Quad ESL-2912 (Metallic Black)
Electrostatic Technology, Stunning Point Source Speaker
The Best Late Night Speakers, Massive Sound Stage
Larger Version With Deeper Bass & Better Dynamics For Bigger Rooms
The ESL-2912 is the larger model in the Quad Electrostatic range. It employs six electrostatic panels and has the scale and transparency to make your music sound so realistic you’ll think your favourite performers are actually in your home. Captivating!
The Quad ESL was the world’s first full range, ultra low distortion electrostatic loudspeaker and set standards for accuracy and fidelity in loudspeakers that remains unsurpassed to this day. A labour of love for QUAD founder Peter Walker, the ESL-57, as it later came to be known, is still revered by audiophiles all over the world.
The ESL-57 was also recently voted into Stuff Magazines chart of “The Top 100 Best Gadgets Ever”, being the best gadget for 1957.
The ESL-57 was the complete embodiment of Quad’s company ethos “The Closest Approach To The Original Sound”. The current range of Quad Electrostatics continue that tradition and produce such high quality sound that they blur the distinction between the sound of recordings and the sound of listening to real performers in your home.
The reason why a Quad ESL is able to reproduce music so accurately is simply because the only moving part of the Quad ESL, the electrostatic diaphragm, is a thin layer of stretched Mylar. Mylar looks like cling wrap and is ten times thinner than a human hair and so light that it approaches the mass of the air to which it is coupled. As a result there is no inertia inherent in the moving parts of the Quad ESL and the diaphragm is able to respond to musical detail and transients with unparalleled precision.
The ESL-2912 employs six electrostatic panels, two more than the smaller ESL-2812. The four centre panels utilise concentric anode rings, originally invented by Peter Walker for the original ESL-63’s, which ingeniously create a virtual point source for the best imaging possible. The extra two panels are at the top and bottom of the speaker and have the sole job of producing deeper and more dynamic bass. This means the ESL-2912 will fill a larger room with warm enveloping sound than the smaller ESL-2812
The Quad ESL is one of the few speakers that can reproduce a 1kHz square wave precisely and cleanly which is incredibly hard to do. To achieve this astonishing feat the Quad ESL uses a system of highly charged stator elements on either side of the diaphragm which is coupled to a power supply that produces the necessary 5kV of EHT (Extra High Tension) charge that controls the diaphragm. The way this extremely high voltage charge is produced and consistently maintained at the diaphragm to stator interface is the key to the low distortion of the ESL.
Attention To Detail
Attention is paid to the power supply section, especially the stators. Each stator consists of a layer of copper on a thin, insulating backing, which is punched with a pattern of holes to make it transparent to sound. The copper is etched to provide a conductive pattern which is necessary to re-create the point source attributes of the Quad ESL. After etching, the copper needs to be insulated from the diaphragm, which will be in close proximity to it.
In the 2812 and 2912, the insulation is created by a triple coating utilizing a specific spraying technique that is perfected to avoid degradation of the EHT charge under high dynamic conditions, where the diaphragm comes into close contact with the stator. These latest versions of the Quad ESL can thus play louder and handle more power than previous models.
Quad's engineers have evaluated the power supply for the EHT voltage. Creepage, the possibility of charge flowing across the PCB between components, was eliminated by a new PCB layout which ensured optimum insulation and distance between contacts and a symmetrical layout for the components. This new layout also provides a means to attain superior cable dressing which also reduces the effects of creepage, particularly in high humidity environments.
Component changes have also been introduced, including such audiophile components as Vishay resistors and Murata capacitors. Although not in the signal path as such, these components have a direct effect on the consistency of the EHT supply and signal purity is created in the reproduction of music as a result.
Finally, to match the improved dynamics of the ESL elements, the mechanical aspects of the speakers have been enhanced. A new net cloth has been chosen to cover the elements which allows superior audio transparency as well as improving the appearance of the speakers. The underlying grille support has revised strengthening ribs to reduce the possibility of resonance as well as to ensure the grille cloth remains under tension without stretch marks.
To distinguish the 2812 and 2912 from their predecessors, there are cosmetic changes too. These changes improve the look of the speakers in domestic surroundings. As well as the new grille cloth, there are matching piano lacquered veneered panels on the top of the speakers and the sides of the base formed from high density plywood to further damp frame resonances. The shielding cover on the base is embossed with the Quad logo and all typography is now gold lacquer paint.
Main Features & Specifications
- Format - Floor Standing Dipole with 3 degree Fixed Tilt
- Type - Multiple Electrostatic Drive Membranes
- Time Delay - Progressive Concentric Rings
- Chassis Structure - Heavy Duty Composite Aluminium Steel
- Panel Elements - 6
- Maximum Output - 2 N/m² at 2m On Axis
- Sensitivity - 1.5mbar Per Volt Referred To 1m (86 dB / 2.83V RMS Equivalent)
- Impedance Variation - 4-20 Ohms
- Maximum Input Continuous Input Voltage(RMS)- 10V
- Programmed Peak For Undistorted Output - 40V
- Permitted Peak Input - 55V
- Frequency Response - 32Hz - 21kHz (-6dB); 28Hz - 21kHz (useable)
- Distortion (100dB at 1m) - Above 1000Hz 0.15%; Above 100Hz 0.5%; Above 50Hz 1.0%
- Power Consumption - 6W
- Dimensions (W x H x D) – 690 x 1470 x 380mm
- Weight - 44kg
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 5 Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE.