Quad ESL service, Electrostatic Solutions or Quads Unlimited ?
Hello, My Quad ESL 63 US Monitors are finally needing help after 28 years of good service. Has anybody worked with Electrostatic Solutions or Quads Unlimited ? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Mike
Kent at Electrostatic Solutions restored my ’57s a little less than two years ago. I paid him a modest charge to supply two robust shipping cartons, he arranged UPS freight pick up, the work was done fairly quickly, and shipped to my new location without any issues. Those speakers, which I had purchased in 1973, had been dormant since about 1990-- they play wonderfully now, with a protection circuit, being driven by a pair of restored vintage Quad II amps (with GEC KT 66s!). I had also owned a pair of Crosby- modded ’63s, but didn’t feel a need to restore those; I preferred the sound of the original for midrange, to the overall more usuable 63. (I don’t use the 57 in my main system but a second, vintage system). My experience was altogether positive, from shipping and packaging to delivery to the performance of the restored speaker. Kent did a sympathetic cosmetic restoration, but nothing drastic. He did replace the quirky Quad power plug and inputs with modern receptacles. I can highly recommend his work. (Bill Thalmann, to whom Kent referred me, did the restoration work not only on the old Quad amps, but on a slew of other vintage stuff that now comprises this second system).
Thank you for the information, I appreciate it. Getting first hand knowledge from someone who has actually done business with the companies I am curious about is priceless. Thank you again, I hope to be able to pay it forward myself someday. Best Regards, Mike
Also, thanks for the link to
https://www.quadesl.com/ I am located in central Washington. There are no companies close to me that I am aware of that do Quad service. I've talked to Bill Thalmann in the past about working on my Quad amps, I've never worked with him but he was great on the phone and no doubt does fantastic work from what I have read. My amps are pushing 28 years old. They still work but it might be wise to have them serviced before one fails I moved to tube mono block amplifiers but really like the sound my Quads deliver and will never sell them. I'm going to use them in another system. I want to find a pair of 57's when I have time. I've always wanted a pair. Thanks again for the help. You guys are great !
If you need someone on the West Coast to work on vintage tube amplifiers then contact Roger Modjeski at Music Reference/RAM Tubes. You can email him at email@example.com. He is quite familiar with Quad amplifiers and ESL speakers. Might even have a pair of 57s lying around as well for sale.
Hi, My ESL 63s were at Picquet's shop for almost two years, it was a nightmare. He was always asking for more money. I received the speakers with parts missing. He said that the missing parts on the
speakers were a result of very difficult times for him as he
had endured seven heart attacks and open heart surgery and had also endured
some memory loss as a result. Then, in another e-mail he said he lost his book and
had suffered over nine heart attacks this time and had some unexpected expenses so he was waiting to collect a balance ...he had to spend money he didn't have. He also lost his grandmother several times... Almost $3K for an unfinished job. I could have taken him to court here in the State of Florida but
it would have been expensive.
In the end I had to ship the speakers to Sheldon Stokes in NH - Quadesl.com - to finish the job. I am very satisfied with Sheldon's work and integrity.
No direct experience with those on your original list. I have a pair of ESL-63 I am working my way thru in Seattle, very tempting to box them up and send to Kent as Whart advises as I am interested in upgraded parts. iF you want local repairs call George at Gig Harbor Audio he has done Quad repairs. Great cantankerous dude best jim
Look up Patrick Leung in the Sacramento area in Norcal. He has a huge Chinese Quad 57 and 63 fan base especially among the audio community (here and back in Hong Kong) You can see a few of his Youtube videos showing his workshop. I have seen and heard his rebuilds.
Unfortunately I have the similar experience as f456gt and mikeyaya with Wayne Picquet (PK) and Quads Unlimited business practices.
I live in Europe and made (I thought) a thorough investigation of possible refurbers in the UK, Germany, US and Canada during the fall of 2018.
Given the raving reviews in Stereophile, even David Chesky uses his rebuilds, supertestimonials in lots of forum threads, testing by Gary Jacobson on his great website quadesl.org, etc., it seemed that the "true ESL57 refurb guru" on this planet was PK. I was a bit suspicious that there were no testimonials after 2015 on his web page, but finally decided to trust PK with 12 panels (planned stacked 57s) and USD 3,300 paid in advance (sigh).
