Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: Vintage speaker for classical that does it all?

I paid $1,800 for my first pair of Quads (ESL-63) and $1,300 for the second pair--those I have presently. I spent about $600-800 on the second pair because, though they were working, I wanted them gone over and some minor problems resolved. I do not consider that excessive. I think maybe the best strategy is to buy a pair cheap ($800 or so) that are in decent cosmetic condition but aren't playing, and have them fully restored--often ca. $2-3K depending on what needs to be done. Anything can break--foam driver surrounds rot, crossovers go out of spec., etc.
Quads are not for arena-rock volumes--they will break, but at reasonable listening levels, I would consider them reliable. One thing I would be cautious about is buying one of the newer Quads (Made in China). I believe there are genuine quality control problems with them, and they are not substantially different from the ESL-63s, so I'd stick with the older ones. Otherwise, I found them pretty reliable. The first pair I had for about eight years. Regrettably I sold them. The present owner is very pleased with them, "magical" he said, and they are still going strong. For example:

I really think PSBs are excellent. If I were looking for a full range dynamic speaker used, at ca. $800 a pair, I would probably buy a pair of Stratus Gold i. Nice looking, smooth, low coloration speakers with robust bass. Paul Barton builds really outstanding-sounding speakers at bargain prices.

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