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Recommendations for someone who doesn't have room for Quad ESL57s anymore :(

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I'm new here. Thanks for such a great board. I've done some reading and now I'm hoping to get some help. We are moving to a smaller place and unfortunately the stereo I've spent 12 years building is not going to fit. The most depressing thing to lose is my Quad ESL57s. So the first question is: as a lover of electrostatic speakers, will I love electrostatic headphones? And what, if that's the case, do you recommend I buy? I'll have a very resolving analog front end with an Amazon turntable, Lyra cartridge and an ASR phono stage. I'm willing to start at around $1250, if that will get me something good. As a frame of reference, my experience with headphones is limited to professional headphones since I work tangentially to the music industry. I've used Sony MDR-7506s for years and have heard Sennheiser HD650s some and to give you an idea neither of those would be sufficient for me in terms of reproducing the recording space (a real strength of the Quads) and sense of real people playing instruments to invest in a headphone setup. I'm hoping that elecrostatic headphones excel in these areas.

post #2 of 2

I have 57's.   They've been my favorite speakers since 1977.   I love them to death.  


I used to have a pair of Stax SR-507's until a local headfier let me hear his Sennheiser HD800's.  I prefer them to the Stax, by a wide margin.  I'm not sure if I don't prefer them to the Quads.   They aren't cheap.   In my opinion, if you're used to Quads and you want headphones you should spend the money on the HD800's.    I'm using mine with a good tube amp - it's a setup that rivals my Quads in resolution and musical enjoyment. 


Yes, the Stax are very good (I've really liked them for years).   But the HD800's are, to me...more comfortable, more resolving, have much better spacial characteristics.  It's just altogether more enjoyable. 


To really confuse the issue....if I moved to a smaller room and didn't have space for the Quads I know exactly what I would do.   I'd move my Harbeth P3ESR's from the office into the main listening room.   I've had them for three years and could be happy with them as my only speaker.  


My local friend who let me hear his HD800's....he came over to my place and we were listening to a pair of $5000 British studio monitors.   It sounded very good, obviously.   Then I put on the Harbeths and he LOVED them.   They really are musical and enjoyable to listen to.   Don't forget the stands from www.skylanstands.com. 


For years people asking your question were told, 'get LS3/5a's.  I love LS3/5a's (in fact I have a pair of Stirlings for sale).   But I do believe the Harbeth is even better, unless you're talking about near field listening.  

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