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  • The Quad Electrostatic Speaker Lovers Thread

    There are few audiophiles more devoted to the hobby than "stat" lovers and of this group few more than Quad owners.

    Quads first stats, the legendary 57s, were first shown in 1956, released in 1957 and remained in production for 28 years. Despite their shortcomings, 57s remain revered among Quad fans and there remain several people out there who rebuild, modify, etc these puppies.(not to mention being the heart and soul of the old Levinson HQD speaker system.) In fact I got to hear a pair of stacked and powered 57s at last year's Capital Audiofest and walked away impressed by the purity of these speakers.

    Then Quad moved onto the 63s and now the latest 2812 and 2912. I might be wrong but I get the impression that the 63s in all their forms never quite scaled the heights for many Quad devotees that the 57s did. Yet I've heard the 63s and 57s answer left feeling the 63s were the more complete speaker. I always loved the 63s driven by OTLs but others found heaven with other tube amps, the original Quickies being one such product. Interestingly, the 63s always sounded better lifted off the floor-the Arcici Quad stand being among the faces-but Quad would never help Ray with sales of his stands. I guess Quad was unwilling to admit that the speaker wasn't perfect.

    Then Quad moved onto the newer models that frankly in few times that I have heard have left me wanting. Quads presence at shows is limited though IIRC Music Direct used them at a recent show? Interestingly, I see Music Direct listed as the US Quad dealer and I wonder if we'll see more of the Quad line in the future?

    I know we have a few Quad owners and lovers here and would love to hear more about one of oldest high-end audio companies. (Almost 80 years?)

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    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    I'll be the first to admit I share an irrational exuberance (Greenspan-ism) towards Quad 57's. Its a speaker you either 'get' or you don't. I'm totally fine with those that don't, the rest of us that do sorta walk around with that knowing smile and wink at fellow 57s owners as if to say "its the shiz ain't it??" another thing, if you're a 57 lover its likely not to be your only speaker and this is important if you expect a long happy marriage with a pair. more thoughts later...
    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

    Comment


    • #3
      Being raised on rock-n-roll, I couldn't live with the 57's too long before blowing them up, but totally understand the intense love.

      I jumped on the 63's when they came out and used them with stands and Entec SW1 servo subwoofers (essentially the Spectral system). I "loved" the 63's (had several different pairs) but ultimately couldn't handle their limited macro dynamics. I still dream about 63's and may put together a dedicated system sometime before I die. (I was thinking of using them for my office system)
      Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
      Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
      Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
      Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
      R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
      Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
      Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
      Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
      Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

      Comment


      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        incidentally the best I heard 63s were driven by a Spectral DMA-80, i believe 63s were Fryer & cos. reference speaker and the synergy is obvious. I had the puny little DMA-90 driving ML CLSes and it acquitted itself quite well with those.

    • #4
      SME founder Alastair Robertson-Aikman, spent many years trying to build the best playback system in his purpose-built music room. He started with just one pair of Quads, then used a stacked pair, and somewhere along the line used eight pairs per side, arranged in a continuous symmetrical arc. He ended up using two pairs of 63's, with one pair facing forward while the other pair were positioned outside these and facing across across the room (90 degrees to each other if I recall). The '63s were modified to give better structural rigidity. I always wanted to try this.
      Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
      Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
      Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
      Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
      R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
      Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
      Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
      Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
      Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

      Comment


      • #5
        I met Peter Walker during CES in the '70s--I think I wrote down my serial numbers to find out exactly how old my pair was at the time. (These are the speakers that I just had Kent McCollum restore). I bought these, my first pair, in 1973 and used them as my main speaker, with various add-ons, including Decca Ribbons/Sequerra Ribbons and various woofers until I changed them out for a pair of Crosby Quads ('63) in 1990 or so. I always thought the original speaker was more coherent than the '63, even with the Crosby mods. That's why I kept them. They are a little like driving a pre-war car- can't really compete with anything modern as an all arounder, but man, get them into that sweet spot, and it's heaven. (They don't leak oil, though, unlike their British automotive counterparts).
        There was a pretty rare version made under the Braun moniker briefly. I could see having a double pair just for kicks. Maybe I will at some point. I'm planning on running mine with a pair of old Quad II amps that are in the process of being restored now. Should be good.
        PS: there is a cool photo of Ravi Shankar using a whole row of original Quads a sound reinforcement for a sitar concert. Imagine using them as a PA speaker!

