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Nigel

Eraudio Minipanels 505 - Entry Level my foot.

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Newman   

A well designed dipole gives you (compared with monopole) less overall reflected sound, and specifically reduced side wall reflections, with a spectral balance that matches the direct sound.   These all drastically improve imaging and clarity.

 

Would like to point out that the highlighted claim does NOT apply to panel dipoles. So it seems illogical to argue that panel type dipoles have that sonic imaging and clarity if it occurs for the reason given.

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Has anyone here stacked a pair of 505 panels? I'm seriously looking at stacking  pairs of 440s or possibly the 505s and was wondering if there is anything to lose sound wise by stacking, i.e. imaging, soundstaging etc.

 

Regards,

 

SS

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Steve M   

Yes, I've got a pair of stacked 440 ER Audio esl panels ...general conclusion is that everything gets better than from a single pair, maybe dependent on the room space you are trying to fill. A single pair is fine if that is all the room requires.

 

Steve.

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Nigel   
50 minutes ago, Sub Sonic said:

Has anyone here stacked a pair of 505 panels? I'm seriously looking at stacking  pairs of 440s or possibly the 505s and was wondering if there is anything to lose sound wise by stacking, i.e. imaging, soundstaging etc.

 

Regards,

 

SS

There are 2 improvements from stacking 505s. Generally you aim the panels at your head in the sitting position.

When you stand up, a lot of the magic disappears....stacking means that doesn't happen.

The other reason is the extra loudness 6dB I believe. As Steve implies... big room ? then stack another pair.

Sonically identical to a single 505 though.

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Ok I'm thinking I'll get a pair of 505s and go from there. I have a good mate with access to a CNC router, I'll have to draft him in to help with the surrounds/cabinet work :-)

 

 A pair of 440s will be coming up for sale if anyone is interested.

 

Regards,

 

SS

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Posted (edited)

I've ordered a set of the 505 panels. Rob mentioned there have been some changes, so the newer panel will now reach down a little lower, to around 150 Hz. Looking forward to receiving them :)

 

Thanks @ESLman or your extensive emails and help!

 

Regards,

 

SS

 

Edit: Corrected @ moniker for Rob (ERaudio).

Edited by Sub Sonic

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Woohoo! Something arrived in the post today! :-)

 

These are the versions with a slightly wider gap, allowing crossing over as low as 150Hz. Looking forward to building "enclosures" and having a listen...

 

Regards,

 

SS

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Upfront   
Woohoo! Something arrived in the post today! :-)
 
These are the versions with a slightly wider gap, allowing crossing over as low as 150Hz. Looking forward to building "enclosures" and having a listen...
 
Regards,
 
SS
IMG_5963.thumb.JPG.93edda22bd157faf7389bbd6ea114a30.JPG
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Very cool mate. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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NADMAD   

@Sub Sonic How are you getting on with your new 505s? I have the same ones with the increased gap and they are amazing. The increased air gap also improves their HF extension from 15k to 18k according to my measurements of these vs the Mk1 505s. 

 

Due to their size Vs their frequency range they do need EQ to counter the unavoidable effects of dipole cancellation. I managed to get mine out into the garden this weekend for some anechoic measurements from 1m away. According to my measurements they have a fairly consistent 3dB/octave slope due to dipole cancellation and also possibly the effects of beaming of the higher frequencies which causes a 3dB/octave boost apparently. 

 

This was easily resolved with a low shelf boost (you could also do a high shelf cut of course). Mated with some suitable woofers they just sound great. Highly highly highly recommend the miniDSP 2x4HD! I used rePhase (which is awesome)  to create FIR filter files (see image below) which incorporated a 400Hz LR crossover as well as a fairly substantial low shelf boost at 800Hz. The woofers use an FIR for the crossover and also have a low shelf but I apply this with the miniDSP EQ because the phase goes haywire in rePhase for this low boost, probably due to a lack of taps.

 

Finally, as with all dipoles they do like to be off the walls. My standard position is about 40cm from the back wall and butted up to one side wall which is suboptimal but I pull them out to about a metre during listening sessions. My QRDs failed the WAF test...

505 1m On Axis.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 8.27.50 pm.png

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@NADMAD still in their box :-)

Have been pretty busy recently unfortunately. I have a mate with access to a large CNC router, plus SWMBO agreed to a Festool tracksaw recently, so my excuses are running out :-)

 

The plan at this stage is to run a 6" or 8" sealed Seas Excel woofer beneath them although with the panels' extension to 150Hz I maybe able to make them meet the sub directly. I may have a play with both options, but freestanding panels/woofers with separate subs (Rhythmik) is the eventual aim.

