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quad 11 amps and Quad 22L2 speakers

Sorreltiger

Established Member
Any particular reason why you're going for the 22L2? A number of reviewers have actually preferred the sound of the 21L2, mainly due to preferring the bass quality/balance.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Yes they'll work together, but why would you want such an imbalance? The Quad II valve amplifiers are of a significantly higher performance and price than the Quad 22L2 speakers, and with speakers being the weak point in most systems, what's the point of building a system with such a significant price and performance mismatch?

The obvious speakers to suit the Quad II amps are the Quad ESL-2805 / ESL-2905, or one of their predecessors (ESL-63/988/989).
 

cosmiken

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies.
The comments are really appreciated as I'm a complete novice.

My plan was to spend the bulk of my budget on a good amp then improve the rest of the system as budget allows.
At present I have Quad 11/Quad22, Thorens TD160 with Ortofon 510 cartridge.

I did read that ESLs were the speakers that would be best but I can't afford them and I don't want to risk buying a used pair as they might have to be refurbished.This is why I was thinking of the Quad 22L speakers as I could just stretch to buying these new and I had also read that these were the next best after the ESLs.
It seems that this match is a 'no no' as far as the speakers are concerned.
The trouble is the more I read the more I realise there is to know!
 

steveledzep

Established Member
I'm not familiar with the Quad amplifiers you mention, but have owned Quad 22L2 speakers for the past year (driven by a Musical Fidelity A3.2). I am extremely pleased with them, best speakers I've owned. I've had Mission, Kef and Castle in the past. The bass extension and, most of all, tunefulness of same is wonderful. The sweetness of the treble from a fabric dome tweeter is not harsh like some metal tweeters I've heard. Furthermore, the Quads have a dedicated mid-range driver which makes female vocal so very, very good. Beware though, being rear ported, the Quads are very fussy about positioning. I struggled initially, but settled on about 400mm from the back wall with about a 5 degree toe-in. I've not heard the 21L2's, maybe the reviewers didn't pay as much attention to positioning as I have, and that's why they preferred them.
A friend of mine has Quad Electrostatics (not sure of model, but a vintage pair). He drives them with an old, but perfect, Beard valve amplifier. I couldn't live with them frankly. Extremely sweet sound, particularly the midrange, but limited bass. The imaging sweetspot is millimetre accurate too. Daren't lean across to pick your cup of tea up !!!
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I'm now very confused. Since the 22L2 speakers are current models, I had assumed you were talking current, or at least recent, amplifier models.

The Quad 22 is a vintage (introduced 1958) solid state control unit. I had assumed that the non-existent "Quad 11" amplifier you had mentioned was a typo for the current Quad II series, a reincarnation of the "Quad II" valve amplifier (introduced 1953), Quad 11's being speakers.

My comments were based on this assumption, and accordingly I also assumed a budget. But if you have to "stretch" for a 22L, it's unlikely that you are planning on getting £2,400, 15W Quad II-Classic power amplification, let alone II-forties (40W, £3,800) or II-eighties (80W, £6,000).

So what exactly are you considering?

I suspect that the vintage ESL's steveledzep mentioned are the original ESL-57's (from 1957), since the issues he mentioned are resolved in the successor models (the ESL-63's I have, onwards).

A pair of ESL-2905's driven by a pair of II-forties may well classify as the best-sounding combination I've ever auditioned, and is definitely the cheapest option at this level of stereo performance. I now rather suspect that this isn't actually what your budget permits.
 
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cosmiken

Standard Member
Sorry for being ambiguous.In a nutshell -
I have 2 x original Quad II power amplifiers, 1 x Quad 22 stereo control unit.
I am trying to acertain the best speakers for a budget between £800/900.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Sorry for being ambiguous.In a nutshell -
I have 2 x original Quad II power amplifiers, 1 x Quad 22 stereo control unit.
I am trying to acertain the best speakers for a budget between £800/900.
The original Quad II is 15W, although you'll likely get a bit extra if in good condition (including replaced capacitors).

The 22L2 can take 150W continuous, with recommended amplification of 50W-200W and a sensitivity of 89dB ([email protected]).

The "mismatch" will only be an issue if you like to listen loud or need to fill a large room with sound.

I doubt you'll find a recently refurbished ESL-63 at £800-£900, given that new panels cost £240 each (Quad Huntingdon factory) and you need 8, but you might want to search anyway. There are also third party refurbishers who rebuild panels, which works out cheaper than new panels, and whilst I wouldn't use them, there are other ESL-63 owners who are very happy with the result. Classique Sounds list a refurbished ESL-63 (rebuilt panels) with 12 month warranty at £1699.
 

jobseeker

Established Member
The source, always upgrade the source before considering the amp and speakers......

I've heard that said so many times but, for me, loudspeakers have always been the single most significant contribution to the 'sound'. I know that crap is crap and that a good 'speaker can't make up for a bad source but, in my view, you have to get that speaker / room interface right more than anything else.
 

cosmiken

Standard Member
I received this advice from an online audio store;

''Yes, the 89db 22L2’s will work with the 12w Quad II’s – that said you may well run out of ‘controlled’ volume at higher volume levels, so you may wish to consider a more suitable speaker to give your Quad’s a margin of additional dynamic headroom which would most certainly get the best from them.

We have yet to find a better speaker than the Klipsch RF-82 II’s - the perfect partner to the Quad II’s – sensational air and space, with exceptional levels of rhythm and timing – quite delicious.''

Seems to be along the lines as Mark.Yudkin last posted.


I decided to buy some used ESL 63s as most of the advice I have read keeps advocating these.
If all goes well I'll upgrade the turntable otherwise save for a refurbish by Quad!
 

pocketsleo

Established Member
Hi Cosmiken, Do you mind if i ask what size room you are using with your intended esl's, because my room which is 5m x 4m is too small, apparently. I have read that you need at least 1.5m BEHIND the Quads and the wall.
 

cosmiken

Standard Member
Hi Pocketsleo, the room I want to set them up in is a bit of an odd shape with 5 walls but its not much bigger than yours (5m by 5m on longest walls).
I must admit I had my doubts when they were delivered as they are physically bigger than I expected, might have to change rooms. I have not set them up yet as I don't have a cartridge for the turntable.
As soon as I do I'll post.

I notice on utube some have got them setup in small rooms.
I'm at the stage now where I have 'info overload' so I'm
going to plunge into trail and error and keep fingers crossed.
 

pocketsleo

Established Member
Hi Pocketsleo, the room I want to set them up in is a bit of an odd shape with 5 walls but its not much bigger than yours (5m by 5m on longest walls).
I must admit I had my doubts when they were delivered as they are physically bigger than I expected, might have to change rooms. I have not set them up yet as I don't have a cartridge for the turntable.
As soon as I do I'll post.

I notice on utube some have got them setup in small rooms.
I'm at the stage now where I have 'info overload' so I'm
going to plunge into trail and error and keep fingers crossed.
There is so much controversy regarding room size/positioning of Quad esl's, i have read so many different reviews, and anything from '2 '3 1m 1.5m is suggested as the required space behind the Quads, but as with most things i think it's a case of suck it and see. You have a decent sized room so you might be ok,if not you always have the option of room correction. I have read of people using 989's in rooms as small as '12 x '10, so a lot could be down to room acoustics, or just bloody lucky!
 

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