Quad S-2

Recently acquired a pair of these speakers to replace my trusty 14 year old Castle Richmond 3i's.  According to the manual they need 50 hours run in before sounding their best. I've got about 30 hours on mine to date, but am already really impressed with them and they are a significant upgrade on the Richmond 3i's, which were very well regarded in their day.  I haven't owned or heard many speakers in my lifetime for comparison, but these do sound extremely good to my ears and are highly regarded by the few owner reports that I've come across.  So, I'm a little puzzled as to why they don't appear to be very popular, at least I rarely see them mentioned on hi-fi forums.  I wonder if the reason could be that Quad are not a go to speaker brand like KEF, B&W or Dynaudio to name a few? Or, perhaps more likely, that people, especially those in the UK, tend to shy away from what was originally a UK manufactured speaker that is now a part of the IAG group and manufactured in China? Then again, the answer could be simply that the S-2 simply doesn't appeal to many folk, perhaps due to a dislike of ribbon tweeters?
Distribution in the states has been a disaster for years, that is a big part of the problem here. I also think that while Quad is one of the most prestigious hifi brands in the world, they are trying to figure out who they really want to be for the next couple of decades. 

All of their stuff sounds really good nonetheless! Enjoy

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That figures for the US, but doesn’t explain why they don’t appear to be popular in the UK.

Will enjoy! Thanks rob.
Popularity in the US seem to correlate pretty much directly to market penetration--which in recent years has been sorely lacking in Quad's case, with just the odd exception. Still, things may be picking up. The 3-store Tenacious Sound "chain" is picking them up.
Think I overlooked your post, tle.

Not sure how long Quad has been taken over by IAG, but now they have you would think that marketing would have substantially improved since they’ve been part of a large Chinese outfit.
I think it is about the dealers wanting to push the higher end models and ignoring the budget models of Quad. Those speakers are awesome. I owned the 21L for 12 years and was very happy with them. The only thing they did not do was "full range" sound. Musically, they are super satisfying. If you set them up correctly and provide them with the right amplification, they will satisfy you musically for years. Forget about the press, forget how many people own or like them, forget if they are the "in things" or not. That should not bother you. All that you should care about is - they satisfy you and leaves you with nothing to be desired. Glad to see another Quad enthusiast. Have fun.

These look promising, but I can't figure out why the stated low-end extension is so high....47Hz???

Thanks milpai, I’m really enjoying the S-2’s they are cracking speakers. I’m not at all bothered by the lack of press they get or how many people own them. I was/am just curious how such a great little speaker is not more popular than it appears to be. I see what you mean about setting them up properly...I’m surprised how an inch or two difference of toe-in can affect the sound. My old Castles were never this fussy about positioning. Anyway, I think I’ve finally got ’em as good as I can with just a couple of degrees of toe-in and near 2 foot from rear wall to front baffle.

Its a good Indication of Quad gear in the US by the amount of responses you will see to your post.
Np @moffer. Would love to see your system setup here on the Gon. I believe ProMusica in Chicago carries the S2 and it sounded pretty good when I heard them.
Yes, with those ribbon tweeters, try to be as precise as you can. You will be rewarded with excellent sound. I recently purchased the Bosch GLM 30 laser measure, and trust me, I was about 1/2" to an inch off using tape measure, trying to measure 6 feet into the room to the front of the speaker face. With laser measure, it is not only easy, it also places the speakers at perfect distance from walls on back and sides.
I have heard the S and Z series and eventually settled on the Z1s. It's not going to be a popular because it is not an exciting speaker. It's the type of speaker that you probably won't bring home if you only spend 10-20 minutes auditioning, but the choice would be clear if you really take your time to listen to all of the details and dynamics. It's also one of the more analytical speakers, and at that price point, most people would go for accentuated bass and highs, or focused vocals. But yeah, if people took the time to listen, they will find Quad speakers to be very revealing and satisfying.

My youtube vid review of the Quad Z1s https://youtu.be/kEca-2rjLik
A lot of people are just fed up with Chinese made products of any kind due to poor quality control there, so might be hesitant to buy Chinese Quads. Chinese companies are notorious for buying up well known name brands and running their products into the ground that way. I have been burned enough times on Chinese products, not audio yet, that I am very leery of anything from there, and avoid anything made there like the plague. It makes buying stuff tough, as it seems they make just about everything and anything over there at present.

I am looking for speakers now and will be exploring where each and every one is manufactured, considering Chinese made to be a black mark. Nothing to do with being patriotic. I really loved the early Quad electrostatics and always wanted a pair. Sadly since they’re Chinese made that will never happen.for me now. That’s not to say your Quads aren’t great and won’t last forever, just pointing out the trend and reputation of Chinese goods across the board.

Stereophile praised them, and if one wants to spend time browsing around European, including the UK audio reviews, admiration is abundant.
I have the s2 on my shortlist, along with dynaudio x18, b&w 706 or used nautilus 805.  
Guys we sell both the Quad S series and the Z series, we also sell Dali, Kef and many others. 

We feel that the Quads both the S series and the Z series offer extraordinary sound quality for the money.  The Quad designed ribbon tweeter is both smooth and yet has fantastic detail. 

The Quads throw a huge sound stage and have suprisingly deep bass for the size of the cabinets.

 The Z1 has an even larger sound stage and an even cleaner midrange 

If Abrasia says the Quads aren't exciting, I think he means that they don't have that type of etteched in your face kind of detail that some people may find to be exciting, the top end of the Quad's strikes a perfect balance  of detail with listenablity. 

Personally he haven't found a competitive speaker in this price point  which can rival them, we are awaiting the new Kef R 3 monitors which will make a fascinating comparison between these two loudspeakers.

For the record both the S series and the Z series are highly rated and have won loudspeaker of the year in the UK. 

As per distribution Mofi distribution is slowly putting out more dealers as more people become aware how remarkably good the Quads are.

Most of today's value oriented loudspeakers B&W, KEF, Golden Ear, Dali, and many others starter models other than things like the B&W 800 or KEF Reference series are made in the companies own factories in China. 

Quad is owned by IAG a very large Chinesse company who owns many audio brands, they are very vertically oriented and they make their own drivers, cabinets, crossovers, even the binding posts and mounting plates are made in house, the quality of the product is top notch.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Quad dealer
The topic is specific yet this self absorbed dealer smears yet one more thread with his pomposity and shameless advertising making sure other product lines are mentioned. 

Fail it is called a discussion

Please add to the discussion do you sell Quad loudspeakers? We do.
Lalin, I know you’re not very bright so I’ll say this one more time. It’s not about me. Please pay attention. I retired and closed the business in 2014. I’ve mentioned this in numerous threads yet you appear to have the attention span of a gnat. 

Excepting of course when you alter the “discussion” so it includes other products in your line. 

I encourage all readers to review your posts as “audiooracle”, one of the many monikers you used to push products without disclosing dealer status. 
Feil nobody likes your bull .

And it is about you. You have 0 experiece with Quad loudspeakers 

We mention other products to raise points. In the case of Quad without any compairisons to other products their level of quality would not be evident.

We also mention the other products we sell to illustrate that we have many of the competetive lines.

Keep it up feil you are only gaining us more clients.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
wcfeil, you added nothing useful to this thread except unnecessary tension. If it bothers you just skip the thread. We can decide on our own who to believe. 
I heard them at Capital Audiofest.   Very impressed with both sound and form!    Seem not many dealers in the  states though.    Hard to find.
As we stated previously Mofi distribution is slowly increasing distribution.

The issue today is there are not a lot of brick and mortar stores left and many stores dont actively pursue bringing in new prodocts especially ones which may outperform their older established brand partners.

Our philosophy is to actively pursue what we feel are exceptional products.

We got the Quad S series after reading Ken Metcalfs review in Stereophile and we love ribbon tweeters.

Also we wanted to offer our clients something that looked more conventional then the Kef LS 50

So yes the Quads are hard to find but they are worth seeking out.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Yes, it you want some competent, modern, mainstream sound from loudspeakers, you could do worse than, say, the Z4.  Thousands less than other speakers that sound very similar.

At CAF, Tenacious Sound,  that's TENACIOUS SOUND,  a store with various branches, was featuring them heavily.

Yes twoleftears, Tenacious is one of their dealers so are we. I think your post was directed as stab against, us hence you nice use of bold type. Tencacious was and is free to write on these posts as well. 

We wiil be exhibiting at CAP next year.

There is one major differnce between us and them which is we sell most of the competitive brands in the price range, and so we are in unique position to answer questions on not just the Quads, we sell KEF, Dali, Legacy, ELAC, Paradigm to name a few. 

Which is one of the reasons we mentioned the new KEF line will be a fascinating comparison vs the Quads as they are getting huge accolades in the UK as the new speakers to beat at this price range. 

Twolefteares and of course Mr. Feil, it is because we sell most of the major players in each price range is why our posts are considered valuable by many people.

We will agree with you that the Quads are superb for the money, the Z4 were originally $5k at their new price of $4k they are a bargain.

The only issue with the Z4 and Z3 is they don’t go extremely low in the bass other than that they are rather extraordinary.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Sorry about getting to this thread at such a late time. I own the Quad 2905 ESL's and I'm having a panel replaced in one, right at this moment. I've had two panels per speaker replaced previously but not because of how these were constructed but because of an accidental gain surge via Amarra SQ+.Quad ESL's have always been thought of as high maintenance women and from my experience, the 2905's are consistent with that claim. However, these are made very well with comparison to the 57's and 63's albeit a compromise to the mid-range given the added protective coat over their circuit board. I believe the 63's to be a little richer in the mid-range.
When my repair guy Russ in Northern Ohio spoke with Music Direct/MOFI, given that they recently hired a new sales rep, the rep told Russ that only thirteen pairs of full range Quad ESL's were sold last year in the USA.
My personal view of this is that there's a lack of interest in buying these types of speakers in general, as well as poor marketing from IAG. As for their build quality having come from China, I have no complaints. The Chinese can build a Hubble telescope if you pay them to do it and the 2905's are sturdier than Quad's previous models. Also, coming from China, the cost for these is probably lower than if they were still made in the UK.
Will I buy another pair of Quad's in the future? It's hard to say although as far as there sound, there's nothing to object to. The only reason that I would hesitate on buying Quad ESL"s in the future is the audiophile masochism that comes from owning them. I'll , also add that they are very particular in how they're positioned but I guess that's the price one pays for reference speakers at $14,000 a pair.
I have no experience with Quad's dynamic speaker line but I'd certainly like to hear a pair. It will be interesting to see how the Quad company develops towards the future. My hope is that they'll offer newer breakthroughs in home audio, surpassing the legacy they've already created for themselves.

I am considering the purchase of either Z1 or Z2. I will be using them with a Rel G2 subwoofer. Can someone compare the Z1 to the Z2? Other than frequency response, how do they compare. Is the midrange the same? I’m a bit concerned with running my Rel at such a high x-over point, but this is not based on experience. I currently have a floorstanding speaker & x-over below 40 Hz. Any advice is welcome, especially from dealers who have compared them with the competition. Also on short list are Elac AS61.
Im too from the 57's and 63's loving club.I think with proper room size and equipment the ESL are some of the best sounding speakers ever made.Since I downsized my home I bought the S2 from the recommendations of Stereophile and other magazines and blogs.It took about 100 hours before the speakers came to life,the ribbons was truly stunning.Almost the same feelings I had when I first heard the ESL 57's.The total lack of colouration and the speed and details the ribbons provided was amazing from a small monitor.The bass had weight and extension beyond what you expect from a small driver.Fit and finish was top notch,there was no visible seams and the curved edges gave it a wonderful profile vs boxy cabinets.Its highly reveiling monitors.You must have a decent front end.These speakers will show its weakness if not.I can honestly say I put these speakers against any sub $3000 speakers and wouldnt be surprise S2 will be more enjoyable to listen to.