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Quad 303 Power Amp

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Re: Quad 303 Power Amp

Postby vinyl_junkie » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:58 pm

Also don't laugh but I was at a boot fair at the weekend and picked up this lot for £7 hahah


I only wanted the tuner but £7 for the lot hey hey, that filled my gear craving LOL
I stuck it in the living room and it's not too shabby.. I was sitting up all night staring at the VU meters and trawling through the LW and MW stations on the radio like I did when I was 9 HAHAHAH oh dear.. some great sampling potential there though :D
I even took my turntable from my room downstairs to see how the phono pre sounds on it LOL
For a cheap consumer 80's hi-fi it's better than I expected..

I forgot how enjoyable radio could be! Especially at night. Some program about Samba music the other day on radio 3 I taped.. Only thing I'm pissed about is the tape head is wwooorrrnn, well one channel definitely is! Ok I'll get my coat....
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Re: Quad 303 Power Amp

Postby Paul Capri » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:45 am

I own three Quad amp combinations that provide music in three separate rooms and find them lovely amplifiers to live with now that I have the paired to what I consider matching speakers. My Quad 2/22 tube amps are connect to Goodmans Axiom 201s housed in Coral design cabinets using standard ring main twin core and earth cable I prefer the Axioms to the Quad Electrostatics, my cats love the Quad metal grills though! The 2/22 also works well with a pair of Triangle Cometes but make sure you use the 8 ohm version.
My 33/303 is connected to a pair of 4 ohm Triangle Cometes, Quad said it was OK to connect these to the 303 so who am I to argue, they sound wonderful.
My Quad 77 works fine with all the above speakers EXCEPT THE AXIOMS which would probably end up in Naples should I connect them!
A lot of arguments are put forward to which speakers are best suited to Quad amplifiers but those two things sticking out of the side of your head are the best judge, age will have a bearing as well as will the acoustics of the room.
For me, my three combinations are about as close to perfection I am likely to find but do be aware that the Triangles are made in France, whilst the drivers, tweeters and crossovers are excellent, the cabinets well designed acoustically but the cosmetic durability of the cabinets leave a lot to be desired, Focal speakers tend to suffer the same problem - so do Renaults for that matter therefore keep Triangle, Focal, and Renaults away from small to medium sized children and especially all sizes of cats!
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Re: Quad 303 Power Amp

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:29 am

I'm glad you enjoy your Quads... but you've resurrected a 7 year-old thread to tell us about them, and this is a music recording tech site first and foremost, rather than hi-fi.

You're most welcome here, of course, but these actions are common spammer tactics and you should know the site is actively moderated... just sayin'! :D
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Re: Quad 303 Power Amp

Postby cyrano.mac » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:That is basically my position, "subjectively perfect" power amplifiers have been with us for decades.

If that was the case, and the Quad 303 was as perfect as Mr Walker claimed, then it would still be in production, surely? All the components are still available, after all.

It was a very good amp in its day, and is still useful today (although underpowered in many situations), but the technology has moved on quite a lot in the intervening 40+ years.


Funny. The Quad 303 is still in production. You can buy the boards as a kit, or finished and you can even buy the complete amp. In a different box, as the original seems expensive to reproduce. Where can you buy those? In China, of course.

A friend of mine owns about a dozen of the 303's, a number of 405's and single ones of most of the other Quad power amps. Most of these run IMF speakers. A few run Quad electrostats, of course.

He bought one of the Chinese 303 clones and was pleasantly surprised. I'll have to agree with him, as we couldn't find anyone who was able to hear any difference in a blind listening test.

If your 303 doesn't sound good, it needs restoration. These things are over 50 years old, FFS. And it's not hard to do, as kits are available, from Dada systems on ebay. Probably others too.

It would seem such an old power amp wouldn't have this kind of a following if it was rubbish, I'd think. And Quad is still in business. How many others still are? Not too many...
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Re: Quad 303 Power Amp

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:23 pm

cyrano.mac wrote:The Quad 303 is still in production.

Kind of... The Quad Electroacoustics company stopped making 303s a long time ago, and they stopped making it because they came out with better designs.

There are certainly some Chinese 'knock-offs' of the 303, unapproved copies of the original design but, as the circuitry is so straightforward, they sound more or less identical. And, as you say, various replacement amp module and psu boards are available from a number of different suppliers both in Europe and the Far East -- some being enhanced designs to upgrade the performance and/or reliability of the original amps.

It would seem such an old power amp wouldn't have this kind of a following if it was rubbish, I'd think.

I've never suggested it was rubbish... just potentially underpowered with some modern low-efficiency passive speakers, and that the power amplifier world has progressed somewhat in terms of overall technical performance, reliability, cost, efficiency, and more! The 303 is undoubtedly a good 'vintage' amp, and it is still useful in some applications -- but it hardly represents the current state of the art.

Despite all that, though, the 303 certainly does still have a strong following and command high prices in hi-fi circles around the World, and especially in the Far East -- as do several other vintage Quads. I used to own a 303 myself for many years (along with a 33 preamp), and still own and use a 405, a 520f, and a 44 preamp today. All have required some TLC over the years, of course, but one of the nice things about them is just how easy they are to service and maintain.

And Quad is still in business.

They are... but now owned by a Chinese corporation... and they don't make the 303 any longer! :-)
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Re: Quad 303 Power Amp

Postby ef37a » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:02 am

I think you all should buy the latest edition of Duggy Self's book on power amps!

Lot of sacred cows tipped over if not shot in that.

(yes, the 303 was superseded because of it modest power output but also because PW was looking for a way to get rid of the need for Iq setting and the thermal tracking problems it produces. I was wrong BTW, thermal tracking problems are still with us in class B amps. I was a bit miffed BTW that Self gives scant attention to the Current Dumper circuit? I never did really understand it and thought my nifty for the book might help!)

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