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Old 8th May 2002, 11:11 PM   #1
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default Electrostatic Loudspeaker High Voltage Paint

Does anyone know of a good dialectric paint that I can use on my electrostatic speaker stators? I would like to make the speakers a little bit safer for those who like to look with their hands, as well as my own bumbling self. Also, a better dialectric will decrease arcing from membrane to stator, so I can turn up the bias voltage. Higher bias voltage = louder volume = more efficient speakers. I would prefer a type of paint that I can brush on, but I'll take a look at the spray-on types. Of course, the paint will be applied before the membrane is glued into place.
Thank you,
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Old 9th May 2002, 05:58 AM   #2
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I have used plasticote spray, its cheap and has I believe a 1500 volts per mil of protection from arcing. I am unsure of any brush on types, have you been to the electrostatic speaker forum on delphi.com, all the bigwigs go there(barry waldron is one). They have all the answers.
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Old 9th May 2002, 09:15 AM   #3
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Perhaps you could try the laquer that is used on transformer wire (AKA Magnet wire)?

I don't know where to get it, but it is probably just about the best that the industry has come up with (and hard to remove too) given that it is used in transformers where you can have som pretty serious voltage spiking on the primary.

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Old 9th May 2002, 01:09 PM   #4
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For best results use Glyptol insulating enamel. It is a red spray on product that provides 1500+ volts of protection per mil. Then paint over that with black lacquer. I was able to purchase the insulating paint from an automotive alterenator repair shop, but you may be able to find this stuff at automotive supply stores. To decrease arcing, you just need to lower the potential slightly. I've tried cheap spray on automative primers and never had a spark.

-Matthew Anker
Matthew Anker's Electrostatic Loudspeaker Page
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Old 9th May 2002, 04:32 PM   #5
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Thank you for replying.

It seems that the best idea is to use a spray-on dialectric and then coat with one's color of choice.

I hope to be able to increase the bias voltage on the membrane, so that the speaker will be able to have a larger output.

Currently, I am using a regulated high voltage power supply. It is interesting how much a hundred volts can make a difference. Eventually, I will build a simple voltage multiplier to replace the expensive, loaned regulated supply.

I've also noticed that some days the speakers will run well at 2000 Volts, while on other days the speaker will arc at 1600 Volts. Is there a good circuit that I tack onto my voltage multipier that can make some adjustments to the bias voltage? Maybe using a pot or other simple adjustment?

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Old 9th May 2002, 06:38 PM   #6
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Your speakers arc at different voltages due to humidity in the air. My current pair of stats will not arc. They are running on the 2.5 multiplier of ESL Info Exchange's (Barry Waldron) bias supply. That voltage balances out with my woofers, and I haven't changed it for months. You could use a rotary selector switch and connect the different voltage taps from that supply. You would be able to increase the voltage in .5X increments.

You could build voltage multipliers yourself, but you will have to find a source for transformers.
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