Just completed my first pair of ES drivers.
Do they make noise? Yes, they make noise which definitely resembles music. In fact, they sound quite OK, considering everything that went wrong in the process:
--Most of my problems were due to slop and mis-calibration in my DIY CNC router. I tried routing the copper clad board to the correct thickness for the spacers and discovered that my bed was not level (or rather, the gantry wasn't even with the bed), which meant the spacers were pretty mangled. They were different thicknesses at different spots and had an uneven finish. This was so bad that they somehow didn't properly insulate the diaphragm from the stators. I decided to just put electrical tape around the edge of the spacer / diaphragm unit and call it a day.
--The diaphragm was not sufficiently stretched, or maybe not sufficiently glued, so it pulled back in to the center and creased in spots. I used 3M 77 spray adhesive. I have contact cement, but am loathe to use such a nasty chemical when I can avoid it. Guess I shouldn't avoid it next time.
--I used a microphone cable for each driver (2 twisted pairs and a shield) -- put the bias through two of the wires (one from each twisted pair) and used the remaining wires for the signal. Thoughts on this type of wire? Use of shield?
--I used anti-static spray that expired in 2001 for the diaphragm coating.
--I made a connector with 3-pin XLR cable pins and a piece of wood to make the connector. Seems to have worked alright, but obviously not ideal.
Anyway, I have the thinner spacer material on order. For now, I am just glad (and surprised) that they work at all. Thanks for the help, all, and will post back when I've made prettier drivers and housings.
Oh, and could anyone give me a quick comparison of rectangular ES drivers vs. round / oval drivers? I would love to make some rectangular ones, simply because slop / backlash on my CNC would be much less of an issue. How does the sound differ?
Congratulations on your good start. Looking at your pictures, I smile to myself thinking about the very first day I fire up my first pair of DIY headphones. They're pretty much in a lot worse case than yours. I didn't have any idea of what I was doing. My bias voltage was over 1000V and yet they didn't make any sound.
About the shape of headphones, IMO, the shape doesn't matter. You want the largest diaphragm area you can make. The area does make a huge difference.
If you want to make them rectangular shape, go ahead. I don't see any disadvantage of that at all. In fact my Float clone is rectangular and it sounds fantastic.