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Old 20th January 2005, 07:26 AM   #1
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Default Quad ESL-63 rebuild

I am rebuilding my ESL-63s after one was damaged during a move. I have more or less completed one of them, and the other is a few day's work from completion.

Here are photos of the completed unit:
Front View
Rear View

The frame is made from 2" schedule 40 PVC water pipe. Right now the pipes are empty, but I may fill them with foam, or marbles, or concrete. They already weigh quite a bit, so I don't want to make them too heavy. The boxes are made from 5" x 5" PVC fence post. You can't tell from the pictures but there are dust covers completely covering the drivers.

I sort of like the "3rd world industrial" look, but my wife doesn't, so I will probably make some "socks" out of thin , stretchy cloth to simply slide down over the the frame and completely cover the drivers.

Materials for each frame cost about $70.

I think the speaker sounds a bit better without the metal grilles that used to be in front and behind it.

Now I have two sets of ESL-63 mechanical parts laying around. Does anyone need any of that stuff or shall I just scrap it?

I_F
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Old 20th January 2005, 03:21 PM   #2
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Nice work!

I usually run my 63s without the grills and socks. The speaker is ugly this way for sure. I throw a plastic bag over the speakers when not in use to keep too much dust and lint from settling on the speakers. When I do use metal grills I use the Crosby grills which are much more open (visually and acoustically) than the original Quad grills. But when run completely "naked" I think the resultant sound is far better than stock. In particular the high end is smoother and airier. Details are clearer and the speaker takes on a transparency that's quite beguiling. I believe that there are just too many back-and-forth reflections when using the grills and socks. I too leave the dust covers in place, although I have played them without briefly after conducting repairs.

I have toyed with the idea of having a local welder fashion me a frame made out of rectangular steel tubes roughly 2"x4" in cross-section (wide sides co-planar with the panels). I would have him weld tabs inside the frame to mount the panels. I could fill the tubes with any chosen damping or/and mass loading material. Yes, they would be very heavy, but that's the point. Reactive movements in the panels/stators would be countered by the high mass reactance of the frame. I would expect tighter bass, for one thing, but probably also less Doppler distortion from panels buzzing back and forth at low and middle frequencies. Well, someday anyway...
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Old 20th January 2005, 03:25 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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I tried to do a frame like that for Acoustats but never got it to work. Filling it with concrete was an exercise in frustration. If you figure out how to do it, I'd love to know about it- I still have all the bits and pieces from my own failed attempt.
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Old 20th January 2005, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Beck
Nice work!

I have toyed with the idea of having a local welder fashion me a frame made out of rectangular steel tubes roughly 2"x4" in cross-section (wide sides co-planar with the panels).... snip
I started out doing this rebuild in steel, then switched to PVC. Steel is no fun to work with. I can't count the number of taps I broke, the drills I wore out, and the time required to do everything. I got one channel almost finished and realized I would have to go through all the same problems for the other and decided to abandon the steel frames.

Here are a couple photos of the mostly assembled steel framed unit:
Front
Rear

The frames are made of 1" x 3" rectangular tubing. I injected foam into the assembled one to stop the thing from ringing (it didn't need any more mass!), but I don't know for sure whether the foam did it's foaming thing- the frame doesn't ring when I bang on it, but steel tubing is oily stuff and the oil may have prevented the foam from expanding fully. Each frame weighs about 50 lbs without the electronics or top and bottom covers. I had the top covers cut from brite aluminum treadplate and the bottom covers from stainless steel sheet.

I have two of these frames- if you can come to pick them up you can have them cheap! I doubt it would be worth shipping them...

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Old 20th January 2005, 08:23 PM   #5
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Wow, very nice. How does this set up sound relative to the PVC version and compared to stock? I just sent you an email regarding availability.

Thanks,
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Old 21st January 2005, 05:56 AM   #6
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Default I did not get a chance

to listen to it while it was in the steel frame. I had some difficulty getting it operating properly, then built to PVC frame and moved it and located the problem in the process.

There are two ground wires that go from the audio transformers to lugs that are screwed to the metal plate with the speaker input/bias supply. The wire that Quad used was the cheesiest stuff I have seen since I stopped buying electronic stuff at Radio Shack when I was in Jr. high school! Flexing the wire two or three times causes it to break. One of the ground wires broke free of its lug and caused all sorts of mischief. I found the problem when I went in to take the thing apart and transfer it to the PVC frame.

I replaced the wire with better stuff that doesn't suffer from the same sort of problems.

I think Quad could have used an experienced manufacturing engineer back in those days. A lot of these problems would not have happened.

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Old 1st February 2005, 07:05 AM   #7
lltnt is offline lltnt  China
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Coooooooooooooool!!!
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Old 1st February 2005, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY
I tried to do a frame like that for Acoustats but never got it to work. Filling it with concrete was an exercise in frustration. If you figure out how to do it, I'd love to know about it- I still have all the bits and pieces from my own failed attempt.
I expect the problem would be air trapped in the pipe. you could let the air out by drilling a few small holes- once the concrete starts to leak through them, just cover with tape until the concrete sets.

Another way might be to run a knotted rope through the pipe. Pour the concrete over the rope, then work the rope back and forth a few times to get the air out of the pipe. Finally pull the rope out and top off the concrete...

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Old 16th February 2005, 04:38 PM   #9
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Default better photos posted

I had to make a minor repair to one speaker- the glue I used to hold the dust cover strips in place let go, so I had the speaker out in the garage to reglue them (smelly stuff). I took advantage of the sunny day and took a couple photos before I reinstalled the dust covers.

Here they are:

Front side
Back side

I've been living with the speakers in this new configuration for a few weeks now and I am quite pleased with the way they turned out.

Oh yes, the stove-black diaphragm coating is still working perfectly...

I_F
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Old 7th March 2005, 06:36 PM   #10
Ki Choi is offline Ki Choi  United States
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Default Need ESL-63 bad panels

Hi I_F:

If you (or anyone in this forum) have replaced their problem ESL-63 panels with new ones and still kept the bad treble and/or bass panels, please let me buy them from you.

I am rebuilding a pair of USA Monitor and some of the panels are beyong repair.

If you have the bad panels for sale, please let me know their conditions and price.

I appreciate you looking at my message.

Ki
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