 

I have a standard MiniDSP 2x4 which will be used for the woofer, and only with the panel if necessary. The panel will be running from a DIY Pass F5 with a mighty 25 watts per side, which is currently driving the 440s.

 

Regards,

 

SS

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NADMAD   

Oh mercy, how I would love a Festool track saw! I use a Ryobi circ saw with a Craftright clamping straight edge guide which does the job but my routers and sliding mitre saw are all Mak which makes the Ryobi feel very ordinary. Would love a table saw next. And a band saw. And an air compressor

Regarding using the panels with a sub, I looked into this but I'm not convinced the panels will give you enough in that area to negate the woofer.

To get my panels flat by compensating for the cancellation I'm applying a 16dB shelf with a Q of 0.4 at 800hz. It's flat down to 200ish but does run out of steam shortly after.

That being said, applying the compensation EQ allowed me to hear the 505s flat full range for the first time and they do sound great!

Ron has been incredibly patient with me and has been an amazing support and source of knowledge throughout. That alone would make me buy from him again.


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NADMAD   

Oh mercy, how I would love a Festool track saw! I use a Ryobi circ saw with a Craftright clamping straight edge guide which does the job but my routers and sliding mitre saw are all Mak which makes the Ryobi feel very ordinary. Would love a table saw next. And a band saw. And an air compressor

Regarding using the panels with a sub, I looked into this but I'm not convinced the panels will give you enough in that area to negate the woofer.

To get my panels flat by compensating for the cancellation I'm applying a 16dB shelf with a Q of 0.4 at 800hz. It's flat down to 200ish but does run out of steam shortly after.

That being said, applying the compensation EQ allowed me to hear the 505s flat full range for the first time and they do sound great!

Ron has been incredibly patient with me and has been an amazing support and source of knowledge throughout. That alone would make me buy from him again.


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@NADMAD just a little progress update, today I managed to turn some big pieces of wood into some smaller pieces of wood :-)

 

The boxes are not glued yet, there is a fair bit more work required before that. The plan is that the lower section of the enclosure will be sealed for a 6" bass driver, and the upper part will have the 505 panel mounted in the front baffle. Almost the whole enclosure around the 505 panel section will be routed/sawn out/removed, leaving just the front baffle and the corner sections, so that it is pretty well open while retaining a box shape. The entire enclosure is to be covered with a grille cloth sock, with top and bottom caps. This will allow me to play with deflectors and damping materials behind the panel, as well as being able to have it open. The speakers will be reasonably close to the rear wall, hence the interest in deflectors etc.

 

XO is likely to be MiniDSP unless I work out a good sounding solution (due to driver sensitivity) with a passive XO.

 

Regards,

 

SS

 

IMG_6432.JPG

IMG_6437.JPG

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NADMAD   

Awesome! How's the track saw?! The boxes look great so far. I've always wondered if you could make a sort of open sided box with the front being the ESL baffle and the back having a QRD built into it so you can put them close to a back wall. Probably more hassle than it's worth though! 

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@NADMAD the track saw is very versatile, it does quite a bit more than just basic straight cuts. Dust extraction is very good too, leaves very litttle dust if you use it correctly.

 

Yes, the open sided box is what I'm aiming for al least with the top ESL section. I hadn't really considered diffusers, more absorption or reflection, it's an interesting thought though. I'll give it some further thought.

 

SS

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 I finally made some good progress on the speakers to the point of being able to listen to them. I initially cut some MDF with the intention of building an enclosure, but then ended up using some enclosures I had been given a while ago. They were originally a set of ex R&D Duntech Ambassador XLs, but they were not really in useable condition, otherwise I would never have modified them :-) The bass drivers' foam was rotted, the tweeters were both in pretty average condition, and the twin 6" midbass drivers had varying amounts of stuff stuck to the front of them as part of something Duntech was trying many years ago. The crossovers were different in each speaker. Also, the cabinets needed a little attention as the joints were not 100%. A far cry from their production models!

 

I ended up keeping the low down side firing 8" woofer arrangement, although with replacement woofers. The overall height was cut down by about 120mm to make them less imposing. I wanted to try the closed box arrangement with the electrostatic panels (a la Janszen), but if it didn't sound any good, I would have cut out the sides and back and covered the whole lot with a grille cloth sock.

 

I cut and fit some new front panels to suit the 505s, and lined the 25mm enclosure with 10mm felt offcuts which I had. The enclosure was then about 80% filled with the Dunlop Hypersoft HS1730 foam which Duntech used in their enclosures. Luckily this one came stuffed full of it.

