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darcangelo 6th January 2005 05:28 PM

ESL - Where does one start???

Well one of my 2005 resolutions is to build some DIY ESL speakers... but I don't have a clue where to start!! My base knowledge is 0 on ESLs... Are there any books on the matter? And where do I get the parts? Of course, the best thing would be to be able to buy a kit with all the necessary parts and to asemble them, if such a thing exists.

And for people who have already done some: how much did it cost you in parts and how much time did you spend on the project?

Thanks for your inputs :)

SY 6th January 2005 05:45 PM

There are a lot of resources on the web- a little searching will turn them up. Roger Sanders's book is a reasonably good introduction to the physical process of making esl cells. Much of the content (and a lot of other stuff) appeared in Speaker Builder and Audio Amateur magazines, back copies of which can be sourced from AudioXpress.

To really understand the theory, read the patents by Walker and Baxandall.

amt 6th January 2005 05:56 PM

Check out the two DIY speakers at SDS, via the Quicktime movies. Great stuff. Hope he has a product one day. These would make a nice kit.


hreith 6th January 2005 08:02 PM

have a look to
ESL Cook book by R Sanders (30MB!):

and boek_fikier (12x 100kB..2.4MB)


darcangelo 7th January 2005 09:23 AM

hey thanks everyone!! I'm currently in the process of checking those links/ books out :)

Now can anyone tell me of their personal experiences? Like how much time did it take to complete the project, how much did it cost, do they consider it worth it or would it be better to spend a little extra and buy second hand, would they do it again...?

Also, by searching around the web I got the impression that there's a ESL kit out there called NSS 0.3a... but I can't find it for sale anywhere!! Does it still exist or did the company go bust? And are there any similar kits around?

michaelpage26 7th January 2005 09:46 AM

Look also at ER-Audio.They have two kits now but they are preparing a new site that will have one even bigger than ESL III kit, and also isobarik subwoofers. In addition they are preparing the ESL IV kit that wil be hybrid with a vifa 6.5".

Hope this helps... ;)


hreith 7th January 2005 11:22 AM

you can ask Calvin
hi is a ESL-Guru !!

hreith 7th January 2005 11:22 AM

have a look to
click "Enter The Audio Circuit "
select "Elektrostatic Loudspeakers" ->
"Do It Yourself" ->

Wulf Wulfhenkel has build his hybride speakers for about 400.-EUR.

Currently i am working on a second hand Audiostatic ES100. With a lot of help from Calvin i am sure, that this speakers will work in 2 weeks.

(sorry for my english)

Calvin 9th January 2005 11:30 AM

To build or not to build...
Hi folks
...and highly respected disciple :D

well, building an ESL can be done in just 1/4 of an hour, but building a good ESL can take You Years and cost dozens of sleepless nights ;)

The already named sources will provide You with a good knowlegde base (Wagner, Fikier, Sanders, ESL-circuit), though all of them tackle some important questions rather too simple for my taste, which can lead to unsufficient efficiency and/or an unsafe -possibly lethal- construction. Another good source -though read with care- are patents. You can easily download them. Just search for ´electrostatics´ and similar.

Costs depend on the chosen concept, the chosen material and what You name cost, i.e. working time or nerves. :cool:
The later left aside there are two basic construction concepts.
One using perforated metal sheets for the stators, and another one choosing wire or rods. The materials cost is a bit higher for the metal sheets, but the construction is far easier and far less time consuming and a success is imo a bit more probable. But wire stators are less prone to beeing/becoming unsafe than sheet metal unless You find a proper insulating coating process. I´d opt for having sheet metal coated by an experienced professional coater (electrostatic spray-coating rather does not(!) do the job.)
As a startup-tip: Don´t try to built a full-range ESL as first project.
Keep to an hybrid with an mid-high-ESL.

More Infos by PN if You want.


ps: in the Sanders Cookbook-link there are pages 66-75 missing.
Is there another Web-source for these pages?

blu_line 11th January 2005 09:55 AM

I did build a full-range wire-stator as starter.
It worked nicely , but the efficiency was not as expected.


I'd like to know more about you experiences !



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