        Comment


        • #6
          The 63's and its modern variant do everything better. Yet the the 57 is the one Quad I keep . This will be my 3rd pair. Extremely coherent, sound like dreck in the wrong room, one sweet spot, a small window on the experience and bass some would complain about.

          Rebuilt, they ameliorate some of these problems. You haven't heard them unless they've been refurbished. Pure in tone and they do do bass when rebuilt , especially by PK in Florida.

          A wonderful speaker & a heavenly match with Futterman OTL despite what others say. I've tried dozens and dozens of amps with this speaker. Otherwise, push pull tubes are very nice- power is good with limiting protection and sounds better.

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          Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
          Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
          Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
          Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
          Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
          Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

          Comment


          • #7

            Comment


            • Doxycc
              Doxycc commented
              Editing a comment
              these are Xstatic EC-3's recently refreshed by the designer. For those with a long memory, Xstatic, once upon a time, showed with Spectral at CES. I use them with a pair of REL 212's and driven by ARC REF150SE

            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              Did I hear some rumor Jason was bringing Xstatic back?

            • Doxycc
              Doxycc commented
              Editing a comment
              haven't heard that. I know that he did a refresh of Kavi Alexander's Beveridge speakers in the recent past. Good that he continues to support his creations although he is no longer in the "business."

          • #8
            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
            There are few audiophiles more devoted to the hobby than "stat" lovers and of this group few more than Quad owners.

            Quads first stats, the legendary 57s, were first shown in 1956, released in 1957 and remained in production for 28 years. Despite their shortcomings, 57s remain revered among Quad fans and there remain several people out there who rebuild, modify, etc these puppies.(not to mention being the heart and soul of the old Levinson HQD speaker system.) In fact I got to hear a pair of stacked and powered 57s at last year's Capital Audiofest and walked away impressed by the purity of these speakers.

            Then Quad moved onto the 63s and now the latest 2812 and 2912. I might be wrong but I get the impression that the 63s in all their forms never quite scaled the heights for many Quad devotees that the 57s did. Yet I've heard the 63s and 57s answer left feeling the 63s were the more complete speaker. I always loved the 63s driven by OTLs but others found heaven with other tube amps, the original Quickies being one such product. Interestingly, the 63s always sounded better lifted off the floor-the Arcici Quad stand being among the faces-but Quad would never help Ray with sales of his stands. I guess Quad was unwilling to admit that the speaker wasn't perfect.

            Then Quad moved onto the newer models that frankly in few times that I have heard have left me wanting. Quads presence at shows is limited though IIRC Music Direct used them at a recent show? Interestingly, I see Music Direct listed as the US Quad dealer and I wonder if we'll see more of the Quad line in the future?

            I know we have a few Quad owners and lovers here and would love to hear more about one of oldest high-end audio companies. (Almost 80 years?)

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            She looks so happy to be there with him and his smoking pipe lol.
            analog stuff.
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
            sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
            new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
            thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
            thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
            kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
            phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

            Comment


            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              And in mono.

          • #9
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            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

            Comment


            • #10
              Are they TRI amped amd crossovers in the back ?
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment


              • #11
                MSB used Quad 2912s at RMAF several years ago. The piano sounded terrific on these.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
                  Are they TRI amped amd crossovers in the back ?
                  I don't think so, just direct coupled. But Beau could correct me if I'm wrong (though I think he's on vacation).
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    I have always loved the sound of Quad 2912. It has never left me wanting for more. Vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, chamber music and small jazz combos are magical on these speakers. I feel it is the most complete speaker Quad has ever produced.