 

The bi wire speaker terminals were wired up to the woofer and panel respectively, with the panel wiring being run up through the enclosure to a compartment at the top, to make it accessible. I still need to make a cover for the transformer board under the speaker's top cap to keep the high voltage away from curious fingers. A 12v input socket was fitted to the terminal plate and the 12v power cabling run up to the top compartment. A 12v power LED was also fitted to the terminal plate.

 

So far I have wired but not used the 8" woofers, so it is just the panels running down to maybe 200 Hz, with the 12" Rythmik subwoofers running up to their upper limit of 200 Hz. Rythmik does not recommend running this high but I thought I'd try it anyway. 2x22uF capacitors were paralleled and used in line with the panel, plus MiniDSP on top of that, with 3rd order XO at the 200 Hz point, aiming for something effectively around a 4th order XO.

 

So far, they sound absolutely stunning! I really didn't expect enclosed electrostatic panels to sound this good! There was absolutely no sense of them being in an enclosure, perhaps because of the efforts taken to damp the enclosure. They could be placed against the back wall, and there was no perceivable loss of depth of the sound field or other effects which usually seems to happen to speakers with dynamic drivers when up against a back wall. They really do sound superb. Sound staging, transparency and naturalness are all right up there. They leave dynamic drivers for dead, I'm not sure if I will ever go back to standard speakers in a serious way. I will need to tweak the XO once measurements are done, but for a first listen, I am EXTREMELY happy. I can definitely state it is worth while trying these in a suitable enclosure, if anyone else wishes to try it. I also think that the damping inside the enclosure should be done with the aim of soaking up the entire back wave. I have some pics below, but none with the panels installed sorry.

 

Interestingly, the very quick measurement (Dayton Omnimic) that I have done showed an extremely flat response, at least in the mid and upper frequencies, it is almost ruler flat. The measurement was done in-room and gated to 5ms, so I have no objective info on the lower frequencies as yet. My graphs certainly look different to @NADMAD ’s graphs above, not sure why. Maybe Rob @ESLman (ERAudio) could offer some insight?

 

The panels are awesome. I have also found the Rythmik subwoofers to integrate seamlessly with electrostatic panels, albeit enclosed ones. I can highly recommend the combination.

 

SS

 

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Nigel   
On ‎26‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 9:27 PM, NADMAD said:

@Sub Sonic How are you getting on with your new 505s? I have the same ones with the increased gap and they are amazing. The increased air gap also improves their HF extension from 15k to 18k according to my measurements of these vs the Mk1 505s. 

 

Due to their size Vs their frequency range they do need EQ to counter the unavoidable effects of dipole cancellation. I managed to get mine out into the garden this weekend for some anechoic measurements from 1m away. According to my measurements they have a fairly consistent 3dB/octave slope due to dipole cancellation and also possibly the effects of beaming of the higher frequencies which causes a 3dB/octave boost apparently. 

 

This was easily resolved with a low shelf boost (you could also do a high shelf cut of course). Mated with some suitable woofers they just sound great. Highly highly highly recommend the miniDSP 2x4HD! I used rePhase (which is awesome)  to create FIR filter files (see image below) which incorporated a 400Hz LR crossover as well as a fairly substantial low shelf boost at 800Hz. The woofers use an FIR for the crossover and also have a low shelf but I apply this with the miniDSP EQ because the phase goes haywire in rePhase for this low boost, probably due to a lack of taps.

 

Finally, as with all dipoles they do like to be off the walls. My standard position is about 40cm from the back wall and butted up to one side wall which is suboptimal but I pull them out to about a metre during listening sessions. My QRDs failed the WAF test...

505 1m On Axis.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 8.27.50 pm.png

 @NADMAD

Tom,

There is something seriously wrong with that top graph. I will try to find my measurement (on my other computer) but adding all that power / EQ maybe harmful to the panel(?). My measurements with an 8" woofer were flat with no EQ. Something is not right with your measurement. Was that 1 panel or both ??  

Edited by Nigel

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Nigel   

@subsonic

most interested to see your measurements (just the panel) so we can compare to free-air.

No cancellation, no rear wave - you might be on to something. Of course we need to see how much of the diaphragm's travel is lost due to +/- air pressure, if any.

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NADMAD   
1 hour ago, Nigel said:

 @NADMAD

Tom,

There is something seriously wrong with that top graph. I will try to find my measurement (on my other computer) but adding all that power / EQ maybe harmful to the panel(?). My measurements with an 8" woofer were flat with no EQ. Something is not right with your measurement. Was that 1 panel or both ??  

Hi Nigel,

This measurement was one panel without woofer or crossover at 1m on-axis in the garden, elevated up about 1.2m. Impulse looks good, phase looks good.

