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Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34

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Posted on January 7, 2022 at 15:12:57
mbnx01
Audiophile

Posts: 7815
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004



If you could pick between two amps that were pretty much identical except one had a quad of EL84 and the other a quad of EL-34 which would you pick?

I'm a big fan of the EL84 but I think the EL-34's more power might come in handy.

All comments welcome.





'A lie is halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on'. -Mark Twain

 

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RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 8, 2022 at 11:41:36
mcdonald43
Audiophile

Posts: 209
Joined: November 21, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
January 14, 2010
I've driven my ESL-63's with a pair of EL-34 amps built by a friend and really liked them. I have found that they really like OTL amps however. I'm now using Atma-Sphere MA-1's with them, They sound more like music.
YMMV

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 8, 2022 at 12:35:55
StevieRay
Audiophile

Posts: 349
Location: Virginia
Joined: September 7, 2000
I would say the EL-34 because more power is most of the time better with the ESL-57, especially if they have been rebuilt. The EL-84 are probably sweeter, and might be ok depending on what music you listen to.

There are exceptions such as the Music Reference RM-10, which uses EL-84 but puts out more power than usual.

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 8, 2022 at 17:02:40
6bq5
Audiophile

Posts: 3725
Location: SF Bay
Joined: August 16, 2001
I prefer them with EL-84s
But I also prefer them with a cutoff @ 100Hz...
I have driven them w/ EL-34 - and a quad per channel-
But my EL-84 amp only uses a Pair - and I have been quite happy
Happy Listening

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 9, 2022 at 15:03:33
Cycler2
Audiophile

Posts: 131
Location: Maryland/Metro D.C.
Joined: September 10, 2005
I'll add my $.02. I use an el84 amp a friend built for me for my ESLs and I enjoy it very much. That said, I am convinced that the tube type has less to do with amp sound than the quality of the output transformer and how it matches the Quads. I also have an Audio Research D-51--my first "high end" amplifier--which uses 6550s. I much prefer the el84 amp.

Slightly off topic--I have a Quad 303, which I switch out regularly with the el84 amp and I enjoy it very much. The 303 is worth checking out; you can get one for relatively few $$ and have it refurbished by Amplifier Surgery, as I did. I prefer the 303 to the newer Quad Elite Integrated I picked up on Audio Mart about a year ago.

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 9, 2022 at 20:06:03
airheadair
Audiophile

Posts: 384
Location: California
Joined: October 18, 2010
Cycler wrote:

I'll add my $.02. I use an el84 amp a friend built for me for my ESLs and I enjoy it very much. That said, I am convinced that the tube type has less to do with amp sound than the quality of the output transformer and how it matches the Quads. I also have an Audio Research D-51--my first "high end" amplifier--which uses 6550s. I much prefer the el84 amp.

I'll add my $.01. For some speakers, including I expect the Quads, the best output transformer is no output transformer.

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 9, 2022 at 20:10:26
airheadair
Audiophile

Posts: 384
Location: California
Joined: October 18, 2010
Cycler wrote:

I'll add my $.02. I use an el84 amp a friend built for me for my ESLs and I enjoy it very much. That said, I am convinced that the tube type has less to do with amp sound than the quality of the output transformer and how it matches the Quads. I also have an Audio Research D-51--my first "high end" amplifier--which uses 6550s. I much prefer the el84 amp.


Now I'll add I'll add my $.01. For some speakers, including I expect the Quads, the best output transformer is no output transformer.

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 11, 2022 at 10:43:21
Zombie
Audiophile

Posts: 738
Joined: March 5, 2002
Probably no difference at all. Just get one that looks cool and doesn't cost too much

 

RE: Question for original Quad ESL owners.... EL84 or EL-34, posted on January 12, 2022 at 09:40:16
louie3
Audiophile

Posts: 863
Location: Signal Mountain, TN
Joined: January 14, 2006
I have an RM-10....it has plenty of power in my system, but I cut the ESLs off about 80 hz with an Audio Research EC 21. Right now I am listening to a pair of Consonance M-800 SE EL 34 amps, in triode about the same power as the RM 10...Today I prefer the EL 34 amps, but that could, and probably will change tomorrow lol.

FWIW if your ESLs are rebuilt, mind were done by Electrostatic Solutions, they will be perfectly happy with pretty much anything you throw at them, including solid state.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, almost any good amp sounds pretty damn good on the ESLs. Frankly I doubt I could competently comment on the difference between tube types in my system.

 

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