ESL57 vs ESL63

The 57’s are going for twice the price of 63’s.

i like the managable size of this speaker, this is really a part of my soon to be retirement built two channel system.

besides the price, how do these two fair amongst each other. Realistically how much power do the require, tubes ? Solidstate ?

my hope would be to also get into lower powered triode type amps with this projects.....


"the 57’s need a fair bit of SS power"?! The 57 was designed to be run with the QUAD amp, which produced 15 watts/ch. One solid state amp which became very popular with the 57 was the Bedini 25/25 (guess how much power it produced ;-), which was capable of overpowering the speaker. As clio said, the Music Reference RM-10 is an ideal amp for the 57, especially the Class-A 25w/ch version.

Add subs for below 40-60Hz and be happy forever. Unless you’re cd318 ;-) . The speaker is not for everyone---you have to be able to appreciate it’s abilities, nor for all music---I wouldn’t try to play AC/DC at 100dB (which I like to do) on them. But for singers and small-scale acoustic music? Perhaps still unsurpassed, and yes, better than the 63, regardless of what Peter Walker thought. But take off those idiotic metal grills!

I have owned both and would choose a GOOD, MATCHED pair of 57's.  To my ears the 63's have a bit of over-emphasis in the lower treble region that I never could get used to. 

I used various tube and solid state amps and my preference was for the Atma-Sphere M-60's. 


Since my subs are located where they provide the flattest response, sitting a 63 or a 57 On top would work well enough, i’d have to figure out how to use my subs for both systems, i use a MiniDSP. They are quite capable and musical, they are sealed Adire Tumults from the 2005 era, i use (4) for my HT.... my guess one 15 would suffice.

I dont think a blind purchase of a pair of 63’s would be reckless, an electronic XO set to 80ish hz would remove a lot of motion from the panels, a nice XO...bryston or a tube Marchand, they are here in Rochester 
Gradient made dipole subs for the ESL 63. Here is an article from Robert E. Greene discussing the set up:
The ’57’s are some of the most coherent speakers I have ever heard in the mids to the lower treble. The ’63’s are not quite as coherent, but they are a little more extended in both frequency extremes, IMO. Stacked ’57’s are pretty amazing IF you can accommodate their requirements.
Now, here’s the thing, IMO and IME. Neither is a speaker that I would want for my primary system, too many limitations and restrictions with both. Many times, i contemplate a great pair of ’57’s in a secondary system...BUT as a secondary system only.

BTW, IF you go for either...a nice mid powered tube amp is the way to an ARC D70Mk2 that I used to own. Match made in heaven.