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Reiner E. Römer

Oberhausen, Germany

Fn: +49 208 6351070

  Fx: +49 208 6351071

 
ESL                   R.A.E,. Römer Audio Equipment- Logo
 
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DIY Quad ESL-57
 
 
!Original Coating!
! Looks uneven ! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Corrosion, leakage
 
 
Our high voltage 
modifications:
screw connectors
 
Available in our 
"Mods Package" 
together
with new HV wiring



20kV HVcable in ESL57


and insulation lacquer

5kV/µ corona lacquer
for HV connections
 
20kV HV bias wire


reromanus mods,
The ultimate way to QUAD ESL57 perfection.
It is worth the effort.

QMHT57 on stretching jig

Get back your Hörfreude
Let your QUAD ESL speakers sing again

 

QUAD ESL 57 repair, servicing  and upgrading , finishing and refining ....

 

        we master these matters ........

 

........up to matched conditions serial repair!

 

We keep your gems alive

!Simply solder off the defective panels and send them in !

We also offer a special exchange service for defective panels.


We send you new panels in advance and later you send the defective ones back to us.

 

Quad quad stretching

 

Testimonial 01.2016 from Denmark

Dear Reiner.

The loudspeakers did not come back to Copenhagen in time for listening to my Elvis Christmas Album.

Considered how well these bandits play now,I will survive that.
You have done a marvelous job!
I have always liked the sound of the speakers,but now they are beyond explanation.

Just wanted to say thank you!

 

 

Should your precious Quads possibly be refurbished? 

All Quad ESLs should be checked and renewed/refurbished  regularly in order to avoid common failures. The sound is becoming duller and duller. Sparking and hissing  occurs.   But doing so regularly in a ten years interval will result in a crystal clear like new Quad sound quality.

We also recommend to upgrade some special weak points in the Quad electronic features of the crossover, which very clearly improve all sound aspects of the ESL-57 speakers. See more information at the end of this page.

Quad57 bass panel stretching

 

Watch out!!

!Actual offers FOR SALE!

We always have a couple pairs of ESL57 for sale, fully refurbished with new cabling and all other modern new materials like glue, coating and diaphragm/dust-cover foil, as well as modern  EHT unit.

Like this one below for example, right after refurbishment. All complete speakers come with a seven (7) years warranty. Please ask for availability and price by mail.

 

These "non-plus.ultra" ones are from 1983 with serials 47xxx, delivered to Japan

The Knots of that Refurbish/Repair Thing

QUAD ESL Mechanical Stretching, the First Key to Perfection

  Below you see a well done repair by a pro company, although again  with un-sufficient stretching. The mechanical diaphragm tension shows only half the value (left) than the original panel (right, black coating).

 

 


 That will result in  too low a resonance frequency. In this case the resonance frequency is half as low as it should be. The sound becomes  duller, less crispy and more distorted. And - the danger of newly destroyed foils becomes more likely.

 But actually most important is the danger of  flapping and finally a "gluing" diaphragm during charging process . On the other hand, the sometimes recommended 2kg per strip tension is way too high. That will end up in too high a resonance frequency, resulting in too high a resonance frequency, and - by not fitting the passive input filter's parameters - in a boomy/hollow  bass sound reproduction.

 

Electro-acoustical aspects of  a correct tension

  Having had in hand several hundreds of Quad ESL panels/elements, I  always measured the same resonance frequency at +/- 0 Hertz and thus the same mechanical tension at +/- 1 g/sq.  To me, it is still a wonder, how that could be done at a  real serial production, and, most important of all, keeping the same parameters after decades.

  But it is easily to understand, that this was the most important factor of the mechanical acoustical design of the Quads63, because one has to keep in mind, that there is a passive input filter in the electronic sector, exactly fitted to the mechanical parameters. So now everyone understands, how important it is, to realize the exact resonance frequency, when re-foiling the panels.     

  Not hitting the exact resonance frequency would stringently mean having to change the values of the passive input filter ( R and C) to the appropriate new values. Not doing so - correct mechanical tension AND/OR attenuating the input filter - will result in a very  "unQuad" sound, and, even more dangerous,  very likely in a  self-destroying electro-mechanical swinging system, awaiting new repair very soon.

