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Old 11th February 2007, 11:20 PM   #1
WrineX is offline WrineX  Netherlands
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Default ESL distortion at low volume

Hi there, i have refoiled my solostatic elements just because of this reason. i had distortion when i listen at low volume. now i refoiled them that went pretty well they look need and are all with the same tension no wrinkles nothing. but! i listened yesterday when computer whas of and i stil have some nasty distortion when listening at verry low volume. especsially piano sounds strange , when i turn up the volume a bit it disapeares and the sound will get fuller.

in my opinion it cant be the elements because they made thist sound before but after replacing the foil its back again.

so option 1 transformer sucks ? option 2 my capacitator between the tranformer and my amp causing this?

i tried without the cap so it has nog low cuf of frequency right now , and it looks like its not there or i cant hear i because theres more low tones as well.

anybody has ever encountered the same ? or maybe knows where i can find the problem. because option 1 looka almost impossible the transformer can't die half it either working or it aint. (its an audio tranformer of 1:60) and option 2 i never had a problem with a cap.

any ideas are welcome because before i wrap up the whole thing with a front and sides i want it to work properly otherwise, it will get anoying.
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Old 15th February 2007, 06:32 PM   #2
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Foil?

Perhaps you mean mylar film? The diaphragm is a polyester film.

I am not sure if you have a commercial loudspeaker or a home made loudspeaker??

No matter, the film needs a very high resistance coating for the ESL cell to work.

If you just used clear film it has no coating.
You need a coating.

If you do a search there are many threads about coatings and how to apply & test.

Distortion often means low high voltage "bias".

Also, if you have a good coating, you may not have a good connection to the diaphragm.

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Old 15th February 2007, 07:56 PM   #3
WrineX is offline WrineX  Netherlands
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got nicely precoated mylar, so thats not the problem
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Old 15th February 2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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Or the amp really doesn't like the load.
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Old 16th February 2007, 07:30 PM   #5
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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Are you using the "volume control" of that computer to turn the volume down to low levels? If so, that's the problem. (If not, ignore the rest of this post!)

On nearly all soundcards, the volume control is done by using smaller digital values for the signal, which means as you turn down the volume the resolution decreases and the relative distortion increases.

Playing 16bit audio with the digital volume set 30dB below maximum output level means you are listening to at best only 11bit audio (which will sound bad ).
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Old 16th February 2007, 08:22 PM   #6
Bazukaz is offline Bazukaz  Lithuania
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwaslo
Are you using the "volume control" of that computer to turn the volume down to low levels? If so, that's the problem. (If not, ignore the rest of this post!)

On nearly all soundcards, the volume control is done by using smaller digital values for the signal, which means as you turn down the volume the resolution decreases and the relative distortion increases.

Playing 16bit audio with the digital volume set 30dB below maximum output level means you are listening to at best only 11bit audio (which will sound bad ).
I always use volume control on my PC(I have an amp that has no volume pot.) and never noticed any distortion at low levels.

WrineX : I suggest you to test each component of your system. Try using different audio source , amplifier.For now , it is difficult to tell what component is causing distortion.
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Old 17th February 2007, 03:14 PM   #7
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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>I always use volume control on my PC(I have an amp that has no volume pot.) and never noticed any distortion at low levels.

Maybe you have one of the (few) cards that use a digitally-controlled analog volume control or an external analog volume control. But otherwise, the math is not really debatable (think about what is happening -- it is not difficult to see that if some of the upper bits of the 16 are never other than zero because of digital attentuation, then your system can't possibly have 16bit resolution) . Who knows, you might be surprised what it would sound like if you were listening to full 16 bit, or even 14bit, of resolution. Some people think telephone audio (about 8bit) is undistorted, too, depends on what the listener thinks is objectionable.
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Old 17th February 2007, 09:41 PM   #8
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The description sounds a lot like crossover distortion.

If there was a problem with the panels, the distortion should increase with the listening volume.
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Old 17th February 2007, 10:49 PM   #9
WrineX is offline WrineX  Netherlands
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my soundcard has never been a problem on my normal speakers, i have a audigy platinum 2 one of the few beter moddels so that cant be the problem, i changeed my crossover so the panels will play lower notes as well, and it looks like it solved the problem, but i am not so sure because the lower notes also mask the distorted frequency. i still hear it every now an then but me room mates never hear anything so mayby im mental or im to precise.


and indeed the sound only ocours with low level and vanish at higher volume
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Old 18th February 2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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If you connect a headphone to the speaker terminals with a 100 ohms resistor in series you should be able to hear the distortion through the headphones, if you don't the distortion doesn't come from the amplifier.
The panels should also be connected.

Be sure to turn the volume all the way down before connecting the headphones and turning on the amp.

Then turn the volume up very slowly so you don't damage the headphones or your ears.
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