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Ribbon Sag - An Update
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #61
Les
Lives for gear
 
Les's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
I had set up an fea test within catia to give me an output based on what material I used and how long the deflection is based on how loud the source was, and when it started to sag over time, and where the stress was occurring.
Interesting! I'll PM you. Let's talk on the phone.

Catia is pretty powerful.

Creep could certainly be an issue. The extreme weakness of pure aluminum is the bottom line though I think, and stress concentrations obviously aren't going to help. I do have better materials.

Talk soon.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #62
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
this thread's original purpose was really interesting Michael, great work, thanks for the research and information you provided.

I just wanted to point out that while I own "vintage" (hahaha) apex 205 stock ribbon mics, so I suppose that puts them into the 30% sag group or whatever is the relatively good group.... one old standard ribbon mic guideline that I still follow today might possibly be why I have yet to experience sag issues in any of my stock cheapo chinese ribbon mics (and imho they're incredible mics, even stock, for anyone bashing chinese mics out there):

I store them upright (so the ribbon is vertically hanging without any additional gravitational pull on either side), and I also try to use it in a 90 degree angle (except when recording acoustic violin or viola when it's slightly above in a slightly downward angle).

I've owned these mics since they were first released on the market and am consistently blown away... and frustrated.... by the fact that they often sound better than (insert elite german or otherwise much more expensive microphone here) on almost anything other than percussion/drums.

While I avoid using them extensively since I find that tends to give me a Neil Young Harvest kind of sound in a full mix of apex 205 mics (not that it's a bad thing but it's not what I'm going for always)... I do quite love their warmth, presence, versatility, sheen and smoothness.

If I were wealthy I'd be buying modded ones or these much nicer upgraded versions from shinybox or, due to good personal relations, Michael.... I can't afford that so I stick with what works.

So if you're buying a cheap ribbon mic, consider trying to store it in the most neutral position possible from a gravity pull point of view. Same with general use unless it's honestly better sounding to angle it.

cheers,
Don
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #63
Lives for gear
 
Michael_Joly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Good advice. I believe some of the variance in ribbon sag can also be traced to how the microphones were packed on the container ship. I believe mics that were oriented as you suggest subsequently fair better in the long run than mics that were laid with the ribbon in a horizontal position and subject to repetitive up and down jarring during the journey.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #64
Lives for gear
 
Gretschman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wisdom

This thread has been a great one . Debate , logic , reasoning , justification , fact and
a little misdirection and opinion thrown in here and there by all who posted here .

Mr. Joly has taken his time to go the extra mile for anyone who will listen and
who has a need for his service or may just need some friendly information about a
subject matter that he is well schooled in . Mr. Joly is a valuable asset to GS and
I , for one would like to thank him for being with us here at GS on this
Thanks Giving Day , and for his contribution , and going the extra mile to reach out
to all those who might be in need of his knowledge and experience .
I hope that Mr. Joly knows that while men may differ in point , they never fail to
notice sincerity .

As for me , well , if you have read my posts , you know that I chose the path
thats right for me . I have the same passion as Mr. Joly for my decision and belief .

I will leave you with a quote that I read this morning it hopes that you might reflect on the merit of this persons statement .

Quote :

"You could laugh at the price, make fun of the price," Koszel said. "Where I'm from in Poland, we have a saying: 'Poor people cannot afford to buy cheap things because they have to last.'"
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #65
Lives for gear
 
Michael_Joly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Gretschman - thank for the good cheer and Happy Thanksgiving to you and all who are celebrating. Really is just about my favorite holiday - a holiday created by Lincoln in the depths of a terrible civil war. He wanted Americans to take time out, despite hardship and adverstity to recall and be thankful for blessings.

Gearslutz is really at its best when there is vigorous and articulate debate substantiated with sound files or other documentation delivered with minimal name calling and defensivness. So I'm thankful for the fine companionship often found here!
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #66
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly ➑️
Gearslutz is really at its best when there is vigorous and articulate debate substantiated with sound files or other documentation delivered with minimal name calling and defensivness. So I'm thankful for the fine companionship often found here!
thumbsupthumbsup

Ditto!

