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Oldpinkman
18-09-2014, 14:08
I just posted (pretty much) the following post somewhere else, and then realised I have "ESL63 fanboy" as my soubriquet here, and felt accordingly I ought to share the love. As ever, no bloody idea which forum to post in, but I bet there aren't many electrostatic posts here, and its as relevant as in the 2 channel speakers section

enough waffle - a cut and paste job -

The ESL63's picked up a different sort of compliment this week. They couldn't be heard. The inaudible speaker.

This was doing duty as front left and right in a dolby 5.1 set up whilst watching Liverpool play football.

The background is, that on return from holiday, having mended the ESL's and restored them to front of house, the ventricals relegated to behind the sofa, they had been switched off by a teenager. Sue came in, noted the sound from the front was weak - the rear speakers dominated, and said "if you're not going to use those ugly bloody great things then they're going. They're too big". She could acknowledge that they sound sublime listening to music, particularly classical music which she loves to listen to, but felt (not without reason) that they cover a larger area of wall than the emulsion paint does.

But they were working, ffortissimo, when liverpool were on the goggle box, and yet they appeared to be silent. The clear natural, at the football stadium sound was coming from the TV itself - apparantly. I proved they were on - she stuck her ear to them, and I took out the other speakers using the setup function. But they were so "transparent" - the effect was of the sound being there - but not the speaker.

'Course, this is what I love about them for music. But I would never have thought they could be so good as an AV speaker, nor that it was possible to get home cinema sounding like that.

Having said all that, I'm not yet sure they're keepers. I daren't plug the testicals back in just yet, because although different, I fear it's going to be a damn near run thing (Wellington - Waterloo) in this room, in this set-up. But another testimony for the ESL's.

Mrs S has seen the light and is a believer again :D

(She's layed down the law about the Lowthers so, which is a real pity, cos they are beguiling in ways, and make a fabulous dining room speaker if you ignore the small detail of there being no room left in the dining room. Ebay here they come...)

Macca
18-09-2014, 14:44
I've seen an episode of Grand Designs from some years ago now where the bloke had a 5.1 QUAD system with electrostatic fronts and flat panel rears. The flat panels were disguised as framed pictures hanging on the walls. So there is a precedent but I'll grant you it is not something you see that often ;)

Ali Tait
18-09-2014, 14:56
Yes, I remember that episode. I believe Martin Logan do an AV setup too.

Firebottle
18-09-2014, 15:01
Why wouldn't they be good for AV work :scratch: Or football commentary, or anything else for that matter?

I've heard a couple of tales of people thinking that there was someone in the other room, when the other room had Radio 4 playing through ESLs.

Can't go wrong mate, Mrs S will get used to the size after a while. Keepers :thumbsup:

:cool: Alan

Ali Tait
18-09-2014, 15:10
No reason at all, except the size of an AV system would put a lot of people off I think.

struth
18-09-2014, 15:34
You can hide them in my livingroom if necessary . your wife won't see them there:lol:

Oldpinkman
18-09-2014, 16:12
The case for the defence M'Lord


http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/DSC_1999_zps7e91a212.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/DSC_1999_zps7e91a212.jpg.html)

edit : Harry - her son, my step-son, suggested the answer was to get a MUCH bigger TV. I like the boys style! I'll leave him to work on his Mum

Oldpinkman
18-09-2014, 16:14
And by way of contrast, the dainty, delicate, twee Lowthers

http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/DSC_1998_zpse14ffe4b.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/DSC_1998_zpse14ffe4b.jpg.html)

I bet she regrets calling the Ventricals "big and ugly" ...:eek:

struth
18-09-2014, 18:25
No doubt, the Ventricals do looks superb and fit in much better....in fact they look fabulous in that set up.

Oldpinkman
19-09-2014, 06:16
My apologies Grant. I realise I have jumped into this thread missing out essential background, posted elsewhere during my sabbatical from this forum.

Those speakers you mistook for Ventricals are in fact the Lowther Fidelios I lovingly restored to their proper and rightful beauty (I say "restored" - but I don't believe the guy I bought them from changed drivers as he claimed, and I suspect they were always a pile of poo before I fixed them. I should really say "allowed the beautiful cabinets to achieve their true potential" rather than restored - but its a bit of a saga.)

