Quad ESL 2912 Floor Standing Speaker

Expert Review

Quad is one of the oldest names in the game when it comes to electrostats, and they have mastered their sonic flavor over the years, tuning their sound to match the favored flavors of their customers. The ESL 2912 is their latest masterpiece, and it delivers the airy quickness typical of electrostats that will please even the pickiest listeners with mind blowing levels of detail and incredible imaging. This is the classic electrostatic sound: perfectly coherent, smooth integration of all instruments and effects, with top notch transparency and nearly pitch-perfect tonal balance. It doesnt have the extra low end extension of the U-1PX, but the sound is slightly fuller in the low mids and upper bass, giving it a touch of warmth compared to the Sound Labs flagship.

As usual, imaging and coherence are absolutely fantastic, and the ESL 2912 will definitely be the speaker of choice for those who desire smoothness and coherence above all; while the U-1PX is superior from a technical standpoint, I believe many will find the 2912 to have a more natural sound. The U-1PX is more exciting, with better bass response, which is rare in an electrostat, but those who want that classic old-school electrostat sound are probably better off with the Quads.

Quad always makes top notch electrostats, and their latest flagship is no exception. They adhere to the traditional electrostat recipe: light on bass, big on detail, coherence, and imaging. Those who are new to electrostats, or like their presentation but still find them lacking in bass, will probably prefer the U-1PX, but if you really want the most intimate, natural sound experience, only Quad can deliver what you are really after, especially if you plan to feed your speaker with an analog source - this is where the Quads really shine. If you want to keep it old school, the 2912 can do no wrong.Rating: 4.5/5

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