What amp do you use with your QUAD'S?

I have had a pair of original QUAD ESL's in my system for about 15 years. The amp is a Berning 230 which I love and will always keep. I'm curious about what other owners of this speaker use to drive them as I would like to get a but more volume out of them from time to time. My musical taste runs from rock to classical with a smattering of jazz. I listen to classical mostly. I have searched the archives but really haven't found much. Hope to hear.
I have a Bedini 15/15 specialy dsigned for Quads [1 of only 3 ever made] it is the perfect match. The problem is I sold the Quads.
When I had my ESL 988s, I used 3 permutation of Mac MC-225s wired for monoblock mode or a HK Citation II. I did use one MC-225 as well but found that the 30+/- wpc wasn't enough for an 86db efficient speaker in the size room I had.

BTW, all these amps have been gone through and had all out of spec components replaced. It is a complete toss-up as to which amp is better, IMHO. They both made the 988s sing and I was happy with both setups. Its unfortunate that I had to sell the Quads, though.....I still have the amps.


As a starting point you may wish to check these two websites out:



FWIW, I drive my Quad ESL-989s which I believe are each the equivalent of two ESL-63s quite happily with a Conrad-Johnson Premier 140 amp.

Good luck in your search.

A good friend of mine drives his Quads with an Audio Research D-115. It has way more power than necessary, but it provides tremendous synergy with the Quads. His current speakers are 63s, but he has also run a pair of 57s with the Audio Research amp.



I started with an Audio Research CA-50 with Quad ESL-63's. Upgraded to Cary SLM-100's and finally to a Cary 805c's. All worked very well. Only the Audio Research seemed like it needed a few more watts to properly drive the Quads.
how could we forget NEW YORK AUDIO LABS OTLS
Quicksilver M-135's with 989's
Would still like more on what everyone uses on the ESL 57's. Thanks for all of the input provided! Keep it coming!
2 Berning EA-230's in mono for 60 watts of triode magic driving some ESL-63's....I think I remember Berning saying that his EA's and Quads was his preferred setup.

I also had only 1 EA running in stereo for months and it was superb as well...
I use a Quad 303 for my ESL-63s. Sounds good to me. I am working on bringing a Threshold 400A (2x100W class A) back to life and use it to drive my Quads . Any thouhgts on these combos?


- Harald
I used Atma sphere MA1s on my 63's. Great combo, and I have seen great deals lately on used atma's
I have been using a Berning ZH-270 and it is excellent. More detailed and more bass from the speakers than the EA-230. mpcrnc
I can't be the only one looking for a bit more power!
mpcrnc...yeah, but at what cost?;-)
Really at a very little cost. Sonically, the 270 can be adjusted to several tastes. Financially, it was very reasonable as I purchased it before it was a very popular amp. Thanks, mpcrnc.
I used to own ESL63USAs and tried them with Cary Rocket 88, and then later with a Berning ZH270. The Berning was the best I've heard with the Quads. Much better than the Cary in most areas of performance. More power than you need. Exceptional clarity across the mid-band.
If you move to a different speaker later, as I did, the Berning gives you lots of options down the road. It is quite exceptional IMHO.
Well, I may have to save for one...:-)
Harhau - My take on the 400a being used for driving stats is to do away with the "stacked" output devices and make a bank of simple emitter followers, using however many of the devices you like. Also, from it's output design and how it's integrated with the active bias circuit, it has a rather high open loop output impedance and could probably be lowered for driving stats. Of course, this entails somewhat of a redesign, so would leave that to you. I know of at least one person having used it to drive some acoustats and blowing fuses was a problem when pushed. Since you mentioned you were bringing a 400a back to life, just thought I'd chime in....:)
I used then first in the 60s and was a dealer for years. Most of the amps I used are long gone but a friend of mine who has a pair I sold him in the 70s formerly used an Audio Research but now uses a rebuilt tube amp from the golden age,I have forgotten which. A rebuilt Dyna, Scott, Fisher etc would work well.
Harhau - I just rebuilt a 400A to use with my Martin Logan CLS's and it drives them pretty well, doesn't seem strained or anything. But, it is by no means an ear shattering experience. It's a work in progress so it just keeps getting better. The only reason I mentioned awhile ago about changing the output stage was to gain more voltage swing which stats need. The quads may not need them. I even seem to recall that the 57's limited the voltage after a certain level, 40 volts comes to mind. The 400a is indeed a different beast and a kick to work on, having enjoyed myself immensely and even threw in some circuit mods that booted it all up a notch. Hotrodding a power amp is not hard to do since they never seem to leave the manufacturing line as well made as they can be. But it does seem to be a stable amp.