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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seeking information (pro/cons) about a pair of Acoustat electrostatic speakers. These are the big ones(3' wide x 5' tall). The speakers are very powerful but have a low frequency hum when the volume is turned off. Is this normal or could there be a problem with the built-in amplifiers? And the low frequency response seems a bit lacking. Any information would be appreciated.


Hugh
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Hadfield /forum/post/11748135


I am seeking information (pro/cons) about a pair of Acoustat electrostatic speakers. These are the big ones(3' wide x 5' tall). The speakers are very powerful but have a low frequency hum when the volume is turned off. Is this normal or could there be a problem with the built-in amplifiers? And the low frequency response seems a bit lacking. Any information would be appreciated.


Hugh

I haven't had any experience with that speaker, but if you don't get your answer here, try www.audioasylum.com . The guys over there seem to follow more of the esoteric stuff.
 

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I own a pair of Acoustat Spectra 1100's in oak finish with cream colored grill cloths. Mine are 6' tall and 16" wide with a bass module at the bottom with an 8" acoustic suspension woofer.


They have a unique sound that some folks like and others don't. I like mine and have had them for 13 years.



Mine are unpowered, but do require a high current powerful amp capable of handling 2 ohm loads. My 1100's go down to 2 ohms @ 20,000 hz and can beat up lesser amps.



I know Acoustats have built in power supplies but I didn't know that they had built in power amps. I have never heard mine hum with the volume turned down. It may be a ground loop problem that could be isolated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Hadfield /forum/post/11748135


I am seeking information (pro/cons) about a pair of Acoustat electrostatic speakers. These are the big ones(3' wide x 5' tall). The speakers are very powerful but have a low frequency hum when the volume is turned off. Is this normal or could there be a problem with the built-in amplifiers? And the low frequency response seems a bit lacking. Any information would be appreciated.


Hugh

I was the largest Acoustat dealer in the world in 1983, and I sold them for five years. They're amazing speakers, if you're willing to put up with some of their shortcomings. First of all, you don't have "big ones." It sounds like you have the Model 3. There were at least four larger models, and they all sounded alike, except the bigger ones played louder and had more bass. Oddly enough, they are almost as loud 10' away as they are 1' away, unlike dynamic speakers.


The hum you are hearing is from the transformer in the interface on the back of the speaker. Playing the speaker will mask that hum. You could float the transformers on grommets, but if it were up to me, I would not open the interfaces.


Because the non-hybrid Acoustats were full-range with no crossovers, the range from 100 Hz to 10 kHz was very coherent, and startlingly realistic. They don't have good response above 15 kHz because of the mass of the panels, and because of the limitation of panel excursion, they can't reproduce low bass at a high level. They tend to power-compress really badly in the bass. The panels are virtually indestructable, and cannot be blown unless you really try. You need good separates to drive Acoustats, and, as a minmum, I'd say Outlaw is the lowest you can go. (Pretty good stuff.) No receivers, please. They don't work that well with a subwoofer unless the sub is employed below 60 Hz or so. The marriage of a cone sub and an electrostatic is tricky. The speakers don't play that loud, and there is a very narrow sweet spot; in fact, it is a "sweet point." If you move your head an inch either way, the image shifts.


If you have white ones, clean the panel socks with Texize K2R, if you can find it. Cats like them as scratching posts. If you smoke, the panels will attract that sludge and after a few years, they'll be ruined, like your lungs.


If you listen to acoustical music, chamber music, vocals, and any audiophile recordings that don't contain big bass drum whacks, these are amazing speakers. They sound like giant headphones, because...well...that's what they are.

 

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I think Acoustats were excellent speakers with first rate clarity and , oh I dunno, they just had something special going for them.


I damned near bought the original Acoustat Xs with the built in tube amps, like an idiot I bought Magneplanars instead, talk about Rube Goldberg contraptions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for the input. I probably should have waited to post my queiry until I new the exact model I was looking at. Found out today they are Model X's. Paul mentions the hum is from the transformers in the cabinets. The hum/buz seems to be coming from the speaker panel itself and has more of an electronic hum/buz. Are you saying that a sub would not work with these speakers? I will be bummed.


