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High-End 2024: Quad ESL-2912X

The legendary amplifier set model 33 and 303 will also be relaunched.

written by / 2024-05-16 - 8:00 am
High-End 2024: Quad ESL-2912X

There’s no doubt that there’s something special about the sound of electrostatic speakers. Most people who hear them for the first time are struck by how incredibly neutral, open and transparent they sound. Vocals, strings and pianos always sound amazing on electrostatics, and if the electrostatic panels are large enough, they can also play deep enough bass with authority.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

The Quad ESL-2912, which we tested many years ago and which comes in a new version this year. Now called the Quad ESL-2912X, it’s a 2912 in a new guise with a new power supply, better components, new foil and better suspension. Quad says the upgrades have given the speakers better bass response and dynamics, which bodes well as there’s not much else the originals lack.

The speakers are priced at 17,000 euros for a pair.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

Just before the Quad ESL-2912X is ready for stores, Quad 33 and 303 will be released in new versions. The preamplifier and power amplifier have been out of production for decades, but the retro revival seems to have no end and Quad will no doubt sell a lot of these amplifiers.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

The 303 power amp delivers 55-60 watts per channel, but can be bridged in mono to deliver about twice as much. Like the 33 on the right, it can be connected with balanced cables and the one I looked at seemed very solidly built.

The same can be said for the 33, which also has balanced input and output, with phono stages for both moving coil and moving magnet pickup.

A remote control is also included and each component will cost €1,300 when they hit stores in October this year.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)
Also check out Quad ESL-57

British Quad pioneered the challenging electrostatic principle, and even after more than 60 years, Quad ESL 57 has a cult following.

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