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Quad HIFI Ideas?

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Logarhythm » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:08 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Touché. Anyone beat that?!

Love the colours on that Sugden :D
At risk of extending the 70s hifi love-in, I have a Sansui AU 20000 that I'm rather fond of:

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:37 pm

Swap you then :smirk: The Quad was the one when I were a lad (33/303 back then) when I was buying the Sugden was more 'affordable' and considered pretty good. I don't run a 'hifi' any more as I do any listening in the studio.

Do you still have the electrostatics? A mate of my dad had a pair and they were awesome.

I also have a Quad 522 (a 405 in a rack case with BBC mods applied) which was my main PA amp for several years before settling down to studio life. It's awaiting some TLC as I type before returning to the studio.
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby John Willett » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:47 pm

That Quat setup is perfect :thumbup:

The 34 pre-amp was basically a 44 in a smaller box. I think it missed rhe excellent tilt tone control the 44 had.

The ESL 63 were superb loudspeakers (Tony Faulner used (uses) them as main monitors for classical music recording. They did lack deep bass, though. But they are prone to being affected by room acoustics as they have a fig-8 radiation pattern.

I still think that system would still run rings around most modern hi-fi systems. :thumbup:
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:52 am

I was approached many years ago by one of the most successful disco businesses in the town to fix the power amp/deck preamp that had failed. This used the ubiquitous 2N3055s and was optimistically rated at 70W pch.

After it had failed a second time I convinced them to splash out on a pair of Quad 50Es. "But only 50 watts" they bemoaned. "Trust me" I said and was proved right. The 50Es easily kicked more A than the cheap disco amps and went on without trouble for years. At least I never got another call!

I knew of the Quads because dad was chippy forman for an organ builders and they were using the same amps to power a pedal board speaker (monophonic Germanium transistors!)

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:41 am

Quad and a lot of other established British brands were a victim of the Japanese hi-fI boom of the 70's, products by the likes of Trio, Sony, Pioneer etc were really much better value for money, better built, and in some cases sounded way better than a lot of British hi-fi at the time, they were also more reliable and less idiosyncratic.
I had a Quad 303/33 in 1978 and my friends Trio pre-power combination just blew it out of the water sound wise, it was quite depressing.
I'll never forget that system of his, it sounded stunning, Michell Hydraulic Reference turntable, Trio LO series pre/power amp, Infinity hybrid electrostatic speakers, and a Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck. The Infinity spekers overcame the lack of bass you get with electrostatics, they had a 12inch bass driver, but with electrostatic units handling the mid and top.
But now older hi-fi is far superior to a lot of new stuff, I think it was the use of discreet components back then, cheap generic IC's are used a lot these days.
I'm looking at buying a new amp, short list is a Croft Integrated, or if I can run to it a McIntosh of some sort, but the jury is out, can't think of anything else though that can compete, at the moment.
PS, a very underrated brand at the time were Ferrograph, they had a lovely amplifier, sounded wonderful, wouldn't mind one of those if I could find one.

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:36 am

When I first met my father-in-law-to-be I commented with approval on his Sugden amp and tuner set-up.... after that I was home and dry! :lol:
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:20 am

"cheap generic IC's are used a lot these days."

You are in for a bad time then Arpangel because just about everything you have ever heard, hear now and ever likely to hear was amplified, buffered or processed through many dozens of those "cheap generic ICs" you seem to despise.

The NE5532 was/is the mainstay of the audio electronics industry. The distortion is so low that even the best analysers struggle to resolve it above noise. Their noise level is extremely low (and the LM4562 even better but more expensive) to the point that you will find it hard source a program nearly as good!

The most common FET input chip, the TL072 is not as good if you want to drive low loads (under 5k say) but is otherwise a perfectly acceptable device. Has a higher slew rate than the NEs but that is just tweaky bllx and matters not for audio applications.

The only area where discrete components are better is for noise critical applications like mic pre amps and (very posh!) summing amplifiers but that is just a noise issue, has nothing to do with subjective sound quality and if you can run to a decent input transformer the NE5534 will beat a transistor for noise. (RED pre amp!)

If a 20dB discrete amplifier sounds differently from a 5532 set for 20dB the discrete amp is faulty!

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:57 am

ef37a wrote:"cheap generic IC's are used a lot these days."

