Author Topic: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home  (Read 1306 times)

Offline BJ

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,668
Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« on: June 14, 2018, 10:06:37 AM »
Quad ESL 2805 for sale.

Prestine condition. Unfortunately no boxes.
Complete with all manuals and feet.
Price R30K incl ONCO

Shipping for buyers account, but would prefer collection/delivery



Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline BJ

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,668
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 04:38:32 PM »
Where are the Quad lovers??

Guys this will be in jhb for another week before I ship them to CT. Don't miss out on this opportunity....
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline BJ

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,668
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 10:08:52 AM »
On hold
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline chrisc

  • Trade Count: (+118)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,752
  • Cape Town Hi-Fi Club - get better sound
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 08:44:53 PM »
Are these sold?
Even duct tape can’t fix stupid… but it can muffle the sound

Offline BJ

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,668
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 04:25:44 PM »
Are these sold?

Hi Guys

I finally got to picked this up from client who upgraded.

Took it to the formite who was 1st in line.

Speakers in great physical condition but from switch on....there where a faint pop/arcing noise coming from the one panel.

We left it to play for a few days.....Incase it was the charging after startup, that had to settle (???) Red some interesting comments about the Quads.....

Anyhow, the problem remains.....and I suspect a faulty panel.

So I have two choices.......have them repaired(any quad fundies out there with experience on repairs??) and put them back on the market, or just sell them on as Voetstoots, with new owner going through the trouble to sort out.

Frustrating thing is, they really sounded great in the Formite’s  room :walled:

Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline BJ

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,668
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 04:30:04 PM »
Someone made a very interesting statement......that the Quads were more problematic up North with High Altitude and Winters, and that using them down by the coast might solve the arcing problem?

Any comments.....
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline chrisc

  • Trade Count: (+118)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,752
  • Cape Town Hi-Fi Club - get better sound
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 04:56:06 PM »
Not having lived in Jhb I could not venture an opinion. 

However, without any exception, everybody I know who has owned electrostatic speakers, whether Quad, Beveridge, Martin Logan, Jantzen, KLH (some time ago) has had problems one way or the other.  Friend had a pair of Martin Logans for about 18 years and discovered one was becoming softer than the other

The other problem is the fiddly repair method, tensioning the mylar and getting it just right

The most successful in terms of longevity is a friend in Mowbray who has both ESL-57 and ESL-63.  He has had these for going on 25 and 15 years respectively.  The ESL-57s (the old bronze ones that tilt back) are still fine and he uses them with a sub-woofer.  But both the ESL-63s are far from perfect. One makes "farting" noises, the other tends to "creak" even when disconnected from the amp.  This is apparently the arcing you mention.

I am of the opinion that improvements in materials science will overcome the seemingly inherent unreliability.  Whether this can be applied to Quad ELS remains to be seen

However, the first time you listen to electrostatic speakers, you are blown away by their sheer accuracy and effortless reproduction.  If only they could be manufactured to be as reliable as conventional speakers
Even duct tape can’t fix stupid… but it can muffle the sound

Offline Drifter

  • Trade Count: (+20)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,276
  • otherside of the Boerewors Gordyn ...
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2018, 05:43:17 PM »
Having owned the predecessor of the 2805, the 988 I have sworn that I will never buy another electrostatic speaker as long as I live. If it is not the mylar panels arching or totally packing up it is the plastic dust covers starting to vibrate. I spent hours with a hairdryer drying to get the tension right and not have the plastic vibrate.
I know there are keen panel technicians here on the forum who has the skill to keep them in good shape.
Problem is, if you want a "plug and play" speaker that will serve you well for a long time, the Quads just are not it. Every time I switched mine on they seem to have developed another ache and this was whilst Audiosure where still the agents and spares and knowledge (in Pieter Preller) were still readily available.
The times I managed to get them working, the speaker protection circuit used to kick in every time at the crescendo of "you raise me up", even at moderate levels  :giggle:. I just could not stand it any longer, got rid of them and bought a set of B&W805's at the time which gave 80% of the clarity but at 100% reliability.