Hugh
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Hadfield /forum/post/11760033


Thanks guys for the input. I probably should have waited to post my queiry until I new the exact model I was looking at. Found out today they are Model X's. Paul mentions the hum is from the transformers in the cabinets. The hum/buz seems to be coming from the speaker panel itself and has more of an electronic hum/buz. Are you saying that a sub would not work with these speakers? I will be bummed.


Hugh

If the hum is coming from the panel itself, you either have a transformer in the power supply going bad, or hum being caused elsewhere in your system. The Model Xs are the most interesting Acoustats, and probably the least reliable.


A sub can be used, but it needs to be a nimble, clean sub...not a flatulent boom box. You should use a crossover so the Acoustats don't run full range, though. If you want to know why, play the heartbeat at the beginning of Dark Side of the Moon, and listen to your panels rattle.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli /forum/post/11762767


If the hum is coming from the panel itself, you either have a transformer in the power supply going bad, or hum being caused elsewhere in your system. The Model Xs are the most interesting Acoustats, and probably the least reliable.


A sub can be used, but it needs to be a nimble, clean sub...not a flatulent boom box. You should use a crossover so the Acoustats don't run full range, though. If you want to know why, play the heartbeat at the beginning of Dark Side of the Moon, and listen to your panels rattle.

Hey Paul, didn't the Acoustats have a 25 year warranty? I bought a set back in the 80s, my brother still uses them at his Lake place.
 

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It's a damn shame that Rockford sold the Acoustat line to a Italian company.



I did a quick Google search and found this..........


In the field of electrostatic speakers, there are a handful of names that evoke a sense of awe and excitement, a primal reaction to the memory of their sound. In the USA one such name was Acoustat, the creation of Jim Strickland.


Born in the USA in 1972, Acoustat reached closer to the goal of a perfect full range panel speaker. Acoustat also addressed the issues of cost and reliability, through innovation that resulted in a better sounding, more reliable and cheaper speaker.


1972 - Acoustat Inc. established in USA by Jim Strickland.

1980 - Invention new type of i/f allowing any good quality amplifier to be used.

1983 - Design of the modular series, allowing full range ELS, but bulky.

1992 - Design of all electrical model (SPECTRA) delivering better dispersion of treble.

1995 - All new design - very slim and light using aluminium frames.


During the 1980s, Acoustat merged with David Hafler Corp (Pro-audio par excellence) and later with the Rockford Corporation (Car audio par excellence). These divergent areas led to the acquisition of Acoustat Technology by an Italian high end manufacturer in 1992, and eventually to lower costs through manufacturing in China in 1999.


Italian ownership resulted in re-engineered aesthetically pleasing products and the innovative use of stiffer PVC insulated rod-like wires for the static field, making the speakers virtually maintenance free, extremely robust compared to other ELS and aesthetically well ahead of their time.


In 2002 , Acoustat moved to the present base in mainland China, where electrostatic panel speakers are reaping the benefit of reduced manufacturing costs.


Technology Overview


Electrostatic loudspeakers (ELS) are inherently highly directional at the higher frequencies i.e. the fabulous sweet point is tightly defined in both planes. The development of SPECTRA technology, in the late 1980s overcame this fundamental problem and resulted in a much more user friendly system. SPECTRA delivered an electrical, rather than mechanical, solution to this problem resulting in better performance and easier manufacturing.


Another inherent feature of ELS, dipole radiation, requires proper positioning to avoid detrimental reflection interference in the room, although conversely, the same characteristic mimics most natural sound sources Rear and side wall reflections do require some control. ELS can generate beautiful, controlled bass given sufficient panel area however few people can accommodate 6' X 2' speakers, however slim, and so many ELS panels are paired with high quality cone woofers.


Acoustat were the first to overcome the need for expensive amplifiers in the early 1980s. Most panels are now similarly able to be driven by any solid state amplifier with a strong current delivery, making ELS an everyday, affordable product, now extending their reach into surround sound systems.


