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Old 17th January 2012, 04:32 AM   #1
kctess5 is offline kctess5  United States
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Default Budget ESL

I'm looking into making some ESLs but I'm on a very tight budget and I'm wondering what the cheapest I could make a hybrid system. I won't need a crossover because I can use the one from my current system.

I could use the sub from my main system also as I will be using only one at a time (though maybe I could use one pair as surrounds)

Also how small do you think I could make them? My space is pretty small so I need to have them as small as possible. I would guess that square would be the best shape (actually circular, but thats tricky to make) for dealing with the phase cancelation but I don't know too much about it.
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Old 17th January 2012, 05:07 AM   #2
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You can make them any size you want too!
I use wire mesh because of cost reason but it does have its issues to over come.
Most use pereforated metal and is probably the easiest and most fool proof method and cost won't be so bad if you are just planing on build some smaller panels since it sound like you have most every thing else.

Here are some pictures from this morning of my little panels that I finally got running again after quite some time.
As well as some preliminary test data.
These have been EQ'd to be flat as well, using a Mackie 32-8 mixing boards filters.

enjoy !!

jer
Attached Images
File Type: jpg stereo panels.jpg (126.5 KB, 447 views)
File Type: jpg test setup.jpg (120.7 KB, 426 views)
File Type: jpg test data 1.jpg (94.8 KB, 417 views)
File Type: jpg test data 2.jpg (76.6 KB, 401 views)
File Type: jpg Construction.jpg (101.9 KB, 407 views)

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 17th January 2012 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 17th January 2012, 06:13 AM   #3
kctess5 is offline kctess5  United States
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Haha thats sick, it looks like that stuff they use to make shopping carts. Thanks for the info!
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Old 17th January 2012, 06:25 AM   #4
kctess5 is offline kctess5  United States
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Idk where the most recent post went because I got the email about it but its not here haha

I did in fact mean sick haha, keep in mind I'm 16, we have our very own language

Urban Dictionary: sick
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Old 17th January 2012, 07:26 AM   #5
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

the cheapest You can build is probabely a wire stator like the Audiostatic.
A plastic frame, 1/10-1/5 inch thick, of pvc or similar, that holds a bunch of parallel cross linking rods to which the wire is attched. The rods may be rectangular pieces of plastic, or metal. The wire may be single stranded H05-VU or H07-VU, a pvc insulated wire for main household purposes (as such easy sourceable and cheap). I got the plastic for my first ESL for free (some leftover pieces they couldn´t use for anything else any more). Bought the roll of wire and the aluminium rods in a DIY-shop, but You may get even that for free from a scrapyard. Glued the diaphragm with double sided sticky carpet tape from TESA to the frame. Took a lot of effort and time to straighten the wires but that didn´t count budgetwise. The most costly parts were the audio trannies, but with a segmented wire stator You can even try a bunch of cheap and simple EI-power transformers (I used a sixpack of 10VA, 6V/230V). For biasing the membrane a cascade is ok. Lowcost parts may be found in a surplus store.

jauu
Calvin
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Stator 1st Edition 01small.jpg (86.4 KB, 234 views)
File Type: jpg Stator 2nd Edition 02small.jpg (85.2 KB, 187 views)
File Type: jpg MiniESEL Stator01 small.jpg (98.9 KB, 193 views)

Last edited by Calvin; 17th January 2012 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 17th January 2012, 08:08 AM   #6
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

some data.
Stator 1: 1440x240mm | frame 30x5mm PVC | 40pcs. of Wire H07-VU (diam. 2.65mm) spaced 4.25mm apart | d/s 2.35mm | 4.5µm Hostaphan diaphragm | membrane-coating after my glue formula (cheap, transparent, non-toxic, easy to mix) | Grafit33 as sprayed on bias contact strip | 10x2mm rectangular aluminum rods as cross linking rods | household glues like TESA or UHU to glue the frame structure together | TESA double sided sticky carpet tape to glue the membrane to the frame | 5 segments (3 electrical) arranged symmetrically around the vertcal axis

Stator 2: basically the same, apart from 10x10 square aluminum tubes as cross linking rods | Household aluminum foil as bias contact strip |

Stator Mini: 790x130mm | frame 18*4mm unfilled PVC | 20pcs. of Wire H07-VU (diam. 2.65mm) | 5x5mm massive steel rods as cross linking rods | Household aluminum foil as bias contact strip | 3 segments (2 electrical) arranged symmetrically around the vertical axis

jauu
Calvin
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Old 17th January 2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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Here are a few more methods,

this method similar to what Calvin had described and is the construction idea that I had borrowed from,

ESL woofer- anybody game?