 

However, I've since replaced the diaphragms on my 505s as my frame had too little tolerance and was twisting the panels ever so slightly which lead to a bit of burn through. I've since re-routed the enclosures and lined them with foam tape to add damping and a little give so that the panels sit square. 

 

All of that being said I've done multiple measurements of three different versions of the 505 and they were read similar from that distance. I'd be keen to see your 1m readings if you have any, @Nigel and @Subsonic

 

I haven't done an outside measurement since re-skinning my 505s but this is a measurement taken inside a bit closer to the diaphragm with the low shelf boost and 400Hz 2nd order crossover in place. Phase looks good, response is +/- 1.5dB from crossover point to about 18KHz, and they sound amazing!

 

The boost from the shelf is only 6dB and people often forget that a shelf reduction which is the norm because it's easier to do with passive components has exactly the same effect, only rather than boosting the bottom you reduce the top by 6dB in this instance, and then counteract this by turning the panels up by 6dB, at which point the LF is at exactly the same level as when boosted! For the volumes I listen to in my 4x5m room the panels still have loads to give. Not once have they clamped down or even come close. 

 

505 New Skin Close.jpg

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Nigel   

Hi Tom,

this last graph looks v. good and more as I expect, with no EQ.  

Rob is sending me the latest iteration of the 505s so in a few weeks I'll remeasure and post.

My measurements will be from 2m approx, realistic and not hiding baffle effects.

I think the industry "standard" 1m distance, to be pointless.

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Nigel said:

Hi Tom,

this last graph looks v. good and more as I expect, with no EQ.  

Rob is sending me the latest iteration of the 505s so in a few weeks I'll remeasure and post.

My measurements will be from 2m approx, realistic and not hiding baffle effects.

I think the industry "standard" 1m distance, to be pointless.

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty sure your panels and mine will be the same then (larger gap, larger transformer), which is good, as we'll be comparing apples with apples. You could confirm with Rob if they are in fact the same.

 

I'll take some measurements in the next few days and post them, it will be interesting to compare enclosed to standard dipole. I'll also post measurement conditions to assist with comparisons.

 

SS

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ESLman   

Hi NADMAD, Nigel and Sub Sonic,

 

Forgive me if I make some protocol errors, I don't often visit forums so I don't know the correct procedures etc.

 

The first graph shown by Tom back in June / July is not what I would normally expect to see for the 505, even the earlier smaller gap version, which this was. I would expect to see the roll off occurring from around 700Hz at around 3dB / octave then fall into a hole at around 300 - 200 Hz. The type of baffle used makes a big difference to the lower frequencies by pushing down front to rear cancellation effects, the wider the baffle the lower down cancellation starts. As an aside, the 0R47 ohm resistor is used to quell an electrical resonant peak at around 10kHz. It would be interesting to put a jumper across the resistor and re-measure to see if the small hole in response between 8 and 10k is fixed.

The latest generation of 505's has an increased gap between the stator surface and the diaphragm by 50%, this gives better ability to move more air at lower frequencies. The trade off is normally a reduction in sensitivity. To overcome this we changed the open area of the stator to provide more land area, this effectively increases the amount of surface driving the diaphragm. This combined with higher bias voltage (allowable due to the greater air gap) and a larger transformer able to drive the panel at lower frequencies has resulted in the panel being able to go down at least to 200Hz and significantly below that if a 3rd or 4th order filter is used. It's important that frequencies below 150Hz are filtered from the signal due to the possibility of transformer saturation. An analogy is trying to drive a dynamic mid-range driver down to 20Hz or even 40Hz, it won't work so well!

 

I'm very interested to see the results of Sub Sonic's sealed box 505. I must confess I thought this would not work so well but I'm happy to be proven wrong. The big benefit of this is the elimination of front to rear cancellation so the low end should improve quite well. This gave me an idea about a triangular enclosure the width of the panel at the front tapering to say a 20mm vertical slot at the rear. The enclosure would be filled with absorbent stuffing and should slow the low frequency  rear wave down sufficiently for it to exit in phase with the panel, HF would be absorbed on the way through. This is just food for thought but I must have a play with it. 

 

Rob

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NADMAD   

Thanks Rob, yeah it seemed weird to me. Further investigation required. As you know though my frames have caused me (and you) issues, so maybe if I measured them now that has been resolved the results would be different? 

 

Either way, the thing we all agree on is that your panels sound amazing! I love the idea of your enclosure as well, Rob. The Linkwitz LXmini works on the same principal albeit a radically different design. 

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NADMAD   

I wonder if my mic positioning is over-representing the centre stator?


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