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lectrostaComplete newbie.. Cheapish electrostatic speaker build
lectrostaComplete newbie.. Cheapish electrostatic speaker build
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Old 1st June 2014, 03:49 AM   #1
zunehdrocks is offline zunehdrocks
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Default lectrostaComplete newbie.. Cheapish electrostatic speaker build

I am completely new to electrostatic speakers and am thinking of making one just for fun.
I was using these as tutorials:
ESL Driver Construction

http://www.introni.it/pdf/Sanders%20...ook%201995.pdf

I'm not sure what I have to connect to what so can you guys help me on that?
Also, am I missing any parts (or am I using the wrong part) ?
Thanks for the help

7VA Toroidal Voltage Transformers Audio Transformer Dual 110V 115V120V 50 60Hz | eBay

Emco F40 High Voltage Power Supply Module 4KV 4 000 Volts Brick "A" Grade | eBay

3M 4941 VHB Double-Sided Acrylic Foam Tape, 45 mil, 0.5" x 5 Yards (Dark Grey): Adhesive Tapes: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific


Custom Speaker Grills

McMaster-Carr
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Old 1st June 2014, 07:29 AM   #2
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Location: close to Basel
Hi,

welcome to the pleasure dome and the hell of electrostatics
It´s nice to see that You´ve already informed Yourself about the whats and whys, but I suggest to follow this ´theoretical´ path a little further before starting to collect parts and devices.
I mean, that You might be better off if You think about and decide for a certain concept first.
As usual I suggest to build a medium or smaller sized Hybrid-Panel first as the chance of success is alot higher than with a FR panel and the output can for sure be way better in any respect.

The three devices You list might or might not be suitable for what You intend do.
For example is a HV-supply of 1-3W more than sufficient and there are for sure other and cheaper alternatives.
The tapes should be chosen after the application, i.e. the materials and surfaces which shall stick to each other.
There´s mostly a PET film used as diaphragm material, but the the frame or stator insulation may differ grossly.
Which amount of mechanical stress burdens the glue joint?
Which thicknes of tape is required?
Is tape the glue of choice, or would a different glue be advantageous/ceaper/easier to handle?
For starters I also suggest to experiment with flat wire stators first as it bears the greatest chance for a successful build.
It also unburdens You from a few detail issues like how to manufacture a safe and reliable stator insulation, or how to create a safe, good and reliable curved stator design.
Besides, cost flat wire stator designs tyically less than metal sheet stators.

jauu
Calvin
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Old 1st June 2014, 09:53 AM   #3
esltransformer is offline esltransformer  Georgia
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Try to get this book:
Electrostatic Loudspeaker: Design and Construction: Amazon.co.uk: Ronald Wagner: Books

It has much less tunnelvision then the Sanders book.

For real good theory look for Baxandall en Streng articles.
Quad ESL Theory
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Old 1st June 2014, 11:31 AM   #4
geraldfryjr is offline geraldfryjr  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Jackson,michigan
Here is some more info to help get you started,

Elektrostatic Loudspeakers

As Calvin mentioned, ESL's need not be big to get that Big Sound!!!

A Desktop ESL Build

A Segmented Stator Desktop ESL

I just found the Precision frequency plots of my little system the other day!!!

I have measured in excess of +105db with this little setup as the little woofer can't keep up much over 100db or so.
The plots are calibrated in db as well.

Enjoy!!!

jer
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Desktop ESL.jpg (74.7 KB, 313 views)
File Type: jpg ESL and Woofer.jpg (101.3 KB, 307 views)
File Type: jpg Raw.jpg (130.1 KB, 304 views)
File Type: jpg Third Smoothing.jpg (126.1 KB, 302 views)
File Type: jpg Octave smoothing.jpg (124.0 KB, 301 views)

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 1st June 2014 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 1st June 2014, 01:51 PM   #5
zunehdrocks is offline zunehdrocks
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I was planning on
12x48 inch stators
Mid- high frequency (if it works, then i'll put in some kind of woofer and crossover)
If you look at the how its made video for electrostatic speaker, martin logan uses 3m vhb double sided tape to keep space in between diaphragm and stators. I think that would be easiest, but i'm not sure what spacer they use to go in the middle of the stator.
I can't find anything cheaper for the dc bias supply. Some people say neon light ps are good but that would be too much current and too dangerous for me. I emailed a few high voltage tranformer companies for pricing and that used emco is the cheapest i could find.
I could use the emco g30 or 40 series(i havent gotten a reply about cost) They are 1-3 watts.
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Old 1st June 2014, 01:55 PM   #6
zunehdrocks is offline zunehdrocks
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I forgot to add the diaphragm
Electrostatic Speaker Membrane Dupont Mylar C 6um 40M | eBay
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Old 1st June 2014, 01:59 PM   #7
zunehdrocks is offline zunehdrocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esltransformer View Post
Try to get this book:
Electrostatic Loudspeaker: Design and Construction: Amazon.co.uk: Ronald Wagner: Books

It has much less tunnelvision then the Sanders book.

