Thursday, December 20, 2007

DIY Electrostatic Loudspeakers / ESLs - Out of the Box

I received the LARGE box containing the ESL III components from ER Audio a couple of weeks before christmas of 2006. Happiness is when a huge package is delivered undamaged by the courier. The size of the box was a real surprise. Mentally. I was not prepared for such a large box.
I immediately opened up the both to examine the contents. Upon opening the box, I just stared at the contents for what seemd like hours..... there were just so many components. Panic started to set it... what parts are these..., what am I getting myself into..., where do I even begin...
I thought first things first, I'd do a brief inspection and an inventory check against the components list. Well everything seemed complete and in order. All components accounted for. nothing was damaged... perfect packing. During the inspection the items that caught my eyes (and hands) were the audio transformers. They are really humongous lumps of black iron making them the heaviest items in the package. If I ever need a door stop in gale force winds, this would be it!! Here they are in all their ferrous glory:
Further rummaging in the package revealed the CNC'ed support structures tucked at the bottom of the package. These support structures are made from plastic and milled on a CNC machine to generate the desired structure. These support structures will hold the stators and the diaphragm in place. They are yery well machined. Among other things, you can also see the long channel 'clips' that will secure 2 support structures that will come together to make one working panel. You will also find a roll of mylar film, wires and also tools.... yes it comes complete with tools!!
The machined support structure is the black plastic frame. The white strips that you see are the spacers that will hold the frames, stators and the diaphragm at the correct distance in relation to each other. The white spacers are glued onto the black support frame. A very elegant and but simple design.
And completeing the basic components that make up an ESL are the stators. These are the Steel Grids will be used as the the stators for the ESL. They are thin but sturdy and are finished in black powder coat.
The next Step.... I begin the build by Installing the Stators and Support Structure

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