Traditionally the compression driver is the most widely used mid/high frequency driver for high-output loudspeaker systems. Despite several refinements over the years, the compression driver still suffers from limited frequency range, severe harmonic distortion, and serious time smear. The superior sound quality of ribbon-type drivers over other type loudspeakers is commonly recognized. Until recently, however, ribbon drivers could not match the output capability of compression drivers. This paper describes the development of a ribbon type driver using a neodymium magnet structure capable of an output of 137.5 dB peak at 1 m from 1 kHz up. With the application of a specially designed forced cooling, a (theoretical) peak output of 143.5 dB at 4000 W can be achieved.
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