You are in for a bad time then Arpangel because just about everything you have ever heard, hear now and ever likely to hear was amplified, buffered or processed through many dozens of those "cheap generic ICs" you seem to despise.

The NE5532 was/is the mainstay of the audio electronics industry. The distortion is so low that even the best analysers struggle to resolve it above noise. Their noise level is extremely low (and the LM4562 even better but more expensive) to the point that you will find it hard source a program nearly as good!

The most common FET input chip, the TL072 is not as good if you want to drive low loads (under 5k say) but is otherwise a perfectly acceptable device. Has a higher slew rate than the NEs but that is just tweaky bllx and matters not for audio applications.

The only area where discrete components are better is for noise critical applications like mic pre amps and (very posh!) summing amplifiers but that is just a noise issue, has nothing to do with subjective sound quality and if you can run to a decent input transformer the NE5534 will beat a transistor for noise. (RED pre amp!)

If a 20dB discrete amplifier sounds differently from a 5532 set for 20dB the discrete amp is faulty!

Dave.

Interesting, I have an old Trio KA1500, I can't see any IC's in it at all. It's all, by the looks of it, discreet components and hand wired. Sounds very good though, and it was a budget amp at the time.
There was a time in the 80's lots of BADA shops, all had the same dogged philosophy, and I thought a lot of that Naim, Linn, Rotel stuff sounded pretty bad TBQH. It was sort of all down hill a bit from then.
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:47 am

Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:"cheap generic IC's are used a lot these days."

You are in for a bad time then Arpangel because just about everything you have ever heard, hear now and ever likely to hear was amplified, buffered or processed through many dozens of those "cheap generic ICs" you seem to despise.

The NE5532 was/is the mainstay of the audio electronics industry. The distortion is so low that even the best analysers struggle to resolve it above noise. Their noise level is extremely low (and the LM4562 even better but more expensive) to the point that you will find it hard source a program nearly as good!

The most common FET input chip, the TL072 is not as good if you want to drive low loads (under 5k say) but is otherwise a perfectly acceptable device. Has a higher slew rate than the NEs but that is just tweaky bllx and matters not for audio applications.

The only area where discrete components are better is for noise critical applications like mic pre amps and (very posh!) summing amplifiers but that is just a noise issue, has nothing to do with subjective sound quality and if you can run to a decent input transformer the NE5534 will beat a transistor for noise. (RED pre amp!)

If a 20dB discrete amplifier sounds differently from a 5532 set for 20dB the discrete amp is faulty!

Dave.

Interesting, I have an old Trio KA1500, I can't see any IC's in it at all. It's all, by the looks of it, discreet components and hand wired. Sounds very good though, and it was a budget amp at the time.
There was a time in the 80's lots of BADA shops, all had the same dogged philosophy, and I thought a lot of that Naim, Linn, Rotel stuff sounded pretty bad TBQH. It was sort of all down hill a bit from then.

The Trio would probably have "sounded" even better for the use of a couple of NEs! (I put sounded in " " because I doubt anyone could hear the difference in practice)
It is for example very difficult to make a really linear Baxandall tone control using the low loop gain of discrete transistors. Accurate RIAA equalisation and adequate headroom for phono preamps is also better done with op amps, the NE5534 for instance is hard to beat for noise. The only area where discretes score is the use of parallel devices in MC front ends.

Naim? Linn sound bad? Depends who you ask. These products were reckoned to be the dogs whatsits back in the day.

Dave.
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:59 am

ef37a wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:"cheap generic IC's are used a lot these days."

You are in for a bad time then Arpangel because just about everything you have ever heard, hear now and ever likely to hear was amplified, buffered or processed through many dozens of those "cheap generic ICs" you seem to despise.

The NE5532 was/is the mainstay of the audio electronics industry. The distortion is so low that even the best analysers struggle to resolve it above noise. Their noise level is extremely low (and the LM4562 even better but more expensive) to the point that you will find it hard source a program nearly as good!

The most common FET input chip, the TL072 is not as good if you want to drive low loads (under 5k say) but is otherwise a perfectly acceptable device. Has a higher slew rate than the NEs but that is just tweaky bllx and matters not for audio applications.

The only area where discrete components are better is for noise critical applications like mic pre amps and (very posh!) summing amplifiers but that is just a noise issue, has nothing to do with subjective sound quality and if you can run to a decent input transformer the NE5534 will beat a transistor for noise. (RED pre amp!)

