My 'new' Calipers

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My 'new' Calipers

Postby Vansloneker on Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:25 am

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Vanslonekers Calipers

Here's a pair of Calipers I recently acquired. They are as you understand original and unrestored. Returning home from a three day trip I briefly put them up, about 30 centimeters in front of the Centaurs, ribbons slightly more inside so at least they are reflecting on the rear wall rather than on the Centaurs.

Turned on the music and .. they are playing! Second impression, they eat power, the volume has to be turned up much more as with the Centaurs.
At first they seem to be a bit lean, but after listening for a while they put up a really nice image that comes alive. Very relaxed, was surprised by some unexpected detail, however in general there's is nothing of the almost magnifying detail the Centaurs (with KLM-5 ribbons and reworked X-over) expose.
What they do have is that wonderful smooth foil woofer bass.
Regardless of their age and worn, a pleasure to listen to and I am happy with these Calipers.


Now I am burning to work on the caps. There's a limited supply of AmpOhm polypropylene caps still available but it probably won't be long before they are sold out and with AmpOhm being in receivership there won't be new supply.
For as much as I found on the internet the caps of the Caliper are one bank of four 10uF caps and one bank of two 10uF caps. I have opened one speaker and the four white 10uF caps are clearly indicated, but the two yellow caps have no for me understandable information on them.
The view on the caps was made worse by the fact they are under the sock that apparently never has been opened.
I feel a little doubt there, opening the socks that fit tight. On the other hand, opening and removing the socks would enable me to wash them. They are dirty! I gently wiped a damp towel over the ribbon part of the sock and dirt kept coming off! The Calipers definitely would look better with clean socks.

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Never opened

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Uncovered

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Sagging ribbon when flat


Finally I noticed they have a weird serial. It looks like they started printing an '8' then later changed to '5'. This on both left and right speaker.

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Weird serial


[note: to enlarge images, right click/view image]
poor guy
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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby Scinemaniac on Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:45 pm

nice pics

looks more like 3 than 8
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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby Vansloneker on Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:00 pm

Thanks.
You're right: 3.
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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby gilles13 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:55 pm

Very interesting for me as I have calliper signature bought in 1990. 91 that I enjoy a lot.
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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby Vansloneker on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:07 pm

I was able to visit the distributor, who's core business it is to produce transformers -both industrial and audiophile, and collect the AmpOhm caps. With a friendly employee we went to the stack, an impressive sight of mostly p.i.o. 'cans'.

The employee had taken an approximately little larger than A4 bubbled bag but this proved too small and had to be changed for a box. In a review it once was said "Words cannot describe how big this capacitor is" and this proved very true.

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AAA batteries for size comparison


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"Words cannot describe how big this capacitor is"


With 39.8uF and 20.3uF +/-5% I came reasonably close to the stock 20uF and 40uF +/-10%. Exacting 20 and 40 would have involved using many 1uF caps and about doubling the costs.

I am very curious what they will do, but also aware the ribbon is pretty much used so expect no miracles. It will be a miracle however to somewhere find a place to put them inside the Calipers...
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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby Graz on Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:34 am

I would not expect the sound to be lean from a Caliper vs Centaur, generally. Welcome to the full planar club 8-)

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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby Vansloneker on Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:33 pm

Thanks for your reply Graz!

I may have expressed my experience using the wrong word but it's not important. Fact is, the Calipers put up a broader image as the Centaur indeed.
In the past you and others have commented I had the Centaurs too far apart and I feel inspired to try to put them closer together, just curious what it will do.
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Re: My 'new' Calipers

Postby Vansloneker on Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:36 pm

Listened to the Centaurs for a couple of weeks, and it was no real turn-off!

Back to the Calipers, not always in the right mood but when I am...
They are far from perfect but still put up the magic. I have some artists with a particular timbre that only seem to really work with a planar woofer, like the Caliper has. The voices come from nowhere, stand in the room as they are there. Well almost. But they do bring all the emotion.
On the other hand, more complicated music is, as they are now not where they excel. It's not that it's NOT good on the Calipers, far from that. But here is where the Centaur's ribbons and cross-overs pay off.

There is no listening fatigue with the Calipers, once in the mood I hardly can't stop and I had to do strange things just to stop playing music in time.

One very special experience is, Albert Einstein would have loved it, listening becomes time-less. I always have a strong sense of the structure of a song, beginning, chorus, middle section, ending etc.
When in the mood and listening to the Calipers, it just is not there and I often get caught by the end: is it already over?
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