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FAQ: ESL-0.5 Full Range Electrostatic Loudspeakers
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:00 pm    Post subject: FAQ: ESL-0.5 Full Range Electrostatic Loudspeakers Reply with quote


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ESL-0.5 Full Range Electrostatic Loudspeakers



Order today at an exclusive CurtPalme.com reduced price! GO

We've worked out an exclusive deal for our members to bring you this product at a price lower than what everyone else pays anywhere on the internet!

Introducing true full range electrostatic loudspeaker performance at a fraction of the cost of other brands!

Until now high end full-range electrostatic loudspeakers such as these were only available starting in the $20,000-$30,000 USD range and quickly moved upwards from there. You can now own a pair of full-range truly 100% electrostatic loudspeakers for a fraction of the cost of other brands!

Customers who have compared the ESL-0.5 with the 'other' big name brand electrostatic speaker series (at 4-5 times the price) tell us that the ESL-0.5 sound every bit as good. Our Crescendo-Systems partner through CurtPalme.com is able to reduce costs due to the lack of audiophile sales & marketing mark-up costs typically applied to high-end low-volume audio products such as these.

The gently curved design avoids the high frequency beaming normally associated with a large screen full range design. These true full-range loudspeakers do not have any crossover or cone driver(s) to muddy up the sound. Hear what you've been missing!

These speakers are best suited for high-end audio setups where transparency, musicality, and imaging are of paramount importance.

The ESL-0.5 is hand built in the USA to customer specification and can therefore be customized with respect to size, color and finish to suit a particular request. Please contact us with your requests and personal needs.

Benefits of Electrostatic over conventional cone speakers

Electrostatic speakers offer an openness and transparency that is simply not possible with conventional cone designs due to the laws of physics. Very few people who have purchased electrostatics will go back to using conventional cone speakers after hearing what they've been missing.

The stereo placement of electrostatics is far superior to that of regular speakers. The sound of regular boxed cone drivers never seems to leave the speaker. In electrostatics the stereo image is fluid between and beyond the panels, it is something you really have to hear yourself.

To quote Wikipedia:

Quote:
"Advantages of electrostatic loudspeakers include levels of distortion one to two orders of magnitude lower than conventional cone drivers in a box, the extremely light weight of the diaphragm which is driven across its whole surface, and exemplary frequency response (both in amplitude and phase) because the principle of generating force and pressure is almost free from resonances unlike the more common electrodynamic driver. Musical transparency can be better than in electrodynamic speakers because the radiating surface has much less mass than most other drivers and is therefore far less capable of storing energy to be released later. For example, typical dynamic speaker drivers can have moving masses of tens or hundreds of grams whereas an electrostatic membrane only weighs a few milligrams, several times less than the very lightest of electrodynamic tweeters. The concomitant air load, often insignificant in dynamic speakers, is usually tens of grams because of the large coupling surface, this contributing to damping of resonance buildup by the air itself to a significant, though not complete, degree. Electrostatics can also be executed as full-range designs, lacking the usual crossover filters and enclosures that could color or distort the sound."


Features/Specifications

Specifications are dependant on the size of speaker chosen. The speakers typically range in size from 2' - 3'3" wide and 5 - 6'6" high.

Standard model specifications:

Frequency Response: 80Hz 20KHz 3dB
Horizontal Dispersion: 30
Sensitivity: >84 dB/2.83 volts/meter
Impedance: 6 Ohms/1.2 @20kHz
Power Handling: 150 watts per channel
Weight: 40 lbs (25kg) per speaker
Power supply: 110V 60Hz or 220V 50Hz (specify on order)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 63.5 x 24.5 x 18 (161 x 62 x 46cm)
Finish: Natural birch with brushed aluminum accents
Regular price: $3995 USD/pair
CurtPalme.com special price: $3745 USD/pair. You save $250!

Custom sizes and finishes are possible. Contact us with your requests for exact pricing. The larger 3'3" wide by 6'6" high will add approximately $1000 USD to the price.

These electrostatic loudspeakers are a single panel design with absolutely no crossover.

Generally speaking, for home theater use, the ESL-0.5 should be crossed over to a subwoofer at the standard THX crossover point of 80Hz. This blending point works great as the cross-over frequency is well below that of the human voice. The transition to sub is not noticed. For 100% audio use many users will chose to not use a subwoofer at all. (Note that many other hybrid electrostatic speakers require a considerably higher cross-over point, often as high as 300-400Hz. This to us is unacceptable as the sound of a cone subwoofer and the panel in the critical lower mid-range does not match and is easily heard).

From a technical point of view an electrostatic loudspeaker is just a thin membrane in between two perforated steel plates. The magic is in the coating of the membrane in order to hold charge. Many people and professional brands use graphite, liquid soap, PVA glue, nylon solution (such as Quad), some conducting polymer (such as Martin Logan) or anti-static spray (also a conducting polymer). We use metalized foil after years of extensive tests and in our opinion there is no downside, we cannot hear or measure a quality difference. A big benefit of using metalized foil is that all of the issues with wetting the membrane and any environmental factors like extremely dry (an issue with nylon coating) or moist air are completely avoided. Many of the other brands will not perform correctly in a house with dry (winter) or moist (summer) air.

Pictures

Custom ESL-0.5 Electrostatic speakers (2' wide, 5' high) finished in natural birch with brushed aluminum accents.
Driven by a pair of SOLO Monoblock power amplifiers:



Close-up (perfect fit & finish and attention to detail):



Lager units (3'3" wide and 6'6" high) with different finish:




Questions? Email us at crescendo-systems@curtpalme.com

Curious how these are built? See this forum thread where Kim of Crescendo-Systems is documenting the steps involved in building a pair of these custom loudspeakers.


