Go Back   Home > Forums > Loudspeakers > Planars & Exotics

Planars & Exotics ESL's, planars, and alternative technologies

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 18th May 2006, 05:47 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
edjosh23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Raleigh/Atlanta
Default What to look for in ESLs

Hello Everybody,

I'm not very familiar with ESLs besides a simple explanation of how they work from howstuffworks.com. I am going to listen to a couple of pairs of Martin Logans and was wondering if you all could tell me what to listen for. What makes ESLs better? How can I diffentiate different ESLs from one another. Some of the products I'll be listening to are the Martin Logan Summit, Vantage, and Vista. What should I know before I listen to them? and What should I be listening for? Besideds the different sub options and ESL area/length what other differences are there?

Thanks,

Josh
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th May 2006, 11:52 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Southern Germany
Hi edjosh23,

since you are interested in hybrid ESL (woofer+ESL) the most important is the transition between woofer and ESL. You should listen music with most information in that range (typically 200-400 Hz). Good examples are contrabass, cello and tenor male voices. For my experience a loudly played acoustic guitar, especially the deeper strings will challenge the speakers.

If the dealer will show music preferrable for the ESL only (female voices) forget about it.

You should be able to hear the advantage of a larger panel, providing wider frequency range. Although having the same overall frequency response a larger panel plays more authentic, majestic and fundemental.

Don't go with a passive driven woofer system (vista). It will never follow the speed of the ESL.

capaciti
  Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2006, 08:45 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
What the ML's offer that is different from other speakers are the following:

Soundstage: Whether you are 2 inches (literall--try it) or 20 feet from the ESL, the soundstage will only differ slightly. So little in fact that it will appear that the opposite speaker has disappeard as opposed to the speaker you are 2 inches away from over powering you. At 2 inches, most speakers will screech at you in a very directional manner. The ML's will appear to have a soundstage into and behind the speaker itself and the volume level will not rise significantly. Who care about 2 inches-right? Well, imagine what it can do at 10 feet now when you are sitting on your couch.

Transients: Nothing can image a transient better than an ESL. I truly believe this although it is only my opinion. Glass, cymbols, etc., will be created all over your room. Close your eyes and forget the speakers when you demo them. Your in for a surprise. If you can allow yourself to believe that they are not there, they will dissappear.

Aesthetics: Lets face it, you have to live with the speakers you buy, and you might find the ESL's attractive.

Great company: ML has provided me the service you expect to recieve as the CEO of a company. Any problems and you do not have to worry about them standing behind thier product.

A recording I suggest you try for your Demo: Any Dave Matthews Band cd. If you are not familiar with them, get to know the music first. This cd will exemplify the transients as it has many natural instruments along with a male voice.

Also, if you ever look into center channel ESL's...I think that the Theater i is one of the best I have ever heard at any price range! And they are about to release a new one called the stage.

Good luck,
Dominick
PM me if you would like to know more. And visit MLowners.com.
__________________
A real amateur enthusiast!
  Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2006, 03:57 PM   #4
expert in tautology
diyAudio Member
 
bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New York State USA
In general ESLs will reproduce what you put into them... in practical terms this means that they tend to be reflective of the amplifier's characteristic to a greater extent than some other speakers might be. One of the reasons is that they are a reactive load - as opposed to resistive - which means that they are difficult to drive in a certain sense. The term reactive means that they look like either a capacitor or an inductor. In this case a capacitor with resistance. Many amplifiers will "change" their waveforms in not so nice ways when presented with a reactive load.

The second reason is that they tend to have lower distortion than many other speakers.

Practically speaking this means that some amps will sound like death on an ESL while others will not. Tube amps, of higher power in general, do exceptionally well on ESLs in subjective terms. Although solid state amps can sound just fine.

ESLs require higher power amps to play to maximum loudness since they are essentially voltage driven devices - almost no current required - and amplifiers that have big voltage swings also are high power amps (unless they were specially built for ESLs). ESLs tend to have lower than average sensitivity (SPL/Wattage/Distance), which also means that higher power amps for more voltage swing are needed.

Be cautious when auditioning these speakers if the amps are different per speaker, and/or if you do not have the opportunity to listen to the same speakers on various amps. Otherwise you won't know what you are actually "hearing".

Accordingly, speaker cables certainly DO have a subjective effect on the overall sound.

You could well find that if you merely purchase the speakers on the basis of an audition that they will sound somewhat different with your gear than they did elsewhere on other gear...

Otoh, ESLs are among the finest speakers you can get...

