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Old 6th February 2009, 09:21 AM   #1
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Default Do you always keep your ESL power on?

My electrostatic headphone would not sound loud enough the first 15-20 minutes I turn it on. It sounded OK last night, but when I turn it on today the sound is a lot softer. Then I leave it on for a while and come back to listen. The sound grows louder after a while.

I start to wonder if it could be because of the humidity. The weather is getting a lot warmer here and so is the humidity getting higher.

Wachara C.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:35 AM   #2
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

the described phenomenon is quite typical for ESLs. By theory the time to charge the diaphragm up to 90% of the maximum value is defined by the capacitance times the charging resistor of the bias supply. This condition should be fulfilled within a couple of seconds.
But in praxis it seems that even quickly charging ESLs take up to a couple of hours to perform best. Normally it doesn´t sound louder but more ´liquid´. Like a sportsman needing to warm up his muscles before beeing able to reach 100%.
Humidity might play a role in the time the ESL needs to perform top. This could be due to a membrane coating which is sensitive to humidity, as well as spacer construction and material which shows increased leakage under humid conditions.
Changing to a different coating and siliconized spacers (or pure silicone-spacers) might change the issue to the better.

With my ESLs the Bias is not turned off completely, but reduced to ~ the half in standby-mode.

jauu
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Old 6th February 2009, 11:29 AM   #3
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Hi Calvin,

I didn't have this problem last week when the weather was much cooler. I coated the diaphragm with graphite. What do you coat your diaphragm with?

About spacer material, where can I get silicone spacer? I'm using PCB at the moment.

Wachara C.
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Old 6th February 2009, 08:15 PM   #4
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

sorry but I won´t disclude what I use for our commercial products.
For DIY I normally recommend the glue formula. But since this is a water based coating, it probabely won´t help in Your situation. Think that the EC-coating which has been mentioned in some other threads before could be the right thing for You, since it doesn´t rely on water to conduct.

jauu
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Old 9th February 2009, 08:36 AM   #5
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Thanks Calvin.

Wachara C.
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Old 9th February 2009, 10:50 PM   #6
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I second Martin-Jan's EC coating (he's a member of this forum). Surface resistivity is about 10E8-10E9 Ohms/square and rock stable (no change in SR in 6 months, diaphragm in open air), sticks well to PET film, easy to apply and makes a nice thin layer. In short: a very good coating.
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Old 10th February 2009, 02:45 AM   #7
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Hi Arend-jan,

Thanks for your opinion.

Wachara C.
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