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  1. #1
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    Tubes or solid state for Quad-ESL 63's

    I have a pair of old Quad ESL 63 electrostatic's and am looking for a new amp. Have had only solid state before but have heard tubes might be very good. Unfortunately I have a limited budget and will need to go used(i.e. < $1,000). Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    I would suggest the best amp you can buy. Check audiogon or e-bay. I personally prefer tubes for all electrostatic speakers.
    ARC SP9 MKIII preamp,VPI HW19jr, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1 head amp, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts
    Marantz CD63SE CD,Yamaha DVD-S1800, MSB DAC
    Accuphase T101 tuner,Nakamichi LX-5, ZX-7 Teac V-7010
    Lexicon MC8 surround processor
    2 Adcom GFA-545,2 radically modified Dynaco MK3's,2 bridged Crown XLS-402, Paradigm X-30, Behringer CX2310, DSP1124P
    2 12" Transmission Line Subs (PASS DIY El-Pipe-O), Acoustat Spectra 22 ESL's (fronts), Acoustat Model 1 ESL's/SPW-1 Woofer (rears)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    I would suggest the best amp you can buy. Check audiogon or e-bay. I personally prefer tubes for all electrostatic speakers.
    Thanks, I probably would like to go tubes for my Quads but am not sure what type of power I would need from amp. I know tube power is not really comparable to solid state power but I would like some advice as to what to look for so as to adequately power my electrostatics. Thanks for any info..

  4. #4
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    First, let me say that I have found electrostatic spekers with a tube amplifier to be a great combination. I think you would be very pleased with the sound.

    Jolida makes some great and affordable tube amplifiers. If you go with them, you won't necessarily have to buy a used one.

    The Jolida JD 302B is a great amplifier. It supplies 2x50 Watts. This isn't a ton but you will have to be the judge of whether or not it is enough according to your listening style and your room size. I will say that these little amplifiers can power anything you put in front of them, it's just a question of volume in the end. This amplifier uses the very popular EL34/6CA7 tubes which is great for two reasons. First, replacement tubes are a sinch to find, and secondly the tube is known for having a very musical and pleasent sound.

    If you are looking for more power Jolida makes the JD 1000A which runs off of the same tubes and produces 2x100 Watts of power.

    Jolida also makes several other tube amplifiers and a few hybrids amplifiers. I would recomend looking into all of them. The brand is well known for having a great value and the products sound amazing.

    Goodluck.
    -Shwamdoo

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwamdoo
    First, let me say that I have found electrostatic spekers with a tube amplifier to be a great combination. I think you would be very pleased with the sound.

    Jolida makes some great and affordable tube amplifiers. If you go with them, you won't necessarily have to buy a used one.

    The Jolida JD 302B is a great amplifier. It supplies 2x50 Watts. This isn't a ton but you will have to be the judge of whether or not it is enough according to your listening style and your room size. I will say that these little amplifiers can power anything you put in front of them, it's just a question of volume in the end. This amplifier uses the very popular EL34/6CA7 tubes which is great for two reasons. First, replacement tubes are a sinch to find, and secondly the tube is known for having a very musical and pleasent sound.

    If you are looking for more power Jolida makes the JD 1000A which runs off of the same tubes and produces 2x100 Watts of power.

    Jolida also makes several other tube amplifiers and a few hybrids amplifiers. I would recomend looking into all of them. The brand is well known for having a great value and the products sound amazing.

    Goodluck.
    Thanks for the info on the Jolida amps...that may be the direction that I go. One quick question...is there any way of eventually incorporating an external phono unit with the jolidas. I have a rega turntable with a MC cartridge and some vinyl that I am not ready to abandon. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzie
    I have a pair of old Quad ESL 63 electrostatic's and am looking for a new amp. Have had only solid state before but have heard tubes might be very good. Unfortunately I have a limited budget and will need to go used(i.e. < $1,000). Any suggestions?
    I drove mine with a Quad 606. Rotel makes excellent power amps in your price range and they would have no trouble driving the ESL-63. If you want to increase the output impedance of the amp, put 1-2 ohms resistors in the positive speaker wire, which will make it sound more like a tube amp. (Or, you could find out the output impedance of the tube amp you are considering and put a resistor in the speaker line of that value, which is likely 2-5 ohms).
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

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    The amlifier does not come with a phono input. However, Jolida makes a tube component phono preamp called the JD 9A. Any amplifier with a set of high level inputs is compatible with an external phono preamp, so you shouldn't have any issues with incorporating an extrenal phono preamp.

