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.....

kgveteran
I run 57s (with grills off) on 20" stands with 1960s EICO push-pull tube amps and they can go pretty loud and sound magnificent. I’m not sure why but in my set-up they sound better than all speakers I’ve ever heard at shows (for what they do - the glorious mids) I wouldn’t swap them for anything... but I do run a second rig with cone speakers and sub for HT and digital. Because sometimes you just need that power! I tried the 57 with a REL sub and it wasn’t great so I removed it. I can’t really say how good they’d be in a sub-based HT situation but I wouldn’t do it. Do not mount the 57s on the subs directly. See systems.
Hey noromance, did you build those Eico's?
@mijostyn No. Stu Remmington rebuilds. Chokes, fixed bias, film bypass/PIO caps and triode input. 
I have another pair of recapped originals. 
Dipole subs for the ESL-63 ????

been reading about them..... Any takers on the merits of such a subwoofer, with a lowpass/Hipass around 100hz, that would take a serious amount of motion out of the signal path to the 63

i believe those 63’s would really be a good match with my small room
My Quad ESL ownership experience encompasses two pairs of 57s, two pairs of 63s and a pair of 989s.

I therefore suppose I’m reasonably well qualified to answer your question, which probably doesn’t need to be much more than the fact that I’ve ended up back with a lovely, totally unspoilt 1978 pair of 57s. That probably tells you all you need to know.

Of course 57s are limited in terms of absolute dynamics, but I have a pair of Thiel CS 3.5s that alternate in my system with the ESLs. Between the two I’m completely happy and it’s huge fun to be able to enjoy either pair as and when the mood strikes. Right now I have the 57s in. They rotate with the Thiels every 3-4 weeks on average.

I endorse what others say here about the bass being underrated. But they do need several feet of clear space behind them to give a good account of themselves in that regard. Down to about 40hz you won’t hear more accurate bass anywhere.

The downside of ownership is that they do need a lot of TLC and a bit of servicing every so often. Mine have had a power supply rebuild, which addresses the most common long term issue. I’ve also had the clamps fitted as a precautionary measure.

While some enthusiasts take the view that the newer pairs offer a wider window of sound, the problem is that the 57 was a prime case of getting it right first time on terms of meeting Peter Walker’s goals. It took him one and a half decades to come up with the 63s, and the general consensus, which I also subscribe to, is that they lack that midrange magic that still seems elude all the other designs.

63s are a slightly easier domestic proposition, but since I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated music room these days, that’s a factor I thankfully don’t have to consider any more.

So having gone round the houses with various Quads, the 57s are the pair that will stay with me always, no doubt being refurbished as and when needed.

All that being said, I could easily live with the 63s and if the right pair ever presented itself at the right price, I wouldnt hesitate to own another pair in addition to the 57s. I just wouldnt replace them.

I’m running tubes with the Quads (VPI 299D) and I do think that’s the optimal route. However I also plan to get a Naim Nait 1 when the right one comes along as I’m curious to see how well that works. I’m also on the lookout for a really fabulous condition 33/303 combo.

If the classic British midrange is your goal, nothing will transport you there as wonderfully as 57s. I’ve owned LS3/5As and they go some of the way down that road. But the ESLs are the only horse in town if you want the full experience.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Neither model is a mistake.