Quad ESL's, I Must Be Crazy! All Responses Welcome.
A friend once said to me, 'the crazier you are, the more I like you.'
I suppose this explains the self deprecating introduction. Anyway, the point of this blog isn't to shine a spotlight onto my lack of self esteem but to discuss electrostatic speakers.
When putting together my first high fidelity system, I spent seemingly endless hours reading reviews on blogs and magazine posts about 'what did what' real well. I did of course visit my local audiophile store for some actual listening time.
Like most folk, sane or otherwise, I had to accept some price conditions. I believe now with humility that I could have spent more money while achieving less but given an extra $80,000.00….
I had pipe dreams of owning a pair of Vandersteen 5's (but I wanted the 7 A's). However once reality crept in, I found myself cogitating between a demo pair of the Martin Logan CLX's or the Quad 2905's. Much of what I had to go by was based upon magazine reviews and technical jargon from various internet sources. I admit that I've always held a nostalgic preference towards the Quads (and still do) just by having seen them throughout the years in Gramophone magazine advertisements. So along with the Ayre QB9 DAC, the High Diamond cables, the ASR Emitter II Exclusive and ASR Mini Basis Exclusive; I finally broke down and I bought the demo pair of Quad 2905 ESL's.
Several months after initially having set everything up and listening to the sonic developments of equipment in their burn in period, I then went back to the Audiophile store to compare my Quads with their CLX's. The CLX's were connected to an Ayre QB9 DAC, McIntosh flagship tube pre amp, McIntosh flagship solid state mono blocks with Wire World cables. I came away from that 30 or so minutes of listening fully convinced that the lowest and highest registers of a Bösendorfer concert grand were significantly better represented through the Quads than through the CLX's. Most noticeably, there seemed to be a veil characteristic that kept the CLX's from articulating the qualities of any particular instrument. I did notice a fair amount of acoustic overtone from the CLX's however these overtones weren't all that identifiable. If someone is playing a Stradivarius cello in a playback recording, then I want to hear the Stradivarius cello and as very little of the speaker as possible!
So with reference to the many online posts which make claims in favor of the Martin Logan's to the Quad's, I can only say nonsense. Lastly, in addition to what was afore mentioned, having to time subwoofers with either of these speakers would be a timeless impracticability. I'm glad that the Quad 2905's can successfully capture what is needed in the lowest registers thus leaving any subwoofer scenarios out of the equation.