QUAD: ESLs – your amplifier experiences?

I am inviting anyone who has owned the original Quad ESLs, or the ESL 63s, or heard them with known specific amplifiers, to state which speakers, and post your experiences with all or any amplifiers you've tried. :yes: I'll start out. All my experiences are with the original model ESL. I first heard a pair on a trip to NYC around 1980. The amp was a little NAD 3020, which I couldn't believe - I gave the volume knob enough of a twist to turn heads at the store and the salesman laughed. The music was Jazz at The Pawnshop, and it sounded impossibly 3D, like I was there The Pawnshop, wherever that was...

I finally brought home a pair 33 years later, and tried my NAD 3020A first. After a minute or two, I noticed the very first tendrils of smoke coming up from the amp and shut it down immediately. Luckily, in time too, and the amp still works fine on other speakers. Verdict on NAD 3020A: Danger, Will Robinson!

After reading in my Hafler DH-220 manual that it can supply 10 amps into a short circuit, I decided to give it a try. No problem, beautiful sound.

Heathkit UA-1s worked fine too, but seemed a bit rolled off, probably because they need more work. A pair of original, un-converted Luxman MB3045s sounded delicious for four hours, until one started humming, and was ruined by Shelley's Stereo's DoofusTech (TM). A Luxman L-505u sounded beautiful too, but it took a restore of an A3000 pair (the Japanese domestic version of the MB3045) to get back to delicious.

Lastly, a Gemtone/APPJ/Miniwatt SET sounded pretty bad with the Quads - really didn't like them at all. No bass, no treble either. Just not comfortable with the impedance curve, I guess.

Still waiting to try an Adcom 535, and a G.A.S. Grandson.

What amps have you all tried, and with what results? Did anything stand head and shoulders above the others? Has anyone used a Prima Luna Dialogue Premium power amp, or integrated? Or a First Watt amp? TIA for all contributions...

Dip in and out HERE

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