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Segmented Electrostatic Speaker Build Guide

I'm no expert! Everything I've learned about building Electrostatic Spealers (ESLs) came from DIYAudio, from Charlie's Jazzman page, or from trial and error. That means you can do it too! It is very possible with a little perserverence and a very small amount of skill, to produce a set of speakers that will rival nearly anything commercially available. The sound of ESLs are so sweet and clear that you will be spoiled for anything else.

How this all started:

Back in the early 1980s, I purchased a set of Martin Logan CLS II Electrostatic Speakers. I absolutely fell in love with the tight, crisp sound and used them for many years. Life intervened (a child, a couple of moves and remodels) and the panels sat in storage for about 18 years. After finally moving into a home where I could once again set up my listening room, I was disappointed in the sound. Martin Logan identified that the problem lay with the diaphragms and offered new panels for just shy of $3000. That was way more than I wanted to spend, thus began the Electrostatic DIY quest. A couple of years and over a dozen different designs later, with discarded panels littering my garage, I have settled on a segmented, hybrid design.

The links below show the steps involved in building these Electrostatic Speakers. I have tried to detail every step and provide links to sources of parts and materials.

I use the ESLs for 200Hz and above. I built a pair of conventional bass units to cover the low end. There are so many guides and how-tos for making these types of speaker cabinets, I have not included one here.

Making these speakers does not require a large number of tools, uses commonly available and inexpensive items, nor does it require in-depth skills. Here is a list of the tools I used in constructing these speakers.

I hope this guide is helpful for you. If you are willing to put forth the effort you, too, can have some of the best sounding speakers there are.

January 2015 Update:

I have just started building the next version of these speakers, which I intend to be full range. You can follow along as I progress in the project here.

Ken Seibert
Redondo Beach, CA