Quad Classic Components
There are some designs in the audio world that have never been surpassed.
Perhaps you think that many modern products can just be small, soulless pieces of silicon powered junk. Or perhaps you find yourself just wanting a more deeply satisfying musical experience – a closer approach to the original sound. Just for you, we have the new Quad ESL Electrostatic speakers and Vacuum tube products.
Quad – The ESL
Only a handful of manufacturers have ever managed to build a production electrostatic loudspeaker. Furthermore, we are unique in producing a point-source, full-range Electrostatic Loudspeaker.
The ESLs are widely regarded as the most neutral, best imaging, most transparent and accurate loudspeakers in the world.
They produce a window on music without adding any character of their own – and can be listened to for hours on end, without ever becoming tiring on the ears.
Quite simply, they are totally addictive and unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. They remain in a league of their own when it comes to real music and our latest models have won a stream of international awards for sound quality, including the prestigious Diapason D’Or and two ‘Golden Ears’.
Quad – The ESL Inside
The ESLs work in a very different way to conventional loudspeakers. For those who don’t know, here’s a brief explanation of the principle. Whilst most speakers work with a cone type drive unit, the ESLs use a very thin membrane, one-tenth the thickness of a human hair. This MYLAR diaphragm has a special conductive coating and is stretched between two electrode plates. Relative to earth, both electrode plates have a high positive charge (+5000v), but there is a slight difference between the charge on each electrode. It is this difference that causes the negatively charged membrane to be more attracted to one than another, thus causing the movement of the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is mounted on an open frame and is thus free of any coloration from a cabinet. Because the diaphragm acts as a full range driver, there is no need for a crossover. There are no discontinuities in the frequency response curve, so you get the full music spectrum, as it was recorded.
The ESLs do much more than reproduce the full range – and this is where all other electrostatic speakers stop. Acousticians have recognised for a long time that an ideal loudspeaker should be a point source from which sounds waves ripple like a pebble in a lake. Ordinarily, an electrostatic would fall at this hurdle, but not the QUAD ESLs.
By using a series of concentric anodes, rather than just two plates, the Quads are able to produce a spherical sound pressure pattern. A series of electrode rings are fed with delay lines, so each ring responds to the change in current a split second after the previous ring, creating movement in the diaphragm identical to the ‘ripple in the pond’. The 988s and 989s both use this principle, with the 989s having additional panels to give a robust bass performance.
The Quad ESL is the only speaker to use this method so if you want the finest, most accurate sound in existence – better choose QUAD.
The ESL 2812 is ideal for most listeners, perfectly balanced and moderate in size. NZ$ 19,000 a pair
The ESL 2912 is for the ultimate Quad experience offering more bass and greater extension but also requiring a greater space and being more demanding of amplification. NZ$ 22,000
Both models of ESL can be happily mated with Quads solid state electronics – we would recommend the 909 as being the most logical option. But why not consider a new spin on the classic vacuum tube amplifier?
The Quad II Series Tube Amplifiers
Although good valve amplifiers come and go, none are as timeless, elegant or loved as the Quad II. The first Quad IIs were originally produced in 1952 and toady’s models use the same exquisite circuit topology that made Quad so famous all those decades ago.
Now with 40wRMS output per monobloc from a brace of KT-88s, they offer all the subtlety and richness usually associated with the finest high-end vacuum tubes, but with enough power and speed to drive modern loudspeakers, especially those that present a difficult load. The input and rectifier tubes are extremely accurate military specification valves with quite exceptional longevity.
The system as a whole includes an equally beautiful pre-amplifier and two power amplifiers with twin output speaker taps at 4ohms and 8 ohms. Phono stages available too.
Quad QC24 pre-amp NZ$ 1,630 and
Quad QII40 power amps NZ$ 7,380 for a pair.
Inside the II-forty Amplifier system
The circuit used in the Quad II-forty power amplifiers is virtually identical to that used in the original Quad II. What has changed dramatically, is the standard of components used. We have scoured the globe for the very finest vacuum tubes, balanced and matched perfectly. The transformer is, in itself, a work of art. Everything is hard-wired and hand crafted with incredible precision.
Quad now use KT-88s, rather than the original KT66s in push-pull orientation for the output stage (for more power). The input valves are 6SH7s (military spec.) and the rectifier is a 5UG4.
The pre-amplifier supplied with the system is a completely new design. It uses a very special high-end military 6111 twin triode, which is so reliable and accurate, it has been hard-wired into the circuit.
All inputs are line-level. It uses relay signal switching to preserve signal integrity. This is one of the most neutral and transparent pre-amplifiers available today. It contains no tone controls, has no remote control. Quite simply, it adds nothing and takes nothing away from the signal.
Totally Wired Limited
The Terrace Houses
217 Stuart Street
NZ Toll Free