Electrostatics that rock? - diyAudio
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:12 PM   #1
peterr is offline peterr  Netherlands
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Default Electrostatics that rock?

Electrostatics that rock?

The past few years I have been on the electrostatics trail. I have built a pair myself and I have been involved in the Dutch ESL-builders club.
But.
Recently we have put in a new (solid oak) floor in our living room, and because of that I had to remove all the audio stuff. One evening during this time I wanted a little music so I quickly set up a cd player, amp and speakers. Because it had to be removed again next day I didnít bother with the ESLís but instead took my 22-year-old Infinity Qbís.
I was absolutely shocked to hear how good they sounded. There was soooo much more life and energy in the music. They may not have perfect ESL imaging but everything else is much more fun.
The experience has left me wondering about the future of my speakers.
Other occasions I have listened to electrostatics have always been in unfamiliar and often difficult environments (like a demo in a school canteen for instance), never in my own home. So I find it very difficult to judge their performance.

I am curious if you have similar findings or do electrostatics that rock actually exist?
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Electrostatics that rock?

Quote:
Originally posted by peterr
Electrostatics that rock? I am curious if you have similar findings or do electrostatics that rock actually exist?
STAX Lambda Pro, 404 and Omega's.
Sorry, did you mean speakers? Well, no.

If you want electrostatic clarity, and the ability to rock, get horns.
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:46 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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For tonal accuracy and definition, there's nothing to compare to ESLs. But they indeed do not rock.
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Old 25th October 2004, 02:09 PM   #4
dqswim is offline dqswim  United States
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I tried to make some home built ESL speakers, in general I think that my construction ability may have been the biggest problem. But I liked the soundstage and the bidirectional sound emission. So I went the open baffle route, I'm not looking to go back.

Guess that doesn't get you any closer to esl's that rock, sorry.
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Old 25th October 2004, 03:05 PM   #5
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The Acoustat 1+1 and 2+2 series do pretty good job with rock music.

I imagine the larger Soundlabs do as well.

Add a IB or dipole sub to take the LFE load out of the panels and you're ready to go
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Old 25th October 2004, 03:19 PM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
The Acoustat 1+1 and 2+2 series do pretty good job with rock music.
The panels I'm using now are from a 1+1, though I've changed out the diaphragm and coating. They don't sizzle and die when used for rock (like ESL57s would), but they are not exciting rock speakers.
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Old 25th October 2004, 03:30 PM   #7
jam is offline jam  United States
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Sound Labs's are the ticket...........

http://www.soundlab-speakers.com/
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Old 25th October 2004, 05:06 PM   #8
Few is offline Few  United States
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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)? Some of the speakers I've heard others praise for rocking ability seemed to me to have a peak in the midbass, or at least an underdamped resonance in that part of the spectrum. I won't claim to have a ready answer to your question, but here's what I've found with my own ESL-based system, in case it's at all useful:

I built some large ESL panels (20" wide x 6.5' tall) that I use from about 250 Hz and above. In the midrange and treble I find they have great snap and clarity---as is generally expected of ESL's. I find that they rock just fine over that range. The bass is handled by a pair of 12" woofers in sealed boxes. I haven't made measurements in awhile but my sense is that I may have a hole in the frequency response where the dynamic woofers and ESL panels overlap. Whatever the cause, I'm less impressed with the reproduction in that frequency region. Just for the fun of it, I'm considering building narrower ESL's to handle the from 500 or maybe 700 Hz and above, and a line array of midbasses to handle from that point downward (until the 12" drivers take over).

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.
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Old 25th October 2004, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
but they are not exciting rock speakers.
That's because the top end rolls off and needs augmentation, and they must be used with a sub.

Believe me when I say THESE rock
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Old 25th October 2004, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
I am curious if you have similar findings or do electrostatics that rock actually exist?
Peter,

I've heard the big Finals (700 and 1.4) driven by a good amp and believe me it can rock.

I for myself use smaller panels with a good sub for the rock experience.

As I'm also a member of the mentioned Dutch ESL-builders club I know the demos. It's very hard to give a good demo in large rooms with many people present.

Really Peter pay a visit at twinstatic and ask for a demo.

Dick
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