I owned a set of Extremas for about 6 years. I used them in a room that was approx 18 x 20 with 12 foot ceiling height with good but not great results. They like to be at least 2 to 3 feet from rear wall and 2 to 3 feet in from side walls and about 9 feet apart to sound best. they will reward you with the most holigraphic soundstage with layering that you could only dream of. however i used high current tube amps (CAT JL-1 mono)with very good results.
If you them power you'll deserved if not don't do it.
Thanks for the suggestions. My room is about 17x12, high ceiling...probably too small for them?
sory guys, these speakers need Power!!!! give it and you'll be happy, if not don't do it!
Kops, would you use a bi-amp solution? A powerful 200+200 SS for the low frequencies and a sweet tube like my EAR for the rest?
if you can match it, yes.
I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I was when I last heard these "CLASSIC" speakers.The amp,I believe was a powerful Modjeski tube unit....BUT.....the speaker DRAMATICALLY improved with the use of the Townshend Super Tweeters!!!I was bowled over with the tweeters employeed.I believe the stock tweeter rolls off a little too low(17khz).
My friend has just gotten the stunning Magico Minis,and IMO the Extrema/Townshend combo is a "serious" competitor for that "latest"(but superb) design,even though it is not the "latest" out there(who really cares?).
Sometimes when something is really good,it holds up over time.The Extrema certainly does that,IMO!!!...Gorgeous to look at as well,but this is ALL only my opinion!
As a former Extrema owner for almost 3 years, I will say you need a lot more than what EAR can pump out to drive the Extrema. I have tried several amps, my favorite back then was McCormack DNA-2. Pass X350, Rowland 8Ti HC, and numerous others just did not do it for me with Extrema even though I like Pass or McCormack on other speakers.
If budget is not a big issue, I highly recommend Goldmund with Extrema. I have heard Goldmund with Marten Coltrane recently and Goldmund really deserves the high price tag. In general, Swiss makes best pre/power while Germans make best sources.
In terms of room size, my room was 13x18 or so and I have them against the short wall, 3' from side wall and 5' from rear wall (measuring from the back of speakers). They threw a huge soundstage, wide and deep.
But unless you are dead set with Extrema, technology has improved and Extrema just does not stand the test of time in this fast moving world. There are lots of new tweeter technologies that surpass Dynaudio Esotar by a big margin. Also, Extrema does not work well with tubes and to me that is a big drawback.
Semi, maybe you're right that the Extrema are more of a nostalgic choice than anything else. On the other hand I have to say that despite technological changes, some of the best products are old -- I currently own a pair of Qaud ESL 57, and they are still amazing. If you like technology, I hear great things about the Emerald Physics. Also, I love the new B&W802D, and some of the Thiel models. Tough choice. I'll probably keep my Quad and set something with more presence at the lower levels...
I'll probably keep my Quad and set something with more presence at the lower levels...
Oooops -- I just now realised you have Quad 57s!
With all due respect, and good as the Extrema may be (enticing sound; acceptably balanced reproduction across 100-10kHz; realistic rendition of string instruments and most voices), they are really no match for the realistic & pure mid/upper-mid range of yr Quads. The Extrema can play somewhat louder without fear, & offer a modicum of dynamic impact you can't have with the Quads -- but that's it. (I had Extrema for years, years ago).
I strongly urge you to keep those spkrs & invest some fun in identifying something that's a "Quad" with lower end + highs + better tolerance to dynamic abuse! I would also join you in forgetting about technological advances -- your '58 Quads are technologically OK, very contemporary if you will. If you want "avant-garde" spkr components, try Ion tweets: that should get you firmly in the '60s if I'm not mistaken. The B&Ws, etc, are still rooted in the '30s :)! Regards
I saw Rowland mentioned up the thread. There's pretty good agreement that you'll need more power with those in your room. If you think of Rowland, then consider the Continuum 500 integrated. It's transparent, crystal clear, dynamic and absolutely stressless. I now prefer it to my tube, single-ended, Class A, headphone amp by Woo Audio.
With all due respect,the Extrema configuration I heard(with Townshend ribbon tweeters)was at the very least "close to today's better" competing designs.It is also built better than most,and looks like a beautiful piece of art.
I heard it with two different "tube" amps.The first did not have the juice to get them up and running very well,But the higher powered unit opened them up majestically.
Best to all.
Well, Gregm, my dream would be to be able to build a system with the Quads for the midrange, a couple of serious woofers, and perhaps two great tweeters. That said, it's not going to be easy. First of all, most of the subwoofers that you see around are made for the home theater market. I tried a velodyne foundation, 12 inches, and it just ruined the overall sound. I am now using it for my tv. I guess the ideal solution would be to have someone build a cabinet for two top-of-the-line drivers...something like, say, 10 inches. I don't think there are products on the market that one could buy with these characteristics, except perhaps for the gradient subwoofers that were designed for the ESL 63.
In reply to Sirspeedy, I love the Extrema's sound, an I agree with you that they are pieces of art. I guess my question is whether, absent the aesthetical pleasure that they give, one would buy them (and spend now around $ 6K) just for the sound...