4, Various, alternative configuration

Read more on the Acoustat 4 in our home audio section

Mario Poirier2004-02-23 22:21

Dear Andy, I wrote to you earlier about my Acoustat Model 4. They\'re still doing fine. I have set a Home Theatre and I am using my Acoustat as front speaker. But has you may know they do take a lot of room, so I was thinking of redesigning the frame. Actually it\'s an exact copy of the original frame. But I have something else in mind and I want your opinion please. On the original frame, all the cells are in line (well almost). I am wondering if it\'s a good idea to do a frame that will place the cell at a 90° angle from each other and make a square form. It will take a quarter of the space and since these speakers are omni directional, it should not affect too much the sound. Of course I will pay attention to the front face of the cell out of the square and the back face in the square other wise they will out of phase. You get the idea. Please give me your opinion. Thanks


Andy Szabo2004-02-23 22:21

The Model 4 certainly does consume a lot of floor space, but I think you would be very disappointed with the results of rearranging the panels as you describe. Without going into a detailed acoustical analysis, I can say that you would certainly lose the excellent imaging qualities of the speaker, the distinctive “airy” electrostatic sound, and probably significant amounts of bass response.

The large size of electrostatic loudspeakers has always been a “negative point” of the technology. This is one reason why electrostats have never been popular with the masses, and sales of ESL’s have always been limited to those who demand excellent sound quality, and who are also willing to accept the compromise of living with a physically large speaker. In other words, if we could have made them more compact, don’t you think we would have already done so?

If you have ceilings tall enough, you might consider rearranging the panels into a 2+2 configuration. This would yield a speaker only half as wide, with even better imaging than your Model 4’s, and without any other compromises.

The standard Model 2+2 uses four 9” panels, whereas your Model 4 uses two 9” and two 8” panels. For such a modification, I suggest you mount a 9” and 8” panel next to each other for the lower panels, and repeat the pattern for the upper two panels. For best results, you would probably want to mirror image the pattern on the other speaker. If I remember correctly, the 2+2 has a nine-degree angle between adjacent panels (to improve dispersion).

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’d hate to see you do all that work and be disappointed with the results.

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