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Electrostat Speakers - Page 2

post #16 of 107

I'm not a huge fan of the 63's myself though they do have a big following. They are less detailed than the 57s and kindof lifeless. I also find this true of later Quad designs. Some who have modified them (though I haven't heard and don't see how its possible given their design), claim their 63's are unsurpassed. The later Quads (through those being made today) are adaptations of the 63. I wish Quad had opted to perpetuate/evolve the 57. I believe the main reason for developing off the 63 was marketability and reliability (like the Martin Logans, they're louder, they have a larger sweet spot, less demanding on amps [though that's a bit overplayed in the community and less of an issue than many think -- with Quads that is], are more reliable etc.).

 

With regards to the loudness issue, powered by a five watt tube amp, my Quad 57's played as loud as I would ever need in a 10x15 room. When listening I sat practically on top of the speakers as I'm certain that is the best place to be. The treble transducer (positioned in the middle of the speaker and flanked by a bass transducer on either side) outputs sound from about 2/3rds the way up the panel (you can hear this if you put your ear close to the speaker). Conversely the bass outputs from the lower 1/4. It's very important when listening that your ears are in line with this point of output (the treble that is). People mention raising their Quads for this reason (and to reduce room resonance). I never did but developed a hunchback as a result of not doing so.


Edited by milezone - 4/20/12 at 12:01am
post #17 of 107

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

I found the 988/989s to suffer a bit sonically, but I prefer the 2805/2905s sound to the 63s.  To each his own, I suppose :D 

 

Would you elaborate - how does the sound differ between the 63's, 988/9's, and 2805/2905's???

post #18 of 107

It appears nobody at current Quad has any idea what half the parts do in an ESL63 so they just messed with the basics such as increasing the bias voltage for slightly higher sensitivity (not a good idea) and messed with the input circuitry a bit.  Compare this to the pure porn which is the ESL63 design or the "egg" project PJW was working on when he retired and it makes me rather sad... 

 

As for ML, even the guy who invented the curved panel has openly disowned it and said it isn't a good idea.  The forces are not equal and that is a rather big deal in electrostats.  Then you have the utterly terrible build quality and no attention paid to anything except looking cool.  The CLX promised to be a step in the right direction but nope, same old crap. 

post #19 of 107

I feel that my ML Aerius cuts off its frequencies from the electrostatic panels too high making most of the mid and low frequencies coming from the subwoofers.  To my ears, they sound rather like boxy loudspeakers.  Most of the charming characteristics of ESL are gone.  confused_face.gif

 

Wachara C.

 

post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

It appears nobody at current Quad has any idea what half the parts do in an ESL63 so they just messed with the basics such as increasing the bias voltage for slightly higher sensitivity (not a good idea) and messed with the input circuitry a bit.  Compare this to the pure porn which is the ESL63 design or the "egg" project PJW was working on when he retired and it makes me rather sad... 

 

As for ML, even the guy who invented the curved panel has openly disowned it and said it isn't a good idea.  The forces are not equal and that is a rather big deal in electrostats.  Then you have the utterly terrible build quality and no attention paid to anything except looking cool.  The CLX promised to be a step in the right direction but nope, same old crap. 

 

Are there any current-production e'stat speakers worth buying?

post #21 of 107

http://www.soundlab-speakers.com/

 

Also, Cadence in India makes hybrid Estat speakers. Having heard a couple of these models, they are well worth a try.

 

http://www.cadenceaudio.com/productfr.html


Edited by sachu - 4/20/12 at 11:08am
post #22 of 107

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by milezone View Post

The only (somewhat attainable) speakers I'm really into are Quads, Staxs and ERAudio/diy electrostats. Some don't like the sound of electrostats as they don't play loud.

 

Thanks for E R Audio. I'm looking for good DIY kits. Do you know some others worth mentioning ?

post #23 of 107

63's are the worst of the bunch but still better than the competition. People frowned on 988s due to the amount of plastic in their build but there's little question that they're more rhythmic, open and dynamic. I've done quick swaps. Same panels but improved metal screens and electronics. If you've got a pair, pull down the socks. They're a bit restrictive. I don't believe the bias voltage or input circuit has changed from the original, even in the 2805. All are 86 db effecient. All use the original value cap and resistor in parallel for bass linearity Even the high frequency taloring is identical but with a different layout and parts. Peter Walker's baby has grown up but it's still ot the same genes. In fact, the actual specs haven't changed from the very 1st 63. Biggest change is the protection circuits, rigidity and better finish. Lot's of good tech reasons why Quads should be and are better.

