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Old 16th February 2016, 01:01 AM   #1
bengel is offline bengel  United States
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Default About to take the ESL plunge

Hi,

I am a somewhat experienced speaker builder, building/designing several sets of conventional loudspeakers (including my most recent set that uses an active crossover).

Been getting the speaker building itch again and decided I would like to try a set of ESL's.

Just started doing my research on this and as such been reading Ken Seibert's and Jazzman's sites on their projects.

I'm looking to do the wire stator version. I would like build a full range version (or at the least get good, flat response down to 80hz) but not sure what size panels I would need to achieve that.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice for me as a newbie to ESL's?
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Old 16th February 2016, 01:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bengel View Post
Hi,

I am a somewhat experienced speaker builder, building/designing several sets of conventional loudspeakers (including my most recent set that uses an active crossover).

Been getting the speaker building itch again and decided I would like to try a set of ESL's.

Just started doing my research on this and as such been reading Ken Seibert's and Jazzman's sites on their projects.

I'm looking to do the wire stator version. I would like build a full range version (or at the least get good, flat response down to 80hz) but not sure what size panels I would need to achieve that.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice for me as a newbie to ESL's?
With ESL's if we look at well established manufacturers like Martin Logan
and Quad ,they all curve the panel area.

Listening to ESL's that lack curving is very difficult and almost ridiculous.
You end up with extreme beaming, but with a curved panel excellent reproduction.

You should try to hear Quad ESL's and Martin Logans, to ascertain how
curving the panel is an essential requirement.
http://www.quadesl.com/pdf/quad_book.pdf

and a great video showing what is involved with
building them at Martin Logan https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinLoganSpeakers

Cheers / Chris




the panel
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Old 16th February 2016, 02:56 AM   #3
golfnut is offline golfnut  New Zealand
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Hi Bengel

I suggest searching the DIYaudio site for segmented ESLs.

Segmented ESLs have the manufacturing advantage of flat ESLs, a broad listening area of curved ESLs (actually better, better too than many conventional speakers), and without the distortion of curved ESLs. They are ideally built as a line source - tall but relatively small footprint.

They can be made easily as a wire ESL, or using PCB - there are examples of both here.

You should also check out the paper by Baxandall there is a copy at Links & info - The wire electrostatic Loudspeaker page it is probably the best resource for ESL designers. There is also the paper by White (me) on segmented ESLs available on the same site Its a bit terse for DIY, but it has the basic design formulae for the segmented line-source ESL. Amongst the DIY searches you should also find an excel simulator that you can use to check the design.

For a full range ESL, you should expect a reasonably large area perhaps 0.5 m^2 or bigger - see formula for area vs cutoff frequency in the paper. The diaphragm resonance is also used to boost the bass - much like a bass reflex. I can flesh out details once you are underway.


good luck
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Old 16th February 2016, 04:34 AM   #4
bengel is offline bengel  United States
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Definitely looking at how to deal with the beaming. Interestingly I have a small pair of magnepans and they beam like mirrors.

So trying to decide if I should do segmented or curved. I have access to sheet metal roller that will do something like 24 inches long...so I could do that.


Right now I am trying to understand why you would stick spacers to the diaphragm. Seems like adding mass to it would be counter productive.....Though I do understand that they keep the diaphragm from slamming into the stators
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Old 16th February 2016, 09:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bengel View Post
Right now I am trying to understand why you would stick spacers to the diaphragm. Seems like adding mass to it would be counter productive.....Though I do understand that they keep the diaphragm from slamming into the stators
The spacers attach to the stators and support the diaphragm but, since they are stationary, they add no mass at all to the diaphragm.
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Old 16th February 2016, 02:25 PM   #6
bengel is offline bengel  United States
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Just curious, given the option of making 30 inch tall by X inches wide curved panels or 36 inch tall by X inches wide flat segmented wire panels..... which would be "better" (knowning " better" is subjective :-) )
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Old 16th February 2016, 02:37 PM   #7
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Bengel,

I concur with Golfnut on segmentation… it works beautifully. My current segmented welding rod panels sound great but were very time consuming to build, since I had to splice all 540 rods to get them to 48” length, and the plastic supporting grids are not nearly as visually appealing as my old perf metal panels were.

I’m now planning another pair of segmented panels using insulated copper wire supported by a wooden lattice that should be quite visually appealing. And I really like segmentation. My current panels even have a multi-pole rotary switch in the loop that allows me to select either narrow dispersion mode (resistor networks jumped over) or wide dispersion mode (resistor networks in). You certainly can’t do that with perf-metal panels!

Most of the time, I leave them in wide dispersion mode, even for solo listening.

I’ve not actually built any curved panels so I won’t comment on those.
Good luck with your project!

Charlie (Jazzman)
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Old 16th February 2016, 06:04 PM   #8
bengel is offline bengel  United States
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I think I would limit myself to 36 inches tall unless I could find some straight metal rod longer. Splicing 500+ rods would drive me crazy :-)


I was looking at this stuff for the supporting grids, which I think looks better, it is hexagonal holes..... any issues you can see with it? ParaHex

Also, I think a hybrid is only thing practical for my 1st project. Definitely will be using active crossovers, for that I will use this kit... I like the analog-ness of them: Linkwitz-Riley Electronic Crossover

I could use some pointers on designing the transmission line "box" on the bottom. I've never designed a transmission line speaker before (just standard sealed and ported).

Thanks...
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Old 17th February 2016, 02:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bengel View Post
I think I would limit myself to 36 inches tall unless I could find some straight metal rod longer. Splicing 500+ rods would drive me crazy :-)


I was looking at this stuff for the supporting grids, which I think looks better, it is hexagonal holes..... any issues you can see with it? ParaHex

Also, I think a hybrid is only thing practical for my 1st project. Definitely will be using active crossovers, for that I will use this kit... I like the analog-ness of them: Linkwitz-Riley Electronic Crossover

I could use some pointers on designing the transmission line "box" on the bottom. I've never designed a transmission line speaker before (just standard sealed and ported).

Thanks...
The plastic hex grid should work fine. And so too the 24db/octave LR crossover.

Modeling a transmission line leads to insanity. But if you're up for the math you might try Martin J. King's TL calculator. King's math was over my head so I just used the generic guidelines in Sanders' ESL Cookbook; which are basically as follows:
- Line length should be about 1/4 wavelength of the lowest desired frequency
- For folded lines, the wall behind the woofer should be curved such that standing waves cannot rebound to the woofer cone.
- Line section area at the woofer should be at least 125% of the woofer's piston area (s/d) and should taper to 100% of s/d at the terminus.
- Stuffing density should be about 0.5 lbs/ft3.
- In order to best blend with the ESL's near-zero Q, choose a woofer with low Q, low inductance and a strong magnet--low inductance being most important.
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Old 17th February 2016, 03:57 AM   #10
bengel is offline bengel  United States
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I was thinking about using these drivers (I have 4 and love them). Looking for good response down to 50hz or so then let my sub take over from there. .... certainly have low inductance but Qms is a bit high than I would like.

Efficiency is terrible also but may match the ESL
http://www.glasswolf.net/papers/Extr...8Datasheet.pdf
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