ESL Virtuoso MK II

Soltanus Acoustics presented the world’s first crossoverless multipanel electrostatic loudspeaker, the ESL Virtuoso in 2012.
In searching for the most natural sounding loudspeaker, we found that the one of the most critical points in the music signal path, is the crossover. Even the most carefully designed crossovers distort the sound, not mentioning the various sound characters of the same electronic components from various manufacturers.
The conclusion was very simple: Lose the crossover!
While it sounds simple, in practice this is not an easy task. It took us years of research and development to design a panel-frame-transformer unity, which gives excellent frequency and phase response.
The result is very clear, detailed, fast and natural sound with low distortion.

The electrostatic loudspeakers are known for their low impedance on high frequencies due to their capacitive behavior.
The first generation of our ESL Virtuoso, suffered this, like any other electrostatic loudspeaker. The impedance minimum was 1.5Ohms at 20KHz.
That makes a challenge in choosing the right amplifier for driving them.
In order to satisfy every our high tasted tube amplifier owners, we had to do a research in depth, in science of electrostatic loudspeakers.

We found the two mayor factors we had to improve

  1. We had to decrease the capacitance of the mid-tweeter panel.
    For that we developed a panel of four times less capacitance.
    Plus, these new generation panels are built with wires instead of perforated steel plates.
    This fact significantly increases the free open area percentage on the panels, enabling much more easy air flow true them.
    The wires, due to their better aerodynamic behavior, are enabling turbulence free operation.
  2. Also in these new panels we use two times thinner Mylar foil, so with this, we doubled the high frequency limit above 40KHz.
  3. We developed a double audio transformer, but still crossoverless system.
    We use a bigger transformer for bass panels, for better low frequency response.
    For mid-tweeter panel, we use a separate smaller audio transformer, with extreme low parasitic capacitance.

With these modifications we got

  1. Four times higher impedance at high frequencies, 6.3Ohms at 20KHz. (Brilliance control at 1 position.)
  2. Four times higher impedance at at low frequencies, 13Ohms at 20Hz. This is important because of the subsonic noises of the LP records.
  3. The high frequency response is raised from 20KHz to 40KHz.
  4. The low frequency response is lowered from 40Hz to 35Hz.
  5. We could add the brilliance control for fine tuning in highest frequency band.

Up to all these improvements the back panel slightly changed

  1. Now we have only two binding posts, the direct inputs.
  2. The tweeter panel Bias control become more refined.
  3. Because of the higher impedance, we don’t need the damping factor correction circuit any more.
  4. The brilliance control is added for fine high frequency adjustment, depending on the used audio system and to your taste.

Conclusion

With the new Soltanus Acoustics ESL Virtuoso MK II we have:

  • Better high frequency resolution
  • Better low frequency response
  • You have no limitation in amplifier choosing, because you don’t need high damping factor, high current amplifiers.
  • More fine tuning options.

In summary, you can use most of your tube amplifiers, too.

Specifications

Frequency Respons

35-40.000Hz

Horizontal Dispersion

35°

Vertical Dispersion

150cm Line Source

High Frequency Transducer

120 x 14cm Electrostatic Transducer (200–40.000Hz)

Low Frequency Transducer

2 pcs. per Speaker, 140 x 16cm Dipole Electrostatic Transducer

Sensitivity

equivalent with 87dB/2,83V Speaker on 4 meter.

Impedance

8Ohms, min. 6.3Ohms at 20KHz

Recommended Amplifier Power

20–100Watts per Channel

Maximum input voltage

35V RMS

Maximum sound pressure

100dB

Crossover Components

No Crossover Components

Inputs

Custom Binding Posts

Weight

28kg

Dimensions:

153cm x 68cm x 5/33cm