Another Apogee thread? You bet!

Zero000

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Al if you look back I have discussed the effect of the new mods.

Basically sounding better than ever before and quite a lot above a standard Duetta Sig. But then it should. It is MUCH better made than Apogee ever achieved.
 

Zero000

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My strongest recommendation when specifying a decent pair of Apogees would be to eliminate wood from any part of the build and pay the strictest regards to geometrical precision.

I would probably not use steel as per the Graz cost no object approach. I think high end injection moulded plastics and resins would be a good avenue to explore. Though I am not ruling out super high end custom builds made entirely with tone woods like solid ebony, which could be superb. You never know until you actually do it. Which is a bit of a problem because the number of different construction techniques available is infinite.

I think what is needed is a simple to reproduce method of consistently making excellent examples without any easily obviously identifiable technical issues. At least when presented to a competent engineer qualified in the subject.

It will never be a cheap speaker but the results deserve better attention than any volume scale manufacturer has paid to planar magnetics in the past.

With no disrespect I think Analysis and Alsyvox have done good jobs. Alsyvox's Daniele in particular. Especially as Daniele tried a different approach. But TBH I think the single ended Kapton/foil driver of the Apogees just has more balls and drive than the Alsyvox approach, excellent as though is. It may not be as accurate technically, but it seems to sound more substantial and has more weight in the bass. That could be because the Apogee models are less linear. But WTF for planars Apogee planar magnetic bass is bloody impressive. Even if it can't do massive volume it does track music superbly and offer serious low frequency extension beyond most cone based solutions.

In all honesty I would like a really good contemporary speaker manufacturer to take on the challenge.

I nominate Avantgarde. Just because I think the engineers there would have a field day enjoying the different challenge planar magnetics represent. And the fact we all know the Germans are just fucking awesome engineers.
 
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Zero000

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A really good area for research would be conductive films capable of holding an electrical circuit of some sort that can withstand extreme vibration and elastic excursion without significant deterioration over time.

Get on it, dudes.

:)
 

Alrainbow

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That Scintilla thread doesn't appear to be forthcoming, so here's a pic. I think its good enough to do them justice. On Townshend stands. Note the fatter bottom lip that makes them look a lot better I think. View attachment 67951

Is the Gryphon a good match ..? Apology if you commented on this before ..
 

Zero000

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Every once in a while I stumble on my subscription to this guy on YouTube and he seems to be making some decent progress now.

 

dr k

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Interesting thread. Even after all these years, people still talk about the apogee sound. The first time I heard apogee was in 1983-84. It was the Duetta set up by the late Jason Bloom himself. To this day, I can recall the music as being the top 3 most transparent and realistic I’ve ever heard. unfortunately, I’ve only heard apogee sound that magical when Jason set them up. I’ve heard countless apogees over years at dealers, my home (owned Stages and Centaur Major), and shows. I’ve heard pretty much all the mods including some using Graz’s ribbons. None of them had that original magic until I heard the Alsyvox Boticelli, which significantly improved on the weakness of Apogees which were low sensitivity, lack of slam in the bass (although better than any other planar back in the day), and ultimate high frequency extension. If someone can redo a Duetta to sound like what I heard at the hands of Jason, it would be the bargain of the last 30 years. It’s unfortunate you have to spend $60k+ to better or rival what I heard back in the 80’s.
 

dr k

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My strongest recommendation when specifying a decent pair of Apogees would be to eliminate wood from any part of the build and pay the strictest regards to geometrical precision.

I would probably not use steel as per the Graz cost no object approach. I think high end injection moulded plastics and resins would be a good avenue to explore. Though I am not ruling out super high end custom builds made entirely with tone woods like solid ebony, which could be superb. You never know until you actually do it. Which is a bit of a problem because the number of different construction techniques available is infinite.

I think what is needed is a simple to reproduce method of consistently making excellent examples without any easily obviously identifiable technical issues. At least when presented to a competent engineer qualified in the subject.

It will never be a cheap speaker but the results deserve better attention than any volume scale manufacturer has paid to planar magnetics in the past.

With no disrespect I think Analysis and Alsyvox have done good jobs. Alsyvox's Daniele in particular. Especially as Daniele tried a different approach. But TBH I think the single ended Kapton/foil driver of the Apogees just has more balls and drive than the Alsyvox approach, excellent as though is. It may not be as accurate technically, but it seems to sound more substantial and has more weight in the bass. That could be because the Apogee models are less linear. But WTF for planars Apogee planar magnetic bass is bloody impressive. Even if it can't do massive volume it does track music superbly and offer serious low frequency extension beyond most cone based solutions.

