Quad ESL 57 and Felt Damping - diyAudio
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Old 6th September 2011, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default Quad ESL 57 and Felt Damping

Dear all,

I sent my ESL 57's (and the replacement transformer I bought from another forum member) to Quad for a service. They have quoted me a very reasonable price but cannot source the missing felt.

Does anyone here have broken for parts ESL 57's? With some second hand felt?

My mother used to design clothes for a fashion house in the late 1960's. Attached is A "Mr Freedom" Micky Mouse T shirt she designed, and so she knows quiet a bit about fabrics. Her advise is that I should not buy any felt second hand because moths love felt, although I suggested that laying eggs in the ESl 57's might mean that moths might go deaf We will open the Quad ESL 57'd when they get back so she can see the felt.

What are peoples thoughts on new replacements for the Quad ESL treble damping felt?

Regards

Owen
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Old 6th September 2011, 06:49 PM   #2
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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It sounds better without the damping felt.
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Old 6th September 2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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Default ESL 57 with or without felt.

Dear Oshifis,

Thank you for your opinion, but this is a hotly debated issue with Quad ESL 57 owners.

I have never had a freshly refurbished ESL 57 as mine will now be, when they are collected from Quad. The speakers have been in storage half repaired for some years, after some parts where lost in a house move.

It must be nearly 18 years since I last had them working. Unfortunately one of the tweeters was arcing if the volume was at any level. I do remember my own feeling that the damping was a compromise, if I recall correctly, (and I would like to repeat the experiment) adding the damping made one aspect of the sound better (mid range smoothness), and one aspect of the sound worse (high frequency extension). In balance I preferred the sound with the damping in the speaker.

I hope I can make the sound as they where originally intended to sound, I think of the Quad ESL 57 half way between a super HiFi item and a classic sports car. To continue the analogy I would rather not cut the mahogany dash board of a classic car just to fit a modern GPS. This said I might use a modern shock absorber if it fitted into the classic sports car.

Regards

Owen
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Old 7th September 2011, 07:25 AM   #4
405man is offline 405man  Scotland
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The moth problem can be solved by puting the felt in the freezer for a couple of days

Stuart
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:59 PM   #5
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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OK, I discarded the original felt otherwise I would give it to you. They were 3 layers of thin (2 mm I think) grey felt sheets, nailed to the two parallel bracing. The layers were not glued or sewn together. The bottom 1/3rd was just hanging down. I think you can buy raw felt in any cloth store - grey is best for aesthetics, black would also do equally well.
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Old 8th September 2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Thanks oshifis and Stuart,

Sorry for the slightly too strong tone in my reply oshifis.

I emailed to a man on ebay who is selling parts of ESL 57's so may be able to buy an original felt damper. he will send me some photos of his felt on Monday (if I am lucky), but he may realize I really want them so he may want to charge me too much. I am really excited to have these speakers back in action. Shame it will be a long time until I can hear them, what with me being in Germany and them in the UK.

Regards

Owen
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Old 8th September 2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Default Maybe lucky with a man selling parts on ebay.

Thanks oshifis and Stuart,

Sorry for the slightly too strong tone in my reply oshifis.

I emailed to a man on ebay who is selling parts of ESL 57's so may be able to buy an original felt damper. he will send me some photos of his felt on Monday (if I am lucky), but he may realize I really want them so he may want to charge me too much. I am really excited to have these speakers back in action. Shame it will be a long time until I can hear them, what with me being in Germany and them in the UK.

Regards

Owen
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Old 16th September 2011, 08:19 AM   #8
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The Quad ESL definitely sounds more natural (neutral) with all the damping materials in place. Perhaps with an old worn out ESL, removing the bass damping materials could make a subjective improvement. But removing the treble panel felt is never an improvement IMO. Removing it adds considerable coloration to the sound.
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