Hard to find impressions on it. Still interested in one.
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Hard to find impressions on it. Still interested in one.
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 (made in china) 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 good bit better than the 63 imo.
Despite their massive innovation, 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.
Protections circuits, transformers, screens, construction and bonding agents on the panels are all better now. Can't really compare 57s as it's a bit of a different animal that nothing will ever replace but the later versions of the 63 are improved. In fact under the Walkers watch, the delay lines and panel construction were changed in the first few years so the 15 years of development wasn't the end of it. 63 came from the year Peter came up with the design. The time between was waiting for materials. The rest was good math and ingenuity. I've repaired and had all at home. Still have some 57s that I'll never part with.
Compared to the alternatives, Quads run over twice the voltage, and closer tolerances with generally more rigid . Makes the easier to fry but the protection on current models works pretty well and the rest is why they're more insightful. Never understood why anyone would try and curve a panel. It's just counter intuitive for a # of reasons. Try it sometime with saran wrap and watch the diaphragm bow. Besides Quad, Sound Lab, Audiostatic and a few others are all generally preferable to ML IMO.
Yes. The construction elements are improved. The 63 is robust as is however. The 57 less so. Not sure about the transformers on newer ones but I'm certain the old 57 transformer surpasses all. Regarding panel curvature, Peter Walker once explained that the best speaker design is a pulsating sphere. If I had to guess, the curvature thing is an attempt to achieve this partially as well as reducing beaming. Doing so with a single diaphragm is really stupid (unless it's perfectly rigid and being driven uniformly). The old Janszen electrostats did so with segmented panels (pretty interesting idea), though still flawed and not really achieving or getting close to the ideal PW had in mind.
The pulsating sphere thing was how to design a speaker that would mimic a point source. It's actually not practical to make or in terms of room resonances. Quads solution was the delay lines that increases dispersion by limiting the highs to a small centered circle and decreasing bandwidth and delaying time as you move from center, in effect creating a point source about a foot behind the speaker with good but controlled dispersion into the listening area. An ML acts more a a line source with increased dispersion and not at all like a point source. In fact, panel bow forces them to put many segments or mechanical divides in the diaphragm so it's actually like listening to many vertical segments or multiple tweeters.
The 57 radiates in a short line cardiod pattern and the 63 etc, a figure 8 with just a bit more acoustic resisitance to the rear.
In the case of the ML's I think they are taking a similar principal and applying it to a line source. It's a hunch more than anything. It's obvious it's not a point source just by looking at the speaker. And furthermore obvious that such a design as a pulsating sphere only makes sense with a point source in mind (unless multiple pulsating spheres are being used). An oblate spheroid guide implemented in a good coaxial driver is really the only, and closest thing to achieving the pulsating sphere idea.
I'm curious about how the 57s achieve a cardiod pattern given that they are true dipoles.
I doubt ML is trying to mimic (successfully or not) the ideal point-source with their curved panel. According to all of their marketing material, the sole purpose is to increase the dispersion, thus widening the sweet spot.
I'd bet yall are giving them WAY too much credit ;)
Those are really nicely done chinsettawong. Better looking that the ML's in my opinion. Is it your own design? It looks like a single panel that runs fullrange? Is this the case? No crossover? Please share.
Thanks for your compliments. Yes, I run my ESL fullrange. I do not use any crossover. If I need, I use another amp to drive the subwoofer with manually adjustable crossover. I tried integrating the subwoofer with my ESL for a while, but I didn't like it that much.
To run fullrange, the step up transformers are very critical. You really need to have very good ones.
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 (made in china) 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.
First, the 63's are NOT at all robust in my view! A slight digression, I love British pressings of classical recordings (EMI, Decca etc.) but find one weakness. The covers are usually coming apart at the seams. Seems they had advanced recording techniques, but lousy adhesive technology! Same is true for the 63, a large percentage of the stators are coming loose from the plastic grids which leads to arc over, presumedly Quad used the same adhesive vendor as Decca!
Other thoughts about stats (or Stats I Have Known):
At least so far, I think you can write off hybrids, if you want a stat, buy a stat. The only M-L that had any real potential was the CLS and it had flaws, M-L tried to fix through numerous mods, but each mod that fixed one thing resulted in a new problem, kinda like trying to put 5 pounds of fertilizer in a 10 pound bag, when you get some pushed in over here it oozes out over there...
The full range Acoustats were pretty good, the best was the 2+2 model, generally reliable (except the later Medallion transformers were a bit flaky). Not the ultimate tho...
The Audiostatics were very nice, but limited in terms of bass and output. I never owned these but heard them many times at a friend's place, he replaced Acoustat 1+1 with modified Servo tube amps with these and was pleased. He never had any problems and I haven't heard of failures in my limited experience.
I had a pair of Stax ELS-8x that were one of my favorite stats ever. Excellent on symphonic music especially, they would safely take 100 watts and played loud enough to satisfy me in my 15 by 22 room (though that was it, they had no reserve). Sold in a foolish moment...
I had Sound lab Pristines years ago and they sounded pretty good (but no Quad 57 midrange wise) with decent bass but were so hard to drive that a 200 watt amp barely tickled 'em (and I don't listen that loud). One speaker panel failed (arcs) and I gave up. I have heard the big ones (M-1) driven by big OTL amps (Atma-spheres) and wasn't wowed especially considering the size and expense of the speakers and cost of suitable amplification. My reaction was "is this trip really necessary?"
But overall, the Quad 57 takes the palm. Within their limitations they are excellent and, if you find a good pair and don't abuse them (60 watts MAX), are pretty reliable other than the diodes sometimes failing in the PS. They are small enough and light enough to pick up by the scruff of the neck (the little handle molded in the wood) and move around. A nice feature in this era of bloated loudspeakers! I was at the Audio Show at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC a few weeks ago and one room was showing a pair refurbed by Wayne Piquet (sp?). To me, they were one of the 5 best sounds at the show. Don't know if that speaks better of the Quads or worse of many of the systems at the show...