    P.S. I never really asked...Were you looking to buy an integrated amplifier or a power amplifier and a preamplifier?
    -Shwamdoo

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwamdoo
    The amlifier does not come with a phono input. However, Jolida makes a tube component phono preamp called the JD 9A. Any amplifier with a set of high level inputs is compatible with an external phono preamp, so you shouldn't have any issues with incorporating an extrenal phono preamp.

    P.S. I never really asked...Were you looking to buy an integrated amplifier or a power amplifier and a preamplifier?
    Since my current preamp (Audire Diffet II) is over 20 years old and needs replacing I thought perhaps going the integrated route might be the best for me. I originally was set on separates but integrated amps make some sense and perhaps save some $. Since I also need a new CD player very soon, I have to watch for some good deals out there. Thanks for your assistance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzie
    Since my current preamp (Audire Diffet II) is over 20 years old and needs replacing I thought perhaps going the integrated route might be the best for me. I originally was set on separates but integrated amps make some sense and perhaps save some $. Since I also need a new CD player very soon, I have to watch for some good deals out there. Thanks for your assistance.
    You may want to consider some of the tubes hybrids Integrated such as the New Pathos Classic One, I have heard this drive the 988 excellently, much better than a couple of amps way more expensive amplifier, whom I will not mention for propriety sake. I will search for a used Pathos Classic One v2, it will be a wonderful match.

  10. #10
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzie
    Thanks, I probably would like to go tubes for my Quads but am not sure what type of power I would need from amp. I know tube power is not really comparable to solid state power but I would like some advice as to what to look for so as to adequately power my electrostatics. Thanks for any info..
    I would suggest no less than 50 Watts. The output power you need can/will vary greatly depending on your room size, furnishings, listening levels and choice of music.
    ARC SP9 MKIII preamp,VPI HW19jr, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1 head amp, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts
    Marantz CD63SE CD,Yamaha DVD-S1800, MSB DAC
    Accuphase T101 tuner,Nakamichi LX-5, ZX-7 Teac V-7010
    Lexicon MC8 surround processor
    2 Adcom GFA-545,2 radically modified Dynaco MK3's,2 bridged Crown XLS-402, Paradigm X-30, Behringer CX2310, DSP1124P
    2 12" Transmission Line Subs (PASS DIY El-Pipe-O), Acoustat Spectra 22 ESL's (fronts), Acoustat Model 1 ESL's/SPW-1 Woofer (rears)

  11. #11
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    I am from India Calcutta - having an old (20years) - Luxman amp,Bose 301 speakers,Yamaha cd - thinking of replacing my amp . Hearing great things about tube amps. In India we get Cayin, Prima luna and Cadence (an hi end Indian brand). Jolida is also available but only thehybrid type 1701a. I am fond of soft music (instrumental and vocal). which amp I should go for? - full tube or hybrid.

    Saradindu Bose

  12. #12
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    Hybrid or full tube? Decide solely on the sound, if you have been thinking about about getting a reasonably priced tubed amplifier, why not get just one.

  13. #13
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    I started with tubes in the middle 60's. In the middle 70's I switched to solid state and almost quit the hobby. In the late 70's I went back to tubes. I use solid state amps only for my subs. As long as they continue to make tubes I will use them. I know there has been substantial improvement in solid state amps but the heat from the tubes comes in handy in the winter in my listening room. It just doesn't help in the summer. Tubes are also very cool to look at and a great conversation starter. "I thought they stopped making those things" is a frequent comment.
    ARC SP9 MKIII preamp,VPI HW19jr, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1 head amp, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts
    Marantz CD63SE CD,Yamaha DVD-S1800, MSB DAC
    Accuphase T101 tuner,Nakamichi LX-5, ZX-7 Teac V-7010
    Lexicon MC8 surround processor
    2 Adcom GFA-545,2 radically modified Dynaco MK3's,2 bridged Crown XLS-402, Paradigm X-30, Behringer CX2310, DSP1124P
    2 12" Transmission Line Subs (PASS DIY El-Pipe-O), Acoustat Spectra 22 ESL's (fronts), Acoustat Model 1 ESL's/SPW-1 Woofer (rears)

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