Offline fdlsys

  • Vinylist
  • Trader
  • Trade Count: (+86)
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,072
  • Do you like life, sweetheart?
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 08:07:10 PM »
...However, without any exception, everybody I know who has owned electrostatic speakers, whether Quad, Beveridge, Martin Logan, Jantzen, KLH (some time ago) has had problems one way or the other.  Friend had a pair of Martin Logans for about 18 years and discovered one was becoming softer than the other
...
Whoa, Nelly. The only reason why people think ESLs are unreliable is because the only notoriously unreliable ESLs - Quads (from 63 onward) - were sold a wagon-load at the time, certainly many times more than any other brand and quite possibly more than all other brands combined.

Martin Logan - only the early models, let's say till the end of 80s, were known to sometimes develop film coating degradation because ML didn't copy the coating formula nor the application process well. They re-applied their minds to the problem and fixed it decades ago.
Also, some owners were known to wash (spray, bath, you name it...) their ML ESLs because they picked-up some Net "wisdom" about Acoustat owners doing it successfully. Well yes, Acoustat, not every other ESL that could have had differently formulated coating, hello!?

Acoustat - every single model ever made will outlive the owner. Period.

SoundLab - perhaps a tiny bit more fragile than Acoustat, but certainly not as as design feature, more likely because of the owners, handling, too much power, too much film bias (yes, they had the user-adjustable bias so guess where most problem came from...)

Beveridge - well, they always were a cutting edge (actually a bleeding edge) design, what do you expect? Best sounding ESLs of all time simply had to give somewhere. And again, not AT ALL because it was by-design, but because they were physically fragile which required full compliance from the owner to treat them as the manual says. Doubt that they always had that...

Quad... well yes, finally, there are the proverbial "unreliable" ESLs. Zillions sold, thousands had problems.
Majority of problems lies somewhere between poor quality control, design and material choices and owners treating them as any other speakers. Well, they were not. They require quite a bit higher level or air humidity due to type of coating they used, else the coating becomes less conductive (more resistive) in dry climate. Which results in slower (re)charging of the membrane to which owners usually react by pushing the volume up. This coating was also responsible for a possibility of hot-zones on the panel. Put that together with rather flimsy designed and built panels and the lack of current limiting in the charging circuit and you get ... arcing; passing enough current to burn a hole in the film. Damage done. And that's just one of the typical Quad "features".
Make no mistake - even so, they are ALL repairable and upgradeable. Correct film can still be sourced, better than original coating (not dependant on high humidity) is available, charging and HV signal circuit can be upgraded. Which is exactly what Quad did with their latest ESL iteration - the 2812 and 2912.
See what they sell for and google for any unreliability reports... https://www.stereophile.com/content/quad-esl-2912-loudspeaker
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline chrisc

  • Trade Count: (+118)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,752
  • Cape Town Hi-Fi Club - get better sound
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2018, 09:09:24 AM »
The above gent is exceptionally talented in being able to repair faults and upgrade whatever might be wrong with electrostat speakers.  I was only comparing my experience of friends who have had various types of ESL speakers.  And one, who has an untouched pair of ESL-57s, is totally happy with his set

But who reads the manual, and who understands it?  A cop-out I know saying people don't read manuals.  Some do.  The folks I know who owned ESL speakers were mainly professional people, a medical professor, a couple of lawyers and one owned a dry-cleaners.  Most of them useless in translating technical info into useful knowledge.  The lawyer fellow had connected his ESLs out of phase and remarked at the "ethereal" sound, until I looked at the connections and figured where he had gone wrong

None of the above played rock music or even loud jazz.  But they liked orchestral music and now and then, a huge biff on a tympani would have shaken off any dust on the covers and imparted who knows what damage to the panels

A flimsy panel on a speaker costing nearly R90k?  To me that equates to exceptionally poor value for money

Nevertheless I would still like to experience a set of ESLs in my system and promise on bended knee not to treat them unkindly
Even duct tape can’t fix stupid… but it can muffle the sound

