Electrostatic Speakers explained

Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,085 2 2
#1
As a young kid in 1973 I demoed a pair of Magnepan speakers at high-end audio store and being highly impressed but the price was obscenely high ($3,500+[?]) and they were quite large.

So I never considered purchasing a pair then or in the future, sticking to conventional drivers. But that demo always stayed with me, when I saw this YouTube video this morning.

Pretty interesting and they are now making a bookshelf sized electrostatic speaker which I found amazing.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,085 2 2
#4
Doh!!! Sorry I did not. I thought any thin plane that produces sound is an electrostatic speaker. I shoudl just delete this post, is that possible so I don't make a further a$$ of myself? :)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,122 11 14
#5
Doh!!! Sorry I did not. I thought any thin plane that produces sound is an electrostatic speaker. I shoudl just delete this post, is that possible so I don't make a further a$$ of myself? :)
Not at all. I have a mistake or two archived for posterity in AH posts. It builds character! ;)
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#6
Doh!!! Sorry I did not. I thought any thin plane that produces sound is an electrostatic speaker. I shoudl just delete this post, is that possible so I don't make a further a$$ of myself? :)
No need, man! This is interesting. You can edit your text, but leave the topic.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
5,245 12 6
#8
I thought any thin plane that produces sound is an electrostatic speaker.
This raises an important point about electrostatic speakers, as well as any other thin plane or cone speaker (such as the Linkwitz Orion) where the front and the back are open. All of these so called bi-pole speakers have that in common, as opposed to the more common mono-pole speakers that most of us have. They require careful room placement so the rear wave reflects off walls behind the speaker and arrives at the listener in phase with the front wave. These front and rear waves can complement each other, but it requires some trial & error in room placement before it works well. Although this can result in wonderful sound, they usually end up far enough away from walls to effectively dominate the room. In my opinion, that is the major downside of these speakers.

The speaker in that video mentioned that feature, but I don't think he made the point well enough. The bi-pole feature is, in my opinion, what allows these speakers to sound wonderful, but only if they are carefully located within the room.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
436 4 6
#10
I wish :) but I waited too long and now my full ignorance is on display :rolleyes: won't be the first time in my life :D
Ponz, don't beat yourself up, no big deal, it's all good. learning is learning and when you stop you'll be dead, so look at the bright side !

For the record I was a di-pole guy (Maggies and Logans) up until 2 years ago when I returned to conventional cones (Revel Studio 2's) but I dare not say 'never' in so far as a return ......
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,408 21 53
#12
This raises an important point about electrostatic speakers, as well as any other thin plane or cone speaker (such as the Linkwitz Orion) where the front and the back are open. All of these so called bi-pole speakers have that in common, as opposed to the more common mono-pole speakers that most of us have. They require careful room placement so the rear wave reflects off walls behind the speaker and arrives at the listener in phase with the front wave. These front and rear waves can complement each other, but it requires some trial & error in room placement before it works well. Although this can result in wonderful sound, they usually end up far enough away from walls to effectively dominate the room. In my opinion, that is the major downside of these speakers.

The speaker in that video mentioned that feature, but I don't think he made the point well enough. The bi-pole feature is, in my opinion, what allows these speakers to sound wonderful, but only if they are carefully located within the room.
Bi-pole or di-pole? :)
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#13
They require careful room placement so the rear wave reflects off walls behind the speaker and arrives at the listener in phase with the front wave.
But this isn't actually possible, is it?

The required distances are different for each wavelength. While there's certainly overlap (wavelengths with fixed ratios, especially doubling); there's no position where front and rear waves will meet in phase regardless of frequency.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
5,245 12 6
#14
But this isn't actually possible, is it?

The required distances are different for each wavelength. While there's certainly overlap (wavelengths with fixed ratios, especially doubling); there's no position where front and rear waves will meet in phase regardless of frequency.
Your question is good. Suffice it to say my explanation is inadequate because my words and understanding of bi-pole speaker behavior is limited.

I have heard their 'magic', I just don't know how to explain it well. I also decided a long time ago that I would pass on owning them because of their size and the room location needs.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
5,245 12 6
#18
Right. A bi-pole which use two drivers, one firing out the front, and one out the rear.
I get my di-poles and bi-poles confused.

So a Magnepan or Martin Logan (except the bass driver) would be a di-pole. And the Linkwitz Orion would be di-/bi-pole hybrid. It's open backed mid range is di-polar and it's two tweeters (one projects forward & and one backwards) are bi-polar. Right?
 
D

D Murphy

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
82
#19
and both of which are in phase whereas a dipole, 180 degrees out
That's correct. And the two speakers can also be at angles to each other, both firing to the front, which is a configuration commonly found in surround speakers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,408 21 53
#20
I get my di-poles and bi-poles confused.

So a Magnepan or Martin Logan (except the bass driver) would be a di-pole. And the Linkwitz Orion would be di-/bi-pole hybrid. It's open backed mid range is di-polar and it's two tweeters (one projects forward & and one backwards) are bi-polar. Right?
It's bi-monthly I always have to stop and think about :)
 

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