Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Planars & Exotics ESL's, planars, and alternative technologies

ESL woofer- anybody game?
ESL woofer- anybody game?
Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 9th January 2012, 05:33 PM   #21
stokessd is offline stokessd  United States
diyAudio Member
stokessd's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Grantham, NH
Originally Posted by glorocks View Post
They guy to ask here is Sheldon Stokes- He repairs Quads on the side.
Did I hear my name?!

The original Quad ESL had the conductive coating on the outside of the bass panels. They were not made of circuit board material, but hard plastic. Including the stator thickness, the diaphragm to stator spacing is about 0.2"

The Quad ESL63's use a thin circuit board like material with the copper conductive regions on the outside. The D/S spacing is about 2.5".

I tend to agree with Calvin, an ESL woofer could be made to work, but it's far from ideal. There are two big issues with an ESL woofer (I should say subwoofer, because we are concerned with the bottom couple octaves here).

1) the ESL is a dipole, and it's Vas is enormous, so you can't really put it in a box. This means that the output is going to be rolling off at about 6 dB per octave starting when the wavelength reproduced is about 4X the shortest dimension. For my 20" wide ESLs, this equates to a low frequency rolloff starting about 800 Hz or so. I EQed the snot out of them and can get respectable performance to 130Hz, where I cross over to a very good moving coil driver in a transmission line enclosure (Seas Excel, in a 100 lb box) That combination can de-bone chickens with the dynamics. However, continuing to EQ lower and lower results in transformer saturation issues, and general loss of dynamics and impact because the driver is just beating the air around it more than doing anything overly productive.

2) ESL's tend to have a nasty resonant point (by moving coil standards), which you'll have to damp out. The cell geometry and construction tricks can move that peak around. For example, I use stabilizing "dots" rather than a support that runs the length of the panel. This gives me the mylar support I need for stability, but results in a much lower resonant point, than an unbroken support. You can damp this resonance electrically, but it's going to be a deep notch, and will take a lot of measuring and tuning. You could also damp it physically: The Quad 63's use a fine nylon screen over one of the stators (the back one), to damp out the resonant peak. This strikes me as a much better idea than trying to do it electrically.

All your musical energy is in the bass, so you will need some big and very good transformers to handle the power without saturating or getting generally nasty with your signals.

One of the things that my DIY ESL's have taught me is that my ear isn't overly sensitive to bass reinforcement type. My friends and I built a set of dipole woofers (using Lambda acoustics woofers), and it was very difficult to justify the increased size, weight, and presence of the dipoles vs. a good transmission line. But that's with a crossover point at 130 Hz (4th order). Martin logan has a habit (or did) of crossing over higher and more shallowly, so there is more musical information coming out of the woofer. I tried to minimize that at the expense of ultimate SPL (due to EQing the panel).

My view (take with NaCl):
If I were to build another set of ESLs (I've already got the parts, I'm just waiting for my motivation to arrive), I'd built a wire frame (like the audiostatic speakers) and segment it. This would kill two birds with one stone. First it would vastly improve the dispersion, second I would mechanically EQ it by electrically bringing in more and more of the panel width as frequency drops. This would allow my crossover to be much more simple, and I'd bet would get me into the 100Hz range or a little lower just with resistors on the stator wires. Then I'd cross over to a nice metal cone woofer in a resonant free enclosure. I guarantee that I can outperform a door sized ESL with a good 8" woofer in a TL enclosure.
  Reply With Quote
Old 9th January 2012, 10:06 PM   #22
glorocks is offline glorocks  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
The guru has spoken. Thank you, Sheldon. I built your DIY 'stats a couple of years ago, and actually bought a pair of trafos from you. The result was very good- I'm still listening to them. How are you, by the way?
I know most folks like to cross into a dynamic LF at some point, and I did that, using T-Line enclosures as you did. The result was a real crowd pleaser, although the 3M double sided tape doesn't hold the membrane as long as we would like.
I am still, however, curious about what would happen if I could get those next 2 octaves from an electrostat. (I'm crossing at 200 Hz)
The whole idea of this forum is to experiment, for better or worse, so I am going to press on. We all certainly hope you will tune in here from time to time -
  Reply With Quote
Old 9th January 2012, 10:15 PM   #23
glorocks is offline glorocks  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Perhaps you will share your ideas for building a wire frame? I tried to build one many years ago ala Roger Sanders and it was a build nightmare, ultimately not ever working.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 12:34 AM   #24
bear is offline bear
expert in tautology
diyAudio Member
bear's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New York State USA
ESL woofer- anybody game?
Acoustats measure to 35Hz.
I have measured them there... a long time ago, but they go to 35Hz.

Tyu, that is an "autoformer" and I would personally not use that method.

...the "other side" of the bias supply is at ground. Now one of the stators is at ground.
It can not move WRT ground. Only the other side of the xfmr develops voltage WRT ground. That is now 2x the voltage that was formerly present.

Perhaps I'm missing something here...

http://www.bearlabs.com -- Btw, I don't actually know anything, FYI -- every once in a while I say something that makes sense... ]
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 02:41 AM   #25
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
Sin Bin
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Front Row Center
Is that 3db down at 35 hz ..?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 02:44 AM   #26
john65b is offline john65b  United States
diyAudio Member
john65b's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
And which model Acoustat are we talking of?

