Custom and Customizable Ribbons

(Historical site.  All Fibonacci Technologies’ Ribbons retired March 2015)

Since we began building ribbons back in 2004 we have been asked dozens of times for custom, special, unusual, two-of-a-kind, and OEM ribbon loudspeakers.  Our policy on this subject has remained the same:

As long as it is legal and does not violate any patents or the laws of physics, If we can build it, we will.

There are some limitations, of course:

The largest classical (straight) ribbons we have built so far are the Big Daddies, six-foot-six tall (about two meters) with a 3.625” wide diaphragm, and play about 100dB at one Watt.  Free air resonance is a little less than 2Hz.  In a sealed, well damped cabinet of 70 cubic feet, at low volume levels the Daddies can be plugged directly into the amplifier and offer full range, crossoverless performance from below 20Hz to well beyond 20kHz.  The world’s first classical full range ribbon. 

At higher volume levels the air begins to get too heavy for our ultra-thin aluminum to move and the ribbon cups.  One needs to switch to the 80Hz default crossover frequency present in all modern processors, and turn on the subs. 

The Daddies weigh 190 pounds each (80 kilos), work best when built into a wall which contains a 3x3x8 foot sealed cabinet, with the ribbon plane angled toward the listening position. 

Design, development and build cost was $46,000 for the first one and $22,400 for each additional.  For the initial installation, they were rolled into place using giant cardboard cylinders and then tipped into the dressing-room sized cabinet... it felt like building the pyramids. 

How do they sound?  Well, kind of spooky.  Dynamics are so effortless and the ribbon is so fast that the clarity is spell binding. A truly unique listening experience, especially sitting up close. 

We have received enough interest in the Daddies to offer them as a standard product.  A portion of each sale will be refunded to the development cost of the original client.

Before you fine folks begin writing checks, the caveats: the sealed, stuffing-filled air volume required behind the ribbons is the size of a small closet, it requires at least two ambitious individuals to do the installation, and for normal listening levels, they still need a subwoofer.

 

The largest Fibonacci Transducer™ we have made (and can make) is the Mariposa™, at four foot ten inches tall and
3.625” wide.  Between the laws of physics and acoustics, this is the maximum a Fibonacci Arc™ can be before it starts to wrap around itself.  Similar to the Daddies, free air resonance is 5Hz and and they can be wired directly to the amplifier.... but at high volumes the benefit greatly from an 80Hz cut off and dedicated subwoofer, and sound much better that way. For in-wall applications, theater seating minimum of 15 feet away is  required.   These came in at $21k each. We are currently working on a two-channel version.  We are hoping show these at the  Rocky Mountain Audiofest in October 2014.

The smallest Fibonacci ribbon we have made is  .75” wide, 16” tall.  We can’t make them any smaller and even at this size the laws of physics start to favor transformer-driven ribbons over direct drive ribbons, and there is an entire generation loss through a transformer... not our thing.  Plus, any ribbon with surface area less than the 1.1 Gen 3.1 (about 80 square inches) and the low frequency extension is compromised.

Regardless of its geometry, 80Hz is the sensible low frequency limit.  At high volume levels, below 80Hz the mechanical integrity of our ultra-thin aluminum is compromised.

So, within these limits we can make it, but cost is a factor.  Any custom design work starts starts at $30k and goes up from there, cost per transducer is generally geometrically proportional to length and exponentially proportional to width, plus royalties for the number of patent licensures involved.  All Fibonacci Ribbons retired March 2015

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