Author Topic: Apogee speakers  (Read 517 times)

Offline Cross_over

Apogee speakers
« on: July 25, 2020, 08:29:00 AM »
Apogee was a manufacturer of electro magnetic planar speakers with true ribbon tweeters starting in 1982 and releasing their first speaker (the sa called Full Range) in 1983. This was shortly after followed by the famous (infamous?) amp killer, Scintilla, that dropped down to less than 1 Ohm impedance. They created the market for huge American muscle amps that could double as welding machines.

Forward to aroud 89/90 when AV Imports were importing Apogee along with "budget" amplifier brand Aragon that was one of the less expensive amplifiers capable of driving the Aps. At the time that AV Imports started to distribute Apogee in the country the range had evolved into the Diva, Duetta Signature, Caliper Signature, Stage and the hybrid Centaurus range that had more amplifier friendly impedances of ~ 3 - 4 Ohm and ~ 5 - 6 Ohm for the hybrids.

In the early 90's my brother and I started selling high end hi fi equipment from home, amongst other reasons to be able to afford our first joint pair of Apogee Centaurus Minors. At the time we were also introduced to the full range panels and I developed a love for the sound.

Years later when Francois of, what was now called AV Specialists, was cleaning out their store room he came accross two pairs of Centaurus Minors of which the ribbon teeeters were in tact but the woofers were gone. I bought them for next to nothing and installed a pair of Dynaudio drivers that worked possibly even better than the original Vifa woofers and lived with them for many years as my main speakers. But I really really wanted a pair of the full range panels.

It had to be the Caliper Signatures because anything bigger would not work in my room. By now all Apogees are 30 + years old and will be in need of replacement membranes and replacements are not available for the Stage (smallest full range panel), only the Cal Sigs and up.

So finally a pair of Cal Sigs were for sale and I managed to buy them thanks to the patience of the seller. I will use this thread to document the process of rebuilding my Apogees.

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Offline DeonC

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 08:48:40 AM »
This will be interesting. I read somewhere that the later Scintillas had a more amp-friendly impedance. Still a speaker I would love to hear/own some day.
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.

Offline ish

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 10:47:58 AM »
I have a pair of Cantaurs. I love the sound of them . The sweet spot is the size of a 50 cent coin  which is a drawback but made up for in the sweetness
Ish
Never give up ,never slow down,never grow old, never ever die young (James Taylor)

Offline Cross_over

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 11:53:32 AM »
First part of the challenge wss getting the two 56kg each boxes from Edenvale to Hermanus. Courier Guy got the job and they delivered two monster boxes shortly after. Upon unpacking them I found the right jand speaker to be in reasonably good condition, but, as the seller disclosed, the left hand bass panel was dead. Also the paint needed cleaning up. T.b.c.

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Offline Jozua_2019

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 12:29:40 PM »
These speakers are special but need to be treated with the utmost care.

For low level listening they should be fine.  Play them loud and the  bass section will most likely be the first to fail and the hf ribbon will become over-stretched.

The are highly collectable when fully functional.

Offline chrisc

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Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 01:31:57 PM »
Adagio in Stellenbosch has a pair of these
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Offline Cross_over

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 10:58:15 PM »
The first step was to find the reason why the left hand panel was dead. With the help of a multimeter I found which track was open circuit. I found some reasonably priced silver conductive paint on Bidorbuy and repaired the faulty track, as well as covering previously repaired spots on the ribbon with the paint. As if by magic the left hand speaker was working again and I went about setting the speakers up properly. The sound is as awesome as I remember from all those years ago. They don't pass the Roger Waters Three Wishes test yet, but on more Apogee friendly music they sound sublime. At least I can enjoy them for now until I can order replacement membranes for them.

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Offline dimitri

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 01:19:56 PM »
Congratulations on your "new" speakers!
I am glad that these went to a good home.
As someone who has appreciated & owned Apogees for the last 20 years, I can feel for your enthusiasm and dedication!

Offline Cross_over

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2020, 02:59:55 PM »
Congratulations on your "new" speakers!
I am glad that these went to a good home.
As someone who has appreciated & owned Apogees for the last 20 years, I can feel for your enthusiasm and dedication!

Tell us more about your Apogees and associated system please.
The only exercise I get is jumping to conclusions

Offline dimitri

Re: Apogee speakers
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 08:56:11 PM »
Hi "cross-over".
I was bitten by the Apogee bug back in 1987 when I auditioned a pair Duettas mkII in Boston MA as a graduate student.
Currently I have a pair of Duetta Signatures and a pair of Stages.
Electronics are a set of Sphinx pre and power amp .
Also a set of Tandberg pre and power amp.
The electronics are modest considering that there is plenty of room for improvment.
Nevertheless I find them very enjoyable.
My point of reference is a pair of Apogee Divas that I own overseas. That system took me 10 years to put together and back then my approach was more extreme.
Maybe that's the reason (and costs for sure!!!) that I have a more moderate approach with the smaller Apogees.
I have never listened to Caliper Signatures. I did visit the previous owner of your speakers but unfortunately he didn't have them set up.
What  are you driving them with?