Only the other side of the xfmr develops voltage WRT ground.
So the diaphragm is no longer push pull, "driven" only from one stator. Planars (maggies) work this way too - as the magnets are only on one side of the diaphragm.

I just don't get why output can be higher if one stator is not "driving" the diaphragm....seems like it should be 6db less...

Maybe your getting out of the LF phase cancellation issue with ESL by going single stator? Maybe only higher output just on the LF?

Sorry if this is an ESL 101 stuff...I am new to ESL's.
I Speak Spanish to God, Italian to Women, French to Men, and German to My Horse. Charles V

Last edited by john65b; 10th January 2012 at 02:57 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 04:44 AM   #27
Forman313 is offline Forman313  Norway
diyAudio Member
Forman313's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Is it even possible to build an ESL subwoofer?

Im just thinking out loud here.. and I have no experience on the subject.
Sub bass is generated by moving massive amounts of air. And with the Xmax of an ESL panel, it just doesnt seem possible without an enormous diaphragm surface area. IE. enough to cover the etire wall and then some.

A woofer for moderate SPL levels sounds reasonable if enough money and brains are put into it, but sub bass? Really?

I love ESLs. I have a pair of stax and I absolutely love them. But I cant imagine the already huge stax panels scaled up for use in a whole room.
An H-shaped frame will help a lot, but to what extent are you planning on keeping the "ESL-sound" ?

Suddenly im not so certain anymore.. with some compromise and a lot of MBAT, it might work.
Im still not on board with the sub part, but a real nice woofer...

Good luck man

Now get a move on. Get it done .. I cant wait to read about your next undertaking
Tweak or die!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 12:57 PM   #28
tyu is offline tyu  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Less just say thay sold about 1000pr of the SL3 with this setup an thay sounded great...I have had one pr of SL3 with the SE setup.4 wire panels.....an a pr setup like there schematic....When thay went to the All pushpull setup thay had to put the limiter in....To stop panel noise from the tranfourmers......Bear i dont think you are missing anything...it is what it is..Most say it the same as pushpull with the back of the panel on the neg.input from the amp....i have as siad i have put this on all my ESL an it sounds better the any pushpull setup i have had....mybe if you were winding your own tranfourmers...you could get the winding off the centap the same but i have not seen a tube amps output tranfourmer...or any tranfourmer that had maching sides....
As Siad....You GET more output2-3db.
Less Fluxing of the panel better sound less smearing.
Less arking...i have fond this in some bad panels..Setup both ways..
I have found No use of the Earth ground on the setup tranfourmers ....just the neg.input from the amps in any of the ML...thay did the earth on the frist CLS an Seqels...then move away from this an i have all ways floted my stock Acoustats an Soundlabs an got much better sound.

On paper people say a 5watt SE class A tube amp wont have a nufe to drive a real speakers.. we no this is not the case...SE.5watt sounds more like a 30-50watt pushpull tube amp...
An look at the Pass Zen amps...one fet ran classA..sounds more like 50watts..

This has been working great ....from the 90s...

I am only after geting the best sound out of ESL....An this is a Diy form...No games No BS..But like we all no if you dont go you wont NO...
Thanks for your time
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 02:54 PM   #29
hella356 is offline hella356  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
In my smallish room, I briefly set up my Acoustat 2+2 (modded Medallions with Counterpoint amp) alongside my own Acoustat 3+1 config (stock Servo amps), this combo having 8 panels per side. I don't have any measuring equipment, but playing test tones I was getting very strong response through the entire bass range down to 25Hz with diminished, but usable output at 20Hz.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 03:17 PM   #30
tyu is offline tyu  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Are thay anyone who think theM3 thats 3ea. 9"x48" Acoustat panels can,t give 35hz????

I have had a pr of M4 Acoustat..that 2ea.9"x48" an 2 ea 8"x48" in each speaker..All stock parts in the 121 interfaces....the highend was rooled down to i would say 16khz
BUt the low end was.....well look the speakers are big....i well say it as if you had 8ea. 12"drivers pr side ezey...so go fig...good 35hz...but i well be the frist too say the top is roll down....an runing them full rang FOR ME.... thay did not get it...today i have a pr of Acoustat M3 with a 12"x48"....the M3s With just the Stock Acoustat T1 base tranfourm..only get 200hz down an the 12"x48"creaved panel takes the 200hz up....Best base ever...... thanks for any info on ESL
  Reply With Quote


ESL woofer- anybody game?Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Janszen Model 1 (New ESL & Woofer Arrangement) bolserst Planars & Exotics 22 12th November 2009 09:42 PM
(sub)woofer for esl justice strike Planars & Exotics 15 1st September 2009 08:58 PM
newbie needs help with dipole woofer hybrid esl CharlieM Planars & Exotics 4 26th February 2008 10:03 PM
woofer array for ESL? Few Planars & Exotics 2 15th April 2004 04:39 PM
Best 500Hz and down woofer for pairing with ESL? Bas Horneman Planars & Exotics 55 6th August 2003 01:44 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:43 AM.

Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 15.00%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2018 diyAudio