Do old Acoustats compete with new 'stats or dynamics

I listened to a pair of Acoustat X's driven by their Servo Tube Amp, Audio Research SP-3A-1 preamp, Micro Seiki table with totl Signet cart and it was a captivating presentation that started me on the road of High End Audio. Will the newer Acoustat models through the Spectra series still compete or hold their own against newer speaker designs? I am talking about soundstaging, imaging precision, frequency balance and overall impact. 
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Sure is hard to beat the speed of an electrostatic isn’t it?

While I’d love to find a pair of 2+2’s I would think by now time has taken it’s toll on the circuitry, which IIRC was subject to some pretty high voltages. Hope those with real-world, recent experiece will chime in & prove me wrong.
Interesting Q

Geez, over 20 years ago I owned 2 + 2s with both modified Servo amps and SS interfaces with Medallion transformers. These were magical, but whether they still stack up today is... ???

As to upgrades there is at least one guy whose mods are said to stabilize the servos. Don't recall his name

I also owned Magnepan 3.5Rs (also open baffle) but never could get the magic, even biamped.

A couple years ago I bought Emerald Physics KC IIs with Clarity cap and WireWorld XO upgrades, They have the openness of the both, are very efficient, AND are only 44" tall

The X's were very...polite loudspeakers. The cabinets resonated and the Masonite back was worse than silly. We all tossed them. The + series was the big breakthrough 2+2, 3+3 and 4+4. I wish I had 3+3's but very few of them were made. Right now I have 2+2s and an ornate subwoofer system crossed over at 125 Hz. IMHO the only speakers that are better are the line source Sound Labs. I am chomping on the bit to get a set of Ultimate 845s. If you can get a set of clean 2+2s and can afford to add subs you will be seriously pleased. Taken care of Acoustats are immortal.
Unfortunately they became very inexpensive and most of them were mutilated by experimentation. The panels outside of their frames can be easily cracked if mishandled. Never buy loose Acoustat panels. The vast majority of them are damaged.  
Hi Pix4work

I have custom build Acoustat Model 3's with granite bases. See my virtual system. Their only drawback is when you stand up as they are not tall.

The simpler build Model 3's outperformed my more complex Acoustat Spectra 33's. As good as the Model 3 sound, my Quad 57's make the Acoustat sound..... artificial. Everything sounds like - at the microphone - with the 57's. They are Wayne Piquet rebuilds.

I have just posted on my virtual system about my DM70c - B&W Electrostatics revival. They are special. An integrated woofer cabinet that blends well with the ESL Panel.  
Go for the Acoustat  - if they are in good condition.


Mijostyn -Right now I have 2+2s and an ornate subwoofer system crossed over at 125 Hz.

That is a very high crossover point ?
I only need to cross the subs I use with the Quad 57's at 60 hz.

I have a pair of Model 2s that came with the interfaces but I modified them to work with a pair of the Acoustat servo amps I picked up. I also modified the panels to achieve greater dispersion. The sound fine on their own, but subs do improve things. I biamp crossed over at 100 Hz for low pass and high pass using 4 woofers.

I also have Quad ESL 57s and Roger Modjeski's ESLs with his direct drive amp. I can say the Acoustats hold their own against both of these speakers. As for more modern ESLs, the best I have heard is Sanders Sound which has an integrated bass driver. You don't get the dispersion of a SoundLab, but I could never see what the big deal was about SoundLabs anyway. Nice speakers, but I'll stick with what I have.

@ct0517 interesting you cross the Quads over at 60 Hz. I cross mine over at 100 Hz to avoid the intentional bump a 90 Hz that Walker designed into the speaker.

@ct0517 interesting you cross the Quads over at 60 Hz. I cross mine over at 100 Hz to avoid the intentional bump a 90 Hz that Walker designed into the speaker.

Hi Clio we have discussed this ..2 years ago ? But I don’t mind rehashing.
Walker’s design assumed his speaker (singular) ONE would be set up like this in small British rooms.

He never thought they would be set up like this.

They become very linear and room filling. Get those dipoles away from the room boundaries for best bass. The Room is the boss. "All" Gear are just Slaves to it.

All Soundlabs I have heard (2) and in pictures were in rooms much to small for them (JMO), so I cannot comment on their potential.


Thank you for your input!

Tweak1, I share your thoughts about Maggies; I appreciate what they can do, and while I have listened to the newer 1.7i, it still does not tick enough of the audio boxes to keep me listening for hours. I have yet to hear the Emerald Physics, they are an interesting design as I like OB-type speakers. Intriquing that they have 'stat-like qualities.

Mijostyn, I hear you on the Sound Labs design; their dispersal pattern seems to be what most 'stat lovers crave the most, and the 845's would be amazing. I really appreciate your heads-up on the loose panels as I have toyed with assembling an Acoustat pair from parts, as well.
ct0517, It would be a lot of fun to listen to your 3's vs. the rebuilt 57's, as Wayne's builds are said to be as good as Quads get, and produce bonafide bass. I have wanted to listen to a good pair for years...Those B&W electrostats are fascinating, I would welcome an opportunity to hear them sometime; who would have guessed B&W ever built 'stats?
clio09, Congrats to you for figuring out a way to use the Servo amp with your Model 2's; it's hard to beat the qualities of good tube amps. If you could share about how you achieved better dispersion on your panels that would be helpful, as that is the area I have had questions about. Also, I guess it should be no surprise that Roger Modjeski designed ESL's, as well as top drawer amplifiers; an amazing guy and he is missed by many. Sanders Sound electrostats are another speaker I would like to compare Acoustats with, however, they seem to be fairly rare in number.

All things considered, it seems as if Acoustats still have some life left in them, and the fact that the high voltage interfaces can be rebuilt is very encouraging. I have read that the 1+1 and 2+2 models have the best imaging, which, along with speed, is what I am looking for the most.
Thank you for all of your replies so far!

Do old Acoustats compete with new 'stats or dynamics

God only knows. 
Oh dang, now this thread will have to be taken down too.
I was an Acoustat dealer from almost the beginning to the very end of the company. Sold and setup quite a few pairs and personally owned almost every model. Jim, (Strickland) and I became very good friends.

There was never a 3+3 or a 4+4. They were called the Model 6 and Model 8.

I found a pair of pretty trashed 2+2’s in a barn a couple of years ago and bought them for almost nothing. Fortunately just the cosmetics were bad. I rebuilt them, modified and updated the interfaces, replaced the bases and grill cloth and they are STUNNING! Look absolutely like brand new speakers and sound better than new.

So, IMHO, you can get fantastic sound out of the old girls. BTW, I also have Martin Logan CLSIIA’s and Magnepan 3.7i to compare them to. All of these are excellent in their own way, but I find myself enamored by the Acoustats.

Here is a link to almost any and all questions/answers you might have. A BIG THANKS to Andy Szabo for hosting this link. He is the "Acoustat Answer Man"...
Sold a lot of 2+2, with right amp and room they sing

i always preferred my self built HQD system with wood stands, stacked ESL, Decca Ribbons and 2x Infinity-Watkins ina transmission line enclosure, CJ power... sublime.

Budda loved that system