If a 20dB discrete amplifier sounds differently from a 5532 set for 20dB the discrete amp is faulty!

Dave.

Interesting, I have an old Trio KA1500, I can't see any IC's in it at all. It's all, by the looks of it, discreet components and hand wired. Sounds very good though, and it was a budget amp at the time.
There was a time in the 80's lots of BADA shops, all had the same dogged philosophy, and I thought a lot of that Naim, Linn, Rotel stuff sounded pretty bad TBQH. It was sort of all down hill a bit from then.

The Trio would probably have "sounded" even better for the use of a couple of NEs! (I put sounded in " " because I doubt anyone could hear the difference in practice)
It is for example very difficult to make a really linear Baxandall tone control using the low loop gain of discrete transistors. Accurate RIAA equalisation and adequate headroom for phono preamps is also better done with op amps, the NE5534 for instance is hard to beat for noise. The only area where discretes score is the use of parallel devices in MC front ends.

Naim? Linn sound bad? Depends who you ask. These products were reckoned to be the dogs whatsits back in the day.

Dave.

Thanks, my Trio is fairly noisy, I must admit, but, Noise hasn't ever been an issue for me, we all have different priorities, but I'd rather have a bit of noise and a good tonal balance than a completely quiet clinical sound.
That's the thing, Linn/Naim had great PR, their reputation was phenomenal, and they were very clever about dealer networking, demo evenings, and how they presented their stuff, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, it was all about the last ounce of detail at the expense of everything else, I much prefer a richer, slightly coloured sound, to the colder and more clinical sound of some of that 80's stuff.
And now prices for those things are quite frankly, stupid, £18,000 for a Linn Sondeck? No record deck is worth that no matter what it's made of or how it's designed.
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:41 am

Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:"cheap generic IC's are used a lot these days."

You are in for a bad time then Arpangel because just about everything you have ever heard, hear now and ever likely to hear was amplified, buffered or processed through many dozens of those "cheap generic ICs" you seem to despise.

The NE5532 was/is the mainstay of the audio electronics industry. The distortion is so low that even the best analysers struggle to resolve it above noise. Their noise level is extremely low (and the LM4562 even better but more expensive) to the point that you will find it hard source a program nearly as good!

The most common FET input chip, the TL072 is not as good if you want to drive low loads (under 5k say) but is otherwise a perfectly acceptable device. Has a higher slew rate than the NEs but that is just tweaky bllx and matters not for audio applications.

The only area where discrete components are better is for noise critical applications like mic pre amps and (very posh!) summing amplifiers but that is just a noise issue, has nothing to do with subjective sound quality and if you can run to a decent input transformer the NE5534 will beat a transistor for noise. (RED pre amp!)

If a 20dB discrete amplifier sounds differently from a 5532 set for 20dB the discrete amp is faulty!

Dave.

Interesting, I have an old Trio KA1500, I can't see any IC's in it at all. It's all, by the looks of it, discreet components and hand wired. Sounds very good though, and it was a budget amp at the time.
There was a time in the 80's lots of BADA shops, all had the same dogged philosophy, and I thought a lot of that Naim, Linn, Rotel stuff sounded pretty bad TBQH. It was sort of all down hill a bit from then.

The Trio would probably have "sounded" even better for the use of a couple of NEs! (I put sounded in " " because I doubt anyone could hear the difference in practice)
It is for example very difficult to make a really linear Baxandall tone control using the low loop gain of discrete transistors. Accurate RIAA equalisation and adequate headroom for phono preamps is also better done with op amps, the NE5534 for instance is hard to beat for noise. The only area where discretes score is the use of parallel devices in MC front ends.

Naim? Linn sound bad? Depends who you ask. These products were reckoned to be the dogs whatsits back in the day.

Dave.

Thanks, my Trio is fairly noisy, I must admit, but, Noise hasn't ever been an issue for me, we all have different priorities, but I'd rather have a bit of noise and a good tonal balance than a completely quiet clinical sound.
That's the thing, Linn/Naim had great PR, their reputation was phenomenal, and they were very clever about dealer networking, demo evenings, and how they presented their stuff, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, it was all about the last ounce of detail at the expense of everything else, I much prefer a richer, slightly coloured sound, to the colder and more clinical sound of some of that 80's stuff.
And now prices for those things are quite frankly, stupid, £18,000 for a Linn Sondeck? No record deck is worth that no matter what it's made of or how it's designed.

