How revealing are the Quad ESL 2812 speakers? Well, they are so revealing that you can detect medical conditions with them!
One of my favorite piano players is Maurizio Pollini. I’ve seen him in Chicago. He has recorded much of the great romantic repertoire I love. I own many of his CDs. Even if I have the works by other musicians, I’m still interested in Pollini’s version of them. At the ripe young age of 74, Pollini is still one of the banner names in the classical music field.
One work I can never get enough of is Chopin’s second piano sonata, Op35. I must have 15 versions of this sonata by different players, but when Pollini’s came out in about 2008, I bought it, on DG. As always, his playing is note perfect and full of emotion. The famous movement #3, the funeral march, is as good as classical piano gets.
In analyzing the ESL 2812s, I have started with music I love, not the audiophile demo standards. There’s nothing wrong with standard demo material by the usual suspects. But that’s not what I play at home.
While listening to Pollin’s version of the Chopin funeral march, I heard something I’ve not been aware of before. I’ve always noticed the beautiful playing. But through the Quads I actually hear him BREATHING. The breathing sounds labored here and there. In fact, at some points you can actually infer the stress the man is going through while playing. Talk about having the musician in the room you!
I have a hunch why he’s breathing so hard. I Google Pollini and pull up images. And sure enough, as a young man and as an older man, there are numerous photos of him smoking. I’m not passing judgment on his habit. I’m pointing out the Quads allow the listener to hear the labored breathing CLEARLY, where other speakers won’t. I played the disc on another pair of nice speakers. Ah, you can detect it. But it’s not like the Quads which give you an ultra resolving depiction of the event.
If the Quads can reveal such nuances, they sure won’t miss any of the music!