Manufacturers reference Ribbon Speakers for sale - asking $3500 plus shipping

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These speakers have been the reference for my company, Empirical Audio for about 8 years. I would not be selling them, but I have upgraded my speakers recently to Vapor Audio speakers. These ribbons were purchased from a Company called Soundline, which is no longer in business.  They were reviewed in Stereophile.  I modified them with over $1500 in new crossover components and new circuit boards and rewired them with high-performance low-inductance wiring, similar to my speaker cables I used to sell. The bass box ports were retuned for maximum performance.  These are well-built and have served me well at several shows.  These speakers were instrumental in earning several best of show ratings for my rooms at RMAF and Newport Beach Audio Show.  No visible scratches.

My company designs and manufacturers high-end digital audio interfaces and some analog buffers.

The loudspeakers have 4 foot full-range ribbons with 10" Vifa driver bass boxes, with custom wiring and crossover components including high-end Teflon caps, Multi-Caps and Jensen air-core inductors from Denmark. I also have 200lbs of lead bricks that I put on top of the bass boxes that I can include at extra cost. These lead bricks help with bass tightness. Excellent bass response.

These ribbons are not like other ribbons. Very dynamic and extended. Crossover is at 650Hz. Unlike most ribbons, these can actually create an acoustic shock wave. They are efficient enough to use with 30W tube amps and drive well with 4 ohm transformer tube amp output. Driving with Solid State amps requires minimum 100 watts, but the more the better. The off-axis and standing response is excellent. They sound nearly identical from every position in the room. This is why they are great for trade shows. They break down into 4 units, the 2 panels and the 2 bass boxes. I have the original boxes and packing. I can demo them in my system with appointment.

These will beat most standard driver and electrostatic speakers, including the majority of other ribbon speakers up to $20K retail price.  I have been attending shows for at least 15 years and have heard a lot of ribbons, but none that sound like this.  I accept cash only at this low price, but price is negotiable.  Shipping is extra.  Lead bricks and their shipping is extra.

You can contact me by email at
« Last Edit: 1 Jul 2017, 09:10 pm by audioengr »


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Re: Manufacturers reference Ribbon Speakers for sale
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jun 2017, 10:38 pm »
First of all, let me state for the record that I consider myself a vintage hifi nut, which doesn't mean I'm an expert, only that I have a real love for audio gear, mostly in what I consider the 25+ year range. I don't know when these were made, but the oak just sends me to the 80's in a good way.

These are beautiful speakers. I've seen them. The contrast of the dark chocolate grill cloth against the oak is eye-catching, and the shear height of these got me all excited about seeing what these would sound like. Up to this point, I had never heard a ribbon speaker with this stature. Right about now you may wonder if I've heard any good speakers, at least in any meaningful way to offer up my thoughts on these speakers.

To give you some context of my listening experience, here is a short list of the best speakers I have heard ... short as in my memory and what I can think of now:

Harbeth P3ESR
Vandersteen 3A
B&W Nautilus 804, 803
Vandersteen 2C
ADS L1590

There are others that I have either enjoyed owning or listening to. I currently own Vandersteen 3A's, which to me are the best bang for the buck ... and if my room was larger (mine is 10x10), I wouldn't hesitate to sell my Vandersteen's and some other gear to buy these. I would have no regrets.

Back to my impression on these Ribbons ...

My wife was with me when I visited Steve. This is important because my wife thinks I listen to music too loud and she isn't into gear, or listening to me talking to guys about audio or music. We were able to enjoy a comfy spot in the center of the room to prepare for listening to a wide variety of music from hard rock to folk to blues .... from the first note, I could tell this would be an experience. The following hours did not disappoint. In fact, at one point during listening at volumes up to live levels, my wife turns to me and says "these sound fantastic!" ... never in my life, has she EVER said music sounded good or great, let alone "fantastic! ...

My brain immediately connected with the idea that for sound to have a full and real presentation, it helps to have sound coming not from just a few source points, but from a ribbon the covers the height range from below to above where my ears could be during sitting or standing. What drew me in was the fact I couldn't get my brain to realize music was coming from those two columns. It truly had a full and wide presentation that opened my mind to the thought that I would enjoy just about any well recorded music, assuming it was music I would consider to be creative ... being a former amateur musician and classical pianist in my early years, I believe that regardless of what kind of music you like (genres) there is always a small section produced by truly inspired and creative people.

By the end of our time at Steve's, I was already thinking what do I need to do to have speakers like these in my space. These are too big for my room, and Steve enlightened me to the fact that these are not stock. And as I suspected after listening to these, that any stock ribbon I buy may not compare with these, and the additional cost to get a design and upgrade parts would not make sense when you have these wonderful speakers to consider. I can't remember any glaring weakness, if any. From deep bass through crisp highs, there was nothing to distract my enjoyment of the music at hand. And isn't that what we all desire? True and vivid reproduced music that makes us feel like we are in the studio, or at the live performance??

Mind you, at the time, these weren't for sale, although he did tell me they would eventually be up for sale. I didn't ask at what price, so when I saw these listed here, it blew my mind he wasn't asking more. Do yourself a favor and put these on your radar ... heck, if you have the ability or desire to head to Central Oregon, I can assure you that if you visit and don't like the speakers, I'm pretty sure you will not think this area has natural beauty! 



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Re: Manufacturers reference Ribbon Speakers for sale
« Reply #2 on: 19 Jun 2017, 12:46 pm »
Did I miss the price?


Re: Manufacturers reference Ribbon Speakers for sale
« Reply #3 on: 19 Jun 2017, 05:31 pm »
Did I miss the price?

$4K plus shipping




Reduced to $3500 plus shipping  No other speaker will compete with these at this price


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The Martin Logan Theos can be bought new and at a similar price with 5yr warranty
Where are the reviews vs the Theos ? If not Would you offer them with a 30 day Full money back guarantee ? This would give confidence to potential buyers.
For AAdvisor will offer that with the Theos. Thank you.


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So you expect reviews of speakers that are 8 yrs old vs a current model when one is a ribbon hybrid and one an electrostatic...and then fish for a 30 day free trial from a private owner like they were a mail order store?
Oh my!!  :o  :lol:


What is Ryan making for you. I have the Joule' them !


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Wow, can't believe someone wants a 30 day deal.....I know Steve a bit and had his ODSE/SE.  He's told me all about these off line and even without hearing them, I'm 99% sure that the ML's aren't even in the same ballpark.  I know many who have heard these at the shows and thought they were awesome sounding speakers.  I still own Steve's server that he used with these as shows and it's the best computer based server I and many others now, have ever heard.