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Old 25th October 2004, 10:09 PM   #11
Mark Kravchenko --- www.kravchenko-audio.com
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Default Rock ?????

Try this link
http://www.ele.tut.fi/~artoko/audio/...range_esl.html

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Old 26th October 2004, 07:08 AM   #12
peterr is offline peterr  Netherlands
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thank you all for your answers.
Quote:
Your question raises the broader question of what it is that makes one speaker rock and another not. Is it just SPL? Is it perhaps SPL ability within some limited range of frequencies (maybe the midbass)?
What I meant is that they sound just plain boring and undynamic. And not neccessarily only with rockmusic but also classical or even a flamenco guitar. I don't know if this is just about SPL.
Quote:
So, getting back to the braoder question, unless there's an SPL limit in an important part of the spectrum, or something about the dipole radiation pattern that causes trouble, I'd have a hard time arguing from first principles that ESL's are inherently not rock-able. Perhaps I'm just missing something.
I wonder if it has anything to do with the hopeless load they offer, that it is more a question of the amplifier being unable to deliver than the panels themselves. Having said that, I have build a KT88 tube amp with 1:8 OPT that is connected directly to the panels and eventhough this is a big improvement over the 2x50W SS amp I used before it doesn't fundamentally change the sound in this respect.
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Add a IB or dipole sub to take the LFE load out of the panels and you're ready to go
I have a sub (as you can see here) but it hasn't helped to bring the music to life. It does add some bass though
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Old 26th October 2004, 01:26 PM   #13
Few is offline Few  United States
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Quote:
What I meant is that they sound just plain boring and undynamic.
Thanks for the clarification. I guess my experience is a bit different from yours. The first thing I noticed when firing up my newly constructed ESL panels was how dynamic they seemed, at least in the midrange and treble. All the percussive sounds seemed to just pop out from the music in a way I hadn't heard with any of my previous dynamic speakers. They reminded me more of horns than of any other speaker type. That led me to wonder if the impedance matching between the driver (or horn mouth) and the air load was a deciding factor. Or perhaps low intermodulation distortion--my ESL panels are quite large so the diaphragm displacement is quite small for a given SPL. Of course, with the huge number of variables, it's difficult to nail down one feature as the critical one.

Nonetheless, thanks for raising an interesting question.
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Old 26th October 2004, 03:11 PM   #14
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What I meant is that they sound just plain boring and undynamic.
That would be the exact opposite of most people's reaction to ESL's.

Good ESL's tend to be quite revealing of the source material, and most rock is poorly recorded.

Yes amps do make a BIG difference. But one must also have enough displacement. It takes big planars to reproduce rock.

If you want "slam" or high dynamic impact then look toward dipoles made with conventional dymanic drivers. Those load into the room like planars, and have more "punch", as long as you have adequate displacement.

Of course you could just get compression horns and be done with it
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Old 26th October 2004, 04:09 PM   #15
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ESLs can rock for sure...

You need to take into account a few factors though.

The first is that you need to compare apples with apples.

Small ESLs and ESLs driven by smaller amps need to be compared to smaller dynamic speakers. Even the Quad 63 series needs to be compared to smaller dynamic speakers only.

The relative sensitivity (dB/w/1m) and the maximum SPL should be approximately equal for a fair comparison - not the size of the box or size of the panels.

As far as larger ESLs the Acoustat 3, 4 and especially the double stacked 6s and 8s were capable of blowing back your hair with no difficulty. In the case of the 3s F3 is typically 38Hz., with the 4s it is typically 35Hz. and with the larger ones, lower still. These speakers are capable of significantly better low bass than many dynamic speakers and can play in the ~100dB spl range. They can rock. (the down side of the Acoustats were elsewhere - power handling was not one of them)

The other factor when people listen to good ESLs driven by a good signal chain is that they are hearing sound with rather a lot less distortion than *most* dynamic speakers are capable of. The *sensation of loudness* is in part coupled with the perception of distortion products. It is fairly common to find people listening to low distortion speakers are levels that *measure* much higher than one subjectively believes the level is.

Having said all that, imho, for reasons that are completely unclear ESLs do tend to subjectively sound way better when driven from tube amps -good tube amps especially - when compared to good solid state amps. Why that should be so, I dunno, but it works.