 So this simple tension question seems to be the key to everything and you got it .... but not really,  because the very most important is coming soon - in the next chapter (coating).

 

 

Easy but effective way for DIYers - not having a special gauge -  to adjust the diaphragms' tension.

  

INFO: You can also realize the correct mechanical tension of a single ESL63 panel by simply measuring its acoustical resonance frequency by using  your PC's audio card even with a very primitive microphone of any kind. Simply bat the foil with a pencil or  the finger tips and you will see something like the picture below.

The side bands shown in this photo show also that there are multiple resonances (left one diagonal resonance, right one vertical resonance, mid one overall resonance), caused by the panels rectangular geometry. But most important of all is hitting  the overall main resonance correctly. 

 

Practical Aspects of Mechanical Foil Stretching

 An other aspect is the pre-stretching of the foil with a heat gun before doing  the final mechanical stretching of the foil to the frames. We do that with all ESL speakers including Quad-57 and Quads-63. This is an additional working step, but is worth the results. Heat-gunning after the mechanical stretching and gluing process will result in massive loss of the desired tension because of the warming of the adhesive and molecular changes in the physical overall behaviour of the foil under extreme  tension stress, (unless you calculated that factor correctly  into the prior mechanical tension, depending on what kind of adhesive and foil type your are using).

 

 Next simple aspects defining the ultimate fine art of ESL refurbishing would be:

a.) doing the stretching work generally only under certain favorable atmospheric conditions (humidity/temperature), and

b.)  stretching as many panels as possible under the same atmospheric conditions. We do that as often as possible with a little "serial production" jig, where up to 4 panels can be stretched and glued at a time. And

c.) Stretching as many panels as possible under one single tension process.

 Both aspects will result in nearly identically stretched Quad63  panels. That same procedure is used with Quad ESL57s as well.

 

Quad ESL-57 Coating Technique,

The Golden Key to Perfection

 

 The Quad ESL 57 has a  single nylon layer of at least 8µ to 10µ as conductive coating. That brings up the question of the appropriate film with modern ultra thin coating liquids like e.g. the reromanus VLC liquids for refurbishing a defective panel. That means, it could be allowed to use thicker foils at least for the ESL63.

 

And  further more the Quad ESL57 has a bass panel multi-layer dust cover film (the grey painted ones) of at least 15µ to 20µ (probably a silicon layer) . The purpose of that much of a  thickness is not very easily to understand. Perhaps a passive radiator system, or an additional acoustical low pass filter, or both ?

 

After all,  minimizing moving mass was not the main concern of Peter Walker on the ESL57s, instead minimum leakage  was the main target. Interesting enough that later he switched to the opposite strategy with the ESL63s. 

All photos Copyright, Shackman.de,  Reiner  E. Römer

 

!!Simply solder the defective panels off your gems and send them in!!

 

 

 

Quad ESL57/63 Surface Resistivity

Below you see the ideal value of surface resistivity of a well coated diaphragm, measured with a calibrated DR.THIEDIG  Milli-TO 2 with standardized VERMASON high resistance concentric ring electrode probe at V_M =1000V. The resistivity is lower as one would possibly assume. Test showed a slightly better behavior of the Quads 57 by using a slightly lower resistivity (1 to 1,5 power) than the originally applied conductivity.

The surface resistance of all panels should have very equal values. Otherwise you would get uneven sound  pressure levels (SPL) from one panel relative to the other, which again would result in an unbalanced frequency response.

 See above: Professional and scientific ring probe for standardized measuring of absolute surface resistivities "in vivo", The weight of the probe and the elasticity of the inner probe's ring's spring are normalized. This tool helps to give  a repeatably reliant result "per square"   See above.

 See below: For even more precise measurements of coatings "in vitro" and developing our coating knowledge, we use the Keithley ring probe adapter and Keithley 610 C Pico-Ampere electrometer combined with a 1 volt precise 5kV tube driven Philips/Fluke voltage source. See below.

Measuring the "real" surface resistivity of the original Quad ESL diaphragm. That is not "about" the resistance,  that procedure really will show the exact  "as is" value.

