Jump to content

goodkeys

Which pair of Quad ESL 57 to buy?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Be careful with the German ones you are looking at, in my experience with the Quad ESL57-63-&2905 is that if there is a channel imbalance, the problem is generally to be found in the panels not the electronics. A pull to one channel usually indicates a treble loss in the offending treble panel. This is as a result of two things, either the conductive coating on the mylar membrane has gone ‘off’ resulting in a reduced charging of that panel, meaning less treble output, or that there is a static discharge and leakage occurring at the edges of the membrane due to debris being there or some part of the membrane is bridging the required gaps. Anyway, no easy fix for either problem as it will require dismantling the treble strips which involves self-destruction of 64 steel rivets holding the treble strips together.

 

For context, I have owned four pairs of ESL-57 over time and while they do sound fabulous (within their playing envelope) they can be a labour of love to keep going.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve

 

 

 

.

Edited by Steve M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up Steve. We will know after the new eht boards are in. Sheldon Stokes and One Thing Audio both said new eht boards was the first thing to try. If indeed the panels are damaged/deteriorated I'm not buying this pair. I would want a pair that is likely to run for years without bigger problems. So I really hope to find a pair that doesn't need high maintenance to keep it running.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

Dom - may I suggest another method to reach the same goal.

Trying to find a pair of 40-60 year old speakers that are without problem could be difficult.

 

About 11 years ago I went through a similar process that you are going through now.

In the end I found a shabby/cheap/but 100% working pair of 57's with good panels in LA USA and hand carried them back to Australia and then spent two months restoring them. It wasn't too difficult to restore the speakers.

 

These days you can buy brand new upgraded panels, power supplies, etc for your Quads.

Why don't you contact OTA and get a quotation for all the new components.

See how much parts will cost and even ask about installation from them.

From time to time they have old 57 stock.

DIY on the 57 is not very difficult.

 

This way you will know that your speakers are in 100% working order and should last a long time.

 

ESL57s are great speakers - something every audio guy should own or experience once in their hifi journey.

But saying that I would not recommend spending a lot on these speakers.

The mids are hard to beat but the highs are missing and the bass is mediocre.

Money could be spent on newer products for an equally engaging experience.

 

Just my two cents after pondering on your situation and how I would go about it if I had to do it all again.

 

Good luck

 

 

 

Edited by haygeebaby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought about that too. In the end, buying a refurbished pair used will be cheaper if you need new panels. The electronic components are relatively affordable at One Thing Audio. But new panels add up. On top of that I am not skilled at do it yourself. I can not solder, and I don't have the tools. So for me it makes more sense to buy a used pair that has been refurbished.

 

I do have very good nearfield speakers by Geithain for critical, close listening. And I have a set of surround speakers for movies and the party stuff. What I am missing are a pair of speakers for relaxed, yet engaging listening. They don't need to be super clinical and neutral. I have the Geithains for that. Rather they should be captivating on classical and smaller, intimate music. I liked the ESL 57 very much for that.

 

Out of interest, are there any other speakers you would recommend for that purpose in the same pricerange? Much as I liked the ESL 57 musically, they are obtrusive in a room, and could cost effort and money to keep in shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I agree 57's are great. Follow your heart and acquire them however way you can. You won't regret - great stage in the hifi journey.

Magnepan perhaps - great bang for buck. Lots of happy followers.

If I had to get another ESL I would consider ER Audio Acorn speakers.

They are however a kit speaker. But having compared them to the ESL57 sound - 57 mid is slightly better - but the Acorn wins everywhere else. 

I'd also consider the ESL63. A better speaker than the 57 - same sound signature - better build, bass, and highs. But 57 mid is still better and nothing beats the look and charm of the 57.

But get a high current amp with some good oomph. Brings out the best in ESL.

If it wasn't panel speakers - the next stage would be horns.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks haygeebaby, it helps a lot.

 

Actually the ESL-63 was on my list. I've had a listening session where I could directly compare them to the ESL 57. I prefered the latter.

 

Now I am waiting to see if the new eht boards solve the issue with the pair by Quad Musikwiedergabe, and whether the treble panels are ok or whether they have arced. Once that's clear I'll decide.

Edited by goodkeys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Alpine Electrocats
      Item: One Thing Audio ESL 57 widget
      Location: Canberra
      Price: $100
      Item Condition: as new
      Reason for selling: Not needed
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info:
      A must for the esl57 user!
       
