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Old 24th May 2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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Default Stacked Quad ESL 57

Recently, I have a conversation with peoples about stacking Quad ESL 57. One says the low impedance of stacked Quad ESL 57 (0.9 ohm on high frequency) mainly because of the high capacitive, that is no good to tube amplification at all.

Assume room size and ceiling height are not an issue, how come people don't use 4 pairs in stacking? They can putting 2 for a set and wired in series, then parallel both sets, the nominal impedance should be equivalent to the ONE SINGLE pair ESL 57 that is 8 ohm and min 2 ohm on high frequency.

Is the capacitance issue (at high frequency) really that serious even under series-parallel approach describe above??
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Old 24th May 2013, 12:38 PM   #2
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubenstein View Post
... how come people don't use 4 pairs in stacking?
So simple indeed! Go to the nearest Quad shop around the corner and buy 8 units off-counter, matched pairs of course... (And pay in cash )
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Old 24th May 2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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In the 1970's, Mark Levinson produced the HQD system, comprised of stacked pairs of Quad-57's mounted in a custom oak stand with a Decca ribbon-tweeter mounted horizontally between the Qual-57's, augmented with 24" HARTLEY Model 224HS woofer system, powered by two pairs of Mark Levinson ML-2 25W Class-A solid-state power amplifiers. No WAF; if you aren't single when you buy them, you soon will be...
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Old 24th May 2013, 08:37 PM   #4
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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I know someone with a "quad" Esl57 and a number of them with triple stack and dual stack ..

The Dual stack sounds the best unless you have a really, really big room ...
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Old 25th May 2013, 02:43 AM   #5
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Very very good idea!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oshifis View Post
So simple indeed! Go to the nearest Quad shop around the corner and buy 8 units off-counter, matched pairs of course... (And pay in cash )
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Old 25th May 2013, 02:47 AM   #6
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One lovely thing about Quadruple Quad ESL 57, we can have the frame made for adjustment for EACH set of Quad to match the actual room requirement. Second, the system no longer need a supertweeter as the treble x 4 per channel works with ease. It might be a beaming issue existed, but can be cured by either adjustment mentioned above or digital acoustics correctional system we have nowadays.

The only concern I have is its "high capacitance" might cause the roll off on the high frequency by tacking 4 x ESL 57....??


Quote:
Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
I know someone with a "quad" Esl57 and a number of them with triple stack and dual stack ..

The Dual stack sounds the best unless you have a really, really big room ...
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Old 25th May 2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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If you put four of them series/parallel then the impedance is equal to one speaker. So the load the amplifier sees should be the same as for a single pair. But... you will need to drive them with higher input voltage (and thus higher current) to actually get more power out of 4 ESLs. So that increases the demands on the amplifier.

Best solution is to give each speaker it's own amplifier. Quad 303 is affordable and a known good combination with the Quad ESL. And if you are willing to go the route of 4 amps then tube's are a possibility again.

I would put a Hypex NCore module in each speaker and have custom transformers wound with lowered step-up ratio that is now possible with the output of these modules. That should give you a killer setup! Then if you favor tube sound you can put a nice pre-amp in there to voice the system.

But driving 4 sets of Quads from a single tube amp... I would not recommend that.
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Old 27th May 2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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Default Dont forget the earthing issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arend-jan View Post
Best solution is to give each speaker it's own amplifier. Quad 303 is affordable and a known good combination with the Quad ESL. And if you are willing to go the route of 4 amps then tube's are a possibility again.
I agree the Quad 303 is a great match for the ESL 57 and has a real good retro look that just works with the ESL 57, and has been destined for and to avoid overloading the ESL 57 and causing damage. The Quad 303 is noisy by modern standards ( you probably wont need to worry about the little hiss that you only hear with your ear near the speaker)

Using multiple Quad 303's I would use line transformers between the Quad 303 and your preamp to isolate the earths for simplicity. Because the Quad 303 regulates the earth rather than the HT voltage you cant connect the earths of the Quad 303 together or you will fry the regulation on the amplifiers. I have done this so many times before I worked this out I feel stupid.

The Quad 303 is a great partner for the ESL 57, and is nice that at factory spec levels they cant destroy the ESL 57 with overloads I believe.

Best of luck.

Owen
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Old 27th May 2013, 09:08 PM   #9
PChi is offline PChi  United Kingdom
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I fail to understand how stacked ESL 57 s can work well. The ESL57 has a very narrow vertical dispersion. The horizontal dispersion is wider but isn't that broad. If you aren't sitting at the right height you don't hear the treble. How can 2 or even worse 4 provide more that a single sweet spot with careful positioning.
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Old 31st May 2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PChi View Post
I fail to understand how stacked ESL 57 s can work well. The ESL57 has a very narrow vertical dispersion. The horizontal dispersion is wider but isn't that broad. If you aren't sitting at the right height you don't hear the treble. How can 2 or even worse 4 provide more that a single sweet spot with careful positioning.
I have never had the possibility to try this, but I agree with your concerns that the treble panel will be very directional. The reason is for the maximum volume producible, and the lowest frequency producible.

My expectation is that since the high frequencies are so directional that if the two panels are misaligned you might even have two sweet spots. Careful positioning will be essential. If I was doing this I would suggest that the stand would be critical, and it should be adjustable, to reduce the issues you and I suspect would occur.

If I could bring my self to modify such a classic as the ESL 57 (Sort of like modifying a 1960's classic car with a modern engine). I might even adjust the drive electronics, to make the system a three way (With a DIY electrostatic tweeter, and call the high frequency panels on the ESL 57 as mid ranges). But if I was going this way I personally would be more tempted to start with ESL 63 panels and drive electronics, and stack the bass panels either side of a ESL 63, either making a taller or wider speaker than an ESL 63.

I suspect sealed or dipole bass under an ESL 57 with an active crossover is both a cheaper and more pragmatic solution to maximum volume and limited bass performance of an ESL57.

Honestly the ESL 57 is very good as designed, and already a very large and potentially dominating speaker in most European sized rooms. But you already need to be a music professional or Hifi obsessive to want an electrostatic speaker, and the accompanied experience, we are not mass market in this forum, and this "Planars & Exotics" topic.
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