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Are my Quad Esl 63s off colour?

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

  1. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    British innit. Wouldn't be right for us to make a fully formed product that offers sound quality and ease of ownership, where's the fun in that.
  2. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    I am an open book. Do you honesty "claim" that Quad's service interval is in any way similar to a cone speaker in their price range? Do you have custom businesses specializing in repair of other speaker brands? Infinity-specific re-coning specialists?

    No, Quads are more fragile and more environment-sensitive than other speaker technologies. But the speaker doesn't have to be ONLY serviceable by a laborious and expensive hand repair process. Nor do the ES panels have to be made in a way that Quad makes them, using 1950s era technology and manufacturing. Quad as a company has failed to either adapt or improve Peter Walker's remarkable invention for many decades - a real shame.
  3. Darren

    Darren All Business

    I agree with much of what you say Dimitry but from what I've experienced all electrostatics just wear out faster than box/cone loudspeakers - Much as I love Martin Logans I wont be buying another second hand pair because they just haven't lasted in use and seem to be difficult and expensive to service in the UK. There are a pair standing in my warehouse right now, gathering dust - I wont be spending any more money on them. I'm very glad to have owned them but find Maggies much more robust in use.
  4. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    I switched to electromagnetic planars (Eminent Technology) for the same reason.
    Darren likes this.
  5. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Did you also switch to a digital source due to the cartridge stylus/suspension only lasting 1000/2000 hours ?

    You might think (in your world) that after all these years a simple stylus could be designed that would last forever.
  6. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Actually there are 60 soldered connections per Quad 63 ESL.

    If I recall correctly Quad charge some £ 60 plus VAT per speaker to strip and rebuild, plus parts.

    Page 6 of the Quad 63 manual states to not use when relative humidity is over 90%.


    I would use the term 'factually corrected' rather than attacked.

    As someone working at the cutting edge of science I'm sure you would wish your postings to be factually accurate and not misleading.
  7. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member


    Simmer down.

    Your posts, as usual when Quads are criticized are angry and incoherent.

    1. Cartridge and stylii are user replaceable parts with the process taking 1/2 hour. This is NOT what home Quad repair is like.

    2. I repeatedly said that if the user lives near Quad or repair facilities, then ownership is a reasonable proposition.

    3. In the US, Quad charges north of $400 per panel plus shipping. This is well over $3200 in parts to refurbish typical 4 panel speakers. This is serious money for most people and adds significantly to the cost of ownership, even if one is willing to do the work themselves.

    4. In many cases, if one has to ship the speakers for repair, their bulk and fragility requires palleted freight service, which can add hundreds of dollars to the overall cost.

    5. Quads are made for hand assembly in 1950s style production plant. They are extremely not user friendly for repairs in a typical owner environment. Many solder connections is just a start. The speakers have to be fully disassembled, which can't be done with speakers in an upright position. A dedicated large repair place must be established and maintained in one's home in order to be able to successfully and safely exchange panels. Substantial skills and additional dedicated tools must be developed and maintained if one is to undertake self panel refurbishment. That is a CRAZY thing to expect of an owner of a speaker that sells new from $10k and up.

    4. Please do not respond that you can buy them used for a lot less. Reasons for that are enumerated above.
    Darren likes this.
  8. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    You also said quad fans stated they required no more servicing than cone speakers.

    No one made that claim.

    You made it up.

    I clearly stated quads need a lot of looking after.
  9. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    Are you sure that NO ONE made this claim?
  10. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Green Member

    I have some very early 989s that must now be about 20 years old.

    I bought them for about £2K off a distinguished pfm grandee more than 10 years ago. They would have been £6K new IIRC.

    They have been back to Quad twice for panel repairs. Well - one has been twice and the other one only once. Both after moving house, the first time (both) without the proper boxes. This (including postage and new boxes and packaging) cost about another £2K. And they now all have the new glue formulation.

    If I have to shell out another £2K over the next 20 years to keep them going, £6K in total for world class loudspeakers for 30 years - £200 a year. Bargain.

