Quad’s latest loudspeaker range, the S Series, sports a bespoke ribbon tweeter for a spellbindingly sensuous sound
Quad, the distinguished British audio brand, marks its 79th year with an all-new loudspeaker range: the S Series. Each model combines advanced Kevlar-coned bass/midrange drivers with a specially designed ribbon tweeter, supplying effortless sonic expression to capture all the nuances and passion of the original performance.
The range comprises two standmount models (S-1 and S-2), two floorstanders (S-4 and S-5) and a centre speaker for home cinema systems (S-C). Just 285mm high, the S-1 incorporates a 100mm bass/mid cone, while the larger, though still elegantly proportioned, S-2 uses a 125mm bass/mid cone. The two floorstanders sport three-way configurations, coupling a 100mm midrange driver with two 125mm bass drivers in the S-4, and a 125mm midrange driver with two 165mm bass drivers in the S-5. The S-C is a two-way design, incorporating a pair of 100mm bass/mid drivers.
All S Series models sport a bespoke ribbon treble unit, delivering effortlessly extended high frequencies that are audibly superior to those supplied by typical dome tweeters. The use of a ribbon-based driver is not new to Quad; in fact, the company’s first loudspeaker was known as the Corner Ribbon, launched in 1949. Back then, ribbon drivers were delicate affairs, easily prone to burning out if overpowered.
The new ribbon unit developed for the S Series is a thoroughly modern affair, utilising the latest techniques and materials. The ribbon itself is a sandwich construction, making it robust enough to handle high-powered amplifiers, and is fully immersed in a powerful magnetic field so that it accomplishes its dual role of being both the voice coil and the sound radiator.
As well as delivering excellent transient response and superb musical detail, the sound from this ribbon unit is smooth right up to the highest musical overtones beyond the limits of human hearing. Controlled directivity maintains this sound quality over a wide horizontal arc to cover all listeners whilst vertical dispersion is tailored to avoid floor and ceiling reflections, resulting in the purest high frequency performance at the listening seat.
This ribbon tweeter is aligned with Quad’s Kevlar-coned bass and midrange drivers through sophisticated crossover networks. While the standmount models use carefully tuned, rear-firing reflex ports to augment the bass, the floorstanders are unusual in incorporating three ABRs (Auxiliary Bass Radiators) in place of a port.
These passive, rear-firing bass units support the main drivers to extend bass response down to 35Hz whilst maintaining an accurate and articulate rendition of instrument fundamentals.
Above: Quad S-5 in sapele mahogany, front and back. Note the three 165mm ABRs to the rear.
Beautifully presented with rounded top edges at the front and rear, each speaker cabinet uses a sandwich construction of alternate layers of MDF and high-density particleboard to reduce panel resonance to below the level of audibility. Aesthetically, the look is classically Quad yet subtly updated, available initially in a choice of black or sapele mahogany wood veneers. These will be joined in the autumn by premium, hand-lacquered piano white and piano black finish options.
Recommended Retail Prices
S-1: £599.95 per pair
S-2: £799.95 per pair
S-4: £1299.95 per pair
S-5: £1599.95 per pair
All Quad S Series models are available from mid-July.