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Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

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weitrhino

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Post Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:56 am

Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

As cultured, learned, and debonairre as I am, ahem... :^o I still do not fully understand ribbon drivers. So I wonder of someone with a deeper knowledge of how they work would mind posting a tutorial of some kind. Graphics or photos would be great! Could you explain the materials in a (Carver) ribbon? How is it assembled? My sense is unless I try to take one apart (which I don't have) it might be tough to tell. I'm pretty sure there will be others who would benefit from knowing this, too.

Thanks!
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maddmaxxx

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Post Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

-i believe the best answers, would be at wikipedia [key phrase ribbon transducer or ribbon speaker or ribbon kapton]]

-the materials are 2 outside vents/ particle board for spacing/ 1/4" x 1/4" x 3" rectangular magnets/ and the actual ribbon material [nuts/ bolts/ screws]

-the dupont ribbon iz like mylar w/ 2 or 4 trace wires running vertically...the trace wires are manufactured into the mylar

-the ribbon iz sandwiched between 3 rows of magnets...spaced by part. board then clamped w/ the vented covers and bolted together

-the reason i mentioned wikipedia, iz that i can not explain a convention driver very well...let alone a ribbon


-go slo
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TNRabbit

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Post Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:55 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Imagine a row of magnets, representing approximately 36 lbs of total weight, attached in front & behind the ribbon, with about 1/4" space between them. The ribbon is then suspended between them, and attached/pulled from each side, top to bottom. The ribbon itself is a mylar type film with aluminum material glued to it in a top to bottom pattern up & down 4 times (like this but inverted like a long "M"):

! !-! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
!-! !-!

The ends are connected to the positive & negative speaker wires and the current run through the ribbon moves it in relation to the magnets (very similarly to a cone speaker, but with the "coil" material spread out over the area of the ribbon). This makes it very inefficient, but gives an incredibly seamless top to bottom, natural sound.

The new Sunfire Cinema Ribbons utilized a stamped circuit like circuit boards on the ribbon material, but are otherwise similar in structure.
TNRabbit
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
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Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
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OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

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maddmaxxx

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Post Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:28 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

-the g man wrote; The ribbon itself is a mylar type film with aluminum material glued to it in a top to bottom pattern up & down 4 times (like this but inverted like a long "M"):



-just 2x, [for ALS originals]

-theres a 'H' pc board [no-moe stock]...for to connect the traces to the drivers lead wires [red/ black]...bottom

-dunno about the top traces connection
-* © Küül ®™ /mx...
-Too hip gotta book
-"Don't BAN me Bro!"...el/doro
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weitrhino

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Post Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

I looked at Wikipedia, but nothing turns up. :(
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maddmaxxx

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Post Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:55 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

-1st hit w/ this crapola vista device...didnt try the above phrases tho 8)...looks pretty ok


http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.c ... le+speaker
-* © Küül ®™ /mx...
-Too hip gotta book
-"Don't BAN me Bro!"...el/doro
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maddmaxxx

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Post Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:29 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

-a very decent post;

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7145
-* © Küül ®™ /mx...
-Too hip gotta book
-"Don't BAN me Bro!"...el/doro
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TNRabbit

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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:15 am

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

TNRabbit wrote:Imagine a row of magnets, representing approximately 36 lbs of total weight, attached in front & behind the ribbon, with about 1/4" space between them. The ribbon is then suspended between them, and attached/pulled from each side, top to bottom. The ribbon itself is a mylar type film with aluminum material glued to it in a top to bottom pattern up & down 4 times (like this but inverted like a long "M"):

! !-! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
!-! !-!

The ends are connected to the positive & negative speaker wires and the current run through the ribbon moves it in relation to the magnets (very similarly to a cone speaker, but with the "coil" material spread out over the area of the ribbon). This makes it very inefficient, but gives an incredibly seamless top to bottom, natural sound.

The new Sunfire Cinema Ribbons utilized a stamped circuit like circuit boards on the ribbon material, but are otherwise similar in structure.


I wanted to give a better representation than the previous one:
Ribbon Cross Section.JPG
Ribbon Cross Section.JPG (24.39 KiB) Viewed 714 times
TNRabbit
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
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weitrhino

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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:37 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Good information shared in all these posts, thanks. I'm seeing the differentiation between the ribbon design and the electrostatic design. "Kapton," I assume, is a particular brand name for the film. What is it's thickness? Are there any commonly available materials that are relatively similar? What metal is the conductor in the ribbon made? Copper?
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TNRabbit

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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:48 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Rodney, I don't know if "kapton" is the brand or if that's the terminology for the particular process of attaching it. In the Amazings, it's made of aluminum. In the new Sunfire CRM ribbons it's a stamped circuit, don't know from what material. It's pretty thin. James' "Super Ribbons" were made from approximately double thickness kapton. The problem with that is it almost doubles the resistance of the ribbon, making a 48" ribbon approximately 1.7 ohms. Perhaps James will chime in here.
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
<<

BillD

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Post Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:04 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Kapton® is a registered trademark of 3M as shown here. As far as I know it's the carrier. Jame's ribbons must have a higher conductivity trace.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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DaveS

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:48 am

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Don`t you mean DuPont?
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BillD

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:18 am

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Yes, of course. What was I thinking.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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maddmaxxx

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:42 pm

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

BillD wrote:Yes, of course. What was I thinking.




-pretty funny...in a way only , mr billd can provide 8)


-i thankya, see \:D/
-* © Küül ®™ /mx...
-Too hip gotta book
-"Don't BAN me Bro!"...el/doro
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Toy Maker

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Post Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:20 am

Re: Anatomy of a Ribbon Driver

Rabbit was very close....

My Kapton is the same as the Kapton used in the Carver ribbons... the change I made, was making the aluminum traces thicker, allowing the ribbon to produce higher volume, and also allowing it more material to dissipate the heat.
A Carver ribbon is rated around 300-400 watts at 4-ohms after that, you are looking at a good chance of damaging it.

My ribbons runs effortlessly between 1000 watts at 2-ohms and down to 2400 watts into 1-ohm.
They are TRUE amp killers... I fried a TFM-45 that was bi-amped running just the ribbons.

Anyone from Carverfest can attest to the fact that the system has WAY more headroom, than your ears do.
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