Hopefully, these brief explanations helped further your understanding of speaker types. My intent wasn’t to provide an encyclopedic level of knowledge but to make a small dent in the minds of readers. Like my friend Seth is fond of saying, change happens slowly, drip, by drip, by drip.
What I hoped you’d take away is that all three methods of sound reproduction have both strengths and weakness. None are perfect.
My takeaway remains unchanged. Ribbons are at the top of the heap. The lack of the obstructing magnetic elements of a planar, coupled with their superior dynamic range to an electrostat, wide dispersion, and quick transient qualities, make ribbons the best choice among our not-so-perfect alternatives in transducers.
Regardless of the ribbon’s style—pleated, flat, or folded—a talented designer can achieve high efficiency, low distortion, easy to drive loads, and exceptionally fast transient response in ribbons.
None of this is meant to diss planars or electrostatics—both of which are excellent technologies. In fact, I listen to planars daily and have loved the electrostatics of my past.
Here’s the bottom line. There’s no such thing as a perfect transducer of sound. So, we do our homework, make our best choice, then work within the confines of the transducer’s strengths and weakness.
It is, after all, our best shot at bringing music to life.