there are different speakers. Quads are long famous for being musical. I wouldn't master a record on them but they are very pleasurable to listen to especially for jazz and string music.
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People who have lived with quads set up properly with high quality equipment need only respond.
Since I don't qualify to comment (not lived with Quads), let me just say that I am happy for you having found Nirvana. No question you have a great system.
Quad ESL 57 are there better speakers out there??
Quite obviously no there are not - at least not for you. You have found the perfect match after just 28 years!
I will watch with interest to see just how long nirvana lasts.
what is the next best step
That is it. Once you reach Nirvana you stop.
Audiojoy4: What is the next best step stack them in pairs?
Yes that is a popular thing to do.
As a huge fan of quads, I am happy you have found your nirvana with them. You may enjoy visitng this site: http://www.go.to/mtaudio, then click Quad ESL.
Sadly, many people, myself included, just don't have the space for them. So it would be good to hear, especially from someone like you who has been searching for 28 years, what comes closest among traditional boxes?
Congratulations. For purity of sound, naturalness and their inherent musicality Walkers masterpiece is hard to beat unless you wish to listen at high SPLs. The next step would indeed be to stack them, putting them "head to head" in a nice sturdy wooden frame. I had something like that about 35 years ago, later adding Sequerra ribbon speakers and after a while an Entec sub. Was very happy with this for a long time .....
I agree that the quad 57 is a masterpiece, I own an excellent pair (set-up just as you describe) of them and bring them into the main room to listen to them from time to time to recalibrate.
Most of the time I use my ESP Bodhran SE's and while they do not do the things a Quad 57 does best quite as well as the original they are as close as I have found with a box speaker and they do do some things a bit better.
A friend back in the 70s had the Quad ESL-57s, a Quad 405 amp and he switched between a Dynaco Pat-5 and a Quad preamp. A turntable of course was his source. I spent hundreds of hours listening to this system and 30+ years later haven't heard anything I've enjoyed as much. One of the complaints I heard was how directional they are, but sitting in the sweet spot they were/are a great speaker. Congrats on your find :)
Thanks for your rsponses so it seems stacking them is the way to go.
Few feedback 'I would not master a record on them' I am not a recording engineer but cannot see why this would be a problem.
Shadorn you are on my case again!
Hope my comments dio not sound too arrogant?? Yes after 28 years and stacks and stacks of high end gear. I have not heard everything but heard enough 'award winning equipment' to realise that the Revox and quad are very very special indeed. If I were to list the equipment I have owned it would be a very long list indeed, many considered state of the art. If they are state of the art god help us we have been fooled for on speakers for 50 years and cd players for over 30. The very first DAC ever was always the best, TDA 1540, cannot believe i spent thousands and thousands of ponds.
The Quads are relatively cheap more people should give them ago at least once to see if it hits that magical spot.
I had a HQD stacked set-up that was amazing. I now have a pair of 57s. I still have the 18" Hartley in a 7' teak enclosure but can't use it because of space considerations. The difference is nothing short of stupendous. The 57s are wonderful without the Hartley but world-class with it. Congratulations on finding the Quads-- they are keepers.
quad 57 is the least timbrally inaccurate speaker in its range, period. i owned 4 of them for 7 years. if they didn't not arc, i would have them today.
too many of the current production speaker systems, especially cone-based designs sound "false" compared to the quad 57.
if one doesn't own a quad 57, another panel speaker may suffice.
This really dates me but back in the seventies Mark Levinson sold a system called the HQD. This was made up of stacked Quads with Decca supertweeters in the middle. The H might of stood for Hartley, I don't remember but I tried to make my own. I had two pairs of Quads and bought the Decca and then had a carpenter make a stand. Then I had two 9' transmission line enclosures built and put two KEF woofers in for the bass. Talk about audionirvana. I moved to a condo and didn't have room for it anymore but it was awesome.
the answer to your question regarding my mastering response is that the quads technically are not full range or clincal enough to hear every little annoying detail one would want for mastering. Nor can they take high SPL to turn them up loud.
For listening, they are great and I have a pair, so i understand what you are saying and how you feel about them.
But thats not the question you posted.You asked if better loudspeakers exist and they sure do.But its great your happy with what you own so many never find what they like.But as far as state of the art quads while musical- fun are far from it.But whats wrong with a bit of musical fun;) Ive owned so many electrostatics inc quads.Did you have your quads restored? If not this might be your 1st step.