QUAD Artera Solus and ATC Loudspeakers New H-Fi At Audio T Portsmouth

We have recently taken on the New Quad Solus from the Artrera range and ATC loudspeakers. We were hugely impressed by the Solus when first we heard it, and likewise with the ATCs.

When both products arrived on the same the same day we thought why not run them in together. One of the first speakers we received from ATC where the SCM11 and we thought they would be a good match for the Quad Solus. We think we were right.

QUAD and ATC System.JPG

The Solus features a CD player, Bluetooth, accessible DAC including 3 digital coax, 2 optical inputs and an Asynchronous USB. There are 2 analogue RCA inputs as well. You are also spoiled for choice when it comes down to outputs. There are 2 analogue pre-outputs, RCA's and Balanced allowing you to add the Artera Stereo power amp should you wish. Finlay there is also an optical out should you need. A very well spaced product for a one box solution offering some serious upgrade options.

SOLUS REAR.JPG
 ATC SCM 11

ATC SCM 11

Moving to the other end of the system, the ATC SCM11. A beautifully designed infinite baffle (closed box) two way speaker, offering 4 finish options. Black ash, Cherry (featured) Satin black and white.  Made in Britain I might add.  We mounted them on the Custom Design FS104 signature stands, as everything seems to work well on them, connected them with Chord Rumour speaker cable, popped in ''Long Road Out of Eden'' by the Eagles and pressed play. Straight out of the box the SCM11s sounded pretty good if not a little restrained as one might expect. We left them to it for a couple of hours and unboxed the rest of the ATC speakers that had arrived. Such as the SCM7 SCM19 and the SCM40.

ATC SCM11 no Grill.JPG

We sat down for a listen and even after a relatively short running in period they had already opened up and where starting to sound more engaging. As good as they sounded, we knew there was more to come, and to form an opinion then and there would be unfair so we left them running for the rest of the day and over night. Towards the end of the following day we sat down again and put them through their paces. By this time the Solus had plenty of time to sound at its best, and overall performance was vastly improved from the previous day, by that I mean almost a totally different sound. The bass extension was great, dynamic, tight and fun. To let the bottom end show off a little, we played Newton Faulkners version of Massive Attacks “Tear Drop”. Newton’s slightly gravelly vocal characteristic really came through, but the really fun bit happens right at the end. There is a huge bass tone that can sound either flat or overblown on a lot of systems. Not this one. A good test for clarity and separation for vocals is Blood Money by Tom Waits ''Misery is the river of the world'' specifically. With Waits distinctive vocal style, it is not always easy to understand what he is growling on about. Having said that even when every word is crystal clear one can still be left none the wiser. The lyrics were well defined and easy to make out. The overall sound from the system is well detailed without being analytical, well defined in the bottom but most importantly really good fun to listen to. As cliche' as it sounds the Solus SCM11 combo really brought the music to life, it gives spaciousness and real presence allowing you to fully immerse in whatever you are listening to.

ATC SCM11 rear.JPG

We had a quick play with the DAC side of things using the Sonos Connect. We used a Chord Company Clearway Digital coax interconnect  and Clearway Analogue so we could switch between them. We simply repeated what we had previously listened to through Spotify. The difference was quite clear. The Solus dac made a really good account of itself improving the Spotify source no end.

To conclude, the Quad Artera Solus is versatile, solid great build quality and is fun and engaging to listen to. A grate value product that punches above its price point. We can't wait to spend more time with the SCM11 and rest of the ATC range.  The SCM11 aloud the Solus to really stretch its wings, they are responsive, engaging, fun with great tonal balance. We can't find a bad word to say about them and are really looking forward with more electronics in the future.

Come and hear for yourself.

We look forward to seeing you at Audio T Portsmouth.

Nick Joe and James

ATC Loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brighton, Bristol, Cheltenham, Portsmouth

 

 

Powerhouse PMC Reference And Marantz Home Cinema System

Music and Movies are two passions of ours. Having one system that does both justice is something we strive for when specifying systems for our clients, who also share the same passion.