      This device was developed to provide an easier load for the amp/speaker interface- to enable you to use a wide variety of amps that would otherwise be precluded by this beautiful but demanding speaker ( and im not talking about my first wife)
        They cost about $130 plus shipping on their site
      postage will be $8 in the Eastern states
       
       

      Pictures:



    • By DamoNg
      Item: White Quad ESL57 pairs 
      Location: Canberra 
      Price: 2200 
      Item Condition: Exellent
      Reason for Selling: Dilemma dilemma but long story short - Man surf the net, man saw something called 802D3, man can't controlled his urged and forked out his hard...earned.  Man's wife found out and threatened with something begin with D and end with E and similar to 'DIE'.  Sad story but true!
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info: I bought these from a local SNAer last year for my bedroom rig.  I used a pair of Quad II 80 monoblocks(also for sale) to drive them,  all I can say is OMG.  It has this magnificent midrange which brings out the best of any vocalists especially female.  Not boomy down low but I wouldn't call it lean either.
      They are fully refurbished by John Hall and has been raised to an acceptable ears level height.  Original legs are also included.
      They have been finished in white, which in my opinion make it looks even better than the original brown.  More industrial designs looks which can easily accommodate in any interiors.
      I have four different systems around the house and these don't get much listening time it deserve, not to mention the constant abuse I get from the wife for have it it in the bedroom.
      I believed this should costs a lot more than the asking price, so I would like to keep it firm.
      They are big but not extremely heavy, I would prefer local buyers.  Happy to send elsewhere but at. Buyers expense and courier arrangement.
      Audition welcome!
      Will donate to Stereonet if it's sold here.
       
      Pictures:
       
       





    • By wim
      Item: White Quad ESL 57's (2) - Fully refurbished
      Location: Canberra
      Price: $2200
      Item Condition: Excellent
      Reason for selling: Needs must.
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info: These are fully refurbished by John Hall. Purchased from a reputable SNAer whose description to me - for the sake of transparency - was as follows: "The 57's in that condition and completely refurbished should easily get $3000, perhaps $3500 with stands. I know they owed me $5000 including stands. I bought them for $2k, spent another $2500 getting them completely stripped and refurbished, including shipping, and the stands were $500.
       
      Stands are custom. Original and custom stands included in sale.
       
      Speakers are sequentially numbered. The other is fully packaged and boxed ready for courier - as will be this one when I repack after posting here.
       
      I'm selling for far less than I paid. A donation will be made to SNA on successful sale.
       
      Any comments or questions - please don't hesitate to ask. They need to go, unfortunately.
       
      Pictures:
      Apologies for the potato photos - these are taken with my phone. The speakers look amazing in person.

       

       

       

       
       
    • By Nigel
      Seeing recent posts about Quad 57s reminded me that I have a friend (non-audiophile) who has had a pair in storage for over a decade.
      I suggested that was a waste and that there is still interest out there. He agreed and is happy to sell them.
      I am not sure (yet) if they are working or not.
       
      So...I am hoping the many people here who have tasted the 57s can advise what they might be worth  ?
      a) as-is (probably needing a service)
      b) once they are fully serviced ?
       
      I am thinking someone who knows how to diy repair/service them may be looking to restore a pair.
       
      ciao for now
    • By brownemi
      Item: Quad 57s in excellent condition, fully reconditioned by John Hall, this was a ground up rebuild no expense spared with everything done that could be to the panels and electronics.  Play time since done is a mere 70 hours approx, so they are just settled in nicely. They come with higher black metal stands (not the inferior low standard ones), the gold grills are flawless other than a tiny blemish at the bottom of one (see photo) and is hard to see. It is rare to see such a perfectly presented pair. These are an absolute classic and actually play all kinds of music including modern extremely well. The midrange (where it all happens) is to die for and will strike an emotional cord with anyone.
       
       
       
      Location: Syndey - inner west
      Price: $2,500  now $2,000 firm
      Item Condition: like new
      Reason for selling:  Upgraded and dont have a room big enough to keep them as that was my wish.
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash. These really need pick up, but will consider shipping at buyers expense and responsibility.
      Extra Info:
      Pictures: more photos to follow.......the computer had a conniption
       

       
      Now added photos.   

×