Almost every Hi-Fi aficionado will know the manufacturer QUAD Electroacoustics and the old amplifier and speaker combination of 33/303 or 44/405 with the famous ESL electrostatic loudspeakers.
Quad have now got what could well be a modern classic in the range, a classic brand name with a modern twist. The "Artera" range of electronics and the "Z" series loudspeakers offer a stunning performance at a reasonable price.
We first heard the Artera system around a month or so ago and thought it was something we really should have available in the store, so shortly afterwards we placed our order for the demonstration pieces. It is a rare thing nowadays to have a manufacturer offer a complete system that performs to the standard that this system can offer. Often, the electronics from a manufacturer will work together but get used with a different brand of loudspeakers. It is great to be able to once again offer a complete QUAD system.
The first thing we have in the line up is the ARTERA PLAY CD/PRE-AMP
The Pre-amplifier also features a DAC that can be used from external sources as you would expect from a modern digital player, featuring USB, optical and co-axial inputs. The styling and quality of finish is stunning.
The ARTERA STEREO Power amplifier harks back to the looks of the old 606 and 909 power amps, sticking to the classic QUAD look with a modern design. The ARTERA STEREO is a brand new ground up design featuring QUAD's current dumping technology which in sonic terms gives the system an effortless sound even with very demanding dynamics.
With the design of the case work and glass top plate it looks great when placed alongside each other or on top.
We chose the QUAD Z1 series standmount loudspeakers in the stunning Piano Rosewood finish. The "Z" series feature Quad's unique sandwich formation ribbon tweeter design giving them such a smooth and tonally detailed sound it has to be heard!
We have given the system a few days to run in so far, the system sounded great from brand new but after about 40hrs use it really came on song. We have thrown all sorts of music at it and have been amazed. Perhaps the most surprising thing is the quality of vocals, it is simply fabulous! I listen to a lot of folk and blues so have tried a lot of acoustic guitar based music and have been amazed at the tonality of the system - you can hear so much more tonal information of the instrument and strings it is quite different to any other system. But, going back to what I have previously said, it is an amazing performance from a one make system.
Other products in the ARTERA range to follow are the "ARTERA LINK" which will be the CD player/Pre-amplifier with added Network Streamer, and the "ARTERA ONE" integrated amplifier.
QUAD Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Brighton, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Preston, Southampton,