These beauties are the delicate dainty (but amplifier demanding) Ventricals front of house

http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/20130917_1700251_zps20914a89.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/20130917_1700251_zps20914a89.jpg.html)

(Currently stored behind the sofa)

And these were an experiment with Kef R900's

http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/Untitled2_zpsba08c1c8.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/Untitled2_zpsba08c1c8.jpg.html)

D'ya see now why she was premature in being so rude about the "big ugly" Ventricals? However, I favour Harry's "keep the ESL's and get a bigger telly" route - although the picture on that Phillips is the best I've ever seen...

Why is life so difficult?

Anyway, I take the point that I can't keep hoarding and something has to go, and reluctantly I think it will be the Lowthers.

CageyH
19-09-2014, 07:38
I'm happy to look after the ventricals for you as you prepare to move to France.

;)

Gordon Steadman
19-09-2014, 08:02
The case for the defence M'Lord


http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/DSC_1999_zps7e91a212.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/DSC_1999_zps7e91a212.jpg.html)

edit : Harry - her son, my step-son, suggested the answer was to get a MUCH bigger TV. I like the boys style! I'll leave him to work on his Mum

A nice pair of 57s wouldn't look that big. They do look a bit like a couple of sentinals. Did you get a blast of noise headed for Jupiter when you first switched them on?

Oldpinkman
19-09-2014, 08:36
Apart from the wire falling off Gordon - they've been good as gold. Undoubtedly my all time , never to be beaten , bargain purchase. And the 57's are just as big, but turned sideways, and look like a 1950's radiator.

As for the Ventricals Kevin, I appreciate your kind offer, but there is plenty of room in the loft, and I have the original boxes for them.

And, at some stage, I am going to have to man up, and put them back in the system, and see whether the 63's make enough of a case to justify blocking out so much daylight. I have few doubts that my ideal system in my ideal room (further from the rear wall, further from the listener) would be the 63's. In the actual domestic environment they are likely to be used, close to a wall which benefits the Ventricals, and close to the listener, where the ESL's don't get to "breath" and give a really deep soundstage, then it might be such a near run thing that the Ventricals win out. They do some things better - well differently. They are more "apparantly" detailed - the ESL's are just so damn laid back.

But not this weekend...

Meantime, its a reluctant farewell to the Lowthers, and I need to start sorting out cartridges for sale, a Nikon D50, a sofa bed...

:cool:

struth
19-09-2014, 10:00
My apologies Grant. I realise I have jumped into this thread missing out essential background, posted elsewhere during my sabbatical from this forum.

Those speakers you mistook for Ventricals are in fact the Lowther Fidelios I lovingly restored to their proper and rightful beauty (I say "restored" - but I don't believe the guy I bought them from changed drivers as he claimed, and I suspect they were always a pile of poo before I fixed them. I should really say "allowed the beautiful cabinets to achieve their true potential" rather than restored - but its a bit of a saga.)

These beauties are the delicate dainty (but amplifier demanding) Ventricals front of house

http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/20130917_1700251_zps20914a89.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/20130917_1700251_zps20914a89.jpg.html)

(Currently stored behind the sofa)

And these were an experiment with Kef R900's

http://i1315.photobucket.com/albums/t582/oldpinkman/Untitled2_zpsba08c1c8.jpg (http://s1315.photobucket.com/user/oldpinkman/media/Untitled2_zpsba08c1c8.jpg.html)

D'ya see now why she was premature in being so rude about the "big ugly" Ventricals? However, I favour Harry's "keep the ESL's and get a bigger telly" route - although the picture on that Phillips is the best I've ever seen...

Why is life so difficult?

Anyway, I take the point that I can't keep hoarding and something has to go, and reluctantly I think it will be the Lowthers.

Showing up my speaker ignorance again lol. In that case the lowthers are georgous in that setting. Quads are stunning but maybe as you say need a bigger room to do justice visually. I know I wouldn't get them past swmbo

Oldpinkman
02-03-2015, 08:26
In response to an email query from Cagey about the Frugelhorns, and in anticipation of putting in an offer on a house in France which lacks a custom designed ESL auditioning room, I decided to revisit my own speakers. The following is cut and pasted from my reply:

Interesting question. I was about to just reply that we would return to using the ventricals when we move as the esl63 take up far too much space and don't get to work at their best in a short, close to walls environment. So I put the ventricals back in last night. And we watched some bluerays. All comments are from Mrs S.