With this in mind, our large cinema room has been upgraded with the pre-power from Marantz and reference PMC Twenty5 26 speakers.

PMC LCR.JPG

The Marantz 8805 AV processor is fully compliant with all the latest sound formats as well as being ready for 4K Ultra High definition sources.

The sound quality of the 8805 is improved vastly by the use of 32 bit DACS on all channels which means more enjoyment for you. Most processors use 24 bit DACS which do not sound as good.

The 7 channel power amp driving our PMC speakers is the beautiful Marantz MM8077 which supplies 7 x 150w of power to the PMC speakers.

9077.JPG

High current, high bandwidth discrete power transistors can handle short term musical bursts with aplomb, even into difficult low impedance speaker loads. The PMC speakers always perform better when provided good juice.

The combination of the PMC Twenty5 26 Left and Right speakers with the matching PMC Twenty5 Centre really make movies and music shine.

PMC 2.JPG

For Surround channels at the rear, we have opted for PMC Twenty5 22 speakers which gell very well with the 3 power house speakers up front.

PMC 25 22.JPG

For Subwoofer duties, the REL S5 SHO fills the room with a deep and powerful low end which enriches the sound for stereo two channel and multi-channel enjoyment.

REL S5.JPG
ROOM.JPG

Bring along some of your favourite music and films and come and have a listen!

Thanks for reading. John, Keith & Mahmood - Audio T Enfield.

Denon & Marantz Hi-Fi is available at the following branches of Audio T
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouthPrestonSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

PMC loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterPortsmouthSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

REL sub bass systems are available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

The Quad Artera Solus Makes Us Sit Up And Pay Attention

Here at Audio T Cardiff we have many opportunities to listen to to some great Hi-Fi but every now and again something new will come along that makes you sit up and listen. The Quad Artera Solus all-in-one was just one of these!

What is a Quad Artera Solus you may ask? The Solus takes elements of the existing Artera range and shrinks them down to a single box unit. It continues along the classic Quad Hi-Fi lines but with a modern touch and enters a market where the one box hi-fi system has a lot of interest.

Front

The Quad Solus is fitted with all the things you would would expect on a modern day all-in-one system.

IMG_0596.JPG

You get five digital input, two coaxial, two optical and a USB-B connection. The USB-A socket you see on the rear panel is just for software updates. These are partnered with both an optical and coax outputs. All the decoding is handled by a ESS Sabre DAC. You then get an additional two RCA line inputs and a line output.

IMG_0597.JPG

Taking a look at the front panel here you will see the Quad veers slightly from the norm. in place of an internet radio or network streamer you have a CD mechanism on a slot loading transport. Quite a smart move we think as although we are told that CD sales are in decline there are many of you out there with a vast CD collection. Add this to the versatile USB-B socket that is compatible with a variety of networked attached storage (NAS) drives, the Apt-X Bluetooth, you have quite a versatile system.

IMG_0592.JPG

There is also a streaming platform in the pipeline that will only add to the impressive features already on-board.

The Amp delivers a beefy 75W RMS into 8ohms backed by an equally impressive 15 amps of current, so not much of a struggle here with most similarly priced loudspeakers. It’s a class A/B design with the pre-amplifier also being completely analogue and constructed of mainly discrete components. This puts the Quad in good stead as your choice of speakers will not be limited.

IMG_0594.JPG

As for the design, the Solus is quite unlike anything else on the market. There are no visible controls apart from the power and eject buttons. The indented solid metal chassis with its removable glass plate that is flush with the top only adds to the elegant look of the unit. A silver finish is also available. The supplied remote control is also good quality with direct command buttons for all functions and is logical and easy to use.

IMG_0598.JPG

We have the Solus on demonstration at the moment hooked up to a pair of Spendor A4 loudspeakers. So come in and have a listen we can assure you, you will be in for a treat.

Quad Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: BrentwoodBrightonCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonSouthamptonSwansea, Swindon