 

 

Quad ESL-57 Modifications

There are many tales about upgrading and mods of  the Quads - including a  ! thicker! power line. We do not follow most of these activities ending up in ridiculous mods. But at least some modifications/improvements should be done while restoring an ESL57.

1.)  Modifying the electronics

A) The High-Voltage Power supply?

 

ESL57 EHT unit modern reromanus version

 

ESL57 EHt unit

This new circuit board development includes constant charge elements and short cut protection.

 

B.) The Filter of the Stepup treanformer

ESL57 transformer dismantled

Replacing resistors and capacitors n the output filter of the step-up transformer from standard type to wireless special high voltage types.

Nowadays, Mr.Walker surely would have used this items as well. But at that time these capacitors were not available and/or too large and expensive. They fit the correct size/price  for that kind of modification only since a couple of years.

  

  2.)  Modify the High-Voltage cabling?

  A.) Better High Voltage connections and insulation?

ESL57 cabling

Direct throughput of the 6kV cable without soldering post. Extra high insulation of the soldering posts for ant corroding and less loss purposes

  B.) Modern and better High Voltage cables?

That is a thing, that should or can  be done for best refurbishing results for both, the 63 and, even more and nearly a must,  the 57.

Because one thing is clear - The more isolation and better contact you have, the less HV, either from the EHT or from the step up transformer, is going away to nirvana, despite coming from the best amp o the world.

We have  very flexible cable, white silicon rubber jacket, 30kV insulation.  The center conductor is 20 AWG, 19 strand, silver plated, Overall diameter is not less than 4mm. No single electron will pass its way through that isolation. Unbeatable for everlasting results -And- It gives the kick to the last bits of something like unnatural "buzzing harshness" (see chapter Mylar PET foil contra Hoechst PP PHD somewhere else)  in the mid-highs of the 57/63 Quads listening to some of  the  well known and very special vinyl (and CD as well ) recordings.

The photo below shows the way we are wiring and insulating the Quad ESL57 at all possible joints. The HV bias is directly connected to the panels without additional soldering points. By this way  any leakage is avoided to a maximum degree and nearly eternal live is given to the electrical section of  the ESL-57 speaker

 

 

  3.) Modify the Dust cover and its frame?

  A.) Dust cover frame

In our ultimate distortion free version we use an other way to arange the dust cover film. The wooden frame is omitted and appropriate damping tape used instead. That is resulting in a better vibration and resonance behavior of the panel it self AND in a far better acoustical isolation from the main frame.

ESL57 frame old version Old

ESL57 dust cover frame anti resonance modification New

Unfortunately, Peter Walker did not see this item as a main problem (other than with the ESL63) But this simple  modification really shakes the audiophile's ears.

B.) Dust cover film type

Another modification is the best choice of the type of dust cover foil to be used. Read about that some lines on the DIY repair/refurbish page.

 

  4.)  Modify Resonance Damping of the main frame?

With the above mods you have a very good distortion improvement already. By stiffening the main frame itself through extra vertical and horizontal stiffeners, the ultimate anti resonance behavior can be reached. Additionally some work can be done on the stands, by means of decoupling them from the main frame.

 

  5.)  No Subwoofer or "Dipolithior"

Since the early 80s there are divergent opinions about the use of a subwoofer with the ESL63/57. There are pros and cons and there surely never will be a consent between the two parties. And until a a couple of years ago, we were part of the cons party.  Despite having since more than 20 years  a perfect and satisfying  subwoofer system of our own, the DCS (Double Cavity) passive band-pass system with driver inside the cabinet and passive radiator outside.

But now there is a very new solution shining up at the horizon for combining a full range  ESL with an "open baffle" subwoofer. Perfect, because now both, the ESL and the Sub, are "open baffle"  drivers, with the same impulse behavior. And that really sticks.

We do think, that a subwoofer makes a lot of sense in cases, where the listener sometimes has the wish for more fundamental tones in its original sound level, like it is often done e.g. in mixing and recording sound studios world wide (Polygram, Tritonus, ETI, Dabringhaus, Straus). 

Keep in mind, that this can also avoid the possible destruction of the Quads by giving to much voltage level to the speakers.

And you won't have the compression effects of the Quad63's power limiter electronics.

