Quad ESL

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The first time I experienced remarkable clarity of sound was through an electrostat, the Quad ESL. That experience was a revelation to me.

Before hearing the Quad loudspeaker pair, I had only listened to music through the fog of high-mass drivers. Music played through the low-mass of the electrostatic panel was so clear it was as if I had opened a window to let the sound through.

Here’s an advertising picture from the late 1950s I just love. Single speaker, mono setup—and the guy’s pipe. Love the pipe.

Quad ESL-57 advertisement loudspeaker

If memory serves correctly my first listen was around 1974. It was an experience that has stayed with me all these years.

It didn’t take me long to understand the Quad’s limitations, including an utter lack of dynamics or bass—but the openness! The clearing of the sonic fog!

It is a memory I shall long treasure.