Well of course, you are entitled to listen to what you want but if you KNOW it has limitations you cannot call it "Hi-Fi" !!

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Ian Shaw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:54 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Swap you then :smirk: The Quad was the one when I were a lad (33/303 back then) when I was buying the Sugden was more 'affordable' and considered pretty good. I don't run a 'hifi' any more as I do any listening in the studio.

Do you still have the electrostatics? A mate of my dad had a pair and they were awesome.

I also have a Quad 522 (a 405 in a rack case with BBC mods applied) which was my main PA amp for several years before settling down to studio life. It's awaiting some TLC as I type before returning to the studio.

I don't have electrostatics I'm afraid. They cost him around £1500 in the early 80s & he sold them for more about 10 years later when my parents downsized. I only have a small pair of Missions he bought after that.
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:57 am

Still a formidable system. Maybe I'll dig out my Sugden again and set it up somewhere with my LS3s (kit built LS5/5As).
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Ian Shaw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:16 pm

So, early results are in:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r394jmsiwxaieae/Quad%20Setup.png?dl=0

Image

It works but only in the left channel no matter what input I use

Tuner working fine ( left channel only) and sounds good, but have to laugh at the BBC bias. The BBC1 button is' in anticipation of a fourth BBC channel' according to the manual.

Plugging my phone into the CD input works but mostly bass with little treble

CD player in the same input is silent on 0 or very loud & distorting when turned to 1 on the volume knob

There is something sliding around inside the pre-amp! Shall investigate that first!
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:15 pm

Good progress Ian, and at least there were no bangs! ;)


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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby John Willett » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:22 pm

Ian Shaw wrote:So, early results are in:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r394jmsiwxaieae/Quad%20Setup.png?dl=0

Image

It works but only in the left channel no matter what input I use

Tuner working fine ( left channel only) and sounds good, but have to laugh at the BBC bias. The BBC1 button is' in anticipation of a fourth BBC channel' according to the manual.

Plugging my phone into the CD input works but mostly bass with little treble

CD player in the same input is silent on 0 or very loud & distorting when turned to 1 on the volume knob

There is something sliding around inside the pre-amp! Shall investigate that first!


Ooh - so the 34 *does* have that wonderful exclusive Quad tilt control like the 44. :thumbup:

That is a "magic" system to keep. :thumbup:

Just get it checked out (I still have my 44.405-2).
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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Ian Shaw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:10 pm

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ku1g00ius5acb4s/405%20Insides.png?dl=0

So, I traced the dead outputs to the circuit board on the right & the 2 fuses were clearly blown, so I threw caution to the wind & put in the ones from the good channel...


...switched on & they blew immediately. :headbang: :headbang:

That being the limit of my knowledge it's time to get it to a repair shop.

Still, it's been fun getting all set up & avoiding work on this rainy day

Anyone know of a good independent repair centre in the South West? Martin?

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:24 pm

John Willett wrote:Ooh - so the 34 *does* have that wonderful exclusive Quad tilt control like the 44. :thumbup:

Yes, but it has fewer inputs, no input customisation options, and a much less flexible and adjustable set of vinyl filters.

The first question to answer is whether the lack of a channel is down to the power amp or the preamp.

Unless the OP is experienced in electronic fault finding and repair, I'd strongly recommend getting the whole system to someone who is -- otherwise there's a risk of doing more harm than good.

I can definitely recommend AmpLabs in Worcester (http://www.amp-labs.co.uk/servicing.htm), but there are countless others with the appropriate experience around the UK and elsewhere...

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Ian Shaw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:11 pm

Thanks Hugh, those guys look like they know what they're doing. Useful having the guide prices. Might have to do one piece at a time, starting with the power amp.

Best

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Re: Quad HIFI Ideas?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:20 pm

It's actually just one guy, but he is very familiar with the whole classic Quad range and really knows his stuff. I've seen lots of examples of his work from other people's restored/repaired classic hifi, and he did a fabulous job repairing and upgrading a Quad 44/405-1 combo for me. His rates are a fair reflection of the time involved -- there's a lot of testing and disassembly involved -- as well as the quality of his work and any replacement components, I think. I'd definitely use him again.
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