Which esl?

Frizzy brizzy

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As soon as I finish getting my main system singing, (gettin close thanks Ron and to Tom at Art) I want to focus on some esl's to match my Berning otl combo.

My main room is 17ft by 12ft, 9ft ceiling, the Berning puts out 36w, and can be impedance matched to the speaker load, so I'm hoping that's adequate.

not having had much experience ( father in laws 63) so am lookin for advice on best match. Tastes are folk, rock, pop and soul and blues.

did hear briefly a ota 57 and was very impressed, but needed a bigger amp or doubled up in the huge room it was in.

should I be more ambitious and buy newer. Just 57's seem such a bargain , ( maintenance borne in mind)

 

JANDL100

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How about a pair of Martin Logan CLX :love:

Quad 57 will struggle a bit doing the full 'rock music' thing, imo. They just don't have the bass wellie and loudness capability to fully satisfy, imo.

Wonderful speakers, though, if their limitations are acceptable.

How important is bass and the ability to flex walls to you?

-- the Q57 can do bass, given the right amp, quite impressively so. But it's unlikely to satisfy headbangers. And they beam in the treble, more so than Quad 63.

Audiostatic DCI are good, very transparent - more so than any Quad ime, but slowly fall away from the upper bass downward. Very difficult (i.e. impossible) to integrate properly with a sub because of the slow rolloff from quite a high freq.

To go genuinely full range with stats you need some serious engineering - like those ML CLX or Sound Labs.

Stacked Quad 57 get pretty close though!

Or you could consider a hybrid design - stat for the mid and top, cone in a box for bass.

 

JANDL100

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Well, yes, several 100W preferred - but if f-b can afford to drop 5 figures on speakers he can probably get an appropriate amp at the same time. :p

 

RobHolt

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If the impedance matching on the Berning means it can be set for low output impedance of <1 ohm it should be a great match for ESL57s, preserving their natural characteristics.

if not, it will still work but the physics dictates a mid bass boost and treble roll off will result. You'd really need to check out the sound before jumping in that case IMO.

I would't use 63s with anything less than a solid 50w amp. Sensitivity is somewhere in the low to mid 80s dbw depending on how you measure so they need volts to go loud-ish.

Unless the room is small and/or you play at fairly modest levels.

Never played with MLs.

 

Tune

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The obvious partner for the original 57 was of course the 11. The speaker always had a reputation for sounding toppy with more modern amps.

The Berning is considered to be one of the finest matches for the original stat. Understandably as you can adjust the impedence from around 1 ohm out.

Take a look at the Quad 11, a quote from the Stereophile review of the recent reissues,

"The Quad II's voltage gain into 8 ohms was typical of modern designs, at 26.55dB. Its input impedance was not typical, however, at more than 1 megohm across the audioband. The amplifier maintained absolute signal polarity (ie, was noninverting), and its source impedance was a high 1.86 ohms at 1kHz, this increasing very slightly at very low and very high frequencies. As a result, its frequency response into our standard simulated loudspeaker load (fig.1, top trace at 2kHz) varied by ±1dB and its output dropped significantly with decreasing load impedance. Even into 2 ohms (fig.1, bottom trace), however, the Quad's output is down by just 0.2dB at 20kHz and 0.5dB at 20Hz."

Now if you think you can hear 0.2db at 20khz then you are a better listener than me. I can however hear switching distortion and saturated transformers ;)

 

RobHolt

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Their math has to be wrong.

1.8 ohms output impedance into a 2 ohm load is going to cause more than 0.2db loss - at least it does when I try it with a real load. More like 3dB, though it actually calculates to around 6dB.

The original II (not the modern rebuild) also had the ability to change the transformer tap, with the lowest ratio offering 0.7 ohms.

Their 303 had <half this value. So much above 1 ohm output impedance and you are going to change the response of the ESL noticeably, for better or worse depending on who's listening. You should certainly be aware that the typically high >2 Ohms common today for valve amps is going to have some effect.

Worth noting that the 2 ohm load used by Stereophile doesn't have the same characteristics as the dummy load - it's a flat impedance load and their data is simply showing losses related to the transformer at the frequency extremes, some feedback related.

 

Tune

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These would be the same Stereophile measurements that were used in their article on output impedence that you have referred to for the best part of five years Rob?

Now they are wrong?

What I do know is that some people on forums have their own personal drum that they beat regardless. Yours has been and continues to be output impedences of valve amplifiers.