In all honesty I would like a really good contemporary speaker manufacturer to take on the challenge.

I nominate Avantgarde. Just because I think the engineers there would have a field day enjoying the different challenge planar magnetics represent. And the fact we all know the Germans are just fucking awesome engineers.
The apogees can seem to have “more balls” because the Leo Spiegal and Jason Bloom purposefully tilted up the bass. Actually if I recall correctly, there was about about 10dB differential from bass to treble range. They were aware of the importance of power response of speaker dipole speakers. Problem with this approach was the apogees almost always sound way too bass heavy and muddy. But Jason knew how to set up his speakers to avoid this problem. Unfortunately IME no one could reproduce what Jason did. Alsyvox shoots for a flat frequency response so you may not get the ”balls” you hear from apogees. However, I can tell you Alsyvox is more accurate and impactful in the bass. A kick drum through an Alsyvox will sound and feel like the real thing more so than almost any other speaker out there. I‘ve heard so many apogees loose control in the bass at high SPLs due to their single ended design of the bass transducer, while Alsyvox will sail through without losing control due to in part its push-pull double magnet design.
 
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dr k

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No mine are the Duettas having a re-foil. The dark grey Scintillas are someone else's.

The book is really interesting. For instance:

Most ribbon makers crimp their foils, but it reduces sensitivity by about 2 DB and increases distortion. It makes the frequency response more linear, though.

Hovland caps make good ribbons when unrolled.

Mylar (Alsyvox, Maggie, Analysis) and Kapton (Apogee) may not be the best films to use. Teflon coated fibreglass is probably better according to the author.

Lots of other good stuff in there, too.
I once asked Bob Carver why he used Kapton for his ribbons in his speakers. He said Kapton is the most heat resistant polymer for the application. He provided the ribbons for Arnie Nudel‘s Genesis reference speakers, which were essentially improved Infinity IRS Vs. Actually one of the heat shield layers on the Webb Space telescope is made of kapton.
 

Zero000

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The apogees can seem to have “more balls” because the Leo Spiegal and Jason Bloom purposefully tilted up the bass. Actually if I recall correctly, there was about about 10dB differential from bass to treble range. They were aware of the importance of power response of speaker dipole speakers. Problem with this approach was the apogees almost always sound way too bass heavy and muddy. But Jason knew how to set up his speakers to avoid this problem. Unfortunately IME no one could reproduce what Jason did. Alsyvox shoots for a flat frequency response so you may not get the ”balls” you hear from apogees. However, I can tell you Alsyvox is more accurate and impactful in the bass. A kick drum through an Alsyvox will sound and feel like the real thing more so than almost any other speaker out there. I‘ve heard so many apogees loose control in the bass at high SPLs due to their single ended design of the bass transducer, while Alsyvox will sail through without losing control due to in part its push-pull double magnet design.
I think the bolded bit is bordering along the lines of almost zero credibility.

There's only so many ways you can position an Apogee.

To be fair he was working with a not very well made speaker. So if he managed to impress you then that's cool. I guess another possibility is the pair he was demoing was "enhanced' in some way or ways, but I kind of doubt it.

I agree Alsyvox's are more linear. I said so on another thread.

However, the falling apart in the bass bit you talk of refers to a structurally far weaker speaker, with MDF clamps. That's why I was keen of replacing the MDF clamps. The ones I detailed earlier can hold a serious pounding. Much better mass damping in a far more elaborate and rigid frame.
 

dr k

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I think the bolded bit is bordering along the lines of almost zero credibility.

There's only so many ways you can position an Apogee.

To be fair he was working with a not very well made speaker. So if he managed to impress you then that's cool. I guess another possibility is the pair he was demoing was "enhanced' in some way or ways, but I kind of doubt it.

I agree Alsyvox's are more linear. I said so on another thread.

