Quads 57 -

Ok. So let me start out by saying I am not in search for the worlds best speakers or the perfect setup.

I just want something that will make music to my ears and make my little toes tap with joys.My amp of choice is the Ayon Spirit III
My music is 80% Jazz, 10% Female vocals, 10% rock et. al. (paul simon/arlo guthrie, dylan eagles). My source is mostly Vinyl.
I currently have a B&W CM7 that I don't like much. Music sounds good, but no soul. Room size is 10 ft x 11 ft.
I top out at $4K on budget (and that's pushing it).
I am fairly close to pulling the trigger on a brand new refurbished 57 from Quads Unlimited.
So I guess what I am asking here is, if you have ever owned a 57, do you still have it? If not, how soon did you move on & why?
I had my 57s for about ten years, I moved on because they lack dynamic range.

Something that did not bother me but may be difficult for others is that you have to sit in the sweet spot to really hear them at their best. You have to keep your head in a 1 foot area or else they sound 50 percent worse.

Everyone should own a pair and I recommend them highly. I imagine they will stomp the CM7 for what you need.
I had my first pair in 64 or 5 and had them off and on till they were discontinued. I was a dealer for 15 years or so. Most of the time I also had Spendor, starting about 1970. The Quads are still excellent speakers but ultimately I preferred the Spendors, better bass, dynamics and far easier to use; also more extended top. There is a pair of SP1/2Es currently listed for under $1500 if I remember; their current cost is over $5000. I would try a pair of them, I still have and use a pair myself. Both of them are great on vocals and small instrumentals especially. The Spendor will do a better job on rock, although neither is a headbangers speaker.
Jarraa, heed the comments above. Also, you you going to find it challenging to place Quad ESL speakers in a 10 x 11 room - a room of that size is challenging for any speaker.

The Spendors that Stanwal mentioned are an excellent idea. Also, have you considered a pair of Audio Note Ks or Js?

If you want to test on a budget there are a lot of vintage speakers that will also work well: I would mention the Klipsch KG4 or Heresy and Snell Ks or Js (precursors to the Audio Note speakers). The ubiquitous Spica TC-50 is also a great vintage speaker for small rooms.
Full disclosure. I am a personal friend of Wayne Picquet.

While there are many fine speaker mentioned in this thread none of them are in the same league as the Quad. The Quad is a legend and for good reason.

Things have changed with the Quad since it was first produced. Wayne rebuilds them to higher tolerances than originally delivered from the factory. Additionally, all speakers are equipped with protection boards. Between the two you essentially have a bullet-proof speaker that cannot be arced or damaged. With the protection circuits one may use ANY amplifier they like.

We often hear about the the lack of dynamics, bass, etc. from the Quad. Generally poor set-up and small amplifiers. With modern protection circuitry one can use power amps in the 60-100 watt range and this makes a HUGE difference in terms of bass slam and dynamics. If one has never heard a Quad with a large, muscular power amp they have really not heard what the Quad can do.

I am a bit surprised that the Quad ESL63 was not mentioned as an alternative. It will do better in terms of bass and dynamics than the original.

Your room is small but either Quad will perform well if you pay careful attention to set-up. I have installed many Quads in rooms of this size with excellent results.

I have owned original Quads since 1982. Many other speakers have come-and-gone over the decades in my listening room. Most of them were great, some stellar. The Quad remains.

Who purchases Quads? At least 50% of my sales are to former Quad owners. They owned them, they weren't 'perfect', and they moved on to something else. In some cases after chasing their tale for decades they return to Quads because, overall, they are hard to beat. In the critical midrange is has few peers.

Generally when one purchases a Quad they have purchased their last loudspeaker.
I remember selling a pair of 63s with great reluctance to a rock enthusiast along with a Musical Fidelity 270, a powerful class a transistor amp. He blew them up a couple of times, then was told he had the wrong amp, changed the amp and blew them up again. I used Krell on the 63s also but I had some discretion about how loudly I played them. A friend still has the 57s I sold him in the mid 70s, he uses an 8 watt tube amp. We all have different tastes but I wouldn't use 63s in a room your size unless you like extreme nearfield listening. YMMV
Kentaja, I have to agree with Stan on this one, from direct experience.

>>While there are many fine speaker mentioned in this thread none of them are in the same league as the Quad. The Quad is a legend and for good reason.

Agreed. I was not trying to suggest that any of the speakers I listed sound like a Quad. They don't. But all of them are better choices for this room geometry, IMHO.

>>Your room is small but either Quad will perform well if you pay careful attention to set-up. I have installed many Quads in rooms of this size with excellent results.