"it looks so much better. Those others dominate the room. They sound really good. You'll have to get them sprayed black"
I put on the Barbara Streisand partners lp I bought her for Christmas

"they're pretty good. A bit of bass missing. It's nice. I haven't heard my birthday present yet (from my parents - Eva cassidy songbird - "our album")"

So we played the first 3 tracks

"so why do the quads sound so good? You tried loads of other speakers and these were always the best. How do the quads sound so different? Yes - go on, put them back...

Shit. It's so different. It's just right. Omg that's a double bass, not an electric. Omg I never heard those harmonies before etc. "

To the question " so what do we do now? "

" there's room for the quads in the living room "



Note - we had tried the Ventricals against several other speakers, and always preferred them, until I insisted on getting the cling-film and perforated steel plate jobs, and the ESL's are in a room and position which doesnt really let them work properly.

Note also, this is at the root of my struggle to engage with the OTT mains brigade. It is not so much that nobody yet has persuaded me that fannying with the mains makes any difference to the final sound (other than removing obvious fault conditions), its more the number of times I encountered bad rooms when at PT. For me, the whole project starts with getting the speakers right, and working with the room. Once the speakers and room are producing the best sound they can, some fine tuning - or extraction of higher benefits from the rest of the system becomes worthwile. I have heard any number of bad rooms, and consequently systems which made a noise that didn't appeal to me, and I doubt very much that changing the mains fuse would do anything for that.

:cool:

Firebottle
02-03-2015, 09:19
Work with the Quads and a sub, it is such an open door to whatever the downstream electronics can throw at them.

I'm just adoring what a dollop of Single Ended EL84 can do, CeeDee or vinyl.

:eek: Alan

Andrei
02-03-2015, 09:25
Richard, going back to your trial with the Kefs: how did you find them? I heard those speakers in Auckland this January and frankly they were dreadful - despite being run by a great amp. I put it down to those eunuch (Uni-Q) drivers, they had a metallic sound that just grated.

Andrei
02-03-2015, 09:30
Richard, going back to your trial with the Kefs: how did you find them? I heard those speakers in Auckland this January and frankly they were dreadful - despite being run by a great amp. I put it down to those eunuch (Uni-Q) drivers, they had a metallic sound that just grated.

CageyH
02-03-2015, 12:20
So, how much smaller are 57's?

Oldpinkman
02-03-2015, 12:41
Richard, going back to your trial with the Kefs: how did you find them? I heard those speakers in Auckland this January and frankly they were dreadful - despite being run by a great amp. I put it down to those eunuch (Uni-Q) drivers, they had a metallic sound that just grated.

No - they weren't awful. Nor metallic. Always hard to know what else affected somebody else's hearing experience. Certainly they were a room challenge. Anywhere too close to a rear wall and the bass got way over the top. The port bungs offer some respite there. Once matched to the room properly they were pretty good - but lacked the "speakerless" qualities even of the ventricals, never mind the Quads. It was the LS50's I found very disappointing.

Gordon Steadman
02-03-2015, 12:42
So, how much smaller are 57's?
To me they are much less intrusive, not so high and about 900mm wide. Richard of course will disagree but they also sound better, especially with open stands like these:)

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7524/15976389330_c19c780317_o.jpg

Oldpinkman
02-03-2015, 12:45
So, how much smaller are 57's?

Not much, if we're brutally honest. But they are perhaps a bit less fussy about being shoved near a wall. And often available at a more reasonable price. As Alan observed a good sub used judiciously really takes them to the next level, and mitigates the usual criticism of them. Particularly the 63's take a bit of getting used to for some - because they are NOT bright - which can sound dull. The exercise of switching them out, then putting them back makes you realise how "real" and not "dull" they are.

'Course - two more mains leads, 2 more foo fuses to get anything worth listening to :doh:

Audio Al
02-03-2015, 13:41
I have said it before and will say it again

57 or 63 quads are a MUST OWN at some point in any hifi enthusiast journey ,

They are :wow:

Fortunately I have both :)

Macca
02-03-2015, 14:04
The Quad ESL are a lot bigger in reality than they appear in photographs. Not sure why that is.

