Quad Electroacoustics is a world famous brand best known for its iconic electrostatic speakers and well-designed electronics. With new distributorship (kemela acted previously as interim distributor), Quad is re-establishing itself as a provider of refined Hi Fi components that appeal to music lovers. Quad's products are engineered for longevity; this is never sacrificed for short-term marketing advantage and models over 50 years old are still serviced in Huntingdon, the original UK base.
Quad broke new ground with current dumping amplifier design which offers very low cross-over and intermodulation distortion normally only associated with class A-type amplifiers. This technology continues in the new Artera amplifier in which by very detailed circuit analysis further refinements have been found while retaining the natural linear amplification that always made the Quad sound very smooth without the aggressive hardness found in many other solid state amplifiers. Also in the new Artera series is the Artera Play which is an advanced DAC with a slot loading CD player and touch screen control.
The QSP amplifier has noticeably greater high frequently resolution better timing and definition than its predecessor - the award winning 909 - and continues in the Elite range offering unbeatable value for a 140 watt amplifier at it's price. The Elite series makes use of the Quad Link balanced mode interconnection system that saves the cost of interconnect cables and facilitates the connection of additional components to the system. The Elite preamplifier is notable for its built-in MM/MC phono stage and useful tone controls, and the CDX CD player/digital preamp has both fixed and volume controlled variable outputs for direct connection to a power amp if an analog preamp is not required.
The newly launched Vena is a gem of a 45 watt class A/B integrated amplifier with 24/192 asynchronous DAC, Bluetooth, headphone socket and preamp out for less than $900.
Quad amplifiers have always been highly regarded. The tube monoblocks have been brought upto date while preserving the original circuit concepts. The 24p tube phono stage is particularly popular and the classic integrated tube amp is rather special.
Quad brought full-range electrostatic loudspeakers to the world in the 1950's raising the bar for sound reproduction. The full-range, cross-over free, virtual point source design delivers more of the potential of electrostatic speakers than
the compromised hybrid approach used in other systems. Generally any loudspeaker design using second order or above cross-overs, if well designed, can offer a flat amplitude response, or synchronous non-distorted time response (waveform), but not both at the same time.
Indeed Quad ESL are one of the few loudspeakers capable of reproducing a clean precise 1 kHz square wave. The virtual point source design gives a wide dispersion pattern and is another reason for the extraordinarily integrated coherent sound reproduction. Movement of the ultra-light weight diaphragm within the electrostatic field is far more linear than the conventional drivers using magnets and this results in very low distortion. For these reasons, music producers continue to use them as a reference monitor for their recordings.
The latest ESL 2812 and ESL 2912 models have better power supplies improving consistency of the EHT supply, and new triple insulating coatings on the stators preserve the EHT when the diaphragm comes into close proximity. These refinements enable the speakers to play louder while a very effective protection system handles overdrive situations.
Quality manufacture is paramount and now far exceeds what was possible in the past. Quad ELS are released in small numbers fabricated by a limited number of highly trained technicians. Accelerated dynamic drivers, may enhance certain types of music however, so electrostatic speakers are not for everyone, in which case Quad's dynamic speakers may be more suitable.
The latest series of dynamic loudspeakers from Quad features ribbon tweeters and the classic series continues to offer excellent sound value.