New Apogee Like The Old Apogee

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by Josh Ray on October 09 '06

 Images Synergy System-3

Seems Apogee is having a sort of revival. Apogee officially closed its doors back in the 90s, but a new model called the Synergy 1.5 is being produced by an Aussie Apogee repair/recondition house, Apogee Acoustics. Not only is the Aussie Apogee true to the cult-inspiring originals, but it claims to step up the performance a notch. The Synergy 1.5 debuted at the London Hi-Fi News show and has gotten a few magazines excited.

Apogee, for those that don't know, is one of the classic ribbon speaker companies. If you look at the picture above, that skinny line is the tweeter/midrange and the big panel is the bass. The panels are dipoles so sound radiates rearward as well as forward. Basically, the idea behind a ribbon is speed and size. Ribbon aficionados swear that only a ribbon can duplicate the presence of live music. This is a hotly contested issue, of course, but ribbons definitely do have a sound all their own.

Apogee isn't the only one in the ribbon game. Magnapan, Martin Logan and Quad are the biggest manufacturers going with ribbon-like drivers (planar, electrostat, etc.). There are a number of smaller firms using ribbon/planar bass panels and dozens of companies building ribbon tweeters for hundreds of different speakers.

If you've never read an amp review in the last, oh, 20 years, you wouldn't have heard about Apogee's famous amp-roasting capabilities. Most Apogee speakers have a difficult-to-drive 1 ohm load while most speakers are between 4 and 8 ohms. The new speakers are more friendly at 2.5 ohms and a higher efficiency. Then again, the new Synergy 1.5 costs $24,500 which make them quite a bit more expensive than the originals.

Stereophile has coverage of the recent London Hi-Fi News show with many people clamoring for reviews. Check out the Apogee Users Site for more details and past reviews of the classic Apogee speakers.


Actually, only a single Apogee model, the early Scintilla, had a 1-ohm impedance. Almost all other models were in a more reasonable 3-4 ohm range.