How many times have you had to repair your speakers?

Carver Speaker Discussions and Questions

How many times have you had your ribbon speakers repaired?

Never
8
50%
At least once
4
25%
Twice
3
19%
Three times
1
6%
Four times
0
No votes
Five times
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 16

Big Nate
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How many times have you had to repair your speakers?

Post by Big Nate » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:51 am

I have owned my Carver AL-III+ Speakers since 1998, purchased them used from Douglas TV in Chicago. Since I have owned them I have had the ribbon's repaired three times. Neither repair was the result of abuse or high volume music playing. I'm curious how many other owners experience similar issues.
Last edited by Big Nate on Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Big Nate from Chicago

George

Post by George » Mon Nov 10, 2003 3:51 pm

I've had the Amazing Platinum MK.IV's since 1991, and never required a ribbon repair.

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drewideth
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Post by drewideth » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:13 pm

I have a set of Amazing MKIVs and have experienced ribbon difficulties since the beginning.

George

Post by George » Thu Nov 13, 2003 5:32 pm

When my friend Harold lived in Gilbert, his Silver's developed a buzz. When I visited, I spent about two hours listening to them. It was only one tiny part of one tune that caused the ribbon to flap or buzz. For everything else it was good. That had to be 8 or 10 yrs ago, he lives in San Diego now.

When Roadway trucking delivered my Platinum MK.IV's, one magnet had "rolled" 90 degrees onto the ribbon. I had to wait for a new one to be delivered from Carver. I swapped them out myself and have never had a problem since.

Big Nate
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Post by Big Nate » Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:41 am

Thanks for the replies,did'nt know if this was the norm or the exception. Your right, each time my ribbons went, only certain musical material would bring it out. I found that passages with pianos in them did the trick.
Big Nate from Chicago

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Toy Maker
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Post by Toy Maker » Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:10 pm

Having repaired many ribbons myself, and now having built a few custom ribbons, I can say that you can honestly expect to repair/rebuild the ribbons every 10 years or so to keep them @ 100%. The design is still one of the best I have ever heard, even putting them up against systems with $40,000 Matin Logan's, I would pick a Carver ribbon 1st.
The only downfall to the ribbons, are the materials needed to make them function as efficiently as they do, (which we all know ISN'T efficient at all)
The Kapton used is the optimal material to use as high temperature, lightweight membrane. Unfortunately, it does (relax) over time, and will lose it's tension. That is where the (buzz) comes from. Many things can help slow the process, Or speed up the process)

Problem (1) HUMIDITY is the #1 cause of the (buzz) The Kapton can retain a small amount of moisture, which relaxes the material itself... just like getting a sheet of paper wet... you will never get it back to its original form.

Problem (2) are the aluminum traces that are on the Kapton. There are a couple inherent problems with the traces.... Aluminum itself can stress, and crack easily for anyone not familiar with aluminum. Now adding the (heat) that is being generated from the amp... isn't helping much. I have been told by the manufacture of the Kapton ribbon, that at 400w the traces can reach 350 degrees. This is the reason (Kapton) has to be used. Most other materials would just melt. So, of you are jamming on your system REALLY hard some day... just stick the tip of your finger in the hole, and let me know if it's really that hot. :lol:

Problem (3)....
The adhesive that bonds the aluminum to the Kapton, has to obviously hold up to the same temps as the other materials... Here is where you can damage your ribbons the easiest..
Jamming on your system, you will see the ribbon start to (ripple)... the ribbon will start to look like a wave pattern. When this is happening, there is no real problem, your ribbons are nice and hot now... BUT when it stops, that's where your problems will start. As the membrane cools back down, the aluminum trace cools the fastest being aluminum, it can dissipate the heat the fastest. Then the Kapton cools slower than the aluminum, which mean, the aluminum cools 1st, and bonds to the adhesive in 1 place, and the Kapton cools later after the aluminum has contracted, in a different spot. This will cause very small horizontal creases through the aluminum traces, and does become a weak point, and does the rest of the trace, as tension is put on the entire trace then the ribbon parts cool at different speeds...

