinating history and engineering on our part.

I have not been in Iowa for since the late 80's . I moved to Peru in 1991 and it has become a wonderful land of rich adventure. I would love to hear our old speakers again someday.

Cheers,

Stephen R. Spencer
Former President and CEO of Gold Ribbon Concepts Inc.

whats app +51993697110
facebook.
skype: spencerbowles
twiter @ spencerinperu
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-25-2014, 12:15 AM
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You should defiantly hear the Evolution Acoustics MicroOnes.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-02-2014, 06:15 AM
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Stephen Spencer:

Pete Kelly with the GRCs here. Yes, very interested in info regarding the device and its creation. There are many Stephen Spencers on FB.

Please send a link. I am at pfkhere at cox dot net.

I was just at Xponia in Chicago. The technology has vastly improved since my last review of speakers in 1999. Some speakers came close to the GRCs.

Cheers!

Pete
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