Electrostatic pros and cons.

I recently saw a feature on the program, "how it's made" on electrostatic speakers and it piqued my interest in them. I was wondering the pros and cons of them, their placement, space needs, sound, etc. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Showing 4 responses by bdp24

@clio09, were the speakers on the side wall ESP’s, and the designer’s name Sean McCaughan? I saw and heard them in the 1990’s at Acoustic Image in Studio City, CA, a great high end shop in SoCal. Never got to hear the Beveridge, though I heard the Dayton Wright’s in 1972 or 3 when David Fletcher (designer of the SOTA table and Sumiko MDC 800 "The Arm") had a little retail shop in Berkeley.

Anyone who has heard the original Quad and doesn’t think it is extremely good at reproducing vocals and other acoustic instruments, well, I don’t know what to say. Uncolored, see-through liquid transparency (low energy storage in the near-massless Mylar, which starts and stops on a dime), natural timbres and textures, the ability to make every thread in a densely-woven tapestry or fabric (every voice in a choir, for instance) clearly audible as a separate entity. Other ESL’s, too. All speaker designs have their own strengths and weaknesses; you have to find one that excels at those characteristics in reproduced music you value most, your priorities.

The Finnish company Gradient made OB/Dipole subwoofers for both the QUAD 57’s and 63’s. Though the subs used dual dynamic cone woofers, they being employed in OB/Dipole fashion allowed them to blend better with the QUAD’s (because of the inherent advantages of OB’s, and the dipole characteristics shared between speaker and sub) than any sealed, ported, or infinite baffle sub.

Ad a reminder (I have spoken of them here before), Rythmik Audio and GR Research designers Brian Ding and Danny Richie have collaborated on a joint product, their OB/Dipole Servo-Feedback Subwoofer. A very unique sub (or even woofer---it can be used up to 300Hz), THE sub for QUAD’s, and any other dipole speaker, whether ESL, magnetic-planar, or ribbon. Or even dynamic---Siegfried Linkwitz used OB/Dipole subs in his loudspeaker kits, very similar to the Rythmik/GR (and almost as good ;-) . Whart, you should really look into the Rythmik/GR for use with your QUADS, and even your horns!

There is a guy on one of the forums with a fantastic speaker/sub combo: Martin Logan ESL panels, passed off to a pair of Magneplanar Tympani T-IVa bass panels (which make a great sub for ESL's), and finally to an Eminent Technology TRW-17 Rotary Woofer for the bottom octave (20-40Hz) and below. Yes, below. He's one of the few people in the world who can hear the sound of the cathedral or concert hall Classical and Opera recordings are often made in reproduced in his listening room. Total price for the above is far less than that of the big Wilson and other dynamic "super-speakers".
The RTR ESL tweeters used in the Fulton Model J discussed above by @richopp were the same tweeters ESS used in their TranStatic I and Infinity in their 2000A. Great tweeters, the 6-tweeter array-in-a-box Fulton used was marketed by RTR itself as the ESR-6. If you ever see a pair, snap 'em up! The J's midrange was covered by the Fulton Model 80, a real nice (transparent, uncolored) little 2-way.