This was October 2018 and the estimate was "20-24 days of work". Before I shipped the panels to him, his turn-around time on email was around 24 hours, but once he got my money and panels there was almost radio silence. I gave him extra time and demanded a status report in Dec 2018 and got the brief answer "7-10 days". Christmas and New year passed and finally on Feb 2, 2019 I finally got an answer, where he was complaining about heart surgery having wiped out a lot of money for him, that 9 customers were screaming at him (understandable) and he was just a single but determined builder. Good news was my panels should be ready in 2 days!!
That was 6 weeks ago and now total radio silence.
Obviously wondering about his thinking and lack of ethics. Is he running a Ponzi scheme, where he is selling panels to (older) customers and letting newcomers become the losers or what? Or just collecting money with no intent to deliver back? It seems clear that at some point in time he has been doing great stuff, but he has a prove a lot to regain any kind of trust from me. There *may* be real health problems involved, but that does NOT mean that outright lies are OK.
I start to lose hope about ever getting my panels and money back, but if this thread entry helps one or more ESL57 lovers to not end up in my situation it would be worth it. Not living in the US, legal action seems like a big hassle, but if PK continues like this he is bound for class action soon or finding himself out of business (whichever is first).
(If someone thinks this is just unfair slander and fake news, I can privately send a complete audit trail on emails and payment)
Although I have had no direct experience with either of these shops I was told to stay away from Wayne as his current practices are a shadow of what put him on the map years ago. I have a pair of 63s in need of a rebuild and I plan on sending them to Kent at Electrostatic Solutions when it is time. I have heard only positives about Kent.
A sorry saga of Quad ESL57 refurbishment: I live in the UK
and in December 2017 I sent Wayne
Picquet of Quads Unlimited in Florida a full set of ESL57 panels (2 treble, 4
bass) to restore - and paid him upfront c. $2000 via PayPal. The panels I sent
him were OK - no damage - but I wanted the best. He must have turned them
around in his workshop in less than two days. When I received them back, their
outward appearance was superb. All the attention to small detail he was famous
for. Cosmetically there were in a different league to one of the restorers I
have used here in the UK.
Wired them in, they sounded good too, except for one bass panel making noises
(tearing/cracking sounds) when asked to deal with moderate amounts of low bass.
During the next few months, two more of the bass panels developed the same
fault. Please rest assured, I am no headbanger!
I sent him a video which demonstrated the problem and his reply was that he
couldn't successfully play the video because he "didn't do PC stuff".
Alarm bells should have rung at that point, but I gave him the benefit of the
doubt. There is something disarming about Wayne.
Dozens of emails were exchanged during this time, with Wayne making suggestions
- and me trying them out.
All to no avail.
There were also developing issues with the treble panels: the front dustcovers
attaching themselves to parts of the front stators. Re tensioning them made no
In August 2018 I then made - looking back - a dumb decision. I sent all 6
panels back to him for repair under warranty. It was dumb because this was 8
months after I had received them from him in the first place, and PayPal buyer
protection ceases after 6 months.
There was no acknowledgement that he had received them back. After a month or
so, I emailed him, he acknowledged receipt, and promised a replacement set of
world-beating restorations within two to three weeks. He blows his own trumpet
hard, and then some. It may have been justified once, but not anymore. This
promise was repeated every time I emailed him for a progress report. Which was
about once a month. Half the time, my emails were ignored. By the end of 2018,
if I got any kind of reply/update at all, it would usually cite health issues,
cash flow problems and issues with Gary Jacobson as a cause for the delay.
At the start of 2019, I offered to pay for the panels' carriage back here to
the UK, hoping this would kick start the non-progress of the repair work. It
didn't. And since June the only emails and texts I have received from Quads
Unlimited have been from his brother Richard - about Wayne needing downtime. I
now believe those emails were sent by Wayne himself.
Re Gary Jacobson (http://www.quadesl.org/), I emailed him to point out that his
website's ringing endorsement of Wayne Picquet's work - the sole reason I went
to Quads Unlimited in the first place - needed an update of some kind. Never
got a reply.
And, as of December 2019, I am still without the panels. In other words, 2
years have passed, I am over $2000 poorer, and with nothing to show for it, not
even my original panels (the ones I sent Wayne Picquet to restore in the first
place). If there is any progress - any good news - I will let you know.
