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Quad ESL57
Quad ESL57
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Old 13th October 2018, 03:48 PM   #1
ItsQuad is offline ItsQuad
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Default Quad ESL57

Some months ago I "inherited" from my father a setup consisting of Quad 303, 33 & FM3, a Garrard 401 & SME 3009 and a pair of Quad ESL 57s. They have spent the intervening time up in the loft. A few days ago I brought them down and wired up the Quad items. I set them up with a CD player which I also inherited and have been listening to them.

Out of interest I turned up the amplifier today and noticed that on one of the speakers there were small, faint flashes (¿sparks?) on what I believe is the middle panel.

Can anyone tell me what the significance of these is and whether they will do or they indicate damage?

For what it is worth, the setup and the speakers sound absolutely wonderful - sadly, my wife is not entirely happy about having such huge speakers in the living room - but I will work on that.
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Old 13th October 2018, 04:35 PM   #2
AVWERK is offline AVWERK  United States
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You will need the arc clamping boards and rebuilt tweeter panels. This will allow any amp to be used without worry.

It will be worth any price to bring these up to working condition as these have some of the most coherent resolute midrange performance and no speaker made today has downward dynamic range like these jewels

There is plenty of info right here on DIY, just search for it

Regards
David
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Old 13th October 2018, 04:41 PM   #3
ItsQuad is offline ItsQuad
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Can you hazard a guess as to how much it would cost (in the UK) to get new tweeter panels fitted? The ESLs sound wonderful but I still have "domestic harmony issues" retaining them, let alone shelling out actual money on them - sad but all too true.

From what I have read (probably inaccurate), clamping boards should not be required if one is using the original Quad 33 & 303 combo, only if one is using some current "monster" amp outputting megawatts. True / False?
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Old 13th October 2018, 05:39 PM   #4
luxwinter is offline luxwinter
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Quad 303 is designed to be safe with quads but do not do justice to the quads. The best 25 to 75 watt tube amp you can afford is a good way to go. Some of the pass amplifiers are probably good as well. Oh, the 33 preamp is really dated as well. I love the looks of the old quad transistor stuff, grew up listening to it, but it’s pretty low resolution.
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Old 13th October 2018, 09:25 PM   #5
tyu is offline tyu  United States
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Quad ...the never ending ESL story...Just pull up the post after post here on this site,of people not having years of great music an sound ,but people working on these speakers for ever... then if you do spend the Big money too have them reworked,dont play them to loud....less youll need more money.
Sale,Sale,Sale, less you are way into Diy….. or need a dead end Audio hubby
Get a used pr of Martin logan Aerius i or Aeon i... in the end wife well like look better,an they well sound great ..….
just my 2cent...good luck
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Old 13th October 2018, 09:46 PM   #6
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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Quad ESL57s are complicated and expensive to repair - see the example below.

Unless you are willing to part with a lot of cash, I would put them up for sale.

They are highly sought after by enthusiasts, and even damaged ones should sell easily (at the right price).

—QUAD ESL 57 Repair and rebuild—
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Old 13th October 2018, 10:12 PM   #7
ItsQuad is offline ItsQuad
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Thanks for the link Galu.
I am reluctant to sell "family" speakers but may have to.
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Old 13th October 2018, 11:43 PM   #8
luxwinter is offline luxwinter
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I've owned my Quads since the early nineties. At first a lot of panels went bad because they were already 30 years old at that point. Since then, one panel dies about every ten years. All parts can be gotten for them - something that can be said about very few speakers. You can buy panels from several companies in the US and UK. If you're not near someone who can install a new panel, then you'd be better off installing it yourself. It's about a three hour job - and I'm not particularly skilled. So, take what's been said above with a grain of salt. A Martin Logan dealer freely admitted to me that the Quads are in a different class than the ML hybrid designs.
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Old 14th October 2018, 12:00 AM   #9
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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I understand your sentimental attachment and it's a good reason for not letting the ESLs languish in your loft.

I don't know where you are located. If you are in the UK you could speak to Sheldon Stokes, who comes highly recommended in the field of Quad ELS repair.

SDS Audio Labs - Home of Quad Loudspeaker Rebuilds for Over 20 Years
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Old 14th October 2018, 12:15 AM   #10
AVWERK is offline AVWERK  United States
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Stokes is in the USA
One thing audio is another in the UK and frequents Ebay a lot FWIW

Stokes has a lot of excellent info on everything Quad and rebuilding them
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