Quad upgrades its classic electrostatic speakers

Quad is perhaps best known for its classic electrostatic speakers: its first full-range design, designed by Quad founder Peter Walker and later to become the ESL 57, made its world debut in 1956.

And Quad's electrostatic range is still going strong today: the last update came with the introduction of the ESL-2805 and ESL-2905 models in 2005.

Now, in 2012, comes the latest incarnation in the form of the new ESL-2812 and ESL-2912. Quad claims these are "the best electrostatic speakers it has ever made".

So what's new? Well, the company's engineers have improved the power supply, by developing a new two-layer circuitboard with 2oz copper, and adding new components such as Vishay metal film resistors and Murata audio-grade capacittors.

Both new models are slightly taller, narrower and less deep than their predecessors. There's a new net cloth to cover the elements, delivering superior audio transparency in addition to a cleaner, smarter look, says Quad.

The underlying grille support sports newly designed strengthening ribs, reducing the possibility of resonance and ensuring the grille cloth remains under tension without overstretching.

Matching wood-veneered panels now adorn the tops of the speakers and the sides of the bases. All typography is now in gold lacquer paint.

Both the ESL-2812 and ESL-2912 are vailable this month for £6500 and £8000 respectively.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.