                    Ken
                    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
                    --------------------------------------------
                    Source: MSB Select II DAC with
                    Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock,
                    Renderer V2 and Roon Nucleus Plus
                    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
                    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
                    Power: AudioQuest Niagara 7000

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Alpinist View Post
                      I have always loved the sound of Quad 2912. It has never left me wanting for more. Vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, chamber music and small jazz combos are magical on these speakers. I feel it is the most complete speaker Quad has ever produced.

                      Ken
                      No doubt that is the strength of Quads. Some music just excels with certain speakers. Like harpsichords with Magnepans.
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Now this I'd like to hear . A $36,000 Quad ESL set up with direct drive amps with the step up transformers eliminated from the ESL.

                        I have done this to my Beveridge Model 3's and the results are startling . Two things happen: you are rid of the output transformer in a typical valve amp and you are rid of the transformer in the Speaker its self. As revealing as electrostatics are, this kind of set up is killer. I can attest to it from first hand experience.
                        Capital Audio Fest: Herb's Saturday Highlights

                        By Herb Reichert • Posted: Sep 1, 2015


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                        image: http://www.stereophile.com/images/st...?itok=bqscGsgN

                        EMIA stands for Experience Music Intact Audio. It represents a partnership and brotherhood between two of the finest most creative minds in world audio: Wunderkind amp and hornspeaker designer Jeffrey Jackson (Experience Music), and transformer-winder, amp designer, and tube audio savant, Dave Slagle (Intact Audio/HiFi Heroin). Both are cherished friends and engineering mentors. Both evolved out of the early days of New York Triode Mafia/New York Noise.

                        I need to explain all this about them, so when I tell you that while sitting in the EMIA room, I listened to one whole side of a crippling good record called Making Music, which features Zakir Hussain on tabla and vocals, John McLaughlin on acoustic guitar, Hariprasad Charasia playing flute, and Jan Garbarek on tenor and soprano sax. At the end of that one side, I was sobbing in public. I was shaking! I was too broke up and embarrassed to talk or write listening notes. I exclaimed to my friend, "You did it!" You f*&#ing did it!"

                        Later, in the bar I asked some other audio scribes what they thought about the EMIA room and one put his finger to his ear and said, I thought the highs were a little bright. Another said, "I thought the bass was a little underdeveloped." I told them I didn't notice—I was too busy having one of the strongest musical experiences of my life.

                        Music played through custom Quads from Wayne Picquet of Quads Unlimited in Florida via Dave Slagle's Direct Drive Amp ($36,000 for two amps and two full-range electrostatic speakers) made me shake and sob (there are a bunch of witnesses). It made me forget I was an audio reviewer and, walking out, it reminded me why I love audio: Impassioned savants being themselves doing what they love. And, that is the raison d'être of the whole CAF exhibition.

                        Slagle's direct drive amps replace the owner's amplifiers and the stock Quad '57 step-up transformers and crossovers with two discrete, bandwidth-limited, EL-34 amps—one for the bass panel and one for the mid-treble. Also playing was an EMIA Silver (RIAA) Phono Corrector ($12,000), the EMIA Strain-Gauge Phono System ($8100) and the EMIA Silver MC SUT ($3600).





                        http://www.stereophile.com/content/c...pwA1Ah3Rpyq.97
                        Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                        Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                        Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
                        Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                        Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
                        Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

                        Comment


                        • kcin
                          kcin commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Sorry, was Modjeski's speaker operable or static display .. thanks

                        • Rob
                          Rob commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Roger had them playing along with a separate compact woofer system to augment the bass for this speaker. they are small more or less the size of a Stax F83 if you remember those.

                        • MylesBAstor
                          MylesBAstor commented
                          Editing a comment
                          You mean the most frustrating stat ever built? A speaker in search of an amplifier.
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