For auditioning, I'd pick both things that you are familliar with AND thing that are known to be recorded with minimalist high-end techniques so that the resolution limits of the system might be found... There are a number of labels that record this way, Chesky is one example... Dorian is another... Audioquest has some out too.

_-_-bear

PS. if you can swing it, a full range ESL is preferable to a hybrid, imho.
Used is usually ok in ESLs...
__________________
_-_-bear
http://www.bearlabs.com -- Btw, I don't actually know anything, FYI -- [...2SJ74 Toshiba bogus asian parts - beware! ]
  Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2006, 05:38 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
edjosh23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Raleigh/Atlanta
Capaciti,

Thanks for the advise about xo point. I don't have much cello or contrabass. I do listen to Joshua Redman who uses bass synthesizers. Dominick22 recomended DMB, who I have all of their albums, not all the live stuff though. I listen to Lizz Wright, she has a lower femal voice, if you are familiar with her, would she be a good demo disc?


Dominick22,

Like I said I have lots of DMB. Any albums specifically?

bear,
What do you consider average spl. I find that the MLs have pretty good efficiency, 92db.
Thanks for the explanations about voltage and current ratings.
I will keep in mind that ESLs are more sensitive to different parts of the system.

And more advise, any more tech stuff?
Here is my story

Thanks a lot,

Josh
  Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2006, 07:38 PM   #6
expert in tautology
diyAudio Member
 
bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New York State USA
I sincerely doubt that any of these hybrid ESLs get any where near 92dB/1w/1m. More likely wishful thinking on the part of the marketing departments.

Ok, maybe there is *one* peak in the response that hit 92dB when they were testing it!

I wouldn't listen to DMB as a "test" of much, since he records in multi track'd mono - pure stereo, 2 mike recordings of vocal subjects are bound to be more revealing... but you should listen to your favs.

BUT, again, the subjective results are going to vary all over the map depending on the rest of the gear. You can get everything from hard and grainy, thin to smooth and rich depending on what is doing the rest of the signal chain. The ESL part is likely to be both more revealing than most other speakers and at the same time more sensitive to the driving equipment...

Good idea would be to compare to a full range ESL as a reference point for a given set of source gear. If you can.

_-_-bear
__________________
_-_-bear
http://www.bearlabs.com -- Btw, I don't actually know anything, FYI -- [...2SJ74 Toshiba bogus asian parts - beware! ]
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2006, 10:34 PM   #7
Bazukaz is offline Bazukaz  Lithuania
diyAudio Member
 
Bazukaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vilnius
Send a message via Skype™ to Bazukaz

Hi,
My observations are that ESLs are very sensitive to recording quality.Some music is recorded really bad.

Regards,
Lukas.
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2006, 02:01 AM   #8
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Southern Germany
Hi Bazukaz,

i wouldn't agree that ESL are very sensitive to bad recordings. Its true that a bad recording do not offer the full potential, but you can still listen to it with significant enjoyment.

My experience with conventional speakers and ESL is, that some systems suffer specific limitations, which make them only sound good with music which doesn't address the limitations.


capaciti
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2006, 04:44 PM   #9
henkel is offline henkel  Malaysia
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Hi! guys,

Thinking about going for a pair of Quads ESL 988. But need to ask a few questions ro see if viable.

I heards that ESLs required largish rooms to sound best? Would they sound good in a room measuring 10' x 12' x 10' ft (W x L x H)?

I am running Pass Aleph 0 monoblocks, are they sufficient to drive the Quads?

Are the Quads bi-wireable or bi-ampable?

Thanks.
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2006, 02:24 AM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
To Piggyback with Bazukuz,

I would agree that ESL's are very sensitive to recording quality. Everything sounds great on them, but when you put a poorly recorded track on them, it is obvious. To me, they sometimes sound muffled. I really think that this has more to do with the fact that they are so transperant with good recordings, that bad recordings show a more obvious change.

Also, I cant remember the title of the album, but it is the one with satelite. Also, if you can get a hold of Bryan Adams DVD Audio "live at the Budokan"...I think you will be shocked at the realism in the guitar...Even if you do not like Bryan Adams.

Dominick
__________________
A real amateur enthusiast!
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DD amp for ESLs... HVfanatic Tubes / Valves 50 15th October 2008 08:02 PM
ESLs for Guitar amp ??? WBB Planars & Exotics 6 6th May 2006 10:57 PM
ESLs jouch Planars & Exotics 4 4th May 2004 09:35 AM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:49 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2