Just a little helpful info for those who want to know.

George

Post by George » Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:35 am

You've indicated the things that can speed up the deterioration process. I am interested to know what might slow it down. I am 13 years and going strong here, with no buzz or flap whatsoever.

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Toy Maker
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Post by Toy Maker » Sun Dec 07, 2003 2:52 am

Pretty much, do the opposite of the above... Keep them in an AC'd place, and don't abuse (overpower) them...

If babied, they will last a LONG time.

Big Nate
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Post by Big Nate » Sun Dec 07, 2003 9:33 am

Toymaker,

The last time my ribbons went south, I actually attempted to identify the issue. I noticed that the section of ribbon that gave off the buzz did appear to be crinkled, and what can only be described as the mistake of a life time, I opened the ribbon and separated the magnets! :-s I'll get back to this in a bit.

So with the ribbon opened I was able to get a close look problem, I was amazed at the simplicity of the design. My question is this, under a careful application of heat (maybe a hair dryer), is it possible shrink and/or tighten the loose Kapton? It certainly looks possible; however I know nothing of the properties of the material.

Well at that time I decide to give it a try, and of course this is where things just got ugly! First I attempted to reassemble the fricken ribbon, and much to my surprise, not matter what I did I could not get the two halves back together. ](*,) I was amazed at the strength of the magnets, I believe your father quoted that the energy power o the magnets was around 40 pounds per sq. inch. Clearly, anyone attempting this needs some type of rig to properly reassemble the ribbons. In fact I damaged it worst that it was in my attempt. So, off fir repair they went!
Big Nate from Chicago

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DaveS
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Post by DaveS » Sun Dec 07, 2003 11:38 am

DON`T DO ANY OF THIS UNLESS YOU ARE HAVING REAL PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BIBBONS =; =; =; =; [-X [-X
If you have a buzz in a ribbon the thing to do is look on the back of your ribbon, there are four rows of screws. The two inside screws are machine screws, the two outsisde rows are woodscrews that hold the ribbon to the panal.
Run the speakers and locate where in the lenght of the ribbon the buzz is by putting you ear about a foot away from the ribbon. You will be able to pinpoint exactly where it is. SNUG UP the machine screws A LITTLE BIT at the piont you have found the buzz, then go one set screw up and down from the buzz and snug them up too. DON`T THINK THE TIGHTER THE BETTER you will start popping magnets and that will more than make your ribbon buzz that will make it non-functional.
If that doesn`t work try GENTLY running your hair dryer over the spot BEFORE you take take it apart, this might work for awhile but is not a true fix,but it could last 6 seconds or 6 years.
YOU should not take a ribbon apart unless you KNOW what your doing, you will just be compounding your troubles.
When all else fails call me.

George

Post by George » Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:18 pm

Thanks for the tips. I have kept them under AC since they arrived, and would probably abuse my wife and daughters before I abused these remarkable speakers.

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DaveS
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Post by DaveS » Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:18 pm

My wife has been after me for 15 years to "Get rid of those big ugly things". I tell her "You`ll go before thay do".

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Re: How many times have you had to repair your speakers?

Post by ferrari » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:12 am

I rebuilt a set of ribbons, "the hard way". If only I would have listened better to what George told me. The ribbons work fine now. They were a set of ribbons that came out of a damaged set of carver speakers from shipping. I now have 4 working spare ribbons.
Its great to be back everyone.
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keep the faith my friends :)

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Re: How many times have you had to repair your speakers?

Post by TNRabbit » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:23 am

Welcome back, Terry~
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Re: How many times have you had to repair your speakers?

Post by kingman » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:07 am

TNRabbit wrote:Welcome back, Terry~
:D
DITTO!!!! =D> \:D/ 8)
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