However, the falling apart in the bass bit you talk of refers to a structurally far weaker speaker, with MDF clamps. That's why I was keen of replacing the MDF clamps. The ones I detailed earlier can hold a serious pounding. Much better mass damping in a far more elaborate and rigid frame.
Have you heard a pair of Duetta’s set up by Jason Bloom? Have you talked to him about the design of the speakers and how he personally tuned every singe pair? I may not have credibility to you, but he definitely should. I’ve been listening to apogees for almost 40 years and that is my experience. Yours maybe different. Over the years I’ve listened to over a hundred different pairs of apogees from owners and dealers who claimed they knew how to set up these speakers properly. Every single time, it was a let down compared to what Jason Bloom could do. I literally spent 2 years trying to make my apogees sound correct with different speaker positioning, with and without room treatments (Jason dogmatic about no treatments behind or along the sides of the speakers), modding the crossover, and using different amplifiers and speaker wires. But I couldn’t replicate what Jason could do. By todays standards, apogees were poorly made, but to me they were the best planar speakers if set up correctly. Jason listened to every pair of apogees and tuned the crossover, so there were no standard values of crossover components.

Falling apart in the bass could be a combination of mechanical/structural weakness and the single ended design of the woofer panel. I think the latter was the limiting factor because I’ve heard rebuilt apogees with new drivers and internal MDF completely replaced with other far stronger material. Although the bass improved, if you cranked the speakers with dynamic bass material you can hear and see the woofer panel lose control.
 
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dr k

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I think the bolded bit is bordering along the lines of almost zero credibility.

There's only so many ways you can position an Apogee.

To be fair he was working with a not very well made speaker. So if he managed to impress you then that's cool. I guess another possibility is the pair he was demoing was "enhanced' in some way or ways, but I kind of doubt it.

I agree Alsyvox's are more linear. I said so on another thread.

However, the falling apart in the bass bit you talk of refers to a structurally far weaker speaker, with MDF clamps. That's why I was keen of replacing the MDF clamps. The ones I detailed earlier can hold a serious pounding. Much better mass damping in a far more elaborate and rigid frame.
But I’m happy to see you’ve improved on the classic Duetta. Congratulations! Perhaps one day I’ll be able to hear the Interstella and break the 40 year losing streak I’ve had with apogees.
 

Zero000

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But I’m happy to see you’ve improved on the classic Duetta. Congratulations! Perhaps one day I’ll be able to hear the Interstella and break the 40 year losing streak I’ve had with apogees.
40 years of losing?

I would have given up much sooner:);)
 

Soothsayer

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Did the Apogees Jason set up have Symo cable? I have found this to make the biggest difference next to experimentation with slight toe in. They are tricky to set up, but my Scintillas are very well balanced in my room. Not bass heavy at all. However, it is a long room and I’m essentially getting no rear wall reflections behind me (the wall is angled and probably 15’ behind the listening position). I have also been able to get amazing sound from Mini Grands using a Rhythmik sub and disconnecting the Apogee subs. So I’m essentially running Stages with a sub. This might be my best sounding set up. I have a pair of TSW Scintillas on the way with all new ribbons. I’m excited to see how they compare to my older Scintillas and Mini Grands.
 

christoph

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Did the Apogees Jason set up have Symo cable? I have found this to make the biggest difference next to experimentation with slight toe in. They are tricky to set up, but my Scintillas are very well balanced in my room. Not bass heavy at all. However, it is a long room and I’m essentially getting no rear wall reflections behind me (the wall is angled and probably 15’ behind the listening position). I have also been able to get amazing sound from Mini Grands using a Rhythmik sub and disconnecting the Apogee subs. So I’m essentially running Stages with a sub. This might be my best sounding set up. I have a pair of TSW Scintillas on the way with all new ribbons. I’m excited to see how they compare to my older Scintillas and Mini Grands.
Very nice, another Apogee user :cool:
You are right, apart from the Apogee Grand (the really big and rare ones ;)), the Apogee Subwoofers of the "Grand"-Series are really rubbish.

I don't even use the subs on my Studio Grands, because firstly, the panel goes down into the low 20Hz and in addition, the Studio Grand subs are really bad sounding and nowhere near match the sonic quality of the panels on their own :eek:

What amps are you using with your Scinnies?

63653-43cd02e3.jpg
 
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Soothsayer

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Right now I’m using (believe it or not) a pair of monoblocked Acoustat TNT-200’s rebuilt by Roy Esposito. I have an H2O Signature 250 also, but the Acoustat amps sound much better. I have Mark Levinson ML-9’s coming to try with the new Scintillas from TSW. I came close to springing for Rowland 7’s, but I’m going to try the ML9’s first to see how I like them.
 
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dr k

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40 years of losing?

I would have given up much sooner:);)
I’ve always had a soft spot for apogees. The Duetta was the first truly great high-end speaker I was exposed to along with the original Martin Logan CLS (warts and all) and Maggie Tympany 1D.
 

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