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Old 1st August 2013, 08:14 PM   #1
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Default If you had a lot of ESL panels....

I have a lot of old Dayton-Wright ESL panels, maybe 30 or so. Each is about 6 wide x 16 inches high.

So, I've been thinking about some kind of continuous wall of sound*. But I've been wondering about how to think about channels. Obviously, it would be simplest to have just two channels and two amps (and/or bi-amp'ing as needed for subs and maybe tweeters in each channel).

The simplest way is to just have 16 panels on the left with the left channel and 16 on the right with the right channel. That's conventional.

Then I thought maybe better sound would be 12 on the left, 12 on the right, and the middle 8 would still be driven by the L and R amps, but some reversed in position so as to put a bit of R just left of centre and a bit of L just right of centre.

Next up in complexity would be a centre section formed by mixing L and R and feeding it to a third amp (or bi-amp). I have been using a single low-bass channel ("mixed bass") for the last 50 years.

My interests for the moment are purely in addressing the question making a great way to re-create serious music at home if you had a "blank sheet of paper" and a few dozen panels.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Ben
*yes I know, ESLs don't like walls. But for the moment, I am talking about channels, not room placement or other down-the-road questions like that, except as relevant to the larger issues.
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Last edited by bentoronto; 1st August 2013 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 1st August 2013, 11:50 PM   #2
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Thought the Dayton Wright panels required an inert gas environment?

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Old 2nd August 2013, 01:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
Thought the Dayton Wright panels required an inert gas environment?

_-_-
Thanks for your inquiry, but can we focus on channel and sound reproduction issues, please.

(The inert "welder's gas" allows the wide-spaced panels to run at bias voltages up maybe 15kv which results in high efficiency and also can get loud. Also, like a horn, heavy gas makes the one-meter-square films that seal the box (front and rear) into a large driving surface and also, instead of the SaranWrap driving thin air, it drives somewhat thicker welder's gas for a better impedance match. Lets the boxes be sealed from dust. Not everybody's idea of how to make ESLs. These cells work fine (maybe, better) without the gas and the box albeit at lower than out-of-this-world voltages.)

Ben
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Last edited by bentoronto; 2nd August 2013 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 01:46 AM   #4
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Phased arrays? (maybe with a wearable position sensor, so the sweet spot could follow you around)
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Old 2nd August 2013, 04:14 AM   #5
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what's your ceiling height?

I'd vote for a tall floor to ceiling line source. Probably toed in to face across the listening position (perpendicular to the face of the cells) for best results... wide-ish spacing.

That's the easiest and simplest method.

If you have extra cells, then set them up with a LP so that you get LF augmentation, maybe from about 250-300Hz down. As you probably know you can do the LF trick in the drive to the cells themselves.

Something like that, variations on this theme to suit the specific circumstance.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 08:54 AM   #6
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

picking up the idea of an phased array.
Mr. Walker has suggested a segmented wall-to-wall panel, resp. an array of slim panels connected via inductors, to form a delay line with constant delay per segment. Audio signal would be fed into each end.
This arrangement should result in two tilted-against-each-other wavefronts.
Source: Ron Wagner´s Book. fig 15.34.

jauu
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Old 2nd August 2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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Calvin - I thought Walker's Quad ESLs used the segmentation to address beaming and frequency issues - successfully.

For sure, interesting notion to create a wall awash in sound and "corrected" or shaped by phasing the array along its length. Although not sure what kind of inductors could be used to control micro-micro farad ESL panels. In addition, phase is one of those things that seems real important to engineering theoreticians but doesn't seem to matter to human ears unless we are talking big perceptible delays.

Bear - from the point of view of the listener, the source, point, line, or otherwise isn't important, only the stuff that gets to their ears. And that can created in a variety of ways whether cone or film. With ESLs, a narrow source, as you suggest, is a wise move, unless you have a lot of panels to work with. An ESL line-source is also helpful if you imagine listeners can hear comb filtering.

Ben
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Last edited by bentoronto; 2nd August 2013 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 4th August 2013, 09:57 PM   #8
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Can you show a pic of one of these panels?
I think you should think about how to create a flexible way to attach and increment the relative angle between panels, so that you can actually try all the different arrangements that we might suggest. (My first imagined layout is a 'conventional' one, but I can also get more crazy...)
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Old 5th August 2013, 01:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
Calvin - I thought Walker's Quad ESLs used the segmentation to address beaming and frequency issues - successfully.
Walker had many ideas of how to use ESLs to advantage besides the ringed delay network used in Quad's ESL-63. I believe the one Calvin is talking about is illustrated in the attached excerpt from one of his Wireless World articles. Basically an entire wall(floor-to-ceiling) replaced with a horizontally segmented ESL fed from the LHS and RHS and interconnected with delay networks. Ideally the result would be that no matter where you stood or sat in the room you would experience the same stereo image. Of course side wall reflections would complicate matters.

In this day and age, I would think rather than trying to build a HV delay network(requiring high value inductors capable of handling large voltages) one might consider driving each segment from its own amplifier. The input signal for each amplifier could be derived from a pre-amp level analog delay line fed from either and with the left & right stereo signal and with each end terminated with the line's characteristic impedance. Or a few multichannel DSP units would make short work of the incremental delay and summations required.
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Old 5th August 2013, 01:44 AM   #10
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I read - and I can not remember where or who - where it was said that the phased array of Mr. Walker will fail... much to my chagrin, since I always wanted to do this myself.

I do not recall the exact reason at this time that it would fail but I think it has something to do with what the opposing amplifier "sees".

Otoh, it could be done, money no object, by other means today.

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PS. fwiw one can hear comb filtering... or more properly, one may hear it.
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