Thus, after almost 90 years of the first patents being filed, we have a speaker type that is beautiful to behold, practical to own and truly offers high fidelity sound reproduction by its very natural.
 

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Deat sterankoman,


I see that you are expert in electrostat speakers and I would REALLY appreciate your advice. What I'm looking for is a speaker for acoustic music and for some blues.

I have an opportunity to buy used Martin logan SL3 or new KINGS AUDIOPHILE KS 3016 MK 2 for the same money (2900) or new Acoustat Z-1100 for 2000

The problem is that I can't hear them on the same system. Do you maybe have any idea what would be best buy?


THANK you very much in advance for your time!!


Grega
[email protected]
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli /forum/post/11753647


I was the largest Acoustat dealer in the world in 1983, and I sold them for five years. They're amazing speakers, if you're willing to put up with some of their shortcomings. First of all, you don't have "big ones." It sounds like you have the Model 3. There were at least four larger models, and they all sounded alike, except the bigger ones played louder and had more bass. Oddly enough, they are almost as loud 10' away as they are 1' away, unlike dynamic speakers.


The hum you are hearing is from the transformer in the interface on the back of the speaker. Playing the speaker will mask that hum. You could float the transformers on grommets, but if it were up to me, I would not open the interfaces.


Because the non-hybrid Acoustats were full-range with no crossovers, the range from 100 Hz to 10 kHz was very coherent, and startlingly realistic. They don't have good response above 15 kHz because of the mass of the panels, and because of the limitation of panel excursion, they can't reproduce low bass at a high level. They tend to power-compress really badly in the bass. The panels are virtually indestructable, and cannot be blown unless you really try. You need good separates to drive Acoustats, and, as a minmum, I'd say Outlaw is the lowest you can go. (Pretty good stuff.) No receivers, please. They don't work that well with a subwoofer unless the sub is employed below 60 Hz or so. The marriage of a cone sub and an electrostatic is tricky. The speakers don't play that loud, and there is a very narrow sweet spot; in fact, it is a "sweet point." If you move your head an inch either way, the image shifts.


If you have white ones, clean the panel socks with Texize K2R, if you can find it. Cats like them as scratching posts. If you smoke, the panels will attract that sludge and after a few years, they'll be ruined, like your lungs.


If you listen to acoustical music, chamber music, vocals, and any audiophile recordings that don't contain big bass drum whacks, these are amazing speakers. They sound like giant headphones, because...well...that's what they are.


Dear Paul, being the largest mover of Acoustats in the world, you must have more expertise than 95% of us. I listen to all sorts of music, but being of my generation the main stay is R&R. Not a metal guy or a head banger, we're talking Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, Peter G, Beatles & Stones, Talking Heads, that sort of thing.


The mid-range reputation of Acoustats proceed them, but as 1 reader wrote "the heart beat on the opening of Dark Side of the Moon was weak", on the model he had. I'm not looking for boom box noise that's found in an automobile sub, but I want to get as close to bass peddles on a J.H Bach pipe organ as I can get. Think of J Entwhisles bass explosion on Pinball Wizard, I'm looking to reproduce musical instruments, not noise.


Amplifier wise I'm set up to bi-wire, and to vertically bi-amp (2 Classe' DR9's). Which model of Spectras facilitate bi-wiring? Also, you referred to the BIG Acoustats for full range sound. What models do you considered the big Acoustats? Does the Spectra 33/3300 qualify a big Acoustats, the Spectra 4400, just the 6600's, or do you feel that my pursuit would be better achieved with a conventional driver speakers?


Thanks,

Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajgre /forum/post/16701230


Deat sterankoman,


I see that you are expert in electrostat speakers and I would REALLY appreciate your advice. What I'm looking for is a speaker for acoustic music and for some blues.

I have an opportunity to buy used Martin logan SL3 or new KINGS AUDIOPHILE KS 3016 MK 2 for the same money (2900) or new Acoustat Z-1100 for 2000

The problem is that I can't hear them on the same system. Do you maybe have any idea what would be best buy?


