Best amplifier for Acoustat 2+2 electrostats for holographic sound, or change speakers?

I seek your opinion on how to improve the holographic sound out of my current system, which has the Acoustat 2+2 full range electrostatic speakers, solid state Sound Spectrum Technologies (SST) Ampzilla 2000 SE monoblocks (300 wpc, high current), and 2 preamps - a solid state SST Thoebe 2 and a SAS Audio Labs Reference 11A tube hybrid (which I am using currently).  Sources are a Yamaha PX2 turntable with Hana Umami Blue cartridge, Eastern Minimax tube phono stage, a Musical Fidelity A5 CD player (as transport) thru an Audio Mirror Tubadour IV SE DAC and an Eversolo DP6 server.  I also have a Moscade Saturn active subwoofer.  Room treatments include dispersion panels behind the Acoustats, bass traps at the corners and some DIY absorption panels plus miscellaneous isolators on the equipment.  Cables are a mixed bag  with nothing very expensive. The listening room (my study) is 22' x 13' x 8'. 

I listen to jazz and vintage rock.

I can't afford to remake my system and like the sound of the Acoustats but want the sound field to extend more beyond the panels and the imagery to be better defined.

I have read that a push-pull tube amp could result in a more holographic sound.  What should I look for in terms of tube amp design and power output?  Can you recommend any specific amps? 

The alternative is to change speakers, one big issue being selling the Acoustats, which because of the 8' height are a challenge to ship.  The other is selecting from the hundreds of speaker choices. 

My budget is limited - I don't want to spend more than $1K over what I'd realize in selling either the amps or the speakers and I'd buy pre-owned.  I live in the Atlanta area.

Appreciate your suggestions.  Thanks!



My first set of high end speakers were Acoustat 2 + 2… 1979? They were awesome but I instantly realized that a much better amp was required if I was going to keep them. So I bought a high current amp ($5K 19K today)… but after that purchase I couldn’t afford the speakers. I never got back to buying them.


With trade in and only $1K, that just sounds like a great way to trade and end up unhappy. Now if you can add $5K to $10K to your trade in, I’d start looking. But I am risk adverse.

Your amplifiers are not destroying the spatial information you seek. I sold your 2+2 and many other stats. You don’t mention which wall you have them on and where the absorbers are… Typically audiophiles overtreat the room… w absorbers…typically also messing up frequently response by not using a broad band panel aka DEEP… diffusion on sides might help…

I agree 2+2 value plus $1K isn’t going to help much… and you will give up the magic midrange…

Just my $1.50

I have a pair of 1+1’s. For years I had a pair of Hafler DH-220s. They had plenty of power but they lacked “air” and depth. So just a few years ago I picked up an ARC VS-110. It might not have the horsepower but boy do those tubes sound great! 

You might consider finding yourself a nice tube amp of say 100wpc and see how that would work for you. 

Happy listening  


A description of what Holographic Sound as term means to yourself would help as it is widely used to mean a variety of perceptions for a presentation of the end sound.

I have attached a few description given by others on their take on Holographic Sound.  

(1) "Holographic means that the music isn't rooted to the speakers, but instead seems to be originating from specific areas where the musicians and singers are arranged throughout the soundstage of your listening room -- especially between and outside your speakers -- in the best cases, there is air between them and you can imagine some closer to you and some further away -- the proverbial deep and wide soundstage. 

But, holographic means the musicians and singers appear throughout the soundstage almost like holograms."

(2) "My definition would simply be different words than those used above. I think "holographic" is more of a situation where the illusion becomes believable and almost touchable. Whether it is a soundstage (sonic holograph - nice term) or visual field (hologram), the specific event takes on an atmosphere of real volume and space."

(3) "I think 3-dimensional sound has more in common with multi-channel home theater set-ups, which can provide the most easily heard holographic situations. Surround sound would then be the engineered product of sounds delivered in specified areas. These sounds are what I enjoy as the novelty of special effects."

I myself use a Stacked Array of Electrostatic with 845 Monoblocks Power Amp's.

Upstream of these I have used a variety of Pre Amp's and brought in a large selection of Phonostages and even more SUT's, along with a Head Amp to make the most of the Vinyl Source.

For the Digital Source, I have been less adventurous, a Bespoke Built DAC using Valves in the Output Circuit along with a CDT, has offered a very good impression in the home system and performed exceptionally well alongside much more expensive Digital and Vinyl Sources when used in other systems.

When I get a better understanding of your description of Holographic Sound I will add more, as I have been able to create the perceptions that are a version of what is described above, and I believe beyond what is described above. Especially when it comes to the 'Envelope', there is a perception that can be generated in the listening space, especially a listening space that is seemingly expansive, voluminous.

In such a perception of Spaciousness, there is also another perception to be encountered, where the Imaging of a performer is perceived as being locatable in the space, when the perception of the performer has embodiment, there are other perceptions that are possible to encountered as follows.

The 'Envelope' is where the produced Notes and Vocal produced take on a perception of their being formed, the Note/Vocal has its own embodiment, as it seems the Imaging has further layers, where the performer is visualised creating the sound being produced. 

It is when the End Sound and Psychoacoustic Affect attains this level of perception that the following perceptions really are discernible:

Attack – the time line for the note to being audible to attaining  maximum volume.

Sustain – Once the perception of maximum volume is present, the length of time it remains.

Decay – The life of the Note / Vocal its length of time being perceived before if expires.

 All the above is achievable as perceptions to listeners on Stacked ESL's almost 60 Years since their being new.   


Wow @pindac, what an outstanding response here!  Sadly it takes a lot of time, trial and error, patience, and even luck, to assemble a system to achieve the initial experiences of the attributes that you describe so well here.  Taking what we learned to get to that initial point of "success" with further refinements to the system takes us to (2) in your response.  The end result is that it is often difficult to end a listening session and return to reality.