@osborn Sounds like you may need to remind Wayne P that there is a legal avenue available to you here in the US...it's called small claims court- and might be necessary for you to investigate. Pity that we get to hear these horror stories on these folks...particularly after they have 'supposedly' garnered a good reputation.
Electrostatic Solutions is superb. I purchased a total rebuilt pair of ESL 63's. Kent was great, good communication, and great work and warranty on his work. I would use him again with No reservations. A+++
Two buddies of mine living in the NY area, and both who happen to own "63s, used Sheldon Stokes to work on their speakers. They both cannot say enough about the positive experiences they both had. Just an fyi.....A Happy and healthy holiday to all.
I heard that Stokes is great, he was one of the people on my short list that I was considering. I'm in Central Washington. I'm probably going to ship my 63's in mid January.. At this point I'm leaning towards Kent as he's closer and I have read nothing but good about him . I'll ship them but I want to pick them up myself. It would be a good time as I have many relatives in Kansas to visit plus I am paranoid about shipping my Quads once they are rebuilt. I can kill two birds with one stone so to speak. I really miss my Stat's . I have other speakers but through the years I grew quit fond of them. Like the old saying goes, you don't really miss something (or someone) until they are gone. I appreciate all the good input. I'm sure there are others that also own these speakers who are also benefiting from all this great information. Still no negatives concerning the individuals that I am considering for the work. Not sure what happened to the Florida re-builder but I'm really glad that I did not send them there . I dodged a bullet on that one. Thanks to all that have helped ! Regards, Mike
And a thank you from me too for all the advice and recommendations. But I think I am done with shipping panels abroad for restoration (cost and UK customs delays are problem). If anyone from the UK is reading this, would very much appreciate any positive steers to UK restorers that aren't One Thing Audio. Been there, done that. If I had the time and expertise, believe me I would DIY!
Osborn and ESL57addict, sad to say I also have recently had a similar experience with Wayne Picquet at Quads Unlimited this year. I sent him my speakers in February 2020, and promptly paid him $3400, only to be met by radio silence, followed by random excuses (see above health issues, no grandmothers, but this time dog dying). When I found your above posts, I feared the worst and triggered PayPal Buyer Protection to get my money back. Now he has my speakers - which frankly I would let go, but I inherited them from my father, so they have sentimental value. I am not sure how to proceed, but if it would help, perhaps co-ordinating our efforts (Class Action, etc) may help. Suffice it to say, I recommend any ESL owner not do business with Wayne Picquet.Thanks to all those on the forum - these are truly amazing speakers.
@julimac @osborne @esl57addict I share in your frustration.
The first par of 57’s I ever heard was right after college and fell in love but never got a chance to own any. Sometime around March 2019 I told myself that I wanted to finally get a pair but knew that they would most likely have to be restored so after some research I decided to call Wayne Picquet at quads unlimited and find out what he was all about. He told me that he had a pair in need of restoration and he would sell them to me along with his "complete mint restoration" level and custom stands for $4900 all in with shipping. Now, I admit, I did read online forums that said he always took longer than he said but none at the time about just not getting speakers at all from him. I was ok with the longer wait time as I was in no hurry and just wanted the best set I could get. So in May 2019 I sent him the full amount. From there it was empty promise after empty promise and excuse after excuse but he at least picked up the phone. Sometime after October 2019 he never picked up the phone again and just stopped responding to phone calls. Every so often (2 weeks to 2 months) I would get a random text message, after sending many to him, with seriously unbelievable excuses. To be honest I never even gave him a hard time until earlier this year when it became apparent to my naive self that I might not actually get anything. So, it’s now August 2020 and I have no speakers and feel totally screwed out of the money. I don’t know what else to do but if you or anybody else is serious about a class action lawsuit or any other form of legal action please count me in. I have given him every benefit of the doubt humanly possible and he really took advantage of me. I hope he is ok and doing well but to be honest, health problems or not, this is not how you treat people.
I agree, noromance, it is time to get some remedy to PK's fraudulent behavior. However, we do not have any relevant experience and are not sure yet where to start. If anyone has advice on next steps/getting law enforcement involved, please let me know. I am prepared to get the ball rolling. I took pictures of my speaker serial numbers, so can at least identify them if they ever turn up...