Agreed again. But just because it CAN be done does not mean that it SHOULD be done. A 10x11 room is problematic enough in and of itself, without the added complexity of finicky dipole placement/seating issues.
Set-up will be tough but can be done. While the speaker is technically a dipole the rear wave is well damped internally. From say 500Hz up there is little output from the rear. Some but not much. More of a dipole in the lower region.

I have local client with a pair of ESL63 in a room that is about 8'X 13'. I stated right up front I did not think the match be would good but since she was local I said lets give a try. The sound is amazing in the room. Nearfield yes, but the speaker sounds best in nearfield anyway. Once they were installed I was told they were not leaving!

Will set-up in that kind of room be ideal? No. But few of us are lucky to have ideal rooms or set-ups. Of course I am biased but I would take a Quad, in most situations, that is in a less than an ideal room than speaker X in the ideal room. They were designed for smallish British living rooms in mind. I see no reason to reject them outright just because the room is smaller than might be ideal.

If HP could shoehorn the IRS in his bedroom size room back in the day and proclaim it Valhalla I think one can fit the Quad in a small room with good results. Being a smart a** here but I think you get the point!
"Music sounds good, but no soul"

Can you tell me what soul is to you? When I think of electrostatics "soul" is not the word that comes to mind.

I also have had B&Ws and moved on because the mids had an odd coloration to them and the bass was lacking.
James63 is so right...anyway, I've owned the who's who of equipment and speakers, both electrostatic/planar and dynamic. My favorite speakers for actually enjoying the music and forgetting about the gear is Totem. I have owned The Winds, Forests, Hawks and Arrows. They all move your soul and have an uncanny ability to mezmerize a listener. 10x11 is not large but it is problematic for sound, as a square box is the worst shape for acoustics...you should have speakers along the long wall and your back against the opposite wall for starters. Totems are easy to place as well.
See photo below. It's not a square. It's got a cathedral ceiling ....

When I mean soul, I mean the music feels "alive". As in your eyes start to peal away the hollow boxes (speakers) to reveal fingers moving over strings, mouths gasping for air and looks that give a new meaning to improv's.
Yep, the Totems access the "soul" of the performance...how much depends on your budget and which Totem is right for you. They immerse you in the soundfield with exceptional harmonic balance and continuity...a must listen!
I am probably going to get flamed for this, but my original post was
" if you have ever owned a 57, do you still have it? If not, how soon did you move on & why?"

I don't want people recommending me other speakers, so please don't. I am still on the topic of the QUAD's and I would still sincerely appreciate answers from owners/ex-owners of the 57's.

Much appreciated.
Jarraa - GREAT response-stick to QUAD ESL57's!!
I run STACKED 57's with IMF TL subs @ 40HZ.
All four refurb's by Wayne as well as te custom stands to accomodate the subs. They look great and sound fantastic!

I have had them for over 10+ years and would not move on to anything else! Why?

Yes, it is not for everybody but mine has the finesse of a small system and the largess of horns (or other large speakers). Plus discoveries/recommendations found on my system generally transfer to other set-ups but not vice-versa.
The Quad electrostatic sound, done right, is truly an addicting sound. Namely it just sounds LIVE.
OTOH, most people experience ESL57's that were "tired" and they did not know it. So unless someone had a pair from Wayne and did not like them then they have not experienced what they truly sound like.

If you are going to purchase one of Wayne PK's 57, then dynamics will not be a problem nor is your listening space, Maybe your amplifier, but I'm not familiar, so i cant say, but his 57's will not lack dynamics nor have issues with that small space, you have not heard 57's if you have not heard his, the power is exceptional coming from 57's.

Ohh, 57's were originally designed for small listen space's, stands are also important, discuss such with him.

I have tried 63's in a small room 14x10 with a sub and they had no issues the sound was excellent with the sub.

I agree with Weseixas.
And stands are important.

A word of caution though...
Wayne's '57's are sooooo good that they will reveal any flaws in the equipment feeding them.
So they have IMMENSE sound quality and will accurately reproduce the good and the bad.
So basically they are a "demanding mistress" in that regard.
They like vacuum tubes, great vinyl, proper cables, proper interconnects, etc. So do not worry that they "top out" at some point as the rest of your system becomes upgraded.
This is NOT the case with most speaker systems!
At some point, they are what they are and they can not sound any better no matter is done. Perhaps that is what is happening with your present speakers.
Also...57's MUST be set up properly in the room in terms of placement to the listener. They need to be precisely placed as "close enough" (as in box speakers) just won't cut it.