THANK you very much in advance for your time!!


Grega
[email protected]

Hello Grega,


I am only an owner of a pair of nearly 20 year old Acoustats. Not an expert by any means. I cannot offer an opinion on those speakers since I have not heard them either.


Sorry,



Good luck
 

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These are the baby's of the double stacked Acoutat's the model 1+1 ( 1984 ) rebuilt in 2012 by Jocelyn Jeanson Quebec Canada all steel frame 14 x 94 inches 200 pounds i have also included a photo of myself with Jocelyn's Spectra 8800 41x102 inches 800 pounds now that's the big one.




 

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Hi guys, i have owned Acoustat's for more than 28 years ( 6 pairs ) Spectra 22s - Spectra 33s - 2+2s - and this is my third pair of 1+1s, dollar for dollar there is NOTHING that even come's close to Acoustat's the closest being Magnepan , here are a few links to help you discover these exceptional speakers that are no longer available, first they where in the U.S.A. then they where in ITALY then finaly they where in CHINA and now they are only available on the USED market.


PS: Here is where you will get the informations you are seeking for, AcoustatAnswerMan is Andy Szabo he was engineer and general manager for Acoustat from 1985 till the end of USA production WHE SHOULD BE IN VERY GOOD HANDS.


http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/planars-exotics/183168-acoustat-answer-man-here.html


http://www.upholsteryarizona.com/acoustat_upholstery.htm

Here you will find original grill cloth for any Acoustat model
 

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If you are logged-in, there should be an edit button at the bottom of all your posts.
 

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Thank You , i was looking on the right side and found it on the left side, Thank's again
 

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I have a pair of the 2+2's (like MrAcoustat's 1+1's pictured above except twice as wide). Great sound, i listened to mainly rock and jazz on them from 1984 to 2000 or so. As mentioned above the sweet spot is tiny and they really come alive when you are there. They sound great elsewhere but just dont have the imaging and sounstage. The bass is good down to a certain point but low bass(like the Pink Floyd heartbeat) will rattle the panel. We had a lot of parties in my younger days and anytime someone new came over they always asked "Where are your speakers?".


Sadly they are part of my really excellent attic system since my ex gave away 500 pieces of vinyl in the divorce. Maybe i will find a place to hook them up again, I would love to hear them paired with my submersive HP.
 

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Hi AcousticSoul, if your 2+2s could not handle the bass on Pink Floyd's heartbeat i am 95% sure that it wasn't the speakers it was probably the amp clipping unless it was very very loud and in a very large room but most people i know in this position own Acoustat's 6s - Spectra 66s - or Spectra 6600s - or even better Spectra 8800s like these shown here then all you need is GOOD JUICE these are with a Plinius SA-250 MK1V and they sound very very powerful.

 

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Hum in the panels is probably from the filter capacitors in the power supply. They lose their ability to filter out ripple from the transformer as they age. Should be a fairly simple fix for a techie or DIY'r.
 

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Hi tubaman, here is the information you are seeking IF you haven't got it yet, i will start with the largest down to the smallest panels in the Acoustat ( USA LINES ONLY )

Please remember the more panels you have, the easier they are to drive.


Acoustat model 8s = 8 panels per side 4+4 stacked verticaly about 41x94 inches

Acoustat model 6s - Spectra 66s - Spectra 6600s = 6 panels per side 3+3 stacked verticaly about 31x94 inches

Acoustat model 2+2s - Spectra 44 - Spectra 4400s = 4 panels per side 2+2 stacked verticaly about 21x94 inches

Acoustat model 1+1s = 2 panels per side 1+1 stacked verticaly about 11x94 inches


ALL OTHER MODELS ARE NOT STACKED AND THERE ARE 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - PANELS WIDE.

http://www.audiocircuit.com/Home-Audio/Acoustat


This is my Flickr photo galery with many Acoustat's and other photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mracoustat/
 
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