Barry
02-03-2015, 14:15
The Quad ESL are a lot bigger in reality than they appear in photographs. Not sure why that is.

The radiating area of the Quad 57 is 870mm wide by 730mm high. To the height one needs to add the height of the legs or stand. The problem with the 'size' is that Quads, being a dipole design, must be situated no closer than say 2m from a rear wall, unless sound absorbing material is used.

CageyH
02-03-2015, 15:44
Thanks Barry.
Not much good for my current listening room then.
The WAF factor is also pretty low on these. :(

Gordon Steadman
02-03-2015, 16:32
Thanks Barry.
Not much good for my current listening room then.
The WAF factor is also pretty low on these. :(
How strange, Ronnie says that my nephew, who thought he was next in line, will have to prise them out of her cold, dead hands. She always complains when I am playing with other speakers in the system. The 57s are much more tolerant about space behind than I keep being told. Mine are 1 metre from the back wall now and they have been closer, although it did help that there were books behind.

Oldpinkman
02-03-2015, 16:32
The radiating area of the Quad 57 is 870mm wide by 730mm high. To the height one needs to add the height of the legs or stand. The problem with the 'size' is that Quads, being a dipole design, must be situated no closer than say 2m from a rear wall, unless sound absorbing material is used.

That is of course absolutely true, and at the heart of the banter Gordon and I have had for over a year. But even with the "confused" result of being close to a wall, particularly if angled in just a bit, they make a surprisingly good noise. It may not be "right" it may not be what I knew and loved, it may present some serious challenges in the context of an AV setup, but they do alright. Better than alright. I compromise by leaving them tucked up about 0.5m from the wall when not in use or doing AV duty, and pulling them into the room for "proper" 2 channel. Here in sunny Yalding they can only come in a meter. In sunny Granes - probably 2 metres (and a good metre, maybe 1.5 either side too - and listener 2m from speakers). But even at 0,5m, they're ok.

Oldpinkman
17-01-2016, 14:11
Well - I took the Quads out yesterday having burned a hole in the rear dustcover of the left speaker. Not worth running them like that and frying the drivers. So I put back in the "big ugly speakers" - the Pink Triangle Ventricals

First - Mrs S has eaten her words about "big ugly speakers". They look tiny after the Quads. We both had the same thought (confessed to each other after about 3 hours) "I hope he/she likes them enough - they look so much better"

He/she didn't like them as much. We may have consistently preferred them over all other speakers we had tried prior to the Quads, and goodness only knows most of the time we leave the Quads too close to the wall and so they are operating way below optimum, but

MY GOODNESS WE MISS EM! So I left them to discharge and rushed out for some 25mm gorilla tape, and patched the holes (yes 2 of the bastards) with insulating tape, and I think they are going back in tonight.

They may be proper big and ugly, but they sure are hard to give up once you've had 'em :eek:

Firebottle
17-01-2016, 16:21
They may be proper big and ugly, but they sure are hard to give up once you've had 'em :eek:

Yes...yes...and yes.
I've used magic tape to cover holes burnt in the dustcovers, sticks well and doesn't go hard and dry up.

:)

Oldpinkman
17-01-2016, 16:53
Yes...yes...and yes.
I've used magic tape to cover holes burnt in the dustcovers, sticks well and doesn't go hard and dry up.

:)

That's interesting to know. I am not thrilled with the insulating tape bodge I have done, but I don't fancy my chances of removing it either. I am hoping One Thing still do kits for 35 or so - I have sent them an email, because it doesn't look that hard to repair it properly, and with enough for 8 dustcovers, I can be a bit more bold and confident with the heatshrinking once they get down to the Sarf a France (currently due to be 19th Feb) :)

Oldpinkman
17-01-2016, 21:14
An Adele concert was on at 8.we got 5 minutes in and Mrs S hit sky pause, and ordered me to put the quads back in. Sounding really good (since I did get them taught whilst burning holes in them.) If it wasn't for a worry about the insulating tape leaking over time I'd be tempted to go with "if it ain't broke don't fix it" :cool: