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  1. #1
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    Question 'Speakers to match Quad 303

    First of all I'd like to say hi, this is my first post :)

    Basically I have a Quad 33/303 pre/power combo. Most of the time the source is from my PC (casual music as I'm browsing the 'net, etc.) but I also have a Marantz CD-63 (non-KI).

    I have a pair of almost unheard of 'speakers (GenEXXA LX5s -- http://www.beamecho.mcmail.com/reccomme.htm) that I know little about; these actually weren't all that bad until one of the mid/tweeters died. Right now I'm looking for a pair of suitable 'speakers to go with my setup.

    I'm pretty new to all this but my Dad has a Quad 405 with a pair of Yamaha NS-1000Ms (also ESL-63s) which sounds superb; I'd like to get as close to this as possible. I've got my eyes on the B&W DM604 S3 based on a couple of good reviews. However, I really don't know how well these would match up with the rest of my kit (I'm fairly new to all of this). I've read the CD-63 is ``warm'' (whatever that means ;) and so is the 303. I remember reading somewhere that if you have too many sonically similar devices the result will be sub-standard -- do I need to worry about this?

    Anyway, I've probably written far more than I should have. In a nutshell: are the B&W DM604 S3s going to match my stuff; can anybody suggest something else (with a maximum upper limit of 800) that might also work?

    Thanks a lot!

    P.S.
    Mostly I listed to jazz/blues and folky stuff -- Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, etc. However, ever now and again I like to play a bit of Guns N' Roses or the like at full blast :)
    Last edited by lewiz; 04-14-2004 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Add music tastes

  2. #2
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    Why dont you look at the QUAD 21L or 22L speakers ?
    they are very good products !!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewiz
    First of all I'd like to say hi, this is my first post

    Basically I have a Quad 33/303 pre/power combo. Most of the time the source is from my PC (casual music as I'm browsing the 'net, etc.) but I also have a Marantz CD-63 (non-KI).

    I have a pair of almost unheard of 'speakers (GenEXXA LX5s -- http://www.beamecho.mcmail.com/reccomme.htm) that I know little about; these actually weren't all that bad until one of the mid/tweeters died. Right now I'm looking for a pair of suitable 'speakers to go with my setup.

    I'm pretty new to all this but my Dad has a Quad 405 with a pair of Yamaha NS-1000Ms
    (also ESL-63s) which sounds superb; I'd like to get as close to this as possible. I've got my eyes on the B&W DM604 S3 based on a couple of good reviews. However, I really don't know how well these would match up with the rest of my kit (I'm fairly new to all of this). I've read the CD-63 is ``warm'' (whatever that means and so is the 303. I remember reading somewhere that if you have too many sonically similar devices the result will be sub-standard -- do I need to worry about this?

    Anyway, I've probably written far more than I should have. In a nutshell: are the B&W DM604 S3s going to match my stuff; can anybody suggest something else (with a maximum upper limit of 800) that might also work?

    Thanks a lot!

    P.S.
    Mostly I listed to jazz/blues and folky stuff -- Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, etc. However, ever now and again I like to play a bit of Guns N' Roses or the like at full blast
    The first thing I would look at with a Quad 33/303 is the age, which is probably 25 years give or take. The capacitors may go. However, since they seem to be working fine, they probably don't need any servicing. It is a neutral amp, and I expect your CDP is, too. Don't believe everything people tell you about sound quality.

    As I recall, the Quad 303 is rated for 50 watts into 8 ohms, so it should drive quite a few speakers well enough. I would look for speakers that are reasonably sensitive around 90 dB or so and that have a reasonable impedance curve, not below 5 ohms or from the bass through the midrange. As with any amp, you should make sure it can drive the speakers you want. You might like Paradigm Studio 20s or 40s, but you should listen to a number of different speakers to decide what you like. I recently listened to some B & W 705 speakers and they were very good, though without much bass. Sorry, I an bit up on British prices.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    The first thing I would look at with a Quad 33/303 is the age, which is probably 25 years give or take. The capacitors may go.
    It was serviced within the last five years so I expect it to hold out a little longer One owner (sort of -- Grandfather->Father->Me) since new so I have all the documentation, etc. The pre-amp is pretty terrible (lots of cross-talk) but I'm going to try and address that later...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    However, since they seem to be working fine, they probably don't need any servicing. It is a neutral amp, and I expect your CDP is, too. Don't believe everything people tell you about sound quality.
    So... am I right in thinking that if I have two neutral components I am really not limited to any specific 'speakers (i.e. bright, warm, whatever else they say)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    As I recall, the Quad 303 is rated for 50 watts into 8 ohms, so it should drive quite a few speakers well enough. I would look for speakers that are reasonably sensitive around 90 dB or so and that have a reasonable impedance curve, not below 5 ohms or from the bass through the midrange.
    Aha! This is the kind of info. I was after! I know little about this so I can certainly use this to help match the graphs to my situation. The 303 is actually 45Watts/channel and I think the B&Ws were sensitive around 90dB (although I haven't double checked).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    As with any amp, you should make sure it can drive the speakers you want. You might like Paradigm Studio 20s or 40s, but you should listen to a number of different speakers to decide what you like. I recently listened to some B & W 705 speakers and they were very good, though without much bass. Sorry, I an bit up on British prices.
    Thanks, I'll take a look at the Paradigms; I looked at the Quad 22Ls at the recommendation of the previous poster and I was impressed with the reviews. They're a little more expensive but I think I can ignore that.