Offline fdlsys

  • Vinylist
  • Trader
  • Trade Count: (+86)
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,072
  • Do you like life, sweetheart?
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2018, 01:21:30 PM »
A flimsy panel on a speaker costing nearly R90k?  To me that equates to exceptionally poor value for money
Which is why Audiosure sold off the remaining brand new stock at the time to dealers at comical prices and stopped importing them.
At the time, everybody already found out about the fragility of the first generation of 2805s and 2905s inherent to some electronic design faults and what seemed a poor manufacturing process so no-one would touch them. AFAIK, later improved models of the same model generation never landed on these shores.
There are MANY of them in the rest of the world performing without any problems.
So, just the unfortunate quirk of the early production and our typical situation being the butt-of-the-world with (sketchy) import and (lack of) support for expensive equipment.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline Francois

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+36)
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,168
    • Audio Exchange
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2018, 01:41:16 PM »
I concur with everything fdlsys said.

I have FOUR sets of Quad 2905's at my house. ranging from fcked to totally fcked. Why the language ? Because its poor design and materials.

1. I took out ALL the panels, opened them up. of the 52 (I had NEW spares too), 18 had stretch marks and tears in the corners. Too much tension with 90 degree panel. A simple soft curve might have worked better
2. More than 75% the GLUE failed!! FFS. Thak makes the two panels move closer to the mylar and then arching, or limiting volume. Its the bigges crap glue I have seen. Must be UV
3. More than 80% have small little mountains. a small dot on mylar starting to grow bigger. with a tad of "dust" in the middle.

I contacted Quad - for spares. that is now IAG

They said IF I take stock of about R300k they wil help me with the NEW glue, mylar and resistive coating. I declined.

Now with THAT out of the way.....

@BJ, if you can re-glue this and fix it, this is a R100k+ speaker. Well worth the money. It IS one of the best speakers out there!! You just cannot get this sound from a cone or horn.
@fdlsys, I found a guy in UK that repairs these in quantities and will sell the coating and mylar. Glue too. He is probably the larges of the ESL repair people out there.

Dont hink buying "unused" panels from local guys help. All 4 I bought arched happily the moment I put them in. The glue lets go 1st and you are back to square one.

Repairing in UK is about $200 per panel. The shipping will be more than $200/panel...so its financially a stressbal. Dis/Assembling the Quad is easy but time consuming. Replacing panels too. And the little shocks sometimes keep you wide awake  :giggle:

I plan to order a bunch of parts and ask my friend Valvaglo or Etko if they want to build panels. We have our own repair shop.
I was born analog, not digit by digit....

Offline Drifter

  • Trade Count: (+20)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,276
  • otherside of the Boerewors Gordyn ...
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 01:47:26 PM »
Nevertheless I would still like to experience a set of ESLs in my system and promise on bended knee not to treat them unkindly

The reason why I became strangled in the hifi illness is due to Quad. During a school holiday in Cape Town with my folks I walked into AudioVision in Tygervalley shopping centre (must have been around 1992/93) and was treated to a demo of a full Quad system (incl ESL63's). They are absolutely magical. The later 2809 are more impressive at first experience due to the increase in bass panels. A totally different sound to normal box type speakers.

There are step by step instructions here http://www.quadesl.org which I downloaded, bought Mylar panels, dust covers etc. Unfortunately I'm useless as electronic repairs and this is not a beginner endeavour.

Fantastic speakers, but not an everyday "play, enjoy and forget" ones.

By the way, this is Pieter who used to be the ESL guru at Audiosure.
https://za.linkedin.com/in/pieter-preller-843b9427
I contacted him a few years after he left Audiosure and at that time he was willing to work on my set. As I had no boxes and had to get shipping creates built, it was cheaper to fly Pieter down for a few days than to crate them up and send the speakers up the Gauteng. It was then that I decided to sell the bloody things.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 01:56:36 PM by Drifter »

Offline BJ

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,668
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2018, 05:59:04 PM »
Mods plse close. Ta
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline Family_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+26)
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,426
  • STEEL & GLASS - Everlasting Beauty!
    • Repcom 2-way Radios
Re: Quad ESL 2805's looking for a new home
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2018, 06:14:08 PM »
Ben, please see if you can close it yourself, we are trying to implement this feature for Traders & Commercial Members. If you are unable to do so, I'll close it for you but I suspect you should be able to do so from now.


-F_D



-Eric

That Guy in South Africa...
*************************************
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vintage_tube/
*************************************