    If I'd bough them new then this would be £10K over 40 years. £250 a year.

    IMG 0074

    IMG 0079
    Rosewind and misterdog like this.
  11. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    People are different. It sounds like you mostly enjoyed boxing up large 50-60 lbs speakers and shipping them. It also sounds like ~$4k price tag for refurbishment is reasonable to you.

    I found the process of boxing the speakers very laborious and very hard on my back. Dragging them out from the house and putting them on the shipping pallet was equally back breaking, at least for me. I found the price tag, even from a dedicated refurbisher to be high, when freight shipping costs were added. The overall experience, at least for me was negative and financially painful.

    Being an engineer, I found the overall mechanical design of the speaker to be quite incomprehensible. Really, just plain bad and very unfriendly from a user repair point of view.

    The speakers should have been designed with the front section of the grille being removable and the panels replaceable with dummy-proof connectors.
    Darren likes this.
  12. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Given the utter nonsense you talk about how you think they are constructed it is obvious that you have never dismantled any.

    It is, 4 Phillips screws per panel. Some 10 Philips screws for the front grille.

    Yet you continue on every Quad ESL thread spouting the same old nonsense all backed up by 'Im an engineer' is a Phillips screwdriver and a soldering iron too challenging for you ?[/QUOTE]
    Dowser likes this.
  13. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    So you could fit a new stylus to my Ortofon Cadenza Black in 1/2 hour.
    mjw likes this.
  14. eisenach

    eisenach Thüringen

    Well the seduction of the 2805s is gone; they've been sold, but the 63s are behaving, so all is well with the world (well, apart from Brexit, climate change, Trump, right-wing popularism, the Tories, les gilets jaunes, poverty, exploitation of all kinds &c, ... obviously) and the money's still in the bank. HiFi worries for nothing ... maybe.
  15. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member


    Again you are agitated and becoming personally insulting.

    I have taken 988s partially apart, when I modified the input connectors and did a cap bypass. I also learned that the correct way to work on the speaker is with the speaker securely in a fixture, upside down. My house does not permit to have a dedicated wood frame fixture to be built, in order to have the speakers safely positioned upside down.

    The speaker should have been made with a removable front grill and non-soldered connectors for easy panel replacement with the speakers in the original position. That would have made the panel replacement available to many, if not most owners as a practical, though still costly option. The way speakers are build precludes great majority of owners to undertake their own panel replacement. Quad repair facility tried to "walk me through" the process by having me write down the steps. At step 15 or 18, I told them that I am not going to attempt this.

    As to you nonsensical quip about replacing a stylus on an MC, please just stop embarrassing yourself. I own 6 tables with both MM, MI and MC cartridges and I have lots of easily useable options for maintaining my cartridges, from stylus replacement to shipping them in a small box for retipping or replacement.
    Darren likes this.
  16. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Push fit 2kv connectors, what the mouser code, I'm in.
  17. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

  18. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    So the only actual experience you have had with Quad ESL's is to remove the base panel, some 15 screws. Yet you claim intimate knowledge and engineering experience of the panel construction despite never having never done this.

    You infer above that a special jig is required, yet it is not.


  19. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    This must be your living room? Fully adapted as the permanent Quad repair station? I spy a little oscilloscope, professional soldering station, some other cool equipment. Like I said, all owners should simply equip their living spaces like you did and they should be all set for owning Quads in any part of the world. So simple, I wish I figured it out sooner!

    And of course I don't claim intimate knowledge in Quad repair, as would be obvious if you actually read what I wrote. I sent my Quads to a guru, who had his whole house as the Quad factory...did everything himself, very talented, offered many worthwhile improvements to the stock unit. Electrostatic Solutions.

    The speaker could have been designed and built for easy end-user repair, in situ. It was not.
  20. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    Interesting debate. May I speak from experience of replacing panels in a 63 in my front room without any special jig or tools?

    Dismantling isn’t particularly difficult and, other than not being inebriated, is within the abilities of anyone who is reasonably handy, careful and methodical.

    The problem came when Quad stopped supplying the panels at a reasonable price for home replacement.

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