Happy Thanksgiving all!


bp
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #67
Lives for gear
 
Old Goat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly ➑️
Gearslutz is really at its best when there is vigorous and articulate debate substantiated with sound files or other documentation delivered with minimal name calling and defensivness. So I'm thankful for the fine companionship often found here!
Hear, hear! Thanks, Michael.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are participating.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #68
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Avoiding participation in all the drama, I wonder, Michael, have you ever had any Avantone CR-14s in your hands? I have a pair, and they are the only ribbons I have (I do mostly live sound, so think ribbons are too fragile to use on stage generally).

I'm just wondering what you think of their dual ribbon design, and how fragile they really might be? What other dual ribbon designs are they similar to?

Thanks if you have any insight,

Lou
Old 29th November 2009 | Show parent
  #69
Lives for gear
 
Michael_Joly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson ➑️
...Michael, have you ever had any Avantone CR-14s in your hands? I have a pair, and they are the only ribbons I have (I do mostly live sound, so think ribbons are too fragile to use on stage generally).

I'm just wondering what you think of their dual ribbon design, and how fragile they really might be? What other dual ribbon designs are they similar to?

Thanks if you have any insight,

Lou
Hey Lou, I have not had the Avantone re-brand of this Chinese dual ribbon mic in my hands, but I have worked on some of the others like it. If you're doing club or concert hall work with them I wouldn't worry about fragility. But it would be a good idea to use them outside where strong winds gust are more likely to stretch or break the ribbons.

To be honest, I'm not particularly fond of the this dual ribbon design. While the dual-ribbon motor does increase the mic's sensitivity it also introduces a subtle phasiness in the HF and the low end proximity effect can be quite broad - depending how accurately the resonance frequency of the two ribbons match each other. In addition the flat, parallel-face grille creates back and forth standing waves - another source of HF coloration.

I've actually got a free DIY mod for this mic to convert it to a single ribbon design that I prefer the sound of more than the stock version.
Old 29th November 2009 | Show parent
  #70
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Thanks Michael. Interesting comments... I would be interested in any other info you might have on this type. The reason i got it - a few years ago - was somebody (here on GS??? Not sure) arranged a group buy for half price direct from the factory. Avant got wind of it, and didn't want unchecked versions imported without their QC, so they generously offered to supply us with geniune Avant versions with warranty - still for the half price! So I got two for one, and like them as my only ribbons.

I might try the mod, might not - perhaps I'm less sensitive to the issues, but really ought to try it so find out, I guess. Or get some other single ribbon mic!

Thanks!

Lou
Old 2nd December 2009 | Show parent
  #71
Lives for gear
 
gurubuzz's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Hi Michael,

I am trying to get replacement ribbon material. I just can't get the imitation silver leaf to co-operate with me, I guess I'm just not cut out to be a brain surgeon.

There is a guy on ebay selling 4 micron stuff wich is ok for my mic but first he charged a ridiculous amount for postage and then shut out all no USA buyers.

Can you tell me where or who to get some from.

Please I have had this mic broken for months. (yes I broke it trying to fix the sag, Wow the ribbon is really fine).

I now know I need a magnifying glass, a stable work area both elbows firmly on the desk and a steady breath and no breeze.


Cheers Buzz
Old 2nd December 2009 | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
 
idylldon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz ➑️
Can you tell me where or who to get some from.
I'm not Michael, but I'll pass along the info he so kindly shared with me. Try this place:

LEBOW COMPANY

Edward Graper
[email protected]
5960 Mandarin Ave.
Goleta CA, 93117, USA
Phone & fax 805-964-7117
Webcatalogue: Lebow Company

On Michael's recommendation, I purchased one sheet of part number P/N 1.8Al-21x21cm. There's plenty there for many reribboning jobs!

I just reribboned one of my long-ribbon Chinese mics the other day using this foil and it worked beautifully. It takes a bit of practice to get the feel for working with foil this thin, but once you get it down it's pretty straightforward.

Here's a pretty good page that outlines the process pretty well:

Replacing the ribbon in a ribbon microphone

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 2nd December 2009 | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
Michael_Joly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz ➑️
Hi Michael,

I am trying to get replacement ribbon material. I just can't get the imitation silver leaf to co-operate with me, I guess I'm just not cut out to be a brain surgeon.