 

Audiostatics are good, not quite Quads overall but better than MLs IMO.


Edited by goodvibes - 4/20/12 at 12:37pm
post #24 of 107

Glad I could help with regards to the ER Audio speakers. There are a few fairly ambitious projects on DIY audio (one person has been trying to make a KLH 9 type ES using wire and tar). There's also a german site dedicated to DIY es projects which I'll post if I can find it. With regards to kits, ER Audio is the only one I know of. I can say with great confidence you'd likely be purchasing the last speakers you'd ever want or need were you to go that route. The founder, having teamed up with another manufacturer, just a CES award for best high end audio product (?) for a hybrid design they're introducing soon. 

 

With regards to the 63's, Peter Walker spent 15 years designing them trying to overcome the limitations of the 57's. Peter Walker's knowledge, abilities and achievements are unsurpassed in the audio realm as far as I'm concerned. Sound wise, there's no way newer productions are superior, more advanced, higher quality, etc. The 63 is a very robust speaker. Any alteration (aside from slightly improved construction) would be a downgrade. In my experience, the downgrade is audible. Quad Germany is a closer iteration to the original though still inferior. All that being said the Quad UK 57 is a lot better than the 63 imo.

 

Despite the massive innovation initially, there's little to be improved upon or changed within an ES speaker. The transformer (the big audio one) is perhaps the most important component in the speaker. Stator materials/design would be the next big improvement. Then diaphragm material/thickness.  From there, it's largely a matter of balancing tolerances, components and housing materials.


Edited by milezone - 8/3/12 at 11:05am
post #25 of 107

A guy in my area sells a pair of King Sound Prince 2.

Any comments about this brand or model ?

post #26 of 107

DIY a pair of ESLs can be a lot of fun.  beerchug.gif

 

IMG_0396.jpg

 

I have made a few pairs but most of them failed in my learning stage.  etysmile.gif  But it really is a lot of fun.  The best place to learn to make is: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/planars-exotics/

 

There are many helpful experts there.  

 

By the way my own DIY ESL sound better than ML Aerius.  wink_face.gif

 

Wachara C.

post #27 of 107

I've heard the Kings at an SFAudio meet in 2011. Compared to the Quads, they're perhaps a bit more dynamic and full range. I found them very dry sounding, chalky, not sweet or holographic I suppose. There was also a pair of newer Quads on hand being powered by massive CAT tube amps. Frankly the whole setup sounded terrible. Again, I think Quad 57s are significantly better speakers than either. Compared the rest of the speakers at the show, the King Sounds were the best (most seemed to agree). That was my only experience with the brand and I'd be curious to have another listen. The plasma tweeters present in a pair of Acapella speakers were also quite amazing but the rest of the speaker, and integration of the drivers was disappointing. That being said, I was absolutely blown away by the treble detail these speakers were able to produce.


Edited by milezone - 4/21/12 at 8:54pm
post #28 of 107

Those are cool. Please elaborate on the design if you don't mind.

post #29 of 107

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obzilla View Post

If I ever get around to changing my speakers, a pair of Marin Logan hybrids are at the top of my list.

 

As has already been mentioned repeatedly, Martin Logan hybrids are crap. The sound seems painted on the panels themselves, imaging and depth - zero. They are also incapable of getting the woofer to blend in an even remotely realistic way. Based on what I've heard from the Descent, I don't think ML even understands how to put a dynamic driver in a box, let alone design an ESL that actually sounds like anything. Easily one of the worst subwoofers I've ever heard.

 

Innersound also makes woofer/electrostat hybrids, but I'm not familiar with them.

post #30 of 107

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by milezone View Post

Those are cool. Please elaborate on the design if you don't mind.

 

DSC_0742.jpg

 

The ESL sitting behind ML are what I'm listening to now.  I have a pair of subwoofers but I really don't use them that much at all.  I run my ESL full range.

 

My ESLs are 1.2 meters x 0.25 meter.  I use 2 mm spacer and 3 micron diaphragm.  The step up ratio of the transformer is 1:90 and the bias voltage is around 2,400 V.  They sound as loud as ML at the same volume level.

 

Wachara C.

 

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