Quad ESL (57) Electrostatic Loudspeakers, Full Restoration, Custom Legs
Quad UK was formed following World War II to develop home audio power amplifiers. Their first product, the Quad I, was an instant hit. In the company's storied history, they have rarely made a misstep in design or implementation. In 1957 Quad sought to introduce the first full-range electrostatic panel speaker suitable for home audio use. The ESL "Electro Static Loudspeaker" was later dubbed the ESL 57 to separate it from Quad's later products. The design of this speaker was revolutionary at the time, and despite having been copied by multiple manufacturers for over 7 decades, it is unmatched in terms of sound quality and presentation...Even by Quad's own product line.
Each ESL 57 speaker features three ultra-lightweight membranes or panels, 2 for bass, and 1 for high frequencies. The panels are positioned between two charged plates which react to the audio signal input, vibrating the near mass-less membrane accordingly. The result is almost completely uncolored sound, and a soundstage that can only be described as "holographic." If you want your arm hairs to stand on-end during your listening sessions, these are the speakers for you.
This pair of ESL 57 have been completely restored by the premier Quad expert, Sheldon Stokes. All 6 panels have been rebuilt and re-stretched. Both power supplies and crossovers have been recapped and modified to accommodate today's electrical safety standards. The original Budgie mains plugs have been swapped to a US spec IEC standard. These speakers also come with a 1-year parts and labor warranty from Sheldon Stokes, from the time of purchase.
Finally, we at Holt Hill Audio have designed and tooled a custom set of "spider legs" to enhance the look of these speakers. The elegant sweeping curves not only clean up the aesthetic, they also position the panels for ideal seated listening. These legs have been cut from multi-ply birch plywood. (Custom orders in solid hardwoods are available on request, pricing and availability will vary.)
Demos are available. Shipping is not, however.
$3,299 (plus applicable sales tax)