Order today at an exclusive CurtPalme.com reduced price! GO


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Last edited by kal on Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:15 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need a drooling Smily face icon!!! Those look Sweet!!

Will Buen be making a full surround set? Center and possibly smaller rears?

Athanasios

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nashou66 wrote:
Will Buen be making a full surround set? Center and possibly smaller rears?


Already done - just use 5 of these! Wink

Kal

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Nashou66




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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Nashou66 wrote:
Will Buen be making a full surround set? Center and possibly smaller rears?


Already done - just use 5 of these! Wink

Kal


Shocked Shocked Shocked

Wink

Nashou

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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Technically they can be made to almost any size, a smaller surround is certainly possible and has be done before but of cause will cost you low frequency extension. A panel only 12" wide and 3' high will only go down to about 200Hz.

A center channel has to be rotated 90 degrees and curved again in the horizontal plane but will suffer from the same restrictions on low frequency extension. When you can imagine it I can built it.

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
A center channel has to be rotated 90 degrees ...

Not necessarily. A lot of people use accoustically transparent (microperf) screens with 3 identical speakers across the front. This is truly the best in audio. The difference is very noticeable as the sound is truly anchored on the screen.

The good news is that given that you make these custom speakers to order, someone could easily order 3. There's no need to purchase two pairs and have one left over (unused) speaker.

Kal

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zaphod




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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well as a MartinLogan fan for years (i recently repaneled my CLS) who is not happy with the recent directions of ML, i think that these will be a welcome addition to the world of electrostats (Sanders, ML, Quad). wish tehre was a way for me to hear therm...
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beun




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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When there is a sufficient amount of really serious interest maybe we can set something up in a relatively central location. I can bring all of the equipment and set up a listening room.
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vid1900




Joined: 02 Jan 2011
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations! Finally somebody making full range electrostatics at a sensible price point.

These speakers look very handsome, but I worry that they look like textbook cases for Venetian-blind beaming (ex: page 47 in Sanders "The Electrostatic Loudspeaker" book).



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beun




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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of Sanders' statement but I don't agree. In principle he is right, but when using relatively narrow segments the 'beaming' angle at high frequencies is still relatively wide so it will fill in the gaps.

Furthermore the segments are actually not equal in width, they are narrower in the center and get larger at the sides thereby causing beaming angles of different sizes averaging out the response. Also the complete panel covers an angle of perhaps 30 degrees divided over 9-11 segments (always an odd number) so each segment is only offset by about 3 degrees from the adjacent one.

I have heard very good flat ones and the high frequency beaming is just unacceptable to me. Moving your head by 4 inches already causes a severe drop in high frequencies. With these you can walk around the room and they sound virtually the same everywhere.

Martin-Logans solution in using a continuously curved membrane, although technically cool, is also sub-optimal because of the difference in horizontal and vertical tension. In order the make the membrane curved as it is all the tension must be in the vertical direction causing a nonlinear force to bring the membrane back to its resting position.

All electrostatic speakers are a compromise in engineering and I feel that the compromises that I made make a pretty compelling speaker:

1) The curved stators provide mechanical stability
2) The piece wise linear membrane reduces beaming


Kim

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skypuppy




Joined: 20 Sep 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you feed these speaker a frequency sweep of identical power that goes from 20 hz to 20 khz and please show us the speakers response curves?
I'm hoping for flat response all the way, with no more than 5% variation across the full freq sweep.

Thanks,
David

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beun




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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,

I will see if I can make those measurements for you. I can measure spl, but I am not sure if it is accurate enough. I will probably need to get a good microphone to do it. The room will have some influence as well.

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Tom.W




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work on the speakers Kim ! Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
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vid1900




Joined: 02 Jan 2011
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
I know of Sanders' statement but I don't agree. In principle he is right, but when using relatively narrow segments the 'beaming' angle at high frequencies is still relatively wide so it will fill in the gaps.


Kim


I would not credit Sanders as the discoverer of the phenomenon, Walker described it back in the 1950s.
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Spanky Ham




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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice looking speakers!! It has been a while since I have listened to electrostats, but I remember liking them.

A couple of thoughts:
How small could you make the speakers while still making them achieve 80hz?
How critical is placement?
For a demo, I would suggest going to Cedia next year. You could probably hook up with Seymour AV. A nice benefit with them is you could place your large speakers behind their screen.
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky,

They cannot be that much smaller, I guess the height is not the biggest problem for customers but the width is. They can be made a little narrower (1.5' instead of 2') but I will have to add some side "ears" in order to increase the path length in order to bring the low end roll-off back down.

Placement is not too bad but they do require about 3' from any rear or side wall for reduced wall interaction.

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beun




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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vid,

I did some math and calculated that the 20kHz radiation angle for the narrowest (front) segment is 22 degrees, for the widest segment at the edges it goes down to 17 degrees. With a segment to segment angle of around 3 degrees there seems to be a significant overlap to avoid the Venetian blind effect.


Kim

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've added some specifications to the original post above and to the order page. Take a look!
Link: http://www.curtpalme.com/ESL05.shtm

Kal

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greg_mitch




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PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The price is per speaker or for pair?
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scary cool! I have a pair of MLs here, but haven't listened to them in a long time. I do love the way they sound, even the ancient Quads...
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