There is a guy on ebay selling 4 micron stuff wich is ok for my mic but first he charged a ridiculous amount for postage and then shut out all no USA buyers.

Can you tell me where or who to get some from.

Please I have had this mic broken for months. (yes I broke it trying to fix the sag, Wow the ribbon is really fine).

I now know I need a magnifying glass, a stable work area both elbows firmly on the desk and a steady breath and no breeze.


Cheers Buzz
Hey Buzz, you're just a boomerang's through away from ribbon mic master Larry Killip in NZ. He may have some aluminum he could part with. Check out his Jaguar and his music. both rock. Timeless voice and guitar playing.
Old 20th March 2016 | Show parent
  #74
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Chinese electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly ➑️
Well, its not really about nationality. Its about attention to detail.

What we have experienced to date as "cheap Chinese products" is really just a manefestation of lowest-cost pricing pressure exerted by Western buyers. If a Western buyer went to one of the high quality Chinese mic factories I visited in October and wanted to buy an exact re-creation of a U 47 or KM 84 any number of these Chinese factories could do it. But that is not what they are being asked to do.

Independently of US and Euro buyers, Chinese manufacturers are very rapidly moving beyond being a provider of lowest-cost labor. They too want to move up the value-added stream as designers and providers of branded products. This is the same value-add progression Japanese manufacturers undertook in the 1960 and 1970's with "transistor radios" and cassette tape products - most significantly the Sony Walkman.
--------------------------------------------------------------\
For the last year or so I've been buying Chinese electronics off ebay and some other sites like Banggood.com

While at first I was hesitant to do so, for a variety of reasons, I started out slow with a cheap order, so if things went bad I wouldn't be out much cash.

I like to "buy American" whenever possible, but of late its getting pretty hard to do as much of the stuff just isn't made here anymore. Recent example the closing of many Radio Shack stores. While never one of my primary suppliers for parts, it was nice to have them around. But usually when I'd go there they wouldn't have what I needed and on some items they were over priced.

Now you can still buy American, but in many many cases, the "American" store is buying Chinese, then marking it up hundreds of percent like Walmart does.

So.... unless I need something quickly, I buy Chinese to get the most bang for the buck.

I bought quite a few of the MXL and Nady ribbon mics when the getting was good. Got many for under $50 shipped to my door by an American music company. As a ham, doing a little touch up work on these mics for sag or anything else is no big deal.

While I never liked nor supported the idea of shipping American jobs overseas, no one ever asked me and from all I can tell it wouldn't have made any difference as our "leaders" wouldn't listen. The elite have their plan and they are going to follow it. But in the meantime, I will work within it and make the best of it. At some point in time there will be an "adjustment", and all these cheap products will no longer be cheap. I see the Chinese going through what the USA did during the industrial revolution of the early 1900's. There is nothing we are going to do to stop that.

Remember all those "junk" transistor radio's that came from Japan in the late 50s-60's? Take a look on ebay what some of them sell for now.
Old 9th May 2016
  #75
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I'm reviving this thread in hopes that the interested parties can provide some guidance.

I have been looking at the ribbons in my:
- MXL R144
- MXL 860
- Nady RSM-5

I own two of the Nady ribbons, and one has a sag that I'd like to correct. The MXL 860 looks perfect, and the MXL R144 has the worst sag of all.

I've ordered some 1.8-micron material and a corrugation tool, but the issue is one of the width of the ribbon. In the R144, the magnet gap is 6.5 mm and the ribbon material is 5 mm wide. In the RSM-5, the gap is 5 mm and the ribbon material is 4 mm wide.

My question is whether I should replicate the width of the ribbon material as delivered by the factory (0.75 mm margins in R144, 0.5 mm margins in the RSM-5) or attempt the vanishingly small margins (0.2 mm ?) that I commonly see in the photos of ribbon motors.

It seems to me that the smaller margins translate into stronger output signals because of the inverse square laws of magnetic fields and current in a wire. It also seems that some kind of deleterious turbulence effects or twisting effects are possible as the mismatch between the margins becomes more critical with smaller dimensions. Am I on the right track?

Thanks in advance.
Old 9th May 2016
  #76
Gear Maniac
 
ShinyBox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Don't over think it. Put whatever works for you in there. A .3mm difference is not going to be huge in this case.
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