What's the difference between a Magnapan & an ESL type speaker? - diyAudio
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default What's the difference between a Magnapan & an ESL type speaker?

Obviously I don't know much about these types of speakers but I am intrigued by them and would like to know more about them.

I have a pair of old MG1's that I'm currently using. 30 years old and still no problems.

Also are their any mods that can be done to these to improve performance?

Thanks for any and all replies.

Rick
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:24 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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I bought some MG-1s nearly 30 years ago. Very, very nice speakers. I miss them.

In any case, ESLs and magnetic planar speakers are externally similar in that they are sheets of plastic that are driven over a large proportion of their surfaces. The difference is in the way the motor works- ESLs work by charging a semiconductive film diaphragm that sits between two electrodes, then applying an electric field to the electrodes to move the diaphragm. A magnetic planar uses an array of magnets instead of the electrodes; the film diaphragm has a wire embedded in it to carry current instead of the semiconductive coating of the ESL. When current is run through the diaphragm wire, it creates a magnetic field which, depending on the direction, either repels or attracts the diaphragm to the corresponding magnets.

Both types of speakers usually have a dipolar radiation pattern. ESLs generally have two electrodes, one on each side of the diaphragm, to minimize distortion. That can be done with magnetic planars but for cost reasons usually isn't.
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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SY, thank you for the response.

I have 3 or 4 links saved on Magnapan repair in case mine ever have problems and having read through them a few times it doesn't sound that difficult really.

On a different note SY, how hard would it be to make a pair of planar speakers? Are there any decent known tutorials on the subject?

I appreciate your input SY.

Rick
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Old 27th December 2006, 01:17 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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There are lots of books and articles on ESL and planar magnetic construction. Do a forum search and you'll find quite a few references.
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Old 27th December 2006, 01:21 PM   #5
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

to built an planar ESL is extremely easy and can be done on the kitchen table in 5 minutes.....
.......
.........
..............
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BUT!!!

building a really good panel that measures as well as sounds well

... and even BUTTER

building a pair or a series of really good panels that measure the same and measure and sound well ....is a difficult task

To build an ESL will be cheaper and will probabely have the higher possibility of success than building a magnetostatic planar.

It´s best to keep to the advices of the guys in the forums who have the experience in building ESLs, because there is imo no fault free tutorial around. The best is probabely still Roger Sanders´ ´The ESL-Cookbook´. You may and can have different ideas about ESL building than he has (with some points he has meanwhile altered his position) and there are some minor faults in the book, but basically it gives a good understanding of what is going on. There is another publication by Mr. Fikier. It´s written in Dutch and I don´t know if there´s an english version available. Fikier is a bit more on the theoretical side than Sanders and lays more weight on the construction of wire-stators while Sanders rather prefers metal sheet stators.

jauu
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