I'm enjoying building hybrid headphones, combining the best aspects from each.
I also get to see what angling the drivers dampening and all the other design
techniques do without hunting for a showroom, event or spending too much.
I was wondering though when it would be best to give up on a driver. How long
do they last? Is there an age limit to where it will start to fail or give lower
performance? Is there anyway to test a driver other than listening to it? Besides
inspecting for tears or damage to the driver material can its performance be
judged visually by how it moves with test tones?
From what I've read standard dynamic drivers might loose bass response
and overall sound quality after 10 years of use. This seems to be true of
my SennHD201 drivers that had high daily usage. The bass seems to have
dropped off, but they still have a nice warm sound. I have some paper drivers
in a Pioneer SE30A that I enjoy. I don't know what they should have really
sounded like new, but they do require lots of voltage now to sound nice.
What are the lifespan issues between the different driver materials?
Reading a bit on Electrostatic/Electrets there does seem to be an age
issue. Do the coils eventually loose their ability to warm/power up correctly
after normal use over a long period?
I'm generally doing a lot more low volume listening to save my hearing.
However I still worry about sending too much voltage to different drivers
when experimenting with different amps or speaker outputs. Which
driver types should I avoid driving with too much power?
Finally, I've been really interested in playing with ribbon tweeters. I found
some basic ones on Ebay. All the local electronic parts stores near me
don't seem to have any ribbon tweeters left in stock and they don't plan
on ordering them in the future. Are there any other places I can find
better ribbon tweeters? What is the lifespan of the drivers in the older
orthodynamic Yamaha and Fostex headphones?
edit, did a better search:
still wondering about orthodynamic longevity though
Edited by fe2cruz - 3/24/12 at 12:00pm