There are two comments about failures of the new Quad speakers on Audioreview.com Is that where you have seen/heard of the reliability issues, or from some other source?
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I loved my 2805s and used a McIntosh 275 (75wpc) and McIntosh C2300 preamp. The match was great with plenty of power in my 12 X 24 X 8 room. Over the years I used other lower power tube amps which also worked well.
But in the two years I owned them (bought them new), I had them in for repair 3 times, even though I never drove them beyond 80 - 85 db. It was not panel failure, which is common from over-driving them, but electronics failures. Poor soldering, shoddy workmanship, etc. It is a real shame, because they are great sounding speakers. The warranty is only one year.
The dealer I bought them from has since dropped the line due to so many reliability issues with both the 2805 and 2905. I've since moved on to other electrostatic speakers with a much better reliability record.
If I was to do Quads again, I would get some rebuilt 63's or maybe even 57's, from one of the reliable companies here in the US that does the rebuilds.
While I really appreciate this thread from the standpoint of information, I'm more than a bit disheartened to read it.
The reason being, I'm getting together with some audio friends tomorrow to visit a couple of local dealerships, with my intent being to audition the 2805 and/or 2905. For the record, the previous two generations did not suit my tastes, and I've not as yet had the opportunity to hear the ESL57. I have no idea if this current iteration will work for me, as I've yet to hear them, but I'm more than curious at this point. I was going in with a completely open mind and the feeling that if they turned out to be the answer, I'd most likely move forward with a purchase. However, after reading this, even if I fell in love with them, I have truly serious reservations.
At any rate, having an intimate knowledge of some Chinese audio components, I'm not at all surprised regarding the issues regarding reliability and workmanship. Sadly, most of us see the things they do well (such as component weight and cosmetics - chassis, paint, etc.) and mistake that for solid engineering and build quality. I've learned the hard way the two categories are not at all intertwined.
In my recent travel to U.K. to collect the pair of Quad ESL 57 I bought to a seller, I listened to his ESL 2905 and the 57's sounded more detailled and musicaly involving. They where originals, just checked by Quad every 5 years. Back home I opened them and there was a very thick dirt deposit on the panel covers. I cleaned everything, put them on 57 cm stands ( hearing height) and I am blown away by the sound they have. My Logans are not my reference any more ! Killer looks too, just incredible for a 50 years old pair of electrostatics. Have a look at them in my system. I would love to have them stacked, the real challenge is the WAF factor here !
Sorry, should have posted earlier but just stumbled on this thread.The posts above would certainly cause some misgivings if not real concern for any prospective Quad customer. While I fully understand and appreciate that its pretty harrowing to have expensive audio equipment frequently break down with no real assurance of a remedy from the dealer/manufacturer. I only want to share a quite contrary experience regarding my ESL 2905s which I've owned for nearly 3 years. Have had absolutely no problems running them in a hot and dusty enviroment( New Delhi, India). The only problem I've had is with the rather flimsy speaker binding posts, made from aluminium, you would expect better quality in a $11.5k speaker.Anyway got a prompt replacement in less than a week.
Of course experiences will vary but IMHO the new Quad line are truly outstanding speakers . I have come close to contemplating a replacement but that holographic soundstage and mid range is hard to match, let alone surpass. The 2905s have their weakness, they won't play too loud, LFE is on the weaker side but paired with the right subs and tube amps they are heavenly.