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Old 29th October 2004, 01:02 AM   #16
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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'Bear' is spot on about ESL's and their good dynamics...

As a long time user of both ESL's and boxed speakers of the highest calibre (various Accuton ceramic/Raven ribbon/Scanspeak Carbon/Seas Excel magnesium/metal Beryllium/Fostex combinations), I have to say IMO the ESL's are more dynamic than any of these.

This is clearly demonstrated by the ESL's ability to produce more detail (through better transient response of the thin mylar membrane); better tonality (everything sounds 'just right') and the ESL's ability to untangle all the musical strands giving you tight imaging and a separation of the performers on the stage.

In comparing the sound of ESLs and boxed speakers, a lot of people mistake 'dynamics' with 'the ability to play loud'. Granted there is a relationship between loudness and dynamics (depending on the type of music you listen to), but IMO there is a better definition of dynamics. Namely, to me dynamics is about producing good tonality, freedom from distortion, and the ability to shown the smallest inflections and nuances in the recording - the tiniest shifts in pace/rhythm & timing of the performers... this is something the ESLs excel at.

It is easy to buy or build a cone speaker that generally sounds nice and plays loudly. But, trying to find one that produces the abovementioned attributes that an ESL achieves to the nth degree, is VERY DIFFICULT indeed !!

In my audioquest so far, the closest I have found to achieving both loudness capability and ESL-like dynamics is two point source paralleled Fostex 206E's + 11" Eton hexacomb in Bass Reflex boxes, actively driven.

I do not believe that any ESL can ever play loudly enough to keep up with the dBs produced by cone speakers. However, ESLs sound elegant, beautiful and beguiling - and therefore cannot be ignored. In trying to accomodate my love of both ESL's and a liking for louder playing box speakers (when the mood takes me), I have on hand and use both technologies.

Regards,


Steve M.

BTW: I use Transmission Line subwoofers with my ESL as I find that TL bass breathes freely and intrudes less on the ESL's delicate soundfield.
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Old 29th October 2004, 02:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve M
'Bear' is spot on about ESL's and their good dynamics...

As a long time user of both ESL's and boxed speakers of the highest calibre (various Accuton ceramic/Raven ribbon/Scanspeak Carbon/Seas Excel magnesium/metal Beryllium/Fostex combinations), I have to say IMO the ESL's are more dynamic than any of these.
<snip>

I do not believe that any ESL can ever play loudly enough to keep up with the dBs produced by cone speakers. However, ESLs sound elegant, beautiful and beguiling - and therefore cannot be ignored. In trying to accomodate my love of both ESL's and a liking for louder playing box speakers (when the mood takes me), I have on hand and use both technologies.

Regards,


Steve M.

It's important to disect Steve's last comment... it is untrue the cone speakers are generally produce higher SPLs than do ESLs.

Some cone speakers are capable of higher SPLs. Others are quite obviously not going to do that - depending upon the ESL of course.

Cabinet size for size, cones will produce more output.

Which will have lower distortion at normal listening levels?

But for most listening, up into the <110db peak range there are ESLs that are completely capable - of course they require more voltage swing to reach those peak levels, which in practice implies a high power amplifier.

I think it is safe to say that most people listen at levels that average ~90dB SPL, and not louder, which makes higher max SPL systems rare and not necessary for most people. (there are exceptions)


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Old 30th October 2004, 04:10 PM   #18
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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All elementary Bear and I beg to differ. I own and use electrostats and love them for what they do, but there is not an ESL on the planet that will keep up with the SPLs produced by a Bose 901/802 or a brace of JBLs at a rock concert ... to quote two examples.

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Steve M.
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Old 3rd November 2004, 11:55 PM   #19
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Yeah, and?

What is your point?

But as far as your Bose 901?? I guarantee that there are ESLs that will produce higher SPLs and wider bandwidth with lower distortion than Bose 901s, maybe even using less amplifier power.

Comparing to PA/SR speakers is clearly not a reasonable comparison.


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Old 12th November 2004, 10:42 AM   #20
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Default two magical qualities

Brett
You said:
"If you want electrostatic clarity, and the ability to rock, get horns"

I'm interested in horns, but donít know a lot: what horn system do you have/ do you suggest - that possesses those two magical qualities?

Or anyone, what ESL or ESL hybrid system might do this?
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