Whatís your favorite ESL?
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  1. #1
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    Whatís your favorite ESL?

    Whatís your favorite ESL speaker? Quad? KLH Model 9? Or a hybrid ESL like ML or MurAudio? Other?

    Although planar magnetics are similar, Iím speaker purely of ESLís.

    For me, the Quad 63, 57 and 2912 are my faves.

    Iím definitely looking forward to hearing this new Anniversary 60 Quad ESL.




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  3. #2
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    The 57's. Feed by Marantz 8b
    Chris

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  4. #3
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    What’s your favorite ESL speaker? Quad? KLH Model 9? Or a hybrid ESL like ML or MurAudio? Other?

    Although planar magnetics are similar, I’m speaker purely of ESL’s.

    For me, the Quad 63, 57 and 2912 are my faves.
    I have never had the pleasure of listening to the speakers on your list, other than many Martin Logan models and a $20,000 prototype Jantzen (2009?) that captured the rear wave and sounded like a mix of sealed box and ESL dipole in a most favorable way. Oh, and an smaller Acoustat in a store early 1990's, almost forgot that one.

    The mid-range suck out from rear wave interference that leaves a skeletal presentation with little oomph behind it on hard Rock & Roll is usually not attended to in a listening room at a store or at a hotel room audio show.

    One must tune the acoustics of their living/listening space to get the most out of these types of speakers.

    And in that context, the higher crossover frequency of the sealed box woofer in my first generation M/L Aerius speakers got most of that oomph back in my smaller room. They lowered the crossover point in subsequent models and missed the mark in my opinion.

    I've heard 4 or 5 other M/L club members home systems, and in each case it was a more expensive model with more powerful amplification. They could play louder and do a grander scale but overall I liked the intimate balance that could Rock that I achieved in my own room.

    ESL's can do grand scale grander than most dynamic drivers because of the way the sound wave is launched, but often at the cost of doing small scale intimate recordings right if other equipment upstream is not properly matched.

    It seems like many stores want to WOW you with power and scale and neglect the finer points.

    This is one of the reasons I've always wanted to hear some Quads (63, 57), they are supposed to be grand at small things without applying a grandness to all.

  5. #4
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    Mike, I agree, looking forward to the Quad 60's, agree with Chris on 57's, but as a former Logan owner (Vantage / Spire's) if I were to buy back into stats today it would be a pair of ML 13a's
    Cheers ! Ö. Dave

  6. #5
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    I’ve always wanted to hear Soundlab speakers. I think they need some room to breathe but if some of the past reviews are accurate, they could be heavenly.
    Joe

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  7. #6
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    Ohhh....This hits me in my weak spot. The short answer is - I love them all, differently. My introduction to high end was a pair of Acoustat Xs, driven by their own tube amp. They were a quantum leap from anything I had heard before, however, I felt as they went to the transformer and then hybrid route, they headed in the wrong direction. I had a pair of CLS's with Vandersteen subs - beautiful and magical. Wandered on to Sound Labs. I felt they were the most tonally accurate but were unreliable and lacked dynamics for years - both problems now solved. I love the Quad sound, but the Chinese panels had such a bad reliability history, maybe they are better now. What finally did me in was the sheer oppressiveness of big slabs in my living room, but then, I am an aesthetics guy. Martin Logans appeal to me due to their see through screens. In the past I found their hybrids to not be my cup of tea, but their current top of the line I find to be superb. The Janszens are superbly natural, if you don't like the dipole presentation. Roger Sanders also makes a great hybrid esl for the solo listener.

    Cheers,

    Mark

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  9. #7
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    Iíve always wanted to hear Soundlab speakers. I think they need some room to breathe but if some of the past reviews are accurate, they could be heavenly.
    As a former Sound Lab owner (A-3s) they are all that...for the time being I make do with Quad 57s driven by a Marantz 8B
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  11. #8
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    I recently heard a pair of Magnepan 1.7i driven by a McIntosh MC303. Holy cow that was awesome. I loved it.
    Joe

    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Job INTegrated, Naim Supernait 2 w/ HiCap-DR.

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    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3, Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos.

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    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  12. #9
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    Martin Logan 13As or 15As. With the right amps and subs (for synergy ML BalancedForce 212s) they are wonderful.
    Sincerely,

    Joe



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  13. #10
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    Re: Whatís your favorite ESL?

    For me, it's been Sound Labs for over 20 years, with a preference for planars going back 55 years. Prior to Sound Labs, I auditioned Martin Logans, Quads and Magnepan. While I am a home based dealer, I consider myself to be more of an enthusiast. I am located in San Francisco, and would welcome a visit from any AS member who would like to hear them.
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