    You say there wasn't much bass with the 705s... I've read a review that said that about the NS-1000Ms and I was in disbelief. I've certainly never heard a 'speaker handle bass as well as those (although I must admit my experience is a little limited). If you have any experience of the NS-1000Ms could you tell me how they compare?

    Personally I am not a big fan of too much bass (I always turn the bass down and the treble up a little on my pre-amp) so I don't stricly think this would be a problem for me.

    I really need to get to some shops to listen (preferably somewhere I can take along my amp!) to some 'speakers but unfortunately I've had little luck finding any shops (at all) in Manchester.

    Thanks a lot for your reply, very valued!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewiz
    It was serviced within the last five years so I expect it to hold out a little longer One owner (sort of -- Grandfather->Father->Me) since new so I have all the documentation, etc. The pre-amp is pretty terrible (lots of cross-talk) but I'm going to try and address that later...



    So... am I right in thinking that if I have two neutral components I am really not limited to any specific 'speakers (i.e. bright, warm, whatever else they say)?



    Aha! This is the kind of info. I was after! I know little about this so I can certainly use this to help match the graphs to my situation. The 303 is actually 45Watts/channel and I think the B&Ws were sensitive around 90dB (although I haven't double checked).



    Thanks, I'll take a look at the Paradigms; I looked at the Quad 22Ls at the recommendation of the previous poster and I was impressed with the reviews. They're a little more expensive but I think I can ignore that.

    You say there wasn't much bass with the 705s... I've read a review that said that about the NS-1000Ms and I was in disbelief. I've certainly never heard a 'speaker handle bass as well as those (although I must admit my experience is a little limited). If you have any experience of the NS-1000Ms could you tell me how they compare?

    Personally I am not a big fan of too much bass (I always turn the bass down and the treble up a little on my pre-amp) so I don't stricly think this would be a problem for me.

    I really need to get to some shops to listen (preferably somewhere I can take along my amp!) to some 'speakers but unfortunately I've had little luck finding any shops (at all) in Manchester.

    Thanks a lot for your reply, very valued!
    I am not at home but traveling so I cannot look up more on the Quad 33/303. I have an old review somewhere. Yes, you have neutral components.

    I have a Quad 44 preamp and Quad 606 amp myself and I like the Tilt control.

    I haven't heard a Yamaha NS1000 for many years, but at the time I thought they were very good and they have certainly maintained their reputation over the years. They are a fairly large speaker, as you know and is probably capable of substantial output in the bass.

    You can find a review of the B & W 705 on the Stereophile site and here are John Atkinson's measurements. I heard the 705s in a pretty large room, but I guess 5 dB down at 30 Hz is pretty good. I may have heard them with the port plug in, too, for all I know. I am not familiar with British prices, as I tried to say before.

    http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...bw/index4.html

    It is fairly sensitive and its impedance curve looks to be pretty benign and a Quad 303 would probably work well with it.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  6. #6
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    If the amp is truely neutral then its great!
    If you take it to auditioning speakers then you can find out for sure if a particular speaker is too bright, or dark, or whatever. Then you would know for sure that its not the amp, but the speakers.
    45 watts/channel is plenty. I was auditioning B&W 601S3 using a 40 watter at 9-10 o'clock and the levels were loud. Dont know when it was gonna peak off at though...my guess is between 11-12 oclock. 45 watts will drive practically ALL the speakers on the world unless they are super inefficient. If they are that super inefficient, you probably wouldnt want them anyways.
    If you want to stay Quad, the L-series is great. What hi-fi? gave the 11L 2 years standing product of the year in 01 and 02 (i think). Not only is the sound nice, but the finish is one of a kind for that price. Multilayer piano laquer on real wood veneers. Most speakers with this feature are several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. The Quad offers it for a several hundred for couple thousand.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by manek
    Why dont you look at the QUAD 21L or 22L speakers ?
    they are very good products !!!!
    You're right, they are! I've had two demos of the 22Ls (as well as hearing the 11Ls and a 150 B&W 'speaker) and I'm seriously impressed.

    I took along the 33/303 and we hooked up a Marantz CD-73 at the shop. The first demo and I didn't spot the major difference between the 11Ls and the 22Ls -- this was because for the greater duration we'd been listening to the former. The second demo we listened mostly to the 22Ls and then switch down -- what a difference!

    Basically... as soon as I stump up the money this is where it's going. My Dad and I are going for a final demo with the 66/606 (which I may soon ``inherit'' to go along with these 'speakers). Hopefully this combination will impress as the 303/22Ls did (in fact, extra hoping, because that may convince my Dad that letting me use the 606 is a good idea! ;)

    Thanks very much for your response. It was very highly valued.

  8. #8
    RGA
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    I'm unfamiliar with the quad amp but is it not a tube? And if you're in Britain you may get Audio Note at a more reasonable price. If you're trying to get closer to the stat sound but also having dynamic bass response which the 63 lacks then try and find the AN E for a deal. And as standmounts go the AN K - well you won't find one I seriously doubt that can match it in all of the following cohesiveness, bass dynamics or treble smoothness when properly placed.

    Quad knows what they're doing though - typical of companies who make mostly the entire audio chain like Linn and Audio Note...speaking of Linn you may want to try them too. This guy moved away from the quad stats to the AN E which is my main reason for suggesting this http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...24418&review=1 You can get cheaper Audio Notes but they have a house sound since they use the same driver approach. The AN K might be in your price range and is a Sealed Acoustic suspension design -- 90db no lower than 5 ohm load-no higher than 13ohm (great for tubes) extremely low bass distortion which goes to 36hz if placed in the ideal corner position and a very respectable 50hz in a typical free standing positioning. British company so they should be somewhere near you. Like Sugden they don't advertise and haven't for 15+ years so you need to do some work.

    This review mirrors my own in that the speakers don't seem to hack off half the instrument's sound. When I was playing Jesse Cook through the Paradigm Monitor 5 You hear the notes but not the very box of the acoustic guitar. You hear the ATTACK of the note but not the decay and it's the same for other instruments like the Piano...the initial note but not the body and presence a large piano. It's not Paradigm alone it's most speakers that look the same as the Monitor 5. And in Paradigm's defense it occurs in far costlier speakers from other manufacturers and including their own costlier speakers since the 20 and 40 are not much better in that regard. Where I really knew they out shone the others was with both Yo-Yo Ma's Cello and The Platoon theme(Barber) and oddly enough Sarah McLachlan's Re- Mix Album (Silence). The cello was complete full bodied top to bottom the Violin was extended but without the added ringing or strain at higher volumes that the Studio 40, N805 suffered, and then perhaps due to a bigger 8 inch woofer when you have the deep bass and synthesizer work on the Remix album yuo have bass that rattles the wall and with which you can FEEL - the other standmounts other than the De Capo were weak willed in the bass department.

    Anyway take your time and try and listen to as much as you can. The more you listen to the more you will know what is out there and what you don't like. Make sure you listen on several occasions over long periods.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I'm unfamiliar with the quad amp but is it not a tube?
    Nope. It's solid state, a tiny little thing: 4.75" X 6.25" X 12.75". It's a very stable little amp and will happily drive the old original Quad Electrostats.

    http://www.quad-hifi.co.uk/history3.htm

    As well, I have a review published in High Fidelity magazine for March 1970.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  10. #10
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    Quad 22Ls v Yamaha NS-1000M

    I've now had three demos of the Quad 22Ls (also the 11s and 12s). I had the final demo with my Dad and he immediately noticed some ``flaws'' (it could just be what we are both used to).

    I can't remember if I mentioned it earlier but I am used to Yamaha NS-1000Ms (as is my Dad) and the Quad 22Ls seem to be no match. Of course the NS-1000Xs (available in Japan for around 1600) are more expensive, which might explain something... even so, this technology is pretty old.

    After the final demo I went home and played the same music (on a Quad 405 with a cheap CD player) and the difference is quite surprising. They seem a bit more forward (maybe aggressive?) than the Quads; especially on (admittedly an old recording) Cream's White Room. The Quads were very relaxed and the heavy parts were plain boring; whereas on the Yamahas they make you notice.

    After spending some time thinking about it I've decided I'm going to try and import some Yamaha NS-1000Xs from Japan (not an easy task), which I've sort of calculated to cost around 900. This is ideal -- (in my opinion) a superior 'speaker (albeit second hand, of which I am fully aware of the potential downfalls) for the same price. A lot more hassle but I really hope it will be worth it.

    If this doesn't work then I think I'll settle (a little reluctantly) with the Quad 22Ls. I did actually test some other 'speakers in the price range -- some Castles (no idea what model) and some B&Ws (again no idea for model).

    I'd like to say thanks for the info :)

  11. #11
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    I also have a Quad 33/303 combo which I've been using since 1975. I've tried all kinds of speakers (I used to design and build speakers as a hobby too) but the cleanest sound I've ever heard (apart from ELS) are the satelites which I now use - B&W DM602's (in combination with an AudioPro SUB Evidence.)

    These speakers have tuned vents and a maximum power handling of about 120W. Since the 303 only delivers 50W per channel, there's no chance of ever overloading your speakers. The tuned vent design makes them very easily driven and extremely detailed (imo.)

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