All I would suggest is there are enough respected Quad owners on line who swear that the combination of 57 and Berning (and indeed a number of tube amps) is the real deal and where the magic can be found. You are something of a lone dissenter despite never having heard the combination and only hypothesising. I appreciate it's a hobby horse.

By the way, you can build the Berning EA230 if you are interested as a sketch of the circuit is somewhere on the website. The ZH230, a wholly different beast and the one I suspect Laurie is talking about, has a source impedence of 0.75 ohms if that's what suits your loudspeakers....

 

JANDL100

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I had Quad 57s and a pair of Chinese OTL monoblock power amps with 4 6AS7 power valves each giving a claimed 40W - a lovely sound indeed. probably the best match I had with the 57, and I tried quite a few amps up to and including a Mk1 Krell KSA50, that also sounded good if not quite lively enough for the Quads, imo.

ajbl.jpg


You can just see one of the OTL amps peeking top left of the speaker.

The 57s went loud with the OTL amps in my 4x7m room, but not LOUD!

I never heard the venerable Quad II amps with the 57s, but with several other speakers they were wonderfully tonally rich, but dynamically soft and bland. A bit like watching paint dry, really. :p Not an amp I would choose, but some folks do love them.

 

Gizza

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Although I was happy with the results obtained with passive pre and one pair of EAR valve monoblocs into the 63's, they could have done with a bit more Wally and that's in a modestly sized 5 x 5m room. With some material, the volume wasn't enough, even on Max. I do think that 35w may not get the best out of ESL's. If I was buying suitable amps again, I would certainly look at the Inner sounds amps. Their website has some very interesting articles that are worth reading. Inner sound amps occasionally come up for sale at around 1000-1500 pounds.

 

tonerei

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Plenty of info in the replies there. I have OTA 57's and coincidentally use 2 PV1 subs. You have that part already. Have heard the PV1 with 63's also and to my ears they fill in the gap that most people would require. Have 30w amp and it handles the 57's no problem at all. The 57's especially OTA ones in good nick go loud but as others have said not to ear splitting levels. But generally people who want that aint looking for Quads really they should be looking for ear defenders!

BTW the PV1 does work and blends with the 57's dont let others dissuade you. And you can test that for yourself as you advised that you have access to 63's

 

Gizza

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Just remembered- I was over at OTA one time, collecting one of my 63's after a panel replacement, and a guy was there to collect a rebuilt pair of 57's. He said he had a few valve amps but his favourite with the 57's was a Leak Stereo 20. another one to consider...

 

John (big)

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After reading the 6Moons report particularly the last chapter "The Greatest HiFi product Ever Produced" I could not afford the winner an ASR Emitter 1 Blue however I did buy the runner up a Rogue Atlas Magnum off Wham Private Classifieds from Sazeracrye.

I also use my own DIY pure silver coaxial speaker cable (Ideas from Prof. Malcolm Hawksford) after making the leads I saw the Sanders cables...

6moons audio reviews: RoadTour Exit 3 Revisited with Michael Lavorgna

 

f1eng

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Gizza

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Thanks for sharing this article, John, I've never come across it before. And how do you find the coaxial speaker cable? How does the sound compare to other speaker cables, how does the sound differ and which others did you try? (Sorry to be so demanding but I'm REALLY interested to hear your findings).

After reading the 6Moons report particularly the last chapter "The Greatest HiFi product Ever Produced" I could not afford the winner an ASR Emitter 1 Blue however I did buy the runner up a Rogue Atlas Magnum off Wham Private Classifieds from Sazeracrye.I also use my own DIY pure silver coaxial speaker cable (Ideas from Prof. Malcolm Hawksford) after making the leads I saw the Sanders cables...

6moons audio reviews: RoadTour Exit 3 Revisited with Michael Lavorgna
 

Frizzy brizzy

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Thanks for all the info, ota 57 I think it is then, the Bernings I have can deal with the impedance , I am no headbanger, tight and tuneful is the bass style I fancy, the Bernings do this impeccably. Must admit to a yearning to turn the Berning ea230 into class A mono blocks , ouput is reduced a lot tho, so?

The reason I like the pv1 is its speed, not subterranean but quick and agile. One day I will save up for the big TD sub, it is astonishingly able, in speed and tonal color, in a sub! Unfortunately it is the ugliest bugger,, big square black and expensive!

My budget in the last few years has been cut due to illness, my days of lashing out 15k on a pre pwr combo or 12k speakers are past, hence hoping the 57 would be a match, all my purchases are generally funded on a one in one out basis, with the odd boost from dead aunts and the like. One due next year unfortunately.

cheers all, sorry the fuss it caused.

Laurie

 

TheMooN

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