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Leave ESLs Charged or Switch ON/OFF?
Leave ESLs Charged or Switch ON/OFF?
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Old 24th May 2007, 05:53 PM   #1
wrl is offline wrl  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Default Leave ESLs Charged or Switch ON/OFF?

Hi all,

I was wondering how many of you leave the ESL diaphram constantly charged and how many power it up every time you listen. In the past I have left mine charged, but I'm more concerned once I rebuild that my cat may decide to use the panels as scratching posts while I'm gone. Also a healthy dose of paranoia that I shouldn't leave diy stuff plugged in when I'm not around.

My problem is that I have 100 Mohm resistors in line with the diaphram so it takes quite awhile to fully charge (I'm guessing ~1hr). Can I safely decrease this value and cut down charging time? Also, is there any inherent advantage to leaving the panels charged (i.e. is repeatedly charging/discharging bad for the diaphrams?). I'm using perforated metal stators with mylar and coating from ER audio. I forget the exact description.

Thanks for your input,

Anything worth doing is worth doing right... and redoing to make it better... and again to fix it back the way it was.
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Old 24th May 2007, 06:32 PM   #2
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Budapest, Hungary
I leave mine permanently on (Quad ESL 57). It takes several hours to charge, they reach full performance after one day.

A hint: try a miniature neon lamp instead of the resistor. It has low resistance when the voltage difference between the diaphragm and the voltage source is higher than about 80V, but it has infinite resistance at low voltage difference, when the diaphragm is nearly fully charged. It does drop charging while maintaining infinite load resistance. It charges more quickly, and an added bonus: you can visually detect any leakege (then it charges permanently, and the neon is glowing or blinking).
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Old 24th May 2007, 09:25 PM   #3
maudio is offline maudio  Netherlands
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Netherlands
Default Re: Leave ESLs Charged or Switch ON/OFF?

Originally posted by wrl
My problem is that I have 100 Mohm resistors in line with the diaphram so it takes quite awhile to fully charge (I'm guessing ~1hr).

Even a very large panel (say 2nF capacitance) will charge in < 1 second through 100 Mohm. So decreasing that resistor will not make any difference, when they take an hour the problem is in your membrame coating or in the connecting between membrame and HV-unit.

My ESL's reach full charge in a matter of seconds through 66 Mohm (using the EC coating from MJ Dijkstra). I always switch them off when not in use, to extent life span and it makes me sleep better
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Old 24th May 2007, 10:17 PM   #4
bear is offline bear
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Location: New York State USA

Definitely on.

No good reason why that should be.
As the previous poster said, they would seem to be fully charged and functional reasonably quickly.
However they do not seem to work quite like that to the ears.

http://www.bearlabs.com -- Btw, I don't actually know anything, FYI -- every once in a while I say something that makes sense... ]
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Old 26th May 2007, 05:51 AM   #5
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Location: close to Basel

usually the charging time is much lower than 1 minute, which would mean that You´d better switch off the ESL for energy, ageing, dust and dirt attraction and safety reasons.
On the other hand I feel that sounds improve with my panels over a period of ~2-3 hours. The effect isn´t dramatic and it might be illusionary or a matter of ´learning´, but since others report on the same effect, there might be something to it. This would imply to leave the speaker always on.

I switch it off, because the above named effect is really small and I don´t like to have many devices idling in a standby mode for basically no good reason.

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Old 27th May 2007, 04:38 AM   #6
ak_47_boy is offline ak_47_boy  Canada
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Leaving the mylar charged is slowly eroding it. After a few years of being left on the mylar will get holes, etc. in it.
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