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DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

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  • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

    Thanks for the update....so there wasn't a visible failure ? Just audible?
    If you are not happy, you are not living

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    • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

      Originally posted by laserpaddy View Post
      Thanks for the update....so there wasn't a visible failure ? Just audible?
      Its audible, not that there was a physical separation of any of the components as described. I really hope it was just bad luck as these certainly do have promise!

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      • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

        Very interesting thread! Have you ever tried a sheet of foam core like what you could get from art store? If it's not thick enough, perhaps it could be laminated then treated? Thanks.
        Bob

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        • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

          Originally posted by robseyes View Post
          Very interesting thread! Have you ever tried a sheet of foam core like what you could get from art store? If it's not thick enough, perhaps it could be laminated then treated? Thanks.
          Bob
          Foam core is "okay" sounding material and what many try as a starting point since its so widely available. As a DML panel the thin material does not make quality bass but the biggest failing is the high frequency response. When you listen to a DML panel you are more or less listening to the the panels skin and the paper sandwich of the foam core absorbs to much of the high frequencies so not very suitable for an audiophile grade panel. Mid-fi at best. The inner core is not a firm material after you strip away the paper. You need a more dense core like high density EPS or XPS.

          These really are excellent sounding speakers when the right materials are used and treated properly. Some have ditched their electrostats and large horns for these panels. Newer exciter technology (higher "shove" and power handling) have really moved these to into a different category. The amount of natural detail these panels can extract from well recorded source material is amazing and something the very best cones have a hard time duplicating. I continue to hear more detail from old recordings that I know very well. For instance, listening to a Cowboy Junkies track last night at the end of the song I could hear Michael Timmins guitar resonate until the very end of the track that I have not heard even on my high resolution open baffles, a harmonica far, far back into the soundstage of a Muddy Waters tune can be made out even at its very low volume...normally indistinguishable as a harmonica on very high quality speakers.

          In the late 80's I sold gear from MFA, Electron Kinetics, Mellos, B&K to name a few with some of the best high end speaker kits from Dynaudio, Eton, Focal, Accuton, Cabasse and others and I honestly feel that there are things that these panels can do that none can duplicate. And its hard to put a finger on it exactly, but the more you listen the more you like... they have a terribly addicting quality to them.

          In the balance, they are an amazing accomplishment. Hard to believe that for under $50 you can get such a fantastic sounding full-range panel that is state of the art in certain aspects.

          There are areas that need improvement no doubt. Bass response is jagged using EPS/XPS panel material - some really enjoy a full-range panel without crossovers and I do feel there is certain enjoyment to listening to them full-range just as I am listening today. But technically speaking they will benefit from bass support to improve FR, output, bass quality and extension to the lowest octave. If you listen to jazz, acoustic, and more sparsely recorded material they just might be best enjoyed full-range. But if you listen to rock low freq. support is absolutely required... even with the largest panel. Also, there is a bit of a haze or lack of presence that was hard for me to adjust to. It has improved with the newer exciters but it is still present I am sure. It does NOT detract from their overall musicality and ability to convey the recorded event but it's an aspect that some will have difficulty adjusting to. I believe this haze is somewhat material related and a firmer, more dense material may help to reduce this (have yet to try birch ply and have been told that it reduces this aspect). However I felt this same way with large electrostats in the past and just might be contributed to the fact that the high frequencies are not coming from a single point source. Instead, the panel creates several random points that generate the HF sound and just will not have the bit or "edge" that a traditional tweeter has. This is speculation from listening session with electrostats and even Apogee ribbons many, many years ago.

          Hope others will build a set of panels and give them time in their listening room. Especially those of you who enjoy jazz, blues, acoustic and the like... you will not be disappointed!
          Last edited by rmeinke; 01-27-2015, 02:53 PM.

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          • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

            Absolutely fascinating! After treatment with your 1-1 glue mixture, could they be painted? My home is small, so if I tried them, they would have to look "pretty" for my patient better half. How could they be attached to a frame without too many side affects? I already have plenty of bass support...2 Maelstrom X 18's in 5 cube sealed boxes. (I never run out of bass....hehe)

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            • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

              Or......could fabric be stretched or glued to them to make them look nicer? Would that dampen the highs too much? Thanks.

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              • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                O.K., Talking out my @$$ here, This is shear speculation with no basis in reality but my idea for framing and supporting these is as follows. Screw and glue some small eye hooks into all the edges of the panel, construct a wooden frame slightly larger than the panels from perhaps 3/4" x 4" or so, drill two holes in wood near where each eye hook is, thread monofilament through all the holes and hooks, center the panel and fasten the loose ends of monofilament. You could make these as shallow or deep as wanted/needed, perhaps mount the panel near the front and put a sheet of semi ridged fiberglass or other absorber in the back to help control the backwave if desired. Just my idea.

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                • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                  Dwight, you could definitely frame and cover it with a sheer fabric just as you describe. Absolutely!

                  Me personally, I am going to build a 2 panel (24x30) DML with a 1.5-1.75" thick frame and a supporting piece in the middle to support/hang the lower panel. Each panel will be suspended with Velcro tape. Soft fuzzy tape for suspension and a small piece of the prickly Velcro glued to the panel near the edges about 4-5 inches from the side. I would avoid the corners as there is pretty significant output at each corner. I got some of the cheaper black grill cloth from PE but might have to spring for the expensive Mellotone stuff to better cover the panels so the pink panel isn't as visible. I still have more experimentation before I frame them up but the better half is growing impatient with the pink panels pulled out into the living every night. Might also Velcro the cloth to the back of the frame. I want to be able to get back into the frame and to the panels for more tweaking and testing.

