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Which full-range speakers for 303 and Quad IIs?

Discussion in 'classic' started by Andimac, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Andimac

    Andimac Member

    I’ve heard NS1000s on the end of some Quad IIs (and they were close to a rear wall) and sounded superb but, oh, the prices now.
  2. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    There are many modern speakers whose shape offends me,
    but we all like different things...
  3. calorgas

    calorgas pfm Member

    I've been using a pair of Kef Ref' 103.2 with my 33/303 and it's been a surprising and fantastic sounding combo. The Kefs seem to have the reputation of liking lots of power but I've also been listening to them via a Croft valve power amp and passive pre of late, and that also seems to work really well.
  4. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Agree with you about ESLs. However, may be worth my saying that my main listening room is about 12 x 15 feet, and I've happily used various models of ESL in there, and get bass OK. (Albeit with the aid of some bass lift using a 34.) So this depends on how much you're willing/able to sacrifice in terms of the usage of the space for the sake of a good sound. And a sub would probably help if you're options otherwise are limited.
  5. Andimac

    Andimac Member

    For those of you lucky enough to have the space to do justice to ESL57s and, assuming you enjoy the music of Pink Floyd, take a listen to the middle section of Echoes on side 2 of ‘Meddle’. I have never heard it bested by any other speaker.
  6. Hempknight

    Hempknight pfm Member

  7. Jowcol

    Jowcol pfm Member

    What about the KEF's from the 1970's. Some very good ones and most were easy to drive, amplifiers were not so powerful back then.

    KEF 104ab. I was impressed by those, but I didn't own them at the same time as Quad II or Quad 303. Bass rattled my windows !
  8. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    I use 103.2 which are are my favourite speakers in the home system. I'm sure they would be fantastic with the 303 but haven't tried the combination as the amp is in our house in France. What I do use there is a pair of original Spendor SP2s. They do much of what the BC1/SP1 will but they're much smaller without going so far as mini monitors For me the SP2 and 303 are a great combination (especially as I don't want to go really low or really loud).

    By the way, how many organ concertos do you know?
  9. Andimac

    Andimac Member

    Thanks Nic, another one to add to the ‘to investigate’ list. Organ concertos - I don’t know that many but I like Handel’s and the Organ Concerto in G Minor for timpani, strings and orchestra by Francis Poulenc is superb. Whereabouts in France are you? We’re planning a move to Charente-Maritime later this year.
    Nic Robinson likes this.
  10. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    We're in the Charante...but inland. Exactly half way between Poitiers and Angouleme not far from Ruffec.
  11. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Re: ESL 57: wall-mount them. They won't look any smaller or prettier, but they don't take up floor space in that way.
  12. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    The one thing ESLs need is a good four feet behind them, and even then they should not be directed straight out from the wall ... Wall mounting is absolutely the worst thing to do.

    They'll work of course, but why bother? Just get some speakers designed for boundary placement, which will, under the circumstances, work at their optimum ...
  13. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Dear George. I own wall-mounted Quad ESL 57s. They sound fine to me. I also tried them in the conventional way in my living room. They sound no different now in my small study.
  14. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Rosewind,

    That is fine.

    However, I can definitely tell when my ESL is in a good place also, but in my own [very humbly said] experience it is the case that the further from a solid wall behind the better. Peter Walker was also firm in his assertion that the speaker should should never face at 90 degree from the wall behind. There is an exception and that is when the speaker is in a doorway to another room, and then you get fine results in two rooms!

    Of course the distance from the wall behind has practical limitations for most of us, and I find it much easier to find a good place for one ESL than two, but then I actually dislike stereo.

    Stereo in my view should be so subtle that one does not notice it, just as one should not be aware of a sub speaker augmenting a speaker that could well play without.

    To the OP, I would say [ever so humbly] that in all probability the best speaker for either a Q II or a 303 is likely as not the original ESL ...

    Not everyone would agree, and even then not everyone can place an ESL or two ideally in their domestic setting.

    Best wishes from George
  15. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    I also find that ESLs need to have a few feet of space behind them, and that they are very fussy about positioning. That said, I've only ever used them as pairs for stereo where even tiny alterations in position affect the imaging. So it may that using one for mono is much less fussy.
  16. Helen Bach

    Helen Bach if it ain't Baroque ...

    seem to remember the BC1's had an horrendous impedance curve (Alps comes to mind), four major peaks above 20 Ohms, one above 40 Ohms!

    Is that going to sit well with a valve amplifier?

    Also, seem to remember the BBC ran their BC1's with Quad 50E's (like mono 303's ?)
  17. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Jim,

    The issue of placement is much easier with just one ESL. And it is possible for several people to enjoy the music from a variety of chairs without being in a less than optimal position for the best effect. I like to be slightly off axis in any case! It is just as important to have the speaker away from the rear wall and not perpendicular to it though, to avoid uneven-ness particularly in the lower registers.
  18. DavidS

    DavidS pfm Member

    Indeed , 50Es are a mono 303.
  19. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    No they are not. They are a completely different beast with output transformers.
  20. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

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