1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Are my Quad Esl 63s off colour?

Discussion in 'audio' started by eisenach, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. eisenach

    eisenach Thüringen

    Yesterday, with what I can best describe as a fizz, the right speaker made a funny noise and the stereo image slewed to the left. It lasted a couple of seconds at the most, happened again a few minutes later and then all was fine.

    Today it happened again, but lasted longer and then settled down.

    So far I haven't tried any diagnostics. It may be the speaker, or the amp or the pre amp or the cd player, but having read things about esl63s, they're the main suspect for the moment. So far it's only happened with CD as the source. It may be something or nothing, but ...

    Question: which of these three options do you (fishies) recommend:

    1) Get one thing to check/fix (I bought from them but long drive to Coventry, but probably a better option than Quad themselves, given that they no longer "original').
    2) Change to one of the newer Quads (2805; 2812). For the former there are reasonable prices to be had.
    3) Move away from electrostatics.

    I listen mostly to baroque, original instrument ensembles, though the mix apart from that is very eclectic. If the 63s weren't poorly, I wouldn't be thinking of chnging them, as, for the first time, I'm really happy with the system and wasn't thinking of changing anything.

    That said, a speaker with a smaller footprint, less room dominating, wouldn't go amiss. For context, I did once buy some ATC20 active towers, hoping they would make a good 63 substitute. They came nowhere close and are relegated to the front room (mostly TV) system.

    So really, I suppose the question is, what conventional speakers can match the esl63 that I like so much. Or are the newer Quads significantly better than the 63s?

    Amplification in the main system is a Primare 30.2.

    I'm in my early 60s, so whatever I do "is forever"! :(
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  2. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Given your music preference and modest amp power behind it - sounds to me like the triac limiter is kicking-in. This is probably easily overcome since the usual reason it happens unwarranted is a cheap/nasty 1000uf/16v reservoir cap in the limiter circuit going south with age.

    It is a relatively easy fix if you are so diy- inclined; and even if you pay someone - you'll not find a better speaker for your musical preferences, for the cost of the repair (IMO)
  3. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    In a nutshell, I found myself in a similar position this year. I opted for (1) followed by sale and then (3). Mostly because of the incompatibility between optimum positioning for the 63s and day to day use of the living room.
  4. eisenach

    eisenach Thüringen

    So, what did you end up with?

    I've had all sorts of speakers before (Rogers LS6as; B&W CDM9NTs; Spendor 8ses) and good though they were, the 63s are in a different class altogether (once you get used to them).

    Proacs look nice. What do they sound like?
  5. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    I was trying to avoid saying lest it should sound like a recommendation. One man’s meat etc. But since you ask, 15” Tannoy HPDs powered by a Radford STA15.

  6. eisenach

    eisenach Thüringen

    Thanks. That's one on the list to consider should I need to.
  7. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    As per many a Quad fanboys' recommendations on a different Quad appreciation thread, you should happily and quickly rebuild them yourself. I have been told repeatedly how easy it is to do! Every Quad owner should enjoy this fun process.
  8. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Oh, ufck-off, Dimitry.

    We are tired of your endless anti-Quad cant.
    misterdog, sq225917 and Rosewind like this.
  9. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Since when were big Tannoys inconspicuous?
    Investing on getting the Quads sorted will cost far less than buying new competitors.
  10. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    And i am tired of your relentless and irrational Quad boosting.

    I am simply forwarding the advice i received repeatedly when i pointed out Quad's obvious reliability issues (certainly for $10k+ speakers). Response is ALWAYS:

    1. My original 57s, purchased in 1961 are as good today as when i bought them, though i use them in an uheated garage, in between snowdrifts.

    2. My Quads are awesome! I rebuilt them myself 8 times - cost pennies and super-easy to do! All you have to do is disassemble the speaker and desolder/solder 256 wires.

    3. I bought mine for a hundred quid used and they are perfect. All i had to do is to scrape off the rust and remove the mice nests.

    I maintain that it is people's abandonment of religion, which is so important for providing focus in some people's lives that gives rise to the fanboy syndrome and resulting behavior.

    Above is irony...simmer down.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    Vinny and Darren like this.
  11. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    First, it really may not be the speakers, so I’d swap things around first to check that the noise isn’t coming from elsewhere in the system.

    If it really is the speakers, my advice is as follows. Reframe the problem as an opportunity. If the noise doesn’t miraculously get better, put the quads in the attic. Buy yourself some good, easily resellable, small box speakers (JR 149s, BBC monitors, Tanoys even . . . ) Live with new speakers for a while. Then calmly decide what to do - repair the quads, sell the new, get rid of the ESLs, or keep both.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    Errol likes this.
  12. eisenach

    eisenach Thüringen

    Thanks for all the contributions. At the moment the problem has only occurred twice, so I'll have to wait and see whether it develops into anything serious, but it seems a good idea to work out what my possible options might be should I need to do something. So far so good this morning!

    If it persists, a good, easy starting point would be simply to swap the two speakers over to see whether the problem migrates with the speaker or stays on the right channel.

    I'd still like to hear views from those of you who have experience of the later Quads, especially the 2805, and from those who've moved from ESLs to conventional speakers. Which ones have the magic transparency of the Quads?
  13. eisenach

    eisenach Thüringen

    Thanks. As luck would have it, I've just sold my ATC SCM11s! They would have done! I did try them instead of the Quads, and nice though they were, they didn't have the scale and transparency of the 63s.
  14. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    transparency is achievable -- I think my JR 149s are as transparent. Scale and holography is another thing, and there the question is how important it is to you.

    I would swap the speakers over at the amp now!
  15. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    Believe me, in my room two large Tannoys against the rear wall are way less conspicuous than two 63s (admittedly standing on subs) positioned at a suitable distance from walls where they needed to be walked round and acted successfully as light-blockers. As I said above, it was my inability to place the Quads in a spot where I could live with them and at the same time have them perform to their full capabilities that led me to sell them.

    I hope for the sake of the OP’s wallet that you are correct. Again, in my case, repairing the poorly 63s and selling them, the subs and the amps then buying the Tannoys and servicing the STA15 (I already owned it) was a cash-neutral operation!
  16. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    I did say "new".
    Buying second hand would be a lot less, but then you may be needing new surrounds or compression drivers
  17. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    Indeed, you can never know what is around the corner. I bought my 63s second hand from a hifi shop in 2000 for £1250. Within two years they had cost me an extra £700 for panel repairs. But I know when I sold them on they had been checked over by an expert and were working to within the original spec, as were the Tannoys when I bought them. So I think it’s a fair comparison.
  18. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    On this note, I was a bit unlucky when I got my '57s, as one of the EHT boards went south shortly after. However, a One Thing Audio rebuild and they are sounding as great as any speaker I've heard, usual caveats apply. I wish I could keep them but they will shortly be going to a new home...
  19. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Replacing the 1000uf cap is easy, getting the bugger out is the hard part. I've just sent eht and input board pcb layouts for manufacture. Should be here in a few weeks.
  20. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    The channel imbalance and a strange noise once in a great while is actually something i experienced with my 988s. This was a sign of future panel failure, but it took at least a year or more to fully develop. Hopefully, in your case it may be never or at least a very long time.
    Vinny likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice