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Old 5th June 2004, 05:11 AM   #1
Duo is offline Duo  Canada
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Default ESL is where it's at!

It's not often that something this good comes along and slaps me in the face. Today I made a pair of ESL headphones using very simple techniques and supplies. The result is something doesn't look the least bit sophisticated or real. Though, the sound is what I'm after, and that's what I got.

The sound that I achieved with these little phones is unlike anything I've ever heard. Very clean, I mean very very clean, and unusually nice to the ears. After hours of loud listening, there was no fatigue of the ears as with most headphones. The sound simply 'floats.'

As far as construction, these are very simple devices. The construction of each panel was as usual for any practical ESL. A flat panel topology with two perforated stators, insulators, and a stretched piece of PVC saran coated with a dielectric film.

The interesting part comes in when I mention that I used the cardboard from a shoebox for the insulators, dishsoap for dielectric coating, saran plastic wrap for the diaphragm, and packing tape to hold it all together and stretch the diapragm.

It took me about 25 minutes to construct each panel completely and have them ready to go. After that, I spent about 5 minutes preparing a head band using coathangers. I secured the panels to the coathanger headband by clamping the metal rods around the panels and fastening with more packing tape.

I then proceeded to wire the panels with common stators and diaphragms (this set is mono until I get two transformers for it). I used a long cable so I was able to move around freely while listening to the headphones.

The polarizing supply is a small EHT converter, the kind in a tiny black potted case that converts 12V to about 1000V. This was used in conjunction with a rheostat so I could vary the bias.

The transformer is a Hammond universal output transformer, the mode number of which I can't remember.

It's been quite a project and the results are amazing for the simplicity of it and the parts I used. I must remind everyone though, that this deals with relatively high voltage. Great care must be exercised in building such headphones and properly insulating them so that you don't get a shock wearing them. I made sure to ground the inner stators of the panels so that if anything went wrong, the inner stator would take the shock to ground and not my head. I also used generous padding so that I'm not making any contact with the panels either.

I'm wondering if anyone else has done such a project? The results are certainly promising so I intend to make more of these in the future and big speakers for my rooms.
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Old 5th June 2004, 05:56 AM   #2
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I wanna seeeee! The link, she don't work.
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Old 5th June 2004, 06:08 AM   #3
Duo is offline Duo  Canada
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Ahh, my apologies on the link.

I'm having problems with ports being closed on my connection.

The site will be down for a while, I hope to get it back up soon.

As soon as it's back, I'll mention it.
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