For real good theory look for Baxandall en Streng articles.
Quad ESL Theory
I might actually buy that book. Does it have noob compatible instructions?
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Old 1st June 2014, 02:48 PM   #8
CharlieM is offline CharlieM  United States
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Welcome to the forum and the psychosis,

I have both Wagner's and Sanders' book. Both are a bit dated now, especially Wagner's book, but I think Sanders' book has more practical and timely information.

For a hybrid panel, I would use .062 3M polyurethane foam tape spacers, rather than the .045 tape you referenced. Flat perf metal panels are the easiest to build but you have to coat them well.

After Calvin showed us how inexpensive toroidal power transformers work very well for ESL step-up transformers, many of us here on the forum now use tandem 50VA 230V/2x6V toroids (2 each speaker, 4 total).

Online Metals is the cheapest source I've found for perf metal. They only have 40% open with .125 holes but it works perfectly and makes a very efficient panel. (I think 40% open actually sounds better than higher open area): Order Mild Steel A36 Perforated Sheet in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com

You might find this link helpful too: Jazzman's DIY Electrostatic Loudspeaker Page

Good luck with your project!
Charlie

Last edited by CharlieM; 1st June 2014 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 1st June 2014, 04:03 PM   #9
zunehdrocks is offline zunehdrocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieM View Post
Welcome to the forum and the psychosis,

I have both Wagner's and Sanders' book. Both are a bit dated now, especially Wagner's book, but I think Sanders' book has more practical and timely information.

For a hybrid panel, I would use .062 3M polyurethane foam tape spacers, rather than the .045 tape you referenced. Flat perf metal panels are the easiest to build but you have to coat them well.

After Calvin showed us how inexpensive toroidal power transformers work very well for ESL step-up transformers, many of us here on the forum now use tandem 50VA 230V/2x6V toroids (2 each speaker, 4 total).

Online Metals is the cheapest source I've found for perf metal. They only have 40% open with .125 holes but it works perfectly and makes a very efficient panel. (I think 40% open actually sounds better than higher open area): Order Mild Steel A36 Perforated Sheet in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com

You might find this link helpful too: Jazzman's DIY Electrostatic Loudspeaker Page

Good luck with your project!
Charlie
Thanks for the links.
Im just confused about the torodial transformers. What do they need to be connected to? That jazzman link shows the signal from amp connecting to transformer and then to each stator. Then the dc bias supply connects with the membrane. How do you use 2 torodial transformers per speaker?

Last edited by zunehdrocks; 1st June 2014 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 1st June 2014, 05:11 PM   #10
CharlieM is offline CharlieM  United States
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The schematic shows the complete circuit that powers the ESL panel. The transformers and ESL panels are both powered by the amplifier. The small DC bias supply, which charges the diaphragm, is powered separately from a wall outlet supplying 115 volt house current.

A typical audio amplifier has plenty of current but not nearly enough voltage to power an ESL panel. This is why we must have transformers in the circuit between the amplifier and panel-- to step up the voltage from the tens of volts coming out of the amplifier to the several thousand volts needed to drive the panel.

As the schematic shows:
- The amp leads (speaker cables) connect to the input windings of the transformer pair.
- The ESL panel's two stators connect to the output windings of the transformer pair.
- The DC bias supply's ground lead connects between the output windings of the two transformers. This floating ground keeps the charge on the diaphragm properly biased relative to the alternating charges on the stators.

This is the complete circuit.

What isn't shown is the woofer circuit. In my system, the woofers and ESL panels are controlled and powered separately using an active crossover and separate amplifiers for the woofer and ESL.

I'm not smart enough to design a passive crossover for a hybrid ESL, as would be required to power the panel and woofers from a single amplifier. Not that I would want to anyway, because an active crossover and separate amplifiers is far superior to a single amp with passive crossovers.

Last edited by CharlieM; 1st June 2014 at 05:40 PM.
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