Quad 989s--personal experience and opinions?

I'm seriously considering the 989s for my 2-channel-audio/multichannel-audio/home-theater system (for the fronts only). Currently I'm running 4 Kindel PLS-As, a design from the late '80s that are tall, sensitive (94dB), and definitely full range. They're driven by a c-j Premier Eleven-A (70wpc, tubed). I've owned planar speakers in decades past, both electrostatics and magnetics, and loved the spaciousness and especially depth of sounstage they produce. I've listened briefly to the 989s and will lots more before I commit to them, but I'd love to hear from A'gonists with personal experience with them, both good and bad. Generally, I’m an unabashed Romantic, loving the big-orchestra classical and film music from 19th and later centuries--and Diana Krall and the old Dave Brubeck Quartet, among others, too. My room is c. 21' wide, 19' deep, and 6-1/2 to 12' high, with few parallel surfaces.

I've read many reviews* of them. If I understand what I'm reading, the 989's deviations from perfection probably include: 1. Bass not extending all the way into the bottom of the bottom octave--which, of course, includes merely 99% of the speakers out there; 2. Inability to play as loudly as some want them to, altho a couple reviewers said their ears gave up before the speakers did; 3. Fussiness about setup, which, of course, makes them similar to all bipolar radiators; and 4. Slight beaminess of treble. Its skills are many and I won’t go into my impressions.

So...owners...what do you love and not love about them? Cautions for me?

* the most curious being a comment from a fellow in one of those consumer-review sites who 3 times said they had too much bass!
The reviewer you mentioned must be a buffoon who knows nothing about speaker setup. He's probably had every speaker he ever listened to, in the exact same spot.

I have heard these speakers, but only in a HiFi shop. I was impressed with them. For the gear, and music you mentioned, I would think these would be a very good match. The only problem I can fore see is, they have too much bass : )
Jeffrey, we are currently audiotioning a pair of Quad 989s in the store I work at and they are awesome. In terms of tonal balance, transparency, transient response, and midrange, these speakers are on par with the best available. Bass is actually quite good, in fact much better than I was expecting. Set up properly, you should get usable output into the mid thirties. The lowest octive is missing, but what is present is extremely good in terms of tonality and non-box colorations. Dipoles do low bass, but do not have nearly as much output in the lower octaves as conventional dynamic speakers. They are not the loudest or most dynamic speakers, but they have performed well with Tool, the Stones, and a few other kinds of music we thought they would fall apart on. All in all, they are spectacular speakers, the kind that will make you forget about gear and motivate you to buy more software instead. From everything you have described, these speakers should work well for you.
I own a pair. They have astonishing clarity. You seem to know that they don't play loud, but people have different ideas of what is loud for them - I'll leave you to judge.

My room is 20x14x8 with a large coupled room which makes it about the size of yours. I was quite happy with how loud the 989's played.

For the bottom octave, you should look at a sub. Without wishing to stir up a hornets nest, you should consider doing bass management and steer low frequencies away from the quads. This is best done digitally.

As for placement, they need space, but they are not nearly as fussy as some folks like to make out.

I'd suggest you consider some more powerful (solid-state) amplification too - I used Bryston PowerPaks.

I've tried all kinds of music. Good speakers are good speakers and the notion that some speakers are good for only some kinds of music is nonsense. Rock music sounds fantastic on quads, you'll only be limited to how loud you can play..

They do "beam" and have a sweet spot. This might be an issue if you are trying to fill a room for other listeners. They are not a "party" speaker.

Finally, these are big speakers, which dominate a room. Make sure that they are acceptable to your family. Home demo is advisable if you can swing it with your dealer.
my 989s are in a 31ft x 14ft room the ceiling slopes from 12ft to 8ft,am using vac 70/70,s.I like my music fairly loud at times and am happy.as time and money allows I intend buying an old pair of solid state monobloc power amps classe or muse perhaps preswitching rowlands and building a pair of pass el pipeos to add a touch of low bass heft.I think to integrate a pair of box subwoofers is not impossible but only a few will be fast enough and will be very expensive.I have tried a tannoy supertweeter with good results the bass seemed tighter and there was less hf beam and more bloom, when I can will try a townshend and decide.In my system the tweeter will have priority over woofer,but eventualy intend to have both.So summing up I think the 989,s are standalone top performers in their price range and could easily be the central component in a close to ultimate speaker system.I think your conrad johnson may be marginal but would try before looking at another tube amp that can swing a little more current.
I bought a 'just-a-few-months-old' used pair in Vintage. So far I love them, altho I'm having to move everything farther from the front wall to get the stage depth I know they'll produce. The c-j Premier Eleven-A seems to have plenty of power, as does a pair of 100W (in ultralinear) tubed amps run in triode. So far so good.

Thx for all responses.
I purchased a pair last week. My room size is 16x13x11. I'm driving them with a YBA Passion integrated at 100 watts per channel. Based on my reading I was expecting them to be difficult. I have found this not to be the case. They need to be fine tuned in positioning no different tha any other speaker I've owned. I have them about 3 ft from the back wall and 2 ft from the side walls. The Bass is tight and accurate. I have decided to use my REL to fill in the bottom, but it wasn't necessary. They sounded great without it. I heard you don't want too much power or they may short circuit. As far as tubes, in my sized room it wouldn't be a problem, but may be a little light in your room. Everyone said they don't play load. This is very subjective. I can play them in my room at an umcomfortable level, but don't. They are incredilble speakers for the money. It's my first pair of ESL's and I may never have another pair of dynamic speakers.
My 2 days of moving equipment was more about moving the sitting position to the rear off a bass-null point and then 'chasing' the listening position with the equipment.

Sounds great now. The 100-Watts-in-ultralinear tubed amps drive them very well...certainly louder than I ever listen...in triode mode.

I'm thrilled!
Woops, just read thru to the bottom of the thread after I wrote this & noticed that you indeed acquired some Quads. Maybe the content below will give you some slight ideas for tuning.

My experience is not with the 989s; I owned & loved my USA Monitors for a long time. I’d assume there is enough similarity that my experience has some relevance. First, to mention that I don’t recall ever being impressed by the sound from Quads as heard in a showroom or at an audio show as much as when heard in someone’s home. Maybe this had to do with the size of the rooms, lack of attention to detail, or use of non-compatible electronics. But Quads certainly have the potential for some serious musical magic.

Setup to me was much easier than with moving coil speakers. The Quads like breathing room with as much space as possible between the wall behind the speakers and the speakers. Side wall distance is less important. As with most speakers be symmetrical with the set up. Try damping some or all of the area of the wall behind the speakers that that rear of the Quads direct sound to. Try damping the first side reflection points. I used Sonex for damping. The Monitors benefited greatly from the use of a quality speaker stand. I know the 989s differ, though I think there are some after market stands which might be worth experimented with.
I certainly agree with getting them away from the wall behind them--having them 6 feet sounds lots better than having them 4' away. Mine are yards away from the side walls--my room is 2' wider than deep.

They now have SO MUCH depth to the soundstage. The tamborine in the 6th movement of my favorite recording (and performance) of Holst's 'Planets' sounds as if it's about 50' behind the speakers.