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Quad ESLs-2912


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Well, you can either go valved, classical A or A/B, or one of the stunning new generation of class D.

It's heresy, but I'd go class D. Hypex N-core has the real lead in this, and an increasing number of high end manufacturers are using them (Bel Canto, ATI, Nord etc). Distortions 0.0002% (2 parts per million), frequency, power and load independent. https://www.diyclassd.com/audio-amplifiers/ NC400 is the unit.

580W into 2 ohm, 400W into 4 ohm and 200W into 8 ohms. And it will drive down to 1 ohm, quite important for the balky load that ES speakers can present. Output impedance 0.6 milliohm. Discrete balanced input (can be configured for single ended). 125dB S/N - it goes on and on.

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Though i'm pretty happy with Anaview class-D amps paired with compression drivers in my current setup, i still recall with horror how bad the old icepower Rotel amps sounded driving ESL63's so try before buying ;)  (the new quads are basically improved esl63's as far as i understand)

The best amp i ever tried with the esl63 were an old  200w class A/B sumo andromeda, so my bet would be something powerful but neutral sounding.

when i tried tubes on them it always sounded to soft and polite.

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Nothing to stop you driving from Class A. Lowest distortion configuration because no crossover non-linearities. I had a Krell KSA100mk2 for many years, which sounded great, gave a hernia to lift it, and it blew up twice to the extent that flames were imminent. It burned clean through the board at one stage when 2nd breakdown killed the power transistors, which killed the drivers and the emitter loads for the drivers burnt through the board. Great fun, but I tend to like non-exciting technologies now; um like the STM-T2 clone :blink:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'd go find something seriously low distortion, and class A is probably a decent bet in this case because you don't need that many watts given the speakers' ultimate dynamic limitations anyway. I'd also say that you should take a close look at the distortion graph because you're going to be doing most of your listening at the lower end of the output range where distortion is often relatively higher (something that perennially irks a lower-volume listener such as myself)

I have to say it's quite a testament to PW's original design just how little the newer models improve on the original. Oh, the improvement is clearly there - if PW could have manufactured the originals with the same methods and techniques as the current ones I'm sure he would, but really structural changes are the big difference.

You aren't in a high-humidity area by any chance are you?

(why is this in HT?)

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