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Fantastic - loved those stacked quads. Four or five pairs - are you going for a Marshall stack ? :)

We have started the debate as to how best to do this (stacked array of 3 to 5 stacks vs 5 to 7 single speakers in an arc but higher off the ground). All solutions proposed so far require a much bigger room...

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Hi Ian, Interesting I have considered getting a second pair just for the hell of it but the pair I can possibly purchase locally have that issue one side down and also much darker sounding then my OTA 57's that also have the OTEC treble panel. Your 'exotic' frame would be just the ticket to get it working for a trial and I might have a go at that and borrow and try them out. I have a 30w Jadis DA50 integrated so that might be a concern also as it may not have enough welly. Had hoped that integration would camouflage the problems and your experience gives me hope but read elsewhere that they needed to be matched.Food for thought. Nice meeting you guys you seem so normal for PFMers!

Cheers Tony

Hi Tony,

As our pair were not that well balanced and seemed to work well for a lot of people, it suggests to me that you can get away without a good match. In any case a normal room is likely to be different from one side to the other and that is likely to have a larger effect on the sound than a difference in the panels.

I mentioned to a few people that were interested that a recording engineer that I know that uses 57s said that you need a very dynamic amp with a lot of power to control the 57s. So as I was interested in trying the nCores in my main system this seemed like a good experiment to try. The Linn LK100 that we were initially using drove one pair fine, but really struggled to drive two pairs. So I would be a bit concerned about the power that you have available to drive two pairs. But I wouldn't not try it because of that.

Good to meet you as well and the many others that we talked to about our project.

Ian

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Hi Tony,

As our pair were not that well balanced and seemed to work well for a lot of people, it suggests to me that you can get away without a good match. In any case a normal room is likely to be different from one side to the other and that is likely to have a larger effect on the sound than a difference in the panels.

I mentioned to a few people that were interested that a recording engineer that I know that uses 57s said that you need a very dynamic amp with a lot of power to control the 57s. So as I was interested in trying the nCores in my main system this seemed like a good experiment to try. The Linn LK100 that we were initially using drove one pair fine, but really struggled to drive two pairs. So I would be a bit concerned about the power that you have available to drive two pairs. But I wouldn't not try it because of that.

Good to meet you as well and the many others that we talked to about our project.

Ian

I wonder what a "dynamic" amplifier actually is? There's no mechanism I know of that would render an amplifier more or less "dynamic" so who knows. As to lot of power, absolutely not! The Quad 57 is very limited in the voltage it can handle without sparking so absolutely does NOT need an amplifier with lots of power. The Quad 303 was about as powerful as the ESLs could stand, even the 405 was too powerful and QUAD provided limiter resistors to be fitted if the amp was to be used with the ESL that limited the power to the same level as the 303.

What the ESLs do need is an amplifier that's stable into a capacitative load, one where the impedance drops to around 1 ohm at extreme HF, where fortunately there's not much musical energy. Nevertheless, the ESL does need a stable amp, not a high power amp.

S.

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I wonder what a "dynamic" amplifier actually is? ...

That'll be one that compensates for the static nature of the electrostatics, I imagine ;-):geek:.

VB

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Serge,

I did investigate further as I was (and still am) of a similar view to you other than what I have added below. He suggested slew rate was very important but as that seems to be fast enough (from all that I have read) in most amps that was probably not what he meant. I suspect that it got lost in translation but in the end I concluded that he might have meant an amp that was operating well within its limits. All 4 panels had electrical clamps on them to protect them so we weren't concerned about arcing the panels through an over voltage from the amps. When we were using the LK100 with one pair of panels we got the amp to shutdown (presumably the clamp came into operation to act as the limiter). Whereas with the nCores we played the music louder and didn't shut down or seem to have any other problems. The nCores are stable down to 1 ohm so this might be another aspect to it.

Basically I don't know, but am keen to continue experimenting to try and understand what is important and possibly explain why.

Ian

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Lots & lots of very valid reasons to not try to go down the 2 day show route.:^

Yeah, the 2 day event is a :pants: Idea. Always leave 'em wanting more...

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I wonder what a "dynamic" amplifier actually is? There's no mechanism I know of that would render an amplifier more or less "dynamic" so who knows. As to lot of power, absolutely not! The Quad 57 is very limited in the voltage it can handle without sparking so absolutely does NOT need an amplifier with lots of power. The Quad 303 was about as powerful as the ESLs could stand, even the 405 was too powerful and QUAD provided limiter resistors to be fitted if the amp was to be used with the ESL that limited the power to the same level as the 303.

It's notionally about 33v peak. So roughly equivalent to 50W into 8R. The clamps only affect the treble panel, because that's the one where arcing is possible. Whether more voltage is viable in the bass is an interesting question.

What is certain, IMO, is that many ELS57 users are using under-powered amps. Possibly quite a lot of clipping going on.

Paul

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It's notionally about 33v peak. So roughly equivalent to 50W into 8R. The clamps only affect the treble panel, because that's the one where arcing is possible. Whether more voltage is viable in the bass is an interesting question.

What is certain, IMO, is that many ELS57 users are using under-powered amps. Possibly quite a lot of clipping going on.

Paul

I've wondered before how much of the "amplifiers all sound different" comes from people comparing amplifiers in clipping. Especially in the case of low(ish) power amps, say under 50 watts let alone under 10 watts, how often are such amplifiers clipping when listened to enthusiastically. With valve amplifiers, clipping is fairly gentle and the sound gets progressively rougher as distortion rises, but doesn't "brick-wall" like SS amps do. Maybe that's why when controlled tests are done, no difference can be heard between SS amps as they're kept out of clipping as part of the controls, whilst enthusiasts at home report differences under uncontrolled conditions which could well include clipping.

:dunno:

S.

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I have a pair of OTA widgets but don't need to use them with my amp. My understanding was these allowed you use the 57's with a 'low powered' solid state and provide protection by smoothing the impedance load? 30W is comfortably enough for me. I generally only get somewhere between 9 and 12 on the volume (12 is half way) I think the Jadis is high gain so maybe I am putting out 15-20w per channel but seems to be plenty left to go higher if required.

Ian/Paul not sure if you had the ncore's cranked up? Also I was under the impression stacking them and wiring in series made them easier for the amp/s to drive? I take it you guys didn't use widgets?

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I don't know much about the OTA widgets. But you cannot increase the sensitivity. Electrostatics are not particularly inefficient in an energy sense, but they do tend to be insensitive, which means lots of volts.

We connected each pair in parallel to a monoblock nCore. I've no idea how hard we were driving them, that's a monitoring project for the future. I did have the idea of getting a blue flashing light for each stack that would be triggered by a 33v peak...

Paul

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I've wondered before how much of the "amplifiers all sound different" comes from people comparing amplifiers in clipping.

I'm sure some of it is a consequence of boundary conditions.

Which is why something like the nCore is so useful. Mostly unlikely to be clipping in sane circumstances and not stupidly expensive.

Paul

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Very belated thanks to everyone again for making it such a succesful show and enjoyable weekend. Top work ladies and gentlemen :^:^:^

Testy

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