I do not know your room but let's say that for you a rough start would be 6-7 feet back from the speaker and the '57's are 3-5 feet (center to center) apart.
they would be 2-3 feet from the back wall and a foot or so from the side walls. They need to be pointed in so that they are each exactly equidistant from the center listening chair.

Quads are as close to a massless driver as you can come other than the Ionovac tweeters and the Ribbons but those are far less efficient than the Quads.

As a result Quads are so quick, so utterly transparent and life-like that they make all other speakers seem veiled.
btw Jarraa,

your discription of soul is exactly what the Quads have in spades. You get right into ALL nuances in the music.

Also fwiw, I never missed high end information, some people think they need a super tweeter, but you hear everything so well, I do not think you need one, even if they are a tad rolled off on top.
We've had a lot of customers with Quads over the years. In the last 35 years, one thing has been apparent in that time: Quad owners are often very loyal to the product. Given the span of time involved, the 57 and 63 have seemed to enjoy a loyalty that may well be number one in the business (the 57 is a product that has been around for over 50 years!). I can't think of any other speaker where I have met so many people that have held on to the speaker for as long as many Quad owners often do- literally decades.

The newer Quads have not been around that long and so comparatively, like most speakers, don't really have a track record, so these comments apply specifically to the 57 and 63.
A PK modified quad does not have any top end issues. I have heard his single, double and triple. The power is immense on the triple and does require a pretty big room to make them work, the double is the best compromise to me and the single is a hugh improvement over the standard single.

Thanks for the responses and the advice on watching placements etc. Out of curiosity, what speaker cables do you guys run with your Quads.

Believe it or not I use the Kimber Cable speaker wire.
I forget the model number but it is black (negative) and brown (positive) wire that is braided.
I believe that there are four wires of each color (they are NOT teflon).
I think that it is the least expensive of all of the Kimber braided speaker cable.
I have 25+ foot runs from my amps to the stacked ESL57's so I needed something that was good but did not break the bank.
I run my stacks in parallel (and connect to the 8 Ohm tap on my A-340A's) so I use a piece of the Kimber to jumper between them as well.
BTW. I tried less expensive speaker wires but the Kimber gave me the best results so REAL speaker wire does make a difference. OTOH, interconnects seemed to make a bigger improvement in my system than the speaker wire - but every little thing helps when you have "The demanding Mistress - ESL57's"! :)
Wouldn't you have a impedance mis-match with that 8 ohm load on a pr of stacked 57's ..

No, actually 8 Ohm is the correct setting for the stack as the impedance curve is not flat. It is a compromise and it depends on the amplifier being used.
I just picked up Wayne PK rebuilt quad 57's. Have been listening for only a couple of days. The panels were sent to him to rebuild by the previous owner. They do not have the protection circuits.
I also own Acoustat Spectra 33's and Model 3's as well as other cone speakers.
I am impressed so far. I admit I am very timid about over driving them though from what I have heard. As Wayne told me - when it happens it is without warning - and once done it will happen again more easily.
The highs sound fine to me and I am getting 40 HZ - they are 5 feet from the front wall and about 7 feet from me.
A few years back I had two pairs of Quad 57, stacked the way Peter Walker said to do it.

I used an AtmaSphere S30 and the Atma Sphere MP3 and my friends told me that the sound "draws you into the music".

I really enjoyed the set up, and one of my better attempts at the "last great system".

But you know, after awhile you start to focus on what you feel are the systems shortfalls(lack of top and botton freq)so you start to bulid another system to address those issues, but you find that few if any set ups ever have the mid range magic of the stacked 57's.

I would suggest you buy the 57's, they've been rebuilt and should last you for a long time, and if you start to focus on the lack of highs and lows, don't sell them, just find a substitute pair of speakers and listen to them for awhile and then go back to the Quads and you'll appreciate them even more.
Lacee - when I brought them home they were bought already.

I have multiple speakers in two locations.

I already look forward to listening to them every week and enjoying their sound.

Even my teenage son picks up on how special they are. I have them in a room with Acoustat Spectra 33's and switch between the two.

On the advice of an audio friend who has multiple 57 pairs I put a 6" piece of 2 x 4 wood under the rear leg and wow -The image rose about 3 feet and the soundstage improved dramatically.
It's not hard to make nice DIY wooden stands for the Quads and they do sound better off the floor.

Just take the side trim off and use long screws to the DIY wooden stands.

You place the speaker between the stands, it's a two man job to set them up.

The stands are simple "T T" stands, the "T T" is upside down in this case.