- Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 10:03
Conventional amplifiers have serious problems when forced to drive electrostatic loudspeakers. Roger Sanders has developed the first amplifier specifically designed to drive these unusual speakers.
Electrostatic loudspeakers (ESLs) are very different from conventional magnetic speakers and place unusual and difficult demands on the way amplifiers deliver power to them.
A magnetic speaker presents a resistive/inductive load to an amplifier, while an ESL appears mostly as a capacitor.
We have developed both the ESL amplifier and the Magtech amplifier to meet these demands. Our pre-amplifier has been designed to match the faceplates of our amplifiers.
AMPLIFIER AND PREAMPLIFIER IN SILVER
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ESL AMPLIFIER AND THE MAGTECH AMPLIFIER?Both the ESL and Magtech amps use the same special amplifier modules that Roger designed to drive electrostatic speakers. The difference between the two is that ESL amps use a conventional, free-floating, unregulated power supply while Magtech amps use Roger's unique, 100% efficient, linear, regulated power supply.
Magnetic speakers draw tremendous current from an amplifier and that causes the internal power supply voltages to fluctuate dramatically in response to the music (typically by about 30%). This reduces the power from the amp and causes the distortion and bias to be modulated by the music.
A regulated power supply maintains stable internal voltages at all times. This is a tremendous improvement over a free-floating power supply. All amplifiers should use regulators, but virtually none do because their designers have not figured out how to make a powerful regulator that doesn't waste vast amounts of heat. Our regulator is unique in that it runs cold and wastes no heat. So we offer virtually the only regulated power supply amplifier on today's market.
Electrostatic speakers operate on voltage, not current. So they don't cause major fluctuations in the internal voltages like magnetic speakers do. But they will still cause some voltage modulation and mains voltage is not stable either. So even electrostatic speakers will benefit from an amplifier with a regulated power supply.
A regulated power supply will provide the best performance, so most of our customers (even our electrostatic speaker customers) opt for the Magtech. We keep the ESL amp in our line-up because it costs less than a Magtech and so represents a tremendous value. So those customers for whom money is a major concern, use the ESL amp instead of the Magtech.
In summary, the Magtech amp is the best for all speakers because it not only has the electrostatic amplifier modules, but it also includes a regulated power supply. So unless money is a major concern where the value of the ESL amp is essential, Roger recommends the Magtech.