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Old 3rd September 2007, 05:37 PM   #1
Jacobus is offline Jacobus  Netherlands
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Default Full range ESL vs ESL + sub

Hi there,

I recently listened to a pair of ESL from Final, the 600i. I have to say I was very impressed, I never listened to electrostats and I was very pleased with the uncolored sound, the transparency and the fact That I was listening to music and not to Speakers. However, I noticed also that they were missing some body in the midbass and ofcourse there was not much happening below 60Hz or so?. Anyway, it got me thinking. What would be better, a full range electrostat that runs to 50-40 Hz, like e.g. a quad or the Final 1000i or.....a smaller electrostat that runs to say 150Hz and than crosses to a suitable subwoofer, this would add body and ofcourse deeper bass.

curious what you guys prefer.

cheers,

Jacob
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Old 3rd September 2007, 10:13 PM   #2
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The only way to get deep bass from an ESL is to make it really huge, or put your ear right up to the driver. Neither is very practical (except headphones), so an ESL combined with a more "conventional" woofer is the best way to go. Use an active crossover and biamp.

I_F
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Old 4th September 2007, 10:48 AM   #3
Jacobus is offline Jacobus  Netherlands
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But....how deep should the ESL go, as deep as possible or as I mentioned to about 150Hz so that the sub can add more body, besides to the bass, to the midbass also?
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Old 4th September 2007, 11:57 AM   #4
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

what would be better?
well, I say it depends ;-)

Advantages FR-ESL:
- just one way, crossoverless Fullrange
- consistent distribution character through the whole spectrum

Diadvantages:
- size and need of space
- efficiency
- distortion
- dynamics
- most Full rangers need some sort of equalization circuitry
- can be difficult to find a matching amp

Advantages of Hybrid-ESLs:
- comparatively small
- high efficiency
- low distortion
- increased dynamics
- easier to drive
- consistent distribution character through the whole spectrum possible
Disadvantages:
- difficulty to integrate bass and ESL seamlessly (lead to the myth of Hybrids beeing inferior to FRs) but not impossible
- need of crossover and most often additional equing.

So wheigh the pros and cons as You wish and You see what suits Your needs better.

To my taste and opinion a well executed Hybrid beats a FR on every field.

Calvin
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Old 4th September 2007, 05:43 PM   #5
Jacobus is offline Jacobus  Netherlands
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Hi guys,

thanks for the replies! Calvin, thanks for the comprehensive answer! When you are talking about hybrids I assume you also consider a ESL that goes down to 150Hz coupled with a subwoofer a hybrid? (so a 2.1 system basically) in way this is more or less an in between option between a true hybrid (being a esl and woofer in one speaker, where crossover is mostly around 300Hz I think) and a true full range.

cheers,

Jacob
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Old 4th September 2007, 06:50 PM   #6
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

You´re right. I define for me hybrids as a mixture of ESL and dynamic driver technology regardless of crossover frequency, because to my opinion even a large FR-ESL can be considerably improved by mating it with a dynamic driver sub or -bass and crossing it over -thereby reducing the stress of large low-freq-excursions on the ESL.

jauu
Calvin
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Old 9th September 2007, 05:54 PM   #7
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I have been battling the same question for the last two weeks, but have finally decided to go for the hybrid solution. As Calvin said, even a full range ESL will profit from a dynamic (sub)woofer.

In his book "ESL Design Cookbook" Sanders claims that crossovers below 600Hz are not noticeable. So I said to myself, WTH, if a subwoofer is beneficial anyhow, then just accept that there will be a dynamic part and use that to the full, reducing the size of the ESL in the process. (Not to mention easing some other ESL design parameters)
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Old 16th September 2007, 07:24 PM   #8
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I am using a hibryd ESL for some time now.

It is a Quad ESL 57 panel with a 10" low end driver (dipole).
I have mounted them in a baffle of 6cm thick.

The ESL panel has a 24db drop at 250 hz. (it own passiv filter).
I made a active filter with dipole correction for the low driver.

The sound of this system is amazing.
The two systems blend in perfect!

The only thing i didn't think of was the radiation pattern.
The ESL panel has A perfect 8 radiation.
The dipole woofer is more a rond radiation.

It would be better to use a H-frame with an ESL panel.
But you have to watch out for the dipole resonans frequencie.
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Old 19th September 2007, 06:24 AM   #9
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Default Hybrid ESL speakers / corner placed woofers

One option which has not been listed here, and which i do not recall being covered by "the ESL cookbook" is use of corner based woofers combined with ESL front speakers.

This sounds little different from using a subwoofer with an normal ESL, but the key difference is to use a high cross over - like 4-500 Hz.

For details on how to acheive time alignment and suitable woofers, please see www.Lyngdorf.com.

The corner placement of the woofers may help alleviate some of the problems with different radiation patterns from the woofers and the panel which is experienced in normal hybrid esl speakers.

I have heard this arrangement provide good sound with conventional bookshelf speakers supplemented with the W210 lyngdorf corner woofers, but can not repeat this arrangement in my own living room due to my speakers standing in front of a full width build-in cabinet.

BTW - I use two Lyngdorf TDAI2200 to provide X-over and drive my modified ML Sequel II's, and this works out reasonably well.
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Old 19th September 2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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Don't worry about the different radiation patterns as the latter is a function of response vs distance. So it is irrelevant in case of a fixed listening position. It probably isn't a big issue in case of varying distances either as your listening room will have a major impact on the dispersion pattern (which are only valid for certain frequencies anyway)
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