Even the passive input filter (230µF ELCAP)could be realized in a much more effective way, but not by omitting it.

 

            

Right now, when being asked, we recommend a mechanically simple but electrically difficult "Dipole-Subwoofer" solution. To the opinion of most of the high-end people and to ours,  it is right now the best subwoofer available - except perhaps a 10 meter unfolded lf horn-   because of its absolute absence of "boxy" and hollow  sound.

It is giving a light, bright, natural and open bass perspective to that what is called "lively resonance-free bass fundament". without adding anything else but that what lacks with respect to the live impression.  You can hear that very impressively listening e.g. to a "Bösendorfer Grand Piano"  You will not miss a single impulse "attack" impression in the very counter A's . 

We will have our own solution for that principle, fully according to the special  Quad requirements in the very near future. It will be names the the "DipoliThor". But , actually , unfortunately  we cannot do anything else but recommending to search the web for "Dipole woofer" or "Ri-Pol woofer"  (Ri-Pole is a special German engineered dipole subwoofer construction from Freiburg/Brsg).

Or ask for our schedule and mile stones for that "Dipolithor" Subwoofer development. Right now we are hoping for finishing that project in the early autumn weeks. Listening sessions will be possible very soon. Please call for listening sessions.

The "DiPoliThor"  will be available both, as Mono-subwoofer ( placed somewhere in the middle of the stereo axis) and as Stereo subwoofer (attached to the ESL directly). Adaption to your special room acoustics are possible and probably necessary as well. 

 

6.) Use a new modern QUAD ESL57 pamnel?

  A.) The MHT Panel (QM57) by R.A.E.

In our ultimate distortion free version we use an other way to arange the dust cover film. The wooden frame is omitted and appropriate damping tape used instead. That is resulting in a better vibration and resonance behavior of the panel it self AND in a far better acoustical isolation from the main frame.

ESL57 frame old version Old

ESL57 dust cover frame anti resonance modification New

Unfortunately, Peter Walker did not see this item as a main problem (other than with the ESL63) But this simple  modification really shakes the audiophile's ears.

B.) The Bass Oanel (QB57) by R.A.E.)

Another modification is the best choice of the type of dust cover foil to be used. Read about that some lines on the DIY repair/refurbish page.

 

 

Right now we have for sale and in stock   4 pairs of fully refurbished QUAD ESL63s and 3 pairs of Quad ESL57

Please  ask for a quote for the above items

 Conclusion: Trust in our experience and facilities. You will be satisfied.

No costs for checking. Best lasting results guarantied.

It will pay.

 

QUAD 57/63  repair and upgrading ....

........we master these matters 

 

 

 

!!Simply solder the defective panels off your gems and send them in!!

Service fully guaranteed!! 

 

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Copyright  all photos Shackman.de,  Reiner E. Römer

Actual SHACKMAN eBay auctions  Online


Shackman Catalog Site   Contact                        Back to top

 

 

 

Speakers will be repaired by  Chief  Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 LS Literature Database

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 Offers on eBay

 

     Contac

Most common failures

Quad 63 Original Resistivity

Stretching jig as winding device

Heavy weight gluing

Stretching "from the roll"

Resistivity calibration

 

Assembly workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 
DIY Coating ESL-57 

To be continued in the left column

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Speakers will be repaired by Chief  Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 LS Literature Database

 Shackman Catalog Site

 Offers on eBay

 

     Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers will be repaired by Chief  Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 LS Literature Database

 Shackman Catalog Site

 Offers on eBay

 

     Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mr.  Römer at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers will be repaired by Chief  Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 LS Literature Database

 Shackman Catalog Site

 Offers on eBay

 

     Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mr.  Römer at ESL57 work

 

Speakers will be repaired by Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 reromanus Audio Literature Database

 Shackman Catalogue Site

 Actual Offers on eBay

 

     Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers will be repaired by Chief  Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 LS Literature Database

 Shackman Catalog Site

 Offers on eBay

 

 Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers will be repaired by Chief  Reiner E. Römer

Other Corporate Links:

 

 reromanus Portal

 Shackman Info Site

 LS Literature Database

 Shackman Catalog Site

 Offers on eBay

 

 Contact

 

Reromanus Shackman