Quad ESL-2912 loudspeaker Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Full-range, floorstanding electrostatic loudspeaker. Drive-units: 6 electrostatic panels with total height 54". Frequency response: 32Hz–21kHz, –6dB. Nominal impedance: 8 ohms. Impedance variation: 4–20 ohms. Maximum output: 2N/m2 at 2m on axis. Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83V/m. Maximum input, continuous input: 10V RMS. Program peak for undistorted output: 40V. Permitted peak input: 55V. Distortion: <0.15% above 1kHz, <0.5% above 100Hz, <1% above 50Hz. AC input: 110–120V, 220–240V. Power consumption: 6W.
Dimensions: 57.9" (1470mm) H by 27.2" (690mm) W by 15" (380mm) D. Weight: 97 lbs (44kg).
Finish: Black Piano, Rosewood trim.
Serial numbers of units reviewed: QH011667BEF00HX, QH011667BEF00HZ, auditioning; QH011667BDF00HG, measuring.
Price: $13,999/pair. Approximate number of dealers: 15.
Manufacturer: Quad Electroacoustics Ltd., IAG House, 13/14 Glebe Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE29 7DL, England, UK. Tel: (44) (0)1488-452561. Fax: (44) (0)1488-413403. Web: www.quad-hifi.co.uk. US distributor: MoFi Distribution, 1811 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660. Tel: (312) 738-5025. Web: www.mofidistribution.com.

Quad Electroacoustics Ltd.
US distributor: MoFi Distribution
1811 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660
(312) 738-5025

Dakmart's picture

I don't see a link to Page 2 of this article. Am I too early?

Kal Rubinson's picture

I see it. (Just replying because I want to see if I can.)

Glotz's picture

Quad. Sigh.

Wiscos's picture

Lovely review of a lovely speaker. David Janzen (son of Arthur Janszen who was the main creator of the KLH Nine I believe) has facilities to fix and upgrade KLH Nines and is effectively re-manufacturing these wonderful speakers. With his unique position and understanding of these speakers he has also created, manufactures and sells his own Hybrid electrostatic speakers, the Valentina (bigger) and the Carmelita (smaller). Both of these wonderful speakers are still much easier to accommodate than most ESL monsters including the Quads, and have a combination of electrostatic magic, solid and extended bass, integration between dynamic and electrostatic elements and cosmetic home acceptability that are simply the best I've heard. So much so that I have a pair in the UK! David is in Ohio and his janszenloudspeaker.com operation / website is easy to find. He is also one of the nicest guys you could possibly interact with... Enough praise for one comment I believe!!!

Wiscos's picture

Sorry - it's Janszenaudio.com although the other link usually gets you there...
Looked up the old KLH 9 review from many years back and you can see the high regard that JGH had for Janszen as he/his products are mentioned at least twice.

jtshaw's picture

The photos accompanying this review are quite remarkable. Did Quad supply them? Did Stereophile shoot them? The photographer deserves kudos, and Quad must be quite pleased that the speakers' excellent fit and finish are so apparent.

John Atkinson's picture
jtshaw wrote:
The photos accompanying this review are quite remarkable. Did Quad supply them? Did Stereophile shoot them?

The photo on the cover of the August issue and on p.49 were taken by our regular photographer, Eric Swanson. The other photographs of the speakers were supplied by Quad's US distributor. Th photo of the speakers in Robert Deutsch's listening room was taken by Mr. Deutsch.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

BDP24's picture

I love ESL's, and have owned original Quads for over a quarter century. While a great loudspeaker, the current Quad has a lot of excellent competition, from the likes of SoundLab, Martin-Logan, Kingsound, and especially Sanders Sound Systems. I say especially SSS because that loudspeaker is imo a considerably better ESL than the Quad, and costs less. I'm afraid Quad's time has passed.

jokeka's picture

I am trying to rearrange my room to be more sound friendly, is it possible to get the measurements of Mr. Deutsch's room? It looks similar and I appreciate him sharing the pic. Similar room pics (space allowing of course) might add nice context to any review.

Robert Deutsch's picture

My listening room's dimensions are 16'X14'X7.5. The photo was taken with a fisheye lens (Sigma 15mm on a Canon 6D) and "de-fished" in software to reduce the fisheye distortions. For another photo of the same room, see https://www.stereophile.com/content/wilson-audio-specialties-sabrina-loudspeaker-page-3

Anton's picture

Jokeka had a great idea. An in-room frequency response would be fascinating.

Listen Up's picture

I have heard Magnepan speakers a bit, and Martin-Logan once and have always enjoyed the lifelike sound of ESLs. I'm not familiar with Quads or the other brands mentioned by BDP24.

How do the Quads (or others) compare to Magnepan?


Gary Osoba's picture

Like others, I throughly enjoyed Robert Deutsche's review. I have been an electrostatic audiophile for years. What I have retained in my current collection:

1) The original Martin Logan Full Ranger ( production prototype CLX).
2) Stax-8x ELS
3) One-off modified Quad 2805's

Re the ML, the prototype was voiced by Gail Sanders to match the sound of the best Stax ELS headphones of the day, and was a dramatically better sounding speaker than the tamed down version which was produced. The prototype dipped below .2 ohms and had wild phase shifts. It presented a nearly impossible load to drive at the time and was essentially a short circuit. Even so, it sounded spectacular on the 1977 Yamaha B-1- an all vertical FET amp which utilized static induction transistors and was way ahead of its time.

Re the Stax, only a few pairs of these were ever imported to the US and no other ELS I am aware of ever tested as linearly as they do over full range. Big, solid panels comprised of 8 elements per side. They are a marvelous speaker but dominate normal rooms.

The specially modified Quads are what I normally listen to. In Robert's article, he wrote: "Since 2013, all Quad ESL models have been made in China; my impression—based on talking to owners and people in the industry—is that, following some teething problems, the reliability of the made-in-China ESLs is greatly improved."

The users I am familiar have said the opposite. And that whatever faults or serviceability issues applied to the UK-made units, the products coming from China are not as well made and result in many more issues. Possibly what Robert is referring to is service issues with the old US importer, as there were many in the latter days. However, regarding Chinese 2805's or 2812's I bought a pair of 2805's (they sound and test better than 2812's) but they malfunctioned immediately after shipping. I had wanted to have them rebuilt and upgraded anyway, so hired Kent McCollum to do so. Kent is very good at this. I specified all rebuilt UK components and we tossed the Chinese material. We also applied all the upgrades to the circuitry that have proven effective. So it's essentially state of the art UK sourced equipment with all practical upgrades. The result is a superb speaker, and after break-in the best Quad that Kent or I had heard. For what it's worth, Kent will rebuild either UK or Chinese Quad components but will not warranty any of the Chinese products. He bases this policy on real world experience.

Possibly the Chinese have made dramatic improvements in their materials, components, and workmanship over the past 4-5 years. That would be good. I do not know if this is the case or not, but wanted to share my experience.


Charles E Flynn's picture

Thanks for taking the trouble to provide such a detailed account of your successful repair/upgrade experience with Kent McCollum at Electrostatic Solutions.

Archguy's picture

Alas, as appealing as these speakers are, every pair I've seen in the market is either on its way to the repair shop or just arrived therefrom.

Separately, the listening room depicted isn't remotely adequate for judging the sound of speakers like these.