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to ESL or to ribbon?
to ESL or to ribbon?
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Old 9th November 2008, 02:43 PM   #1
lekguan is offline lekguan  Singapore
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Singapore
Default to ESL or to ribbon?

I have read a few thread saying that ESLs need room to breathe to sound good. My room is small, approx 10m^2, almost square. If I make a hybrid ESL of typical size about 30cm in width or so, I would be able to keep it off the sides of the wall about 30cm, and close to a meter off the back wall.

My question would be, whether it would make better sense therefore to look towards ribbons instead (i.e. will ribbons sound better in such a situation, given a smaller budget, hopefully under half a grand)? Or will ESLs still sound good in a room like this?

Oh yes, another consideration is that I may also utilize the speakers for watching movies. Besides dispersion, will either have a certain advantage over the other in this respect?
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Old 10th November 2008, 10:13 PM   #2
JmanGTA is offline JmanGTA  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
ESL's are dipole so they have very little output to the sides - i.e doesn't matter if they are close to a side wall.

A meter from the front wall is ok. The more space behind the better but that is a decent amount for good sound.
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Old 10th November 2008, 10:35 PM   #3
Allen Wright is offline Allen Wright  Switzerland
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Schaffhausen Switzerland
Ribbons and ESLs have the same basic radiation pattern, so in your small room they will have the same problems, and the same benefits.

Use what you can get.

Regards, Allen
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Old 4th December 2008, 02:53 PM   #4
charles.david is offline charles.david  Jamaica
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Smile Positioning

Having listened to and evaluated both Electrostatic and Ribbons, I would say that as long as you have a minimum of 4-8 feet behind and in front of both speakers you should be good. Having said that, I agree with other comments made, the side's are not as important, however the more room you can manage around them the better. Positioning is quite subjective as well, so you just have to decide what works best for you. Also I found that the degree of toe-in can make vast improvements in the spatial quality of your sound, more so than cabinet speakers. Movie watching with either can be done but since they are best listened to flat, you might be missing out when it comes to that Dolby business. If it is a question of funds, ribbons may be cheaper and provide more bang for your buck.
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