Dayton Wright

Dayton Wright logo
  • Dayton Wright Group
  • 97 Newkirk Road North Rochmond Hill, Ontario L4C 3G4 Canada
  • Official website
  • +1 905-889-1522
  • +1 905-508-7502


Equipment[add model]

Dayton Wright manufactures or has manufactured the following equipment (click to expand models list):

Electrostatic Speakers
Solid State Amplifiers

General information [contribute]

Wiliam Wright (July 2000): We've added some information to our site at Since last year, I've looked at the hit info and seen that several people have downloaded the entire manual on both Leigh's and our ESL's. About twenty people have requested Mylar (HS) to repair speakers and we've supplied several HV power supplies and three ESL module tranformers. We've filled orders for preamp pots, switches and seveal trimmer pots for the pre-preampps. I was plesently suprised at the amount of stuff that we made in the early '70's is still in use. We have supplied new front panels for both preamps and interface modules; we have even shipped three entire preamp cases to people who's equipment suffered flood damage.

Text on Dayton Wright taken from a book (origin unknown)(September 2000): A different, and interesting, approach is described in a patent issued on Dec. 11, 1973 to Dayton Wright of Ontario, Canada. This electrostatic speaker, which has been commercially marketed, had several unique features. First, the physical dimensions of the enclosure were much larger than most other speakers of this type. The cabinet was 40 by 48 by 8 inches. The speaker was capable of accepting 250 watts of input power without experiencing any damage.

The one characteristic that makes this speaker exceptional was the use of a gas (sulphurhexafluride or perfluoropropane). The gas was sealed in an enclosure that completely surrounded the speaker elements The properties of this gas benefit the speaker performance in a number of ways. The sound wave traveling through the gas will have a velocity that is 1/3 of its velocity in air. At the boundary between the two mediums, there will be a deflection of the sound waves. In effect, the boundary will act as a lens. The orientation of the electrostatic speaker panels inside the gas chamber can change the wavefront from the speaker. This orientation can either focus the sound into a particular area or it can separate and spread the sound over a larger area.

John Hamm : The Dayton Wrights to protect against arcing, the inert gas allowed them to be driven much harder without arcing thereby being able to play much louder than other electrostatics of the time. The Problem being that insulation is not that reliable at the voltages usually run. The Dayton-Wrights I heard were later models using the Piezo tweeter. I wasn't in love with that high end. Not electrostatic enough.


David Dlugos: For many years the firm of Dayton Wright Associates existed in the small town' of Thornhill, north of Toronto, producing unusual, high-technology hi-fidelity equipment. The products were innovative but plagued by reliability problems. Most notable, the electro-conductive coating on the mylar diaphragm in the electrostatic loudspeakers was prone to failure as it aged. Still the speakers showed great promise

In August of 1976, Leigh Instruments bought Dayton Wright (and all its troubles) for it was felt that with effort and determination solutions could be found to the problems that existed and a worthwhile advance made in the field of audio: the production of reliable gas filled electrostatic loudspeakers.

As soon as ownership changed hands, production of the XG-8 loudspeaker, the SGMK II Graphic Equalizer, and the SPL pre-amp was halted. We continued to make the SPS preamp and the 535 MC pre-amp, but mostly we devoted ourselves to research, and fulfilling warranty obligations to previous DW customers. Both these efforts required the expenditure of substantial sums but we felt it was money well spent.

New coating compounds and application techniques were tried until a method of producing a reliable diaphragm 'was developed. New damping materials were applied to the stators to eliminate annoying resonance's. Also at this time, the ST300 was modified by making changes to the speaker connectors using larger size pins and a higher dielectric plastic. Additionally, the bias circuit was reworked using higher voltage components.

It should be noted that the changes made at this time were largely to solve stability and reliability problems, not to change the sonic characteristics.

In June of 1977, the SPA, an improved version of the SPL pre-amp incorporating modifications designed by Leigh engineers, was favorably received. Continuing along this we now announce an improved loudspeaker.

The XG-8 was a fine loudspeaker, but as always there was room for improvement and our design team decided to strive for greater reliability, lower cost, and an improved sound. We feel they have succeeded in each area

Field reports about the XG-8 led us to believe that some of the problems being encountered stemmed from the piezoelectric tweeters used in the original design. The XG-10 employs a new generation of tweeters with improved transfer characteristics, in conjunction with a simpler crossover 7.

The ST300 A has also undergone significant redesign. No longer acting only as a power supply, and renamed IM 10, it is a total interface unit supplying bias voltage, matched audio signals and equalization. It is built from the ground up to offer you versatility.

The equalization system was carefully and exhaustively designed using the latest in expensive, sophisticated Bruel and Kjaer time delay spectrum analysis equipment. The result was a new smoothness in the blending of the two drivers, and the elimination of resonance's.

A simplified front panel now allows the user to change both the level of the tweeters and the crossover hinge point with an allowance made for the connection of alternative suitable, high quality, high frequency units such as the Decca Ribbon, or the KEF T27, at the users option. Technical data such as expected performance characteristics with various drivers will be available upon request.

The system was also designed with an eye to ensuring amplifier compatibility. Capacitive loads and their inherent frequency sensitive impedance characteristics are often troublesome for amplifiers, but even when using the unit as a full range electrostat (with no dynamic tweeter) its impedance does not fall below 2 ohms. With either internal or external tweeters impedance remains greater than 3 ohms. Moreover, the signal path has been simplified to eliminate extraneous components. This has increased efficiency by minimizing insertion loss.

We at Dayton Wright are also happy that we succeeded in lowering the price. We were able to do this by exploiting the economies of scale associated with our relationship to a large diversified, multi national corporation with volume purchasing power. We have already taken advantage of this relationship, drawing upon Leigh's resources in the research and development stages of the product. We now hope that with more affordable prices we can increase our volume, allowing us to write off the R&D expenses over more units, and to more profitably utilize our improved production facilities.

A history by William wright (part 1) (provided by William Wright)
A history by William wright (part 2) (provided by William Wright)

Refurbishing & modifications[contribute]

Tom Ciborowski (July 2001): If anyone in the United States is interested in an excellent service/renovation facility for their electrostatic loudspeakers, I can heartily recommend the Electrostatic Doctor ( In December 2000, he rebuilt my Dayton Wright XG-10's. The advances in material technology (cableing, capacitors, etc.) since 1980 have made a significant improvement in these speakers performance. The only drawback is that the Electrostatic Doctor (his name is Ben) is loacted in Idaho Falls. The shipping cost for speakers like the Dayton Wright's can almost equal the repair cost. However, if you love your speakers and can't part with them even if they are sounding little ragged, talk to the Electrostatic Doc. No, I don't work for him. I've just been very impressed with the transformation that he made to my speakers.

The electrostatic Doc
Tech Talk

Forum topics on Dayton Wright

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