Ribbons
Mar 24, 2006 at 4:33 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

ImagingIn

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Hey...

There are ribbon mikes, and ribbon speakers... where the heck are the ribbon headphones???
confused.gif


Anyone ever hear of any phones that have ribbon transducers?
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 7:32 PM Post #4 of 10

ImagingIn

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Thanks for the responses, guys.

Looks like Wharfedale had/has an AKC line of phones. They are not on their website now though. Looks like they may have been UK-only. Not sure if they were ribbons. They were very inexpensive... <$50.00.

Shame about the Fostexes. I bet if properly implemented, ribbon phones would be slammin'.

Before I posted this I did a Google search for "Ribbon headphones" (just like me to forget, like a dummy, to do that first... lol) and look what I found:

http://www.transmissionaudio.com/pag...=1138247654332
http://www.coleselectroacoustics.com/headphones.shtml

The Transmisson Audio's, especially, look extremely promising (albeit expensive).... and not only to me, but to folks on other forums. I'm definitely gonna investigate those more, and the Coles as well.

I even found this here on Head-fi regarding some DIY ribbon headphones (through Google; funny I didn't see it or the Fostex entries searching Head-fi itself):

http://www4.head-fi.com/forums/showt...t=87390&page=3

Next time I promise I'll do my "homework" first...
rolleyes.gif
lol
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 7:50 PM Post #5 of 10

JaZZ

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The Fostex and Wharfedale (which I owned years ago) headphones aren't ribbon transducers, but electrodynamic planar transducers («isodynamic», «orthodynamic», «magnetostatic»...). The same goes for some Yamaha models and the Peerless orthodynamic headphone produced years ago reminding of the Jecklin Float, which I also owned. The only existing true ribbon headphone is this one designed by a Head-Fi member. There's also one headphone produced in series which could be called ribbon transducer with a bit of goodwill: the Swiss-made Ergo AMT.
.
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 6:49 AM Post #6 of 10

Uncle Erik

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I've wondered the same thing, too. I've even thought about buying a pair of full range ribbon microphones and converitng them into headphones. I would love to see a pair produced commercially.

As you can see from my sig, I built a pair of ribbons designed by Justus Verhagen. I know this is slightly offtopic for this forum, but you can buy the book with his plans and a ton of ribbon information here:

http://www.audioxpress.com/bksprods/books/bkaa65.htm

I ordered the parts and built them in 2002. They were my introduction to real audiophile sound and I love them dearly. One thing ribbon headphones would lack is the delicious effect you get from a correctly positioned dipole. They're amazing. More than once I've "answered" the phone when it was just a ringtone on the radio. And you do get almost the same microdetail in the upper registers you get with good headphones.

They cost me about $200 and 30-40 hours of work. Other than being exposed to the hands of small children, I have had zero problems with them. They were completely worth it and turned me into a ribbon worshipper.
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 12:24 AM Post #7 of 10

ImagingIn

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Jazz and Uncle Erik...

I think the Transmission Audio prototypes would be truel ribbons, Jazz, suspended at the ends only, but they are only prototypes as of yet.
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The ERGO models are, if I read correctly, Heil drivers, also a fine design, but, as you indicate, different from ribbons. I did see Setmenu's DIY phones (see my previous reply); I wonder if he could be convinced to go into business...
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Uncle Erik, I know exactly what you mean when you describe how good they sound. I had a system with a pair of Apogee Calipers years ago, that remains the best system I have ever heard. I'm not a DIY guy, but that book has me intrigued, if only to learn more about how they work. It must be gratifying to build your own stuff, and have it function so successfully to give you such joy.
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 4:33 PM Post #8 of 10

setmenu

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One thing about ribbon/planar phones is that they are not for those who are
shy about strong magnetic fields.
Compared to conventional moving coil designs they need big strong magnets
to overcome their inherently inefficient design.
I can stick the house keys to sides of my phones!
Got to watch that knife rack too and keep clear of the kitchen
eek.gif
tongue.gif


.
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 6:23 PM Post #9 of 10

sgrossklass

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Quote:

Originally Posted by setmenu
One thing about ribbon/planar phones is that they are not for those who are
shy about strong magnetic fields.



Luckily these are static fields only, so aside from the dangers you stated
tongue.gif
, the health risk should be low. BTW, how much further did your project evolve back then? Does the result still see some use?
 

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