Quad 2905 versus Quad 2805 plus subwoofer

Has anyone been able to compare the 2905 with a 2805 plus subwoofer?
I was wondering the same thing...have you reached any new information on this issue?
I have been a Quad user for a long time(988 at present)and I plan on moving up to the 2905.I will also use them in a bigger room.From my experence,I prefer to use subwoofers(pair)with all Quads.The 2905 has very good bass but adding the proper pair of Rel subs just gives you that extra dimension(ambient cues)I still believe that Quads are the best for the money.
I have owned a pair of 2905s for nearly 6 months. Properly setup the bass is awesome not in the Wilson Watt Puppy way but deeply satisdfying. By setup I mean apart from placement, the speakers should be rock steady using the supplied spikes.I would love to hear a Quad/Rel combo but suspect that some element of smearing can't be ruled out given the relative differences in the speed of the REL driver and the ESL diaphgram which is ultra fast. Anyway its an interesting idea and am really curious how you get along.
All the best.
i would go with the 2905 rather than disturbing the phase of the signal as Sunnyboy mentioned.If you have a really big room then the subs maybe necessary for full impact.The 2905 is supossed to be very very good in the bass as a stand alone speaker.If you are a slam addict such as Clivet seems to be,thenthe way to go is subs.Hope this helps-Dennis
Hi everyone,
Thanks for your advice. I did try the 2905's in my home but I could not live with them. Firstly the appearance - my wife could not stand their appearance when she saw them in the dealers showroom but said (most generously!) I should hear them at home.
When they arrived they looked like two great tombstones in the lounge and even I could not live with that, but the bass response was what finally decided it. I tried them at various distances from the rear wall but the bass seemed to be almost completely absent. Even the dealer (the very excellent John Jeffries of Sounds of Music, Heathfield, Sussex, UK) was surprised. He regards my room as having very good acoustics and it is a large room, so I am still puzzled). I was really disappointed at this. Maybe with a subwoofer they would have been bearable but did not pursue it due to the appearance. I am not a "bass freak", I just like hearing an orchestra which sounds right. I know you can never reproduce the real sound of an orchestra in your living room but I like to get near to it!
I now have a new system with which I am absolutely delighted.Previously I had four Linn Klouts feeding Keltiks with four cables and all the multi cable interconnections. I now have ONE integrated amplifier and the two speakers (biwired).
The speakers are Krell Resolution 2's and the amplifier a (Chinese made) DK LS.1 Reference III and for the first time in almost fifty years I am really satisfied with the sound and can just relax and listen to the music. Every record sounds so much better and I now can hear the difference between good lp's (which ARE more open) and good cd's. I can recommend the system to anyone and I still cannot believe that you can get this quality from an integrated amplifier and two speakers. Wonderful open sound with amazing imaging and tremendous power plus really deep clear bass.
Bass extension is not the whole story. One should not forget that getting those ultra-low frequencies out of the main speaker will improve its performance reproducing the rest of the spectrum. The wavelength of a 50 Hz tone is 22 feet, so phasing is not a big concern.
I have just purchased a pair of Quad 2805's and an REL B2 sub-bass. I have not had any problems with integration, or smearing. Bass imaging is presise. The REL is seamless with the Quad's as long as they are set up properly in the room. The REL is set to roll off at 36 Hz and with the fine adjustment it just disappers. The Quads also sound better in the lower mids with the REL connected.
I have not heard the 2905's but I have a friend who has and says the 2805's and REL sound better in the low bass than the 2905's.
I talked to a dealer Friday who claims the 2805 is a better speaker than the 2905 in any room
Can anyone confirm this?
I have 2805's (after half a life with the ESL 57's) because I could not accommodate the 2905's. If you can, my advise would be to go for the 2905's. However, with a good subwoofer the bass of the 2805's can be remedied to a large extent. I recently bought the new and reputedly ultra clean and fast B&W PV1d (connected at speaker level), and after a bit of tinkering the sound is well integrated. B&W's default suggestion to match the Quads was too overpowering, however. I lowered crossover to 34 HZ (rather than 37 HZ), set the slope of the low pass filter to 24 db, and lowered sensitivity to 82 db (rather than the recommended 86 db). This maintains the integrity of the glorious 2805's without any smearing or woolliness, and yet it adds a new dimension to music with deep bass, such as organ. My biggest remaining concern is not the integration with the Quad's, but on the one hand the match with the room (even though large, with a high ceiling and a mostly concrete construction), and on the other hand the varying quality of recordings. I now discover that unlike most classical recordings quite a few rock and some jazz recordings have artificial bass boost to make them sound better on indifferent systems. For best room integration I also auditioned the Velodyne Ultra series, but these did not integrate quite so well with the 2805's, at least when I heard them.
I need to update my earlier post( March,2007) in which I had mentioned some reservations/doubts about pairing subs with the 2905s. I have been running my 2905s with a pair of REL 505s for over 5 years and couldn't be happier. There are absolutely no issues regd. smearing etc . My room is approx 14'x23' with a 10' ceiling which opens into a smaller 400sq ft space. If at all I would like to upgrade the REL 505s to the G1s.
To Willemj: Hi, I'm also matching my electrostatics (in this case Soundlabs) with DIY open baffle woofer towers.
I'm curious about the sound of your system. Maybe the insights derived from listening to your system can be of additional value in the process of finetuning (of my own system).
Do you live in The Netherlands?

Yes I live in the Netherlands. In the meantime i have lowered the crossover further to 33 Hz and increased volume to 83db sensitivity. This makes the sub disappear just a tiny bit more. As I said, integration with the Quads is now fine. Integration with the room remains a bit of an issue, especially at lower frequencies. And that is with a (beautifully reconditioned) Quad 33/303 amplifyer with a low cut filter that removes all the really low frequency junk.
My experience with the sub has persuaded my that subs do indeed have undesirable issues with room acoustics. I can make those tolerable by turning down the sub as I did, but that almost defeats the purpose of the exercise. So I am now considering an Anti-mode 8033 room equalization system. I would be interested if there are people who have used one with a system like mine.
I bought an Antimode 8033 cinema and it works a treat. Room modes have virtually disappeared. The sub now sounds as tight and fast as the main speakers. Bass extension also seems even lower. Even with boomy recordings the sound is much improved. There is only a little bit of experimenting left to do, and then I can stop thinking about audio, and just enjoy the music.
I have 988s fully upgraded by Electrostatic Solutions and with the Mye Stands. I recently bought an REL S5 subwoofer and find that the reviews were correct - it blends in seamlessly with my Quads. I have the REL engaged at around 35 CPS, so the REL supplements the full range Quads. Highly recommended.
I have my sub filter set at 33 Hz and a steep 4th order slope, so probably with a bit less overlap than you have.