                  I'm not sure about painting the panels. I tried but the solvents in the paint ate at the XPS. A water-based paint would probably work but it has to be put on really thin. With the surface having such an impact on the sound I'm not sure what impact it will have sonically on the panels. Another option that I had been toying with is to put a dye in the 1:1 water/wood glue mixture. I doubt that it will sink into the XPS much but I know that after sanding, it does seem to absorb the water/glue mixture... how much will be colored I am not sure. I am afraid, best case scenario, it will come out looking black/purple than just black... pretty sure of that but worth a try. Still... might be just enough to at least camouflage the stunning and beautiful pink panels and allow them to not be seen as much through the grill cloth. Almost picked up some dye last weekend at the Woodworkers store. Think its time to take a gamble... will let you know late this weekend as I'll be out of town until late Sunday.

                  Still have more listening to do with the new Ultra exciter. PE has sent a replacement but wont get here by this weekend. But I determine which of the new exciters are best on XPS. Once that is done I will finally be able to build the frames.

                  Since so light, I'll just put up and tear down as needed. Since they are so efficient, I might try powering them with a quality, low powered class D amp mounted on the frame/base. Have to flesh that idea out a little but I like the idea...

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                  • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                    Originally posted by robseyes View Post
                    Absolutely fascinating! After treatment with your 1-1 glue mixture, could they be painted? My home is small, so if I tried them, they would have to look "pretty" for my patient better half. How could they be attached to a frame without too many side affects? I already have plenty of bass support...2 Maelstrom X 18's in 5 cube sealed boxes. (I never run out of bass....hehe)
                    Hehe...yeah, doesn't sound like you will be lacking in bass in any way!!

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                    • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                      Was going to play with mine but the whole darn family tested positive for influenza type A yesterday we are so dam sick, even with the tamiflu stuff...of course the type we have wasn't the vaccine we got.....the only thing that will sound good to me is nobody coughing and moaning....
                      If you are not happy, you are not living

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                      • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                        Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                        You could make these as shallow or deep as wanted/needed, perhaps mount the panel near the front and put a sheet of semi ridged fiberglass or other absorber in the back to help control the backwave if desired. Just my idea.
                        As for the material to absorb the rear radiation that would be a solution for wall mounting a panel.

                        For a free standing panel, I would not do that. Takes away from panel love and deliciousness.

                        Laserpaddy... sorry to hear you and the fam are sick. Hope you all get to feeling better soon.

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                        • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                          Thanks rmeinke slowly getting back to feeling just sick not beat to death...
                          If you are not happy, you are not living

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                          • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                            See below link to see how a DML panel project can result in major disappointment...

                            http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/plana...ml#post4201911

                            The Dayton Audio DAEX58FP Flat Pack (sourced from Visaton I believe) was a terrible disappointment on my panels due the the large plastic "boot". The similar results were found over at DIYAudio with a waterproof Monacor exciter. Monacor and Visaton are respected suppliers of audio drivers but have yet to understand why they are have created such poor sounding exciters in these 2 instances. Have they REALLY listening to these exciters on high-fidelity panels???? Appears NOT.

                            Dayton and PE are knocking it out of the park with the 32mm Thruster and Ultra exciters. Applause. Applause.

                            GOOD NEWS...
                            I got my replacement Ultra yesterday (PE has yet to disappoint!) and hope to get to listening to them soon. They hold promise even compared the Thruster which sound *very* good.

                            An exciter shootout will commence soon! Will keep you posted!

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                            • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                              I have a few questions about using exciters on flat panels.

                              1. I am working on a panel that I would like to use outdoors as well as indoors. Do you know of any materials that would work well for an outdoor application?

                              2. The material needs to be have some impact resistance so it could withstand some vandalism.

                              3. I would like the panel to be located near the wall. I have noticed the low frequency is reduced when the panel is located next to the wall. I do not understand since the sides of the panel are open. It is not like the backside is under compression. Is there any treatment that could be done to an enclosure or the back surface of the panel to allow the panel to be close to the wall?

                              I thought I would post these questions since I thought someone may have had some experience with these panel materials. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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                              • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                                Originally posted by klane View Post
                                I have a few questions about using exciters on flat panels.

                                1. I am working on a panel that I would like to use outdoors as well as indoors. Do you know of any materials that would work well for an outdoor application?

                                2. The material needs to be have some impact resistance so it could withstand some vandalism.

                                3. I would like the panel to be located near the wall. I have noticed the low frequency is reduced when the panel is located next to the wall. I do not understand since the sides of the panel are open. It is not like the backside is under compression. Is there any treatment that could be done to an enclosure or the back surface of the panel to allow the panel to be close to the wall?

                                I thought I would post these questions since I thought someone may have had some experience with these panel materials. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
                                Hey klane,
                                1... I have not experimented myself but have heard of a poly honeycomb (the side profile looks like a cardboard) used for outdoor signs. No idea how it sounds as a panel material but considering its use, can only assume your not going for an audiophile grade panel solution. So this will probably work fine.

                                2... Depending on how elaborate you want to be, you could create a frame around it with metal grills to protect the panels?!? If you did that, you could probably use a high performance panel material like XPS/EPS.

                                3... I have not implemented a wall hanging DML yet but am planning one fairly soon. With a little bit of experimentation, even a heavy drape or blanket really helped and made my 24x30inch panels perform decently. A thin insulation should work "ok".

                                I don't know the installation you have in mind, but seems to me that a conventional outdoor speaker might work better since it will be enclosed and made specifically for an outdoor application.

                                In regards to performance, I'm also not sure about weatherproof exciters. In a link above, a fellow DIY panel builder used a Monacor weatherproof exciter and was disappointed by its performance in the home. But then again, we was expecting performance that competes with his Quad Electrostas but the choice of exciters and panel material would not provide a well performing panel.

                                If you can share any info around this specific installation post or PM me and would be happy to help as much as I can.

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