First Hi-Fi System:
For some years I have operated a pair of LEAK TL12 plus valve amprifiers and a pair of LEAK Pont One Mono pre-amps through a pair of Bowers & Wilkins B&W DM620i speakers.
Second Hi-Fi System:
QUAD II AMPLIFIERS:
The old LEAKs were starting to get a bit noisy as capacitors in the pre-amps were beginning to fail. I was about to get some replacements when I discovered a pair of QUAD II amps that were about to be sent to the local tip complete with a pair of boxed QUAD ESL57 Electrostatic Loudspeakers. Fortunately I was able to rescue them and without knowing if they were still in working order. This was a long shot as they had spend some years in a neighbours garage. I took them home and hooked them up for a very nervous trial run with the B&W speakers.
They worked beautifully.
I later tested the QUAD Electrostatics with their QUAD Amps and was blown away by the beauty of their sound compared with the B&W DM620i speakers.
I have put my LEAK's and B&W speakers into storage and now enjoy the lovely sound from the full QUAD system.
The QUAD ESL57's have a lower output than the B&W's but I never suffer from the heavy bass or hard metallic treble from the more modern speakers.
The electrostatics are a delight to listen to. I close my eyes and the music seems to be realy in the room rather than pumping out of a pair of boxes.
I have some tracks with deep Double Bass and Bass Guitar notes that are fine through the ESL's. On one CD I've put a warning not to start Track 1 on full volume as it has a thunder clap and may blow the ESL's, so I treat them with care as they must be around 50 years old.
Recently I was given a demonstration of modern £7k QUAD elctrostatic speakers at Ashby Audio (Ashby de la Zouch) and found the new versions to be wonderful with more power and nothing like as directional as the original ESL57's. They were even better my my old ones as you would expect. I also had a demonstration of some very expensive equipment (over £30k) but found the sound less natural and it seemed to come from a pair of huge and expensive 'boxes'. I bought a copy of the demo CD to try beck home and was absolutely delighted with the results on my antique QUAD system that has so far only cost £20 for a pair of phono socket/Hughes socket connectors (and a new flat screen wall mounted TV).
The only problem is their size. At around 1m long I had to get rid of the old Panasonic Quintrix 32" TV and get a Samsung 42" LDC flat screen wall-mounted job just to be able to fit the QUAD ESL47's in the room. I'm very pleased I was forced into this purchase as it has proved to be a great TV.
ELITE CRANFIELD GRAMOPHONE MODEL 2
(TOWNSHEND) ELITE ROCK Turntable
An amazing piece of engineering designed by Max Townshend and Cranfield Institute of Technology. The unique feature is the vibration damping trough that contains viscous silicone fluid to absorb harmonic vibrations in the arm and pickup head shell. This results in a cleaner conversion of the mechanical sound recording into a cleaner and clearer electrical signal to be amplified.
This is the old Elite model, but new ones are available today as the Townshend Rock 7.