How to construct a cube louver (Acoustat)

I may try this method using some Kynar covered wire wrap wire for some small panels.
I had recently found a source of it for $30 to $40 for a 1000' spool.
There are a few larger threads dedicated to this method of construction.

Here are some TIG welding wire stators that I have done.
They just need to be coated with some polyurathene or some clear acrylic enamel to be finished.
I had just found a cheap source of Clear acrylic for $1.69 for a can.

I am planning another panel of the same size as the one I posted using TIG rod.
Because I have plenty of it and found I difficult ( although not impossible) to seal my old panels to handle the extremely high bias voltages that I am aiming for.
Right now they run nicely at 7.5kv to 8kv of bias voltage.

ESL woofer- anybody game?

I like building the smaller panels and the sound just as good as a larger one (quality wise).
It actually takes 2 or 3 of those panels to match the efficiency of a small woofer using a very high transformation ratio (1:255 to 1:500).
I am getting very close to it though using higher than normal bias and driving voltages.

Using I very high transformation ratio demands a lot from the amplifier and warrants a custom wound unit as the stray capacitance of the transformer is in the order of 10 times that of the panel.

My little panels have a capacitance of 35pf to 60pf and my transformer has 600pf.
This with the very high transformation ratio that I am using brings my impedance down to the 1ohm or less range at 20Khz, and, only 1/10 of the power is being used to create the sound.

So surface area is the key.
Build them as big as you can get away with and you should have no problems driving them using the common methods described in these threads.

How to construct a cube louver (Acoustat)

One of my very First panels was has a 8" X 22" diagphram and it performed nicely For a smaller sized panel.
I have not ran the thing since I had built it in 2003.
I have to build some new frames for the Diagphram and they will be in working order again.
I will be doing this some time very soon so I will post the results once I get them going again.

They used wire mesh as well and spray paint as the coating.
But if you use this method stay away from any paints that have pigment in it mostly white (titanium Dioxide),Use one color coat if you must and then use a clear for the rest.
And red oxide primers are okay as they have a high content of talc and this is good the rest use titanium dioxide so don't use those.
I have found that Titanium dioxide conducts quite well at high voltages.
There are pictures of those posted also somewhere.

How to construct a cube louver (Acoustat)


When I started I had no job and no money so I became obsessed with how cheaply can I build these things and you would be surprised in all of the commonly available materials that you can build these out of.

Here are a few more must read threads,

Jazzman's new stat panels

are ESL's, planars etc for me?

different ideas for ESL panels

Start to Finish ESL Hybrid

diyAudio - Search Results

Anyone know of a US source for ESL toroids?

Your biggest investment will be the Bias Supply and Step up Transformers.
But with all of the help of the talented and crafty DIYer's in these threads some very viable and extremely affordable resources have been revealed.

Good luck !!!!

jer

P.S. If you have any questions at all just ask there is always someone to have an answer.

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 17th January 2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 17th January 2012, 01:40 PM   #8
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The transformers and power supplies shown on my blog page below are about as inexpensive as it gets: jazzman-esl-page.blogspot.com/
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Old 17th January 2012, 02:39 PM   #9
kctess5 is offline kctess5  United States
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Wow thanks for all the info guys! When I get back home ill go over all those links and stuff.

Thanks Charlie for that, I actually read your website from start to finish before I made this thread. I didn't realize that kit was for sale, I may have to take you up on it.

And Calvin thanks for your info and pics. I'll compare the two methods to see how much I could save and how much longer and harder it would be
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Old 17th January 2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kctess5 View Post
Thanks Charlie for that, I actually read your website from start to finish before I made this thread. I didn't realize that kit was for sale, I may have to take you up on it.
Actually, I don't sell ESL's or components-- just sharing the info and bargains I found while researching and building my own ESL speakers. For example, the trannys and power supplies I use can be assembled for just $125; which is about as cheap as can be, I'd say.

Last edited by CharlieM; 17th January 2012 at 04:05 PM.
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