Do Quad Electrostatics Come To An End of Life?

I have lived with Quads for 20 years. The first five years were with the 989s and we shall draw a discrete veil over them. Shipped across the country regularly for repair, until eventually the distributor made me an offer on a set of 2905s to let me get rid of them. The 2905s were totally different, and completely reliable for 15 years. Then a panel started arcing, and I was lucky to get it repaired in province after two six hour drives. Cost ~$900CDN excluding the gas! Now a different panel is doing the same thing. The last one had an adhesive failure along the edge, such that the Mylar could flap in the breeze. I don't play them very loud, and only have 40W power amps. But materials science being what I imagine it to be, I'm thinking the adhesive on the other panels is likely to go the same way, That means potentially ten more panels after the two that have already failed, ie 4.5kCDN plus labour to replace the final ten. I see used 2905s for that price, though shipping these monsters is likely to add a massive extra cost. My neighbour used to be a concert pianist, and still plays in her seventies with a local ensemble. She visits and says she feels there is a piano in the room. They are that clear, and uncoloured.

The alternative is to own a pair of expensive paperweights and go back to the DCM TimeFrame TF700s that preceded all the Quads. I'm listening to them right now and I do still like them. They add some softening and colouration but still do better than any box speakers I've heard. They are a little battered since a long-deceased Burmese cat used to like to sharpen his claws on the speaker cloth, but I can strip that off and paint the MDF. There's no kids or cats around to poke the speaker cones.

I think I'll repair the current broken panel in the 2905s, but if more failures come after that I think I'll write them off as 15 years of glory and get used to speaker cones again. Has anyone else been a long term owner of Quads and can give advice as to what I should expect from them in terms of falling apart all at once?


It is much much cheaper to repair the entire set of panels in a quad esl speaker at the same time..... instead of doing one panel at a time.  When you do one at a time, you are paying again and again for the first steps in dissasembly.  And since the panels are all the same age.. you will be frustrated doing them one at a time. 

And I know some folks who specialize in rebuilding quad esl speakers use better glues than the original manufacturer and they do a better more patient job of curing the adhesives to make them more robust and longer lasting.  if you got 15 years out of the original panels, then maybe you would get even more time out of them if they were fully rebuilt.  

might try talking to Sheldon Stokes.  he is easy to find online.  He is expert at rebuilding quads.  just my suggestion.

No experience with Quads but electrostatic loudspeakers do not like to have dust on them. I cover my panels when not in use. If you have your system turned on all the time, I think another type of loudspeaker would work better and last longer. 

No, not turned on all the time. Sheldon Stokes is in the USA, but if I can, it would be easier to do this in Canada. My repair man would likely be perfectly happy to replace all the panels in one go. The question really is this - is this likely to be necessary?