Originally Posted by d-cee
whoa what on earth! got links to articles explaining the process!?!?
I might do it just for the sake of trying...!?!?
2x sheets of electrically conductive metal mesh/ puntured metal plate
3x sheets of thin, flexible, light plastic film such as boPET/Mylar
4x rigid, non-conductive rings in whatever size and shape you want the finished product to be
Some very strong glue or epoxy
A small strip of very flat rigid metal.
A pencil or some other source of graphite
2x three core or ribbon cables of acceptable audio pedigree
A soldering iron and solid soldering skills
A plastic film stretching rig of some kind
Step one, stretch a section of plastic film until it's very tight but still able to move. It'll make a drumlike sound if you tap it gently. Carefully cover a section of it that's larger than your spacer rings on both sides with the graphite. Make the coating even and thick enough to properly cover the film without drowning it in the stuff. If you damage the film in the process, get another section of film and start again.
Step two, first, epoxy/glue the metal strip onto the diaphragm such that there is an electrical connection between them. Put some graphite on the strip if you feel you need to. Next epoxy/glue the spacer ring (place it so the tip of the metal strip is just poking out from the spacer) onto the covered section of stretched film making sure a strong contact is made and wait until the bond is fully set. Cut around the film (eg, with a box cutter, but be careful) leaving some leyway around the outside, and not damaing the protruding metal stub, for the time being
Step three, onto the spacer epoxy/glue the conductive mesh. Wait until it sets fully. Epoxy/glue another spacer onto that, set fully. Like with the diaphragm, cut around it leaving some leyway. Use tin snips if need be. Again, gently. If you cause the epoxy/glue to unbond doing this then you'll have to start over.
Step four. Stretch another section of film to roughly the same tension as the diapragm. No graphite on this one, it's just a dust cover. Epoxy/glue onto the outer spacer. Set. Cut out film (you can go right up to the edge of the spacer with this one, as there is not going to be any electrical connections to this sheet of film.
Step five. You're half done. Now flip the thing over and repeat the steps so you have diaphragm-spacer-stator-spacer-dust cover on the other side, making sure you set the epoxy/glue between each stage. You may wish to add an extra ring outside the dustcover to prevent it being punctured before you do so.
Step six, trim the stator sheets so that it all lies flush with the outer edge of the spacer except
a tiny little bit that you will solder the cable on to, which I recommend you leave on the same side of the driver as the metal strip from before. The smaller it is the better, but use your own soldering skills as the judge of how big you wish to make it. You don't want to have the cable ripped off.
Step seven, trim the diaphragm so it's flush with the spacer, leaving just the metal strip from earler. If the metal strip is too big, carefully
trim it to a manageable size. Cover the whole edge except
for the three metal contacts with some non-conductive substance like epoxy so that the diaphragm and stators don't arc together.
Step eight, now you should have something that looks like an actual electrostatic driver (hopefully!). Unfortunately, now you're going to have to build another one exactly the same. Remember that all film tension levels, thicknesses of parts, and the way it's built must be identical between both drivers (you don't want to build in a channel imbalance for the start, right?). Take it slow and get it right.
Step nine, now you have a pair of drivers. You'll need a housing that'll fit them. If you lack a spare headphone you don't mind trashing, you can make a housing out of wood. Epoxy/glue the driver to the baffle of the headphone housing and set.
Step ten, solder the cables on. You'll need a cable with a Stax connector (or whatever you want to use). Make sure, with a multimeter, that you have the right cable soldered to the right terminal. If you solder you bias supply onto the right + stator it isn't going to work. Close the housing up, you're done.
Plug it in and play some music. It'll take a bit for the dielectric to charge, so don't crank it immediately even if it sounds a bit quiet and crappy. Enjoy your new headphone.
It's highly unlikely your first one will be putting the Orpheus and Omegas to shame, but if you play around with different tention levels, diaphrahm size and shapes, stator thickness, materials, and housings you can tweak the sound considerably.