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In Reply to: RE: A lot has to do with the ESL! posted by Ralph on April 05, 2017 at 12:02:31
One thing I forgot to response to this post, the The Ultimate-1PXF should work well with both premium 100W to 150W solid state amp and high power OTL.
I guess the solid state amp capable much lower output impedance, so output power might not a factor to concern, anything around 100W is fine. A fellow friend has Mark Levinson #20.6 sounds great on his Sound Lab.
ESLs can be quite tricky for solid state!
The reason is they have a high impedance at low frequencies and a low impedance at high frequencies.
Solid state already tends to sound bright; when you combine that with the inability to make power in the bass region, the result is a system that is bright and the amp not making anywhere near the power it should be (and likely not enough bass impact).
This is why a 140 watt OTL can keep up with a 600 watt solid state amp on Sound Labs, and actually play better bass.
Besides the pure impedance issue, I believe that the capacitative nature of the load presented by any ESL poses issues for some solid state designs, particularly those that use a lot of NFB. Many of the older designs become unstable trying to drive what is essentially a giant capacitor. Modern SS amplifiers may be less prone to this type of problem, depending upon the topology and the amount of NFB.
But I don't see the problem for stacked ESL 57 and wired in parallel with solid state amp.
ESL57s in parallel will work with a solid state amp, but with similar results.
The reason is that on most ESLs, the impedance curve varies by about 9-1 or 10-1 from the bass region to the highs.
So a Sound Lab is about 30 ohms in the bass and about 3 ohms at 20KHz.
A Quad ESL57 is about 45 ohms in the bass and about 4 ohms at 20KHz. This makes it tricky for any solid state amp to make bass on the speaker. As a result, what usually happens is that the speaker winds up being a bit too close to the wall behind it as the owner tried to reposition the speaker to get bass. In a way they will have succeeded- but the speaker will have a sort of 'one note' bass as what is really happening is the backwave is reinforcing at one frequency only.
If you put the speakers in parallel you still get that 10-1 thing.
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