Electrostatic pros and cons.


I recently saw a feature on the program, "how it's made" on electrostatic speakers and it piqued my interest in them. I was wondering the pros and cons of them, their placement, space needs, sound, etc. Any advice would be appreciated.









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Great info and thread here! Thank you, all.
Indeed. Big Sounlabs with big Atma-Sphere or VTL amps would be great. No woofers/subwoofers needed. If that's your kind of sound.
Bill, yeah they are about $250k.
I've heard and now dream about the Sanders speakers. Quick, dynamic, clean, transparent, life-like, moved me like no other. Downside was requiring bi-amping, 2 sets of speaker cables and 2 extra XLR cables, can add up $$$$$ quickly. Will one day own them.
Wow! All this talk of measurements and tech issues, and little or no
acknowledgment of another critical component - YOUR ROOM!
Yes - you can sit nearfield 8 feet from a pair of "Studio"-quality
Monitors and detect minutia. The minute we enlarge the listening
area, the more it becomes a factor in the sounds we perceive. Surfaces
add to the variables.  And while we focus on analysis of our equipment, little qualification is attempted on room dynamics (good reason - they're all different!).
 Bottom line? Just trust your ears. Try stuff and pick what sounds best
to you.... in YOUR environment. (Buy the way - our audio perception 
- what we each hear - is a non-constant, too!)
Had to throw this in.
Bo
@broockies:  Thanks for posting the relevant information about ROOMS.  As I keep posting on this forum, whatever you think you like may sound different in YOUR ROOM.  Take it home and listen and then buy.

Next, Levinson loved electrostatics in the '70s and made the HQD system, which we made some stands for:

https://www.google.com/search?q=levinson+hqd&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS826US826&tbm=isch&source=iu...

This was dual quads, a Decca Ribbon between them, and one or two Hartely 24" subwoofers.  It was driven, unfortunately, by a bunch of his stuff at the time, which was built like a tank but sounded pretty bad.

Next to a pair of Magnepan speakers, it was shrill, beamy, and took some effort to tone down the woofer(s).  It sounded nice, but electrostatics (back then, anyway) had a bunch of issues.  RTR had a line of them that we carried, and Bob Fulton used their biggest pair in his FMI "J" Modular system:

https://www.google.com/search?q=fulton+modular+j+system&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS826US826&tbm=isch&am...

A lot of work and time went into both of these designs--notice that they are all 6' tall--I wonder where they got that idea?  It could not have been from Magnepan, of course...but I digress.

The point is that two of the best in the day tried the electrostatics in systems that let them be featured.  Neither sounded all that good, even for the time.  Electrostatic speakers failed QUICKLY under mid-powered amps--a Phase Linear 700 would launch them to the moon, I suppose-- and they tend to be both shirll and beamy. 

If a new inventor has conquered these issues, I suggest you try them out in YOUR ROOM next to a pair of Magnepans of equal quality.  Then, buy the one YOU like.

Cheers!